The mind makes us fight wars that aren’t winnable and wars where victory is not even definable
During our life-journey, we often have to fight against various adversities and adversaries. Among these fights, the fight we focus on is frequently determined by our mind, which can be our worst enemy (Bhagavad-gita 06.06). How does the mind act inimically? By misdirecting our fighting in two broad ways:
Fighting wars that are unwinnable: The mind often makes us resent all the wrongs that have happened to us. But many of these wrongs can’t be changed. When we keep resenting the unchangeable, we are essentially fighting unwinnable wars.
Fighting wars where victory is not even definable: The mind often gets us fighting hot and cold wars against our loved ones. Suppose they have done something that upsets us. The mind impels us to lash out against them for all their wrongdoings, present and past, actual and imagined, intentional and unintentional. The mind even impels us to attack them behind their backs. Even if we succeed in proving that they are wrong, it is we who will have to live with a humiliated partner. They will be miserable, and their misery will inevitably make us miserable. Where is the victory in that?
Does the preceding analysis mean that we never try to change anything? Some situations certainly need to be changed, as do some people’s some opinions. But deciding what to change and how to go about changing it requires prudence, which the mind sorely lacks.
To be prudent, we need to focus on the most important war: the war to stay connected with our indwelling Lord, Krishna, in a mood of loving service. By that devotional disposition, we become receptive to his guidance from within (10.10). Being thus guided, we can carefully choose to fight those battles that make things better, not worse.
Think it over:
- Are you fighting any unwinnable war?
- Are you fighting any war where victory is not even definable?
- Which war is the most important? What can you do to focus on it?
06.06 For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.
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