The Mind is a Fickle Friend and a Terrible Foe


I am 36 yrs and not successful in my studies, my career, my life though I love studying. For the last 4 years I have been following Shirdi Sai Baba path. I completely surrendered to HIM & want to change myself. Now I am jobless while my wife earns. I am taking care of my kids while she works. I am suffering with my fickle mind. Is there any reason (Bad Karma) for this unreasonable situation like this? When this will end up? I took up spiritual path to experience HIM. How to overcome fickle mind?

—Ram, India


Dear Friend,

The mind, like the ego of which it is a part, is a fickle friend and a terrible foe. Through the self effort of concentration and meditation, we draw the grace to be changed and transformed. It would be more helpful to see your challenges and present circumstances not as “bad” karma, but an opportunity to overcome obstacles. In this way, you can view your challenges as a gift, given to you to become stronger.

You seem to have an active, curious and resourceful mind but an active intelligent mind spins ’round and ’round, endlessly ramified unless it can be grounded by a commitment to a specific direction and the engagement of the will in purposeful activity.

Therefore, take small steps, but each day, set your priorities and goals for the day and set your will and energy about accomplishing them as best you can. Perfection or even success is less important than simply engaging the will and making tangible efforts. Even small tasks, like the household chores which you may be having to face right now, are candidates for the developing the magnetism of success and accomplishment that is thus far lacking.

The restless mind is put to best and productive use by concentrating on one task at a time and bringing the task to completion, putting away one’s tools or other things so that all things are accomplished. The restless mind needs to concentrate and also needs the support of the heart’s feelings: that is, the desire and motivation to act towards a purposeful, tangible goal.

Thinking too much about one’s problems paralyzes the will power and inhibits creativity and enthusiasm. This is why I say take specific, small steps each day to accomplish what is needed that day. Don’t worry so much about the future, but accomplish what is in front you now with joy, high energy, enthusiasm, and creativity!

In this way your karma will change, because your magnetism will have changed. Don’t depend passively on your guru to make things happen, but before acting, ask for his inner guidance so that your actions are calm and your attitude is even-minded and cheerful under all circumstances. Give each action you take to God and guru as a bouquet of your love and gratitude.

“Banat, banat, ban jai!” Doing, doing, at last, done!”

As you employ your talents and energies in productive, useful ways (be sure to include being helpful to your wife, your family, and your neighbors, whenever you can!), you will magnetize to yourself the job that is just right for you at this time.


Nayaswami Hriman