Don’t let the mind play truant in the school of bhakti

Suppose a mother sends her child to school, but the child after wearing the uniform and carrying the satchel slips off to play instead of going to the classroom.

In our inner world, our mind is like a restless child. It seeks pleasure in an object and, on finding that the resulting pleasure doesn’t last, moves to another and yet another, ad infinitum. Over time, jumping from object to object becomes its default mode. The Bhagavad-gita (06.25) urges us to restrain the mind using our intelligence. That is, our intelligence needs to act like a vigilant mother.

The best process for educating the mind is bhakti-yoga. This yoga of love connects the mind with Krishna, the all-pure, all-attractive Supreme who is the reservoir of all pleasure. By repeated contact with him, the mind becomes purified and realizes that he is the end of its search. However, to realize this, it needs to focus on him. But such focus is impeded by its default restlessness, arising from its misconception that like all other objects Krishna too won’t provide lasting fulfillment.

If we do devotional activities ritualistically, without putting our heart into them, then though we may be in a temple, wearing devotional attire, our mind will be elsewhere, on its fun-seeking expeditions. Thus, it will play truant in the bhakti school. Consequently, we may appear spiritually situated, but when tested by temptation, we will succumb.

Just as the mother needs to ensure that her child actually goes to school, similarly, our intelligence needs to ensure that our mind focuses on Krishna. By consistent contact with him, it will become purged of the misconceptions that keep it perpetually restless. Being thus purified, it will become increasingly content in him. And eventually we will graduate from material existence to his eternal abode.

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  1. Your illustrations are from every day life and yet illuminative Thank you. Pranaam

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  2. only a stoic can control his mind

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