The Mind Can Be Our Friend or Our Enemy | Krishna.org


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Published on April 8th, 2012 | by Madhudvisa dasa | Full size image

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The Mind Can Be Our Friend or Our Enemy

Mind out of Control!Spiritual life begins when we can control our minds. Ordinarily the mind of a conditioned soul in the material world is completely out of control. For most people, rather than their mind being controlled their minds become servants of their senses. For example if one is walking down a street and sees or smells some very nice food then the tongue is sending messages to the mind telling it that it wants that food to satisfy the sense of taste. So the person, controlled by the urges of the senses, purchases that food and eats it to try and satisfy the whims of the tongue. In the same way all the senses of the body are demanding the mind to supply their particular objects of gratification so the person is actually out of control. He simply becomes a servant of his senses, trying to satisfy their every whim, but the cruel nature of the material world is that no matter what he supplies in an attempt to satisfy his senses they will never be satisfied. They will always demand more, more, more…

Therefore the Bhagavad-gita prescribes:

A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well. (Bhagavad-gita 6.5)

In this sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna is describing the system of meditational yoga to His friend Arjuna. Here, in this verse, Krishna is establishing that the mind is the central point of yoga practice. The purpose of the yoga system is to control the mind and draw it away from attachment to sense objects.

The mind has to be trained in such a way that it can deliver the conditioned soul from the darkness of the material world and bring him into the light of Krishna consciousness.

Material life means being subjected to the influence of the mind and the senses, in fact the pure soul is entangled in the material world only because of the mind’s ego which desires to lord it over material nature. Therefore the mind should be trained so it is not attracted to the glitter of material nature and in this way the conditioned soul may be saved.

One should not degrade oneself by attraction to the things that will satisfy one’s senses. The more one is attracted by sense objects, the more one becomes entangled in material existence. The best way to disentangle oneself is to always engage the mind in Krishna consciousness. In this verse it is emphasized that one must do this. In this way the mind will elevate one and not degrade him.

It is said: “For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from sense objects is the cause of liberation.” Therefore the mind which is always engaged in Krishna consciousness is the cause of supreme liberation.

This is a very simple, short and easy to explain point, but it is very essential that we really understand this point and actually bring our mind under control by always engaging it in Krishna consciousness and in this way completely detach the mind from the desires of senses. In this way instead of being servants of our senses (godasa) we can become the masters of our senses (goswami) and this is the prerequisite for further advancement in Krishna consciousness.

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115 Responses to The Mind Can Be Our Friend or Our Enemy

  1. Aman says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji! Lord Krishna in BG 3.42 says, “mind is higher than the senses”. This means that the mind and the senses are in different categories. But in the Vesre 22 of the 10th Chapter He says, “of the senses I am the mind”. Here He has kept the mind and the senses in the same category. There seems to contracdiction and there must be some reason for this contradiction too. I want to know that reason.

    • Hare Krishna Aman

      Yes. We may sometimes see some apparent contradiction in the Vedas. The general example is that in one place it is said that the stool of an animal is impure and in another place it is said that the stool of a cow is pure. So it is correct actually but appears to be contradictory.

      So everything is correct but it may appear to be contradictory to us in the beginning. Main thing is to hear it attentively. If you can read aloud including chanting the Sanskrit verses aloud that will be very helpful for your understanding. Because understanding Krishna consciousness is not so much an intellectual process but it comes through hearing the transcendental sound. So we need to hear it attentively. Some things may appear to be contradictory to us initially but we need to not be bewildered or deterred by this, but simply go on hearing attentively and gradually all apparent contradictions will be resolved.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Aman says:

        Yes Prabhuji. Later on I got to know in one of the purports in BG that mind is a sense within. But anyway, we must accept whatever is written in authorised scriptures or said by authorities then we will understand everything.

  2. Sudakshna says:

    Prabhu ji please include me in your email list.from the past two months I have stopped getting email s. I will be very grateful. Hare krishna
    May Lord Krishna bless you.

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      You are still subscribed as far as I can tell. These days I am very busy and only sending a few emails per month. I apologize for this but urge you to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. You will find everything you are looking for there.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  3. Sudakshna says:

    All glories to Lord Nitai and Nityananda!
    Prabhu your posts are very indulging and enhance our love for our dear lord. Prabhu I was a school teacher. The education system today is very different from gurukul and we got monthly payment for our teaching. I was in this illusion that I am in a very noble profession and I tried my best to teach my students. But now after following your posts I feel guilt that I could have done my job in a way as a service to Krishna and not because it gives me monthly income to feed myself. I will improvise myself and try to utilize what is left with me in service of The Lord. We are very thankful to you because your posts show your immense love for Krishna and it motivates us in a very beautiful way as we realize how behind we are in this path of Krishna consciousness. May lord Krishna bless you with his unending love and transcendental bliss!

  4. P. Sarada says:

    The thing whatever may be happen in our life feels as good or bad at the particular time it happens and the effect of feeling goes from our mind after that. This is my experience. Still we wants to happen happy things and worries about the bad things at least for a short time. And after that time we will get an empty mind. Most of the people says that getting an empty mind is not a real thing. But I feel so in most of the time. Hence I want to know that by getting an empty mind shall we get a way to think about God without considering any thing?

    Thanking you and awaiting a reply,

    • No. The mind can never be empty. We will always be thinking about something. So the only way to advance spiritually is to engage the mind in Krishna consciousness. There are many ways to do this and if you read Srila Prabhupada’s books you will learn how to do it. It is pointless and impossible to try to make the mind empty.

  5. Sri Rishi says:

    Hare Krsna!!! Prabhuji. It is yours mercy that you have opened this site to help the people who are new in devotional service. But I am having a problem and hence a query:
    I am practising devotional service since last three years and so due to Krsnas mercy I am not having any bad things within my mind at a great extent. But unusually some intrusive thoughts come into my mind without any reason. They contain bad things about Krsna and other things which one under devotion cannot think. Due to this i have developed a fear from Krsna that I will thing something wrong related to him. Due to this OCD i am not able to live properly and not able to practise devotinal service due to this fear from lord. I m fearing from lord as some thoughts are telling bad about devotees and lord cannot tolerate anything about devotees.
    Can u help me

    • You can help yourself by realizing that an uncontrolled mind is your worst energy and the way to control the mind is to force yourself to chant Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds a day and strictly follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. If you do this gradually all your problems will be completely solved and you will be very happy and will have a peaceful contented mind.

      If you are not prepared to surrender to these basic things no one can help you.

  6. Mahesh says:

    Hare Krishna,

    Thankful to you all doing services through mails….. because of your mais and self is also attending sunday classes with family i am feeling that i am going to nearer to Krishna.

    Thanking you,

    Mahesh

  7. Aditya says:

    Hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare.

  8. vanshika says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu ji
    useful article which clearly says that a person’s mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from sense objects is the cause of liberation.
    thankyou for this knowledge article
    Hare Krishna Prabhu ji

  9. GEETHADEVI/GEETHA says:

    mind is our friend if we can control it otherwise its our No.1 enemy thank ‘u’ for your valuable advises

  10. paddy says:

    Bg 6.5 explains what I’ve always wanted to know concerning the Mind and how to use it. Now I can continue in all confidence on the road to Krsna consciousness thanks to your simple explanation of the Gita.

    Thank you so much.

  11. K.V.RANGASWAMY says:

    Dear Madhuvidas dasa,

    Thank you very much for the clarication. I am very much indebted to you for guiding nicely. I qm chanting Hare Krishna Mantra daily as asuggested.

    Regards,
    Hare Krishna K.V.Rangaswamy.

  12. Dr.Goswami says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa,

    I am grateful, Hare Krishna, for an eye opening and HEART SEARCHING article. You are absolutely right in calling MIND AS OUR FRIEND OR ENEMY. As learned person, like you, says that mind can be controlled and can be made our best friend by adopting three simple things, i.e, simran (ajapa jap of any Holy name of GOD), satsang ( company and listening of parvachan and truly adopting them in routine life) and seva (Propagating the theology and philosophy of reverent guru maharaj or any person who really KNOWS HIM. More emphasis is being laid down to such service, although the curious person may not have completely understood the very basic of their system or knowledge. WHY IT IS SO?
    With kind regards

    • Hare Krishna Dr Goswamit

      It does not matter if a sincere person has not yet understood everything. The process of understanding is to hear from a pure devotee of Krishna, to chant the Hare Krishna mantra and to engage in devotional service under the direction of a pure devotee of Krishna. It is not that one can understand everything in the beginning. In the beginning he needs to have a little faith and surrender to a pure devotee of Krishna and serve him and follow his instructions and this process of submissive hearing from a bona fide spiritual master and service to him and surrender to his orders is the very process that awakens the knowledge within the heart of the sincere student.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  13. sonika says:

    Hare krishna Madhudvisa ji…

    some how i manage to chant 16 rounds, sometimes more during travelling to office as i travell 5-6 hrs a day. but i want to chant during morning morning time as concentration would be more, but i always get defeated by my mind during morning time, i strugle very hard to get up even at 6 and sleep more than 6 hrs. taking shower right after waking up i find the only solution. but i read somewhere we should not pluck tulsi when it is dark.
    i want to know from you, can we pluck tulsi and flowers before sunrise , so that i can directly pray (as i generally offer tulsi and flowers) during early morning time and my sleep also would go off.

    hare krishna

    • Hare Krishna Sonika

      It is very good, we should always be dissatisfied with our devotional service and always trying to improve it. If we come to the point of thinking that “Now I am a doing well, now I am a pure devotee… Then we should know we are in maya….” Krishna is unlimited and we can improve our devotional service unlimitedly.

