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Easing on the Reins
Sometimes it is best to make peace with the mind. If we give the mind only harsh blows and restraint, it will find a way to revolt. As in horse riding, one has to pull the reins tightly, but if one does that constantly and too tightly, the horse will buck. We have to let the horse know who is in charge, but sometimes we have to give him a little lead and let him run. Say we are trying to control the mind from the compulsion of overeating. We know that overeating is an obstacle on the path of devotional service. But does that mean we shall force the mind to not even think of food or that we should starve our body? The tongue makes a demand to the mind for something palatable, and so we concede, "Yes you may eat, but eat only Krsna prasadam, and not too much." By a combination of predetermined decisions as to what we shall eat, as well as ignoring the mind's extravagant demands, along with a rational explanation about the aftereffects of overeating, we can avoid overeating without "killing" the mind. After all, Krsna does not say that the mind is always the enemy, but that it can become a well-wishing friend.
The compromises we allow the mind should be within the rules and regulations of devotional service. Our aspiration is for devotional service to Krsna—not sense gratification. In the beginning stages this is achieved by following "the regulated principles of freedom," in the form of various rules and regulations. In the highest stage, the devotee enters a devotional trance, samadhi, and desires nothing but loving service to Lord Krsna.