The mind is omnivorous – it devours whatever is present and feels pleasant
Omnivorous creatures are indiscriminate in their eating; they consume whatever is available and feels pleasurable.
Our mind is omnivorous in the sensory stimuli it consumes. If any stimulus is present before it, it wants to try that out immediately. If that stimulus feels pleasant, it wants to enjoy it more and more. And if something is both present and pleasant, it forcefully rushes to consume that compulsively and continuously.
The mind’s omnivorous nature is thoroughly exploited by today’s hi-tech materialistic culture. How? First, the culture makes sensual stimuli constantly available, by just a few clicks away on our devices. Second, it doctors such stimuli, physically and digitally, to make them appear irresistibly pleasurable.
Consequently, our mind gets caught in craving to consume sensual stimuli more and more. And whatever the mind consumes, it regurgitates as desires and delusions that can degrade and even destroy us. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (02.67) cautions that whatever our senses perceive, if the mind finds that attractive, it downs our intelligence and drags us into indulgence.
Knowing that the mind is indiscriminate, we need to be discriminating to protect ourselves. How? Through a two-pronged program: from below, physically; and from above, intellectually.
Physically, we can regulate our environment so that tempting stimuli are not readily available. Even if we can’t change the mainstream culture, we can create a spiritual culture in our vicinity.
Intellectually, we can study the Gita regularly, thereby equipping ourselves to see beyond appearances. Then, we won’t gullibly believe that whatever feels pleasant is beneficent.
However, protection from temptation is not enough; we also need purification. When we connect with all-pure Krishna by practicing bhakti-yoga, gradually our mind starts relishing his remembrance and service. With our mind thus purged of its dietary indiscriminateness, we naturally shun sensual stimuli and savor spiritual stimuli.
Think it over:
- How is the mind’s omnivorous nature exploited by today’s culture?
- How can we protect ourselves from the mind’s indiscriminate consumption?
- How can we purify our mind?
02.67 As a strong wind sweeps away a boat on the water, even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man’s intelligence.
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