Just as food adds to our physical weight, thoughts add to our mental weight
In today’s culture with its largely sedentary lifestyle, people often watch what they eat as they don’t want to put on unwanted weight.
Such watchfulness is good – and we need to extend it beyond the physical level to the mental level.
The thoughts we take in add to our mental weight. Just as excessive physical weight drains our physical energy and leaves us lethargic, similarly, excessive mental weight drains our mental energy and leaves us dulled and dumbed, incapable of effective functioning.
Just as we can’t stop eating food, we can’t stop thinking. But just as we need to take in nutritious food – food that brings strength without adding weight – so too we need to take in nourishing thoughts – thoughts that stimulate our inner world without burdening it.
Just as fatty food is initially titillating but eventually troubling, so too with tempting thoughts – they may give some pleasure, but thereafter they will bring a world of trouble.
Just as we don’t eat anything and everything that comes in front of us, we shouldn’t dwell on anything and everything that comes in front of us, be it physically as an object or mentally as an idea. By discerning, we can take in thoughts that promote our health.
Pointing towards such discernment, the Bhagavad-gita (17.16) urges us to cultivate satisfaction as an austerity of the mind. This implies that we discipline our mind and focus it only on thoughts that engender satisfaction.
The best such thoughts are thoughts about Krishna, for he is all-attractive and is the reservoir of all pleasure. Regularly taking in thoughts about Krishna makes us peaceful, cheerful and energy-ful. To the extent we are discerning in taking in healthy thoughts, to that extent our life will be joyful and fruitful.
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