Devotion without Deviation - Part 25

Devotion without Deviation - Part 25

2nd Mar 2016
Sudarshana devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva. 

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Devotion without Deviation" wherein we were discussing the life of Bharata Maharaja through the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam. In the previous offerings we were meditating on how Bharata Maharaj due to his attachment to a small deer, became a deer in his next birth. But on account of his sincere devotional service, Lord helped him to remember his previous birth as well as mistake, so that even in deer's body, he could lead a life of devotion and subsequently in the next birth he was born as Jada Bharata in the family of pious brahmana. In this birth, Jada Bharata although externally exposed himself as a dumb and dull person, he was very pure internally and was very alert in always remembering Krishna. In the last offering we were seeing the conversation between King Rahugana and Jada Bharata. The king, out of pride had ill-treated the great saintly Jada Bharata and when he realised his grave mistake, the king sought for forgivance and spiritual guidance from Jada Bharata.

Jada Bharata was advising the king about the influence of mind and how our face is also index of the mind. In Srimad Bhagavatam 5.11.8 Jada Bharata further says:

guṇānuraktaṁ vyasanāya jantoḥ
kṣemāya nairguṇyam atho manaḥ syāt
yathā pradīpo ghṛta-vartim aśnan
śikhāḥ sadhūmā bhajati hy anyadā svam
padaṁ tathā guṇa-karmānubaddhaṁ
vṛttīr manaḥ śrayate ’nyatra tattvam

When the living entity's mind becomes absorbed in the sense gratification of the material world, it brings about his conditioned life and suffering within the material situation. However, when the mind becomes unattached to material enjoyment, it becomes the cause of liberation. When the flame in a lamp burns the wick improperly, the lamp is blackened, but when the lamp is filled with ghee and is burning properly, there is bright illumination. Similarly, when the mind is absorbed in material sense gratification, it causes suffering, and when detached from material sense gratification, it brings about the original brightness of Krishna consciousness.

In the above verse Jada Bharata gives a nice comparison of the mind with wick in lamp. When properly lit, the wick and thereby the lamp, illuminates the whole place, whereas when flame burns the wick improperly, then there will be darkness. Likewise if by steady intelligence, we dovetail the mind to positive service, in service of Supreme Lord, then we will experience bliss. On the other hand when intelligence is weak and mind gets absorbed in objects of sense-gratification, then destruction is bound to come.

As Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita verse 6.6, "For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy." Even as a student we would have experienced that when we sincerely prepare for the exams, without giving way to whims of the mind, then our chance of passing the exams are more. On the other hand, if we don't concentrate on studies and keep whiling away the time in TV, sports and other distractions, then we are most likely to fail in the exams. When Dronacarya asked Arjuna to aim at the bird on a tree, Arjuna was so focussed that he looked only at the eye of the bird alone. Since his attention was fixed on the goal, he was able to pass the test.

Similarly in the real exam of life, we should train our mind to always focus on the ultimate goal of our life. If we control the mind, by dovetailing our life as per the instructions of guru, sadhu and shastras, then we will fearlessly face our final exam of death and pass out in flying colours by gaining entry into the spiritual world, wherein we can do eternal spiritual service. On the other hand if we get entangled by the distractions in this world, then at the time of death, such memories will ensure that we keep taking more and more births in this miserable material existence. 

Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate on further instructions given by Jada Bharata to King Rahugana in the subsequent offering.

Hare Krishna.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.