Chapter 6: Sankhya-yoga
cancalam hi manah krsna
pramathi balavad drdham
tasyaham nigraham manye
vayor iva su-duskaram
cancalam—flickering; hi—certainly; manah—mind; krsna—O Krsna; pramathi—agitating; balavat—strong; drdham—obstinate; tasya—its; aham—I; nigraham—subduing; manye—think; vayoh—of the wind; iva—like; suduskaram—difficult.
For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krsna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind.
The mind is so strong and obstinate that it sometimes overcomes the intelligence, although mind is supposed to be subservient to the intelligence. For a man in the practical world who has to fight so many opposing elements, it is certainly very difficult to control the mind. Artificially, one may establish a mental equilibrium toward both friend and enemy, but ultimately no worldly man can do so, for this is more difficult than controlling the raging wind. In the Vedic literatures it is said:
atmanam rathinam viddhi sariram ratham eva ca
buddhintu sarathim viddhi manah pragraham eva ca
indriyani hayanahur visayams tesu gocaran
atmendriya-mano-yukto bhoktety ahur manisinah.
"The individual is the passenger in the car of the material body, and intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument, and the senses are the horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. So it is understood by great thinkers." Intelligence is supposed to direct the mind, but the mind is so strong and obstinate that it often overcomes even one's own intelligence. Such a strong mind is supposed to be controlled by the practice of yoga, but such practice is never practical for a worldly person like Arjuna. And what can we say of modern man? The simile used here is appropriate: one cannot capture the blowing wind. And it is even more difficult to capture the turbulent mind. The easiest way to control the mind, as suggested by Lord Caitanya, is chanting "Hare Krsna," the great mantra for deliverance, in all humility. The method prescribed is sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh: one must engage one's mind fully in Krsna. Only then will there remain no other engagements to agitate the mind.