Don’t let parasites suck your mental energy

Sometimes we feel mentally tired even when we are not physically tired. What causes this mental tiredness? Among its various causes, a common, major, and avoidable cause is the indiscriminate over-exertion of our power to desire. This over-exertion results from our unwittingly welcoming too many superfluous desires in our minds. The Bhagavad-gita (16.21) indicates that these distracting desires that prevent us from acting in our best interests fall into three broad categories: lust, anger, and greed.

Lust and greed often fuel our desires for the many worldly objects that enter our vision and imagination, be they glitzy forms or gaudy products. These desires are innumerable and most of them are practically unfulfillable in real life. Consequently, a conscious or subconscious irritation builds up within us. When this irritation becomes intolerable, we succumb to anger, which vents itself mentally as sulkiness, verbally as snappiness and physically as beastliness. In this way, lust, greed, and anger cumulatively divert our mental focus away from the main goals of our life, both material and spiritual. The resulting inattentiveness makes us falter and blunder while pursuing those goals. As our plans misfire and backfire, and nothing seems to be working in our lives, we get mentally exhausted and exasperated.

Thus, our mental exhaustion originates not so much in the external difficulties that life puts in our path as in the internal diversions that prevent us from treading that path effectively. The diversions of lust, greed, and anger are therefore like mental parasites that live off our mind’s energies. That’s why Gita wisdom urges us to immunize ourselves against these debilitating parasites by diligently serving Krishna externally and remembering him internally.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16 Text 21

“There are three gates leading to this hell – lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.”

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Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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