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.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06 Text 06

Explanation of article:

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The bird may be encaged, but its desires stay engaged in the field
Take emotions into account but don’t let them be the only thing in the account

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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2 Comments

  1. An ungoverned mind flows outward to the sense objects negating the needs of the soul and incarcerating it into the material world. Srila Madhvacarya notes that ‘one who is devoted to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna the mind acts as a dear friend by His grace.’

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  2. Very cogent presentation prabhu ji….i feel i need to memorise this one by heart. Because time and again mind takes me from piller to post with its elusive desires.

    Hare Krishna

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