The mind tends to do what we don’t intend to do
We may resolve to do some things, say regulate our eating or sleeping, but find ourselves doing the opposite, or at least feeling impelled to do the opposite. Why is that?
Because of our mind, which impels us to self-destructive actions, thus functioning as our enemy (Bhagavad-gita 06.06). Why does the mind impel us negatively? Because of the impressions formed on it by our past actions, in either this life or previous lives. From impressions arise impulses that lead to self-destructive actions that become habits. These habits are like our mental inclination, akin to the inclination of a physical floor.
Just as water on a floor naturally flows in the direction the floor is inclined, similarly, our consciousness naturally flows in the direction our mental floor is inclined. If we want the water to flow in the opposite direction, just our intention to that effect isn’t enough. Similarly, if we want our thoughts to flow in the opposite direction, just our intention to that effect isn’t enough.
How can we reverse the water flow? By pushing the water in the opposite direction – or better still, by reconstructing the floor so that it becomes inclined in the opposite direction. We need to similarly push our consciousness and reconstruct our inner floor. How? By practicing bhakti-yoga.
For pushing our consciousness, bhakti-yoga reveals an all-attractive object for contemplation, Krishna, who is accessible through various attractive spiritual sense objects such as holy names, deities and scriptures. For reconstructing our inner floor, bhakti-yoga connects us with all-pure Krishna, thereby purifying us and making us internally attracted and inclined towards him.
In the pre-purified stage, we strive for conscientious concentration on Krishna. But in the purified stage, we relish spontaneous absorption in him, for our pure mind tends to do what we intend to do.
Think it over:
- Why does the mind tend to do what we don’t intend to do?
- Why are our intentions alone not enough for transforming us?
- How does bhakti-yoga equip us to change the flow of our thoughts?
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