Table of Contents
Sri Swami Sivananda has always laboured in a Divine Way, on a grand scale, for the spread of the Wisdom of spiritual India, and for the dissemination of practical knowledge on Mind and its total control and conquest. So great has been his contribution to the world’s spiritual literature, human happiness and enlightenment, and so high is his spiritual Eminence that he has been justly esteemed as at once a Patanjali, a Vyasa, a Yajnavalkya, a Sankara, an all-compassionate Saint and a dynamic integral Yogi.
This book presents a number of most helpful hints on the Nature of Mind and many methods for the successful conquest of mind. By aspirants, devotees, seekers after Truth, psychologist, and others who are seeking peace of mind and happiness in life, this work will be found highly useful.
WESTERN PSYCHO-ANALYSIS AND EASTERN BRAHMAVIDYA
Psycho-analysis is a very important subject. You will find the principles of psycho-analysis in Indian philosophical systems, too. You know that the real origin of all diseases is in the mind. From the mind the disease is communicated to the physical body. There is, therefore, not much use merely treating the physical ailment; you must go to the very root, to the mind, find out the mental ills and eradicate them there. Then you can enjoy good health. This is the burden of Ayurveda also, where it is termed as Adhivyadhi. The same thing has been said by Hahnemann also. Various impure Vasanas in the mind cause various poisons in the system which produce diseases. Nowadays all the Allopathic doctors are advised to take up a study of psycho-analysis. Then only can they understand the origin of the disease. Psycho-analysis should be introduced even in Schools and Colleges. The Teachers and Professors should all have a thorough knowledge of this science.
There is something beyond the mind too. That is the Self, Consciousness. Psycho-analysis should be combined with Raja Yoga. We must not only have a thorough knowledge of the Western science of psycho analysis, but combine with it Raja Yoga and spirituality also. Psycho-analysts should have a perfect knowledge of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga, and the Yoga Vasishtha also. They will be able to understand the workings of the mind better. Then, they will be able to do more service to the world.
Everybody should have a knowledge of the workings of the mind: What are the Gunas? How do they operate? They should have a knowledge of the Vasanas, Subha Vasanas and Asubha Vasanas; and of the three states of consciousness–waking, dreaming and deep sleep, and also find out where the mind rests during these states. All these things are necessary. After that you should practise a little Yoga, Japa and concentration. It is then that you can have perfect mastery over the mind.
In reality mind is nothing it has no existence. But it works wonders! Though it is nothing, it is everything for a man who has no understanding of the nature of the mind Mana eva manushyanaam kaaranam bandhamokshayoh–mind alone is the cause for bondage and liberation. Manomatram jagat–the world is mind only. The world is a thought. Mind alone exists in the universe. Though it is nothing, it works wonders! It plays havoc. You should understand this through the Yogic method and psycho-analysis, become a good psycho-analyst and enjoy good health, do Japa, meditation and attain the goal of life.
There is a science, the supreme science or Brahma Vidya that teaches you That knowing which everything becomes known. We should attempt to study the Upanishads, the Prasthanatraya. Then this psycho-analysis will be nothing. Try to understand the Brahmavidya. Then alone can you understand all the sciences and have perfect knowledge and attain God-realisation which is the goal of your life, wherein you will attain Samadhi and become one with the supreme Brahman.
The mind wants supreme Delight, unalloyed Happiness, Bliss unmixed with pain. That you can attain only in the Atman. Jyotishamapi tat jyotih… hridi sarvasya vishtitam–The light is seated in your heart. Yo vai bhuma tat sukham–do not forget this Upanishadic Vakya. If you want supreme bliss, you can have it in the Bhuma alone, in the unconditioned Self which is beyond time, space and causation. Study psycho-analysis; become a great psycho-analyst, and then attain your goal of life, the realisation of Bhuma!
YOGA VASISHTHA AND WESTERN PSYCHOLOGY
The Vasishtha Maha Ramayana is the earliest Indian philosophical work of the highest order on Vedanta. It is a monumental work wherein Sri Vasishtha, the great sage, taught the principles of Vedanta to his royal pupil Rama, the victor of Ravana and hero of the epic Ramayana. A study of this work raises any person to the lofty heights of divine awareness and splendour. Those who practise Atma-Chintana or Brahmabhyasa or Vedantic meditation will find in this marvellous work, a priceless treasure. Even the most worldly-minded person will become dispassionate and will attain peace of mind, solace and consolation by a study of this book. The practical hints on Sadhana are unique.
Yoga Vasishtha is a comprehensive, deep, systematic and literary philosophical work of ancient India. It embodies in itself the science of ontology, the knowledge of the Self, the principles of psychology, the science of emotions, the tenets of ethics and practical morality, discourses on theology, etc. According to this work, the world of our experience with various objects, time, space and laws is a creation of the mind, i.e., Idea or Kalpana.
Mind is endowed with creative power. Just as objects are created by the mind in the dream, so also everything is created by the mind in the waking state also. Expansion of the mind is Sankalpa. Sankalpa, through its power of differentiation generates this universe. Time and space are mental creations only. Through the play of the mind in objects nearness seems to be a great distance and vice versa. Through the force of the mind a Kalpa is regarded as a moment and vice versa. A moment of waking experience may be experienced as years in the dream. The mind can have the experience of miles within a short span and miles can also be experienced as a span only. Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation.
The mind manifests itself as the external world in the shape of pains or pleasures. The mind subjectively is consciousness. Objectively it is this universe. The mind attains through its enemy of discrimination the quiescent state of Parabrahman. The Sankalpas and Vasanas or subtle desires, which you generate enmesh you as in net. The Self-light or Parabrahman alone is, appearing as the mind or this universe.
Only those persons who are without Atmic enquiry will see as real this world which is nothing but of the nature of Sankalpa, mind. The expansion of this mind alone is Sankalpa. Sankalpa, through its power of differentiation, generates this universe. Extinction of Sankalpas alone is Moksha.
This impure mind which is filled with excessive delusion and a host of worldly thoughts, is the real enemy of the Atman. There is no other vessel on this earth to wade through the ocean of rebirth than the mastery of the antagonistic mind. Destroy this mind to its roots, by the fire of the Knowledge of the Self. This is the essence of Yoga Vasishtha.
The conception of mind in the philosophy of Vasishtha is most rational, most dynamic, and truer than any presented in Western or Eastern psychology. It satisfies the latest conclusions in modern science, modern psychology, modern theories of philosophic thought. In comparison with the wonderful psychology Yoga Vasishtha presents us, the whole of the contemporary Western psychology looks so very valueless for a practical grasp of the nature and the powers of the human Mind, for a resolution of all problems of life, which are brought to being by the mind alone, for the perfection of human life possible only by a mastery and conquest of the Mind.
METHODS OF MIND-CONQUEST
Mind-conquest by the Four Traditional Methods
A digest of Sivananda’s description of the four traditional methods of annihilating the mind, runs thus. A Vedantin destroys the mind through Self-expansion; he practises self-denial, identifies himself with the Supreme Brahman, and thus brings about the annihilation of the mind. A Raja Yogi achieves the same goal, by stilling the mind, eradicating the Vrittis. A Bhakti Yogi obtains the death of the mind by contracting and reducing it to zero; he practises self-surrender, places his mind at the feet of the Lord. A Karma Yogi slays the mind by removing selfishness and by selfless service; he practises self-sacrifice identifies himself with the Cosmic Being, and expands his heart by total elimination of all selfish desires.
Mind-conquest by Meditation on ‘Om’ withTadrupas-Tadartha-Bhavanam
A hundred methods there are for mind-conquest. Equally as many are the types and tastes of mind. To suit the different types of mind, Sivananda prescribes different methods of conquest. To approach the Infinite and transcend the mind, one of the important methods of Sivananda is the Meditation on Om with Tadrupas-Tadartha-Bhavanam. Om is the symbol of the Immortal, all-pervading Self; it is the perfect sound-representation of the timeless, soundless, infinite Reality. Sivananda says: Think of Om to the exclusion of everything else. Shut out all mundane thoughts. They may, of course, recur again and again; but you will have to generate the thoughts of the pure Self repeatedly. Associate the ideas of purity, perfection, freedom, knowledge, immortality, eternity, infinity, etc., with Om. Association with Om is to become one with the thing signified. ‘Tadjapas-tadartha-bhavanam.’ Try to identify yourself with the all-blissful Self when you think or meditate or chant Om and negate the five Koshas as illusory adjuncts created by Maya. You have to take the symbol Om as Satchidananda Brahman. This is the meaning. During meditation you should feel that you are all-purity, all-light, all-pervading existence, etc. Meditate on the Self daily. Think that you are entirely different from the mind. Constantly meditate upon the following thoughts and mentally repeat: All-pervading Ocean of Light I am, Om Om Om; Omnipotent, Omniscient I am, Om Om Om; All-bliss, all-purity, all-glory, all-joy, all-health, all-Peace I am, Om Om Om.
Mind-conquest by the Method of the Vedantic Kumbhaka
Regarding his method of the Vedantic Kumbhaka for mind-conquest, Sivananda has this to say, in his work, Science of Pranayama “Being without any distraction and with a calm mind, one should practise Pranayama. Both expiration and inspiration should be stopped. The practitioner should depend solely on Brahman; this is the highest aim of life. The giving out of all external objects is said to be Rechaka. The taking in of the spiritual knowledge of Sastras is said to be Puraka and the keeping to oneself of such knowledge is said to be Kumbhaka. He is an emancipated person who practises his Chitta thus. There is no doubt about it. Through Kumbhaka, the mind should always be taken up and through Kumbhaka alone it should be filled up within. It is only through Kumbhaka that Kumbhaka should be firmly mastered. Within it, is ‘Parama-Siva.’ At first in this Brahmagranthi there is produced soon a hole or passage. Then having pierced Brahmagranthi, he pierces Vishnugranthi, then he pierces Rudragranthi, then the Yogi attains his liberation through the religious ceremonies, performed in various births, through the grace of Gurus and Devatas and through the practice of Yoga.”
Mind-conquest by the Method of the Gayatri Sadhana
A total illumination of the inner being, and the ascension of it into the infinitude of the self-luminous Consciousness and illimitable Powers of Being, is brought about by the continuous repetition with feeling, faith and concentrated force, and the consequent unfolding of the limitless Sakti inherent in the Gayatri Mantra. This Vedic Mantra of the ancient Sages of India is bequeathed to every man as his most invaluable spiritual heritage for mind-conquest, self-conquest and realisation of the endless and eternal Light of the Brahman within and without. At length Sivananda has described this method in his special pamphlet on Gayatri Mantra and also in his magnum opus on Spiritual practices, ‘Sadhana’.
Mind-conquest by the Method of Sakti Yoga
Freedom from the thraldom of mind, matter and Maya, maintains the Sakta-guru, is impossible of achievement except through the Grace of the Endless Sakti or Power that the Divine Mother is. If the Mind is to be conquered, the Maya is to be transcended, the Matter is to be transfused into absolute Consciousness, one has to awaken the Supreme Power latent in oneself, as the Kundalini Sakti, as the Divine Mother, by Dhyana, by Bhavana, by Japa, by the force and potencies released from Mantra Sakti. One attains Siddhi or Perfection when the latent infinite Power is awakened, and the entire process and the subtleties of the discipline have to be conducted and obtained from the Guru.
Observe in these passages of Sivananda, how the mind which is nothing but a configuration of Vasanas, Samskaras, thoughts, is quite sublated into the integral experience of the infinite Whole, the infinite Light, Power and Delight: “The person who follows this Sakta method enjoys Bhukti (the pleasures in the world) and Mukti (liberation from all worlds). Siva is an embodiment of Bliss and Knowledge. He himself appears in the form of man with this life that is a mixture of pleasure and pain. If you remember this point always, all dualism, all hatred, all jealousy, all pride will vanish, and with them the mind too vanishes. You must consider every human function as worship or a religious act. Answering calls of nature, micturation, talking, eating, walking, seeing, hearing become worship of the Lord, if you develop the right attitude. It is Siva, who works in and through man. Where then is egoism, or individuality, or the mind? All human actions are divine actions. One universal life throbs in the hearts of all, hears in the ears of all. What a magnificent experience it is, if one can feel this by crushing this little ‘I’ which is another name for mind! The old Samskaras, the old Vasanas, the old habits of thinking, stand in the way of your realising this Experience-Whole. When the Kundalini Sakti sleeps, man is awake to the world, the mind begins to work, and he has objective consciousness. When Kundalini Sakti awakes, man sleeps, loses all consciousness of the world and body and becomes one with the Divine, attains the Knowledge of the Imperishable Absolute.”
Mind-conquest by the Method of Will-culture
From pages 30, 85, 173, 180 and 182 of this book let us compile here those relevant passages of Sivananda that present to us his method of will-culture for mind-control. Mind-control is extremely difficult.
But, it has to be done. Therefore Sivananda says on page 36, “You will have to struggle hard for a long time with patience and perseverance. Nothing is impossible for a Sadhaka who has an iron will and a strong determination.”
When a doubt arises, “whether or not I succeed in controlling the mind”, it must be dispelled, Sivananda says, by direct suggestions and affirmation such as: “It is true: I will succeed. There is no doubt of this.” “In my dictionary, in my vocabulary, there are no such words as ‘can’t’, ‘impossible’, ‘difficult’, etc. Everything is possible under the sun.” “Nothing is difficult when you strongly make up your mind. Strong determination and firm resolution will bring sanguine success in every affair or undertaking, and particularly so in the conquest of mind.”
“Do a thing which the mind does not want to do. Do not do a thing which the mind wants to do. This is one way of developing the will and controlling the mind.”
“Whatever object the mind likes much, must be given up. Whatever object the mind dwells upon constantly, thinks about very often, must be abandoned. If you like brinjals or apples much, give them up first. You will gain a great deal of peace, will-power and control of mind.”
“When the mind is longing for a particular food or drink, when the thing is right in front of you, when you are just putting out your hand to grasp it, do not touch it. Stop and say, ‘I am not a slave of any particular food or drink or any object. I can leave it any moment. My will is powerful now’.”
“When the mind is enraged and about to smite the enemy, check yourself and say, ‘I am no victim of anger and hatred’. Thus the mind is controlled by the development of an invincible will.”
Mind-conquest by Higher Philosophical Thinking
The true philosopher’s mind is like a shining crystal. It is able to grasp at once the nature of the Reality. The moment such a person sits for meditation, his mind will fly into the depths of being. He will not experience any tossing of mind or any disturbing factor, for his mind has been already purified by the fire of philosophical thinking. This higher philosophical thinking Sivananda recommends to those that are intellectually gifted, for mind-control.
Mind-conquest by Diverting One’s Attention
There is another method of Sivananda, for mind-conquest which he recommends to those that constantly complain of the temptation and desires that they encounter in such large numbers. When you are presented with an object of temptation, when a desire arises, do not think about it, divert your attention, let it sink back. Do not spin your imagination. It is imagination that strengthens the Vritti. Do not identify yourself with the desire, and if the worse comes to the worst, if the desire is strong, be stubborn, do not submit to it, divert your attention. Try always to nip the desire in the bud. When a desire comes in the form of a ripple, try to liquidate it then and there itself. But if due to lack of your vigilance it takes the form of an impulse, see that it is not fulfilled. Do not make Chestha outwardly. If a desire comes, “I should go and gossip,” say, “No. I will not allow the body to move.” If the body does not move, the mind cannot fulfil its desire, and ultimately the reverse process will happen, and the desire will sink back into the mind, and there will be control of mind, and calmness.
