06.06: The mind is predictably dangerous and dangerously unpredictable

by April 25, 2012

“I know that work is important, but I just can’t make myself do it; I am not in the right mood.” “Stop; don’t irritate me further, otherwise I will explode. I am in a bad mood today.” Sentiments like these come up periodically during our everyday routines. Because they are common, we often don’t think seriously about them. If we did, we would be chilled by what they betray: the mind through its moods dominates us and acts as our worst enemy, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita (6.6).

The mind acts inimically in two broad ways:

  1. Predictably dangerous: Based on our past experiences, we can predict reasonably the times when the mind will vex, nag, worry, seduce, disorient or discourage us.
  2. Dangerously unpredictable: The mind sometimes ambushes us. At the least expected time, we find ourselves overwhelmed by a fit of rage or a surge of lust or a wave of boredom or an attack of anxiety or a spell of depression. During such ambushes, the intensity of the emotion and the unpredictability of its onset together can overwhelm us and provoke us to self-defeating kneejerk reactions.

Through these two modus operandi, the mind can jeopardize our career, our relationships, our integrity, our spirituality, and even our sanity.

How can we counter the mind?

By a combination of willpower and divine power.

Our willpower alone can rarely stop the marauding mind. That’s why we need to use our willpower to gain access to divine power. Divine power is readily accessible through connection with Krishna by contemplation on his message and meditation on his holy names.

When we thus empower ourselves, we can not only stand firm amidst the mind’s predictable and unpredictable attacks but also march through them towards life’s ultimate destination: the spiritual world, where the messy material mind can no longer harass us.


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