A major danger in today’s digital world is hacking, wherein unscrupulous people gain access to our valuable and confidential data.
A similar danger plagues us all in our inner world, in that a hacker can take charge of our most confidential, most valuable asset: our consciousness. Whatever we earn, achieve or acquire, we do through our consciousness. If we are not conscious, we can’t do anything, at least not anything constructive.
The inner hacker who steals our consciousness is our mind; by alluring us with pleasures or threatening us with troubles, it takes control of our consciousness and prevents us from doing important things. Instead, it makes us do things that are unimportant, unwholesome, and even unconscionable. The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) cautions that our mind can be our greatest enemy.
How can we protect ourselves from this dangerous inner hacker? By hacking it. A second meaning of ‘hack’ is ‘to cut‘, as in ‘hacking a tree.‘
We can hack the mind by cutting down its machinations into specific temptations, that is, by analysing the typical temptations by which it usually allures us. Then, we can notice how those temptations progress from proposition to domination, how they begin as whispering suggestions and end as overpowering urges. Thereafter, we can use our intelligence to devise means to check those temptations and to redirect our consciousness elsewhere, to safer territory. For such redirection, we need to take shelter of those manifestations of Krishna such as holy name, Deities, scriptural verses, philosophical insights or devotional prayers that connect us with Him, thereby protecting us from falling for the mind’s lures. Thus, we train ourselves to protect and redirect our consciousness.
Seeing our intelligent, consistent endeavour, Krishna gradually blesses us with the supreme protection of higher taste. That taste transforms our mind from a hacker to a partner in our journey to lasting fulfilment.
For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy. – Bhagavad Gita 6.6