The mind is like a window that unpredictably changes into a TV
Suppose we are at an acquaintance’s house and are gazing out of the window at the beautiful greenery. Suddenly we see a giant gorilla glaring at us, with hands upraised to smash the window and charge into the house. Alarmed, we look at our host and find them grinning. They press a button on the remote and the gorilla disappears.
They explain that the window is designed in such a way that it can double as a TV screen. And for amusement, they have created a video clip that shows a gorilla in the same background as the background seen through the window.
We all have a similar dual-function screen within us: our own mind. The Bhagavad-gita (15.09) indicates that the mind is like a screen that receives and integrates inputs from the various senses. It is meant to act like a window to the outer world.
However, the mind is restless and wild. That is, it can suddenly change into a TV that starts showing something phantasmagorical, say, a horror movie of all the things that may go wrong in future. The Gita (06.26) urges that wherever and whenever the mind wanders, we bring it back under the control of the self. In terms of the screen metaphor, this verse implies that we alertly discern whenever the mind starts functioning like a TV.
Additionally, if we are doing some important work, we won’t pay much attention to what’s on TV. Gita wisdom provides us stimulating spiritual engagement: loving service to the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. As we are Krishna’s eternal parts, such engagement is our eternal nature.
When we strive to cultivate devotional absorption in Krishna’s service, we become empowered to neglect the mind’s distractions – not just by seeking vigilant self-awareness but also by relishing higher spiritual satisfaction.
Think it over:
- How is the mind meant to be like a window?
- How does the mind suddenly change from a window to a TV?
- How can we neglect the mind’s distractions?
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