An intruder inside us is an intruder still

Suppose we find someone in our home. Will we assume that just because that intruder is now inside our home, he is our well-wisher? Suppose he asked us to do something, will we immediately do that?

Certainly not.

We will seek to know the intruder’s antecedents and motivations. And we will evaluate the prudence of whatever he asked us to do before deciding what to do.

While such a response seems obvious, it doesn’t seem so obvious when the intruder comes inside not our physical house but our mental house, that is, when we get intrusive feelings. As we go about our life, disruptive feelings sometimes invade our mind: craving for immoral pleasures, jealousy towards a successful peer, greed for possessions, apathy towards our devotional practices, for example.

We tend to think that whatever is inside me is me. So, we frequently identify feelings inside us as our feelings.

We tend to think that whatever is inside me is me. So, we frequently identify feelings inside us as our feelings. And we sometimes unthinkingly act on them, only to later realize that we wasted our energy, needlessly and harmfully.

Certainly we can’t reject or neglect all our feelings. But that doesn’t mean we have to uncritically surrender to all of them. The Bhagavad-gita (14.23) urges us to view the various feelings that come into our minds as things distinct from our nature as souls. By observing them from a distanced, detached perspective, we can analyze: Do they reflect my values and concerns? Or are they incidental intrusions stimulated by the material modes?

To situate ourselves in a distanced, detached perspective, we need to stimulate our intelligence and conscience. Studying Gita wisdom sharpens our intelligence, and prayer and meditation refine our conscience. When we are thus internally alert, we can distinguish authentic feelings from intrusive ones and choose to act only on those feelings that promote, not impede, our well-being.

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The real me is beyond jeans and genes
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6 Comments

  1. Another Enlightning Article. I strongly feel that if we read
    your daily article and/or book- The Gita For Daily Enrichment
    slowly and steadily we can learn the Art of Living and we can smart our heart for loving Krishna.

    Thanks Prabhuji.

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  2. Hare krishna dear prabhuji,
    Pamho. Agtsp. The discrimination of modes and soul in initial stages may be extremely laborsome and even daunting but in the final stages becomes intuitive, spontaneous and indestructible. The medicine You have suggested is prayer meditation and study of the Gita. Such wisdom should be included in the psychology courses of all universities. And prayer can be done on behalf of those who cannot do it themselves for some reason.
    Ys
    subash

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  3. Very Nice. Thank you,

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  4. Hare Krishna Prabhuji
    Pamho

    First of all, I am not commenting because there are already some comments present! I had thought of commenting right after reading these lines (without knowing that others have already commented):
    “We tend to think that whatever is inside me is me. So, we frequently identify feelings inside us as our feelings. And we sometimes unthinkingly act on them, only to later realize that we ‘wasted our energy, needlessly and harmfully’.”

    I have been thinking of commenting a hearty appreciation & gratitude since many days; these lines (above) made it happen today!

    I must say that your articles on GitaDaily (especially the recent ones) are very practical, relevant, intelligent & thought-provoking; or in short “extremely helpful”.

    Somehow I have not been reading your articles on this site for last 3 years (as I came to know that you have been doing so for that long!!!! — given the quality & preciseness of the articles! Simply amazing!!), though I have been following your site SpiritualScientist (another precious gift of yours to us) for around 2-3 years.

    As I started reading, first I used to bookmark those articles that “really” (and I mean the word) touched my heart, though every article (except a few which were, I feel, of level higher than what I could understand “well” and appreciate) was “extremely” good!

    Now I can say that one need not bookmark the articles individually, “just bookmark the site” (every article is mind-blowing). Or better still, subscribe it for daily mails (or check it daily), and if time permits, read the other past articles which one might not have read!

    Thank you Prabhuji for this wonderful website, with fantastic short articles!
    I just pray that someday I am able to serve you in some way or other, and am able to please you!

    Your servant

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