The mind not only befools but also betrays us
“Why did I do that? It was such a foolish thing to do.” We often find ourselves asking this question – if not publically at least privately to ourselves.
If we think objectively, we will realize that a good many of our problems are self-created. Or, more precisely according to Gita wisdom, they are mind-created. The Bhagavad-gita (06.05) warns us that the mind acts as our enemy and so needs to be handled with utmost caution. The mind works as our enemy in two ways: by befooling us and betraying us.
How the mind befools: The mind is filled with fantasies about material enjoyment. Such indulgences have never provided us lasting fulfillment and can never do so because everything material is by nature temporary. But the mind fools us thoroughly, deluding us with promises of pleasures that seem not just real and perpetual but also irresistible.
How the mind betrays: If the mind were just like an ordinary cheater whom we could dismiss off, our position wouldn’t be so dangerous. But the mind resides right inside us and sabotages us from there – it attracts our trust and then betrays us. It pretends to be our well-wisher and makes constant comments of apparent concern about how we need to deal with whatever is happening. Through such pretensions of concern, the mind lulls us into complacency and earns our trust. So, we hear its lies faithfully, and find ourselves betrayed. Again and again. Lifetime after lifetime.
If we want to save ourselves from the mind, Gita wisdom stands ready to help us. By assimilating its philosophical insights, we train ourselves to distrust the mind. And by practicing devotional service, we purify it, thereby gradually ending its befooling and betraying business. Only then does it become our friend.
“One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.”