The mind may be like a hog in a confectionary, but we don’t have to be
We are all innately pleasure-seeking creatures. Where we seek pleasure defines us and determines our destiny. Normally, due to the influence of the culture externally and the instigation of the mind internally, we look for pleasure in material things.
If we are fortunate, we come to know through scripture about our spiritual identity, our eternal relationship with Krishna and the supreme fulfillment available therein. Accordingly, we place ourselves amidst devotional stimuli that are profoundly enriching and fulfilling.
Unfortunately, the mind, being attached to its previous conceptions of enjoyment, keeps craving for petty pleasures that experience has repeatedly shown to be impoverishing and frustrating. By its stubborn stupidity, the mind resembles a hog in a confectionary, craving for refuse amidst delicacies.
What can we do when the mind stonewalls us?
Use our intelligence to persevere, keeping in mind the Bhagavad-gita (06.05) injunction that we elevate ourselves with the mind and not degrade ourselves. Intelligence helps us remember that devotional contemplation of Krishna is eminently, unlimitedly relishable, as the Gita (10.18) indicates – even if at present it doesn’t seem so due to the mind’s misdirected obsession.
Perseverance helps us continue till we experience the truth of the Gita (18.37) declaration that what tastes like poison in the beginning will taste like nectar in the end. When we expose the mind determinedly and repeatedly to devotional stimuli, without giving it any way out, it agrees to temporarily pause craving for worldly things and give devotion a try. The fulfillment provided by devotion gradually persuades the mind that the pleasure it is craving for is available in Krishna, not in the objects it was imagining as the source of pleasure.
Once the mind becomes thus reformed, our life becomes constantly, increasingly joyful.