“Cheto darpa-na: the Mirror of Consciousness”


Venue: Mayapur, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.59 at

na yasya cittam bahir-artha-vibhramam

tamo-guhayam ca vishuddham avishat

yad-bhakti-yoga anugrihitam anjasa

munir vichaste nanu tatra te gatim


The devotee whose heart has been completely cleansed by the process of devotional service and who is favored by Bhaktidevi does not become bewildered by the external energy, which is just like a dark well. Being completely cleansed of all material contamination in this way, a devotee is able to understand very happily Your name, fame, form, activities, etc.

Maharaja: This chapter is called the chanting the song sung by Lord Shiva or Rudra-geeta

Maharaja reads purport by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada:

As stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25):

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido

bhavanti hrit-karna-rasayanam katham

taj-joshanad ashv apavarga-vartmani

shraddha ratir bhaktir anukramishyati

Simply by the association of pure devotees one can understand the transcendental name, fame, quality and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has repeatedly said:

‘sadhu-sanga’, ‘sadhu-sanga’—sarva-shastre kaya

lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya (CC Madhya 22.54)

Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Krishna consciousness. Sadhu-sanga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Krishna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and by acting for Krishna.


Maharaja comments: Sadhu sanga doesn’t end. Being in the close proximity of sadhu or physically with the sadhu is only the beginning as it sounds here. Association continues beyond getting together. That association continues even if they depart and go away. While in physical association, the sadhu says, “chant Hare Krishna”.  So even though the sadhu departs, one who continues to chant “Hare Krishna” according to the sadhu’s instruction continues the association. The sadhu’s association is extended beyond the physical presence in such a case.

Krishna proudly declares says in Bhagavad Gita (10.11) – “Mat chittah mad-gata pranah, bodhayantam parasparam”. What do My devotees do, when they get together? They remind each other about Me, their conversation or ‘samvad’ is about Me. Thus when they get together, they converse about Me and when they depart, their association continues if they keep chanting the name and follow the instructions about the dos and don’ts. Beyond the class, or the get together or the ‘ista gostis’ or physical association, the devotees’ association continues if they continue to reflect and contemplate upon the discussions.

Maharaja continues to the purport by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, “Specifically, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra purifies one, and this chanting is therefore recommended by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting the names of Krishna, the mirror of the heart is cleansed, and the devotee loses interest in everything external.”


Maharaja continues to speak: Have you heard the words, “dambha” and “darpa”?  They indicate false ego. Darpana means mirror. As you look into the mirror, what does it do? It increases your false ego. Darpana is meant for extending, enhancing, solidifying your darpa or false ego. Darpa-‘na’ is the word for mirror in Sanskrit. Darpana in Sanskrit means one that increase your false ego, solidifies your bodily concept.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Siksastakam says, ‘Cheto darpana marjanam’.  This ‘darpana’ that He is talking about in Siksastakam is kind of different from the word ‘mirror’.  He speaks of Chetana’s darpana.  By “Cheto darpana”, He refers to mirror of the consciousness.

Of course, devotees stop looking at the other mirror. Their mirror is so tiny, they do not want to look at their bodies, but look at only the tilak. So they move their mirror up and down over the tilak. If they use the mirror to look at their own bodies, there will soon be competition. While comparing with others’ beauty, they will assure themselves – I am not less beautiful! And of course, as conditioned souls, they will become envious of the Lord, and also envious of the beauty of the Lord.

Lord has blooming lotus eyes, reaching up to ears “karna paryantam”. Gauranga’s eyes reach His ears. Krishna’s eyes, Radha’s eyes are blooming, wide open, because Krishna wants to look at Radha rani and Radha rani at Krishna. So just a little opening is not enough. So He keeps opening His eyes, so He can drink the beauty of Radha rani. They compete with each other in wide opening of Their eyes. Thus Their eyes get opened up to the ears. When we look in the mirrors, especially ladies look at the mirror; they want to extend their eyes also to reach their ears by using the brush and makeup etc.

Thus, “Yasyatma buddhih,  kunape tri-dhatuke” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.84.13). One who identifies his self as the inert body composed of mucus, bile and air is strengthening his concept of “I am the body”. So a devotee in fact stops looking into the other (regular) mirror or stops looking at his own image in the other (regular) mirror. When that mirror is out, then the remainder of the  mirror is that of the chetana or the  mirror of consciousness –then  he is able  to look at his real ‘self’, the Supreme Self, and his relationship with the Supreme Lord – everything can be seen into that mirror of consciousness.

