26 December 2013 - QA 4

Gurudev, what is the purpose of the mind? I only see bondage and sadness associated with it. Do we really need that layer of existence?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Just let it be! That is the secret to handle the mind.

If you try to get rid of the mind, it becomes a monster. If you just let the mind be, it will vanish!
When you are not aware of the tricks and the mumbo-jumbo going on in the mind, then life is misery. This is because life is based on the mind.

When you recognize that all this is in my mind (judging people and situations, holding concepts about the self and others); you recognize that you are making a mess of everything in your mind.

'This is how it should be', or, 'It should not be like this', whenever such thoughts come, it means the mind is coming into play; this is all part of the world. This is where you need to latch onto that non-changing, abstract, invisible energy or power. When you latch onto it, you are no longer caught in the grip of the mind.

When we are in the grip of the mind, we make ourselves and others miserable.

Look back at your mind, not at others, and see what drama and pain has been caused by it. When you do that, it is no longer pain, it is entertainment. It is like a multi-channel television, a movie channel that has caused so much comedy, suspense, drama, and misery in your life.

This is the reason why all the great saints and poets always addressed their own mind, ‘Oh, my dear mind, how fascinating you are, why do you get caught up in so many things! Why do you not recognize that which is so magnanimous, and so beautiful?’ Rumi, Kabir, all the great saints, have sung about their own mind.

In The Bhagavad Gita also, it is said that the mind is responsible for your freedom and bondage.

The mind is a friend and an enemy. When the mind is your enemy, it ties you down to your past impressions and experiences, because it does not let you see things with a fresh new eye. This is because everything we perceive is through the mind; even knowledge is perceived through the mind. When the mind is your enemy, it makes you judgmental, brings misery, stiffness and unhappiness.

When the mind is your friend, it makes you relax, smile, brings happiness, freedom, and liberation. So, the mind can be our greatest enemy or our best friend.