06.33-36: Our Days of Cowering to the Mind are Over
“I will never be able to manage my mind.” We may have felt disheartened like this sometimes. Especially when we observe how the mind suddenly and vehemently disrupts our plans for managing it. Again and again.
Arjuna felt the same way. The Bhagavad-gita (6.33–34) narrates how Arjuna felt that disciplining the mind is impossible. Krishna responded (6.35–36) by reassuring Arjuna that mind management is indeed impossible – but only as long as we don’t strive by the right means. When we strive by the right means, the Gita assures, what had seemed utterly impossible earlier becomes entirely possible, in fact, joyfully possible.
The right means is to synergize with a power greater than the power of the mind: the power of Krishna. We can access that power by remembering Krishna, especially by chanting his holy names. The remembrance of Krishna equips us to not only tolerate the mind, but also retaliate against it. Let’s see how.
The mind is like a big bully. In the past, whenever we have tried to fight back against this bully, we have only ended up getting a worse beating. Consequently, many of us may have subconsciously decided that the safest way of dealing with the mind is cowering to it.
But the remembrance of Krishna is the ultimate game-changer. When we regularly insulate our consciousness in the remembrance of Krishna, we realize gradually that this remembrance serves as a dual purpose: as a shield against the blows of the mind and as a mace to pound the mind. This realization is thrilling. After all, what can be more joyful that paying the bully back in his own coin?
Few moments are as life-transforming as the moment when we get the conviction: our days of cowering to the mind are over.
To accelerate this conviction if we haven’t yet got it and to reinforce it if we have already got it, we can intellectually hold on to the critical principle of mind management stated as a rhyming sutra:
When dealing with the mind,
Without Krishna, we cower.
With Krishna, we tower.