HOW TO CONTROL MIND? – STORY
(H.H.Giriraj Swami in San Diego – September 21, 2004 tells this story told by Srila Prabhupada)
Srila Prabhupada once told a story about a jinn, a genie.
The genie comes out of the bottle and tells his master, “I will do whatever you tell me, but you must keep me busy. And as soon as I don’t have anything to do, I will kill you.”
The master says, “Okay, you can begin by cleaning the kitchen.”
The genie cleans the kitchen and comes back.
“All right, clean the living room.”
“Okay, clean the bedroom.”
“Clean the hallway.”
“Clean the basement.”
“Clean the attic.”
Pretty soon the whole house is completely clean.
“Clean the yard.”
Now, the master is really getting worried.
He is running out of things for the genie to do.
And he begins to panic, because if he doesn’t keep the genie busy, the genie is going to turn on him and kill him.
He thinks, “Oh my God, what am I going to do now?”
Then he gets an idea.
He has palm trees in his backyard, so he says, “You climb to the top of one palm tree; then you jump over to the next tree and climb down and up it, and then you jump across and climb down and up the next tree, and you just keep doing that. When you are finished with the last tree, you jump back to the next and begin again.”
Thus the master finds an engagement to keep the genie busy so that the genie will not turn against him.
Now, what is the lesson to be learned from this story?
The genie is the mind. If we don’t keep the mind engaged, the mind will turn on us and murder us. So we have to keep the mind engaged.
We can keep the mind engaged in so many tasks, but ultimately we need some engagement that will always keep the mind busy.
This going up and down—this is our japa-mala. Going up and down the trees is going around our beads.
So Srila Prabhupada said that we should always keep the mind engaged, and if there is nothing else to keep the mind engaged in Krsna’s service, then chant Hare Krsna.
That will keep the mind engaged, and that will fulfill the definition in the verse (bhajanty ananya-manaso); it will make us mahatmas, and dear to Srila Prabhupada and Srimati Radharani.