2.63 – The mad mind’s dietary priority: Never eat anything first except the head
The mind sometimes makes us do self-defeating, short-sighted, stupid things.
By making us headless. Metaphorically, of course.
The Bhagavad-gita (2.62-63) indicates that when the mind contemplates on sense objects, it becomes infatuated by material desires. As its infatuation increases, it first tries to devour our memory and our intelligence – that is, our head.
Why is the head the mind’s favorite delicacy, its first dietary choice? Because the head is the watchdog that prevents it from devouring any other object; the head checks it from forcing us into self-destructive actions. If the mind succeeds in consuming the head, the road to fulfilling all its dietary fantasies becomes clear. When the head falls, we fall (2.63: buddhi naashaat pranashyati). That’s why the infatuated mind becomes like a cannibalistic demon while attacking the head.
At such times, the mind refuses to listen to any good advice; nothing can stop its marauding march. Nothing, that is, except Krishna. When we fervently chant Krishna’s holy names and sincerely strive to remember him, we invoke his presence in our consciousness. Confronted with Krishna’s omnipotence, the ravenous mind can do nothing except freeze in its predatory tracks. If we sustain Krishna’s memory in our consciousness, the petrified mind is left with no alternative except to beat a timid retreat.
Of course, when the head is under threat, it may itself freeze and not think about calling out to Krishna for help. That’s why in normal non-threatening situations we need to so regularly and diligently call out Krishna’s names that it becomes our reflex habit which requires no conscious decision-making. Then alone will we be able to save our head – and thereby save ourselves.
Seen in this light, our daily chanting is not a casual ritual; it is survival training.