Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

“How to control and purify the senses?” Radhanath Swami Answers…

By on October 18, 2010 in Insights with 47 Comments

senses controlQuestion to Radhanath Swami: How to control and purify our senses?

Answer: That is a very important question. It’s the essence of life. That question and its answer is the path of perfection. Krishna tells in the Bhagavad Gita that by engaging our senses and our mind, which is our sixth sense, in the service of the Lord, we become purified of all illusory designations. Elsewhere in the Vedas it is said that weather purified or unpurified, one who remembers the beautiful lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead, becomes purified from both within and without.

We become what we associate with. If we associate with impure people, impure activities, impure thoughts, we become polluted. If we associate with people who are pure, activities that are pure, and thoughts that are pure, we become purified. Srila Prabhupada, our guru, gave the example of an iron rod. If we put it in fire, it becomes red and hot like fire; and if you touch it, you’ll be burnt the same way as when you touch fire directly. That is the power of association. But if we put that same iron rod in ice, it will become as cold as ice. So, our purification or our degradation is based on what our mind and senses associate with.

Krishna is pavitra, supremely pure. Therefore, by remembering Krishna we become purified, and by serving Krishna with our senses, our senses become purified. And what is the easiest way to remember Krishna? Simply by our tongue we can invoke the presence of Krishna by chanting his name and discussing his glories. This Harinaam Sankirtan, Kirtan of the holy names, is the most recommended process in this day and age, called Kali Yuga in the Vedas. harer nama harer nama hare namaiva kevalam, kalau nasteva nasteva nasteva gatir anyatha: “In this age of kali the chanting of the holy names is the only practical means for the common people to attain the supreme perfection of a pure heart.” namnaam akaari bahuda nija sarva shaktis: “All the potencies and opulence of the Lord is present in the holy name.

There are no hard and fast rules for chanting; you can chant anywhere, absorb your mind in ChantingKrishna and become purified. What a benediction! We often tell the story of a man in Jagannath Puri, India. He would constantly chant the holy names, and one day he was going to the bathroom. He had a lota (a vessel that holds water used for cleaning oneself after passing stool) in one hand, and with his other hand he was trying to somehow hold his tongue, to stop it from chanting the holy names. And that really looked strange. So one little five year old boy approached him saying, “What are you doing?” The man said, “I have such a taste for chanting Krishna’s name, I can’t stop chanting. But at the same time I am going to respond to nature’s calls, and I shouldn’t chant Krishna’s name  when I am doing an activity like that. So I am trying to control it, but I can’t. And the little boy said, “There are no hard and fast rules for chanting.” You can’t worship your deity when you are  passing stool. You are not supposed to bring all the holy scriptures into your bathroom either. But the chanting of the holy names, you can do it anywhere and everywhere, and become purified. That is the power of the name and the name is non different from Krishna. So this is the simple mercy of the Lord in this age of Kali.

By serving Krishna, by seeing the deity of Krishna, by tasting the food offered to Krishna, by bowing down to Krishna, by associating with the devotees of Krishna, by hearing the kirtan of Krishna, and by smelling the incense and flowers offered to Krishna, we become purified. But of all things, at any time, in any situation, we can be purified by the presence of the Lord by taking shelter of his holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

And if you are a student, while studying Biological Engineering or Chemical Engineering or Architectural Engineering or Electrical Engineering or Medicine, how are you going to get purified thinking about all those things? If our intent is to offer our service as students for the pleasure of the Lord, if we live in harmony with the will of Lord, and if we have a nice spiritual foundation to our life, we will be purified even in our studies because we are doing it for Krishna, in consciousness of him.


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  • Siddeshwar Bhat

    An absolutely practical solution, and I loved this emphasis on chanting of the holy names….

  • Girish

    Radhanath Swami is expert in giving us practical solutions that penitrate deep in our minds. It is not therotical.

  • Srivatsan

    Perfect answer by Radhanth Swami and I liked his emphasis on chanting of the holy name and how there are no hard and fast rules for chanting.

  • Ramya

    Radhanath Swami Maharaj has such faith in Holy Names!

  • meghana Vaidya

    Thank you very much swamiji.

  • nisha

    wow, what an explanation!

  • hrishikesh mafatlal

    This revelation of purifying our senses by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord is a miracle that can only be experienced.

