Devotional Thoughts

How to become the master of your senses

How to become the master of your senses

Lecture by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa on October 23, 2014
Srimad-Bhagavatam – 3.12.12-14

manyur manur mahinaso
mahan chiva rtadhvajah
ugrareta bhavah kalo
vamadevo dhrtavratah


Lord Brahma said: My dear boy Rudra, you have eleven other names: Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahan, Siva, Rtadhvaja, Ugrareta, Bhava, Kala, Vamadeva and Dhrtavrata.


dhir dhrti-rasaloma ca
niyut sarpir ilambika
iravati svadha diksa
rudranyo rudra te striyah


O Rudra, you also have eleven wives, called the Rudranis, and they are as follows: Dhi, Dhrti, Rasala, Uma, Niyut, Sarpi, Ila, Ambika, Iravati, Svadha and Diksa.


grhanaitani namani
sthanani ca sa-yosanah
ebhih srja praja bahvih
prajanam asi yat patih


My dear boy, you may now accept all the names and places designated for you and your different wives, and since you are now one of the masters of the living entities, you may increase the population on a large scale.

Lord Brahma’s wish could not be fulfilled by the four Kumaras and now he is directing Rudra to fulfil his desire to create progeny.  So this is the beginning of the creation. Things did not happen in the normal way; like Rudra was born between the eyebrows, out of Brahma’s head, not by seminal birth.  There are many mystical ways in which the material energy can act, it is not known to us.  The Lord’s creation and energies are inconceivable, we are tiny jivas. 

tiny jivas

Whatever man may attempt to do, he cannot understand this material world. It has to be received through the descending process.  Civilization after civilization has manifested on the earth and each one had an end.  As per the creator, the function of the human being is to have knowledge about his relationship with the material body and the three modes of material nature that influence him. Therefore we take the knowledge about the body, the senses, etc., as given by the descending process by the Supreme Lord and the acharyas.  In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna reveals that this body is made up of a different energy and you are different. Ultimately one has to purify his attitude of independent enjoyment and go back to Godhead.

Without knowledge one cannot execute bhakti, transcendental knowledge is must. Even if you study a lot still you may not get the knowledge. If you read Prabhupada’s purports knowledge will come.  Information about Krishna consciousness does not have the power to separate matter and spirit.  Krishna says – I out of compassion upon the sincere soul who is trying to engage in devotional service, I shine that transcendental knowledge and only then one can become free from this material entanglement. 

No doubt, we have continuous instructions to control the senses but more important we have to control the self itself.  He has got the free will to give his attention energy to Maya or Krishna. Self-control is very easy if you have the free will at the attention level as the ignition switch, complete car can be controlled. The moment you put the switch on, the engine will start running and you are sitting in the vehicle and you will have to suffer the consequences of the engine. The vehicle moves and you have to move. We are sitting in this body and if the three gunas are on we will move according to the three gunas. This body carries the jiva according to the three gunas.


We know after a few years of Krishna consciousness as far as finding out Maya and Krishna there is no difficulty. But then what? Your free will, give attention to Krishna and not to Maya.  Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru – mind should always be on Krishna.  Bhakti is a process by which the disciple follows what the guru has told. Simply he follows, and then controlling the senses becomes very easy.  If you release water into a pipe then the water will flow according to where the pipe is going. Similarly the moment you give attention to Maya then there is circuitry in your brain, attention will go through all those things, then forces of kama, mano vega, indriya vega, all these things will start manifesting.  In the bhakti process, continuously give your attention to Krishna. This is the secret.

We were talking about how the four Kumaras refused to marry – we don’t want to get entangled.  So following the same principles of those four Kumaras we have to control our senses. No intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling – the difficult thing to control is the attraction towards the opposite sex. If you are a man it is designed to produce certain gratification effects and then all those things are made into habits, it should be stopped at the root. Why is it a habit looking at opposite sex? Nobody continues a habit unless something is gained in it. You notice one opposite sex is passing by, you notice.  Looking is different, it is gratification.  The whole thing starts at that point, afterwards it is very difficult. We have no time for all those things.  If I want to peacefully execute service to guru and Krishna, why should I waste my time? Instead my prana can go in serving the Lord.  There are guidelines; it is not that one has to run away from all women.  Mother is not seen, if at all mother is seen it is with vatsalya rasa, mother is never seen in the spirit of enjoying the body, madhurya rasa, never. 

You know that this person is not my mother but shastra is saying look at her as mother. Looking at everybody as mother is not truth, it is a technique.  If you want truth, you have to look at everybody as spirit soul. You see a person as a spirit soul – no age, no sex should be seen. Male, female then you are seeing body.  One has to see as spirit, that is truth but then there is a technique of keeping our mind pure –  no sense gratification, no illicit sex, that enjoyment to be kept away.  It is very important that without chanting it will be very slow.  These are all big obstacles to spiritual life.  So therefore we have to take the knowledge from the descending process, what Krishna has told in the Bhagavad-gita about our senses.  Krishna talks about controlling the body by the mind, controlling the mind by the intellect, mind by the self.

So by following all those things there is full protection. Spiritual life is not simply agitation, which means you are not following exactly what guru has told.  If you don’t follow instruction 1, and start following instruction 2, then instruction 2 becomes a struggle. Please immediately go back. Completely engage your senses in Krishna’s service, then no need to control the senses at all.  When you are engaging yourself in service of Krishna then you become master of the senses, which is the meaning of Goswami.

(The above transcripts have been edited for better readability. However they have not been verified and confirmed by the original speaker.)

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