      As far as plucking Tulsi leaves I believe the reason that devotees say they should not be plucked at night is because Tulsi Devi is taking rest then and it is better not to disturb her. But at the same time she is a pure devotee of Krishna and only exists for the service of Krishna so if you need a few leaves to offer to Krishna she will be happy to give them any time, still devotees will probably try not to disturb her unnecessarily. Although taking her leaves to offer to Krishna will not distrub her…

      So you see it is like that. I do not think there is any actual rule saying like this, that you can not pluck tulsi leaves before sunrise. Srimati Tulsi Devi only exists for giving service to Krishna by offering her leaves to Krishna. So she will be very happy to give you a few leaves before sunrise to offer to Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  14. Amina says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa,

    I am grateful, Hare Krishna, for this article. It is an answer to a struggle I have been coping with for a few months now and I have been chanting, fasting, and waiting for an answer. I opened my email today and this newsletter, The Mind Can Be Our Friend or Our Enemy, has helped me greatly. Is there more I can do to help with control of the mind? I chant Hare Krishna, I am a vegan, I still feel lost of late. Is extreme heart break a form of materialism and how can I pray for healing?
    I appreciate the time you take to teach us
    Hare Krishna
    Amina

    • Hare Krishna Amina

      As soon as you become attached to anyone in this material world you can understand that attachment is material. It is based on the bodily concept of life. You can 100% guarantee that the more you become attached the more that attachment will become a cause of extreme heartbreak. Unless we put our love in Krishna and develop our loving relationship with Krishna we will suffer from extreme heartbreak. Because we are eternal, we want an eternal relationship, but all relationships in the material world are temporary as they are based on the temporary material bodies. Our bodies change and that breaks our material bodily relationships with others and that breaks our hearts…

      The answer to this is to develop our eternal loving relationship with Krishna. And Srila Prabhupada is describing to us how we can do this in his books so we must read them and put the instructions of Srila Prabhupada into practice in our lives…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  15. K.V.RANGASWAMY says:

    Respected Madhudvisa dasa,
    Will you please clarify my doubt. I am having big idol of Lord Krishna for worship. Lord Krishna having flute in his hand as if he is reciting a song.But some of my relatives say the flute should not be there when you pray Krishna in the house., and I have now removed and kept separately. Why it is so. I need your opinion in this matter.

    Regards,
    Hare Krishna K.V.Rangaswamy.

  16. Anand says:

    From my childhood i have fear in my mind, dont know about mhat. i cant speak properly with everyone, i also dont get mixup easily. plz help me remove fears from mind & develop confidence..

    • If you surrender to Srila Prabhupada and follow his instructions and follow the regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and read Prabhupada’s books and follow the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you as you read then all your problems will go away.

  17. revathi says:

    Does God help mentally disabled children

  18. krishna says:

    Hare krsna prabhuji,

    sir actually i had a doubt regarding the following since long time and encountered the same few days back..
    I have heard many times people saying that life runs on fate… etc. if this is true i.e if what happens in life of a person is destined i.e if everything of a person is destined then where does the fault of a person lie? It is not he who commits mistakes but it must be destined right sir??
    please solve this doubt of mine..

    request for your excuse if any dis obediance or disrespect in my way of posting doubt…
    hare krsna..

    • The lives of the materialists are running not exactly on destiny but on karma.

      It means one is born and in previous lives he has committed may sinful activities and maybe pious activities and in this life he has to enjoy the results of his pious activities and suffer the results of his sinful activities.

      So his suffering and enjoyment is fixed by his karma and can not be changed.

      Except of course by Krishna consciousness.

      So materialists are destined to be rich of poor, healthy or sick, etc, and really can not change this destiny. It can only be changed by Krishna consciousness.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy

  19. K.V.RANGASWAMY says:

    Everyday I am chanting Hare Krishna Mantra 16 times as suggested and keeping my mind always alert to do good deeds.
    I want to share my dream today. When I was prostrating Lord Krishna one of my relatives asked me why Krishna wears peacock feather in his head and carry flute always with him. What is the speciality for these I could not answer. From childhood Lord Krishna wear peacock feather and spent his life like a ordinary human being.
    Dear Madhudvisadasa will you please give me more details about Krishna to understand him better.

    Regards.
    Hare Krishna
    K.V.Rangaswamy.

  20. S.Natarajan says:

    Hare Krishna Swamyji pranam
    so many doubts have been cleared by this article and by your replies to various comments. Thank you I am eagerly awaiting your valuable next news letter. Thank you once again.

    Hare Krishna

    ys
    natarajan

  21. Imaginethat says:

    The mind is like a horse. It can carry loads, perform tasks, help us travel from here to there. It’s useful. We don’t want to murder the horse. However, we want to ride it. We don’t want it riding us.

    Be free!

    Imaginethat

  22. Manish says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful info.
    i want to become pure devotee,but some time i felt my mind itself misguide me
    like when i want to pray ,when i want to Chant at the same same time my mind divers me into worldly thoughts.
    some time it disturbed me a lot but thanks to you that you have provided nice info.
    also request you to guide me in this .
    Hare Krishna

    • Hare Krishna Manish

      It is like the verses of the Gita we are discussing. The uncontrolled mind is our worst enemy but the controlled mind is our best friend. So we just have to control the mind by constantly chanting Hare Krishna and reading Prabhupada’s books and engaging the mind in practical work to spread the Hare Krishna movement all over the world…

      And the English saying: “The idle mind is the devil’s workshop’ is very, very true. As soon as you leave your mind without any practical work in Krishna consciousness it will start making evil plans and try to convince your intelligence to accept these evil plans… So really we have to be very careful to keep the mind engaged in serving Krishna 24 hours a day…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  23. Priya says:

    Hare Krishna prabhu,
    Very well answered. I’m really satisfied :)Humble dandavats unto u. Now I’m not able to stop myself from asking some more questions, hope u’ll forgive.
    As we know there are soooooooooo many incarnations of the Supreme. But among this many many incarnations why is it still Dasavatar (10 incanations) Why don’t we count other wonderful incarnations like Caitanya Mahaprabu, Lord Jagannath etc? I heard from my cousine devotee that Mahaprabhu’s incarnation is not counted maybe because He appeared as a simple human displaying no Godly power like the other incarnations did. How much true is this? Pls expalin this concept to me.
    And do u have any particular section in this website something like FAQ, which is especially meant for asking questions, advices, clearing doubts ect? I guess this might be very annoying to u that I ask Q’s everyday through comments, so it will be better if u tell me of any such section where I can put down all my queries and won’t annoy u much.
    I apologize for asking so many Q’s.
    Your humble servant

    • There are so many incarnations. Of course Lord Caitanya is counted. Dasavatara is just a collection of ten, but there are unlimited incarnations… If you want to make a song about ten incarnations you have to pick ten. But you could also make a song about a hundred or a million incarnations…

  24. DEV says:

    Respected Guruji,

    HARE KRISHNA,

    I while reading Srila Prabhupada’s book came to know that he even being an old man worked day and night and cooked his food by himself but from where did he got that much of high energy level in his body to do all kinds of work alone at an old age?

    I mean is there any means by which we can increase our energy level in our body that can last even in our old age? PLEASE EXPLAIN, I am very curious to know about it.

    Thanking YOU,
    DEV

    • Hare Krishna Dev

      Yes. For an apparent old man over 70 years of age Srila Prabhupada’s energy levels were absolutely fantastic. His disciples were young strong westerners yet still when Prabhupada went with them every morning on a morning walk he could outpace them and was always full of energy and vitality. So this energy of Srila Prabhupada’s is coming from Krishna. And Krishna will also give us energy if we surrender to Him and serve Him.

      Even from the mundane point of view Krishna consciousness is very good for the health. There is an English saying: “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” So the devotees are going to bed early and getting out of bed early and just this one thing has a very positive effect on the health. The devotees live very regulated lives and this regulation is good for the health, they are vegetarian and only eat Krishna prasadam which is always freshly prepared from only the ingredients in the mode of goodness. So this is very good for the health. It is also accepted even by western authorities that chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is very good for the mental health. Also devotees perform some austerities like fasting from grains on the two ekadasi days in a month, and this fasting for two days a month is also very good for the health.

