“A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled but is always still—can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.70)
समुद्रम् आपः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत्
तद्वत् कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिम् आप्नोति न काम-कामी
samudram āpaḥ praviśanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśanti sarve
sa śāntim āpnoti na kāma-kāmī
“I have detected a character flaw in myself. That should not be breaking news, as to err is human, but this particular conclusion took some time to reach. I would say it is not in your standard category of making mistakes in judgment, messing up a balance sheet, doing math incorrectly, having the wrong judgment of someone’s nature, and so forth.
“The flaw is that I always need something to worry about. It makes no sense, for as soon as something pressing gets resolved, I feel calm and at peace. For instance, it could be the successful medical procedure for a family member. Getting offered that job I wanted. Even finding a job if I am unemployed at the time. My preferred political party winning the most recent election. The government uncovering the massive corruption used in the last election to suddenly switch votes in the early morning hours, after the counting mysteriously stopped in several states.
“Each time there is resolution, I look for something else over which to worry. I guess it is all rooted in the mind. How in the world do we control it? I know Bhagavad-gita covers this topic and others. Is there a specific technique we can use? I think every person, from poor to rich, woman to man, young to old, is looking for peace of mind.”
Arjuna, the bow-warrior who was the recipient of the Bhagavad-gita wisdom delivered by Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, compared controlling the mind to trying to get ahold of the wind and suppress its movement. In other words, it is practically impossible.
चञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण
प्रमाथि बलवद् दृढम्
तस्याहं निग्रहं मन्ये
वायोर् इव सु-दुष्करम्
cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa
pramāthi balavad dṛḍham
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye
vāyor iva su-duṣkaram
“For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.34)
His Divine Grace Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura advises to daily kick the mind several times. Metaphorically speaking, of course, but the reminder is there to show just how easy it is for thoughts to run astray, to deviate from the targeted objective.
It is interesting to see that Shri Krishna never advises for the mind to be totally suppressed. The root cause of lamentation, kankshati, is desire, kama, associated with hankering, shochati. The desires will constantly flow in, like the rivers going into an ocean. The person who remains undisturbed is able to achieve peace.
From his many wonderful poetic verses available in the published realm, Goswami Tulsidas says that he is in the unique position of sleeping peacefully. While others have their issues to worry over, he has placed full faith in the Supreme Lord. This includes even those striving to remove desires. The jnanis place great emphasis on vairagya, or renunciation. This means that they must always assess whether or not they are renounced; hence something to worry over.
The “trust God” model may seem too simplistic, but there is more to the process than blind faith. The actual truth manifests in a way of life. Live so that you are always conscious of Him. Even while working, sleeping, resting, or during otherwise inactive engagement, think of the deliverer of Arjuna. Contemplate His words, remember His transcendental activities, realize how He is divyam, or Divine, and automatically become steady of mind: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Worrying situation now,
Desperate for resolution how.
But then later again to find,
Restless in this way mind.
Idea that not fully to suppress,
Bhagavad-gita the issue to address.
That to yoga process be bound,
Everything in Shri Krishna found.