On parenting the mind

When parents decide to have a child, they know they are taking up a serious responsibility. Undoubtedly, parenting can be enormously fulfilling; yet it can also be enormously demanding. Though the behavior of children can be sweet, innocent and endearing, it can also be rude, stubborn and exasperating, especially if they think they can get away with such behavior. They may push their parents to the limits to see how far the limits are stretchable and indeed to check if there are any limits at all. If children aren’t to grow up as maladjusted adults, their parents need to train them properly.  

Even if we never become parents, we all already have a similarly grave responsibility: to parent our own mind. The mind is like a child (Bhagavad-gita 06.34). The mind is restless, jumping from one thing to another, usually gravitating toward the things that promise the most pleasure in the easiest possible way. Treading such paths of least resistance, our mind often impels us to do things that are imprudent, immoral and even implosive. While exploring its childish fancies, the mind sometimes pushes our ethical boundaries, checking how negotiable they are. And once we let those boundaries be transgressed, our mind pushes them further again and again. Till eventually we end up nonchalantly doing things that we would have earlier shuddered to even contemplate. 

When children aren’t parented properly, they are most likely to become miserable adults and make all those around them miserable too. The same applies to our mind too. It is by such pandering to the mind that some people end up addicts. 

That’s why training our mind is not just a casual choice to be adopted so that we become better; it’s a vital obligation that if neglected can have catastrophic consequences for us and those around us. 

One-sentence summary:

Train our mind as seriously as we would parent our child.

Think it over:

  • How is the mind like a child?
  • How does the mind’s behavior degenerate as might a child’s?
  • What can parenting teach us about mind management?

***

06.34: The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind.

To know more about this verse, please click on the image
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Author: Chaitanya Charan

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3 Comments

  1. MIND runs the fastest

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  2. Thank you 🙏 Prabhuji
    It’s enlightening to know this analogy and mind’s childlike propensities.
    I believe this will be very much helpful to treat the mind in parent mindset for awakening discernment and separate intelligence from mind.

    Gratitude and Pranams,
    Dharmesh

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    • yes, thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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