Clean the Mirror of Your Heart
27th November 2016 • Illuminations on Bhakti
HH Candramauli Swami, lecture on the Siksastakam prayers, March 26th 2016, BVM London
Seven benedictions of chanting the holy names of the Lord are mentioned in the first verse of the Siksastakam prayers.
The first benediction is ceto-darpana-marjanam – ceto means mind; darpana means mirror and marjanam means to cleanse. So, the chanting of the Holy Name cleanses the mirror of the mind.
When looking at a mirror that is full of dirt, you are unable to clearly perceive the object that is being reflected, because of the dirt. But as the mirror becomes cleansed, the reflective power returns and what you see outside is what is inside. So that is when the mind becomes pure. The original mind is naturally pure. It is defined as ‘clear consciousness’. As soon as we come to the material world, our consciousness becomes contaminated by the material energy. The modes of material nature cover our pure consciousness, and then we begin to identify with our body as ‘I’ and the environment around us as ‘mine’.
So the chanting of the Holy Name, and this is first, cleanses the mirror of the mind. It wipes away all the dirt and dust, and the result is that one can see oneself, and one can also see Krishna with pure consciousness.
That is the power of Krishna’s holy name. It is not only a means for connecting with Krishna, but also the means for awakening our pure, spiritual existence by getting rid of what Srila Prabhupada would say ‘mountains’ of dirt.
When we think about the process of Krishna consciousness, certainly we should reflect on the fact that, ‘the more I makes spiritual advancement, the more I realize how advanced I am not.’ If you think you are advanced, that is a problem. Some of us will fall into that consciousness by definition of position. But, a devotee realizes that, ‘the more I make advancement, the more I can see my material contaminations and attachments.’ Sometimes we can get a little overwhelmed. But one should not be dismayed by that. One should think, ‘I have the process, I have the Holy Name. By chanting Krishna’s holy names I am cleaning the mirror of my mind, of my heart.’