Who is defining our identity: our mind or our Lord?


Our mind often acts as our enemy (Bhagavad-gita 06.06). One way it acts inimically is by discouraging us whenever we attempt anything worthwhile: “You are good-for-nothing. Who do you think you are to do something that big?” The mind discourages us on the spiritual path too: “You will never find the right path. Even if you find it, you will never be able to follow it.” By such negative talk, the mind sentences us to a life of futility, materially and spiritually. 

How can we prevent such a fate? By countering the mind. More important than countering its many specific discouraging assessments is countering its foundational discouraging assumption: we are all alone in facing life’s many battles, externally and internally.

Gita wisdom assures us that we aren’t alone; we are eternal parts of Krishna (15.07) – and such precious parts that he personally accompanies us in our heart (15.15). For each one of us, he has a divine destiny, wherein we contribute in the world with our God-given abilities and connect with him for life and love everlasting. Pertinently, the Gita urges Arjuna to use his abilities to do Krishna’s will in the world and assures him of divine assistance in eliminating obstacles (11.33). 

To fulfill our divine destiny, we need to focus on how God sees us, not on how our mind sees us. This means we remind ourselves regularly: “I am a part of Krishna, and I am going to do my part, however my mind distracts me.” By such positive self-definition and persistent devotional connection, we will slowly but surely win the battles that matter and eventually become all that we are meant to be.

One-sentence summary:

If we listen to our mind’s definition of who we are, we lose; if we listen to our Lord’s definition of who we are, we win. 

Think it over:

  • How does our mind discourage us materially and spiritually?
  • What is the foundational misconception the mind thrusts on us?
  • How does Gita wisdom help us counter that misconception? 

***

06.08: For one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul is already reached, for he has attained tranquillity. To such a man happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same.

 

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