THE SIMPLE YOGA SYSTEM

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Here is the secret of training the mind. The whole yoga system, i.e. the astānga-yoga system comprising of dhyāna, dhāranā, āsana, prānāyāma, etc., is meant for only controlling the mind. Mind is the centre of sensual activities. The purpose of astānga-yoga is to train up the mind because the mind is very restless. Even Arjuna, five hundred years ago, admitted that the mind is very restless. So he declined to practice the hatha-yoga system. He clearly said that, “Krishna, it is not possible for me to control the mind.” At another place in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, “The mind is the dearmost friend as well as the bitterest enemy.” Everyone’s bitterest enemy and dearest friend is there. That is the mind. It requires a little training.

For training the mind, the yoga system is recommended. For those who are too much engrossed in the bodily concept of life, the astānga-yoga system, is recommended wherein one practices a certain type of āsana and various breathing exercises. In this way, it comprises of āsana, prānāyāma, dhyāna, dhāranā, etc. But there is another simple method that is recommended in the śāstra. You can train up your mind if you simply keep your mind on the lotus feet of Krishna. Krishna is here and you see Krishna’s lotus feet. And if you practice to meditate upon Krishna’s lotus feet or Krishna’s bodily features, then immediately your mind becomes controlled.

Sa vai manah krishna-padāravindayoh [SB 9.4.18]. Ambarīsa Mahārāja was the emperor of the whole world. He had to manage many political affairs. But he was one of the topmost devotees at the same time. Why? Because… sa vai manah krishna-padāravindayoh: “He kept always his mind at the lotus feet of Krishna.” And his legs engaged for going to the temple. Since he was an emperor, he had no business to go anywhere, but still, he was using his legs to go to the temple. This is the yoga system. You employ your senses. Instead of going to the cinema and standing there for three hours for a ticket, if you engage your legs to come to this temple, then it is yoga system. Such a simple thing! Sa vai manah krishna-padāravindayoh. Instead of thinking some beautiful woman or a handsome man, if you think of Krishna, the most beautiful person, then it is yoga system. So simple!

So you can engage every sense in Krishna’s service. We possess ten senses and the mind. So mind engaged in Krishna, legs engaged for going to the temple, hands engaged for cleansing the temple, nose engaged for smelling the flowers and tulasi offered to Krishna, tongue to taste Krishna’s prasādam, the ears to hear the Hare Krishna mantra—in this way, you can engage all the senses. There is no need of education. There is no need of passing M.A., Ph.D. You practice this simple yoga system. Sa vai manah krishna-padāravindayor vacāmsi vaikuntha-gunānuvarnane [SB 9.4.18]. Ambarīsa Mahārāja used to do that. vacāmsi vaikuntha-gunānuvarnane: You have to talk, but don’t talk nonsense. Instead engage your talking propensity in discussing about Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. Vaikuntha means without any kuntha, or without any anxiety. In other types of talking, you will have so many anxieties because that is not vaikuntha talking. But if you engage your talking on the subject matter of Krishna, then nonsense talking will stop automatically.

Meditation means to concentrate the mind on the lotus feet of Krishna and not on something fictitious. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. Real yoga is to meditate upon the lotus feet of Krishna. Dhyānāvasthita: dhyāna means meditation. So the yogis sit down in dhyāna. What is the subject matter of dhyāna? The subject matter of dhyāna is the lotus feet of Krishna or Vishnu. That is dhyāna or dhyāna-yoga. And Krishna recommends in the Bhagavad-gītā that how first-class yoga is thinking of Krishna: yoginām api sarvesām mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā [Bg. 6.47]

So this Krishna consciousness movement is at least trying to give the people what is the aim of life, how he can be happy, how he can regain his eternal position of blissful life. These are the things. And they are authorized. What we are presenting, that is nothing manufactured by concoction of the brain. No. It is all authorized, all authorized. So if we take advantage of this movement, then we become happy, we become in the perfect knowledge, blissful life, even in this life, and next life you go back to home, back to Godhead.

[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Srimad Bhagavatam 3.26.31 in Bombay on the 8th of January, 1975]

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