But that has to be planned so that one is able to throw the regular mirror, or stop looking into the mirror, and appreciate one’s own beauty – then only it is possible to look into the mirror of consciousness from deep within. Cleansing of the mirror of consciousness takes place, as one minimizes his bodily concept of false ego. So Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has specifically recommended this “cheto darpana marjanam”.

Maharaja continues to read the purport by His Divine Grace: Specifically, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra purifies one, and this chanting is therefore recommended by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting the names of Krishna, the mirror of the heart is cleansed, and the devotee loses interest in everything external.


Maharaja continues to speak: in this way, he becomes free from false ego. In Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.31 Prahlada maharaja said, “Bahir artha manina (considering external objects as valuable)”. Bahir means external. Artha means something meaningful. For example economic development is meaningful. So bahir artha manina – everything that is external is meaningful to the people. This is Prahalad maharaja talking to his father. They just only think that everything else (external or bahir artha) – all that is out there is so very important, meaningful and useful.

Here in this verse, it says Bahir artha vibramam – consciousness is disturbed by this bahir artha resulting into bewilderment. The purport says that by chanting the names of Krishna, the mirror of the heart is cleansed, and the devotee loses interest in everything external. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu met with Rupa Goswami and Anupama in Prayag, He saw in them zero ego, absolutely no ego. These two personalities were holding straw in their teeth – dante trina dhari. They were literally holding the straw in their teeth which is a symbol of extreme humility.  At that time, Mahaprabhu was surrounded by large crowds of people at the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Even though it was not time for flooding of the rivers, Mahaprabhu was flooding that region with the love of Godhead and all the people were drowning in that flood of love of Godhead. So these two personalities, Rupa Goswami and Anupana were standing away from Mahaprabhu at a distance. Finally when they found Caitanya Mahaprabhu by Himself, they went near and offered the praise to the Lord, “Namo maha vadanyaya Krishna prema pradayate, Krishnaya Krishna Caitanya namne Gaura tvishe namah”. (C.C. Madhya 19.53) – “O most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisance’s unto You.” They stood up with folded hands with their bodies trembling, tears gliding the cheeks and then they fell down into the dust of His feet and again stand up with trembling bodies and tears and repeatedly fall down. This went on for many times. Vallabhacharya had come to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu to invite Him to his home.  So Mahaprabhu introduced Rupa and Anupana to him, saying that these two Rupa and Anupama – they all always chanting the names of Krishna. The holy name is always dancing on their tongues. Immediately they again started offering obeisance’s. Hearing this Vallabhacharya got up and wanted to go near where Rupa and Anupana were sitting. But these two got up and started running away saying, no don’t touch us, we are not worthy, untouchable etc.

I was amazed when I was reading this part and laughed to myself while comparing my humility with Rupa goswami and Anupana.  Their consciousness is purified – cheto darpana marjanam! In fact, we are lowly, untouchable – asprishya. Association of such devotees is useful for purifying our consciousness.

Maharaja continues to read the purport by His Divine Grace: When one is influenced by the external energy of the Lord, his heart is impure. When one’s heart is not pure, he cannot see how things are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. “Idam hi vishvam Bhagavan ivetaro” (SB 1.5.20). He whose heart is purified can see that the whole cosmic manifestation is but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he whose heart is contaminated sees things differently. Therefore by sat-sanga, or association with devotees, one becomes perfectly pure in heart.


Maharaja continues to speak: In one of the lectures of Srila Prabhupada, a devotee was reading a part from Lord Kapila’s instructions and Prabhupada said, why people complain that they have not seen God? Do they not see the sun shining? If they see the sunshine, do they not see God. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, Prabha asmi shashi suryayo.. (BG 7.8 – I am the light of the sun and the moon);  raso aham apsu Kaunteya – I am the taste in water. Once in Juhu temple when Prabhupada was giving a lecture, he picked up his glass of water, took a little sip and said aha! That taste in water should remind you about Krishna. That is Krishna consciousness. Just drinking water can remind you about God. So a devotee makes a connection in everything.

There are only three things in the world – chit, achit and jiva – the Lord, His external energy and the living entity. Chit includes all spiritual kingdom, the Lord, His forms, pastimes, names. Achit is His external energy called material external manifestation. The third entity is the living entity. Only three things in this world exist – not many.

