One with true spiritual knowledge addresses his mind:

"Oh my mind, meditate on the lotus feet of Radha Rani."

To speak is the function of the tongue;
To hear is the function of the ears;
To see is the function of the eyes;
To smell is the function of the nose;
To touch is the function of the skin;
....and to think is the job of the mind.

But here, the devotee is asking the mind to listen. He is telling not the ears, but the mind to listen. Imagine someone asking his eyes to listen attentively. How could the eyes hear? Since the mind is being told to meditate, the question arises: How will the mind hear? The only function of the mind is to think. It cannot hear, see, etc. Each sense organ performs its own private task. One sense organ cannot perform the work of another. No matter how sophisticated the instrument you create, you cannot make the eyes hear, nor can you make the nose listen. At first it may seem obvious. However it is not so.

The mind is such an organ that it performs the work of all the other senses. All of the senses are contained within the mind. You see in your dreams, don't you? But your physical senses remain on the bed. Is there any sense that is not functioning at that time? All of them are. You see in the dream state just as you see in the waking state. You hear in the very same way. You taste delicacies in the same way. You experience pleasure in the same way. You experience sorrow in the same way. And you experience fear just as you do in the waking state. Does anyone ever realize what they are seeing is just a dream? No. They believe they are actually seeing and that they are awake with eyes wide open. How does this happen? All of the physical senses are unconscious at this time. If a theft were taking place in our home we would be completely unaware. We are still hearing, seeing and smelling. Nonetheless, we remained unaware of the outside world. If the sense were not included in the mind then the mind would only be able to think. How would the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch be experienced during the dream state?

Now, understand this in laymans terms. In the world, everyone says, "I saw this with my own eyes." I saw.....with my eyes. "I heard with my own ears." However, if one's mind is preoccupied elsewhere, then whatever we hear remains unheard and whatever we see remains unseen.

Not too long ago, the chariot festival, Ratha Yatra, was being celebrated. During the Ratha Yatra in Orissa, hundreds of thousands of people participate, playing various musical instruments. Ramakrishna Paramahans was also on his way, but he was delayed. Along the way, he happened on an artist who was working on an intricate drawing. Ramakrishna Paramahans asked him, "Has a procession passed by here?"

The artist replied, "no."

A neighboring shopkeeper said to him, "You fool! Don't you know this is Ramakrishna Paramahans? You are lying to him!"

The artist said, "No, I am not lying."

Ramakrishna Paramahans sat down right there. He went into a state of samadhi and saw that the artist indeed was not lying. The artist's mind had been so engrossed in his work that he had neither seen nor heard anything; he hadn't even lifted his gaze.

You experience this every day. If a wife adds too much salt to the food for a couple days, the husband will ask his wife, "Where is your mind wandering these days? Where is your mind? You are adding too much salt to the food every day!" This indicates that if the mind is preoccupied elsewhere, then the physical senses won't function properly; even if you are fully awake.

Each of the senses relies on the mind in order to function. They do not work by themselves. In other words, without the mind, the physical senses do not perform. However, the mind does perform without the physical senses. Therefore, we should not be surprised at how the mind can see and hear, or question why one is saying, "Oh mind, listen! Meditate on Radha Rani."

So, the mind may listen or pretend it did not hear anything. But the mind heard and then chose to ignore it.

Why do you keep saying Radha Rani, Radha Rani all day long? Should I look after the children and other important tasks, or instead sit and meditate on Radha Rani?

There is no action (karma) that can be performed without the mind. The mind is the governor of all the senses; all ten of them.

Indriye bhayah param manah

The most important point is that in the spiritual world, in God's Realm, only actions performed by the mind are considered actions. Understand this philosophy clearly.

Once, Lord Rama requested His Guru, Vashishth, to impart knowledge. Vashishth said:

"Manasaiva Kritam Rama na sharira kritam kritam"
"The actions performed only by the body are not considered actions."

They have no consequence. How could there be a consequence when they are not accepted as actions? Only the actions of the mind are true actions. Actions performed by the mind are not outwardly visible whereas the physical actions performed by the body are. This is why people of the world consider actions performed by the body to be true actions. They are not aware of the intentions of one's mind so how could they accept them as actions?

A man invites his enemy into his home with the intention of killing him with poisoned milk. Outwardly, he greets his guest warmly, "Welcome, welcome! You never come visit me these days." He puts on a great act as he serves him the poisoned milk, and the guest dies. Had the guest known his host's intentions, he would not have drunk the milk.

