Fixing the Mind
by Chaitanya Charan Das
When something doesn’t work properly, we need to fix it. We all need to fix our mind because it frequently malfunctions by getting distracted. It frets over the unchangeable, craves for the undesirable, and worries about the unpredictable. By its unnecessary and unhealthy fixations, it sabotages our capacity to deal with life’s challenges.
Still, fixing the mind on constructive things, on the things we need to do, is not easy. Dragging it from its fixations can seem like lugging a huge weight. Over time, the labor becomes too much, and we give up. And the mind promptly rushes back to its distressing obsessions.
Just as we can lift a heavy weight more easily with a lever, we can lift the mind heavy with its infatuations more easily with the lever of remembrance of Krishna. Though its fixations may be varied, the mind’s essential needs are twofold: security and pleasure. If anything threatens, it becomes fearful. If anything allures, it becomes desireful.
Krishna, being the ultimate reality, is the source of the supreme security and the supreme satisfaction. When we fix the mind on him, it first opposes, sometimes vehemently. Why? Because it is habituated to seeking security and satisfaction elsewhere. But if we persevere in focusing on him by practicing bhakti-yoga, it experiences that the security and joy coming from this divine focus are unparalleled. As this realization sinks in, the mind slowly gives up its attachments to worldly things and shifts that attachment to Krishna. A divinely attached mind focuses more readily on constructive things, making life more manageable.
No wonder the same Bhagavad-gita that acknowledges the mind’s obstinacy (6.35 - Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: O mighty-armed son of Kuntī, it is undoubtedly very difﬁcult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment.) assures that fixing it on Krishna makes our inner growth much easier (8.14 - For one who always remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Pṛthā, because of his constant engagement in devotional service.). Thus, fixing the mind on Krishna acts like the lever for fixing the mind.