When the mind throws sand into our eyes
Thieves who want to rob wayfarers sometimes throw sand into the eyes of their victims. Once the travelers are thus blinded, they can be more easily pinned down and plundered.
When we travel towards Krishnaon the path of devotional service, the mind often launches a similar devious attack on us. The sand it throws into our eyes is much subtler than physical sand. This subtle sand comprises the misconceptions and temptations that blur our vision of the clear path outlined by the scriptures. The doubts and desires that result from these misconceptions and temptations not only slow and stop us in our devotional journey. They also goad us to take a U-turn and go away from Krishna by engaging in anti-devotional actions. Thus, through this subtle sand-throwing ruse, the mind robs us of our spiritual integrity. No wonder that the Bhagavad-gita (06.06) urges us to treat the uncontrolled mind like an enemy.
Fortunately, the mind can never forcibly overpower us, as can a physical opponent. The mind can only impel; it can’t compel. So, it can’t harm us even if it succeeds in temporarily blinding us.Only when we go beyond confusion to impulsive action as per the mind’s evil schemes do we fall from moral and spiritual integrity.
To protect ourselves from the mind, we need to pre-design default action plans that we can implement whenever we feel confusedor allured or both. By resolving to never act on our impulses during such times, we can render the mind’s attack ineffectual. And by resolving to connect with Krishna through his holy names, his message, his devotees or any divine manifestation that quickly restores our spiritual intelligence and devotional taste, we can swiftly remove the sand from our eyes and resume our journey towards Krishna.
“For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.”