The mind is a tormentor, not a mentor
The mind often pretends to be our mentor. It constantly comments about what is happening, suggests what we should be doing and promises happiness if we just accept its counsel.
But whereas a mentor makes us better than what we are, the mind makes us worse. Why? Because it is usually filled with dreams and schemes for petty pleasures at best and despicable depravities at worst. Its counsel lands us in troubles and regrets.
Worse still, the mind is a taskmaster. No matter how much we obey it, it torments us unrelentingly, demanding even more obedience. When we try to resist, it torments us all the more. Being unable to endure its torment, we end up nonchalantly doing unconscionable things whose very thought would have earlier made us shudder.
How can we protect ourselves from the mind’s torment?
The first step is to unmask it – to rip off its pretense of being a mentor and see it for what it is: a tormentor. To get intellectual impetus for this unmasking, Gita wisdom provides precious insights about the nature and the demeanor of the mind. The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) warns that the mind is often our worst enemy. The more we assimilate the Gita’s insights, the more we learn to view the mind skeptically.
The second, more important step for countering the mind is to turn devotionally towards the best mentor, Krishna. Diligent practice of bhakti-yoga keeps us in Krishna’s mentorship, enriching us with higher wisdom and purer happiness than what the mind can ever offer. Devotion helps to transform not only our perception of the mind but also the mind itself. Sustained contact with the all-pure Krishna purifies the mind, ridding it of its base fantasies. Thus does the supreme mentor’s grace counter and convert the terrible tormentor.
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