Mind-conquest by Japa Yoga Sadhana
On Japa as one of the most powerful methods of mind-control, we have this inspiring guidance of a many-sided nature, from Sivananda: “Japa of any Mantra destroys the impurities of the mind, makes the mind turn inwards, induces Vairagya, helps concentration and eventually leads to control of mind and the attainment of God-consciousness. In this Kali Yuga, the easiest way for controlling the mind and attaining Moksha is Kirtan or singing the Name of the Lord.”
Elsewhere Sivananda speaks of the advantage of Dhyana or meditation on the Form of the Lord, side by side with the repetition of the Name or the Mantra of that Lord. “Side by side with Japa, think of the Lord as present before you and picture His entrancing and beautiful form. This adds tremendously to the efficacy and power of your practice. The mind is fully engrossed in the form of the Lord by this practice and there is no chance for the mind to get hold of the objects of senses which are like straw or chaff before the bliss of the presence of God.”
Mind-conquest by the Method of Prayer
Not demanding any feats of high intelligence nor gifts of eloquence, for its effective exercise, except a little devotion, a spirit of reverence, a little faith, a little earnestness, prayer brings a hundred rewards, exerts a tremendous influence on the whole of the nature of man, and brings the mind into purity and tranquillity. Sivananda finds prayer one of the best methods of conquering the mind. His only condition for real praying is that prayers should be raised in sincerity, must proceed from the heart, must be for divine light, purity and spiritual guidance, and not for selfish ends or petty gifts and worldly prizes and goods.
Prayer, Sivananda says, is a mighty spiritual force. It elevates the mind, destroys its impurities, keeps it in tune with the Divine Being. Sincere devotees realise the importance, the power, the value and the splendour of prayer. A Yogi can actually visualise, through his inner eye, the dynamic and beneficial effects produced on the mind by prayer. Get up in the early morning and repeat some prayers. Pray in any manner you like. Become as simple as a child; open freely the chambers of your heart. You will get everything. Namadev prayed and Vittal came out of the image to eat his food; Ekanath prayed and Lord Hari showed His form with four hands; Damaji prayed and Lord Krishna played the part of a menial in paying his dues to Badshah. Draupadi prayed fervently, Lord Krishna ran from Dwarka to relieve her distress; Gajendra prayed ardently, Lord Hari appeared with a disc to protect him. It was Prahlada that rendered cool the boiling oil when it was poured over his head; it was the power of prayer of Mira that converted the bed of nails into a bed of roses, cobra into a flower-garland. In temptations, in despondency, in trials, in every mood and condition of mind, prayer affords the best relief, and if tried gives itself as the easiest means of transforming the entire inner nature and establishing a perfect mastery over the mind.
Mind-conquest by the Method of Sankirtan Yoga
Of particular interest to the modern temper is the case Sivananda makes out in a chapter on Sankirtan Yoga, in his Sivananda Yoga Samhita for Sankirtan as the easiest and the cheapest method of mind-control and God-realisation. “Sankirtan Yoga is the easiest, surest, quickest, safest, cheapest and best way for conquering the mind and attaining God-realisation in this Kali Yuga. There is infinite Sakti in the Lord’s Names. It will remove all impurities from your mind. Vedantins say that there are three kinds of obstacles to Self-realisation–Mala, Vikshena and Avarana. To remove them they prescribe Nishkama Karma, Upasana and Vedantic Nididhyasana. This Sankirtan alone can achieve all these together. Sankirtan removes the impurities of the mind (Mala); it steadies the mind and checks its tendency to vacillate (Vikshepa); and ultimately it tears the veil of ignorance (Avarana), too, and brings the Sadhaka face to face with God.
“When the Divine Names are chanted and sung, a significant change takes place in the entire organism of the person chanting and singing. There is a twofold effect produced by the utterance of the Divine Name. The Mantra-sakti or the power generated by the juxtaposition of the letters of the Mantra and by the utterance of the same sets the whole nervous system of the person in vibration, a vibration which brings about rhythm, harmony and equilibrium in it. When the system is in such a harmonised state, the breath, too, flows rhythmically and the mind rests in a state of tranquillity. It is in this peaceful state of the mind that the divine consciousness is reflected and the supernal joy of the Eternal is experienced. Secondly the idea of the Divine being generated in the mind at the time of the repetition of the Name gives a direct fillip to the mind in its attempt to unite itself with the Divine Being.
“The nervous system is in a state of perfect harmony when the vibration produced by the chanting of the divine Name pervades it with a force of integration. The Divine Name is not merely a sound; it is a force which can overcome all the distractive forces in the human system and render it pure and make it fit for the experience of Sattva, the highly transparent medium through which the Immortal Being is reflected.
“What a mighty power is latent in the Divine Name! Only those who are endowed with devotion know it. The scientists now declare that sound-vibrations have such a tremendous force that they can direct this power to silk fabrics and cleanse them of all dirt more thoroughly than a washerman can. But they have yet to realise that vibrations produced by the singing of the Name of God will cleanse their very hearts, will purify their very souls, will remove all the invisible dross accumulated in their minds since many births.”
Mind-conquest of Raga-dvesha and Anukula-Pratikula-Jnana
Raga-dvesha is the current of attraction and repulsion, likes and unlikes, lover and hatred, constitutes the real mind, the whole of the wheel of Samsara, the cycle of individual’s births and deaths, the real chain of Karma. Through Raga you may be attracted to anything, a man or a woman, cat or a dog, a stick or a clothing, a house or a town, a view or a religion, and commit virtuous or vicious actions, entertain fears of losing the object of your liking, become a victim of anger when something stands between you and the object of your liking, and reap pleasure or pain. Through Dvesha one may dislike anything, a man or a woman, a cat or a dog, a stick or a clothing, a house or a town, a view or a religion, and involve himself in one after the other progeny of ignorance, and reap sorrow. So long as this current of Raga-dvesha persists in an individual, his mind will remain agitated, restless, peaceless.
Sivananda says, “The waves of Raga-dvesha are ever disturbing the mind. One wave of Raga-dvesha arises in the mind and subsides after some time. Again another wave rises and so on. There is no balance of mind; there is no possibility of control of mind. Wherever there is pleasure, there is Raga, wherever there is pain there is Dvesha. Though the objects that give pain are far away from you, the memory of the objects will give you pain but not the objects. Hence try to destroy the Raga-dvesha currents by developing cosmic love and Brahma-Bhavana or Isvara-Bhavana in all objects. Then the whole world will appear to you as the Lord in manifestation. The world or the worldly objects are neither good nor bad, but is your lower, instinctive mind that makes them, good or bad. Remember this point well, always. Do not find fault with the world or objects. Find fault with your own mind.” Destruction of Raga-dvesha means destruction of the mind or the ignorance and the idea of the world.
Do not come under the domination of these two currents of Raga-dvesha. Crush them. Develop the opposite virtues, viz., Vairagya or dispassion and Cosmic Love. Vairagya will crush Raga; cosmic love will crush Dvesha. Kill Raga by the sword of Vairagya (non-attachment or dispassion or indifference to sensual objects) and Dvesha by developing cosmic Love. The cultivation of virtues like Maitri (friendship), Karuna (mercy), Mudita (complacency) and Upeksha (indifference) can only thin out or attenuate Raga-dvesha. The fire of devotion also can burn Raga-dvesha in toto.”
Excellent matter on the nature of this problem of Raga-dvesha, and the other methods of resolving it, are given on page 160 of this book.
Mind-conquest by Anvaya-vyatireka Method
Every object in the universe, every person on earth, all that we see and experience with the senses, are constituted of Names and Forms, Namarupa. Names and forms are mental creations, they are not eternally existent in their own right: they are products of Maya, of mind. What is eternally self-existent is the infinite Reality which gives itself to us as the Infinite Existence, Infinite Consciousness or Knowledge, and Infinite Delight. This alone is everywhere and is all. Every object (and the mind itself) has five aspects: Nama, Rupa, Asti, Bhati, Priya–Name, Form, Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. Names and forms, as we have noted, are illusory. They belong to Maya, the relative plane also called the non-existent Being or the non-Being. Asti, Bhati, Priya are the very nature, the very Svarupa of the infinite Brahman. They are real, Asti is Sat aspect of the Reality. Bhati is the Chit, or the Consciousness or the Knowledge aspect of the Reality, Priya is the Bliss, the Ananda aspect of the Reality. With persons and objects and with all that we see names and forms, Nama-rupas differ; but the Asti, Bhati and Priya are the same in all. They are the attributes of the Infinite Being. Asti, Bhati, Priya are Anvaya. Names and Forms are Vyatireka. “Through Anvaya-Vyatireka Yukti”, Sivananda says, “you will have to eliminate, for the conquest of the mind and the realisation of the Absolute, the name and form, and realise or take out into yourself the Asti, Bhati, Priya Atman that is hidden in all objects and persons. Reject names and forms. Identify yourself with Asti, Bhati and Priya in all things, in all persons. Through constant thinking and force of meditation, the names and forms will vanish. Asti, Bhati, Priya alone will shine everywhere. Practise this always, even while you are at work.”
Mind-conquest by the Neti-Neti Method
Not different in particulars, is the method of Neti-Neti doctrine for mind-conquest and Self-realisation. Sivananda describes this method as follows: “This is the method of negation. The Upanishads proclaim, this physical body, is not the Brahman, this Prana is not the Brahman, this mind is not the Brahman, this Buddhi or the intellect is not the Brahman, this Anandamaya Kosha is not the Brahman. Therefore the balance left after negating or sublating these false, illusory, limiting adjuncts, which are superimposed on the Atman or Brahman, is the Suddha, Vyapaka, Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman. You are in truth, in reality this Brahman. Realise it, and be free.”
Mind-conquest by the Laya Chintana Method
Sivananda explains the Laya Chintana method of mind-conquest, thus: “Laya means involution of the effect into the cause. There are three kinds of practices. The first is, that you will have to think that the mind is merged in Buddhi, Buddhi in Avyaktam, and Avyaktam in Brahman. The second is, that you should think that the earth gets merged in water, then water in fire, fire in air, air in Akasa (ether) and Akasa in Avyaktam and Avyaktam in Brahman. The third process is that you should think that Visva (microcosm) gets merged in Virat, (macrocosm), Taijasa in Hiranyagarbha, and Prajna is Isvara. The Kutastha becomes one with Brahman. Thus here you see that all the external elements or the attributes gradually get merged in the One common source, i.e., the Brahman. You go back to the original source, the Brahman who is the womb for all minds and Panchabhutas. Finally you rest in the Brahman alone.”
Mind Conquest by the Pursuit of Any Ideal Recognised by You as the Highest
There is this inspiring little passage on the value of the pursuit of an Ideal for mind-conquest, in Sivananda’s book, Sadhana: “Abandon the eat-drink-and-be-merry policy. Look always upwards and onwards. Have an ideal before you. Live up to it at any cost. You can become as great as anyone else. Give up this inferiority complex. Give up the superiority complex also. The idea of inferiority and superiority is born of ignorance. Inferiority complex will cause worry. Superiority complex will generate pride and vanity. Put up the switch of the eternal Light in the innermost chambers of your heart. Keep the Divine Flame burning steadily. Feed it regularly. Through your whole heart and soul in spiritual practices, or practices that will lead you to the realisation of the Ideal you have framed for yourself. Waste not even a single minute. Be persistent and methodical in your practices. Marshal up all your forces properly and powerfully even as the Lieutenant-General in the army marshals up the armies on the battlefield. All miseries will melt away soon. You will shine as a glorious Jivanmukta with the highest realisation. All sense of separateness, distinction, duality, difference, will vanish out of sight. You will feel that there is nothing but Brahman or God. You will feel oneness and unity everywhere. What a magnanimous vision you are blessed with! What an exalted state, what a sublime, soul-stirring and stupendous experience will be yours! You will get dumbfounded. This state is indescribable. You must experience it by direct intuitive perception.”
Mind-conquest by the Method of Mumukshutva or Strong Yearning for Liberation
Sivananda always insists on the possession of the burning desire to be spotlessly pure and to realise the Divine in this single-minded devotion to the Divine. For immediate mastery over the mind, the method of Sivananda is reflected in the condition of yearning, burning, longing in which he requires the aspirant to maintain himself. “If the clothes on your body catch fire,” Sivananda writes on page 36, “you run breathlessly towards water for cooling yourself. You must feel like this from the burning of the fire of Samsara. You should feel that you are roasted in the fire of Samsara, Mumukshutva or strong yearning for liberation will dawn in you.” The result is complete mastery of the mind.
Another form of this method of Mumukshutva is implicitly found formulated in this on page 81: “Destroy the vicious desires through virtuous desires and destroy the virtuous desire also through one strong desire–Liberation.”
Mind-conquest by the Method of Dietetic Discipline
The chemical components of different articles of food, vibrate at varying rates. The intake of certain foods set up discordant vibrations in the physical body, throws the mind-stuff into a state of restlessness and disequilibrium, renders the very living of spiritual life, difficult. Mind-control is made an easy affair by strict regulation of food.
Speaking of the method of dietetic discipline for mind-control, Sivananda says at page 82, “Sattvic food (milk, fruits, etc.) calms the mind; Rajasic food (meat, alcohol, etc.) excites the mind.” “Avoid pungent, hot dishes. Take light, nutritious, simple vegetarian food. Avoid heavy and late night meals.” (p. 57.) “Too much salt, too much chillies, too much tamarind, make you impulsive and cause anger. Hence avoid them, or take very small quantity of these articles.” (p. 233.) “The subtle part of food forms the mind, is transformed into the mind. Purity of mind depends on the purity of food.” (p. 161.)
Mind-conquest by the Method of Abhyasa or Constant and Protracted Practice of Concentration on a Single Object or Figure or Dot
“The effort to steady the impetuous mind by any means is Abhyasa. Concentrate the mind on a black dot or any figure. The mind will run away; it is its habit. Gradually withdraw it from the objects and try to fix it at the lotus-feet of the Lord. The mind will run away one hundred times today; but after three months of practice, it would not run for more times than 96; after some more months it would be 70, and so on. Thus would you steadily progress and it will soon become one-pointed and you can fix it on the Lord and meditate for a long time Sa to deerghakala-nairantarya-satkaraa-sevito dridhabhumih. The remedy to mind-wandering is Abhyasa–Abhyasa continuously and regularly for a long time. Ultimately you will realise your identity with the Supreme Soul. If you practise for two months and then leave it off, you won’t be able to ascend to the summit. Regularity is of paramount importance. Let it be even for ten minutes, you must be regular in your practice daily.” In this book, light on the method of Abhyasa is thrown at pages 48, 51, 84.
Mind-conquest by the Method of Dosha Drishti, or the Constant Perception of the Limitations of Life
“The mind is filled with sensual Samskaras. It is very difficult to wean the mind from the objects. Through Dosha Drishti or the finding out of the defects in sensual life, you can develop dispassion and control the mind. The method is: remember the description of the world given by the Lord in the Gita, Anityam Asukham Imam Lokam, Asasvatam Duhkhalayam–this world is impermanent, full of sufferings, the abode of sorrow. All the sensual pleasures appear to be pleasant in the beginning, but in the end they are like poison.”
