06.05: Did I change my mind or did my mind change me?

by January 25, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (6.5) urges us to elevate ourselves with our mind and to not degrade ourselves with our mind. This enigmatic verse indicates the volatile nature of the line of command between us and our mind – especially when we are trying to live according to spiritual and scriptural principles. If the line of command flows from us to our mind, then we will be elevated. However, if the line of command flows from our mind to us, then we will be degraded.

This volatility is also evinced in the common usage, “I changed my mind.” This usage can indicate flexibility, which has its utility and necessity. However, if after resolving to act in accordance with scriptural wisdom, we end up acting impulsively when faced with temptations, then “My mind changed me” may well be a more honest description of our response.

We can go beyond this volatility if we strengthen ourselves spiritually by connecting with the supreme source of all strength, Krishna. By borrowing strength from him, we can silence and subordinate our obstinate mind and make it act in harmony with our long-term spiritual interests. Then the mind will no longer be able change us, for we will have changed our mind.


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