(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 7 May 2013, Simhachalam, Germany, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.6.41-6)
Transcribed by Jnana-samudra das
It may be very difficult to focus the mind on Krsna for a long time. After a short time, we become restless: cancalam hi manah krsna (BG 6.34). This restlessness is a big problem that we are facing because whatever we do, after a little while, the restless mind wants to do something else.There is something called bhog and tyaga. The dynamics of bhog and tyaga are that we desire one thing and then when we attain it, we don’t care about it anymore and want to give it up… up and down… then when we give it up, we want it again and then when we have it, we want to give it up – like this we are going up and down. That is our whole life, in every situation we are in, we always think of another one, constantly! We are never satisfied in the situation where we are in. We are always dreaming of something else but when we attain that, then we are still not satisfied and again, dreaming of something else. So this is cancalam hi manah krsna. The restlessness of the mind.
This is the beginning stage of devotional service and therefore with intelligence, one has to fix himself. Fix himself in a process, in a program. At that stage, one is not strong. It is said balavan indriya-gramo vidvamsam api karsati, the senses are so strong that even a man of learning struggles. Even if one has knowledge, one still struggles because the senses are very, very strong. Therefore in the beginning stages of devotional service, a process of meditation is not recommended. Maybe devotees in advanced stages of bhava could do so, if they so desired. But devotees who are less advanced and who still have so many impurities within the heart and whose mind is absorbed in the pushings of the senses, they must engage the senses, the very same senses, in the service of Krsna. So the senses are interesting, as it is said in our favourite song,
sarira avidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal, jive phele visaya-sagore tar’ madhye jihva ati
The senses are a network of paths leading to death. We sing it very happily every day and I’m not sure if everyone knows the translation which is that “the senses are a network of paths leading to death”. So this is the case. But when these same senses become engaged in the service of the Lord then they become the path to liberation. Therefore the acaryas say, “May the Lord always remain on the pathway of my eyes”. So in this way, that pathway of spiritual life is described by Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami,
durgame pathi me ’ndhasya skhalat-pāda-gater muhuḥ sva-kṛpā-yaṣṭi-dānena santaḥ santv avalambanam
“My path is very difficult and my feet are slipping again and again but by the mercy of the vaisnavas, as a stick for my support, I can stay on the path”. So with time, we come to that. Maybe in the beginning we think, “I can do it. I can do it. I am advancing very quickly.” But then not so quickly. Still some material desires may remain in our heart. In so many ways, we are similar to Saubhari Muni – we are not unalloyed devotees. There is still dormant desire in the heart and sometimes not so dormant. Sometimes, like the present, we are struggling and fighting to overcome material desire. Of course, the chanting of Hare Krsna is the principle means of devotional service but because of this restlessness of the mind, we are not able to chant very long. We are not able to even if we are very determined by nature and we can temporarily chant a huge numbers of rounds. A huge number of rounds chanted on determination, can also not be maintained. A huge numbers of rounds can only be maintained on the strength of love.