      And in addition to all of these things Krishna gives special energy and enthusiasm and intelligence to the souls who are surrendered to Him. So you can feel confident that if you take to Krishna consciousness very seriously Krishna will, in so many ways, give you good energy and health, even in your old age.

      Of course this does not mean that devotees will not get old and sick and die. We all have these material bodies and they are going to get old, sick and die, still for a devotee the suffering from these things is practically zero because he knows he is not the body and also Krishna takes special care of the devotees who are surrendered at His lotus feet…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  25. Priya says:

    Hare Krsna dear Madhudvisa prabhu, accept my humble obeisances AGTSP!
    Thanks alot for this wonderful info, will be quite helpful in my KC practise.
    I have a small doubt, hope you’ll kindly clear it. As you said to one of the devotee
    “When the results of work are purified, when connected with devotional service, one becomes perfect in seeing the self within, and that is self-realization.”
    I didn’t really get this point. Pls elaborate this with a suitable example.
    Your servant,
    Priya

    • Hare Krishna Priya

      The ‘results of work’ is fairly clear. That is for example your salary if you go to work. So you can purify the work and the salary by using it in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. So if the results of your work are purified and you are connected to devotional service then gradually you will be able to see your real self as the spirit soul within your body. So you will come to practically realize that you are not the material body but the spirit soul within, and that is self-realization.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Priya says:

        Hare Krsna prabhu, accept my humble obeisances AGTSP!
        Thankyou very much for such an early reply. My doubt is very nicely cleared. Pls forgive but I have some more queries, they’re not really related to the above topic. Still I’ll be pleased if you answer them.
        1.I realized that our religion (Sanata Dharma) is only the religion which is selfless. I mean in our religion only it is said to treat even the lowest of animals equally because the same soul dwells in all living beings. But in almost all other religion animal slaughtering is so much encouraged. Also, most of those ppl becomes religious just because they’ll get a place in the heaven. But Krishna devotees, doesn’t even care about liberation, nor they care if they go to hell, all they want is to render service unto the Supreme in any situation whether they go to hell or come back to this material world which is full of miseries, they just wan’t to serve Krishna. We can hardly see anything like this in any other religion. I would love to tell this to my friends. So pls put down some more points supporting the topic that Sanatana Dharma is the only religion that is so selfless.
        2.Most of my school friends are from other religion, still I like discussing about diff. religious stuff with them. My friends says that in muslim religion (islam) it is said that the non-belivers of islam will go to hell, so they asked me thats the opinion of our religon about other religon, will the followers of other religon go to hell or something. I didn’t know much about this. But at that present moment I just remembered one of Srila Prabhupada’s quote ‘The ultimate purpose of all religion is to bring one back to Godhead’ and I repeated the same, I said we never say that other religions are fake. No! We treat all equally. But I just told all this doubtfully. pls tell me is there anything in the vedas about other religion. As quoted by SP ‘The ultimate purpose of all religion is to bring one back to Godhead’ but how can that be possible, the followers of other religion is so very diff. They commit so much violence and don’t follow any of the 4 regulative principles properly, in Christinity it is allowed for them to take wines (intoxication), also muslims belive that God is formless, He is just a belief! But we know God isn’t formless, He is ultimaltey a person but the Supreme among all. Also some1 there told that in Bhuddism one can attain enlightment like the Supreme and become master. But we know its totally false. Then how can some1 go back to Godhead by following all these fake guidelines?
        Pls don’t get me wrong, I completely respect Prabhupada’s words, I’m not trying to proof him wrong or something. I’m just trying to make a solution to my stupid question.
        I apologize if any of the above question is offending, and also for such long comment.
        Your servant

        • Hare Krishna Priya

          Thank you for your nice questions.

          In the world there are many different people in different modes of material nature. So Krishna Himself incarnates, or He sends His pure devotee representative, into all the different societies and cultures and establishes religious principles for these people according to what they are able to follow. So in this regard we offer all respect, for example, to Lord Jesus Christ and the prophet Mohammad as they are empowered incarnations of Krishna who are establishing religious principles amongst otherwise faithless people. So in spite of all the discrepancies we see in these religions the followers of these religions do have faith in God, and in the case of the Muslims they also chant the name of God according to the name as it is revealed to them, and they have some moral principles, they prey go God, etc.

          So we can not be disrespectful to such religions and to the founders of such religions. At the same time the followers of these religions are not going to go back to Godhead simply by following these religions. We have to remember that the soul is eternal and this life is just one step on a great journey. So if someone is a complete non-believer and if he discovers the Christian or Muslim religion and develops some faith in some higher authority and in some way starts worshiping and glorifying God and accepts moral principles that are at least better than what he would be otherwise following then that is good for him.

          But to go back to Godhead you have to know who God is and you need to have developed a loving relationship with Him. However in the Christian and Muslim religions there is practically no information about who is God and how one can develop a loving relationship with Him. So these religions are like stepping stones. It is a step higher but ultimately the serious followers of these religions who really want to truly develop a loving relationship with God will have to come to Krishna consciousness, either in this life or in some future life.

          The reality is many people can not take directly to Krishna consciousness. They do not agree to giving up intoxication, giving up illicit sex, giving up meat eating, giving up gambling, and they do not want to spend so much time and energy worshiping Krishna. They do not want to surrender. So for these people who can not take to Krishna consciosusness for some reason it is very good for them to go to the Church or Mosque and bow down and offer prayers to the Lord.

          Krishna consciousness is not a sectarian religion like Christianity or the Muslim religion. It is a scientific process which can be used by anyone to awaken the dormant love of God that is present within everyone’s hearts. So we can promote Krishna consciousness like this, as non-sectarian, not Hinduism, but Sanatana Dharama, the eternal occupation of the soul. And Krishna consciousness is open to everyone and we are not saying that one should give up being a Christian or give up being a Muslim. No. He can keep his faith and in Krishna consciousness, which is the post-graduate study for spiritual life, he can study the same subject matter that he has already studied in the Bible or Koran, but from the Vedas he can get more advanced information.

          So like that, we do not say these religions like Christianity or Mohammedanism are wrong and that they should convert to Krishna consciousness. No. These are bona-fide religions and are given by empowered representatives of Krishna to people in different cultures and different situations according to the degree of spiritual life they are able to accept.

          But there is no comparison to the level of knowledge that is revealed in the Bible and Koran and the level of knowledge that is available in Krishna consciousness. It is like there is a pocket dictionary and there is the big universal dictionary. Both are dictionaries and both are OK. But the universal dictionary has so many more words in it and has the words explained in much greater depth.

          As far as Buddhism, Lord Buddha is an incarnation of Krishna, but the preaching of Buddha is completely atheistic. For reasons that I have discussed elsewhere Lord Buddha rejected the Vedic literatures and established his own philosophy based on non-violence. His purpose was really only to stop the animal killing in India at that time which was going on in the name of Vedic sacrifices. So to achieve this end he concocted some bogus philosophy which he knew would be attractive to the meat eating atheists. So Lord Buddha preached “There is no god, you can all become the Buddha…” And the atheistic people were very happy to hear this so they worshiped, and still worship, Lord Buddha. So you see it is a trick. Lord Buddha got the atheists to worship him and he is God so as well as getting the atheists to stop the animal killing under the doctrine of ahimsa, non-violence, he also got them to worship him, which means they are unknowingly worshiping God. So both by becoming vegetarians and by worshiping God in the form of Lord Buddha the Buddhists are making spiritual advancement. But once again, like Christianity and the Muslim religions, Buddhism is just one step in a person’s spiritual evolution. Buddha talks of entering the void, but there is no void anywhere within the creation of the Lord to enter into. So it is impossible. He talks of ceasing to exist. He does not accept that there is an eternal soul. But there is an eternal soul and it is impossible to cease to exist. So the Buddhist philosophy is just wrong in so many ways. So no one is going to be able to go back to Godhead by following the teachings of Lord Buddha. But it is a step in the right direction for someone who used to be a meat-eating atheist to take to Buddhism and become a vegetarian and become an atheist worshiping Lord Buddha [who is an incarnation of God…]

          But the Buddhists are atheists, they do not believe in God, they do not believe in the eternal soul, so to make any tangible spiritual advancement they have to come to a higher platform. But it may be that the vegetarianism and the worship of Lord Buddha help them reach that higher platform.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  26. DEV says:

    Respected Guruji,

    Hare Krishna,

    Even though it will be difficult for me to understand while reading the books but I am already friendly with Prabhupada’s books as I have CHAINTANIYA CHARITRAMIRITA with me and that is in ENGLISH. I am also from a ENGLISH MEDIUM SCHOOL and worked as an CCE in an OUTBOUND CALL CENTER earlier then my present job. Hopeing for the best.

