How to Control the Mind - Part 1

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

In SB 7.9.21, Prahlad Maharaj prays to Lord Nrsimha dev  

māyā manaḥ sṛjati karmamayaṁ balīyaḥ
kālena codita-guṇānumatena puṁsaḥ
chandomayaṁ yad ajayārpita-ṣoḍaśāraṁ
saṁsāra-cakram aja ko ’titaret tvad-anyaḥ

O Lord, O supreme eternal, by expanding Your plenary portion You have created the subtle bodies of the living entities through the agency of Your external energy, which is agitated by time. Thus the mind entraps the living entity in unlimited varieties of desires to be fulfilled by the Vedic directions of karma-kāṇḍa [fruitive activity] and the sixteen elements. Who can get free from this entanglement unless he takes shelter at Your lotus feet?

Prahlad Maharaj in this verse is speaking about the power of the mind that is impelled by kāla and guna. So māyā manaḥ for all practical purposes māyā manifests as the mind although in reality mind is a subtle element. So māyā manaḥ sṛjati karmamayaṁ balīyaḥ so this māyā manaḥ, māyā in the form of mind creates extremely powerful desires millions and millions of desires, karmamayaṁ. And kālena codita, by the passage of time as we progress in age our desires change, as also depending on the modes that influence us, guṇānumatena puṁsaḥ.

chandomayaṁ yad ajayārpita-ṣoḍaśāraṁ and even if one directs his desires according to chanda, Vedic literature, which is based on dharma, artha, kama, moksha, though to some extent one is saved from the evil desires of the mind, by following the Vedas, but still they bind one within the material existence. The only way to go beyond the samsara cakra where one gets caught in because of the mind,  is aja ko ’titaret tvad-anyaḥ - apart from You who is there to shelter, free us from this extremely forceful current of the mind resulting in material existence?

Through the influence of kāla, guna and past memories, previous indulgences, the mind generates so many desires. According to the gunas, it propels us to get them fulfilled somehow or other under the influence of past memories of similar indulgences  and it also accelerates the fulfillment of desires based on kala. And through it all, we keep revolving in samsara cakra. Thus we are thrown into an extremely vulnerable and dangerous position by the unending flow of desires in our mind. And the way to come out, Prahlad Maharaj says to be released from the clutches of our māyā mana is by taking shelter of Krishna alone. With His grace we can replace our material desires with spiritual desires.

When we take darshan of the Deity, when we chant the holy names, meditate on the different prayers of exalted devotees in Srimad Bhagavatam, study the scriptures, etc, if we can somehow or other try to fix our mind exclusively on Krishna, that is when Krishna’s grace flow into us and thereby release us from the clutches of our māyā manah.

Krishna willing we shall meditate further on this topic in the  subsequent offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva
Uma Prathap
Thiruvanathapuram.