Even in paradise, the mind will say, “Yes, but …”
We may know people who are habitual faultfinders. No matter how well a thing is done, they harp on some wrong that is irrelevant, insignificant or even imaginary. Being with such people is a recipe for misery.
Unfortunately, we have to live with one such inveterate faultfinder: our own mind. It finds faults with the things we have, with the way people treat us, with the way life turns out. Even when things go well, its habitual faultfinding keeps us dissatisfied. The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) cautions that the mind can be our worst enemy.
Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the story of the deadly demon Hiranyakashipu who conquered the heavens and subordinated the gods. He had luxuries akin to paradise; even the seasons bent to his whims. Practically everyone in all the worlds bowed down to him. Yet because just one person, his five-year-old son Prahlada, didn’t bow down to him, he felt dissatisfied, infuriated, frustrated. So frustrated, in fact, that he tried to assassinate Prahlada. His horrifying story illustrates how the mind can keep one incurably dissatisfied.
To avoid such disastrous dissatisfaction, we need to remember the things that are right in our life, thus cultivating the attitude of gratitude.
Additionally and more importantly, we need to understand, through Gita wisdom, the reason for the mind’s habitual dissatisfaction. Everything that the mind is attracted to reflects a spark of Krishna’s all-attractiveness (10.41). But because such sparks can never provide the satisfaction that Krishna can, the mind stays dissatisfied with whatever it has.
To overcome the mind’s habitual dissatisfaction, we need to commit to focusing on Krishna, no matter how we feel. By such sustained divine focus, our mind will become purified. Gradually, as it realizes that Krishna embodies the fulfillment of all its longings for happiness, it will become increasingly peaceful and joyful.
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