--> Skip to main content

Undisciplined Mind Is Our Greatest Enemy

As long as the mind is not disciplined, it continues to act as our enemy. Unaware of this, we keep listening to this mind, erroneously thinking that we are free — free to act and think as we like. But it is not we but our mind and the senses that are free. We helplessly follow them and labour under the delusion of freedom. This delusion persists as long as we do not attempt to discipline the mind.

We know that the mind does not find it difficult to concentrate on an object or idea leading to sense enjoyment. That is because, like water and electricity, the mind too follows the path of least resistance. Our mind and senses are constitutionally directed outside.

The mind does not pose any problem as long as the enjoyment-oriented perception chain is not snapped. It begins its non-cooperation movement only when its natural course is threatened and it is made to dwell on some noble idea or a task demanding concentration.

Like water, mind too finds its own level. Water flows of its own accord from a higher to a lower level. But raising it to a higher level involves work — either lifting buckets of it manually or installing a pump, which converts electrical energy to mechanical energy and lifts water to the desired level. Even so with the mind: by its very nature it runs towards sense enjoyment, gross or subtle. Making it listen to us and focusing it on what we want, call for work. Work here implies disciplining the mind, making it follow a set routine, not letting it flit here and there or letting it brood on useless things. And who disciplines the mind? It is buddhi, the ‘I’ in us that is helplessly taken for a ride by the undisciplined mind. In fact, as long as we willingly participate in this mind senses - prompted ride, buddhi lies dormant; it does not become discernible.

Source – Excerpts from Prabuddha Bharata February 2004 editorial