The Human Touch
A short note to say how much I enjoyed the absorbing piece by Sankarshana Dasa in the Nov/Dec issue of Back To Godhead. While some of the other reports were meaningful also, Sankarshana’s had that extra human touch. So well done. I also appreciate the Vedic Thoughts segment, which equate to wisdom.
Durban, South Africa
My letter is to express great appreciation for the work you all do at BTG. A recent issue, Nov/Dec 2021, was very interesting. I especially liked the article about the mind, “The Mind: Magnificent and Mighty,” by Vishakha Devi Dasi.
In that regard, may I offer special respects to Srimati Vishakha Devi Dasi and her immeasurable contribution to the beloved Krishna consciousness movement of our dear spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, over the years through photography with her husband, Yadubara Prabhu, and her wealth of inspiring articles that seem to touch on every aspect of spiritual life from the Vedic perspective.
Marble, North Carolina
I would like to inquire about how to steady the mind.
Reply: Arjuna asked Krishna this same question. Arjuna said that it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind. Krishna advised him to keep practicing and be detached.
The means of practice is to hear and chant Krishna’s glories. We must keep trying even though we’re unsuccessful in controlling the mind in the beginning of our practice. In time, this mantra yoga will attract our spiritual senses to Krishna, away from our constant material hankering and lamenting, which keep us in anxiety.
Lord Krishna has recommended the process of bhakti-yoga, which entails constant service to the Lord with our body, mind, and words. When the mind is busy with devotional service, then it is peaceful. When Krishna is pleased, then we will be pleased as well.
Even if we’re not always successful in our attempts to serve the Lord, our endeavors are eternally recorded, and we will always be making advancement toward the goal – Krishna. We will never be happy by pursuing goals only for our own satisfaction. Take up the devotional process of chanting and hearing in relation to Krishna, keep busy in serving Krishna, and you will experience some relief from the mind’s demands.
Helping the Family
When we are in a situation where something doesn’t seem to improve even after so much effort, should we keep faith that one day it may improve, or should we step aside? I have a situation where family members struggle with anger but at other times take to Krishna consciousness. Sometimes it is very tiring, and I feel like my efforts to help them are failing, but at the same time, I don’t want to stop giving them Krishna, as I can see it is making an effect. Do I keep giving them Krishna? Is that the compassion of a devotee?
Via the Internet
Reply: You are correct in your compassionate endeavors to help others find Krishna. For all conditioned souls, every little bit of contact with Krishna will add to the purification they need. The material covering will gradually become lifted, and the real consciousness will appear. It may take a long time for some, but for sure there is an effect working on them.
We need to learn the art of being sensitive to how to attract others to devotional service. In your situation, that may mean just giving your family prasadam and letting them see that you are happy with your devotional life. They will surely become favorable in time. We are so glad that Srila Prabhupada didn’t give up with us, who were totally unqualified.
There are many success stories in our movement, especially in regard to parents who were at first totally against their children joining the Hare Krishnas but later fully embraced their decision, sometimes even taking to Krishna consciousness themselves. Be patient and pray for your family’s advancement. Krishna will do magic. Just keep on spreading the glories of serving our Lord, Sri Krishna.