Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What is Antahkaran?

Shyamsundar is the Soul of every soul and that the individual souls constitute the body of Shyamsundar.  Just as our material body constantly serves the soul by trying to give it happiness through every thought and action, similarly the individual soul is an eternal servant of God.

But since time immemorial, we have accepted the body to be the self, and therefore have been constantly trying to gratify the senses with material objects.  However, if we realize our true nature as eternal servants of Shree Krishna, there will be neither a delay in attaining Him, nor a need to practice further spiritual discipline.

The soul does not perform actions and the actions of the sense organs are not accepted as actions even in the material world, what to speak then of the spiritual realm!  Even in the material world a person is not punished if it is proven that he did not intentionally commit a crime.  Let us say you are driving.  You are on the correct side of the road, you are within the speed limit, and the brakes in your car are in perfect condition.  Suddenly someone comes from the wrong side, crosses the road and gets hit by your car.  You will not be held responsible although the accident may have resulted in death.  Why?  Because you did not kill anyone intentionally.  Someone lunges at you with a knife and you punch him in self-defence, and that blow results in his death.  Again, you are not held responsible, since it was not your intent to kill him.  You merely attacked him in self-defence, and he died.  Even worldly courts judge a crime by motive.  In the same way, the spiritual government too is solely concerned with the motive behind our actions.  Actions performed by the sense organs are not taken into consideration.  Had they been taken into account, we would have realized God not just once but innumerable times by now.  In infinite lifetimes, we have chanted the names of God countless times; we have touched the feet of innumerable Saints; we have seen innumerable descensions of God.  With all this, we should have realized God not once, but countless times.  But all this was just a physical drill, an external show.  We chanted the names of God with our tongue, bowed our head before Him and the Saints, yet remained attached to the world from within.  There is something within that has to surrender.  It is the inner mechanism – the mind - that has to realize that ‘I am a servant of Shree Krishna.’  It is not the soul that has to surrender, because the soul is not the performer of actions.  If the soul were the doer then we would not have been in the bad shape we are in today.  The soul merely passes judgement on everything grasped by the senses.  Our eyes see something and report it to the mind.  The mind likes what the eyes have seen, and passes the information on to the intellect.  The intellect is unable to make a decision, so the soul gives the judgement.  “No, this is not what I want.”  Again, the senses go to work to present something else to the soul for approval.  In this way, we have spent countless lifetimes in infinite universes, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling the world, and each time the soul has decided, “This is not mine.”  “Then what is yours; what is it that you want?”  “I do not know, but when I get it, I will immediately tell you, ‘Stop!  Stop!  Now all you servants can go and rest.’”  But until the soul attains what it is looking for – God – none of its servants can rest even for a moment.

न हि कश्चित् क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्य कर्मकृत्  
The senses, mind and intellect will have to serve the soul each and every moment.  They cannot resign or revolt.  The performer of every action is the antahkaran, the internal machinery, which have defined in detail as the mind, intellect, and ego collectively.  It is sometimes defined as the mind plus intellect, and sometimes as just the mind.  Everything depends upon this machinery.  Bondage and liberation; pleasure and pain; the goals we set for ourselves, and the process to attain them, all depend upon the mind.  This mind is very intriguing.
it is this extraordinary mind that has to be surrendered to God.  It is the mind that has to think, “Shyamsundar is mine.”  It is the mind that has to practice devotion.  Everything depends upon the mind.


  1. This is such an important topic in Bhakti that purifying Antahkaran is the ultimate aim of Sadhan Bhakti. If anyone understands how to purify heart, I believe they are the top level of bhakti...because just to understand anything on topic of spirituality needs God's grace. And if anyone has understood above points of external show of devotion verses internal devotion in the article and are practicing in that path...they indeed are blessed ones.

  2. We should focus on purifying our mind by surrendering to the lotus feet of God since mind is the cause of bondage and liberation. Thanks for the ultimate topic on mind!

  3. Shree Maharajji mentions in his speech on the topic of satsang that we should surrender our mind and intellect to God and Guru. Aligning our thoughts with the Guru's instructions completely is defined as surrender. The antahkaran comprises among other things this combination of the mind and intellect. But Shree Maharajji stresses a lot on the surrender of the intellect.

  4. Nicely explained how to keep our mind and intellect. Thank you so much.

  5. This article provides beautiful and important information on the Antahkaran and it's purification. Actions performed by the sense organs are not taken into consideration. The mind is the main object that has to surrender to God.

  6. Nice explanation on Antahkaran and it's importance in spiritual practice.
    Though Antahkaran has different levels, primarily its the mind and that has to practice devotion.

  7. The senses, mind and intellect are collectively referred to as the internal machinery (or antahkaran) and serves the soul each and every moment. Shree Krishna who is the Soul of all the souls in the world is our eternal master and our relationship is to serve Him. The Soul is not the performer of our actions they are performed by the mind and intellect. Devotion or surrender to God has to be practiced by the mind alone as it is the doer of all actions and causes bondage and liberation, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow in the world.