The mind is a masterly telemarketer – don’t pick up the phone

Some telemarketers are dangerously expert at marketing their products. They can make unsuspecting customers who had no desire for that product feel that they need it. And need it so much, that they pay whatever it takes, immediately.

We all are vulnerable to a masterly telemarketer existing within us: the mind. It suggests indulgences so persuasively and seductively as to totally invert our perception. It makes the inessential seem indispensable, the unconscionable seem unobjectionable and the negligible seem irresistible.

The best way to deal with unwanted telemarketers is to not deal with them. Once we know that a particular phone number belongs to a telemarketer, we can discerningly decide to reject their calls. We need to apply this principle of deliberate non-responsiveness to the mind.

However, neglecting the mind is more difficult than neglecting telemarketers because the mind is inside us. When desires appear within us, we unthinkingly accept them as our desires, without evaluating whether they are the mind’s propositions.

To manage the mind, we need education and redirection.

Education: Gita wisdom educates us about our inner world, and especially about our mind’s nature. The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) cautions that our mind, being conditioned and uncontrolled, usually acts as our enemy.

Redirection: After knowing the mind’s nature, we need to redirect our consciousness away from it towards something positive. The most effective object for redirection is the all-powerful, all-attractive, all-pure supreme, Krishna. To focus the mind on him, the best process is bhakti-yoga.

Through determined bhakti practice, when we focus on purposeful service to Krishna, that focus helps us neglect the mind. Gradually, our Krishna-connection purifies the mind of its worldly infatuation and makes it attached to Krishna. When the mind starts marketing the glories of Krishna, it becomes our friend, and our purposeful devotional life becomes joyful too.

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