Let's look at a simple example. We have read about many instances in our history which have happened long ago where many great Saints and even God Himself were seen performing various actions. However, they did not reap the fruits of their actions. In the beginning of the Gita, this was the main question. "If I kill all of these people I will be committing sins and I will go to hell." Shri Krishna then gave a long lecture in the Gita, as you are all aware. Lord Krishna explained to Arjuna several times,

Tasmat sarveshu kaleshu
mamanusmara yuddhya cha
Remember me always and fight the battle
Bhagavad Gita 8.7


Oh Arjuna, if your mind is not attached to the battle, if it is devoid of any feelings of love or hate, and is attached to me instead, then you will not reap the fruits of your actions, because they are not actions at all. They are merely an act.

Actions that are performed with any intention whether they are good or bad are called Karm; they have consequences.

You see, on the first of April, everybody in our world acts. We call it a practical joke or playing a prank on April Fools' Day. Now suppose the mischief of one prankster caused the victim to file a lawsuit. Pleading his case in court the defendant says, "Your honor, yesterday was April 1st and I was just playing a prank."

"Oh, I see. Then you can go; this case is dismissed," the judge would say.

It is customary to play jokes on one another on April Fools' Day. All kinds of jokes are played around the world amongst friends and close relatives; brothers-in-law often exchanging abusive words. However, nobody gets upset because everyone knows that none of this is done with ill intention. The mind is certainly involved but it is not attached. Involvement is one thing; attachment is another.

Let's say your wife, mother or sister is preparing food for you. While cooking, the mother thinks, "My son is going to eat this, so I will make it delicious." She is attached to you. On the other hand, if you have hired a cook,he also prepares food, but apprehensively. He thinks, "This food must be perfectly seasoned lest the boss become upset and have me removed!" There is no love in his work. He merely performs his service, just as all of you do with your jobs.

Attachments can be made with love or hatred; both are the same, so they are called karm. This is why the physical senses are ignored. The mouth is not being told to chant the holy name. The feet are not being asked to go to God's temple. Don't do any of this. All of these senses are completely disregarded. Why? God says, "Look, in My government only deeds performed by the mind are acknowledged as karm."

Moreover, what if someone has no sight? What if he is blind from birth, like Surdas? What if someone is deaf? How can he listen to spiritual teachings? There are many people who are blind, deaf or physically disabled. There are all kinds of people in the world. Those who are physically disabled, would demand that they receive God realization for free since their physical senses do not function.

The laws that God has established which have been conveyed by the Saints all stress the importance of the mind alone when it comes to performing actions; be it for devotion, knowledge or detachment. Whichever term you use, it must be done by the mind.

In reality, there are only two actions to perform, and no more than that. Become neutral towards the world and attach your mind to God. That's it! All instructions end here. Whether you study the Gita, the Vedas or the Puranas, they will all lead you to this conclusion. Become neutral towards the world.

Who should become neutral? Your mind. Not your hands or feet! Do not merely become neutral outwardly while continuing to harbor wrongful thoughts. This will not work. Most people behave this way, as you are well aware. Hypocrisy prevails all around us, in both religious and ordinary people alike. Everyone behaves in the world according to their own capacity. People deceive one another through their physical actions. And the poor soul bound by maya is incapable of knowing the intentions of others. He is helpless. As such, he considers the physical actions to be genuine and is easily deceived. Thus, only the actions performed by the mind are accepted as true actions in the spiritual world.

Which deed is considered the most heinous? Murder. For which crime does our government hand out the most severe penalty? Murder, which is punishable by death. All other penalties, be it life imprisonment, or 10 - 20 years behind bars are subordinate to the penalty for murder. However, a murderer will be hanged. And if one commits murder in public? Well, in that case there would be no shortage of witnesses. He is murdering someone at a busy crossroad in plain sight of everyone, just as Arjun did. Everyone witnessed him committing many murders. Hundreds were killed with just one of his arrows. Arrows were empowered with special mantras in those days. A single arrow took the form of thousands of arrows along the way and thousands of people were killed. Everyone witnessed this, including outsiders. But God did not register that Arjuna had even thought of committing a single murder in his mind, a task that is required before committing such an action. Arjun did not even involve his mind. He was thinking only of Krishna.

