Be not distracted or disheartened – be devoted
Suppose a football player is approaching the opposite side’s goal. But someone suddenly distracts the player towards something unimportant and an opposing player seizes the ball.
Or suppose someone reminds the player of all their past misses and the player becomes disheartened, aiming only halfheartedly and missing the goal.
In both cases, the player is responsible for the lapse. But to prevent recurrence of such lapses, the distracter or discourager needs to be dealt with too.
Suppose that distracter or discourager were inside the player instead of outside. That would make the player even more vulnerable and would make dealing with the hostile inner voice even more vital.
The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) indicates that the hostile voice often belongs to our mind. When we attempt anything purposeful, our mind starts talking about worthless things that simply waste our time and distract us from constructive actions. Or it talks about how we have erred in the past, thereby disheartening us, preventing us from doing our best and sabotaging our chances of success.
The best way to deal with the mind is by becoming devoted to Krishna. Bhakti-yoga provides us a higher taste that makes the mind’s distractions more resistible. And meditating on Krishna’s merciful nature helps us counter feelings of discouragement. The Bhagavad-gita assures that no matter what our lapses, if we just persevere in our devotional practices, we are well-situated (09.30), and we will eventually progress towards success – we will never meet with ultimate destruction in our inner battle (09.31).
When we take our resolve from the negative, “I won’t become distracted or disheartened” to the positive, “I will become devoted to Krishna”, that affirmative resolution raises our consciousness to the spiritual level from where we can either neglect the mind’s voice or catch and correct it faster.
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