06.35 – Bind the blind mind

by February 11, 2013

The greatest threat to our wellbeing is our blind mind. The mind is considered blind not because it can’t see anything but because it doesn’t see anything that disagrees with its pet schemes.

Due to its selective blindness, the mind tends to be impulsive and short-sighted. It gets carried away without considering the consequences.

How do we bind the blind mind?

The Bhagavad-gita (06.35) enjoins the twin practices of cultivation (abhyasa) and renunciation (vairagya).

Cultivation refers to the practice of fixing the mind on one point. By the sustained practice of one-pointed concentration, the mind’s impulsiveness to run here and there gets curbed. Some yogis choose any arbitrary object as their concentration point. But Gita wisdom declares that the best focus object for the mind is Krishna. Why? Because he is the reservoir all happiness. So fixing the mind on him is far more satisfying than on any other object, thereby making concentration easier.

Renunciation refers to the resolve to give up indulgences that violate our moral and spiritual values. By this resolve, many of the mind’s short-sighted fantasies get exiled out of the arena of the acceptable. Of course, our resolve alone is not enough to stop the mind from fantasizing. But when we have resolved to renounce ungodly pleasures and are then confronted with the mind’s fantasies, we feel urgently the need to convince ourselves about the rationale for our renunciation. This need makes us study scripture diligently, thereby making us far-sighted and countering the mind’s short-sightedness.

Just as an animal is restrained by a rope that ties it to a pole and by a fence, we can restrain the mind by the rope of cultivation that ties it to the supreme pole of Krishna and the fence of renunciation that keeps it within the safe zone of morality.

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