Don’t let the mind make you fight more battles than you need to

If soldiers while fighting a battle agonize about a reversal in yesterday’s battle or worry about the danger in tomorrow’s battle, they will undermine their capacity to fight today’s battle.

The same applies to our practice of bhakti-yoga and the concomitant inner war against our lower desires. The central strategy for winning this war is: focus on Krishna. But we are distracted from him by our mind, which often acts as our enemy (Bhagavad-gita 06.06). The mind diverts our thoughts to our past lapses, thereby demoralizing us. Or if we shrug off past diversions and manage to focus on Krishna, it makes us apprehensive that we won’t be able to sustain such focus in future.

If we let ourselves get distracted thus either to the past or the future, we start feeling burdened, even crushed, thinking that we will never be able to win. And that’s true – we can’t win if our energy is being dissipated in fighting simultaneously on three fronts: past, present and future.

But we don’t have to fight past and future battles. Even if we have sinned in the past, Krishna still loves us – he hasn’t abandoned us; he is still there in our heart and is still giving us the opportunity to link with him. Even if we can’t maintain focus on Krishna in future, still our present focus will keep us pure now, which is itself a significant victory. And that present purity will boost our spiritual strength, thereby improving our prospects in future battles. Therefore, the present battle is what matters most – and it is a winnable battle if we focus on it alone.

By refusing to fight the battles that the mind wants us to fight, we can win the battle that the mind doesn’t want us to fight.


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  1. Hare Krsna prabhu,


    The last sentence was awe-inspiring and brilliant – a real punch!

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  2. Hare Krishna, this is a chronic problem. I feel this is a very important to internalize for the rest of our spiritual lives moment-to-moment. Thank you very much for helping us understand how maya tricks us.

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  3. Hare krishna prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisance.

    It’s only been a week or two that I have subscribed to your site, but truly, the ideas and wisdom shared herein have helped me more than any other book or lecture to control my mind. From Bhagavad-gita I understood our own mind to be our greatest enemy, but still I failed to control it. But from your articles, I obtain the Ability to control it more than I ever could. Specially the article “The best way to deal with temptation is to not deal with it” has given me the weapon to deal with This enemy. I will always be grateful to you for presenting us this ageless wisdom
    in such pragmatic form .
    hare krishna :-}

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  4. Brilliant essay. Really helps in a practical way. Like Srila Bhaktivinode’s poem, “Forget the past that sleeps, and of the future never dream at all, but act in times that are with thee and progress you shall call.”
    The present is all there is, but it is the mind’s trick to have it’s way is to introduce past and future arguments to weaken our resolve to resist it’s present demands.

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  5. Jaya! All glories to Chaitanya Charan Prabhuji! So true amazing insight!

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  6. Hare Krishna…this is Umesh…today I really needed this verse….being down due to some setback……….thank you Prabhu………

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