The mind makes us a stranger to ourselves (Gita Daily)

Published on Oct 17, 2013

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06, Text 06

If we look in a mirror and find a stranger looking back at us, we will be disturbed.

That’s what sometimes happens to us when we take a close look at ourselves using the mirror of introspection.

We all have a certain picture of ourselves: who we are and what we stand for. But the mind often makes us act in ways that are contrary to our values. The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) cautions us that the mind can be our worst enemy. The mind acts as our enemy by alienating us from ourselves, by expanding the yawning chasm between what we wish to stand for and where we actually stand. It increases this distance by carrying us away on the waves of its impulsive emotions towards unprincipled actions meant for short-term pleasures. When we repeatedly give in to the mind, we keep changing in small and big ways. During our occasional moments of introspection, we suddenly realize that we can no longer recognize ourselves — the present me bears little similarity to me.

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