06.26 – Let’s not renew what we need to remove
The nature of the mind is to wander unsteadily and unstoppably. During its wandering it frequently goes to memories that are emotionally potent. These may be positive, that is, pleasure-giving or negative, that is misery-causing.
However, if the mind is left to itself, it usually revisits memories that are disempowering, not empowering. For example, it may go to our past immoral anti-devotional indulgences, thereby fuelling our desires for them. Reliving past immoral indulgences doesn’t free us from them; it sends us deeper into their grip. This creates an inner struggle that leaves us feeling mentally exhausted. Or the mind may revisit past hurts. Reliving old wounds doesn’t cure them; it simply aggravates them, thereby subjecting us to with draining self-pity. Either way such mind wandering tends to be at best unproductive and at worst counterproductive.
That’s why when the mind starts such revisits down memory lane, we need to stop it as quickly as possible. Such memories need to be removed, not renewed.
Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (06.26) urges us to anticipate what’s likely to happen due to the flickering nature of the mind and prepare for it using our intelligence to rein in the wild mind.
The best way to implement this is by providing the mind fresh memories. The richest among such positive memories are those centered around Krishna, for he is the most attractive and the most loving of all. The process of devotional service to Krishna brings us in contact with many spiritually stimulating objects. When we receptively receive these stimuli and cherish them, especially those that provide us the greatest spiritual enrichment and empowerment, then we equip ourselves with an arena for the mind to wander, where we can choose renew instead of remove.
From wherever the mind wanders due to its ﬂickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.