Teachings to the Mind

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gurau goṣṭhe goṣṭhālayiṣu sujane bhūsura-gaṇe

sva-mantre śrī-nāmni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-śaraṇe

sadā dambhaṁ hitvā kuru ratim apūrvām atitarām

aye svāntar bhrātaś caṭubhir abhiyāce dhṛta-padaḥ

 

O my dear brother, my foolish mind, taking hold of your feet, I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and quickly develop deep, loving attachment for the spiritual master, Śrī Vrajadhāma, the residents of Vraja, the Vaiṣṇavas, the brāhmaṇas, your dīkṣā-mantras, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, the eternally youthful Divine Couple of Vraja.

 

The glorious literature Sri Manah Shiksha, composed by Srila Raghunath Das Goswami, the epitome of intense sadhana performed in loving devotion to the divine couple of Vrindavan, is a great jewel among the literatures compiled by the goswamis for the benefit of the devotees treading on this path of bhakti. This book comprises of twelve shlokas with instructions to the mind, who can be the best friend or the worst enemy of the jiva, and because of being within the same body as the soul, Srila Raghunath das goswami has addressed him as the dear brother mind. Through these instructions to the mind Srila Raghunath das Goswami has provided us with the perfect guidelines for practicing bhakti so as to be able to make rapid progress in our spiritual lives. In the first verse, Srila Raghunath das Goswami is requesting the mind to give up all pride and take shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Guru, Vrindavan, Vrajavasis, vaishnavas, bhramanas, one’s diksha mantra, the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar, and thus get attached to them. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur has stated that one should engage one’s mind in the remembrance of the Lord either by gently requesting the mind or by beating up the mind a hundred times with a stick. In this verse, Srila Raghunath das Goswami has lovingly addressed the mind and humbly requests him, by taking hold of his feet, to develop attachment for the Lord and all those associated with the Lord. In the following verses, he further implores the mind to give up certain practices and take shelter of the Lord and his devotees. After having set up an excellent example through his own practices of how one should single pointedly focus on one’s Sadhana, giving up all other occupations, he has also given us guidelines in the form of this book as to how we should be preaching to our minds. For this reason, this excellent book is adhered to by the serious practitioners of Sadhana Bhakti, who understand the utmost importance of bringing the mind under supervision, for by doing so, one can make advancement in their bhakti.