The mind doesn’t know what it wants – and is ready to fight against the world to get it
When children become infatuated with a toy, they throw a tantrum till they get it. But on getting it, they play with it for some time and then start demanding something else.
Our mind often behaves restlessly, like a child. The Bhagavad-gita (06.34) indicates that the mind is fickle (canchalam), but it’s also forceful (balavad), fanatical (dridham) and frenzied (pramathi), thereby making it far more dangerous. When it becomes infatuated with something, it goads us to get it and impels us to fight against the whole world.
Such bellicosity is seen in alcoholics when they sometimes attack their well-wishers who restrain them from drinking. After drinking, when they become sober, they aspire for a better life free from alcoholism. Unfortunately, that aspiration gets swept aside when the craving for alcohol returns.
We may not be addicts, but we too are driven by our mind. At its goading, we slave to get something, even fighting against the world to get it. However, if we do get it, we soon discover that it is nowhere as enjoyable as the mind had fantasized. And soon, our mind starts craving for something else, repeating the tiresome cycle of slaving, fighting and abandoning.
Gita wisdom explains what is truly worth striving for. Everything attractive manifests a spark of the all-attractiveness of the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna (Bhagavad-gita 10.41). Whatever we are longing for, we are ultimately longing for Krishna. Not knowing this transcendental truth, the mind makes us crave and slave for one worldly object after another after another, ad infinitum.
Rather than fighting for such objects, we can use that same willpower to connect with Krishna by practicing bhakti-yoga. Thus becoming purified, we can increasingly relish Krishna’s attractiveness and ultimately fulfill our longing for lasting happiness.
Think it over:
- What four qualities of the mind make it dangerous?
- How does the mind trap us in a tiresome cycle?
- Have you ever craved for something that turned out to be anti-climactic. What can you learn from that experience?
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