Don’t just be mindful – make the mind full of Krishna
Many self-help teachers recommend mindfulness – cultivating awareness and living in the present. Certainly, mindfulness is better than absent-mindedness, but is it sufficient? Let’s analyze with an example of driving.
Being unmindful is like driving inattentively, not knowing where we are going and how we are driving – it’s unfruitful and unsafe. Becoming mindful while driving is definitely better, but still it doesn’t make driving fully fruitful. For that, we need to know our destination and the way to get there.
Similarly, to make mindfulness fully fruitful, we need to know the purpose of life itself and the means to achieve it. Gita wisdom explains that purpose – we are at our core spiritual beings meant to love the supreme spiritual being, Krishna, and delight eternally therein. And it reveals the best means: bhakti-yoga.
As long as we are spiritually uninformed, we remain under the sway of our material attachments. So, even if we achieve mindfulness, we become better aware of material things, but not of spiritual things.
To spiritualize our mindfulness, we need to see the connection of the material with the spiritual, to link the things of this world with their ultimate source. In the Bhagavad-gita (10.17), Arjuna seeks such guidance. In response, Krishna throughout the remaining chapter illustrates the concluding philosophical principle (10.41): the world’s attractive things, things that we are often mindful of, manifest a spark of his all-attractiveness. To realize this principle, we need to practice bhakti-yoga, for it sensitizes us to Krishna’s presence and helps us become mindful of him.
The more we diligently practice bhakti-yoga and become attracted to Krishna, the more our heart becomes permeated with his presence, and everything stimulates his remembrance. Thus, we rise from being mindful to being mindful of Krishna to ultimately making our mind full of Krishna.
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