Uddhava-Gita 17.42

Udhava GitaUddhava-Gita

TEXT 17.42|| SB 11.23.42 ||

dvija uvāca
nāyaṁ jano me sukha-duḥkha-hetur
na devatātmā graha-karma-kālāḥ
manaḥ paraṁ kāraṇam āmananti
saṁsāra-cakraṁ parivartayed yat

The brahmana said: These people are not the cause of my happiness and distress. Neither are the demigods, my own body, the positions of the planets, my karma, or time. Rather, it is the mind alone that causes happiness and distress and perpetuates one’s bondage to the vicious cycle of repeated birth and death.


After careful deliberation, the Avanti brahmana realized that it was not actually the miscreants who were the cause of his distress. Did he think that maybe they were harassing him under the instigation of someone else? The answer is given in this verse: “Neither the demigods, the body, nor the planets are causing me distress. It is the mind that is the actual cause of one’s happiness and distress.” It is stated in the Vedas that it is the mind that sees, hears, and makes one move here and there.


Those who are averse to the service of the Supreme Lord must live within the cycle of repeated birth and death.

Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ’rjuna
tisthatibhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. (Bhagavad-gita 18.61)

According to the purport of this verse from the Bhagavad-gita, mental speculators must wander about in the cycle of birth and death, driven by the mind, under the direction of the Supreme Lord. The wheel of time causes the living entity, who is the knower of the field of activities, to experience the changing nature of material existence. The Avanti brahmana understood his mind alone to be the source of all inauspiciousness, despite the fact that miscreants, the demigods, planets, one’s karma, and time are no doubt apparent causes.

In this regard, one can carefully consider this verse:

anyera hṛdaya—mana, mora mana—vṛndāvana,
‘mane’ ‘vane’ eka kari’ jāni
tāhāṅ tomāra pada-dvaya, karāha yadi udaya,
tabe tomāra pūrṇa kṛpā māni

For most people, the mind and heart are one, but because My mind is never separated from Vrndavana, I consider My mind and Vrndavana to be one. My mind is already Vrndavana, and since You like Vrndavana, will You please place Your lotus feet there? I would deem that Your full mercy.
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 13.137)

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