Sacrificing Mind For Body
    Published in: Eternal Solutions
    Category: Spirituality
    Dated: 11/1/2010
The Bhagavad-Gita informs us that senses are valuable, but the mind is superior to the senses, and the intelligence is even more important than the mind (3.42). So the hierarchy is intelligence, mind and senses. But how do we treat our minds? We pollute our minds due to concerns for our bodies. Many mental diseases are the direct results of excessive concern for one’s body. Seeing the larger picture also, it is not very wise to damage one’s mind on account of one’s body, since the body is left behind and the mind goes to the next body (15.8). The same people who worry too much about their bodies become desperate to leave their bodies once their bodies become too painful. Also an unhealthy mind affects the functioning of one’s body, about which one is so concerned.

So what should one do? Should one not take care of one’s body? One must because that is neither an option nor possible because of our inherent defense mechanism; we will do so naturally. However, worrying about one’s body is counter-productive and hence not advisable. What one should do is to take care of one’s body the best way possible. By this one reduces one’s suffering (6.17); suffering cannot be eliminated vis-a-vis one’s body (13.9). Once one is in the material world in a material body, pains and pleasures are inevitable (2.14). No wonder Lord Krishna advises us to be tolerant (2.14). In no case should such changes be allowed to pollute one’s mind. Even if a person does not believe in afterlife, there is no doubt that a diseased mind has the potential to damage one’s physical health badly. Therefore one should not allow one’s mind to get affected by concerns about one’s body, both real and imagined. Not surprisingly, Lord Krishna counsels peace as the ultimate test for all actions (6.3). When peace is lost, where is the possibility of happiness? (2.66)

Then how do you control the mind? The Bhagavad-Gita guides in the verse no. 6.35 that is by practice and detachment. Additionally, one must take shelter of God (2.66), because one needs a force more powerful than the obstinate mind (7.14). So what are these practices which would help one to be linked to God? Chanting of God’s names is one. Praying is another. Meditating on the forms of God is another excellent option. The Bhagavad-Gita is full of such details; one can choose the processes most suitable to one’s nature. Because sacrificing one’s mind on account of excessive attachment to one’s body is not very wise.

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