Driving instrument and mind

The individual is the passenger in the car of the material body, and intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument, and the senses are the horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. So it is understood by great thinkers.” Intelligence is supposed to direct the mind, but the mind is so strong and obstinate that it often overcomes even one’s own intelligence, as an acute infection may surpass the efficacy of medicine. Such a strong mind is supposed to be controlled by the practice of yoga, but such practice is never practical for a worldly person like Arjuna. And what can we say of modern man? The simile used here is appropriate: one cannot capture the blowing wind. And it is even more difficult to capture the turbulent mind. The easiest way to control the mind, as suggested by Lord Caitanya, is chanting “Hare Krishna,” the great mantra for deliverance, in all humility. The method prescribed is sa vai manah krishna-padaravindayoh: one must engage one’s mind fully in Krishna. Only then will there remain no other engagements to agitate the mind.

Driver and Lord

Out of these five basic subject matters in Bhagavad-gita it is established that the Supreme Godhead, or Krishna, or Brahman, or the supreme controller, or Paramatma — you may use whatever name you like — is the greatest of all. The living beings are in quality like the supreme controller. For instance, the Lord has control over the universal affairs of material nature, as will be explained in the later chapters of Bhagavad-gita. Material nature is not independent. She is acting under the directions of the Supreme Lord. As Lord Krishna says, mayadhyakshena prakritih suyate sa-caracaram: “This material nature is working under My direction.” When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind this cosmic manifestation there is a controller. Nothing could be manifested without being controlled. It is childish not to consider the controller. For instance, a child may think that an automobile is quite wonderful to be able to run without a horse or other animal pulling it, but a sane man knows the nature of the automobile’s engineering arrangement. He always knows that behind the machinery there is a man, a driver. Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the driver under whose direction everything is working. Now the jivas, or the living entities, have been accepted by the Lord, as we will note in the later chapters, as His parts and parcels. A particle of gold is also gold, a drop of water from the ocean is also salty, and similarly we the living entities, being part and parcel of the supreme controller, isvara, or Bhagavan, Lord Sri Krishna, have all the qualities of the Supreme Lord in minute quantity because we are minute isvaras, subordinate isvaras. We are trying to control nature, as presently we are trying to control space or planets, and this tendency to control is there because it is in Krishna. But although we have a tendency to lord it over material nature, we should know that we are not the supreme controller. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita

Driver and Living Entity

Arjuna was not the supreme knower, and his decision to fight or not to fight was confined to his limited discretion. Lord Krishna instructed that the individual is not all in all. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, or He Himself, Krishna, as the localized Supersoul, sits in the heart directing the living being. After changing bodies, the living entity forgets his past deeds, but the Supersoul, as the knower of the past, present and future, remains the witness of all his activities. Therefore all the activities of living entities are directed by this Supersoul. The living entity gets what he deserves and is carried by the material body, which is created in the material energy under the direction of the Supersoul. As soon as a living entity is placed in a particular type of body, he has to work under the spell of that bodily situation. A person seated in a high-speed motorcar goes faster than one seated in a slower car, though the living entities, the drivers, may be the same. Similarly, by the order of the Supreme Soul, material nature fashions a particular type of body to a particular type of living entity so that he may work according to his past desires. The living entity is not independent. One should not think himself independent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The individual is always under the Lord’s control. Therefore one’s duty is to surrender, and that is the injunction of the next verse.

Dream Body and Material Body

And if we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad-gita that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time (antavanta ime dehah) but that the soul is eternal (nityasyoktah saririnah), then we must remember always that the body is like a dress; therefore why lament the changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of flying in the sky, or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic wisdom encourages self-realization on the basis of the nonexistence of the material body. Therefore, in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for loss of the body.

Dream and Material Life

And if we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad-gita that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time (antavanta ime dehah) but that the soul is eternal (nityasyoktah saririnah), then we must remember always that the body is like a dress; therefore why lament the changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of flying in the sky, or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic wisdom encourages self-realization on the basis of the nonexistence of the material body. Therefore, in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for loss of the body.

