The mind is not inherently our enemy – it is circumstantially our enemy
When we understand how our mind frequently sabotages us in our endeavors to do constructive things, we may become averse to it, deeming it as an enemy.
However, the same Bhagavad-gita verse (06.06) conveys the mind’s potential for both enmity and friendship. Why is it important to understand this dual potential of the mind? Because we can’t get rid of our mind – it is the indispensable link between the soul and the body.
Moreover, the mind’s enmity is not because of any intrinsic malevolence, but simply because it is a creature of habit. Whatever we have done repeatedly in the past has become stored as our mind’s default settings, and it prompts us to do those things unthinkingly, even if we now understand them to be self-defeating.
If we despise our mind, we make our work of inner transformation more difficult than it needs to be. We become like a parent who despises their child. The child may be mischievous, even dangerous. Still, parents can’t afford to become averse to their child – they need to firmly yet kindly help the child to grow up.
Scriptural analysis about the mind is meant to help us grow up and assume the responsibility of becoming a parent of our mind. We are meant to train it to outgrow its childish fascination with worldly ups and irritation with worldly downs ,If we conscientiously expose the mind to positive stimuli, with our all-attractive source, Krishna, being the most positive stimulus, those positive patterns will gradually become its habits. Then, it will start prompting us towards uplifting actions instead of degrading actions. Thus, it will become our friend.
By understanding that the mind’s enmity is circumstantial, not intrinsic, we can be alert without becoming averse while engaging it in constructive and purificatory devotional activities that will change its circumstantial enmity to friendship.
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