Our mind has a unique ability and that is of absorbing anything and everything without any discrimination. If anything good we feed then it happily accepts it and if we feed something bad then it again accepts it without complaining. So we need to check constantly before allowing anything to go inside the mind.
While eating we do not pick anything from a garbage bin and put it in our mouth. Most of the time all of us are very careful about our physical health and so we prefer healthy, nutritious and fresh food.
Similarly we ought to be extra cautious before we allow anything to go inside our mind. Because once some unhealthy stuff goes inside our mind then it becomes very difficult to throw it out. In fact it remains stored in some corner of our mind throughout our life.
Suppose that someone sees an obscene picture and takes a momentary interest in it then immediately the image gets stored in mind’s bin in a seed form. Now we have two options. We can either burn the seed of lust or we can nurture it. If we start contemplating on the image and pad it up with many more similar obnoxious images and even start associating with those people who are fond of such nasty images then we are putting ourselves in great danger. The tiny seed will soon become a gigantic tree and later even if we will try to get rid of lusty thoughts still it will completely occupy our mind. The lusty thoughts will clog our intelligence and drain out energy which will adversely impact our personal life, social life and career growth. In Gita 2.62, Krishna warns that it is because of contemplating on the objects of the senses that a person develops attachment and subsequently lust.
We need to conscientiously avoid those situations – both real and virtual - where our senses will get surrounded with worldly thoughts and nasty images. Such association will definitely pulverize our devotional dreams. If we become over confident about our devotional determination thinking ourselves to be too advanced to be affected by non-devotional surroundings then we are putting our devotional life at risk. Suppose that we are exposed to a polluted environment where toxic gases freely fly then whether we want or not the life threatening gases will get inside our body. Similarly in materialistic surroundings our mind will slowly get filled with non-devotional images and thoughts. This is why in Upadesamrta (The Nectar of Instruction),RupaGoswami advises all the spiritual seekers to avoid the company of worldly minded people.
Whatever immoral impressions are there in our mind should be ultimately purged. They are now in dormant state and can become active anytime. A gardener meticulously removesall the weedsfrom a garden so that they do not become a nuisance in the future. Similarly all our worldly thoughts and desires which are currently lying in a seed form needs to be burnt completely because we do not know when the seed may find the right environment to germinate.
We need to screen all information - visual, textual and aural – before allowing it an entry into mind’s faculty.One of the best ways to guard our mind is by placing it in the association of serious Krishna conscious practitioners.
Association being contagious, mind will absorb the qualities of saintly people. An iron rod when put in a fire slowly develops the qualities of the fire – it becomes red hot and sparkles. Association does the same to us. Narada Muni explains that he developed love for God because in his previous birth he had got an opportunity to associate with great Vedantists. Although spiritual association has the potential to completely purify our mind but this will work only if we force our mind into it. Or else the association will just become a photo-op and we would not gain anything substantial.
Our mind will resist our spiritual leanings initially but as the time progresses and we with grit continue purging non devotional stuffs and simultaneously continues assimilating devotional qualities by being in association of sincere spiritual seekers and by reading books like BhagavadGita, Upanishad, Srimad Bhagavatam etc. then our mind will gradually become pure and will even start relishing the spiritual ambience. Along with this if we start practicing mantra meditation - like chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra - then it will have profound impact in our life. Lord Chaitanya in Sri Siksastakamhas explained that chanting cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and it also increases the ocean of transcendental bliss.
Srila Prabhupada further elaborates, “The easiest way to control the mind, as suggested by Lord Chaitanya, is chanting "Hare Krishna," the great mantra for deliverance, in all humility. The method prescribed is savaimanah Krishna - padaravindayoh [Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.18] one must engage one's mind fully in Krishna.”
We are the guardians of our mind so we need to guard our dear mind very wisely else we may have to repent later. Let us not allow the mind to maunder on non-devotional subject matters or wander in non-devotional zone.Our motto should be: This is my mind and I need to protect it like a gardener guarding his gorgeous garden.