To make our mind grow up, we need to realize that we are grown-up

Suppose an adult were playing in the dirt with a child, doing whatever caught the child’s fancy. If occasional, such frivolous behavior might be funny; but if constant, it would be wasteful.

Our mind is like a child. And we are often like the adult who acts according to the childish mind’s whims. Our bodily growth is automatic, but our inner growth isn’t. In one sense, we have to strive to grow up; and in another sense, we just have to realize that we are already grown-up.

To understand this, let’s first review Bhagavad-gita basics. In our inner world reside both the mind and the soul. We are at our core souls. And the soul is ageless, existing outside the scope of time, as the Gita (02.20) indicates. The soul, by its very nature, is meant for loving and serving Krishna – the most purposeful and joyful activity in all of existence. And in its pure state, the soul has the wisdom and maturity to serve Krishna. So, it is like a grown-up person.

However, at present, we don’t identify ourselves as souls; instead, we misidentify ourselves as material creatures. Perpetuating this misidentification, the mind misdirects us into pursuing temporary worldly things – pursuits that are frivolous and childish from the spiritual perspective.

To counter such childishness, we need to realize our spiritual identity, wherein we understand that we as souls are already grown-up. And the best process of realizing our spiritual identity is bhakti-yoga, which centers on focusing the mind on Krishna. When we practice bhakti consistently, the mind understands that absorption in Krishna is far more fulfilling than the best of the worldly pleasures that it gets so excited about. Thus, its interests change from worldly objects to Krishna, thereby signifying that it has grown up.

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