This seems like an extremely difficult task to do. Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible. Take for example riding a bicycle, driving a car or riding a motorcycle. There is much involved in performing these tasks. People even fly airplanes. How many switches are there in the cockpit? Take notice sometime. Sit inside a helicopter and watch what the pilot does. You will see just how many buttons and switches he must tend to before the helicopter will fly. And he does all of this very quickly. Look how people use a keyboard with both hands and how quickly they type. You've ridden a bicycle, right? Your legs are moving; your hands carefully hold on to the handlebars all the while keeping your destination in mind. A car is coming from this side; another from that side. The car behind you is honking the horn. You are observing all of this. Your legs continue to peddle and your hands continue to steer. You do all of this simultaneously. Even in heavy traffic you ride your bike or drive your car and safely reach your destination.

This is all due to practice. Great feats are performed through practice. A tightrope walker ties a rope at such a great height and you see how skillfully he walks the rope carrying only a balancing pole. If you think, "Oh, this is nothing. Even I can do it; I am very athletic." You will fall down and die. This is not something you are capable of doing. The circus performer has spent a lot of time training.

Shri Krishna had told Arjun,

Abhyasena tu Kaunteya Vairagyena cha grihyate
Bhagavad Gita 6.35

Through repeated practice, the yogis perform great feats. They achieve great powers through disciplined practice. And they do it using the same mind you have. Their mind is not imported from somewhere else. The very same fickly and impure mind that we possess right now, they also possessed at one point. Even Saints such as Tulsidas, Surdas, Meera, Shankaracharya, Nimbarkacharya or any other Saint.

In comparison to Tulsidas, there is no one who could be as shameful, in my opinion. Why? Think for a moment. He had gone to his in-laws to meet his wife. He was so anxious to meet her, that in attempt to climb into her house he mistook a snake for a rope. First of all, didn't Tulsidas know that if there is a house, there must also be a door? You won't find any house without doors. And secondly, he went to meet his own wife. He should have knocked at the door. He could have shouted, "Open the door!" It is not a crime to meet one's wife, nor is it considered immoral. Tulsidas, so obsessed with his wife abandoned his desires when she said to him, "If you had this much love for God, you would have met Him by now." These words opened his eyes. He immediately turned away from the world. Not half-heartedly. He turned completely towards God. And he indeed met Lord Ram in that very life. In my opinion, there is no one in the entire world who could be obsessed with his wife as Tulsidas was.

So, through practice, everything becomes possible. All of you sitting here have also done great practice in the past just to come to this point. Otherwise, no one has even a moment to spare.

Why have so few people come here? Why haven't others come? They say, "All this talk of God is nonsense! Those people are all insane. My mind is just fine. What is all this about the Divine abode, God, sins and pious deeds? What is all this nonsense?"

When such people are punished for their sins after death, then they realize, "Oh! I was convinced all that talk about God was nonsense. If only I could receive a human birth once more." And when he is granted a human birth he again considers it nonsense. This is what we have always been doing. The few who have accepted the Shastras, Vedas and other scriptures, develop some amount of faith. Then they develop it further in the following human birth; and then even further in the next. They are the ones who are sitting here (watching and hearing the speech).

This is accomplished through a considerable amount of practice. Only with practice was Arjun able to shoot his bow with so much precision. If we were to shoot an arrow at a target from a distance of 600 feet and miscalculated our aim by even a fraction of a centimeter, the we would miss the target by four feet. Archery requires a great amount of precision. But Arjun was shooting with perfect accuracy and he was not angry. If an ordinary person were to commit murder, he would first become angry. He would grind his teeth and his eyes would become red as he rebukes his victim. Once he has reacted in this manner, then he will attack. Murder would be the final step. Arjun was killing not just one or two men, but hundreds of thousands. Arjun had trembled when he looked upon them all. He thought, "Oh God, I have to kill all these people? No, I will not do it. I won't fight this battle. I would rather go to hell." The same Arjun killed them all and God watched as he did. But he did not note any of Arjun's actions. Arjun had not performed any action.

Karm. Karm means that action which has a consequence and which is performed with feeling of love and hatred. Arjun did not perform such actions but the entire world bore witness to Arjun's actions.

Oh what do they know?

