Q: What is the origin of lunacy?

Manidhara Das
08 Nov 2018

A: Srila Prabhupada addressed the issue of lunacy gradually more and more as from spiritual point of view anybody who defies the Supreme Will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be called a lunatic.

There is finally no material solution to material problems, and so lunacy is producing only more lunacy. Forcing even the one who has theoretical knowledge and awareness of the problem to act nevertheless according to the dictate of the material nature, who is nothing else than agent to correspond to our unregulated material desires. There is no way out of the labyrinth of the mind.

Bhagavad Gita speaks clearly:

Arjuna said: O descendant of Vrsni, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force? (B.G. 3/36 )

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later on transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world. (B.G. 3/37)

Regardless how the conditioned soul tries to analyze and localize its ferocious material desires by dint of its feeble intelligence, the mind and many fancy words issuing from its mouth, unless one doesn’t cut the knot of the unregulated desires which flow like rivers into the ocean endlessly, unless one doesn’t accept superior authority, one will be carried by strong current of these desires into an ocean of lunacy.

As in the society of today even the last boundaries defining what is sane and what is insane are demolished, lunacy is on the raise to levels hardly ever seen before. With possibilities to share and broadcast lunacy in dimensions beyond anybody’s imaginations, the senses of the humans become agitated to the degree far beyond an ordinary simple animal.

And so any discussion about social, emotional or psychological issues has no value unless the root of the problem - the unsaturated lust which takes more and more bisar form of eating-sleeping-mating and defending, is not addressed.

Srila Prabhupada showed us by His own example, the means to deal with our lust collected through millions of lifetimes. They are simple, but not easy to apply in long-term fashion.

As one devotees in amazement asked Srila Prabhupada: ”Srila Prabhupada, You said that Krsna Consciousness is so simple!”

Srila Prabhupada answered: “Yes, I said it’s simple, but I didn’t say it’s easy.”

Indeed. To simplify the mind, something which would be called in our lunatic society “primitive”, is the absolute necessity to get down from the mental platform and raise ourselves to the spiritual platform. “The process of Krsna Consciousness is simple and sublime,” said Srila Prabhupada.

The power to do so can only come from above, from a spiritual source. Even in material sense we can observe that those who are still somewhat regulated by dint of culture heritage, rules and regulations regulating their social life, do have some strength. Those who defy any rules are confused, weak and finally swept away by lunacy.

But repeatedly, the tormented conditioned soul is raising against any superior authority, only to be rewarded in response to its obstinacy with heighten lunacy. Finally frustrated material desires bear wrath only, which when accumulated collectively, is producing national and multinational conflicts.

And so no amount of psychiatric word jugglery, derived from the very same source where lunacy comes from - the mind, will bring solution to a problem of such a massive size. The chanting of the Holy Name under the guidance of bonafide spiritual master is the ultimate means to deal with the dictate of material energy. Even a full scale lunatic can become aware of his lunacy in this way and possibly take distance from his bodily consciousness. Provided he can chant the Holy Name regularly.

Even his lunacy will not vanish altogether, he will not respond to it. He will perceive his damaged subtle body as a distant entity and being tolerant he will conduct his Krsna consciousness activities in full awareness of his conditioning.

Krsna’s words are essential and ultimate. There is no need of further analysis, but there is a constant need to search for means how to apply these words in practical sense to our lives, which are dominated by lunacy of various sorts.

Finally, the real meaning of sanity is the absence of identification with this body, which can serve as a tool to collect knowledge, or to collect ignorance. The choice to apply the right means is up to us. Krsna will never touch the minute individual freedom of the soul. God helps those who help themselves, and so finally it’s our choice and not His. He is showing us the path, we have to do the walking.

By chanting of the Holy Name and associating with a pure devotee, we can first get a glimpse of the realization how mad we are. By continuing chanting, we can be gradually lifted above our madness and enjoy the peace of sanity.