When the mind becomes peaceful, we become joyful
Seekers sometimes ask, “Bhakti is supposed to be joyful. But I don’t get much joy in practicing it. Why?”
Because the mind interrupts our practice of bhakti.
Suppose we are drinking a glass of delicious juice and someone suddenly turns our face away from the glass. Naturally, we won’t taste the juice.
The mind does something similar with us. The joyfulness of bhakti centers on remembering and relishing the sweetness of Krishna in a mood of selfless devotion. The receptacle for receiving the nectarean remembrance of Krishna is our consciousness. The more our consciousness is receptive and attentive to Krishna, the more we relish his beauty. Unfortunately however, the mind being filled with dreams and schemes for mundane pleasures distracts us away from Krishna towards worldly objects.
When we give in to the mind’s distractions and indulge in worldly pleasures, we naturally miss the nectar-flow of devotion. Even if we don’t indulge physically, the inner battle to resist the distraction drains us. And this battle often becomes more intense when we try to focus on Krishna through directly devotional activities such as mantra meditation. That’s why such activities sometimes seem exhausting, not energizing.
Nonetheless, if we keep striving to connect with Krishna, some drops of his nectarean remembrance do occasionally trickle into our consciousness, giving us extraordinary devotional fulfillment. Even when we don’t relish such fulfillment consciously, the endeavor to connect with him works subconsciously, attracting his mercy and gradually purifying the mind of its worldly obsessions. It then realizes that remembering Krishna is far more fulfilling than any of the worldly indulgences it had imagined to be pleasurable. Consequently, it gives up pursuing those pleasures and joins us in relishing the sweetness of Krishna. When the mind thus becomes peaceful, the Bhagavad-gita (06.27) indicates that we become joyful, supremely joyful.
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