July 12, 2020
Vaisnava Blog
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Srila Prabhupada The Spiritual Scientist

Prabhupada nicely explains the “mind”

The material mind is like a sheet of impenetrable darkness that completely shuts out the light of the soul. The soul is by his nature self-effulgent and has nothing to do with the material mind which acts as a screen to cut off the light of the soul from the view of the observer who uses the mind for such a purpose.

– Back to Godhead Magazine #14, 1967

Ceto-darpana-marjanam. It wipes the material dust from the mirror of our mind. The mind is like the intermediate connecting medium between the spirit and that material external covering called the body. The soul has no material activity. When covered by maya, or illusion, the soul remains dormant in a state of suspended animation. The magnitude of the soul is so great, however, that it infuses consciousness on all sides. Through the medium of the mind, the senses act and we ‘know’ things. If this ‘glass,’ the mind, is put out of focus by the external nature, we suffer confusion, pain, disease, and death. Yes, death is a state of mind only, as the soul has no death. By the mind we mistakenly think ‘O! I’m dying!’ ‘I’m drowning!’ ‘I’m giving birth!’ ‘I’m sick!’ etc. When the mind is cleansed by the mahamantra, the mind is forcibly purified. All the material concoctions, which are the cause of our suffering, are forcibly murdered, starved to death. They thrive on material sense pleasures. Flooding the mind with transcendental sound is just like stepping on the pin of a bomb: All those misconceptions of material suffering and enjoyment are shattered, murdered, and the material mind is conquered wholly, leaving no enemies behind. The mind then reflects the spiritual knowledge, quality and energy of the soul itself.

– Back to Godhead Magazine #33, 1970

Mind and its speculative nature

The modern scientist or philosophers, they are engaged in studying this inferior nature. They have no information of the superior nature. But Krishna says that these five elements, eight elements. Five gross and three subtle. The mind is also material. Kham mano buddhir. These are material. People think this mental speculation, poetry, philosophy, that is spiritual. No. So long the subject matter is material, the concoction of the mind, speculation of the mind, the so-called philosophy, is also material.

– Lecture – Aligarh, October 9, 1976

Mind and its contamination

In this material world of conditional life, the fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord, the individual soul, is struggling due to his contaminated mind and consciousness. As part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, a living entity is supposed to think of Krishna, but here we see that King Puranjana (the living entity) is thinking of a woman. Such mental absorption with some sense object brings about the living entity’s struggle for existence in this material world. Since King Puranjana is thinking of his wife, his struggle for existence in the material world will not be ended by death. As revealed in the following verses, King Puranjana had to accept the body of a woman in his next life due to his being overly absorbed in thoughts of his wife. Thus mental absorption in social, political, pseudo-religious, national and communal consciousness is cause for bondage. During one’s lifetime one has to change his activities in order to attain release from bondage.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.20 Purport

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that when a devotee wakes up in the morning he should beat his mind with a shoe a hundred times. Since the mind tends to be very puffed up, it must be beaten to keep it in the proper humble state. In the evening the mind should be beaten with a broomstick another hundred times. The mind is like a wild animal captured from the jungle, it is never fully dependable. If it gets the chance it will run off into the jungle again. Similarly, if the mind is not kept on a tight rope, it will wander off into material engagements and inadvertently one will lose the jewel of Krishna Consciousness.

Vaisnava Ke – Verse Eight

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