Take the mind’s promises with a bucketful of salt

Whenever we see an ad promising a huge gain for a tiny price, we tend to become skeptical. Such skepticism is the understandable and desirable effect of living for years in a commercialized society out to get our money.

Yet when similar over-hyped promises of enjoyment come internally from our mind instead of externally from ads, we often cast aside our customary skepticism and get carried away.

Why do we believe our mind so uncritically?

Because we think that the mind is me. So, the mind’s ideas, we feel, aremy ideas. Once we take ownership of an idea, we become ready to do anything to implement it. Only later when the consequences show the counter-productivity, even the stupidity, of the idea do we wonder exasperatedly why we acted so irrationally. Such moments can help us see the wisdom in the Bhagavad-gita (06.06) recommendation that as long as the mind controls us, we should treat it like our worst enemy.

The first step in breaking free from the mind’s control is to become skeptical about its promises. When we are skeptical about a person, we take that person’s promises with a pinch of salt. However, given the track record of the mind in misleading us millions of times, we need to take its promises with not just a pinch but a bucketful of salt.

When we consistently feed the mind large doses of skepticism, then gradually it gives up its fanciful ideas for material enjoyment. When we also give ourselves repeated experiences of the refined pleasures of devotional service to Krishna, the mind slowly starts taking a liking for spiritual joys. Only when the mind has fully transferred its affection from matter to Krishna can we safely put aside our salt-bucket. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06 Text 06

Explanation of article:

Self-help can’t help without divine help
Krishna’s ways may not always be pleasant, but they are always benevolent

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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