“Remember the Vairagya Dindima of Sri Sankaracharya: ‘Kamah krodhascha lobhascha dehe tishthanti taskarah, jnanaratnapaharaya tasmat jagrata jagrata.’ These are the thieves lurking in the mind; the jewel of wisdom is plundered by these dacoits. Therefore wake up, O man of this Samsara. ‘Mata nasti pita nasti nasti bandhuh sahodarah, artham nasti griham nasti tasmat jagrata jagrata.’ Wake up; life is waning; you are caught up in this wheel of Samsara. You are roasted by various kinds of anxieties and expectations. You don’t realise, but this life is gradually waning away. Constantly dwell on these thoughts; you will- gradually control the mind. Read Vairagya Prakarana of the Yoga Vasishtha.” Thus runs a portion of the sermon Sivananda delivered in 1954. It relates to the method of Dosha Drishti for the conquest of Mind. This piece of instruction has to be related to the one on page 67 of this book, which reads thus: “The physical body has no beauty of its own; the beauty is attributable to the light that emanates from Atman. The nasty body with oozing discharges from nine gutters composed of the five elements is a Jada Vastu and Apavitra. Always entertain this idea. Have a clear-cut, well-defined, image or picture like this. You will conquer passion and mind, by such a mental drill.”
Mind-conquest by the Cultivation Even Under the Worst of
Provocations, Insults and Injuries, a Composure Comparable to Inanimate Nature
For an effective control of mind, Sivananda has evolved a simple Sadhana in chapter 79. The method consists in the cultivation even under great provocations, insults, injuries, a composure comparable to inanimate Nature. “Become a block of stone,” he says. What does he mean by this is that we should refuse yielding a reaction to the worst of experiences.
Mind-conquest by the Uses of Adversity and the Rewards of Suffering
The human mind refuses to surrender its inveterate habits and gross limitations, unless battered by circumstances and brought into the disciplines of suffering. Comfort and coziness settle the mind in lazy complacency. Stress and strain stir its powers; suffering and sorrow render it sensitive to the higher realities that never fail it. Pain and privation purify the heart, develop will-power and discipline the entire nature; they aid the mind examine itself, take an inventory of its resources, and establish a mastery over its own weaknesses.
Easy life engenders faith in fictions. Nothing can disenchant and disillusion the human mind, of the fictions and pleasures that perpetuate the forces of ignorance, than severe knocks and blows of existence. Not for nothing the great in religious history have prayed for suffering. The Stoics sought it to prove by their lives the greatness of their Idea; the devotees resort to it to aid them pursue with single-minded devotion the Goal of their Love. The Vedantins ask for it to illustrate the truth that they are the body-less, mind-less, self-contained, all-sufficient Reality. The true religious individuals fast and observe vigil. The monks robe themselves in poverty and live by alms.
With a view to throw more light on the value of pain and suffering for the control of mind, Sivananda says, “It is the chill penury that turns the mind of man towards God. Knocks and blows of severe type wean the mind of man from sensual objects and turn it towards the path of spirituality.”
Always presenting themselves in disguise, pain and suffering are blessings. They are the best teachers that impart the most valuable lessons; they purify man, heighten the powers of endurance and patience, transform his nature, alter his angle of vision. Sivananda says that pain and poverty, evil and misery, censure and blows teach more than wealth and pleasure, praise and honour; they produce immediately the power of discrimination and the spirit of renunciation, Viveka and Vairagya; they lit up the spiritual fire in the heart of man; and make the most difficult of conquests, the conquest of mind an easy affair.
On page 128 of this work, Sivananda says: “Negate your ego; deny your separateness; efface yourself; suffer pains and sacrifice pleasures. Deny the wants of thyself; it asks for many a cup of poison. It is a moth that falls into the fire thinking it is pleasant. It is a child that walks into the well. Humble thyself, annihilate thyself, if you wish to Live.”
And, on the value of self-punishment for mind-conquest Sivananda has this passage on page 211: “Discipline the mind, tell the mind: ‘O Mind, Be steady. Be fixed on one idea. Absolute is the Only Reality’. If it wanders, if it wavers, go to a lonely place, give two or three sharp slaps on your face. Then the mind will become steady. Self-punishment helps a lot in checking the wandering mind. Frighten the mind as if you will beat it with a whip or rod, whenever it wanders from the Lakshya, whenever it entertains evil thoughts.”
Mind-conquest by Control of Speech
Thought and word are intimately bound up with each other; mind and speech are inextricably related to one another. The culture of the one results in the culture of the other; the control of the one is the control of the other. Sivananda prescribes Mouna Sadhana, or the observance of suspension of speaking, the control of speech, the preserving of silence, for a few hours every day, and for a longer time on special days. This discipline helps one use measured, effective words during speaking, it conserves the energy that is wasted in idle talking and worldly gossiping; it helps one think much, and accomplish much, attain peace of mind.
Sivananda says, “The organ of speech brings great distraction of mind. Control of speech really means control of mind.” When the speech is measured, sweet, and full of wisdom, it makes for serenity, peace, happiness of mind. The discipline of speech, is one of the main methods of controlling the restlessness, the distractions, the oscillations of mind. Speech-control is mind-control. Any clam reflection on the results of real observance of Mouna reveals that control of speech conserves energy, controls emotions, develops will-power, checks irritability, exercises a soothing influence on the brain and the nerves, favours introspection and self-analysis. Rightly then does Sivananda say, “If you control this Vak-Indriya, you have already controlled half the mind. Vang-Mouna is only a help to the attainment of Maha Mouna wherein the mind rests in Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman and all thoughts are completely annihilated.”
Mind-conquest by Kabir’s Method of “Detach-Attach”
“Somebody asked,” Sivananda writes, “Kabir, ‘O Sant Kabir! What are you doing?’ Kabir replied, ‘I am detaching and then attaching, as is done in the railway junction. Bogies are detached from one train on one line and then attached to the other train on the other line. Even so, I detach the mind from sensual objects and attach to the Atman or Brahman, the all-pervading Satchidananda Paramatman.’ Follow Kabir’s method. Detach and attach. This same process is mentioned by Lord Krishna, ‘As often as the wavering and unsteady mind goeth, so often reining it, let him bring it under the control of the Self’.”
Mind-conquest by Sivananda’s Method of “Remember-Forget”
The guidance on this method of “remember-forget” Sivananda gives thus: “Why have you forgotten your essential nature, Brahman, the Satchidananda Paramatman? Because, you are remembering always your body, wife, children, world, objects, etc. Now make an attempt to forget the body, wife, children, to forget the surroundings, to forget the past, to forget what you have learnt. Then you will remember only Atman, Brahman. Forgetting is an important Sadhana for mind-conquest.”
Mind-conquest by Psychological Self-examination
“Cast X-ray eyes upon your own inferior nature. Introspect, and scrutinise your motives. Examine the factors that cause your outer behaviour, from the states and conditions of your mind,” Sivananda admonishes.
This guidance is given as a measure in the control of mind, because no man can easily acquit himself of the terrific havoc wrought in himself by the hidden animal impulses and common human emotions. Very strong cross-currents of likes and dislikes, love and hatred sway his mind. Secret longings and veiled desires destroy his happiness and ruin his peace and wisdom. Passionate impulses lurk somewhere in the crannies of his nature; ungratified wishes lie in wait for a gross manifestation and render his senses ungovernable, his circumstances unmanageable, his wisdom feeble. Understand this inner psychological nature, thoroughly. Survey it. Examine it. Scrutinise it. This examination is almost half the cure.
After a thorough grasp of the inner inferior nature that renders the mind so wild and unruly, fraught with the potentialities for errors and misery, sit not idly nor resign your will to fate. Start vigorous Sadhana right now. Throw out completely the whole of this inner dross. Bring about a radiant transformation of the entire inner nature. Sivananda says, “A fanciful interest in the spiritual path is of no use. Take recourse to dynamic and many-sided Sadhana.” Sivananda says, “Relentless effort to live a spiritual life is very necessary. The angle of vision has to be changed. Regular Sadhana will keep the mind always clean and conquered.”
Mind-conquest by the Practice of Meditation
“Your mind swings like a pendulum between a tear and a cheer, between fleeting pleasure and pain. Regular and constant meditation can stop this swinging of the mind, and bestow on you unalloyed felicity. Therefore, meditate. When you try to fix to the mind, only then does it become restless, and the thoughts which you never dreamt of before enter the mind. Your enemy becomes more violent only when you begin to attack him. Even so, are the thoughts. Gradually they will lose their vigour and die. Persist in your practice of meditation. Be regular in your meditation. You will attain success.”
Let us relate the above matter on meditation to the one on page 108,. “As gold purified in crucible, shines bright, so constant meditation on Atman makes the mind pure and effulgent with spiritual lustre. A purified mind can grasp anything. It can dive deep in the subtlest subject, and understand even transcendental things.” “Meditation is an effort in the beginning. Later on it becomes habitual and gives bliss, joy and peace. Only when you have practised preliminary stages of Sadhana such as Yama, Niyama, you will obtain the full benefit of meditation. Meditation is the key to spiritual illumination, to unfold the divinity or Atman hidden in all names and forms.” And on page 112 we have this piece of advice: “By constant meditation on the Self, one attains liberation. Meditate. Root yourself in Divinity. In meditation, shut down the conscious mind, that part of your mind which thinks of the external world, your body and its wants. Meditation on Brahman is the highest form of religion. You can realise Brahman when you have stillness or serenity of mind. The meditative mood comes and goes. Restrain the senses. Be eternally vigilant. Meditate regularly in the early hours of the morning.”
WESTERN AND INDIAN PSYCHOLOGY–COMPARATIVE STUDY
Each of the senses of man, executes only one function. Eyes can only see; ears can only hear; tongue can only taste; skin can only touch; nose can only smell. But the mind can see, hear, taste, touch and smell. All, the sense-faculties are blended in the mind. You can see and hear directly, through the mind by Yogic practice (clairvoyance and clairaudience). This blows out the Western psychological theory of perception. Mind and Indriyas are related this way; the Indriyas are a prolongation of the mind. Mind is a mass of Indriyas. Mind is a consolidated Indriya. Indriya is mind in manifestation. Indriya represents backwaters. The desire in the mind to eat has manifested as tongue, teeth and stomach. If you can control the mind, you can control the Indriyas. If you have controlled the Indriyas, you have already controlled the mind.
According to Western medical science, light vibrations from outside strike the retina and inverted image is formed there. These vibrations are carried through optic tract and optic thalamus to the centre of vision in the occipital lobe of the brain in the back part of the head. There, a positive image is formed. Only then does one see the object in front of one. The Vedantic theory of perception is that the mind comes out through the eye and assumes the shape of the object outside. It is only the individual mind that sees object outside. If you see the same objects through a telescope, they appear different. If you can see with the mind directly, you will have a different vision altogether. Hiranyagarbha or Karya Brahman has a different vision. He sees everything as a vibration or movement within himself as his own Sankalpa, just as you can imagine within your own mind that a big war is going on and many people are dying on either side. You withdraw the imagination at will.
The Western psychologists’ exposition of dream-psychology, though having much to its credit in the shape of research and some valuable information, yet leaves much unexplained. It lacks much that can be supplied only from theories of the East. They can only be explained by thoughtful inferences from the theories of rebirth, the Law of Karma, the operation of external factors like the Akasic records and occult factors like thought-transference and action of astral entities like Pretas of deceased persons. Only a sincere attempt to make a deep study into the working of these factors can form a full and more adequate exposition of the mysterious subject of dream. To the Yogi who has successfully transcended the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep, the knowledge of all these comes perfectly. To the Jnani, no doubt with intuitive perception, the mystery of dreams becomes perfectly solved.
That the Western dream theory is sex-ridden is due to the fact that they start with a wrong notion of what in reality constitutes Man. To them, man is mainly a physical creature endowed with a mind and possessed of a soul. This is just the contrary of the Oriental view that man in reality is a Spirit, expressing himself through the medium of a mind, which has the physical body as its counterpart to function upon the gross external plane. Thus, we see, to the Indian mind, the true Self of man is entirely devoid of sex. It is the body that suffers under the tyranny of a gender. This body is the least part of man as defined by the philosophical mind of the East. Sex is therefore just but one aspect-though a dominant one perhaps–of the individual soul that goes about as Man upon this earthly stage.
Psychologists say that the functions of the organs are controlled by the nerves and nervous system. They also say that the organs, etc., are controlled by the mind. Devotees say that the organs are controlled by the presiding deities. Vedantins say that the organs are controlled by the Inner Ruler or Antaryamin. The nerves, the mind and the senses and the gods derive this power and light from the Inner Ruler who is the ultimate source for everything. This is the truth. If the mind is pure and free from distractions, you will behold the supreme Self (Atman) within and everywhere, Know That–the impeller of actions.
There are some psychologists and philosophers who do believe that mind is a secretion of the brain. What a wild, absurd conviction! They have come to admit the presence of the subconscious mind, however, the “Dual-Mind Theory”–which is known to the Hindu sages from time immemorial. Mind is not self-luminous like the Self-effulgent Atman or the supreme Spirit. It shines in borrowed feathers.
Just as a piece of iron moves in the immediate presence of magnet, even so this insentient mind moves and works in the presence of the Inner Ruler. This point has not been properly understood by the Western psychologists, rationalists, free thinkers, economists, socialists and others. Hence, they are always restless and are groping in total darkness. The vibrations of psychic or subtle Prana manufacture thoughts in the mind.
The mind is insentient (Jada) but it appears as Chaitanya (Chaitanyavat) by borrowing the light from the Adhishthana (source)–Atman–just as water exposed to the sun borrows the heat from the sun. Because there is reflection of intelligence in the mind from the background, the source or womb for this mind, this insentient mind appears as intelligent. This is the real truth. This is the bold, genuine philosophy of the Hindu sages of yore.
Stages of Mind-conquest
Man can bore a diamond with a bristle; he can tie an infatuated elephant with a slender silken thread; he can exercise his ingenuity and through the instrumentality of a mirror bring down the moon for the play of the child; he can make the flame of fire burn always downwards; but it is difficult for him to establish a control over his own mind. For gaining mastery over the mind, he has to know what the mind is, how it works, how it deceives him at every turn and by which methods it can be subdued. As long as the mind restlessly wanders about amidst objects, ever fluctuating, excited, agitated and uncontrolled, the true joy of the Self cannot be realised and enjoyed. To control the restless mind and bring, all thoughts and cravings to a stillness and sublimation, is the greatest problem of man. If he has subjugated the mind, he may be said to be, in his subjective freedom and power, the Emperor of emperors.
In introspection the mind itself is the subject of study. A portion of the mind studies the remaining portion of the mind. The higher mind analyses the processes of the lower mind. Introspection is a perception. Just as we watch the work done by a coolie, a portion of the mind watches the movements of the rest of the mind. By a careful watch and vigilance, many defects are detected and removed; by suitable spiritual discipline and Sadhana, the mind comes within one’s easy control. We need to seek out and utilise an environment which is conducive to calming the mind, and making its higher enlightened activity possible. We must watch the mind carefully and through subjective introspection find out what the mind is engaged with at a particular time and occasion.
