The mind is not your boss – don’t let it boss you
Suppose a colleague started bossing us around. We would rightly be annoyed and would counter, “Mind your own business. You are not my boss.”
Yet we hardly ever do the same thing when our mind starts bossing us around. And the mind is not even our colleague – it’s actually our subordinate. The Bhagavad-gita (03.42) outlines the chain of command in our inner world: the senses are above the body; the mind, above the senses; the intelligence, above the mind; and the soul, above the intelligence. So, the mind is not just below the soul, but is two rungs below it. It has no right to order us.
Of course, the mind is far too wily to come right out and order us. Knowing that we wouldn’t entertain such an outright usurping of our authority, it acts much more subtly and sinisterly. Subtly, it whispers and suggests and insinuates. And sinisterly, it makes us misidentify with it, thereby making us believe that its ideas are our ideas. Consequently, we don’t even realize that we are being manipulated till we end up doing something self-defeating and then wonder what made us do that. So, though the mind doesn’t boss us explicitly, it does end up bossing us essentially.
By becoming introspective, we can notice when the mind starts bossing us. But more critical than catching the mind in action is countering its action. And for that we need to wholeheartedly invite Krishna to occupy the position of our boss. When we diligently render direct devotional service to him and redefine our entire life as an offering of loving service to him, we get by his grace philosophical insight and spiritual taste. With that empowering grace, we can not only pause the mind’s bossing but also purge it of its disruptiveness.
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