The mind may stray away; let it not stay away
“Yet again the mind has gone astray. How many times can I keep struggling against it?” This is our common reaction when we try to fix the mind on Krishna, but it strays off to thoughts of immoral pleasures and offensive actions. When the slippery mind keeps thwarting our efforts repeatedly, we may get discouraged,feeling that we will never be able to devote ourselves internally to Krishna.
Significantly, Gita wisdom anticipates and addresses our concern. One of the most stimulating features of Gita wisdom is its adeptness, even proactiveness, in catering to our spiritual concerns at our level. The Bhagavad-gita (06.26) encourages us by stating that, no matter how often the mind strays awayfrom Krishna, we have the power to not let it stay away. This verse contains the wordyato twice (yato yato nishchalati). This double occurrence hints at the two circumstances in which the mind may wander off: at various times and in different places. Whenever (yato) or wherever (yato) the mind strays off, the Gita encourages us to bring it back to Krishna.
If we abide by this guideline, we will be pleasantly surprised at how the mind will slowly but surely start mending its ways. The more we persevere in bringing the mind back to Krishna, the more we – and even our mind – will realize that thinking about Krishna is much better than thinking about anything else. Worldly thoughts seem alluring, but they soon become agitating, exasperating and agonizing. In delightful contrast, Krishna-thoughts are pacifying, energizing and enlivening.
When this realization sinks into our heart, then the mind will no longer want to stray away from Krishna. From that time onwards, our life will become constantly and increasingly joyful.
“From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the self.”