The tendency of mind, seeks a repetition of the pleasure it once enjoyed. When memory of pleasure arises in the mind, it induces the work of wishful imagination and thinking; and by this process gives an issuance to attachment. Through repetition a habit is formed. Habit in its turn causes a strong craving or Trishna. Mind then exercises its rule and sway over the poor, helpless, weak-willed worldlings. But, as soon as the enlightened process of discrimination begins to work, the power of mind becomes weakened in its downward strength. The mind with all its dissipative activities and extrovert tendencies tries to recede, to retrace its steps to its original home–the spiritual heart. The action of discrimination dispels the darkness of ignorance; its light eliminates the wrong modes of mental work. When discrimination is awakened, the limitations of the mind are transcended and the will becomes stronger and stronger.
In the Yogi, the discrimination assumes, at the final stage, a sevenfold status: first four relate to the objective side and the next three to the subjective side. In the first stage, the Yogi has the strong sense that all that has to be known, has been known, that there remains nothing further to know. The dissatisfied state of mind has disappeared and all his doubts have vanished. In the second stage, his experience finds that nothing can impart pain to him; in the third, he feels that by attaining Kaivalya, he has attained to everything. The positive sense of having fulfilled his duties, occupies the fourth stage, and here he is known as Kritakritya. In the fifth plane of discriminative consciousness, the mind finds itself in complete rest; in the sixth, the modes of Nature efface themselves totally, never to rise again. In the seventh stage, the yogi establishes himself in his own inner Being of Delight and Knowledge, the Kevala Purusha.
The three defects or Doshas of the mind are Mala (impurities such as lust, anger, greed), Vikshepa (tossing or oscillation) and Avarana (veil of ignorance). Mala is removed by selfless service. Vikshepa is removed by Upasana, Trataka and Pranayama. Avarana or veil is removed by study and practice of Vedanta.
It is possible to drink the contents of the ocean, walk over fire and water, fly in the air, eradicate the Himalaya to its root, and swallow the flaming fire, but it is difficult to control the mind. The struggle with the mind is most distasteful and bitter in the first stage of the Sadhana. Mind cannot be controlled by mere human effort. The grace of the Lord and Guru is necessary. Control of the mind is the first step to spirituality. Victory over the mind means victory over the world. Self-conquest or conquest of the mind is the greatest victory. Yoga aims at arriving at the silence of the mind which makes possible the right meditation.
You can control the mind through Yoga and Jnana. For some it is easy to control the mind through Yoga, for some through Jnana. All the practices which go in the name of Yoga are just to concentrate the mind and still it. When the mind goes outward, restrain and steady it on the innermost Self or Atman that dwells in the chambers of your heart. When your mind is agitated withdraw into silence and regain the inner calm and tranquillity. The mind attains through discrimination enquiry and meditation the peace of the Eternal.
Do not try to control the mind through violent methods. You will miserably and hopelessly fail. Conquer the mind slowly and carefully through intelligent means. Overcome desires and aversion by means of meditation. Enter silence and rest peacefully forever. The mind must be slowly and carefully conquered by this power of the will diverted from the path of unrighteousness to the path of meditation. The impurities of the mind are removed and Tamas is annihilated by the ceaseless practice of selfless service, feeling all the time that service is the worship of the Lord. Mind is the dividing wall between the individual Soul and the supreme Soul. If the mind is destroyed the individual Soul becomes identical with the Supreme Soul.
Mind in its natural state is endowed with purity, immortality and peace. When the oil in a lamp becomes exhausted, the flame is absorbed in its cause; similarly, the mind deprived of the support of all objective pleasure-seeking centres, becomes calm and gets absorbed in Brahman or the Absolute.
Do not fight evil. Replace it by the opposite good, and the evil automatically will vanish. Do not try to drive away impure thoughts. The more you try, the more they will return. Entertain pure thoughts. Pure Vasanas tend to develop the true Jnana or wisdom. Annihilate the impure or lower mind with the help of the pure or higher mind and transcend the higher mind also. Fill the mind with divine thoughts. The impure thoughts will gradually vanish by themselves. Like an iron shaping another iron, the mind should correct and mould your impure mind.
Steadying or fixing the mind on one point is called Abhyasa. If you eradicate all desires and thoughts, the mind will die by itself. Dispassion and inner and outer control must be practised together with intense meditation on Atman. When the mind wanders bring it back and try to fix it on the Divine Light within the centre of your Heart. Detach the mind from all thoughts of sense-objects through Vairagya (dispassion) and centre it upon the Lord. Vairagya (dispassion) and Abhyasa (concentration and meditation) are the weapons to annihilate this turbulent mind.
The mind attains steadiness through the practice of Pranayama or regulation of breath. Slay this mind through the destruction of the Vasanas or the control of Prana and Brahma-Vichara, (enquiry into the nature of Brahman). The mind is purified by the practice of selfless service, Japa, Tapas, right conduct, practice of Yama, Niyama and meditation. Overcome sleep by regulating your diet and taking only light, Sattvic food and by the practice of Asanas and Pranayama. As gold melted in fire is purified of its dross, so can the mind be purified by control of Prana or the vital airs.
Mind is a bundle of Vasanas (desires) and Sankalpas (thoughts, imagination). Mind is a bundle of Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes). Annihilation of mind is Mano-Nasa.
Manolaya is temporary absorption of the mind. This cannot give Moksha. The mind can come back again and wander in sensual objects. Manonasa alone can give release or Moksha.
How is the mind purified, brought under control and how are its activities stopped, and how is it annihilated? Here are some useful and practical points. Mind can be controlled and annihilated by Vichara or enquiry of ‘WHO AM I?’. This is the best and most effective method. This will annihilate the mind. This is the Vedantic method. Realise the unreality of the mind through philosophical thinking.
Eradicate the feeling of egoism. Ego is the seed of the tree of mind. “I” thought is the source of all thoughts. All thoughts are centred on the little “I”. Find out what the little “I” is. This little “I” will dwindle into airy nothing. It will be absorbed in the Infinite “I” or Para Brahman, the source for the little “I” or Ahamkara (egoism).
The Sun of Self-realisation is fully seen when the cloud of ego disappears.
Vairagya (dispassion) is another method for annihilating the mind. It is distaste for objects of sense-pleasures by finding out the defects in the sensual life. Objects are perishable. Sensual pleasure is momentary and illusory.
Abhyasa or practice is another method. Concentrate the mind by fixing it on Brahman. Make it steady. Abhyasa is ceaseless meditation. This leads to Samadhi.
Asanga or non-attachment is a sword to destroy the mind. Take the mind away from objects. Detach Attach. Detach it from the objects and attach it to the Lord. Do this again and again. The essence of the seed of the sprout of world-experience, which is desire, can be destroyed by the fire of non-attachment.
Vasanakshaya is another method. Vasana is desire. Renunciation of desires leads to Vasanakshaya. This will lead to annihilation of mind (manonasa). Desire for objects of pleasures is bondage; giving it up is emancipation. Desire is the most essential nature of the mind. Mind and egoism are synonymous.
Vibration of Prana causes movement of the mind. It gives life to the mind. Pranayama or control of Prana will stop the activities of the mind. But it cannot destroy the mind to its roots like Vichara.
Control the thoughts or Sankalpas. Avoid imagination or day-dreaming. The mind will be annihilated. Extinction of Sankalpas alone is Moksha, or release. The mind is destroyed when there is no imagination. The experience of the world illusion is due to your imagination. It vanishes away when imagination is completely stopped.
Mental renunciation of possessions is another method. The absolute experience can also be realised if you learn to be in a state of thought-suspending Samadhi.
Attainment of equanimity is another method. Be balanced in pain and pleasure, heat and cold, etc.
Japa, Kirtan, prayer, devotion, service of Guru and study are also means to annihilate the mind.
He alone experiences everlasting peace and Eternal Bliss who has transcended the mind and rests in his Own Satchidananda Atman.
'As a man thinketh so he becometh'. This is a great truth or truism. Think 'I am strong', strong you become. Think I am weak', weak you become. Think 'I am a fool, fool you become. Think I am a sage or God,' sage or God you become. Thought alone shapes and moulds a man. Man lives always in a world of thoughts. Every man has his own thought-world. Imagination works wonders. Thought has tremendous force. Thought is a solid thing. Your present is the result of your past thoughts and your future will be according to your present thoughts. If you think rightly, you will speak rightly and act rightly. Speech and action simply follow the thoughts.
The western psychologists and occultists lay great emphasis and stress on the purity of thoughts. Thought-culture is an exact science. One should cultivate right thinking and should drive out all sorts of vain and worthless worldly thoughts. He who entertains evil thoughts causes great harm unto himself and to the world at large. He pollutes the thought-world. His evil thoughts enter the minds of others who live at a long distance, because thought moves with a tremendous lightning speed. Evil thoughts are the direct cause for all sorts of diseases. All diseases take their origin at first from an impure thought. He who entertains good, sublime and divine thoughts does immense good unto himself and to the world also. He can radiate joy, hope, solace and peace to his friends who live at a distance.
In the beginning of thought-culture, there is internal fight between pure and impure thoughts. The impure thought tries to enter the mental factory again and again. It asserts: "O little man, you gave me shelter in the beginning. You welcomed me before. You gave me a cordial reception. I have every right to remain in the lowlands of your mind, in your instinctive passionate mind. Why are you cruel towards me? I only gave you a push or stimulus in taking you to restaurants and hotels, cinemas and theaters, ballrooms and bars. You had a variety of enjoyment through me alone. Why are you ungrateful to me now? I will resist, persist and recur again and again. Do whatever you like. You are weak through old habits. You have no strength to resist." Eventually pure thoughts only will gain victory. Sattva is a greater power than Rajas and Tamas. Positive overcomes negative.
Substitute pure thoughts for impure thoughts. This method of substitution (Pratipaksha Bhavana) will destroy all evil thoughts. This is very easy. This is the method of Raja Yoga. The method of driving the thoughts at once by will-force or by using the formula 'Get out, o evil thoughts' is very taxing. It is not suitable for ordinary people. It demands tremendous will-power and spiritual strength. You must rise above pure thoughts and attain the supreme state of thoughtlessness (Nirvikalpa state). Only then can you rest in your own Svarupa. Only then will Brahman be revealed like Amalaka fruit in the palm of your hand. Sit in a solitary place. Watch your thoughts carefully. Allow the monkey-mind to jump in its own way for some time. After some time it will climb down. It will become quiet. Be a Sakshi or witness of the menagerie of various thoughts in the internal circus or show. Become a spectator of the mental bioscopic film. Do not identify with the thoughts. Take an indifferent attitude. All thoughts will die by themselves one by one. You can kill the thoughts one by one, just as a soldier in the battlefield kills his enemies one by one. Repeat mentally 'OM I am Sakshi. Who am I? I am thoughtless Atman. I have nothing to do with these false mental pictures and thoughts. Let them roll on. I have no concern with them.' All thoughts will perish. The mind will perish like the gheeless lamp.
Fix the mind on the form of Lord Hari or Lord Siva, or Lord Krishna or your Guru, or any saint like Lord Buddha or Lord Jesus. Again and again try to call this mental image of the picture. All thoughts will die. This is another method, the method of Bhaktas.
Why evil thoughts arise in the mind? How are they to be encountered?
The very fact that evil thoughts give you mental suffering is a sign of spiritual progress; for many do not have that much of sensitiveness.
To some it is very difficult to keep the mind unruffled and pure, the causes being deep-rooted worldly Samskaras, unfavourable surroundings, and the predominance of extrovert tendencies. To some, of course, evil thoughts are not a problem at all. They appear occasionally as a passing phase without doing much havoc.
Watch your mind very carefully. Be vigilant. Be on the alert. Do not allow the waves of irritability, jealousy, hatred and lust to disturb you. These dark waves are enemies of peaceful living, meditation and wisdom.
Remedy the cause first: The mind usually thinks of one thing at a time. Concentrating upon good thoughts or any form of the Lord, or the life of a great prophet, or meditating upon the vast expanse and the quiet of the ocean or the sky, will be of great help.
Sometimes auto-suggestion is of no great use because of its immediate relation with its counterpart that has beset your mind. Thinking of the evanescence of life at the moment will make you depressed and weak.
Auto-suggestion is very useful as a daily practice, according to the negative tendency predominant. For example, in the case of a strong desire to revenge, the life of Christ, Gandhiji or Lincoln is a suitable subject for meditation. But, what then should be done at the spur of the moment?
If some wrong is done to you, you can never reconcile your mind by at once trying to think of forgiveness. It will be repulsive and the attempt will be a failure.
First control violent emotions by withdrawing the mind within, and dissociating yourself from the cause and immediate environment. Meditate on the attributes of the Lord, or draw out your attention to a new, interesting realm. Study the lives of great saints. Then take recourse to auto-suggestion. Ponder over the chain-reaction of the evil of revenge, and meditate on the glory and peace of forgiveness.
Samskaras: By not repeating such actions as would intensify the old, negative tendencies you are trying to combat bad Samskaras. A great deal of success can be attained in smoothening out evil Samskaras. Prayer, fasting, chanting elevating Slokas and the Name of the Lord, and systematic practice of concentration and meditation, are of course, the most important aids.
Relentless effort to live a spiritual life is very necessary. The angle of vision has to be changed. Regular Sadhana will keep the mind always clean.
Introspect and scrutinise your motives. The cross-currents of like and dislike are yet very strong within you. The senses are still ungovernable. There are secret longings and veiled desires. Vrittis are powerful. Lustful impulses are lurking within. You may ask the reason why you become sometimes angry. Anger is nothing but a manifestation of ungratified lust. You are still far from being established in Pratyahara. Rajas and Tamas are very much manifest in your actions. Do not deceive yourself. A fanciful interest in the spiritual path is of no use. Resignation to fate, or remaining static, will be pernicious now! in the long run. You will repent later. Start vigorous Sadhana now.
Positive overcomes the negative. Love overcomes lust. Patience overcomes anger and irritability. Courage overcomes fear. A Sattvic life overcomes a Tamasic life. Therefore, make best use of the positive to overcome the negative.
Association: Live in an inner life. Speak little. Speak kindly, gently, genially, jovially, intelligently. Do not encourage fast friendship. Mix little. A certain amount of aloofness is very necessary, but do not be cynical, do not be friendless. This is a relative world. You have to be in good terms with hedonists, bohemians and epicureans.
Keep yourself absolutely aloof from undesirable vulgar literature, pictorials and motion pictures. Without moral purity no Sadhana is even successful.
Have some definite principles. Do not mix with women. "Mother attitude' or 'Sister attitude' is of very little use to a youthful Sadhaka. I am not asking you to be a hard-headed puritan. But when you know your weakness, there is no need to court a downfall.
Diet: Avoid pungent, hot dishes. Take light, nutritious, simple vegetarian food, but do not be a faddist. Adjust yourself to circumstances. Avoid heavy and late night meals. Do not eat now and then. A celibate really needs very little food. Overeating is a kind of passion. Fast completely once a fortnight. Have partial fasting once a week.
