We are our greatest hope – and our greatest horror

We all sometimes act like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde; we act sometimes like a principled, selfless benefactor and sometimes like an opportunistic, self-centered malefactor.

And similar is our own story too. What makes us behave like this? Our mind, or more precisely, the way we respond to our mind. Our mind reacts impulsively to external perceptions and internal recollections, becoming allured by some things and appalled by others. During its roller coaster, it occasionally comes up with good ideas and regularly with bad ideas. When we uncritically buy into its ideas, we often do foolish things. Thus, we become our greatest horrors.  

The Bhagavad-gita (06.05) cautions that our mind can act as both our friend and our enemy – and exhorts us to elevate ourselves with it, not degrade ourselves. 

How can we elevate ourselves? By connecting with an inner presence that is stronger, steadier and wiser than the mind. That presence is God, Krishna, who is our greatest benefactor and is, therefore, the source of our supreme hope. All inspiration comes from Krishna (15.15), even if we don’t realize it. All ability comes from him too (07.08). He is our greatest hope. However, the responsibility to connect with him is ours and can’t be outsourced to anyone else, not even to him. In that sense of having the responsibility to elevate ourselves, we are our greatest hope. And bhakti-yoga practice enables us to connect with him, thereby empowering ourselves to resist our lower side and to release our higher side.

Rather than waiting for something special to happen in our life that will change us for the better, we need to see ourselves as our greatest hope. That is, we need to take responsibility and initiative to change ourselves. Equipped with Gita wisdom and bhakti practice, we can connect with the one who is our greatest hope – and our life will become brighter.  

 

Think it over:

  • How do we become our greatest horror?
  • How can we elevate ourselves?
  • How are we our greatest hope?

 

***

06.05 One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

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2 Comments

  1. Amazing article, Prabhuji. And it comes to me at a time when I’m fighting hard with my uncontrolled mind!

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  2. Dear Shri Chaitanya Charan Das Prabhu,

    You have nicely presented the above of which I particularly liked the following :

    1)Our mind reacts impulsively to external perceptions and internal recollections; it becomes infatuated with some things and repelled by others. During its roller coaster, it occasionally comes up with good ideas and regularly with bad ideas. When we uncritically buy into its ideas, we often do foolish things.

    2)We can connect with an inner presence that is stronger, steadier and wiser than the mind. That presence is God Krishna. Krishna is our greatest benefactor and is therefore the source of our supreme hope.

    3)And Bhakti-yoga practice enables us to connect strongly with Him, thereby empowering us to resist our lower side and to release our higher side.

    Thank you.
    Rathindra

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