The purpose of discipline is not to torture ourselves, but to transcend ourselves

The idea of discipline often evokes in us an inaudible sigh, if not an audible groan – it appears to be a deprivation, as a form of self-torture.

However, the purpose of discipline is not to torture ourselves, but to transcend ourselves. That is, transcend our lower self – our impulsive mind that is seduced by the promises of quick pleasures.

This mind impels us towards choices that lead to the underutilization of our potential. When we are in material consciousness, that pleasure-seeking nature is misdirected by our mind towards worldly pleasures. And when those pleasures are restricted, the mind makes us feel that it is a torture for ourselves.

However, even the best material pleasure is insubstantial, in fact insignificant, when compared to the steady fulfillment available at the spiritual level in loving and serving Krishna.

Trying to control the mind merely by negating its impulses is neither pleasurable nor sustainable. That’s because we are pleasure-seeking beings, for as souls, ananda is a part of our intrinsic nature.

But as long as the mind misdirects us towards worldly pleasures, we stay caught in those fleeting and unfulfilling shadow pleasures. These pleasures become the limiters that we need to transcend if we are to regain our right to spiritual happiness.

Discipline, specifically the discipline of regulated devotional service, is meant to help us transcend the mind and its infatuation with material pleasures and its consequent incarceration of our mental activity with the material realm, as the Bhagavad-gita (06.28) indicates. The more we fix the mind on Krishna by steady practice, the more we access spiritual happiness. Thereby we realize that we have transcended ourselves – our past conceptions of enjoyment – and have attained a far greater, richer, sweeter fulfillment – the joy of pure eternal love for Krishna.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06 Text 28

“Thus the self-controlled yogi, constantly engaged in yoga practice, becomes free from all material contamination and achieves the highest stage of perfect happiness in transcendental loving service to the Lord.”

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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13 Comments

  1. hare krsna. thank you pr ji for this wondeful writings.
    the formula for mind.

    the FFC for the mind

    mind to be FIXED
    mind to be FOCUSSED
    mind to be CONTROLLED

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  2. negation of impulses is one kind of attachment. it means you want to do it, but you dont want to do it.
    this is also attachment. t
    his is also karma.
    AKARMA should prevail.

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  3. thank you pr ji for explaining ananda in its true personified form.

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  4. thank you pr ji for making us realize the surgeries to be performed on material oriented mind, to cure it of the mental disease prevalent in this yuga, the kal-yuga.
    thnak you for the medicine…….we shall surely take this advice of yours in the form of prescribed medicine by you , a VAISHNAVA.

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  5. thank you pr ji for making us take one more step towards bhagvata-atmarama.( one who is self-satisfied as in SPOGH )

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  6. hari bole….

    very useful.. it directs human in everyd ay material life….
    hare krishna.

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  7. A beautifully penned article with transcendental content. Your articles are so easy to understand, thank you for taking the time to write them.
    Steve Harvell 🙂

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  8. Hare Krishna ….

    Thanks a lot.Such articles always keeps us connected with Krishna.

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  9. Thank you pr for sharing this eternal truth…,

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  10. Thank you Prabhu Ji for making it so simple to understand. Hare Krishna

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  11. Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful realizations. You always look at each verse from a different angle which makes us very interesting and fulfilling. Looking forward for your articles on a regular basis.

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  12. Thank you – very astute and helpful words

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  13. yes,by chanting
    Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
    Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

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