    Thanking YOU,
    DEV

  27. DEV says:

    Respected Guruji,

    As you have instructed me-

    very seriously read Srila Prabhupada’s books and if you also follow the four regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily then Prabhupada will instruct you and Krishna within your heart will give you the intelligence to understand the instructions of Srila Prabhupada and put them into practice in your life.

    So please tell me how many total numbers of books dose Srila Prabhupada has written which I have to read and what will be the total number of costs of the books. So that I can prepare myself for the TOTAL COST of all the Srila Prabhupada’s books.

    Thanking YOU,
    DEV

  28. DEV says:

    Respected Guruji,

    If I directly wants to talk to you than how can I do it?

    Thanking YOU,
    DEV

  29. DEV says:

    Respected Guruji,

    As you are answering all my quarries I accept you as my GURU and “I PROMISE TO FOLLOW THE FOUR REGULATIVE PRINCIPLES, CHANTING 16 ROUNDS OF MAHAMANTRA EVERY DAY AND THE OTHER THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TAUGHT ME TO DO TO FIND THE REAL MEANING OF MY LIFE WITH THE HELP OF KRISHNA AND PRABHUPADA’s GRACE”.

    Thank you my dear Guru. Please accept my PRANAM.

    Thanking YOU,
    DEV

    • Hare Krishna Dev

      I am very happy to answer your questions and my answers are coming from Srila Prabhupada, not from me. I am only pointing you towards Srila Prabhupada. He is actually your real guru. I can help you, answer your questions, and I am very, very glad to hear that you are promissing to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly follow the four regulative principles and you can also add to this reading from Prabhupada’s books 1-2 hours a day.

      Even if you are not so comfortable in the beginning reading Prabhupada’s books in English do it because that is the way we associate with Srila Prabhupada and he is really capable of taking you back home, back to Godhead.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  30. DEV says:

    Respected Guruji,

    With regard to the answer given by you to “SIVAPALAN”. I am searching my prescribed duties- AS SAID BY KRISHNA- “one should continue to carry out his prescribed duties”.

    So, what should I do? I some times fill like leave every thing and join ISKCON and at last to achieve MOKSHA with KRISHNA’S GRACE.

    Will working with you Devotees be a solution to my problem??

    Regards,

    DEV

    • Hare Krishna Dev

      Firstly devotees of Krishna have very little interest in moksha, liberation. Devotees are interested in engaging in the service of Krishna to serve Krishna and please Krishna. They do not want anything for themselves, they do not even want moksha. They simply want to be engaged in the service of Krishna in the association of devotees.

      You need the help and guidance of a bona fide spiritual master who can direct you and let you know what are your prescribed duties. I suggest you very seriously read Srila Prabhupada’s books and if you also follow the four regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily then Prabhupada will instruct you and Krishna within your heart will give you the intelligence to understand the instructions of Srila Prabhupada and put them into practice in your life.

      You have to really seriously read all of Prabhupada’s books and you have to really actually chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and you have to really seriously follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication], otherwise we can not expect to make any advancement in Krishna consciousness.

      So your first business should be this: seriously study Prabhupada’s books, strictly follow the four regulative principles, and chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily. If you actually do this then you will find that Srila Prabhupada and Krishna will give you the intelligence to understand what you should be doing with your life to serve Krishna.

      As far as ISKCON today it is so far deviated from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada you will not actually find anything to help you there unfortunately. They will only try to divert your attention away from Srila Prabhupada and instead train you to focus your attention and surrender to and serve one of their GBC appointed gurus who they openly admit are not liberated souls. So if you go down that path a conditioned soul as your spiritual master then he has no ability to properly guide you and you and your guru will simply be lost in the ocean of the material world. We have seen this happen to dozens of ISKCON gurus in the past and this has practically destroyed the chance of their 10’s of thousands of disciples from becoming Krishna consciousness. The worst thing you can possibly do for your spiritual life is to accept a guru who is incapable of guiding you back home, back to Godhead.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  31. DEV says:

    Respected guruji,

    As you have said about the independent source of income about Brahmans, then please tell me list of some of such sources so that I can free myself from such bondage of working in office. But as we are not free and are governed by the planets. And astrologers said me- “don’t go for a independent business as it will run on loss”. Find a job of a teacher will be right or wrong?

    Regards,

    DEV

    • Hare Krishna Dev

      Brahmanas are teachers. They can teach any subject which they are expert at. So that is a good profession for a Bhahmana. But a brahmana is supposed to be independent. Not that he is a teacher under the authority of someone else. He teaches his students and they give him some guru daksina. Not that he teaches for a salary.

      Brahmanas are not supposed to be businessmen and are generally not really that good at business, because businessman is a different type of consciousness, but it is stated in the sastras that a brahmana, in an emergency situation, can take the position of a vaishya [farmer, businessman] or a ksatriya [land-holder, administrator, government post, fighter] but that he will never take the position of a sudra which is the position of accepting some ‘boss’ and serving him. The sudras are not capable of independently earning their livelihood, so they have to find some ‘boss’ and serve him and the boss will pay the sudra and in this way he will live. But the sudra has to then do what the boss tells him to do and often the things he is expected to do will be contradictory with the duties of a brahmana and the consciousness of a brahmana. So an actual brahmana can not work like this, for a boss. He has to have some independent form of livelihood and the best thing is the brahminical occupations like patan patan yajan yajan dana pratigrha: Studying the scriptures and teaching them to others, performing yajna and deity worship and engaging others also in this and accepting charity and distributing charity. These are the occupations of a brahmana. But if a brahmana can not for some reason work in this way in an emergency he can also take up the duties of a vaishya or a ksatriya. These three higher casts all have an independent source of income. They do not work for a ‘boss’.

      But even if you find all of this impossible, after all it is Kali-yuga and there are so many imperfections and the whole social system is so disturbed and not in proper order, so where ever you find yourself you can simply practice bhakti-yoga, Krishna consciousness and chant:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  32. DEV says:

    Respected Guruji,

    Asking for your blessings from the core of my heart. Thank you very much for showing me the right direction to become a perfect Brahmin.As Krishna has directed in Bhagwat Gita about the works of Brahmanas and as you have answered me here. So what should I do in this age of Recession and price rise with Unemployment?
    How could I be able to follow the Four principles as you have answered me against my question? Please reply me.

    I also hate to work as a servant for others no matter how much they pay me in a office.

    I know that – “GOD HAS CREATED THIS WORLD AND HE HAS CREATED THE GRASS EVERY WHERE AND I WILL GET THE GRASS TO EAT AND MEET MY NECESSITIES, But how to do it practically so that I do not disobey the Krishna’s order to We Brahmanas? I mean please so me the right direction.

    Regards,

    DEV

    • Hare Krishna Dev

      The main thing is to become a pure devotee of Krishna by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly following the four regulative principles. This process will purify your heart and the more your heart is purified the more you will become in touch with Krishna who is present in your heart as Supersoul or Paramatma. And He will guide you, He will give you the intelligence as to what is the best thing for you to do in your particular situation.

      Ultimately a brahmana has to depend on Krishna. He has to have the faith that Krishna will look after him. But still no that he will just lie down and sleep and expect Krishna to come and feed him… He has to work in some brahminical occupation to serve Krishna and then somehow Krishna will adjust everything and he will be getting enough money for his food and shelter, etc…

      So I can not tell you the exact details what you should do in your life. Only you can find that out by following the process of Krishna consciousness under the direction of Srila Prabhupada and as you become more and more purified it will become more and more clear to you what service Krishna wants you to do for Him. We have to always remember that our position is that we are servants of Krishna eternally. So when we are chanting the Hare Krishna mantra we should not be desiring anything from Krishna, our only prayer should be ‘Please Krishna engage me in Your service.’ If we can be simply engaged in the service of Krishna under the direction of a pure devotee of Krishna then that is the perfection of our life.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  33. arvind says:

    Hare Krishna prbhuji

    Please confirm from where mahamantra originated?
    Sometimes I do 16 or more rounds how much is the maximum
    limit prescribed for chanting.

    Hari bol

    • Hare Krishna Arvind

      Mahamantra originated from Krishna. It is mentioned in the Vedas so it is always there, eternally. It is simply the names of Krishna. But this chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra was specifically introduced as the yuga-dharma, or the religious principle for this age of Kali by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He was chanting the mahamantra Himself and He instructed His disciples also to chant the Hare Krishna mantra with ‘numerical strength’. So it was Lord Caitanya who introduced this system of chanting a particular number of rounds of the Hare Krishna maha mantra daily for His disciples and as we are members of Lord Caitanya’s sampradaya we follow the system that He established.

