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Sri Manah- Siksa (Splendid Instructions to the Mind)

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Item Code: NAU803
Author: Raghunath Dasa Gosvami
Publisher: Golden Age Media
Language: English
Edition: 2016
ISBN: 9788193765609
Pages: 560 (Throughot B/W and 14 Color Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 7.00 inch
Weight 780 gm
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Book Description


Tread Manah-siksa many years ago with various learned commentaries, but it struck me only recently how essential this book is. At that time, Thad removed myself a little bit from my normal busy preaching pace, doing extensive studies into our philosophy and into the question of how to present Krsna consciousness to a post-modern audience. I asked myself, "Do we have in our tradition a guidebook to bhakti in its different stages, a book which will bring a person from the beginning to perfection?"

As I was asking and looking around, essentially to find a book which would save me the tremendous work of writing something myself, I again and again came upon Manah-siksd. Then Ravindra-svarupa Prabhu told me that Manah-siksa is the guidebook which takes us to full Krsna consciousness.

But I was still a little doubtful whether or not this is really the book, the guidebook to Krsna consciousness, until I received a letter by our Srimati Devi Dasi. Srimati presented to me a statement from Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Jaiva-dharma where he says that Manah-siksd is the paddhati for Gaudiya Vaisnavism. When we call something a paddhati, it means a step-by-step guide to progress; pada (foot), and hati (progress). So Bhaktivinoda Thakura says in his commentary to ManahSiksd, called bhajana-darpana, or the mirror of bhajana*, that when a living entity has understood that it is his prime duty in life to develop his Krsna consciousness, when he has awakened his faith in this understanding, then he will ask how to do it. Manah-siksa will answer this question. If we, the readers and I, have this question, and have awakened some faith that we should develop our Krsna consciousness, then we are qualified to hear the secrets of this guidebook.

When I was a young boy there was a rumor amongst my friends that you could learn to make gold by an alchemical process. I remember the moment I heard about it. I said to my friends, "Teach me all about it. How can I make gold?" Then we went into the cellar. My friend Lawrence brought all sorts of things with him, and we little boys were there in the cellar trying to make gold, but it didn’t work. What we were doing only exploded in our face, and we couldn't go to school for two weeks. In general, I remember that from childhood on I was extremely curious to get any guidebook for getting something valuable. When I stumbled upon this Manah-siksd, 1 thought, "See, Sacinandana Swami, you have now found what you were looking for as a child. You have really found something to get the highest value." I practice according to these guidelines.

Once, I was finishing a month’s time in a kind of private alchemical laboratory where I tried to do something with this Manah-siksa, and I found miracles developing just by instructing my mind with these verses. Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami promises after the eleven verses, "Becoming a follower of Sri Rapa and his companions, one who with a sweet voice loudly recites these eleven supreme verses, which give instructions to the mind, and strives to understand all of their meanings completely, obtains the incomparable jewel of worshiping Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in the forests of Gokula."

Now, at the very outset, I will be extremely blunt. As we follow Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, you will see some open wounds in your heart and mind, into which the words of Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami will go. It will not be easy. You will have to be very honest, because he presents a deep psychological analysis of the obstacles we face on our path, and it will be embarrassing. However, I can encourage you, because at the end of going through Manah-siksa, you will have love of Godhead in your heart.

Manah-siksdé means "instructions to the mind." He is using a tech- nique of Vaisnava writers to address all of their readers by addressing their own minds. In the Nectar of Instruction Srila Prabhupada describes Krsna consciousness as a culture of the mind. This means we should gradually train our minds so that throughout the twenty-four hours of the day we can’t think of anything other than Krsna. Now, we know it is very difficult to train the stubborn mind to always think of Krsna twenty-four hours a day. Arjuna, the celebrated hero of the Bhagavad-gita, has expressed himself very candidly on this point. He says, "The mind is so restless, so turbulent, so obstinate, so strong, O Krsna, that I think it is more difficult to control it than to control the wind. Don’t ask for too much, Krsna, when you tell me I should control my mind. How will I control a raging storm?" But Krsna is a good teacher. He answers the arguments of his disciple, and he defeats them step by step. In the end, he encourages Arjuna to start a sadhana, a practice of mind control, when he says, "It is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible with suitable practice and by detachment." So Manah-siksa does exactly these two things which Krsna talks about in the Gita. It tells us a suitable practice we can do every day, and it also helps us to detach ourselves from material things.

To get the greatest benefit from this book, we need to keep in mind that there are two very powerful forces in this world. The first is kama (lust). Kama means not just the desire of man and woman to meet each other for sensual stimulation, but it means all desires separate from giving pleasure to Krsna. The other force is prema (love), which is not self-centered or pleasure-seeking but is the desire to give pleasure or love to Krsna.

I think all sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) have to deal with kama. The Rg Veda says, "Kama is the basis of this world." And this desire for enjoyment, as Krsna tells us, becomes many-branched (bahu-sakha hyanantaé ca). Kama is concentrated on many sense objects for selfish enjoyment. Prema is concentrating only on Krsna. To some extent, these two forces sometimes struggle. There’s a voice in our heart which tells us, "Follow the scriptures, chant Hare Krsna, concentrate on Krsna,’ and so on, and there’s the other voice that says, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, how theoretical, how impractical.’

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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