Keep the mind on one track, don’t keep a one track mind
To keep the mind on one track means to keep our attention focused on one overarching life-purpose, whatever distractions the world may present. Those with their mind on one track can pursue goals persistently.
To have a one-track mind means to be obsessed with one thing alone, to reduce the entire world to that thing, to not be able to relate with anyone who is not interested in that thing. Those with a one-track mind come off as eccentric, obsessed, fanatical.
The Bhagavad-gita (02.41) urges us to keep our mind on one track to Krishna, to make him our life’s overarching purpose. But we may misunderstand this injunction and start keeping a one-track mind, whereby we alienate people by thrusting Krishna on them during any interaction on any subject.
To avoid alienating people, we need a more inclusive understanding of Krishna. He is not a world-denying deity – devotion to him doesn’t have to be world-rejecting. He is the Whole who has all living beings as his parts (Bhagavad-gita 15.07); he is the source of the attractiveness of all attractive things (10.41); he is the indwelling benefactor of all living beings (05.29, 15.15). When we thus appreciate Krishna’s pervasiveness, we celebrate others’ abilities as his gifts (07.08) and their work as a potential way of worshiping him (18.47).
When we learn to see Krishna even in ordinary things, we can value people where they are. We can connect their current interests with Krishna and creatively conceive ways to connect them with Krishna from where they are.
Thus, when we keep our mind on the Krishna-track, we learn to care for others spiritually in terms they can appreciate, thereby attracting them towards us and Krishna.
Think it over:
- Why is keeping the mind on one track helpful, but keeping a one-track mind unhelpful?
- How can an inclusive understanding of Krishna enable us to relate better with others?
- How does keeping our mind on the Krishna-track help us relish life?
02.41 Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.
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