Bhakti is the process of submitting our mind and emotions to the service of the Lord. When one serves with the mind , it means service. Merely involving the senses and things external bereft of the mind engagement does not in itself represent service.
The most important aspect in Bhakti is mental discipline. Usually because of our undisciplined association and indulgence in worldly matters, our consciousness lies corrupted. The deep-rooted tendencies towards material things and daily association with factors which are bereft of the Lord, haunts our entire being all the time. The result is that one is weak in one’s mental discipline. With the advancement of Kaliyuga, our weakness of the mind is even more protracted thereby sapping the entire natural potency of the mind. The result is obvious; one has weak concentration levels, one is easily disturbed, tranquillity becomes a matter of utopia, one becomes hassled by every tiny event that occurs around us, the mind clings to people and things that surround us. Under such a commotional state of mind, Bhakti becomes a matter of impossibility and no amount of chanting the holy name or Kirtanam may help during the long run. One has to be first aware of one’s inner state before remedying it. The state of mind of a person disturbed, unable to Bhakti is synonymous to a extremely hungry person who tries to go to sleep on a fantastic bed.
One has to find means of fixing the mind that is dripping in malady. Unless the diseased mind is repaired and made suitable for Bhakti in an appropriate manner, it would be useless to pursue Bhakti. Bhakti is that process by which a stable mind soars into the fathomless sky of infinitude and finds its ultimate beatitude through service to the Lord in the eternal domain of the spiritual kingdom. In Bhakti, the mind is complete and blossoms like the radiant fragrant flowers of the spring season. Thus it will be necessary to methodically tackle the mind and give it direction slowly and thus unhook every aspect of the mind that binds it to matter or people. Only under this condition one will be really able to enter the temple of Bhakti Yoga.
A person whose mind is disturbed should first come to a platform of acceptance that one is disturbed and secondly should be willing to take the steps towards unhooking the mind. However one has to start with the end goal in mind. Unless the end goal is accepted and clear, one will fumble as one even tries to implement the first step. One has to understand that Bhakti is a process of releasing our consciousness from this material planet and all commodities and people on this planet with a view to attaining final solace in the eternal service of the Lord. If even a person with a disturbed mind atleast comes to this basic understanding, it is natural that one will be able to genuinely get rid of all maladies of the mind.
Mind is composed of thoughts, emotions, scenery, visual impressions and ideas which continuously dart forward in our conscious awareness. Hence the discipline of the mind for a person who is disturbed will involve associating with a Guru or a proponent of Bhakti who is already on a higher platform. The aspirant may associate with the Guru or Vaishnava as often as possible and also share one’s thoughts and emotions with faith and surrender. This is the easiest option. In fact no other method at the initial level other than this shall work as effectively. As one starts taking such Holy association, through the law of transference of consciousness, there will be a steady alteration in consciousness with regular association and passage of time. Then as the confidence in the association increases, one is introduced to the aspects of Chanting the Holy Name and association of Bhakti Literature. As this happens , there will be a telling effect on the surroundings and one starts to naturally unhook one’s mind from all that is unnecessary in one’s life. Things like watching news or film based programs are natural debilitating to one’s senses and consciousness. By these, the mind naturally becomes unstable and susceptible to disturbance and chaos. Thus with the wisdom of Bhakti literature and the mental and aural vibrant effect of chanting the Holy name , one can slowly but steadily transmute one’s energy from what is ephemeral and temporary to that which is transcendental and absolute.