The mind often acts mindlessly – mind it
In common parlance, the word “mind” has multiple meanings such as attention (“Mind your head”) or intelligence (“Don’t act mindlessly”). In the Bhagavad-gita, the mind refers to the subtle inner interface between us souls and our physical bodies. This interface is filled with impressions based on our past actions, impressions that often impel us to act self-destructively.
The Bhagavad-gita (06.05) cautions that the mind can make us act mindlessly when it states that the mind can be an enemy who can degrade us. And the same verse urges us to mind the mind when it states that the mind can be our friend too and that we need to elevate ourselves with our mind.
When we let ourselves be impelled by the mind’s shortsighted notions, we act foolishly, seeking pleasure in things that give only misery. Often, the mind makes us seek pleasure in things that have given misery not just once or twice but repeatedly. For example, recovering addicts, even after resolving not to relapse, still succumb. Why? Primarily they let their mind mislead them.
Knowing the mind’s mindlessness, we need to mind it diligently. Minding the mind doesn’t, however, have to be onerous task where we live in fear of inner danger. The Gita recommends a much more positive way to minding the mind: focusing it on Krishna. When we strive to infuse our consciousness with the loving desire to remember and serve Krishna, we become permeated with a sublime happiness. Relishing this happiness gives us a higher purpose for our mental alertness – the aspiration to connect perennially with the one who is the source of the supreme happiness.
By thus devotionally minding the mind, we can offer the mind and indeed our very existence to the one who is the source and the shelter of everything, including the mind.
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