Extrovert tendency: When you keep yourself busy, you do not harbour impure thoughts. When you rest and leave the mind blank, impure thoughts try to enter insidiously. Do not be idle. Engage yourself in some useful, interesting work at your leisure hours, as for example, take part in some useful social activities. On Sundays, instead of going to a picture, you can assist the Bharat Sevak Samaj, the Ramakrishna Mission, the Divine Life Society, or any other philanthropic institution of your town; or, create a new field of public work.
Cultivate the spirit of Yoga. Instil interest in your work. Serve selflessly. Serve without attachment but do not be irresponsible. Serve unostentatiously. Serve for the good of others. Serve for the good of your heart.
To the wheel of Moha (delusion, infatuation) mind is the axle. If by dint of discrimination your mind is destroyed, then Maya will not affect you. Mind is the container of matter and form, time and space.
Mastery over the mind and impulses is life victorious. Disciplined thinking and feeling will give you strength and peace and help you in the attainment of God-realisation.
Control of the emotions is of paramount importance if you wish to commune with God. When a Vritti arises, do not think about it, divert your attention, let it sink back. Do not spin your imagination. It is imagination that strengthens the Vritti.
From the experience you get Samskaras (impressions), from Samskaras you get Vasanas, from Vasanas you get Vrittis or thought-waves. The imagination makes the Vrittis into a desire. Then ego attaches itself to the desire and it becomes then an urge, a Trishna. Then you are forced to do Cheshta to fulfil the desire. The process of the mind is going on.
You can prevent the formation of new Samskaras, and stop past Samskaras to get further strengthened by fresh ones. The Vasanas are the woven nets to bind man. If the Vasanas are mastered, then you have scored a tremendous victory. The Vrittis and Samskaras are countless and deep-rooted, but they have an end through Vichara, Viveka, Japa, Satsanga, Svadhyaya, meditation and prayer.
The mind associated with objects leads to bondage, and dissociated from objects to emancipation. The secret of strength lies in the calm and serene mind. When the mind remains without any attraction or repulsion towards objects, it will cease to exist. When the mind is dull, rouse it by Kirtan; when it is distracted, bring it back to calmness through Pranayama, worship and meditation, when it becomes attached get it de tached through dispassion and discrimination. Thought is motivated by desire. Desire is the motive-force that makes the move. Desire and thought are closely connected. Every thought is prompted by the desire that stands behind it. Desire is the fuel. Thought is the fire that is kept up by the fuel of desire. Desire is another name for mind. Desire is constantly feeling the ego. So desire is at the root of our fears. Give up the load of excessive desires. If desires are allowed to grow, then they become the fuel for the fire of thought.
With the passing away of the fuel of desires, the sankalpas or thoughts also perish. Annihilate your Sankalpas of thoughts. You will not be subject to the trammels of birth: and, the mind is extinguished like a lamp without Ghee or oil.
The mind is a blessing of God. Because without mind you cannot think of God. Without it you cannot concentrate and meditate. Without mind and emotions, thoughts and feelings, you cannot have Bhava and Bhakti.
So long as the mind is not destroyed, the Vasanas are not destroyed; vice-versa, so long as the Vasanas are not destroyed, the mind is not destroyed. Vasana is the ignorance which enslaves us in sensual objects after giving up true discrimination. Form exists in the mind, so long as the Vasanas are coupled with it. The conception of the heterogeneous objects in the mind, through a conception of their reality and the enjoyment of the pleasures therein, can be said to be of the form of the mind.
So long as the knowledge of Brahman is not attained, so long will the mind be not destroyed; conversely, so long as the mind is not destroyed, so long will knowledge of Brahman remain unattained.
If thoughts are destroyed through the extinction of Vasanas, the quiescence of the mind will result and the mind's destruction will ensue. It is only to control this heterogeneous mind, that the intelligent Yogins perform Pranayama through the control of Prana. The fluctuation of Pranas and Vasanas are the two seeds of mind. Of these, if either of them dies both perish. Through Vasanas Prana's motion is caused; through Prana's motion Vasanas are caused. These two are the seeds and the sprouts to the ripe dried fruit of the mind. These two have their root in the visibles of the universe. If the visibles are destroyed, then Prana's fluctuation and Vasanas will be eradicated to their root like a tree. It is the mental actions that are the seeds of the visibles. If the intelligence does not play its part in the visibles, then the visibles cease to exist.
The beneficent control of Prana leads to that of the mind and causes in one equality of vision over all. Through aspiration, Pratyahara and indifference, you can effectively burn away the impressions of the objects at their initial stage. Repetition of God's name and deep meditation enable the mind not to retain in itself the remembrance of anything other than God Just as the bee which drinks the honey, does not desire the scent, the mind which is ever absorbed in the Nada (sound Om) does not desire the objects.
To transcend time and space is to control the mind. Have unshakable faith in the Lord. Cling to His Divine Name. Surrender unto Him. Pray to Him sincerely. The mind will be powerless to do anything to you.
I solemnly affirm that the fell disease of birth and death can be removed only through the divine panacea of the mind-mastery and not through any other means. The path of annihilation of your mind will be most beneficial to you and will never generate the least of pains. If the mind is destroyed by dint of discrimination, then Maya will not affect you.
Moksha means nothing but the destruction of the impurities of the mind. If your mind is free and pure, you will not again enter into birth. Control of mind is not done in a day. But by constant practice and sustained Vairagya, the victory is yours. Become a true hero. Have self-conquest or mastery over mind. Enter the illimitable realm of immortal bliss. Blessed is he who has controlled his mind and has achieved Self-conquest.
The root of all evil is the sense of "L" and "mine". If you destroy the Ahamkara or egoism and conquer the foes of senses, the Vasanas or subtle desires will vanish. Slay egoism which appears in the forms of fear, hate, envy doubt, deception and anger. When ego perishes God reveals Himself. Emancipation is release from bondage of the ego and its desires, of the ego and its propensities, its cravings for the sensuous. The original sprout of the painful egoism with its tender stem of rebirths ramifies itself everywhere with its long branches of "mine" and thine" and yields its unripe fruits of pain, sorrow, delusion, etc. Egoism obstructs vision of truth and causes death. Annihilation of egoism bestows immortality, freedom and everlasting peace. Egoism or individuality takes man away from Truth and consequently causes discord, pain, sorrow, fights, quarrel and war. Die to the lower self to become alive to the Brahman within you. Sin emanates from the ego's assertion of its will. The ego subjecting itself to the clutches of Vasanas which make it to be transformed into the object it sees to the exclusion of others, fancies that object to be real and is deluded by the same. In the presence of fire, iron appears to gleam. Iron by itself has no brightness of its own, but its contact with fire makes it appear SO. Similarly, the intellect borrows the light of Atman and feels, 'I am the doer, I am the enjoyer', etc.
The true egoism can be destroyed to its root by the fire of Jnana only. When the spirit is freed from its relationship with the mind in the state of Jnana, or illumination, the world vanishes like the mirage-river in the sandy desert. The cognition by one, of the Reality, after true discrimination that he is not in this world and that the universe is not constitutes mind's destruction.
There is no other vessel on this earth to wade through the ocean of rebirth than the mastery of this turbulent mind. Tame the mind; collect all your thoughts. Keep the mind serene. Think not of evil. You will enter the realm of deathlessness. He who has controlled the serpent of mind will reach the dominion of Moksha or eternal Bliss. Withdraw the senses from their objects. Collect the rays of the mind. Direct the mind towards the Ajna Chakra, the space between the two eyebrows and fix it there steadily.
Understand the mind; study the mind; and know this machinery well, and know also how to manage it. The mind abhors a vacuum. As blinding as desire is aversion, which is of the same root. Desire and aversion resemble two monkeys sitting on the tree of the heart; while they continue to shake and agitate it there can be no peace.
Thought is a modification of ignorance or Ajnana. Man falls into the cycle of births and deaths through his own Sankalpas or thoughts. Study my book, Mind, Its Mysteries and Control. It will throw a flood of light upon how to deal with the mind, and control it.
The Sattvic mind is your father or a rare and true friend-father on account of its protecting nature, a rare and true friend through the true counsels it imparts in the way of obtaining the higher goal.
There are two paths to control the mind, viz., Yoga and Jnana. Yoga is that which makes the actions of the mind turn on one only, or makes the mind to concentrate itself upon one object only. By Jnana is meant the perfect illumination and spiritualisation of consciousness, in which the individual consciousness becomes wholly identical with the absolute consciousness.
Raja Yoga is a means to attain the intuition of Brahman Yoga is an auxiliary path to knowledge or Jnana. Yama and Niyama afford preliminary moral training. They consist in giving up vices and acquiring virtues. The chief aim of Yoga is to control the unruly senses and the wandering mind. When the mind is subdued, when the thought-waves are stilled, the veil is lifted and the Real is attained easily.
Asanas, Pranayama and Pratyahara are aids for controlling the mind indirectly through physical discipline, steadiness of body, regulation and stoppage of breath and the withdrawal of the senses from their objects. The mind will become quiescent through the practice of Pranayama. With the quiescence of the mind, the supreme state alone will remain.
Mind is nothing but the fluctuations of the speedy Prana; with the arrest of Prana, the mind is also controlled. Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are different stages in concentration. They help directly in controlling the mind. Have the company of saints. Destroy desire. Study sacred scriptures. You can easily control the mind.
Meditation is necessary for spiritual success and illumination. Meditation is the key which will unlock the door of the supreme abode of Immortal Bliss. The natural tendency of the mind is to go forward and outward. In meditation it turns backward and inward. He who practises uninterrupted meditation on God becomes absolutely fearless. The way to unlock the door of intuition is by meditation, purity, and enquiry.
Meditation is a way for the great unknown. There can be no greater purpose of the mind than meditation on Atman or the Supreme Being. Meditation brings serenity, insight, illumination and Samadhi (Superconscious state). Meditation is an integral part of education. To meditate is to go within oneself and open the heart in silence to God.
Meditation imparts to the face and the whole being a spiritual radiance. You will acquire skill in right living and attain illumination and wisdom of the Self through meditation. Meditation is the sheet-anchor of peace and poise and the enemy of ignorance. Meditation bestows self-confidence and courage, serenity and inner spiritual strength. Meditation stills the mind of its bubbling emotions and thoughts, removes distraction and mental discord and produces composure and tranquillity.
When you pray or meditate shut thy doors. It is the door of the senses. During meditation you are never left without an unseen guide and teacher. He will help you.
Without meditation, where is peace? Without peace. where is happiness? Meditation is the most essential food for the soul. Meditation is the key to knowledge.
A lustful mind can never know things of the Spirit or deep things of God. The carnal mind cannot grasp spiritual things, things which are beyond the grasp of the intellect. Saturate your mind with thoughts divine. Check the rising of evil desires and emotions and stimulate good thoughts and feelings. Continuous struggle to keep the modifications or thoughts of the mind perfectly restrained is practice.
A mind is the result of the past thinking. It is constantly being modified by present thinking. It is material. It is made up of subtle matter. It borrows light form Atman or Soul. Train your mind. Avoid dissipation of the mental forces in mind—wandering, daydreaming and badly directed and unorganised thinking. Self-discipline must begin with the mind first. The practice of Sama (control of mind) comes first and then comes Dama (control of senses). The subconscious mind is a sort of vast storeroom underneath the conscious mind. The subconscious mind plays an important part in the psychological life of man. Your distractions, pulls and cravings emanate from the subconscious.
The conscious mind co-operates with and never condemns the subconscious. This world is full of wonders, but nothing is more wonderful than mind. Have always a background of good divine thoughts. Let not your mind stay idle. Silence of the heart, silence of the mind is better than the silence of the tongue. Man's mind cannot rest until it finds rest in God. The mind is born of bliss. So it tries to attain happiness. It is always seeking to attain Brahman or the Absolute who is an embodiment of bliss. The mind requires Being or Reality.
The chief of man's enemy is within himself. It is egoism. Ego co-exists with mind. When the mind perishes, ego also perishes. Chitta is subconscious mind. It is the mind-stuff. It is The storehouse of memory. Samskaras or impressions of action are embedded here. It is one of the four parts of Antahkarana or inner instruments, viz., mind, intellect, Chitta and Ahamkara or egoism.
Mind is formed out of wind. So it is fleeting like the wind. Intellect is formed out of fire. Chitta is formed out of water. Egoism is formed out of earth. In egoism is bondage. In Egolessness is freedom. Egoism is at the bottom of all great blunder.
If there is no egoism, if the mind is free from desires and likes and dislikes, you will not again enter into this world of birth and death. Ego is the veil between God and the soul. When the ego vanishes, then is the realisation of universality or cosmic consciousness. Egoistic assertion is a terrible disease. It separates you from God and your fellowmen. Ego is the cause for the sorrows of life and miseries of the Samsara. Burn this ego, through discrimination, Atmavichar or enquiry into the nature of Atman, or the Supreme Self and Samadhi. You will enjoy the immortal bliss of the Eternal. Slay egoism-your arch-enemy—through self-sacrifice, self- surrender, self-denial, service, humility, prayer, worship and identification with Atman. Watch the mind. Mind is the slayer of the soul. Slay this mind ruthlessly through the sword of discrimination. Fear, anger, greed, hatred, lust, jealousy are symptoms of an impure mind. Feeling of superiority and inferiority are rooted in egoism. They generate tensions between individuals. With the awakening of the mind, there arises consciousness of duality. Duality is ignorance. From duality arise fear, desire, etc. Silence your senses and mind and commune with the Lord. You will enjoy eternal peace and bliss now. The mind is like a monkey jumping around. Let the monkey jump as much as it can. Wait and watch. Give it the rein. Meditate regularly. Each day the mind's Vagaries will become calmer and calmer. Only he is truly mighty who has conquered his mind or lower self. He who conquers the mind is the greatest of conquerors.
Chitta has two causes for its existence, viz., Vasanas or subtle desires and the vibration of Prana. If one of them is controlled, then both are controlled. Of these two, the student of yoga should control Prana through moderate food (Mitahara), Asanas or postures and, thirdly, Sakti-Chalana. I shall explain the nature of these.
The Yogi should take sweet and nutritious food. He should fill half the stomach with food. He should drink water quarter of the stomach. He should leave forth of the stomach unfilled in order to propitiate Lord Siva, the patron of the Yogins. For success in life, Sadhana, concentration of mind is indispensable. All difficulties and obstacles will melt if you know how to tap the source of power by concentration and meditation. A hermitage is of no use for one who has not controlled his mind. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on Atman or the Supreme Self is eternal life and everlasting peace. The mind becomes no mind when the Supreme Reality or Para-Brahman is revealed. Meditate. All anxieties and emotional conflicts will vanish. You will enjoy tranquillity and everlasting bliss. In a mind filled with jealousy, hatred, anger and crookedness, there cannot be an iota of meditation even if one sits for six hours. Love, truthfulness, purity, humility, tolerance, compassion, are symptoms of a pure mind.
