Don’t let the mind control the activities meant to control the mind

During a war, an army can sabotage its opponents by seizing control of their weapons and then using those very weapons against them. Our mind similarly sabotages us by misdirecting our spiritual practices that are like weapons meant to control the mind.

We are all fighting an inner war against the forces of illusion that attack us primarily through the mind. Such illusions make it go wild with various worldly cravings.  Being thus maddened, the mind acts as our enemy (Bhagavad-gita 06.06). For winning the inner war, we need to curb this inimical mind. The best weapon for curbing it is bhakti-yoga, which helps us focus the mind on all-powerful, all-pure Krishna, whose potency and purity transforms the mind.

However, the mind is so insidious that it can take over the activities that are meant to help us take it over. Consider, for example, the practice of fasting, which is meant to help us decrease the mind’s craving for food and shift its focus to Krishna. But the mind can make us forget this divine purpose of fasting. When bewitched by the mind, we may still fast, but to show the world how self-controlled we are and to look down at all those less austere than us. Such fasting doesn’t increase our focus on Krishna; it increases our ego, which blocks our path to him. The Bhagavad-gita (16.15) cautions against letting the mind take-over our performance of virtuous activities: it deems as deluded those who do godly activities only for boosting their ungodly egos.

By studying scripture regularly to remind ourselves of our inner dynamics and by associating with saintly devotees who are consistently focused on Krishna, we can get the conviction and inspiration to focus on him, thus checking and countering the mind’s wily ways.

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  1. KRISHNA BHAKTI alone controls insidious mind activities

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