We have to lose our mind to gain our soul

“Lose one’s mind” can have multiple meanings, based on literal and idiomatic usages of the word lose. These meanings can illumine various aspects of bhakti philosophy.

In common parlance, losing one’s mind means to act foolishly, as in, “Have you lost your mind?” When we practice spiritual life and turn away from worldly pleasures, materialists often think that we have lost our mind. Actually however, it is they who have lost their mind – and their soul – to materialism.

Literally, we never lose our mind, for the mind is integral to the psychophysical mechanism necessary for us souls to function in this world.

But the phrase “losing one’s mind” can also be used in the sense of getting the mind absorbed in something, as in “he is lost in the book.” We need to lose our mind in this sense if we wish to gain the soul.

The best way to lose the mind is to lose it in Krishna. That is, when we absorb ourselves in him by practicing bhakti-yoga, gradually our mind realizes that he is the source of the ultimate happiness and loses itself in him. By losing our mind in the sense of losing our mind’s infatuations with the many temporary things that it fancies as substitutes for Krishna, we focus on him and therein find everlasting fulfillment.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (06.06) states that the mind acts as our enemy; it craves for short-term material pleasures and drags us away from long-term spiritual fulfillment. The next verse (06.07) states that those who conquer the mind become situated in spiritual reality – they realize their own identity as souls and also realize the soul of the soul, the Supreme.

By thus losing the mind in Krishna, we gain the soul; we relish the lasting fulfillment innate to our spiritual nature.

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