Meditation confers clarity of thought, serenity of mind and poise. Meditation is a concentrated effort. Regular practice of concentration and meditation will give you peace, bliss, success and ultimately Self-realisation. Practise Japa or recitation of Mantras with meditation. When you advance in meditation, Japa will stop automatically. Meditation must become natural. In the beginning, there is effort in meditation. Later on meditation becomes habitual. Not in study but in meditation on Atman is to be found the seed of immortality. The discovery of Atman or the Self is the greatest discovery of all the discoveries. Sit silently. Meditate and discover the innermost Self in Silence. When you meditate deeply, when you enter more and more into Silence, your desires are gradually eliminated. You become more and more calm and tranquil. Meditation is the proximate means to the attainment of Self-realisation. Meditation awakens illumination. Meditate. Dive deep into the heart and know your essential divine nature. Then you will know everything. Become one with pure Consciousness or Intelligence by meditating on that which is of the nature of pure Consciousness or Intelligence. Become pure Consciousness itself.
You have the whole menagerie within you—the lion, the tiger the serpent, the elephant, the ape and the peacock. Bring them under your control. The beauty of the flesh is really due to the life-giving principle, Prana. The beauty is attributable to the light that emanates from Atman. The nasty body with oozing discharges from nine gutters composed of the five elements is a Jada Vastu and Apavitra. Always entertain this idea. Have a clear-cut, well-defined, image or picture like this. You will conquer lust by such a mental drill. If you understand the doctrine of unity in diversity, if you know there is only one matter, one energy, one mind-substance, one life, one existence, one Sat, one Reality, and if you entertain always such a thought, you can control Krodha. If you remember that you are only an instrument in the hands of God, that God is everything, that God does everything, that God is just, then you can get rid of Ahamkara. You can annihilate Dvesha by Pratipaksha Bhavana. Look to the brighter side of persons. Ignore the dark aspect.
Emotion is a motive power like the steam of an engine. It helps you in your evolution. Had it not been for the presence of emotion, you would have passed into a state of passivity or inertia. It gives a push for action or motion. It is a blessing. But you must not become a prey to emotions. You must not allow them to bubble out. You must purify and calm the surging emotions. You must allow it to rise slowly and subside quietly from the mind-ocean. You must keep the emotion under perfect control. Do not mistake physical sensations for higher sublime emotions. Do not be carried away by emotions. There are certain people who like to hear of new sensational events just to arouse their emotions. They live on emotions; otherwise they feel quite dull. This is a great weakness. This must be eradicated if they like to lead a calm and quiet life.
All evil qualities proceed from anger. If you control anger, all evil qualities will vanish by themselves.
Ahamkara, Samkalpa, Vasana, Prana have intimate connection with the mind. There cannot be any mind without these four. Prana is the life of the mind Ahamkara is the root of the mind. Sankalpas are the branches of the mind-tree. Vasana is the seed of the mind. This deep-rooted tree of Samsara which ramifies in various directions with branches full of flowers, tendrils, fruits, etc., has the mind as its root. If this root-mind is destroyed, the tree of Samsara-this tree of birth and death-Will also be destroyed. Cut this root-mind—with the axe of Brahma Jnana. Chop off the branches (Sankalpas) with the knife of Viveka-Vichara.
Sleepiness (Laya), distraction (Vikshepa), taintedness (Kashaya) and equipoise (Samata) are the four states of the mind. Turn the mind away from the objects. Bear in mind that all is pain and suffering. Remember the blissful, eternal Brahman, that is the substratum for all objects. Rouse the mind when it gets sleepiness; if it gets distracted, bring it back to its peaceful condition through Pranayama, Trataka, self-restraint and abstraction. Be detached when you taste the bliss of Savikalpa Samadhi (Rasasvada). When the mind gets tainted through Kashaya or Vasana raise the rod of discrimination and the sword of dispassion. When the mind is in a state of poise, disturb it not on any account. Enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Desire keeps up life. Prana functions because of desire. Desire is the cause of Samsara. Desire says: "O sense-organs! do as I tell you." In the evening, the sense-organs say to the desire: "O desire! We are tired; we can't do anything now. The objects have lost their charm for us." Desire goes to mind; mind fulfils desire. By dreaming, without the help of sense-organs some time later, mind says to desire: "O desire! I am tired; my energy is exhausted. Good-bye." Desire now goes deeper for more energy. It approaches the Atman. Atman is veiled by ignorance, because desire does not want to annihilate itself and merge in Atman. Desire goes into ignorance and gets more strength and vitality, returns to the mind and the senses, and rejuvenates them. Man wakes up and commences activity.
Sleep-walkers or somnambulists swim in sleep without being aware of it. One in California swam for two miles down a river. A boy of eleven committed expert burglaries in his sleep. A sleep-walker robs himself also. Sleep-walkers ride horses, drive cars, go mountaineering and walk for miles. An Irishman swam one and a half mile in the sea. He did not remember any thing. Sleep-walkers lose their sense of sight and hearing They retain their sense of touch. Their sense and limbs are controlled by the subconscious mind. Lead the sleep-walker back to bed without waking him.
This is one of the five kinds of Vrittis according to Patanjali Maharshi in Raja Yoga. It does great havoc indeed. Vikalpa Vritti is imagination. Maya havocs through this Vritti. Fear, worry, co-exist with this Vritti. There is a rumour that there is cholera in George Town, Madras, the man in Park Town falsely imagines that he will get cholera. He worries and actually gets cholera out of fear. Your friend did not talk to you, as he was running in haste to catch the train. You imagine that he was offended. There was a rumour that a riot broke out in London. You falsely imagine that your son who was studying in London, might have died. Eradicate these Vrittis through Vichara. Do not Identify yourself these Vrittis through Vichara. Do not identify yourself with any Vritti. Identify yourself with the Vritti-less Brahman and rest peacefully forever.
The ever-restless mind becomes quiescent when all desires vanish. Desire raises Sankalpas (thoughts). Man performs actions for acquiring the desired objects. Thus he is caught in the wheel of Samsara. The wheel stops when the Vasanas perish.
Just as there are doors in a bungalow between the outer and inner rooms so also there are doors between the lower and the higher mind. When the mind is purified by the practice of Karma Yoga Tapas, right conduct or the practice of Yama, Niyama, Japa; meditation, etc., the doors between the lower and the higher mind are opened. Discrimination between the real and the unreal dawns. The eye of intuition is opened. The practitioner gets inspiration, revelation and higher Divine knowledge.
It is extremely difficult to have calm and pure mind. But you must have such a mind, if you want to have progress in meditation, if you desire to do Nishkamya Karma Yoga. Then Only you will have a perfect instrument-a well-controlled mind at your disposal. This is one of the most important qualifications for an aspirant. You will have to struggle hard for a long time with patience and perseverance. Nothing is impossible for a Sadhaka who has an iron will and a strong determination.
Just as soap cleanses the physical body, so also Japa of a Mantra, Dhyana, Kirtan and practice of Yama cleanse the mind of its impurities.
Who is free? The man who has controlled his mind. True freedom is freedom from the thraldom of mind and matter. True freedom is Self-realisation. Victory over the mind makes a man divine. Realise the emptiness of earthly victories. Conquest of mind is better than conquests in the battlefield. Become a man of peace. The body conquers the worldly man, whereas the Yogi conquers the body. When Prana, vital force, is conquered, mind is conquered. Control of mind is self-restraint. Through your higher Sattvic mind, control that part of the mind which runs in the direction of objects. The proper means to control the mind is Jnana or the development of spiritual wisdom. The pure and serene mind alone can know Brahman. When the mind becomes pure through spiritual discipline you will attain Self-relisation. You will realise Brahman as a homogeneous, pure, non-dual Consciousness. When the mind is rendered calm and deprived of its association with the objects it becomes fit for the study of Vedantic literature and meditation on Atman or the Supreme.
Where the mind becomes inaccessible to evil thoughts, and keeps away from the lure of sense-objects, it grasps the eternal truths and becomes the abode of everlasting peace. The purified mind is your best friend and the impure mind is your worst enemy. Do away with the impure mind through the pure mind. Make friendship with the pure mind and make your Atman rest in its original blissful state.
Maintain always a calm and peaceful mind. The mind which is not agitated by lust is always tranquil. It is futile to run to forests if you carry with you a restless and impure mind. When the restless waves of the mind subside, there arises gradually divine bliss. Iron becomes gold when it comes in contact with the philosopher's stone, gutter-water loses its impurity When it mixes with the water of the Ganga. Even so, the dirty Only you will have a perfect instrument-a well-controlled mind at your disposal. This is one of the most important qualifications for an aspirant. You will have to struggle hard for a long time with patience and perseverance. Nothing is impossible for a Sadhaka who has an iron will and a strong determination.
Just as soap cleanses the physical body, so also Japa of a Mantra, Dhyana, Kirtan and practice of Yama cleanse the mind of its impurities.
Who is free? The man who has controlled his mind. True freedom is freedom from the thraldom of mind and matter. True freedom is Self-realisation. Victory over the mind makes a man divine. Realise the emptiness of earthly victories. Conquest of mind is better than conquests in the battlefield. Become a man of peace. The body conquers the worldly man, whereas the Yogi conquers the body. When Prana, vital force, is conquered, mind is conquered. Control of mind is self-restraint. Through your higher Sattvic mind, control that part of the mind which runs in the direction of objects. The proper means to control the mind is Jnana or the development of spiritual wisdom. The pure and serene mind alone can know Brahman. When the mind becomes pure through spiritual discipline you will attain Self-relisation. You will realise Brahman as a homogeneous, pure, non-dual Consciousness. When the mind is rendered calm and deprived of its association with the objects it becomes fit for the study of Vedantic literature and meditation on Atman or the Supreme.
Where the mind becomes inaccessible to evil thoughts, and keeps away from the lure of sense-objects, it grasps the eternal truths and becomes the abode of everlasting peace. The purified mind is your best friend and the impure mind is your worst enemy. Do away with the impure mind through the pure mind. Make friendship with the pure mind and make your Atman rest in its original blissful state.
Maintain always a calm and peaceful mind. The mind which is not agitated by lust is always tranquil. It is futile to run to forests if you carry with you a restless and impure mind. When the restless waves of the mind subside, there arises gradually divine bliss. Iron becomes gold when it comes in contact with the philosopher's stone, gutter-water loses its impurity When it mixes with the water of the Ganga. Even so, the dirty mind becomes pure and loses its present form when it is united with the Lord. If the mind which flits from one object to another is slain with the sword of discrimination, then the Self-shining Brahman is realised. The mind gets absorbed in Brahman or absolute consciousness through the extinction of Kalpanas or thoughts. Eternal Bliss arises when the mind merges in Brahman.
The Hatha Yogins hold that the Prana Tattva is superior to mind. They say that Prana functions in sleep even when there is no mind. The Raja-Yogins and Vedantins assert that mind is superior to Prana, because mind wills through Sankalpa and the Prana, does the work. There is no Sankalpa Sakti in the Prana. Prana will have to obey the mind. This is the correct view.
The external ear, eyeballs, are only instruments, but not the real senses or Indriyas. The real centres of senses are in the brain or more correctly in the Sukshma Sarira. If the auditory or vision-centre in the brain is affected, you can neither hear nor see. During dreams, the mind itself does the function of all the senses despite the absence of the external instruments and the senses such as eyeballs, etc. Really it is the mind that sees, hears, tastes, feels, etc. In the mind all the senses are blended. This proves that real senses are within and the eyeballs, tongue, external ears, nose, hands, legs, etc., are mere instruments (Karanas). Some hold that in dream there is the play of subtle senses. This also proves that the real senses are within the astral body and that the eyeballs, etc., are mere instruments.
The mind does the function of Sankalpa, Vikalpa, "whether I can go to Dehra Dun or not." The Buddhi or intellect decides "I must go." Ahamkara self-arrogates. Chitta, which is the storehouse of Samskaras or impressions, makes the preparation and gives orders to the senses. Then the senses act. The legs move. The eyes see. After you reach Dehra Dun the Vritti or wave of thought that was agitating you to see Dehra Dun subsides or gets dissolution (Laya) and you get temporary peace after the gratification of your desire.
Daily self-analysis or self-examination is indispensable. Then alone can you remove your defects and can grow rapidly in spirituality. A gardener watches the young plants very carefully. He removes the weeds daily. He puts a strong fence around them. He waters them at the proper time. Then alone they grow beautifully and yield fruits quickly. Even so, you should find out your defects through daily introspection and self-analysis, and then eradicate them through suitable methods. If one method fails, you must adopt a combined method. If prayer fails, you should take recourse to Satsanga or association with the wise, Pranayama, meditation, dietetic regulations, enquiry, etc. You should destroy not only big waves of pride, hypocrisy, lust, anger, etc., that manifest on the surface of the conscious mind, but also their subtle impressions which lurk in the corners of the subconscious mind. Then only you are perfectly safe.
These subtle impressions are very dangerous. They lurk like thieves and attack you when you are napping, when you are not vigilant, when your dispassion wanes, when you slacken a bit your daily spiritual practice, and when you are provoked. If these defects do not manifest even under extreme provocation on several occasions, even when you are not practising daily introspection and self-analysis, you can assure yourself that the subtle impressions also are obliterated. Now you are safe. The practice of introspection and self-analysis demands patience, perseverance, leech-like tenacity, application, iron will, iron determination, subtle intellect, courage, etc. But you will gain a fruit of incalculable value. That precious fruit is Immortality, supreme peace and infinite bliss. You will have to pay a heavy price for this. Therefore you should not murmur when you do daily practice. You should apply your full mind, heart, intellect and soul to spiritual practice. Then only, rapid success is possible.
Keep daily spiritual diary and practise self-analysis (self-examination) at night. Note down how many good actions you have done, what mistakes you have committed during the course of the day. In the morning resolve: "I will not yield to anger today. I will practise celibacy today. I will speak truth today."
Self-control is indispensable for the living of a truly ethical life. Without self-restraint, the practice of ethics is quite impossible. You may possess sublime sentiments and noble intentions. But when you have no self-control, you will be a slave to base passions. You will succumb to every temptation and commit endless wrong actions. You want to lead an ethical life, but due to weak will and lack of self-control you fail. It is self-control which enables you to stick to the laws of ethics.
Self-control leads to the highest merit. Self-control is the eternal duty of man. Self-control surpasses in merit, charity, sacrifice and study of the Vedas.
Self-control increases your energy. Self-control is highly sacred. Through self-control you will be purified of all your sins, and gifted with energy and thereafter you will acquire the highest blessedness.
There is no other duty equal to self-control. Self-control is the highest virtue in this world. Through self-control you can enjoy the highest happiness both in this world and in the next. Gifted with self-control you will win great virtue.
The self-controlled man sleeps happily and awakes happily and moves through the world happily. He is always cheerful.
The man who is without self-control always suffers misery. He brings upon himself many calamities, all begotten by his own faults.
Forgiveness, patience, abstention from injury, impartiality, truth, sincerity, control of the senses, mildness, modesty, firmness, liberality, freedom from anger, contentment, sweetness of words, benevolence, freedom from malice-all these combined make up self-control. It also consists of respect for the preceptor and mercy for all. The man of self-control avoids both adulation and slander. Depravity, infamy, falsehood, lust, covetousness, pride, arrogance, self-justification, fear, envy and disrespect are all shunned by the man of self-control. He never incurs obloquy. He is free from envy.
That eternal region of Brahman which originates from Vedic penances and which is concealed in a cave can only be acquired through self-control.
The self-controlled man is never fettered by the attachments originating from earthly connections and sentiments.