So this bahir artha vibramam chittam (as said in the current verse) means the external energy, the achit has entered his consciousness, heart, mind and intelligence. The idea is to get rid of this achit which causes bewilderment (vibramam) and just be with the chit – internal potency and the Supreme Lord. Srila Prabhupada concludes in his purport – Therefore by sat sanga or association of devotees one becomes perfectly pure in the heart. He mentions in Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.25 – “satam prasangat mama virya samvidau” (In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.) Lord Kapila in this verse says, that among the special association of devotees, ‘I’ become the topic of their discussion. They discuss about My power, My beauty and thus the nectar from that discussion purifies their hearts.

So when we associate with a saintly person, in fact the saintly person gives us the association of Krishna. He just presents Krishna, talks about Krishna saying here is Krishna. This is called “sat sanga” or association with “Sat”. Krishna is called “Sat-chit-ananda or Om Tat Sat. Krishna is that “sat” or satyam. Satyam Param Dhimahi (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1 – I meditate upon the absolute truth, who is Krishna).

When Lord Krishna was in the womb of Devaki, the demigods started offering prayers to the Lord called garbha stuti. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.26)

satya-vratam satya-param tri-satyam

satyasya yonim nihitam ca satye

satyasya satyam rita-satya-netram

satyatmakam tvam sharanam prapannam

(The demigods prayed: O Lord, You never deviate from Your vow, which is always perfect because whatever You decide is perfectly correct and cannot be stopped by anyone. Being present in the three phases of cosmic manifestation-creation, maintenance and annihilation—You are the Supreme Truth. Indeed, unless one is completely truthful, one cannot achieve Your favor, which therefore cannot be achieved by hypocrites. You are the active principle, the real truth, in all the ingredients of creation, and therefore you are known as antaryami, the inner force. You are equal to everyone, and Your instructions apply for everyone, for all time. You are the beginning of all truth. Therefore, offering our obeisance’s, we surrender unto You. Kindly give us protection.)

So many times in this verse, they used the ‘satyam’ indicating the Lord.  Hence in the ‘sat-sanga’, the association of devotees, the truth or the Lord is presented or the Lord is made available.

Maharaja continues to read the purport by His Divine Grace: One who is pure in heart is never attracted by the external energy which urges the individual soul to try to dominate material nature. The pure heart of a devotee is never disturbed when he executes devotional service in the form of hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. In all, there are nine processes one can follow in the execution of devotional service. In any case, a pure-hearted devotee is never disturbed. The bhakti-yoga process must be carried out by avoiding the ten offenses one can commit while chanting the mahä-mantra and the sixty-four offenses one can commit while worshiping the Deity.


Maharaja continues to speak: one part of the instructions is to chant Hare Krishna. The other part is avoiding offences. Chanting Hare Krishna is not enough; with that goes a supplement of avoiding offences. Rather the second part is equally or even more important than chanting Hare Krishna. Instruction is to chant Hare Krishna, but how do chant Hare Krishna? So vidhi and nisheda (dos and don’ts) of the scriptures make the instructions complete. Instruction is not complete unless you hear what not to do as well. Bhakti Vinod Thakur in his song says, “Aparadha shunya hoiya loha Krishna nam” – Being careful to remain free of offenses, just take the holy name of Krishna.  Thus chanting is not complete unless the other instruction of avoiding 10 offences is strictly followed.

Maharaja continues to read the purport: When a devotee strictly follows the rules and regulations, Bhaktidevi becomes very much satisfied with him, and at that time he is never disturbed by anything external. A devotee is also called a muni. The word muni means “thoughtful.” A devotee is as thoughtful as a nondevotee is speculative. The nondevotee’s speculation is impure, but a devotee’s thoughts are pure. Lord Kapila and Shukadeva Gosvami are also called muni, and Vyasadeva is addressed as Mahämuni. A devotee is addressed as muni, or thoughtful, when he purely understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conclusion is that when one’s heart is purified by the association of devotees and by the avoidance of the offenses committed when chanting and worshiping the Lord, the transcendental name, form and activities of the Lord are revealed by the Lord.

AMAZING ARRANGEMENT FOR APPEARANCE OF SITA DEVI & RADHA RANI:  Today is Sita navami. There is Ram navami and there is Sita navami. Similarly there is Krishna Janmastami and Radha ashtami. What a coincidence – or what an arrangement!  What a connection!

Radharani’s and Sitadevi’s appearances are also amazing. Radha rani was found in a blooming lotus floating in Yamuna river. Vrishabhanu was attracted to the lotus and went near and found a child within the lotus. That was Radha rani. Something similar happened with Sitadevi’s appearance. King Janak was ploughing a field, his plough got stuck. He stopped and digged a little and found a container. Within that was Sita devi.

Hari bol.

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    hari bol…..

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    hari hari hari,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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