If we don’t ask “What am I doing?” we will end up asking “What have I done?”

While driving, if we don’t conscientiously keep the car on track, it will by default go off track. And we may find ourselves in a ditch.

Our mind is like the psychological vehicle in which we all are driving. And by its conditionings, it frequently pushes us off-course, impelling us to act injudiciously.

Consider the act of eating. We all need to eat, but if we aren’t cautious, we may overeat. And when our stomach gets upset or when our weight shoots up, we may regret, “What have I done?” To prevent such regrets, we need to vigilantly observe the mind’s promptings. Such vigilance is fostered by regularly asking ourselves the self-awareness stimulating question: “What am I doing?” Then we can quickly recognize when the mind starts taking us off-track and promptly do course correction.

We may be in a peaceful situation, but suddenly the mind may starts whispering about some future problem, and soon we may find ourselves anxiety-ridden, on the verge of a panic attack. If we ask ourselves “How did I go from being peaceful to being fearful?” Gita wisdom will help us understand that it was due to the working of the insidious mind – or, more specifically, due to our not working to monitor it.

Exhorting us towards vigilance and diligence, the Bhagavad-gita (06.26) states that wherever and whenever the mind wanders, we need to bring it under the control of the self. The best way to implement such vigilance and diligence is by focusing on transcendence – on the supreme transcendental reality, Krishna.

The more we relish Krishna’s sweetness, the more we appreciate the positive fruit of vigilance in focusing the mind – it doesn’t just protect us from unnecessary trouble, but also provides us access to the supreme joy.

Think it over:

  1. Can you think of any recent incident when the mind prompted you to do something that you later regretted?
  2. Can you think of times when the mind changed your mood suddenly and drastically?
  3. What is the best way to cultivate self-awareness?

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