There is only one fault in self-control. No second fault is seen in it. A man who has self-control is considered by men as weak. By forgiveness the man of self-control may easily acquire happy worlds.
That is a forest where the man of self-control lives. That is ever a very sacred place. Of what use is a forest to a man of self-control? Of what use is the forest to him who has no self-control?
The man of self-control acquires great reward in the next world. He acquires esteem in this world and attains to high stage hereafter. He acquires the state of Brahman. He attains liberation.
In all the modes of life the practice of self-control is distinguished above all virtues. The fruits of self-control are much greater than those obtained in all the modes of life.
The self-controlled man becomes desirous of liberation. He quietly bears present joys and griefs and he is never overjoyed or depressed by prospective ones.
He is shorn of vindictiveness and all sorts of guile. He is unaffected by praise and censure. He is well-balanced. He has good manners. He has purity, fortitude. He is a perfect master of his passions.
He gains honours in the world. He goes to heaven after he departs from this world. He makes all creatures gain what they cannot acquire without his help. He rejoices under all circumstances. He is ever happy.
Thinking of sensual objects is Sanga or attachment. Non-thinking of sensual objects is Vairagya. Stop thinking of obiects by thinking of Brahman or the Eternal, or of your Ishta Devata (tutelary Deity). Keeping the Vasanas in the mind is keeping a black cobra within and feeding it with milk. Your life is ever in danger. Kill these Vasanas through Vichara, Vairagya and meditation on the Atman. Tamoguna (inertia) is brutal, Rajoguna (passion) is human. Sattva Guna (light, harmony) is divine. If the clothes on your body catch fire, you want to run towards water for cooling yourself. You must feel like this from the burning of the fire of Samsara. You should feel that you are roasted in the fire of Samsara. Vairagya (dispassion) and Mumukshutva (strong yearning for liberation) will dawn in you.
The Aspirant in olden days used to approach the Guru with a bundle of sticks (Samit) in his hand for spiritual initiation. What does this indicate? He prays to his preceptor: "O, Adorable Guru! Let my bundle of sins and worldly Vasanas be burnt in the fire of Wisdom through Thy Grace. Let the Divine flame grow in me. Let me attain Self-effulgent Atman. Let my senses, Vasanas, mind, Prana and egoism be given as oblation."
Raja Yoga means 'King of all Yogas'. It aims at controlling all thought-waves or mental modifications. Raja Yoga is suitable for men of mystic temperament with leaning towards the occult. A serious practice of Raja Yoga can be thought of only after you have purified your mind and have gained some control over your senses and appetite.
The eight limbs of Raja Yoga are Yama (self-restraint), Niyama (religious observance), Asana (posture), Pranayama (restraint of breath), Pratyahara (abstraction of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (super-conscious state).
Yama is the practice of non-injury, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy and non-covetousness in thought, word and deed. This is the foundation of Yoga.
Niyama is the observance of the five canons-internal and external purity, contentment, austerity, study of religious books and worship and surrender to the Lord.
Impure motives, lack of celibacy, overeating, indolence, oversleeping, false fears, building castles in the air, allurement of minor supernatural powers like clairaudience and clairvoyance are all obstacles in this path.
Any comfortable and steady pose is Asana. A steady pose gives concentration of mind. If you have mastery over the seat, the dualities of heat and cold and all other pairs of opposites will not disturb you. You must be able to sit in one Asana for three hours at a stretch. The pose becomes steady by thinking of the Infinite.
There are some other Asanas such as Sirshasana and Sarvangasana that are very useful for the preservation of good health and Brahmacharya (celibacy).
Prana is energy. It is life-breath. It is the life-principle. When Prana vibrates, the mind begins to think. Prana is expended in thinking, willing, acting, talking, etc. The excess of Prana is stored up in the brain and nerve-centres.
If you can control Prana, you can control all the forces in the universe.
Prana manifests as motion, gravitation, magnetism, electricity. The knowledge and control of Prana is what is really meant by Pranayama. Pranayama removes diseases of the body, steadies the mind and purifies it. It strengthens the intellect and augments the intellectual capacity. It increases the power of memory. When you practise Pranayama, you will have to be careful about your diet. You should avoid overloading the stomach. You should take light, easily digestible and nutritious food.
Pratyahara is abstraction or withdrawal of the senses from their objects. Pratyahara checks the outgoing tendency of the senses. The practice demands considerable patience and perseverance. It gives tremendous power. During the course of the practice you will have to withdraw the mind again and again from the sense-objects and fix it on the point of meditation. That Yogi who is well-established in Pratyahara can meditate quite calmly even in the battlefield where countless machine-guns roar in a continuous stream.
Dharana or concentration is centring the mind on one single thought. During concentration the mind becomes calm, serene and steady. The various rays of the mind are collected and focussed on the object of meditation. There will be no tossing of the mind. When there is deep concentration you will experience great joy and spiritual intoxication. You will forget the body and surroundings.
Concentration increases by curtailing wants and desires, by observing silence for one or two hours daily, by practising Pranayama, by prayer and by increasing the number of sittings in meditation daily. You must always try to be cheerful and peaceful.
Meditation (Dhyana) follows concentration. The mind dwells on God alone during meditation. Deep meditation cannot come in a day, or a week or a month. You will have to struggle hard for a long time. Gradually you will enter into deep meditation and Samadhi (Superconscious state). You will have to pass through the six stages of meditation and finally you will enter into perfect Nirvikalpa Samadhi or super-conscious state. Form perception will totally vanish.
The meditator and meditated become one. You will attain highest Knowledge and Supreme, Eternal Peace. This is the goal of life. This is the aim of existence. This is the final beatitude of life. You will be absolutely free from pain, sorrow, fear, doubt and delusion. You will experience: "I am the Immortal Self. All indeed is God. There is nothing but God."
You will feel that the whole world is nothing but pure consciousness. The tables, chairs, men, women and other things will appear to contain this consciousness just as vessels contain their contents. You will feel that the Lord is sporting in all things as this pure consciousness. You will actually lose the sense of material nature of things around you. This rare experience will give you great bliss.
May you all attain success in Yoga and enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi or the Blissful Union with the Lord by controlling the mind and the senses and practising regular and constant meditation!
The mind can be controlled by Abhyasa and Vairagya. Abhyasa is constant effort to fix the mind in God or Atman. Vairagya is dispassion or non-attachment to sensual objects.
Enquire 'Who am I?' Do Vichara, do mental Japa of OM and meditate on Atman. All thoughts will die by themselves. You will rest in Satchidananda Atman.
Sit alone and watch the Vrittis of the mind. Be indifferent. Remain as a Sakshi. Don't identify yourself with the Vrittis. The mind will then be under your control.
Destroy the fuel of desire, and the fire of thought will be extinguished. With the annihilation of Sankalpa, the reality of Brahman will shine. Cultivate divine qualities such as friendliness, mercy, gladness and indifference towards happiness, pain, virtue and vice. You will get absolute peace of mind.
Don't think of the past. Don't plan for the future. Do not allow the mind to build images. Live in the solid present. Do a thing which the mind does not want to do. Do not do a thing which the mind wants to do. Don't try to fulfil your desires. Don't hope, don't expect anything. Destroy the vicious desires through virtuous desires and destroy the virtuous desires also through one strong desire-Liberation.
Practice of Pranayama destroys Rajas and Tamas, makes the mind steady and one-pointed. Study of religious books, Tapas, charity and Satsanga with Mahatmas, Sadhus and Sannyasins overhaul worldly vicious Samskaras and pave a long way in the control of mind.
Upasana or Japa of any Mantra destroys the impurities of the mind, makes the mind turn inwards, induces Vairagya, helps concentration and eventually leads to control of mind and attainment of God-consciousness. In this Kali-Yuga, the easiest way for controlling the mind and attaining Moksha is Kirtan or singing the Name of the Lord. Food has a lot of influence over the mind.
Sattvic food such as milk, fruits, etc., calms the mind. Rajasic food (meat, alcohol, etc.) excites the mind. Take Sattvic food. Have Mitahara (moderation in diet).
Destroy evil habits by establishing new good habits. Control the lower instinctive mind through the higher Sattvic mind. Constant selfless service with Atma-Bhava is highly efficacious in purifying and controlling the mind.
Don't wrestle or struggle with the mind. Be regular in your concentration and meditation. May Peace, Joy, Bliss and Immortality abide in you for ever.
CORNER-STONES OF MIND-CONTROL
Mind is the cause for bondage and freedom of man. A mind that is filled with impure Vasanas tends to bondage, whereas a mind that is destitute of Vasanas tends to freedom. Mind is no mind when the Vasanas are destroyed. You become mindless. When you become mindless, intuition dawns and you are endowed with the eye of wisdom. You enjoy indescribable peace.
Mind is Vasanamaya. This world is Vasanamaya Jagat. Mind clings to sensual objects through Vasanas and constantly thinks of objects. If the Vasanas perish, the mind ceases thinking of objects and we attain the state of thoughtlessness.
One of the most common habits of mind is the wandering habit. It cannot stick to one point as it is of the nature of air. Sri Krishna says, "O mighty armed (Arjuna)! The mind is hard to curb and is restless; but it may be curbed by constant practice and by dispassion."
Destruction of desires and control of Indriyas are the essential steps for the control of mind. It is the desire that makes the mind restless. The Indriyas run after objects and the mind also follows the Indriyas just as a dog follows the master.
Therefore if you want to check the wandering mind you will have to renounce all sorts of desires and control the Indriyas first. Then alone will you be successful in the practice of concentration, meditation, will-culture, memory-culture and thought-culture.
The vital point in concentration is to bring the mind to the same point or object again and again by limiting its movement in a small circle in the beginning. That is the main aim. A time will come when the mind will stick to one point alone. This is the fruit of your constant and protracted Sadhana.
There should be one line of thought. There should be one continuity of thought like the steady flow of oil from one vessel to another vessel, like the continuous sound of a church bell.
You must be regular in your practice of meditation. You must sit daily both morning and night and at the same hours. The meditative mood or Sattvic Bhava will manifest by itself without exertion. You must sit in the same place, in the same room. Regularity in meditation is a great desideratum and a sine qua non.
Even if you do not realise any tangible result in the practice, you must plod on in the practice with sincerity, earnestness, patience and perseverance.
Your efforts will be endowed with sanguine success after some time. Do not stop this practice even for a single day, under any circumstances, even if you are ailing.
Meditation is a first class tonic. The wave of meditation will remove all sorts of diseases. It will infuse spiritual strength, give new vigour and vitality.
O truant mind! O mischievous imp! I am tired of giving you admonitions. You are like the strolling street-dog; the dog is pelted with stones, and beaten with shoes severely; and yet it again and again goes to the doors of people.
You are like the shameless son-in-law who sits idly in the house of his father-in-law, eats and drinks, bearing all rebukes and broom-beatings.
It is difficult to control the turbulent mind, without the Grace of the Lord. The Prompter of the thought alone can subjugate this wild mind. My prostrations and adorations to the Prompter.
Listen, O mind, this last piece of advice. Sink not in bonds, in mire of Samsara, in the perilous ocean of births and deaths. Mix thou not in mundane affairs. Eat not the fruits of pain and sorrow. Take not birth again and again. Wither not thyself in wicked deeds. Is not eternal bliss thy quest? Commune with the Lord of Bliss now. Forget with the body and its connections. Rest peacefully in blissful joy. Calmly abide in thy Supreme Abode. Now there shall be an end of birth.
Repeat, О mind, the Name of Hari. Hari's Name is a safe boat to take you to the other shore of immortality. Sing the Maha-Mantra constantly. This is a triple-strong weapon to cut the tie of Samsara certainly. Soar high in the heaven like a kite. Swim in the ocean of Bliss.
Roam not, O mind! in sensual objects. Desire not for name, fame, prestige, position, titles, honours and rank. Care hot, O mind, for earthly affection, love and kind words. Respect, not nice clothes and dainty dishes and company of damsels and their talks. Remain steadfastly gazing on the Lord who dwells in the cave of the heart, thy refuge, solace, source and Centre Witness, Abode, Lord and Dissolution.
Question: How to control the Mind?
Answer: Enquire into the origin of thought. Find out from where the thoughts emanate. Switch off that source.
Q. This is an extremely difficult and subtle process. Kindly suggest some method of controlling the mind which an ordinary person like me can adopt.
A. Japa of the Lord's Name is the best for you, and for the vast majority of mankind. Steadily increase the time devoted to Japa and meditation. At the same time, cultivate Vairagya (dispassion). Pranayama also will help to a great extent. The combined method-synthesis of Japa, Dhyana, Pranayama, cultivation of virtues and eradication of vices—is the best.
Q. I am a devotee of Lord Siva. Should I go to temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Devi also; and if I go there, how shall I worship the Deity there?
A. Yes, you should never miss an opportunity of visiting and worshipping at any shrine you come across. When you go to a temple of Lord Vishnu or Devi, worship Lord Siva Himself there. Look upon the Deity in the temple as another "form" of Lord Siva. If your father came to you in the attire of a High Court Judge, or (if he is an actor in a drama) if he came to you in the dress of a female, will you turn away from him? You will greet him as your own father in any case. Similar should be your attitude in worshipping the Lord. God is one. He is worshipped and adored variously by various people.
Q. I recite Vishnusahasranama every day. Have I to meditate upon the meaning of each word as I go on reciting it?
A. This is not possible, unless you are a Satavadhani. When you recite the Vishnusahasranama, have Saguna Upasana. Meditate on the form of Lord Narayana. When you have leisure or during the practice of meditation, you can select a few Slokas or Names and meditate over the meaning.
Q. In Taittiriya Upanishad it has been said: "First there was Asat. From Asat, Sat came." How is this?
A. This is said from the point of view of the common man. To him, what he does not see or experience is "Asat". To him, the Supreme Existence is "Asat" inasmuch as it is beyond the comprehension of the senses, mind and intellect. "Sat", in this Mantra refers to the manifested world. To the man of gross understanding, the world of names and forms is the "Sat", because he is able to experience its reality through his senses. Therefore it is said that in the beginning there was "Asat" (i.e., That was which you, with your senses and intellect, regard as non-existent); and from that "Sat" (i.e., that which you regard as existent) came.
He who masters the mind will attain liberation or freedom from births and deaths. With the destruction of mind, all the three periods of time vanish. If the Mind is purged of all its impurities, then it will become very calm and all delusions attendant with its birth and death will be destroyed. True emancipation results from the disenthralment of the mind.
When the mind becomes inaccessible to evil thoughts and keeps away from the lure of sense-objects, it grasps the eternal Truth and becomes the abode of everlasting peace. The mind which is not agitated by lust is always tranquil. Real peace can be found only in the control of desire, in the turning of the mind to the one enduring Reality, God.
Ahamkara is the source of all dangers, pains and sorrows in this world. It is evanescent. It has its seat in the mind. It is idiotic in its nature. It is without discrimination and intelligence. Egoism is a formidable chronic disease. It can be destroyed by the potent injection of Self-surrender to God. From inadvertence (Pramada) comes delusion, from delusion egoism, from egoism bondage, and all the consequent sorrows that one is heir to. The notions l'-ness and 'mine'-ness have no real existence. Mine-ness is death. Freedom from Mine-ness is immortality or Life Eternal. Heedlessness is dangerous because it is the cause of egoism, bondage and sorrow. If the modifications of the mind which lean on sensual pleasures be destroyed, then Atman divested of Ahamkara (egoism) becomes the All-pervading Reality or Brahman. Ahamkara causes the Self to think of itself as ‘l’ land of objects as 'mine' it is the principle of individuation.