Diseased person and materialist

Unless one is transcendentally situated, it is not possible to cease from sense enjoyment. The process of restriction from sense enjoyment by rules and regulations is something like restricting a diseased person from certain types of eatables. The patient, however, neither likes such restrictions nor loses his taste for eatables. Similarly, sense restriction by some spiritual process like ashtanga-yoga, in the matter of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, etc., is recommended for less intelligent persons who have no better knowledge. But one who has tasted the beauty of the Supreme Lord Krishna, in the course of his advancement in Krishna consciousness, no longer has a taste for dead, material things. Therefore, restrictions are there for the less intelligent neophytes in the spiritual advancement of life, but such restrictions are only good until one actually has a taste for Krishna consciousness. When one is actually Krishna conscious, he automatically loses his taste for pale things

Disease and Material Life

The materially absorbed conditioned soul can be cured by Krishna consciousness as set forth here in the Gita. This process is generally known as yajna, or activities (sacrifices) simply meant for the satisfaction of Vishnu, or Krishna. The more the activities of the material world are performed in Krishna consciousness, or for Vishnu only, the more the atmosphere becomes spiritualized by complete absorption. The word brahma (Brahman) means “spiritual.” The Lord is spiritual, and the rays of His transcendental body are called brahmajyoti, His spiritual effulgence. Everything that exists is situated in that brahmajyoti, but when the jyoti is covered by illusion (maya) or sense gratification, it is called material. This material veil can be removed at once by Krishna consciousness; thus the offering for the sake of Krishna consciousness, the consuming agent of such an offering or contribution, the process of consumption, the contributor, and the result are — all combined together — Brahman, or the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth covered by maya is called matter. Matter dovetailed for the cause of the Absolute Truth regains its spiritual quality. Krishna consciousness is the process of converting the illusory consciousness into Brahman, or the Supreme

Diamond and Lord

This system of yoga for controlling the breathing process is called pranayama, and in the beginning it is practiced in the hatha-yoga system through different sitting postures. All of these processes are recommended for controlling the senses and for advancement in spiritual realization. This practice involves controlling the airs within the body so as to reverse the directions of their passage. The apana air goes downward, and the prana air goes up. The pranayama-yogi practices breathing the opposite way until the currents are neutralized into puraka. equilibrium. Offering the exhaled breath into the inhaled breath is called recaka. When both air currents are completely stopped, one is said to be in kumbhaka-yoga. By practice of kumbhaka-yoga. one can increase the duration of life for perfection in spiritual realization. The intelligent yogi is interested in attaining perfection in one life, without waiting for the next. For by practicing kumbhaka-yoga. the yogis increase the duration of life by many, many years. A Krishna conscious person, however, being always situated in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, automatically becomes the controller of the senses. His senses, being always engaged in the service of Krishna, have no chance of becoming otherwise engaged. So at the end of life, he is naturally transferred to the transcendental plane of Lord Krishna; consequently he makes no attempt to increase his longevity. He is at once raised to the platform of liberation, as stated in Bhagavad-gita

Desire tree and Lord

This system of yoga for controlling the breathing process is called pranayama, and in the beginning it is practiced in the hatha-yoga system through different sitting postures. All of these processes are recommended for controlling the senses and for advancement in spiritual realization. This practice involves controlling the airs within the body so as to reverse the directions of their passage. The apana air goes downward, and the prana air goes up. The pranayama-yogi practices breathing the opposite way until the currents are neutralized into puraka. equilibrium. Offering the exhaled breath into the inhaled breath is called recaka. When both air currents are completely stopped, one is said to be in kumbhaka-yoga. By practice of kumbhaka-yoga. one can increase the duration of life for perfection in spiritual realization. The intelligent yogi is interested in attaining perfection in one life, without waiting for the next. For by practicing kumbhaka-yoga. the yogis increase the duration of life by many, many years. A Krishna conscious person, however, being always situated in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, automatically becomes the controller of the senses. His senses, being always engaged in the service of Krishna, have no chance of becoming otherwise engaged. So at the end of life, he is naturally transferred to the transcendental plane of Lord Krishna; consequently he makes no attempt to increase his longevity. He is at once raised to the platform of liberation, as stated in Bhagavad-gita

Desert and material world

Here the material world is described as a tree whose roots are upwards and branches are below. We have experience of a tree whose roots are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that the trees reflected in the water are upside down. The branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality, but from the shadow we can understand that there are substance and reality. In the desert there is no water, but the mirage suggests that there is such a thing as water. In the material world there is no water, there is no happiness, but the real water of actual happiness is there in the spiritual world.