Letter to: Prem J. Batra , Ahmedabad , 1975-09-28
Prem J. Batra
Ruparel College, Sr. B.A.
Matunga, Bombay 400 016
My Dear Prem Batra:
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated September 19, 1975 and have noted the contents. I am very glad that you are seriously trying to understand our Krishna consciousness philosophy. It is Srila Jiva Goswami who has presented very high philosophy in his Six Sandavas.
Regarding your question about the difference between the mind and the soul, in the Bhagavad-gita it is directly said that the mind is inferior energy in a subtle form, and soul, jiva, is superior energy. So they are completely distinct. Mind is not spiritual, but mind is a subtle material form. When the soul becomes captivated for enjoying the material world instead of rendering service to Krishna, that is the beginning of his falldown. When the living being thinks himself to be the enjoyer, that is called false ego. His constitutional position is to serve Krishna. So this false egotism degrades him to pollute the intelligence and the mind.
So mind and intelligence are already there in the soul, but in the conditional stage the same mind and intelligence become polluted as false egotism or enjoyer. The bhakti process is to purify everything. The mind is not the soul but is a venue for expressing the soul's desire. So if the mind is purified, then things go on nicely in its original position. If he does not go on rightly he falls down in conditional life. The whole yogic system is to convert the mind from matter to spirit. You can utilize the mind in both ways. When the mind is spiritually trained up it is the best friend of the soul, and when the mind is materially polluted, it is the worst enemy. The Bhagavad-gita states:
anatmanas tu saturve vartetatmaiva satruvat
For those who are grossly materialistic persons, for them the yogic system is recommended, otherwise if the mind is directly engaged engaged at the lotus feet of Krishna, the senses automatically become engaged in Krishna's service; and that is the liberated stage. Chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is the direct process for curing the mind of all materialistic contamination. Take to this process and be happy.
You have asked many questions, and I am glad that you are going to join our movement. I am going to South Africa tomorrow for one month, and when I return to Bombay, you can come and see me at that time.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami