Chitta and Concentration
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Chitta is a representative of the mahat-tattva within a human being. The Srimad Bhagavatam (3.26.22), says that chitta by nature is pure and peaceful. In pure chitta, one can see Bhagavan Sri Krishna and one’s eternal spiritual form too.
But due to material actions, desires and samskaras accumulated over many lives, the chitta becomes sullied and contaminated like murky water or a dirty mirror. Thus Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu commands ceto darpana marjanam, “Purify the mirror of chitta or consciousness by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.” (Siksastakam 1),
Chitta is the subconscious mind or the finer aspect of intelligence which links the atma or living entity with the material body via the ahankara, buddhi, mana and indriya (ego, intelligence, mind, senses). Embedded within the chitta are samskaras and vasanas. One’s consciousness (chitta) is made up of two types of impressions (samskara): those acquired in previous lives (praktana), and this lifetime (adhunika).
Samskaras are inclinations, proclivities, impressions and experiences from this and former lives which cause various vasanas or desires to manifest at particular times. The desires or wants appear as thought waves (vrttis) or thinking about a particular object and how to attain it or reject it. An infinite number of vrttis or thought waves, which disturb the mind with tension, anxiety and restlessness, continuously rise and fall within the ocean of chitta.
Concentration is impossible without mental peace and tranquillity. Mental purity produces perfection in practice. Therefore, one must carefully supress or ignore the thought waves i.e. vrttis, ever-rising from the ocean of chitta. This is best done by absorbing the mind in the transcendental name, form and sweet pastimes of Sri Govindadeva with attention and love. Association with saintly devotees also helps create new, positive and divine “bhakti samskaras” which in turn remove the material samskaras, or inclinations for sense enjoyment.
Krishna nama and bhakti bhajan are indeed the most powerful ways to purify the mind and attain spiritual perfection. Along with bhakti, however, you must also cultivate the proper mentality (abhimana) and physical behaviour, sadacara, to purify and steady the mind. You must always watch and monitor your thinking, feeling and acting.
In all times and places, you should remain equipoised, balanced, unbiased and friendly in all dealings. Be loving, understanding, compassionate, and kind to all. Don’t be envious, hateful or judgemental of anyone.
Time is your most valuable asset. Use it wisely for Krishna’s seva and attaining spiritual perfection. Don’t waste your precious human form of life with “time eating monsters” like gossiping, fault-finding, net surfing, face booking, selfies, mindless messaging, and useless twitter-chatter. Krishna prema will quickly come to one who spends maximum time and energy in spiritual practices.
With enthusiasm, patience and determination you should spend all your free time to realize and see Radha and Krishna right now in this life. At all times, you should feel the urgency: “I absolutely must attain and taste Krishna’s sweet love in this life. Nothing else really matters.”
Pitamaha Sri Brahmaji says: “The fire of sadhana absorption will burn the entire stockpile of your karmic desires, karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti bhajan. (Brahma-samhita 54) Keep tuned in here for more posts on chitta and concentration.
Ekanta Krishna bhajan ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
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