The Bhagavad-gita contains numerous discussions on controlling the mind. In the context of modernity that terminology may not be so well received. Mind control is synonymous to brainwashing – something used by dangerous cults to manipulate people and prevent them from thinking for themselves. This all stems from the popular notion that we are the mind.
The Bhagavad-gita however, explains that the mind is simply a tool. We are spirit souls inhabiting material bodies, and the mind acts as an interface between the two. It’s almost like the software that allows a person to operate the hardware of a computer. To use another analogy, the bodily senses can be compared to horses, the mind to the reins, and the intelligence to the driver. The safest and most successful journey is one where the well-informed driver confidently controls the horses by expert handling of the reins.
Thus, one who is able to control the mind can experience true freedom, guided by intelligence instead of instinct. The instinct dictates one to do what feels good now, whereas the intelligence guides one to do that which will have a good effect. Thus, the whole thrust of meditation and spiritual practice is to allow the soul to make spiritually enlightened decisions in life, where the mind becomes an instrument in their implementation. In this context, far from de-humanizing and dulling the individual, mind control allows one to break free of materialistic pressures and truly exhibit their personality and individuality.