This is why only the mind is being told to meditate on Radha Rani. This is the very point that everyone in today's world has failed to realize. People speak highly about devotion and prayer and even allocate time for it. There are many who practice devotion very sincerely and diligently. Nevertheless, They have still not understood that only meditation done with the mind, whether you call it devotion or worship, etc, is considered to be true devotion. Reciting scriptures, worshipping deities and going on pilgrimages; they consider these actions of the physical senses as devotional practice. They are striving to achieve a numerical goal.

They think to themselves, "Recite the scriptures this many times. Chant God's names that many times. There is a deity established on a mountain. Go over there. The deity in the neighborhood temple is just ordinary and nothing special. But the God who is sitting in Badrinarayana is an extraordinary God."

Nowadays we have means of transportation. People can visit places like Badrinarayan and return in a few days. In the olden days, people used to travel on foot and many of them died along the way.

Thus, only meditation done with the mind is devotion. It is fine if the physical senses are included and it is fine even if they are not. Through loving remembrance of God with the mind alone, one will attain God realization. It does not matter if they are blind, deaf or mute. This is why we should carefully practice devotion but we do not. Our mind forgets. We chant the names of God; that is good. Something is better than nothing. If we chant the name of Radha instead of engaging in random talk, we will at least develop some devotion feelings. But this is carelessness. Since we are giving time for devotion, we should practice it properly so that we may progress quickly to our goal. Then we will truly start feeling, "Yes, I have made some progress. Now, I don't get as upset when someone insults me."

It is because of our faults that we don't make progress towards God. We know fully well that even if we had committed only one sin in each life, we would still have committed countless sins. These are called sanchit karm.

Yet, we have such a sense of pride that we become upset when someone insults us. Why do you feel insulted? Your body is just made of earth; and that was what was insulted. How can one insult the soul when they don't even have an awareness of it? Whether someone insults the body or gives praise, it is all the same.

A child takes birth and then begins to mature. A number of years are spent in his studies. Thereafter, he enters family life or goes down the wrong path and becomes a criminal. This goes on for some time and then he dies. Then even his body becomes completely useless at that point. At least animal skin has value; people pay money for it. Why worry about praise and insult? These feelings are just a weakness of the mind. Even the notion of being insulted becomes palatable through practice.

A rogue may be insulted by people throughout the day but he keeps on laughing. "Today a girl threw her sandal at me but I ducked and she missed me." He is happily narrating this to his friend. He doesn't feel bad about it. He's used to it.

Even a prostitute becomes accustomed to her way of life. People become accustomed to lying. The very first time we told a lie, our inner conscience spoke to us, "Hey! What are you doing?" A small child was instructed by his mother, "If the neighbor comes and asks for me, tell her I am not at home." The little child kept thinking, "My mommy is at home, instructing me to say that she is not here." When the neighbor came and asked, "Where is your mommy?" The child replied, "My mommy is at home, but she said that when the neighbor comes, tell her that mommy has gone out." The neighbor smiled and left. But the mother was listening. After the neighbor left, she slapped the child. What does this mean? The mother is teaching the first lesson to her child: "You are not supposed to say that mommy is home." Thereafter, speaking one lie after another, the child grows up day by day and eventually lying becomes a second nature. Similarly people develop and addiction to alcohol. Whatever addiction it may be, once you adopt it, it becomes natural through practice. Then you are used to it.

This is why when I speak repeatedly about meditating on God with your mind, you should give it utmost importance and practice it with a firm resolve. It is understandable that at first it will not be easy to imagine His form. But keep practicing again and again. Then you will easily be able to meditate on the form of God and you will start experiencing devotional bliss. The happiness you used to experience in the world will become tasteless. You will be able to remember God effortlessly while walking, sitting and standing. This will happen through practice. Just as when feelings of worldly attachment or worldly animosity increase to great extent, they begin to dance constantly in the mind throughout our every action. In the same way, Radha Rani and Shri Krishna will also dance in your mind. They are the ocean of divine bliss, after all. Even the impurities of the world consume your mind once you become attached to them. Then what to speak of Radha Krishna, Whose single glimpse will immerse you in unfathomable Divine Bliss.

That is why you should take great care. Even if you sit for just two hours, you should practice devotion properly. Then in the next two hours, you will develop great devotional feelings.

Yes, I am developing the benefits of my practice and I will practice like this more and more.

This is why the one with true spiritual knowledge is saying:

"Oh Mind! Meditate on the lotus feet of Shri Radha Rani."

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