The Art of Taking Shelter

6th February 2016 • Illuminations on Bhakti

HH Candramauli Swami, BG Lecture, 9.13, July 1st, 2014, Chicago, USA

This material energy is compared to a vast ocean. No one can cross an ocean. But by the grace of the Supreme, through devotional service, that ocean becomes as small as a hoof print of a calf. Then one can easily walk over it. Otherwise, through one’s efforts alone it is impossible. The idea is to learn the art of taking shelter of the Supreme. That art of taking shelter is taught by the spiritual master and guided by scriptural knowledge. It says that a great soul always watches his mind. “What is my mind doing now? Is my mind directed in a devotional way?” When they see their mind deviating, going this way or that way, they are very careful and diligent to bring it right back under the influence of the spiritual energy, either by remembering Lord Krsna or by engaging in His devotional service.

Yet at times when we are engaged in the service to Sri Krsna, our mind is somewhere else. That is what is called “service which is not fully developed”. At times we notice a devotee engaged in devotional service, but his mind is somewhere else, travelling to areas of material existence. The nature of the mind is that it connects with something that it likes, or desires. This is conditioned life. The principle or essence of spiritual life is to bring that mind into the activity, or make the mind the director of the activity guided by the intelligence. There are three aspects of the living entity – body, mind and words, and when all these three are connected to the divine energy or the devotional service, that is the art of taking shelter.