The mind needs not what it heeds and heeds not what it needs
The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) cautions us that the mind can be our worst enemy.
How does the mind act inimically?
By misdirecting our attention and energy from the important to the unimportant.
This misdirection frequently takes on two forms:
1. The mind needs not what it heeds: As the mind is at present materially conditioned, it is by default directly externally towards material things in its quest for pleasure. The materialistic culture in general and the advertisement industry in particular exploits this weakness of the mind by aggressively promoting many un-necessities as sources of pleasure. The mind naively pays heed to them, letting them catch its fancy. As such fancies are insatiable, craving for them keeps the mind perpetually dissatisfied.
2. The mind heeds not what it needs: What the mind needs is not gratification of its countless fancies, but purification so that its craving for lower material things is replaced by a longing for higher spiritual things centered on Krishna. Gita wisdom with its conclusive recommendation to practice bhakti-yoga offers the necessary purification. Unfortunately, the mind doesn’t pay heed to the opportunities for purification even when Krishna makes them readily available – it stays apathetic or even averse to such opportunities.
Though the mind may stay misdirected, we don’t have to. The key to dealing with an elusive enemy is to understand its modus operandi. Gita wisdom helps us understand that the mind thrusts on us feelings that are different from our genuine spiritual sentiments as souls. This understanding helps us distance ourselves from the mind.
Further, by diligently practicing bhakti-yoga to the best of our capacity and fervently praying to Krishna for help in dealing with the mind, we can gradually check and cure it, ultimately converting it into our friend in our march towards Krishna.