  • Dipti Gaikwad

    Such a wonderful answer! By coming in contact with the pure holy names, we can purify our senses. Thank you Radhanath Swami.

  • malathi santosh


  • Ravi Garg

    Thanks for detailed reply on such an important question……..

  • Vani

    I was searching this answer all over and Maharaj answered my questions. Thank you Maharaj, Haribol!!

  • meghana Vaidya

    Thank you very much swamiji.its great maharaj.

  • Yogesh Valhe

    Radhanath Swami is revealing the secret of success in spiritual life. I like the way to call out the names of the Lord. This solution is worth trying and simple. Thanks Radhanath Swami for this.

  • Vinay Rachh

    Very practical tip of purifying one’s senses

  • Karthik

    Very wonderful and practical way to purify the senses.

  • naresh Jethwa

    Thank you very much for such a wonderful answer.

  • ks Subramanian

    Radhanath Swami’s solutions to the tyranny of senses is very practical. It worked for me!

  • Mangesh kende

    at any time, in any situation, we can be purified by the presence of the Lord by taking shelter of his holy names–Essence revealed..outstanding answer by Radhanath Swami..thanks

  • Anil Timbe

    Radhanath Swami is so nicely explaining how to remain God conscious even while doing our work.

  • vaishali kamat

    Thanks you Radhanath Swami was this understanding.

  • Vidya Patham

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for explaining the meaning of real purity.

  • Swapnil Gaonkar

    Wonderful explaination. Thank you Radhanath Swami

  • Jagdish Majethiya

    Perfect answer – very nicely explained. Thank you so much Maharaj.

  • Arabinda Sahoo

    Thank you Maharaj for a great answer. There is no shortcut.

  • Madhura

    Thank you Maharaj for such wonderful answer.

  • Ydas

    Radhanath Swami is very clear that association is what will help us out – the example of the iron rod is very nice and apt

  • Aman Jain

    Radhanath Swami gives a practical solution to to make spiritual progress.

  • Meera Sharma

    Once again Maharajah has explained the very simple formula to purify and control our senses, but it is effective only if we have faith in it.
    “Krishna is pavitra, supremely pure. Therefore, by remembering Krishna we become purified, and by serving Krishna with our senses, our senses become purified”.

  • N Swaminathan

    A practical way for students and professionals to be conscious of God while doing their activities in the world

  • sunil

    so nicley explained thanks a lot. jai HH. RNS MAharaj ki jai .

  • Gauranga

    Wonderful explanation, more over it’s practical solution to purify our senses by engage them in Lord’s service 24X7.

  • Servant

    A very enlightening explanation on how to purify our senses, by His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Gurrappanaidu

    Thanks alot maharaj

  • Chandrika

    What a beautiful answer.

  • Harshawardhan

    Thank you Maharaj for giving such a terse solution. Chanting constantly, and doing all activities keeping Krishna in center. i’ll try to implement this principle in my lives and help others to also do so.

  • Ankit Patel

    Hare Krsna.

  • Radhasangi Devi Dasi

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for the wonderful answer.

  • Arjun K Ramachandra

    Fantastic article! Che process of chanting is the simplest, easiest, most portable way of remembering and worshipping the lord.

  • Arjun K Ramachandra

    Fantastic article! The process of chanting is the simplest, easiest, most portable way of remembering and worshipping the lord.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Superb article.

  • Jagannath Dham Das

    Thank you very much Radhanath Swami Maharaj on telling us how association of saintly people, chanting GODs name & offering results of our prescribed duties to GOD we can engage all our senses & purify them !
    Hare Krishna !

  • Vidya Patham

    Thank you Radhanath Maharaj for enlightening us on the importance of the holy names of the Lord.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for the wonderful solution about how to control and purify our senses.It’s very practical and easy to follow (provided we have the determination to do so!)

  • Vidya Patham

    Chanting cleanses the heart of all impurities. Thank you Radhanath Swami for emphasising this.

  • jayant mahtani

    It has been made so easy in this age. I consider myself very fortunate to be chanting this mantra. In the beginning it seemed to good to be true, but after sincerely chanting I can see the wonderful change in my life. Thank you Swamiji.

  • Balaram Acharya Das

    Wonderful answer. Thank you so much Maharaj Ji for the nectar.

  • Asha Kanta Sharma

    Yes…Chanting Mantra can change our life forever…