06.25: The mind may stray away; let it not stay away
“Yet again the mind has gone astray. How many times can I keep struggling against it?” This is our common reaction when we try to fix the mind on Krishna, but it strays off to thoughts of immoral pleasures and offensive actions. When the slippery mind keeps thwarting our efforts repeatedly, we may get discouraged and start gloomily thinking that we will never be able to devote ourselves internally to Krishna.
Significantly Gita wisdom anticipates and addresses our concern. One of the most stimulating features of Gita wisdom is its adeptness, even proactiveness, in catering to our spiritual concerns at our level. The Bhagavad-gita (6.25) encourages us by stating that no matter how often the mind strays away from Krishna, we have the power to not let it stay away. This verse contains the word yato twice (yato yato nishchalati). This double occurrence hints at the two circumstances in which the mind may wander off: at various times and in different places. Whenever (yato) or wherever (yato) the mind strays off, the Gita prods us to bring it back to Krishna.
If we abide by the Gita’s guideline, we will be pleasantly surprised at how slowly but surely the mind will start mending its ways. The more we persevere in bringing the mind back to Krishna, the more we – and even our mind – will realize that thinking about Krishna is much better than thinking about anything else. Worldly thoughts seem alluring, but they soon become agitating, exasperating and agonizing. In delightful contrast, Krishna-thoughts are pacifying, energizing and enlivening.
When this realization sinks into our heart, then the mind will no longer want to stray away from Krishna. From that time onwards our life will become constantly and increasingly joyful.