Have you seen a crazy man, with unkempt hair and dishevelled clothes, strolling aimlessly on the street, loudly wailing or talking to himself? Instinctively, we stay away from such a person. Little do we realize that often we are no different than him; it’s just that he’s loud and obvious while our chattering happens silently. Our minds too trouble us, but the unfortunate man, who we call mad, has blown it; he just couldn’t hide his inner chattering from the world anymore.
If we trust the mind and its ever-restless proposals, it won’t be long before we go bonkers as well. The mind has the unlimited capacity to suggest, moan, grumble and throw relentless tantrums. If we take it too seriously, we’ll be ruined by it. Srila Prabhupada in his commentary on the Srimad Bhagavatam reveals the simple method to tame the wild and restless mind—neglect. Just as we would neglect a pestering roadside vendor, we need to ignore the non-stop screaming of the mind.
Easier said than done? It’s possible to free ourselves from the mind’s tyranny. We just have to increase our awareness. The first step towards that is to be conscious of our activities and thoughts. Rather than allowing ourselves to be carried away by the mind and getting absorbed in its pulling, we need to simply increase our awareness, and that’s when we become an observer.
A senior leader who inspired me on my spiritual journey, Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj, once said, ‘First be conscious then become God conscious’, implying that we need to be aware and mindful of what we are doing and thinking all the time. Instead of being swayed by emotions, if we can also identify our feelings and emotions at that point of time, we have made significant progress in releasing the mind’s sway over us. That’s when we move forward in our spiritual journey from being an absorber to an observer.
Once we have an aerial view of our inner world, we can safely go back to being the absorber. That’s when we use the mind rather than allow the mind to use us.
To be continued…