Easy Way to Control the Mind

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

Recently we came across the following instructive story. Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his  followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his  disciples, "I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there."  The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought,  "How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!". So he came back and  told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to  drink." 

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to  go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time too he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same. After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had.. So  he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha. Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and  said, "See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be. and the mud settled down on its own - and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just neglect it. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.

Srila Prabhupada writes a punching statement in his purport to SB 5.11.17: "There is one easy weapon with which the mind can be conquered — neglect." If we neglect its useless demands it will calm down. If we keep encouraging it to demand more and more, then it will eat us away.

Our real test for devotional service is not based on how we behave when things are going favourably, but on how we react in adverse situations. If we are getting angry, agitated or blaming each other then it is a sure warning sign for us from the Lord to wake up to our senses and sincerely endeavour to improve our behaviour - and take shelter of the 2 important qualities - peace and patience, which the Lord is insisting to the demigods, when they took shelter of Him in fighting with the demons in the pastime of churning the milk ocean. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 8.6.24, the Lord says,

yūyaṁ tad anumodadhvaṁ yad icchanty asurāḥ surāḥ
na saṁrambheṇa sidhyanti sarvārthāḥ sāntvayā yathā

My dear demigods, with patience and peace everything can be done, but if one is agitated by anger, the goal is not achieved. Therefore, whatever the demons ask, agree to their proposal.

Our beloved spiritual master HDG Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, in one of the initiation lectures in Shree Shree Radha Neel Madhav dham Rajkot said - "The main characteristic of a sober person is that even in agitating circumstances he is not agitated. This is initiation. Otherwise what is the use of initiation? Nothing else is to be learnt. You have to learn this first. For this Krishna’s names are very important...As soon as we learn to become sober (dhirah) then everything becomes clear. From peaceful attitude everything could be generated. Without peace and patience nothing could be solved. Peace and Patience is PP. Instead of double P we take double A – Anger and Agitation. We spoil the whole thing. We should avoid this completely from today if not before."

When we are agitated and blinded by anger, we stop seeing the hands of Krishna in that situation. Our minds are closed and we fail to see/understand what lesson does Guru and Krishna want to teach us through that situation in life. Recently H G Sajjana Priya Prabhuji had written mail on how we face different kinds of reciprocation (being defamed, cheated, cursed, killed, neglected). Honestly if we calmly introspect ourselves, we can see that these are the same reciprocations we give to Guru and Krishna for the love and compassion they show to us. We spoil Their names by our improper behaviour, we cheat Them by not following their instructions, we curse Them when they do not satisfy our material hankerings, we neglect Them day in and day out. With all these ways we finally kill Them (in other words, drive them out of our hearts). And we see that the other living entities in turn reciprocate in the same ways with us. So when we face messy situations let us not get angry or agitated but with patience and peace introspect ourselves, correct our mistakes, establish a favorable relationship with our spiritual master by following his instructions, taking shelter of holy names and improving our behaviour. When we have a favorable disposition towards Guru Maharaj and Krishna we can definitely see that the whole world becomes favorable to us.

Our sincere prayers to all the vaishnavas of this forum to bless us to establish a favorable disposition towards the instructions of Guru Maharaj and the Supreme Lord and improve the quality of our lives by following them. 

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das and Sudarshana devi dasi.