      The idea of Krishna consciousness is we have to find a bona fide spiritual master, a pure devotee of Krishna, and surrender to him and serve him. If he is really a bona fide spiritual master then his words are not different from the words of Krishna. So we accept the orders of Srila Prabhupada and do not need to go any further than that. Srila Prabhupada is the living representative of the disciplic succession so when he speaks he is speaking for the whole disciplic succession and for Krishna. So when Srila Prabhupada instructs us to chant the Hare Krishna mantra we accept it. That’s all.

      There is no maximum number of rounds. 16 rounds a day is the minimum but you can chant more, as many more rounds as you can. You can not chant too many rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra. Better to chant it 24 hours a day.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  34. Nitesh says:

    Hare krishna,

    Respected Guruji,Is there any way to remove sin which has been incurred because of mistake committed on ekadashi or not doing ekadashi properly

  35. ashwini says:

    Respected Sir,
    I read this article & liked it very much. Sir I have one quetion. our mind always deviate us But our antaratma i.e. innersoul always shows right path as said by Bhagvan krishna in Bhagvadgeeta. But sir it is very difrficult for me to distinguish between mind & antaratma ( soul). Sir plz gve me suggestion how to distinguish between these two? I always fail to take decision n always confused what to do.

    • Hare Krishna

      Yes. In the beginning we are not at all in contact with the Supersoul or Paramatma who is Krishna present within our hears. Nor are we really interested in accepting His advice anyhow. So that is why you have to be guided by a pure devotee spiritual master. He is the external manifestation of the Paramatma. So you can hear the instructions from the spiritual master and follow them. That is the way. And gradually as we advance in Krishna consciousness we will be able to hear the directions of Krishna from withing our heart also and differentiate them from the mad ramblings of our uncontrolled mind…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  36. every time any question arises in my mind … I get my answer..i just love this site..thank u so much…Hare krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
    Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

  37. K.V.Rangaswamy says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa.
    I am really very happy to see your message and thank you very much. As suggested I will chant Hare Krishna mantra daily 64 rounds apart from reading Prabhupada books and following his instructions to control the mind.

    Regards
    K.V.Rangaswamy.

  38. himanshu dixit says:

    Prabhu u say that we can control our mind but the mind never hears to me. How much ever i try it goes back to the old things. How can i engage my mind in KC all the time? please guide me.
    Hare Krishna

    • The mind can not go back to the old things if you always keep it engaged in Krishna’s service. That is what you have to do, be engaged in the service of Krishna 24 hours a day and your mind will always be busy in Krishna’s service. If you are constantly chanting Hare Krishna then your mind will be controlled, if you constantly read the Bhagavatam your mind will be controlled. As I have said elsewhere the people who write these hopeless ‘I can’t control my mind’ posts usually are not even following the basic things like rising early before 4:00 AM, offering Mangal Aroti, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books for at least 1-2 hours a day, etc. So without following the process of Krishna consciousness how can you expect to control your mind. And for one who is sincerely following at least he will have moments when his mind is under control which will give him hope that in the future it may be possible for his mind to be constantly under control.

      It is not easy to control the mind, but it becomes easy if we are fully engaged in Krishna consciousness 24 hours a day… But it is not easy to be fully engaged in Krishna consciousness 24 hours a day. And even if we do manage to control our minds the slightest inattention can be the cause of our loosing control of our mind again…

      So controlling the mind is not easy, it is a great challenge, but somehow or other we have to control our mind, otherwise advancement in spiritual life will not be possible for us.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  39. kapil kumar says:

    all glories to srila prabhupada
    I LOVE THIS SITE VERY MUCH
    HARE KRISHNA..

  40. Linda Dunson says:

    Thank you for today’s lesson, I have been missing your lesson’s as they have not been coming to my e-mail. It was so uplifting to receive your e-mail today. Please keep them coming! Hare Krsna!

  41. K.V.Rangaswamy says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa,
    Thank you for posting how to control mind and senses.
    But I have one doubt. The mind is just like monkey and wanders very much and to control needs lot of practice. In Yoga also the students are advised to control
    the mind first by allowing first to wander till exhaustion. Is there any method to control mind? I am chanting Hare Krishna mantra daily 16 times as suggested
    and reading Prabhupada books also.

    Regards,
    K.V.Rangaswamy

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      The mind will always be busy, it will not stop. So if the yoga schools are teaching that one should let the mind wander until it is exhausted then that is useless. Because the mind will never stop. The method of controlling the mind is to give it a better engagement. So we have to engage the mind in Krishna consciousness. Actually we have to become so busy in Krishna consciousness that 24 hours a day the mind is busy in contemplating how we can render better service to Krishna. There is an English saying: “The idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And that is very true. If we let the mind be idle for just a short time it will come up with so many nonsense plans for sense gratification.

      You care chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and reading Prabhupada’s books so that is actually already helping you a lot and your mind is a lot more controlled than it would have been without this. But you are still feeling the mind is out of control so you need to give the mind more Krishna conscious service. You have to keep the mind busy serving Krishna 24 hours a day. That is the only way to control it. It is not going to stop, we have to let the mind keep working, but let it work on something that is pleasing to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

      So you can chant more the Hare Krishna mantra. 16 rounds is just the minimum. Not that we chant 16 rounds and stop. If you have the time you can chant 64 rounds or more. And reading Prabhupada’s books is also unlimited. There are two saying in the Vedas: ‘nityam bhagavata sevaya’, which means read the Bhagavatam always, 24 hours a day and ‘kirtaniya sada hari’, always chant the Hare Krishna mantra 24 hours a day. So somehow we have to make our Krishna consciousness a 24 hours a day thing, and that will control the mind.

      The other thing is as you are reading Prabhupada’s books you will find that he is giving you instructions. So you have to carefully note these instructions and actually put them into practice in your life. Prabhupada’s books are not just some abstract theories but they are full of practical instructions that will help us control the mind and actually become Krishna conscious 24 hours a day. There are so many things about controlling the mind. Association is very powerful. If you associate with non-devotees, people whose minds are uncontrolled, then their consciousness will also contaminate your consciousness and you will find it very difficult to control your mind. If we eat food that is cooked by non-devotees then it is an offense to offer food cooked by non-devotees to Krishna, so we can not offer it, it is not prasadam, and it contains the non-devotional consciousness of the people who prepared it, not for Krishna but for getting money to pay for their sense gratification. So if we want to control our minds we have to make some arrangement in our lives so that we only eat Krishna prasadam that is cooked by real devotees with love and offered to Krishna.

      So as you read Prabhupada’s books you will find many instructions like this, some do’s and some do not’s, and to actually control our minds we have to follow all these instructions.

      Krishna consciousness is a great science and there is a process, so if we learn the process and follow it under the expert direction of Srila Prabhupada then it will become easy for us to control our minds. But following the process will require some tapasya, austerity on our part. It will not be easy in the beginning. The karmis have a saying ‘no pain, no gain’ and in the beginning Krishna consciousness is a bit like that also. In the beginning we are still attached to so many material things but to make advancement in Krishna consciousness we have to give up these material things, because they will hold back our progress in spiritual life, but this is painful, because we are attached to these things. So we have to be prepared to undergo this little tapasya in the beginning and follow all the instructions we find in Srila Prabhupada’s books and soon we will be easily able to control our minds….

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  42. Jatin Pandey says:

    Hare Krishna dear prabhuji , i m really thankful to you, and truly without controlling mind it is really impossible to devote
    when mind is going out of my control. i want to think of Kṛṣṇa, but mind is thinking something else. So i have to catch again mind: “Why you are going there? Come here. Think of Kṛiṣhṇa.” and i dont let it to go again. And Krishna help us to do that …but sometime it is really unbearable to feel separation from dear Krishna then what should i do. please help me ,

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      You have to follow the process of saddhana-bhakti as Srila Prabhupada is teaching us in his books, and then gradually you will be able to control your mind. You can not expect in one day that immediately you will be able to control your mind. It takes real surrender to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and real surrender to following the process which begins with strictly following the four regulative principles (no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication) and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily. Generally I find that people who fell like you, helpless to control the mind, are not strictly following the four regulative principles and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and very seriously reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. You should know it very clearly that if you are not doing these things then there is no spiritual life actually. It is just imagination. So we should not fool ourselves that we are devotees while we are not actually even following the basic principles of devotional service.

      Krishna consciousness as it is given to us by Srila Prabhupada works and it is very powerful and if we actually follow it we can control our minds. But it requires constant diligence. Srila Prabhupada gives the example of shaving with a cutthroat razer. You have to concentrate very carefully on what you are doing and just a moment’s inattention can mean that you cut your face and make a very big mess. So spiritual life is like that. Even we have been practicing Krishna consciousness for many years we are still not safe from the mad mind. We have to be constantly diligent and constantly keep the mind engaged in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, otherwise even after many years the mind can again drag us back down to the material platform.

