When the mind is fast, the intelligence needs to be faster

Our mind can act extremely fast – within moments, it can take our thoughts from one direction to an entirely opposite direction. We may be contemplating noble thoughts at one moment; yet, the next moment, our mind may fill us with immoral fantasies.

To curb such a wild mind, we need to train our intelligence to act faster than the mind. If we compare our mind to a restless child, our intelligence has to be like an alert mother. If a child picks up something inedible to eat, the mother has to intervene before the child swallows it. Similarly, when our mind indiscriminately picks up unhealthy stimuli, either from outer perception or inner recollection, our intelligence needs to intervene before the mind impels us to act imprudently.

How can we train our intelligence to outrace the mind? By studying the Bhagavad-gita regularly and reminding ourselves of the mind’s dangerous fickleness. Such reminders keep our intelligence alert – just as when a child is recklessly mischievous, the mother stays especially watchful. With our intelligence on high alert, we can promptly catch the mind whenever it wanders (Bhagavad-gita 06.26).

A mother can best keep a child out of trouble by keeping it constructively engaged. Similarly, the Gita trains our intelligence to keep the mind engaged in spiritual reality – specifically in the supreme spiritual reality, the all-attractive supreme person, Krishna.

When we focus on Krishna steadily, we relish a sublime security and satisfaction that pacifies the restless mind. Gradually, as our mind acquires a taste for Krishna, it becomes purified of material infatuations and energized with devotional attraction. Whereas the impure mind works against the intelligence, the pure mind works with the intelligence to propel us towards Krishna and his service.

By thus becoming vigilant intellectually and diligent devotionally, we can channel the mind’s speediness constructively.


Think it over:

  1. When did you last experience the mind’s dangerous fickleness?
  2. How has studying the Gita helped you to curb the mind’s restlessness?
  3. Which manifestations of Krishna or activities of bhakti-yoga do you find especially pacifying and purifying?

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The awe-inspiring mystery of God is to be venerated, not penetrated
Our pain is meant to be harvested, not wasted
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