That Still Small Voice Inside

Ever wondered about the small voice or voices that we hear from within? Is it the mind, intelligence, or ego? Or something else? In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that the Supreme Being is present in the heart of every living being as the Supersoul. This feature of God accompanies the living being in his journey throughout the material world in all the various species of life. For example, when the living entity desires to taste the flesh and blood of other living creatures, he is offered the body of a tiger or a lion; if he wants more sex, then the body of a pigeon is made ready; and when he wants to sleep for prolonged periods, the body of a bear is offered.

In this way the soul tastes various material experiences, and all through this body-tasting expedition there is only one person accompanying him – the Paramatma (Supersoul). So although it is true that the Supersoul does talk to His friend (the soul), along with the voice of wisdom there is a host of other small voices collected on the way. These are the voices of lust, anger, greed, madness, pride and illusion – the dreaded six enemies of the living entity.

The situation exactly resembles shortwave radio listening where too many stations are competing for space in a crowded bandwidth. A casual radio listener will have to sift through a sports commentary, a recipe talk, a political commentary in order to listen to a film song that he is interested in listening to.

How to fine tune? This is the challenge that any newcomer faces on the spiritual path. All these voices when heard together do not make any sense, and the resilience required to continue on the path is simply not available. In the Gita Lord Krishna first of all recommends controlling the wayward mind by positive spiritual practices (like chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and eating sanctified food offered to Him) and negations (like avoiding the association of those averse to spiritual awakening). This process is simple yet sublime.

So the next time you wonder about the “still, small voice within…” do not worry as to who exactly is speaking. As long as you are practicing the ancient, proven method of chanting Hare Krishna you are safe, and rather than trying to hear the small voice you are actually trying to hear the bigger voice of your own tongue chanting the holy names of Krishna