      Also in the beginning we can expect that we may fall down from the proper standards due to our bad habits for many lifetimes. So it is not the end of the world if we fall down. We just have to again recommit ourselves to following the regulative principles and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily. There is a English saying “failure is the pillar of success.” So that is also true in Krishna consciousness. We may not always be successful in controlling the mind but we should not let that discourage us from very determinedly pushing on with our progressive march towards our goal of becoming actually Krishna conscious…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  43. Lissa says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa,
    I am an artist…if i were to create work for krishna, what would that be like?
    would this be very dangerous? or good and I should try to do this?

    • Hare Krishna Lissa

      First you have to become Krishna consciousness, if you are going to paint Krishna, then you have to know Krishna. Krishna only reveals Himself to His devotees. So the first step is to become a devotee. If we are not seriously following the process of devotional service as given to us by Srila Prabhupada everything we do is dangerous. So you have to try very hard to strictly follow the four regulative principles (no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication) and chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily. And the most important thing we have to do is very seriously read Srila Prabhupada’s books. The thing is in Krishna consciousness we have to be guided and although Krishna is in our hearts as the Supersoul, in our conditioned state we can not really realize the presence of Krishna in our hearts. So we have to be guided by a pure devotee of Krishna, a bona fide spiritual master.

      So if you are going to do artwork for Krishna then you have to be guided by a pure devotee of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada is the only pure devotee of Krishna that we know is available now, so if you are going to be guided by Srila Prabhupada then you have to read his books in a very humble and submissive way and pray to him to please guide him and instruct you what he wants you to do.

      Very often what Krishna and Prabhupada want us to do for them is quite different from what we thing we should be doing… This is even there in the Bhagavad-gita. Krishna wanted Arjuna to fight, but Arjuna said, “No Krishna, I will not fight…” So Krishna had to speak the whole Bhagavad-gita to clear away Arjuna’s maya and encourage him to fight.

      So if even Arjuna was in maya and even he did not know what he should be doing and what he should not be doing then where does that leave us? So as Arjuna looked to Krishna to solve his bewilderment and to clear up exactly what service he should be doing we have to also submissively hear from Srila Prabhupada and be open to accepting his instructions and giving up our ideas about what we should be doing in devotional service.

      So my advice is that firstly you have to become very fixed up in strictly following the regulative principles and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and reading Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours or more a day. If we are not doing these things we should know it very clearly that we are in maya, we are not in Krishna consciousness and our intelligence is not clear and we will be incapable of making the correct decisions as to what we should do and what we should not do… So once you are firmly fixed up in Krishna consciousness then hear from Srila Prabhupada by reading his books, letters, conversations, listen to his lectures, watch the Prabhuapda DVDs, etc. And you will find that almost magically Prabhupada will answer all your questions and make it very clear to you exactly what service you should be doing to please him.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  44. guddu says:

    hare Krishna pravuji
    i m little upset tht despite repeated trials i m not able to focus my mind on Guru , Vaishnav and Bhagvan
    i told u b4 tht i m forced to take nonveg by my family against my will as well as i m not allowed by family members to follow devotional rules and devotees physically by force…and they r too strong 4 me to fight with
    All i can do is something in my mind….
    but i c situations never changes ….
    please pray to Srila Prabupad so that He blesses me with His causeless mercy
    to bring me out of this dark hell and see the sun of Krishna Consciousness
    all i can hope 4 His mercy and nothing else
    i m helpless….
    jai Srila Prabupad

    • Hare Krishna Guddu

      You are trying and that trying is seen by Krishna and He is very please with you that you are trying to focus your mind on Him in such a difficult situation. So please do not give up trying to become Krishna conscious and do not give up hope.

      Actually what we are going through, although it may seem a long time for us, it is only actually a very brief moment when you consider that we, as spirit souls, are eternal. So this life that you are finding so difficult because of the situation with your family members is actually not more than a tiny flash and then the body you are currently in will be finished and you will take birth again in another body. So you need to concentrate on making sure that the next body will be in a much better situation. So you can practice now always remembering Krishna and never forgetting Krishna. The most important thing about all else is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra. So please find some way to chant the Hare Krishna mantra as much as you can.

      I said to you before that Krishna can change the situation we are in if He wants to. Not that we should ask him for anything for our comfort or convenience. We should only pray to Krishna to ask Him to engaged us in His service through the service of Srila Prabhupada. But still Krishna knows our hearts. So He can change things. At lest find a way to chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      If you can do this steadily then you will not feel helpless. You can chant it softly or if even you can’t chant it softly you can chant it in your mind. You can obviously access the internet so you can read Prabhuapda’s books at http://www.PrabhupadaBooks.com and you can listen to his lectures and bhajans, etc at http://www.Krishna.tv and you can watch the Prabhupada videos at http://www.KrishnaTube.com

      You can put on earphones and no one will know what you are listening to…

      We should never give up and feel helpless. Maya will give us all so many challenges we have to overcome to become Krishna conscious, and while your challenges may seem more than others, still don’t feel helpless, just try to be Krishna conscious 24 hours a day, and don’t worry that your mind is not always controlled. The idea is the mind may go to so many crazy and sinful places but we should just drag it back to Krishna by chanting:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  45. Hemant says:

    It’s a great article but please teach/tell me what should I do, on a daily basis, to condition my mind.

  46. Nallini says:

    Hare Krsna, it post reached me in good time, god is so loving and always protects us. It not easy to control senses, but lord krshna

  47. Nitesh says:

    Hare Krishna Guruji,

    I always think that I should sleep less as much as i can & work as much as possible not for material benefit but for spiritual benefit and this is my inner voice But in one verse The Lord Krishna in one verse of bhagawat gita said a person can not become yogi who sleeps more or less. But Srila Prabhupada ji says that a devotee should keep his sleep to minimum & i also believe that a devotee should control his sleep.So, i request you to please solve this mystery.

    • Hare Krishna Nitesh

      What Krishna says and Prabhupada also says of course is that one should not sleep too much and one should not sleep too little. Prabhupada also says that one who sleeps more than 6 hours out of the 24 is in the mode of ignorance. So we should not sleep more than 6 hours out of the 24. But we need some sleep. Of course the goswamis in Vrindavan were only sleeping 1-2 hours a day and Srila Prabhupada was also only sleeping a few hours a day. But this is an advanced stage that is not to be imitated. It is a question of absorption in Krishna consciousness. So in the beginning we need to reduce to sleeping not more than 6 hours but beyond that we can reduce only if it is a natural thing, like we don’t need any more sleep. If you artifically reduce your sleeping very much then you will not be able to practice yoga. The verse in the gita says one who eats too much or sleeps too much or does not eat enough or does not sleep enough can not practice yoga. So we have to balance these things, eat enough but not too much, sleep enough but not too much…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  48. florman says:

    What I learned from the article you sent me, briefly is – To liberate the self, one must learn to control the mind through the practice of yoga. If this understanding is right, i want to learn or even undergo the processes of yoga

  49. Sivapalan says:

    Hare Krishna,
    1.Is it not that it is easy to control your mind when you are in an Ashramam or in some secluded place like the jungle but it becomes very difficult when you are forced to be in the midst of people as is usual in life with all the difficulties and bad things and stress and strain associated with life.How do you overcome this?
    2. With regard to the answer given by you to Dev, how can you consciously,knowing that it is a lie go on saying that to make profit illegally. Is it not immoral?Is it a duty to make profit in your business saying lies?

    • Hare Krishna

      The problem is your mind, not the place you are staying in. And the problem is you take your mind with you to the ashram or to the jungle. So you are still faced with the same challenge of trying to control your mind in and ashram or in a jungle. And I can tell you for sure that so many of the ‘brahmacaries’ living in ashrams have not at all controlled their minds. So although these places, the ashram and the jungle, should be more in the mode of goodness and you are correct in assuming that it should be easier to control your mind in such places, still you have to control your mind. It does not automatically become controlled just by moving into an ashram or living in the jungle…

      As far as a business man sometimes having to lie in his business to make a profit, yes, this may be immoral, but this is not my instruction Prabhu, it is Krishna’s and it comes from Bhagavad-gita 18.48. Krishna’s point is that even if there are many flaws in one’s prescribed duties he should not give them up. So you can argue with Krishna on this point, not me.

      TRANSLATION
      Every endeavor is covered by some sort of fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work which is born of his nature, O son of Kunti, even if such work is full of fault.

