The mind may replay, but we don’t have to play

The mind may replay, but we don’t have to play

Sometimes some nasty images come in our mind and make us feel appalled at ourselves: “What kind of devotee am I to be thinking such things? Is there any point to my practice of bhakti?” Yes, there is – the point is that our bhakti practice has enabled us to recognize the images as an unwelcome impurity, not as a welcome opportunity for a free show in our mental studio.

The mind is like a software program that records and replays especially those things that have excited some emotion within us. So, in response to our default search for pleasure, the mind periodically replays the impressions of the things we enjoyed in our pre-devotional life.

 

By thus triggering the replay of a Krishna-centered impression, we can squelch the undesirable replay.

We may not be able to control the occurrence of these replays, but we can control our response to them. We can play the replay, that is, let it go on uninterrupted. Or, worse still, we can play with it, that is, delight in the passions induced by it. When we play thus, the mental degenerates into the physical, causing us to relapse.

But we don’t have to play with or even play the replay. If we don’t become emotionally engaged in it, the replay will soon run out of steam and stop. Better still, we can assertively redirect our attention and emotion towards some devotionally potent stimulus such as a scriptural verse, the holy name or the Deity. By thus triggering the replay of a Krishna-centered impression, we can squelch the undesirable replay. Such devotional replays will come more quickly if we have practiced bhakti intensely and created an arsenal of fulfilling spiritual impressions.

Pertinently the Bhagavad-gita (06.35) assures that we can discipline the mind with indifference (vairagya) and diligence (abhyasa): indifference towards undesirable mental replays, and diligence in cultivating desirable devotional impressions.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06 Text 35

 

Explanation of article:

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By recognizing our identity and redefining our activity, we revolutionize our destiny
Krishna’s purpose is not to catch us when we do wrong, but to catch us when we fall

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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7 Comments

  1. Automatic replay within the mind happens when we are off-guard. A devotionally engaged mind does not likely veer of onto unsettling memories. It is the moments when we let the mind rest that these replays can present themselves. Sexual desire is chief among those because from the material point of view it is associated with the summit of pleasure. Of course being a human having animalistic desires doesn’t provide us with an elevated opinion about ourselves and when followed by shame and regret we fall prey to feeling dirty, low and unworthy. Lord Sri Krishna knows every detail of our desires and He is the silent witness of all our activities. Together with Him we can observe our unwanted thoughts without grabbing onto them. All these thoughts are like wild monkeys jumping in trees but eventually they get tired and sit down and rest. Together with the Lord we can observe them coming and going. In the case that we have gone astray we come back to Lord Sri Krishna via forgiveness, especially the forgiveness of ourselves. The Lord is always ready to embrace and welcome us, no matter what. We should just not make a habit of that and always do our best to stay focused on the Lord. Krishna knows when we do our best and He will definitely come to our rescue when we need Him the most.

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  2. Hare Krishna,
    Very inspiring and helpful Article .Thank You.

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  3. Thank you Prji for this outlook towards impurities coming out from heart while practicing KC….. gives encouragement to go on….!

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  4. Thank you very much for sharing such a practical understanding of this verse. A must read for everyone. Many titillating thoughts replay in our mind. By intensifying our devotional practices, we can easily generate devotional stimuli to overcome the emotional replays. Better to learn seriously to counter-attack emotional replays than to look on ourselves with shame and regret.

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  5. Hare Krishna Prabhuji
    PAMHO
    Thank you very much for sharing some wonderful tips on how to control the restless mind. Like you have mentioned, we have to intensify our sadhana bhakti to such a degree that it will be very easy to eradicate undesirable replays by devotional and spiritual ones.
    Hari Bol
    Narottama das

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  6. Hare Krishna.
    PAMHO.
    Thank You So Much For wonderful explanation of this verse.
    One of the reason behind this is the three modes of the material nature as explained in BG chapter 13 and we must practice letting go.

    It’s very enlightening.

    Hari Bol.

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  7. Thankyou so much prji! I’m deeply indebted to you for such wonderful articles. Hare Krishna…dandwat prnam.

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