I call my father on his mobile, he picks it up and speaks about a minute and then says ‘ I don’t know what else to speak’ and then passes the phone to mother. And then for the next minutes when me and amma are speaking, he will be prodding her from behind.
As far as I can remember, papa loves to sing. But the words of any song, he can never remember. ‘I can’t memorize’, is his general complaint. I can understand, I can’t do either. In school I used to enjoy history but failed miserably to remember the dates.
But now at this advanced age, he is having trouble in concentrating. Like he will be reading something and yet he will not know what he was reading. Why, because though he was reading, his mind was somewhere far away. But then mind is like that, it gallops away like a horse.
Standing on the battlefield of Kurukshetra Arjuna says:
cancalam hi manah krsna
pramathi balavad drdham
tasyaham nigraham manye
vayor iva su-duskaram
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.
Imagine standing in front of the Lord and yet not able to keep the mind steady. But then it happens isn’t it. We try to do things and are not able to do because we are distracted, we begin writing a great post which does not happen so great just because we were not able to concentrate etc.
And what does Krishna reply to Arjuna?
mano durnigraham calam
abhyasena tu kaunteya
vairagyena ca grhyate
O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by constant practice and by detachment.
Abhyasena-by practice, you can control the mind. Practice is the key. Keep your goals in mind and work towards it. If you get distracted, refocus, rework.
For people like me in devotional path we are asked ot be always in devotional service, so that we stay on path. The others can follow suit. Be alert. If the mind strays, bring it back on path. If a singer is not able to sing a particular raga, what does she do? Practice isn’t it? So practice it is….
But can I say that to papa? I don’t think I can. He may just stare at me and say’ So now, you will teach me, what to do?’ 😛
Shloka translation: Asitis.com (H.D.G. Srila Prabhupada)