      PURPORT
      In conditioned life, all work is contaminated by the material modes of nature. Even if one is a brahmana, he has to perform sacrifices in which animal killing is necessary. Similarly, a ksatriya, however pious he may be, has to fight enemies. He cannot avoid it. Similarly, a merchant, however pious he may be, must sometimes hide his profit to stay in business, or he may sometimes have to do business on the black market. These things are necessary; one cannot avoid them. Similarly, even though a man is a sudra serving a bad master, he has to carry out the order of the master, even though it should not be done. Despite these flaws, one should continue to carry out his prescribed duties, for they are born out of his own nature.
      A very nice example is given herein. Although fire is pure, still there is smoke. Yet smoke does not make the fire impure. Even though there is smoke in the fire, fire is still considered to be the purest of all elements. If one prefers to give up the work of a ksatriya and take up the occupation of a brahmana, he is not assured that in the occupation of a brahmana there are no unpleasant duties. One may then conclude that in the material world no one can be completely free from the contamination of material nature. This example of fire and smoke is very appropriate in this connection. When in wintertime one takes a stone from the fire, sometimes smoke disturbs the eyes and other parts of the body, but still one must make use of the fire despite disturbing conditions. Similarly, one should not give up his natural occupation because there are some disturbing elements. Rather, one should be determined to serve the Supreme Lord by his occupational duty in Krsna consciousness. That is the perfectional point. When a particular type of occupation is performed for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, all the defects in that particular occupation are purified. When the results of work are purified, when connected with devotional service, one becomes perfect in seeing the self within, and that is self-realization.

  50. DEV says:

    Respected Guruji,
    Hare Krishna,

    Thank you for your guidance to me. But I am a Brahmin and telling lies to earn profit in business and in office is not the duty that is mentioned in Bhagwat Gita by krishna to Brahmins, still I have to earn my livelihood. Please tell me what to do in this case.

    Also tell me the total number of rounds that I must chant so that I can purify my eyes to see KRISHNA?

    I WANT TO SEE HIM- KRISHNA

    Arjuna was also associated with women in his life like Subdhra, Draupadi to whome he got married and have Abhimanu and others as son, I am confused!

    Hare Krishna,

    DEV

    • Hare Krishna Dev

      If you are working in an office you are not a brahmana. A brahmana has 6 occupations. That is studying the Vedas and teaching the Vedas to others, performing sacrifices and Deity Worship and engaging others also in this and accepting charity and distributing charity. And also there is a long list of the qualities that a brahmana possesses in the eighteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. So you are not a brahmana unless you work as a brahmana and have the qualities of a brahmana. A brahmana will NEVER accept service from some evil man who expects him to lie and cheat as part of his service. A brahmana always has an independent source of income. He does not depend on anyone else for his income except Krishna.

      I have already told you that you have to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and follow the four regulative principles. But purification of your eyes so you can see Krishna face to face, that may take one moment or it may not happen in millions and millions of lifetimes. And as I always say we can not try to directly approach Krishna. Krishna is pleased if we please His pure devotees. So actually pleasing the pure devotees of Krishna is the real way to become qualified to see Krishna face to face. So read Prabhupada’s books and find out what he wants you to do to please him and do it, as well as chanting Hare Krishna mantra and following the principles, etc.

      Madhudvisa dasa

  51. Manjunath says:

    Hare krishna,
    I am chanting the maha mantra from past 3- 4 years but i dont know like, i have fell in love with one girl, but i dont know how it has happened, how can i come out from that. But i have not discontinued the chanting, infact i also have made that girl to become krsna conscious and she is also started chanting now 2 rounds daily. Problem is i am unable to love krsna as i was loving him before. So i am totally confused pls help me. I am feeling like i may forget krsna and i am doing mistake in my life. pls help me in this regard.

  52. abhaya carana seva das says:

    pamho madhudvisa prabhu agtACBSP, i agreed it’s a question of control, to be learned can help to get that control but at the end everyone is forced to follow the own gunas and karma because just luck is power when is connected properly in krsna consciousness through a bonafide spiritual master, and although we got HIM we need to be call by the master all the time until the lost children of SRI SRI RADHA KRSNA learn how to walk by staying in the right track,we got so many infallibles powerful spiritual weapons like the maha mantra hare krsna,the bhagavad gita, the pure devotees of the lord, but
    it’s not possible to go back to the normal dharma in one lifetime if we don’t become serious in engaging ourselves the 24 hrs of the day to overcome the three gunas and make the gift of human form of life successful by return blissful as SRI KRSNA has created us since the beginning of the maha tattva,now we are dwelling in this maya world since tima immemorial therefore it will take a little while to not say ages to become a pure devotee of the lord with the mind under the perfect control of the supersoul,never mind we are happy to be in the right track even if takes time to get the perfect control of the mind like our beloved acharya, we don’t want anything only a healthy spiritual life and that’s possible when one control the mind by surrender to SRILA PRABHUPADA with the daily sadhana bhakti service,it’s a slow process but pukka and although i’m most of the time in maha maya i still keeping going with the sadhana because i feel the benefit through my faithful daily spirital activities connected to our best paramahamsa HDG ACBSP,therefore i keep to do good smile to the bad sort of being in this material world where everyone is lost,may be the animal society is getting better then the human society in kali yuga,i mean the human being are more depressed then animal by imitating the low degraded qualities of the animal kingdom because in this age everything is in the opposite side of the real dharma even penance sometimes come against the sadhaka,therefore i agreed to mind the own business back to SRILA PRABHUPADA to get the pure control of the mind by depending all the time in krsna smarana as SRILA PRABHUPADA taught us and when we become steady in remembering SRI SRI GURU GAURANGA constantly the mental control automatically will get set up by the mercy of good devotees like you SRILA PRABHUPADA and the SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA,thank you for your sat-sanga and blessing through this param-para newsletter which give relief to all the aparam-para branches who are trying to get mental control through the own way of self realization with their blinded senses therefore the frustation by fighting with the own fake reflection trapped in the bodily platform of life is keeping going for people who are follow the dangerous current of the guru hoaxers in this most polluted and tamasik kalo sudra society, agtys ys a.c seva das haribol

  53. stef729 says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa Prabhuji,
    Thanks for this article,The Mind Can Be Our Friend or Our Enemy;
    Concerning me, I can control my mind, from the sexual desires, only to procreate, but I eat meat and of course some alcohol, sometimes is required.
    I know how to stop this, and I am happy thinking of the association with the deevotes but my plan it is also to rest some time in the material world, not to renounciate imediately.
    What is yours advice Prabhuji?
    PS.I am chanting at least 8 rounds, every morning, I studied a little, but I will do more.

  54. Vrindavan Bihari Dasa says:

    Hare Krishna, Please accept my humble obeisances.
    Thanks for your mail. It will really be helpful.

  55. dev says:

    respected Guruji,

    Sometimes in office I have to make and do some work that requires telling lies so that we can sell some thing to the innocent people to earn alarge profit by violating the laws of karma. How can I save my self.

    regards
    DEV

    • Hare Krishna Dev

      Arjuna was a little perplexed in this way also. Because he was a ksatriya his duty was to fight but in the battle of Kuruksettra he found that he had to fight with his friends and family members and even his teachers. So Krishna instructed him that even if there is some imperfection in his duty he should not give up his duty. In any activity we perform there will be some imperfections. So this should be purified by using the fruits of your work, the profit from your work, in the service of Krishna. It is natural that sometimes a businessman may have to tell some lie to do his business but Krishna says in the Gita that even if there is some fault like this one should not give up his duty…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  56. dev says:

    respected guruji,

    I am from a non-vegetarian family and work in a office with non-devotees.I chant Mahamantra in BEL BREEDS daily one round every day. How can I follow your instruction of not associating with non-devotees and non-vegetarian people?

    Why do you say it is impossible to see krishna? Krishna himself said:-

    “THE ONE WHO GETS ME IS THE ONE WHO IS DISPARATE TO GET ME”.

    Why do you discourage people then? Why you don’t encourage them?

    REGARDS,

    DEV

    • Hare Krishna Dev

      I never said it is impossible to see Krishna. Of course anyone can see Krishna if they follow the process. Krishna is standing there in the temple, anyone can see Him, that is not at all difficult. Of course to actually see Krishna ones eyes have to be ‘anointed with the salve of love…’, our eyes have to be purified actually to see Krishna. But anyone can purify their eyes and their consciousness by chanting Hare Krishna and then they can see Krishna…

      You can just deal with your work associates in a very official way, whatever you need to do to get the work done, but you do not take part in their social activities and you do not talk gossip with them during the lunch breaks, you do not go to the hotel with them to drink beer and dance with women, etc. So that is how you can handle it.

      Chanting one round a day is something but not much. It takes 10 minutes only to chant one round and there are 24 hours in the day and we have to remember Krishna for the whole 24 hours, not just for 10 minutes. So try to increase the chanting so you are chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and also try to find at least one hour in the day when you can regularly read Srila Prabhupada’s books. This chanting of 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and regular reading of Srila Prabhupada’s books will help you a great deal. And if you reduce your association with the people at work to the absolute minimum you need to do your job I think you will find a lot more time where you can chant or at least think about Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  57. DEV says:

    Hare Krishna Guruji,

    Thank you for such a nice information. But the problem is I myself is from a non-vegetarian Brahmin family(SAKTA) and some times I have to cook and eat meet. I also work in a office where full of non-devote and Mudas work with me. So how can I follow your instruction of not accompaning non-devotees and meat eaters.

