Red monkey


By Purushottam Nitai Das - 27.12 2016

When suddenly from nowhere the red monkeys came and conquered all

Recently when I went to Ekchakra, the birthplace of Nityanand Prabhu, I went to a temple and there everywhere it was written in bold letters in English, Hindi and Bengali – Meditate in Silence.

But how can I be silent?

I can at the most force my mouth not to say anything but my ever active (and most of the times hyperactive) mind never stops speaking to me.

Silent meditation entails that we first persuade our mind to become silent and then ask our mind to listen to us and finally discipline it sufficiently so that our mind follows our given instructions as it is.

But this can only be possible if we succeed in conquering our mind. And conquering the mind is almost impossible. In fact it is easy to conquer this world than to conquer the mind. And this is not my conclusion. Arjuna one of the greatest warriors born on earth who had the capability to conquer all his enemies narrated this solemn fact: The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Kṛṣṇa, and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind. (Bhagavad Gita 6.34)

Once during a meditation session a teacher decided to do an experiment. As soon as all his pupils assembled and sat in an erect posture with closed eyes waiting for his instruction, the teacher said, “I have a special instruction for you all today. For next one hour during the meditation session no one should think about the red monkey.” And suddenly from nowhere the red monkeys came, attacked and conquered everyone’s mind. For the next one hour all the participants whose eyes were still closed were utterly miserable because while meditating today they were seeing nothing but red monkeys. They tried their best to empty their minds of the thoughts of the red monkeys but the red monkeys were in each and every corner of their mind – sometimes jumping, sometimes dancing, sometimes laughing and sometimes silently watching all the fun.

The holy men know that the probability of us gaining victory over our mind is very miniscule and this is why they recommend chanting the names and glories of the Lord as the best way to achieve the Lord.

Let us reflect on these few examples.

King Parikshit upon knowing about his imminent death immediately decided to hear the glories of the Lord. Sukhadeva Goswami did not disappoint the king and he kept on speaking for 7 days about the Supreme Lord’s multifarious activities and pastimes. And by hearing about these transcendental subject matters, King Parikshit experienced love of God and fearlessly left the world.

No silent mediation was encouraged by Sukhadeva Goswami.

Dhruva Maharaj did not pursue silent meditation but instead continuously chanted the names of the Lord in the forest.

Sage Narada is not known to observe the vow of silence but he prefers to continuously chant the holy names.

Arjuna at the battlefield of Kurushetra got transformed upon hearing Lord Krishna’s words of wisdom. Arjuna did not perform silent meditation to get enlightenment.

And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu along with NP just 500 years back taught all to perform sankirtan, congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord.

So we can safely conclude that not silent meditation but mantra meditation i.e. chanting the Lord’s names is the recommended process to achieve love of God.

Our words shape our inner and outer world. And the best words are those which glorify the Lord. And the best way to glorify the Lord is to chant his holy names like the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

Chanting not just cleanses our heart of all the dirt, not just purifies our consciousness of all the impurities but it also helps to get control of our mind so much so that we can easily drive away monkeys of all colours and sizes from our mind effortlessly.

Chanting also gives tremendous joy to our hearts. And so Rupa Goswami begs Krishna for millions of tongues to chant his names loudly and not silently.