Why has God created a mind that misleads us?
Transcription By: Sudha Mehta Mataji (From Bosnia)
Edited By: HG Murlidhar Prabhu
Question: Why did God create a mind that misleads us?
Answer: Everything in the world that is created is meant to fulfil the purpose of the world. And the purpose of the world is twofold. One is experimentation and second is rectification.
The soul wants to enjoy separate from God then this material world offers the soul multiple opportunities to experiment& to look for ways in which the soul can enjoy separate from god. And that’s why there are so many sense objects in this world and so many different forms of material enjoyment. And the world also serves the second purpose of rectification. That means when the soul decides that now it is enough &that these material things cannot make me happy I simply want to love and serve Krishna and return back to him then the same material world offers an arena for rendering service to the Lord and become purified.
Now the mind serves both the purposes; when we desire to enjoy in particular ways and we act in those ways to enjoy then the mind records those actions and emotions and provides us those actions and emotions again in future so that we can try out that engagement again and again; just Like in a computer when we choose a particular option then they prompt us; some sophisticated computer remember our choice and then they either make it our default choice or they prompt us to accept those choices based on our past preferences; like that, the mind is a sophisticated computer which remembers our past choices and prompts us to make those choices again. Why is it like that? Because that’s how our attempted experimentation will work out.
God has created whatever is required for us to experiment and to reform and an important part of that tool kit that is required for experimentation and reformation is the mind. The mind allows us to experiment in various ways. Actually if you want to love Krishna then we need to love him more than the things in this world. So when we want to experiment first the mind offers us lot of stimuli and memories for experimenting and later when we want to turn towards Krishna the mind acts as a screen, acts as a filter, for evaluating the seriousness of our choices, the seriousness of our intent to choose and love Krishna. We may feel that the mind troubles us but actually it is not exactly a trouble;it’s a test; now a test may also be troublesome but the purpose of the test is not to trouble us. The purpose of the test is to promote us by making sure that we are learned enough to make the right choices. So when the mind misleads us with wrong alternatives we have to remember that mind never compels us it only impels us. Compel means to force without any choice; Impel means to push in a particular direction. But we can counter push.
When Srila Prabhupada was asked if our intention and purpose is to serve Krishna then why is Maya so strong? Srila Prabhupada replied your purpose is not strong. So the mind tests the strength of our purpose by giving us alternatives to the purpose of serving Krishna. In general the tests that the mind puts us through makes us stronger if we choose Krishna and weaker if we don’t choose Krishna; but even when we become weaker that is also one way, although it’s a long cut way, to come to Krishna because through those wrong choices we realize the futility of those wrong choices over a period of time; the period of time depends on how long we keep making the wrong choices? But then we can turn towards Krishna.
Thus the mind basically offers us tests that are like multiple choice exams. So in a multiple choice exams out of the five alternatives four are wrong and one is right;the five alternatives are there out of which majority are wrong and they are so, not to trouble us but to elevate us through the test. Similarly the mind offers many wrong alternatives but along with that there is also the right alternative and as we keep choosing the right alternative consistently we keep moving forward in our spiritual life making advancement and eventually we make the right choice as a regular habit.
And then at that time, when the right choices of choosing Krishna, becomes our default habit then the mind becomes our friend. And then we can march steadily in Krishna consciousness and that is the stage when we go beyond nishta to ruchi and ashakti. At the stage of ruchi and asakti the mind is attached to Krishna in the same way as mind is currently attached to sense objects. So at that time the mind has become our friend. Hence the mind is created by God not to mislead us but to lead us according to our desires and to enable us to make the right choices over a period of time by conscious and proper exercise of our free will just as a teacher test student through multiple choice exam.