The mind should do our work, not make us do its work

Suppose we need to know some information and so open the browser on our phone to visit a particular site. But while going there, suppose some window pops up and allures us with some attractive-seeming image. We click on that image and then on another and then yet another till we waste a lot of time. Instead of we doing our work, we get distracted and waste our time and energy in doing what the computer, specifically its software prompted us to do. Thus, instead of the computer doing our work, we end up doing its work. That is, instead of it aiding us in our work, it distracts us from our work.

The same danger holds true when we work with our mind. We as souls need the mind as an essential interface to connect with the body – just as we need the software to connect with the net and search on it for whatever information we need. Unfortunately however, the mind has a mind of its own. That is, the mind is a reservoir of impressions, infatuations and inclinations.

When we start doing something, the mind comes up with some other related or unrelated ideas. If we are uncritical in evaluating its ideas, we may just identify with them and go along with them – just as we might unthinkingly click on some link in a window that has popped up. And once we get carried away, we may end up doing things that we would normally have never done; we end up at best wasting our time in trivial things while far more important things remain undone. Or at worst we end up doing regrettable things that hurt our reputation and character – and even undo much of what we have done in our life. Thus we end up doing the mind’s work – and because the mind is presently largely under the control of illusion, we end up doing the work of illusion instead of doing the work of countering illusion within and without, which is what we are meant to do as aspiring spiritualists

The Bhagavad-gita (06.05) cautions us by reminding that we should elevate ourselves with the mind and not degrade ourselves. By cultivating intellectual alertness based on scriptural wisdom, we can avoid the mind making us do its work and ensure that it does our work in our constructive service to Krishna.

Be a spiritual worker, not a material shirker
We live in a broken world, but we don’t have to live broken lives
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