    I do chant hare krishna mahamantra on BEL BREEDS (BILWA BREEDS)daily for one round. I listen to the Bhagwat Gita on MP3 format Which I have buyed it from ISKON BANGLORE.

    I don’t know I am in a right or wrong track. But I am trying my best to get my KRISNA. As KRISHNA himself said

    “THE ONE WHO GETS ME IS THE ONE WHO IS DESPERATE TO GET ME”.

    Thanking you,

    DEV

    HARE KRISHNA

    • Becoming Krishna consciousness means our life will change. So if you become Krishna conscious you will stop cooking and eating meat. That is not a very difficult thing to do… You can not expect to become Krishna conscious and at the same time keep your life exactly the same as it was before…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  58. Ashok says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa Prabhuji,

    I am chanting 16 rounds and following 4 regulative principles from past 1 year and i want to take Initiation from “Srila Prabhupad”. Do i need to take Initiation to become srila prabhupad disciple and how that is possible ( as i have seen some disturbance going on in current initiation system in iskcon and i dont know who is the right person to give initiation on behalf of srila prabhupad ) .Please advice on this as i am very serious on advancing in Krishna consciousness

    • Hare Krishna Ashok

      Formal initiation is not necessary. Just become Krishna conscious. Make a program to read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and put all the instructions you get from Srila Prabhupada into practice in your life. Be concerned about becoming a good disciple of Srila Prabhupada, a pure devotee of Krishna, that is all. Don’t worry about formal initiation. Initiation actually happens at the point when you really surrender to Srila Prabhupada and really accept his instructions as your life and soul. In Prabhupada’s physical presence many people sat in fire sacrifices and apparently took initiation from Srila Prabhupada. But there is no initiation actually without surrender. So just be concerned about really surrendering to Srila Prabhupada and make sure that all the 26 qualities of a devotee are developing in your character and make sure that your material desires are reducing and make sure that your love for Krishna and your attachment for chanting the holy names of Krishna is constantly increasing. And serve Srila Prabhupada by distributing his books and read all of his books and more and more adjust your life so you are always remembering Krishna and never forgetting Krishna. Don’t worry about formal initiation. Just become a pure devotee of Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  59. SUDARSAN says:

    Dear Holy Atman,

    I read this verse from Bhagwat Geeta several times. But this mail influenced me much more. Now a days I am very much disturbed & strugling continueously with my mind. I am getting myself helpless in controling the mind. Now, what I am thinking is that without the kripa of Sri krishna mind cann’t be controlled. Beg purdon if I am wrong. But this is the state of my mind at present.

    • Hare Krishna Sudarsan

      Yes, you are right Prabhu, we need Krishna’s mercy to control our minds. But Krishna’s mercy is not directly available to us. The only way we can get Krishna’s mercy is by pleasing Krishna’s pure devotees. So you can control your mind by pleasing Srila Prabhupada. And you can please Srila Prabhupada by reading his books and putting into practice the instructions you find there in your life.

      It is easy to control the mind if you simply learn and surrender to the process of Krishna consciousness, saddhana bhakti, as taught to us by Srila Prabhupada.

      If you just surrender to chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      and seriously reading Srila Prabhupada’s books for at least 2 hours a day and trying to put into practice what you read in Prabhupada’s books in your life your mind will be controlled in a very short time.

      So it is very easy to control your mind but it does require a little work and determination on your part to do it, so just do it… Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  60. Vidya Priyadarshini says:

    wow, Thank you for sending this article via email to subscribers. A well written and thought provoking article . Mind control is no easy task for sure :). Thanks again .

  61. rakesh maharaj says:

    Hare krishna I just want to know can one chant the maha mantra 16 rounds a day if the person is a non- vegertarian and on what beads

    • Hare Krishna Rakesh

      Yes. Anyone can chant Hare Krishna from any stage of life. So a meat eater can chant Hare Krishna and that will help him also, purify him. But he should not chant on Tulsi beads. That would be offensive. He should chant on nim beads. Lord Caitanya is called ‘Nimai’ because He was born underneath a neem tree. This neem is very purifying. So you can get these inexpensive neem beads at KrishnaStore.com:

      http://krishnastore.com/inexpensive-japa-beads-not-tulsi-h-krishna-1105.html

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Avijeet says:

        Pujaniya Madhudvisa dasaji:

        I have been chanting mantras by counting in my mind. Is that wrong?

        Pranam
        Avijeet

        • Hare Krishna

          We follow in the footsteps of the great souls. And we follow the instructions of Srila Prabhupada. His instruction is to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily on beads. So get beads and chant on the beads. And get counting beads also that will enable you to count the number of rounds as well.

          You can get them from http://www.KrishnaStore.com for a very reasonable price.

          Your mind should only be concentrating on chanting and hearing the Hare Krishna mantra, not also trying to count the number of times you have chanted the mantra.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  62. chandan Krishnahow to follow iot practically says:

    hare krishna prabhuji
    dandvat pranam
    thank you very much for such a nice informative mail
    prabhuji i want to know how to do it practically
    how to control ourselves from getting attracted to opposite sex people
    how to stop mind from always thinking of them
    pls guide
    thank you

    • Hare Krishna

      The only way to save ourselves from being entangled in sense gratification is to follow the process of Krishna consciousness. It is a scientific process and we have to learn how to do it from someone who knows the science. There are many, many things that one has to do starting with chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and one has to seriously read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. There you will find the knowledge that will give you the determination to chant Hare Krishna and follow the regulative principles even when you do not have any taste for chanting and your mind is disturbed by desires for sense gratification. There are many things, one very important thing is you have to adjust your life so you do not associate with non-devotees. The problem is we develop the qualities of the people we associate with. So if we associate with people who are addicted to sex and intoxication then gradually we will also become addicted to sex and intoxication. And we have to be careful to eat only Krishna prasadam, food that has been cooked by devotees with love and offered to Krishna. If we eat food that has been cooked by non-devotees the non-devotional consciousness is in the food and that will cause us to fall down from the spiritual platform.

      So like I said it is a great science and you have to learn it from someone who knows the science, so please read Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • vishwanath says:

        hare krishna prabhu first i thanku for the information u provide i am confussed that are spritual master say that lord krishna was a balbrahma chari then to he had many wifes and childerns how is that please clear my doult thanku hare krishna

        • Hare Krishna Prabhu

          Krishna was not really a brahmacary most of the time. He grew up in Vrindavan as a cowherd boy and at that stage he was not a brahmacary. But later on He and Balaram went to the asharm of Sandipani Muni and they were brahmacaris in Sandipani Muni’s ashram, and there They studied the Vedas and learned all arts and sciences. But after some time They left the ashram of Sandipani Muni and got married. So that is the case with most brahmacaris actually. They go to the gurukul and study under the direction of their spiritual master from the age of 5 to 15 or 20 years of age and then most of the brahmacaris will leave the ashram of their spiritual master and go back to their families and get married. However this is not compulsory. Some will decide to stay in the spiritual master’s ashram and become lifelong brahmacaris. But this is a few only. Most of them will get married. So there is no contradiction in Krishna being a brahmacari at one point and at another point being the husband of many wives.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Sunil Tiwari says:

            Hare Krishna Pranhuji, I have a query which i face
            some or other day, prabhuji people ask me
            why should we chant holy name using “Bag
            and Japa Mala” rather than we can chant in
            our Mind only (why to do show off) Please provide me answer so
            that i can answer them.

          • Hare Krishna Sunil

            We chant with Tulsi beads in a bead bag because Srimati Tulsi Devi is a pure devotee of Krishna and by keeping our hand constantly in touch with her body we are associating with a pure devotee of Krishna and this is very helpful in our advancement in Krishna consciousness. Because Tulsi is a pure devotee of Krishna we use the bead bag to protect the beads so they will not accidentally touch the floor or our feet, etc, which would be offensive.

            The reason that we chant aloud is of course not to ‘show off’ but the process of making advancement in Krishna consciousness is hearing [sravanam] and chanting [kirtanam]. This is the way to make advancement, by hearing the holy name of Krishna and by chanting the holy name of Krishna. Of course smaranam [remembering Krishna] is also one of the processes so there is some benefit of course to remembering Krishna in the mind but the most important things are hearing and chanting. So we chant the Hare Krishna mantra on our beads and we have to hear the Hare Krishna mantra with our ears, therefore we have to chant it aloud.

            Krishna consciousness is not ultimately something of the mind and the intelligence. It is the original consciousness of the soul, and that original consciousness can be reawakened by the process of hearing and chanting that holy names of Krishna… So we have to chant aloud and we have to hear the chanting. And the primary reason for the beads is to count the number of rounds we have chanted as, following the system established by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we chant the Hare Krishna mantra with ‘numerical strength.’ We chant the mantra at least 16 rounds a day, so the beads allow us to easily keep track of how many rounds we have chanted.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa



About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna."I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can.That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental!That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!


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