Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Mind of a Prostitute

Last night I dreamt that I approached a prostitute with the intention of you-know-what. I wonder why. My dreams have taken on a sort of slapstick tone lately; for example, I might dream that I am cooking something and then all sorts of things and events happen within the dream that distract me far away from my purpose and by the end of it I haven't cooked anything. So in the same vein, I dreamt that I approached a prostitute to sleep with her but I never actually got to do the deed thanks to the circumstantial distractions that took place.

Even so, it was a strange dream and I wondered what had occurred to make me dream of such weird things. Recently I have been arguing the virtues of Krishna-worship (God-worship) versus demigod-worship. We all know of those Gita verses where demigod-worship is more or less banned, and also that quote in some Purana or other (Skanda?) that giving up Krishna to worship the demigods is like giving up your mother and living with a witch. Among demigod-worshippers it is usually the case that several demigods are worshipped as in the case of Adi Sankara and his panca-puja idea (worship of five different divinities). It is my own personal thing to term this as spiritual prostitution. I have also used this in the context of jumping from one guru to another, spiritual prostitution. So perhaps the usage of this term with all of it's mundane connotations went into my subconscious and accounted for my dream.

In any case I did realise when I woke up that I should not lend my mind to such ideas even if I do have good intentions like pointing out the irrelevance of demigod-worship. It is just not a good idea to think of things with such strong terms like "prostitution" even though I have been doing it for years.

And then all of a sudden it hit me in a eureka moment: the mind is like a prostitute, flitting from one thought to another in the same way as a prostitutes flits from man to man. After all, one of the side-aims of spiritual practice is to bring the mind under control so that it can be focused on God, who is incidentally the only Man (Purusha). Wow, even though I had to learn this lesson in a rather graphic way, it is still a heck of a lesson to learn!

nirantara sevā kare antarmanā hañā

"At all times, perform service in the mind."
(CC 2.22.159)

In other words, try to think of Krishna constantly, keeping material thoughts to a minimum. Wise words indeed.


Post a Comment

<< Home