|Chapter 6||The Science of Self Realization||Verse 6|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The question may be raised regarding what type of person is the mind a friend and to what type of person is the mind an enemy. Lord Krishna answers that the living being who by spiritual intelligence and diligent effort has conquered and brought under control the aggregate of the physical body, the senses and the mind; to this being only can the mind be considered a friend as a person following an uncontrolled mind is adverse to their own best interests and is harmful hence their mind is like an enemy.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
To whom is the mind a dear friend has been mentioned by Lord Krishna in this verse. Here the word atma should be understood as being the mind and the word atmana as being the living entity. So the meaning is that the atmana or living entity achieves success by the strength of the atma or mind. In the Brahmavaivartaka Purana states: That the condition of the mind is the sole reason for human beings to be liberated from the material existence or contrarily incarcerated in the material existence. The mind should elevate a human being and not be a source of delusion and distress for the mind has the propensity to be the best friend or the worst enemy of this there is no doubt. When with diligence and determination the mind is well governed it is like a best friend and then there are no other enemies. Therefore one should amiably govern their mind by Vedic knowledge and with devotion to the Supreme Lord. The word atmana refers to one whose mind is fixed and unconquerable. But even so if the mind is not directed towards devotion to the Supreme Lord it is not likely to be helpful in the same way as having a servant who does no work is like not having a servant at all and soon the mind will become antagonistic to restraint and then an enemy.
Now begins the summation.
The individual consciousness elevates itself by the mercy of the ultimate consciousness. Lord Krishna is perpetually the best friend and well-wisher of the righteous and spiritual beings but a perpetual enemy to the perpetrators of evil and unrighteousness. This means that to one who is devoted to the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations the mind acts as a dear friend by His grace; but for all others the mind is like an enemy. In the end of the verse it is indicated that the Supreme Being aides within such a person.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The mind is only a friend to those who are able to restrain it from flowing externally outwards after sense objects; but if one is unable to subdue the mind that it will harass and aggravate one to satisfy the senses and is the worst enemy. Lord Krishna is conveying that an ungoverned and uncontrolled mind being attached to sense gratification interposes obstructions and deviations in the way which deviates and hinders one from attainment of atma tatva or realisation of the soul. Sage Parasara the father of Vedavyasa has stated that the mind itself is the sole cause of bondage in the material existence as well as the sole cause of moksa or liberation from the material existence. A mind infatuated with desire for sense objects constitutes a state of bondage and a mind free from the delusion of desire for sense objects constitutes the way to moksa. The preliminary competency to be acquired before one commences meditation will be given in the next verse.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Now a question may asked as to whom is the mind a friend and for whom is the mind an enemy? Lord Krishna clarifies that the mind is the friend to that person who having complete control over the physical body, the senses and the mind has conquered their lower nature. The mind is the enemy to the person who is unable to control the physical body, the senses and the mind due to not having conquered their lower nature. As is stated by the sage Parasara: Man's mentality is verily the root cause of either their liberation or their bondage. The mind obsessed with sensual pleasures is bondage whereas the mind devoid of the desire to enjoy sensual pleasures leads to moksa or liberation from material existence.