Even the worst thing appears to be very pleasant when the mind is deluded. As the Mind does not consider other's pains as its own there arises no compassion in it. Whatever is thought of by one at the time of death, that will be realised by him afterwards. Every thought, every feeling which does not vibrate love, clouds the understanding and takes you away from God. The expansion of the mind's.thoughts towards objects is bondage, while the abandoning of the Sankalpas is emancipation.
There is no bliss in the object. When the desire is fulfilled the mind becomes still momentarily and is turned inward. The Atman reflects in its true form as bliss in the mind thus turned. When you attain a desired object, the mind is stilled for a moment and the reflection of bliss from Atman becomes manifest. When the restless waves of the mind subside, then arises gradually divine bliss. If the modifications of the mind which lean towards sensual pleasures are destroyed, then the individual soul attains Supreme Peace. If the mind which flits from one object to another is slain with the sword of discrimination, then the Self-shining Para- Brahman or the Absolute will be realised. The more the mind is withdrawn from the outer-world, the more it makes headway in the realm of Atman or eternal bliss.
He who has freed from himself from the fluctuations of his mind comes into possession of the supreme Nishtha (meditation) and bliss Immortal.
With the annihilation of this Sankalpa, all conceptions of the differences between the Seer and the Seen will vanish. Then Para-Brahman or the Reality will shine by itself in its pristine glory and splendour. A contented mind is ever calm and serene. A mind which though enjoying the diverse objects, does not enjoy them is Brahman itself. If the mind is destroyed the individual soul becomes identical with the Supreme Soul. When the mind is purified and concentrated, meditation on the form of the Lord should be earnestly taken to. When the mind is completely dissolved liberation follows automatically.
Pray fervently: O All-merciful Lord! Through Thy grace, may l realise the Truth. May I always entertain sublime thoughts. May I realise myself as the Light Divine May I serve humanity with Atma-bhava. May I be free from greed, lust, egoism, jealousy and hatred. May I behold the one sweet Immortal Self in all beings. May I realise Brahman with pure understanding.
May that Light of lights ever guide me. May He cleanse my mind of all impurities. May He inspire me. May He bestow on me power, courage and strength. May He remove the veil in the mind. May He make my life happy and fruitful. I bow to Thee O God of gods, O Brahman of the Upanishads, Support for Maya and Isvara, the Bridge to Immortality.
Without Self all is void. It is a well-known fact that any number of zeroes has no intrinsic value unless a number is placed before them. Even so, the wealth of all the three worlds is nothing, if you do not lead a spiritual life, if you do not try to acquire the spiritual wealth.
You will have to live in the Self within. You can influence others, radiate joy and peace to millions of people, far and near, if you attain Self-realisation. You will be drowned in the ocean of bliss and infinite knowledge.
First Phase of Mind conquest
Its Theory and Practice
Now then an exposition of the mind, its nature and control. Mind is Atma Sakti. Mind is Maya. Mind is born of Prakriti. It is through mind that Brahman manifests Himself as the universe with heterogeneous objects. Mind is inert. It cannot by itself illumine the objects. It borrows its light from Atman or the Self. The body with its organs is no other than the mind.
All the visible objects do not really exist. The mind alone shines as the cause of all the manifold created objects.
This universe is no other than the mind itself. The Self-light of Para Brahman alone is appearing as the mind or this Universe. Mind alone is the Universe.
The form of the mind is Sankalpa alone. The expansion of the mind alone is Sankalpa (thought, imagination). Wherever there is Sankalpa (thought) there does the mind exist? Sankalpa, through its power of differentiation generates this Universe. The Sankalpas and Vasanas which you generate enmesh you as in a net. Man is subject to bondage through his own Sankalpas and Vasanas, like a silkworm in its cocoon. If the mind turns its back upon discrimination, it entangles itself in the folds of Vasanas, or desires.
Mind is a collection of Samskaras or impressions. The mind goes into modifications according to the latent impressions of the past. These impressions are called Samskaras. Mind is a bundle of Vasanas, Sankalpas and likes and dislikes. If you free yourself, from these, the mind dwindles into an airy nothing. Mind is nothing but a bundle of habits, desires and cravings. The mind which is the conditioning vesture of the soul is a storehouse of impressions. It is attached to the pleasure of senses and is tossed about by three Gunas, and hence is liable to disturbance in the form of lust, anger, etc. The true nature of the mind is Vasanas or subtle desires.
Mind is atomic according to the Nyaya School. Mind is all-pervading according to the Raja Yoga School. It is of middling size, same size as that of the body according to the Vedantic School. Mind is made up of subtle Sattvic matters. It is formed out of the subtlest portion of food. Mind is termed the sixth sense.
When the mind does Sankalpa-vikalpa, it is called mind. When it discriminates and decides it is called Buddhi or intellect When it self-arrogates it is Ahamkara, egoism. When it remembers and recollects it is Chitta.
Conscious mind is the objective mind. It thinks of objects. Subconscious mind is Chitta. It is the storehouse of impressions. Superconscious mind is the cosmic mind.
In the waking state (Jagrat) the Mind experiences the external objects. In dream, mind itself creates the dream-creatures out of the material supplied by waking experiences. In deep sleep the mind rests in causal body or Avidya. In Turiya-avastha the mind is absorbed in Brahman or the Absolute. There is Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Superconscious state.
The Sattvic mind is calm and harmonious, it intuits, meditates, renounces, enquires and moves towards the Atman.
The Rajasic mind is passionate. It wants power, possessions and dominion. It wants to rule over others. The Tamasic mind is heedless. It sleeps, it is full of inertia and darkness. When the Yogi attains Samadhi he rises from the stream of the Gunas and the limitations of the body and mind.
When Sattva is increased a peculiar feeling of coolness, calmness, contentment and luminosity are experienced by the aspirant. When Sattva Guna works in the mental sheath, there is a wonderful calmness. The tossing of the mind stops and concentration develops. When the Sattva Guna powerfully vibrates in the Vijnanamaya sheath of intellect, there is under standing of complex problems. The three Gunas constitute your individuality. They cover your mental, moral, intellectual and spiritual life.
Suddha Manas or pure mind leads to liberation. Asuddha Manas or impure mind causes bondage. Suddha Manas is filled with Sattva or purity and divine virtues. Asuddha Manas is filled with impurities such as lust, greed, jealousy, hatred, etc.
It is actions of the mind that are truly termed Karmas. The functions of the mind are Sankalpa-Vikalpa, thinking and doubting. It is the mind that really sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels. Mind can do the five functions of the five senses of perception or knowledge. Mind connects itself with the five senses of perception and enjoys all sense-objects.
The mind has the potency of creating or undoing the world in the twinkling of an eye. Mind creates the world according to its own Sankalpa or thought. It is the mind that creates this Universe, (Manomatram Jagat; Manah-Kalpitam Jagat). Through the play of the mind, a Kalpa is reckoned by it as a moment and vice versa. Like a dream generating another dream in it the mind having no visible form generates existent visibles.
The Mind assumes the form of any object it intensely thinks of. Through the play of the mind in objects, nearness appears to be a great distance and vice versa. In introspection a portion of the mind studies another portion of the mind. The senses can do nothing without the co-operation of the Mind. It is the Mind that causes bondage and release. Devoted to sense-objects it causes bondage; devoted to the Lord it creates freedom and release. With the growth of the Mind, the pains increase, with its extinction, there will be infinite bliss. Mind can do or attend to only one thing at a time.
Mind is the slayer of Atman or the Supreme Self. Mind is the birth place of desire. Mind ever whirls far and wide in vain in sensual objects, like a strolling street dog. This puerile mind which ever rises and falls with the ebb and flow of desires, fancies this illusory universe to be true through its ignorance. Ever thirsting after fresh Vishayas or sense-objects the mind is more restless than monkeys.
Face is the index of Mind. Face is the mould of the mind. Every thought cuts a groove in the face. A divine thought brightens the face. An evil thought darkens the face. Continued divine thoughts increase the aura or halo. Continued evil thoughts increase the depth of dark impressions just as the continued striking of a vessel against the edge of a well while drawing water makes deeper and deeper hollow on the vessel. The facial expression truly advertises the inner state of the mind or the true contents of the mind.
So long as there are desires or Vasanas, you cannot have knowledge of the Self. So long as you have no knowledge of the Self, you cannot destroy desires completely. This is a Chakrika or paradox. The more you thin out desires or Vasanas the more you are near to Atman or the Goal. Subha Vasanas will not bind you. Japa, meditation, Vichara are subtle Vasanas. A desire for liberation is a subtle Vasana. Increase the subtle Vasanas. The evil Vasanas will perish by themselves.
Fight with evil is fight with the mind. Fight with senses is fight with evil. Fight with desires is fight with the mind. Fight with matter is fight with evil. Fight with matter is breaking all attachments, that bind you to this world. Fight with desires and cravings is fight with ignorance. Conquest over mind, senses, desires and matter is the greatest victory. It bestows Immortality and eternal bliss, and makes you real King of kings.
A new Radio is fixed. All its parts are quite all right. But the message is not received. This is due to a particle of dirt in it. If the dirt is removed, all the messages and songs will be heard distinctly. Even so in the big radio of the mind if there is dirt of bad character of evil quality, it cannot express true joy, bliss, love, the spirit of self-sacrifice, the aroma of truth. Remove the dirt of evil trait. Fill the mind with divine virtues. You will shine with Brahmic aura. You will shed the light of Self-illumination.
A creeper grows. You allow it to ascend on a stick. Every day you tend it, and move it in the direction you want. If you do not tend it for a week, it will move in its own way. It will not serve your purpose. It will look ugly. Even so, you must tend the creeper-mind daily. Then alone can you bend it easily. You can mould it properly, you can control it easily.
The body is the root of the tree of Samsara or the earthly existence.
There was not pot in the beginning and there will not be any at the end. But if you see the pot in the middle, then your attitude towards it should be detached i.e., you should not believe in its permanence.
So also, there was no body in the beginning, and there will be none at the end. But that which exists in the middle and not in the beginning or at the end, should not cause bondage to you, i.e., you should not get attached to it.
Identification with the body is the cause for pleasure and pain. Where there is pleasure, pain is present in the background.
The characteristics of the body, senses, vital force, mind and intellect are superimposed on the pure Atman, which, in reality you are. You labour under the false notion, “I am the doer, am the enjoyer, I am the sufferer" in relation to your body, mind and senses, and thereby come to grief.
The senses are the avenues for sense-knowledge. They are the gateways of perception for the mind.
The mind works always in conjunction with the five senses. It is drawn out by the five senses to the external objects, and thus the world is perceived.
Mind generates endless thoughts in relation to its perception through the senses, and the world comes into being.
Thoughts and names and forms are inseparable. If thought ceases, the world also ceases. Perception gives stimulation to thought.
The nature of the mind being extrovert. It tries to derive pleasure through stimulation of thoughts which are effected by the contact of the senses with the objects.
Not being satisfied with one object, the mind jumps from one to another, because no object can give continued satisfaction, and therefore they have to be changed constantly. Thus the mind is restless.
In a restless mind, no true knowledge, which is extra sensory supra-mundane, can dawn. Therefore, the necessity of the control of thought, and then its annihilation.
Then intuition dawns, which is beyond the means of thought. Acquire mastery over the mind. Make it your servant. Allow it not to become your master.
Practise Yoga. Discipline the senses and control the mind. Open the portals of intuition and let divine knowledge flood over the mind.
Be bold. Be courageous. Be manly. Yield not to temptation. Be not dejected. Stand up. Gird up your loins, achieve victory over the mind.
The external world cannot affect you if you have mastery over the mind.
The impressions of your past actions, tendencies and aptitudes are left in your subconscious in the form of Samskaras.
All your past experiences, though lost to your memory, are deeply rooted in the subconscious. These Samskaras, some of which or the most of which may have been acquired in the past birth or births, are revived in the present life.
Though external environmental factors mould your propensities, the past Samskaras are not lost. They may acquire a different mode of expression but never lose themselves.
The sum total of Samskaras constitutes the mind, together with its various agencies. This mind is a strong wall that stands between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul.
The nature of mind is to create distinctions and differences. It separates, divides, limits.
It is a storehouse of errors, cravings, doubts, delusions and the primordial ignorance.
The lower mind is your real enemy, because it binds you to the Samsara.
The higher mind, which is endowed with the faculty of right perception, is your aid in the spiritual path.
The lower mind is filled with Rajas and Tamas, or passion and inertia or ignorance. The higher mind is filled with Sattva or purity.
The Atman never feels any pleasure or pain. The mind feels the different conditions of life. If it is controlled and well-cultivated and guided in the right groove, then one attains happiness, being not entirely dependent on the external conditions.
Equipoise of mind is the ideal sought by all, consciously or unconsciously.
If the senses of perception are restrained, the mind can be greatly neutralised. For the moment the mind may be restless, not finding the service of the senses, but later on it will quiet down and be amenable to your directives. Intellect should guide and mould the emotions. The higher mind has a large measure of pure intellect which enables right understanding or evolution.
Perverted intellect may cause unhealthy emotions, and is often a great obstacle to Self-realisation.
Unbridled emotions can bring about a good deal of harm even to spiritual aspirations. Emotionalism is certainly not devotion. Intellect is not Self-luminous. It borrows its light from the Atman.
Higher emotions that are well-cultivated and directed in the right grooves, can lead one to God-realisation.
Ahamkara or "I-ness" is the core of the mental world. Ahamkara denotes identification. Identification causes the generation of Vrittis or modifications. Identification with the Atman helps one to rise above the mundane world. This is the process of Vedanta.
The lower impulses are subdued and scorched out by the higher emotions through the process of Yoga.
The senses are the gates. Close the gates of the senses by the practice of Dama and Pratyahara (abstraction). You will have deep concentration.
Even if the external senses are controlled, the mind will be dwelling on the sensual objects. Therefore the mind also should be fixed in the lotus of the heart or the point between the two eyebrows (Ajna Chakra). Then the thoughts can be controlled. Develop one-pointedness of mind. Fix your mind on the Lord. If the mind wanders bring it back again and again to the object of meditation. Collect all the dissipated rays of the mind. Gather all thoughts through discrimination, dispassion and concentration. You will be free from wavering or oscillation of mind.
You cannot practise meditation without a firm posture. If the body is unsteady, the mind also will become unsteady.
Through regular meditation the mind becomes serene and calm. The little self-arrogating personality then slowly dies. Through regular meditation you grow spiritually. The Divine flame becomes brighter and brighter. You become impersonal and one with the Reality.
Keep the mind quite steady by withdrawing it from the objects of senses. Renounce all thoughts which generate desires. Meditate on the Lord. You will become a Yogi.
The Chitta-Vritti which is of the form of the object meditated upon is called Bhavana or that which binds. The mind which is endowed with strong discriminative faculty and dispassion will be able to control the senses from their inroads to the objects in all directions.
The Yogi is one who has united his mind with the Reality. Muni is one who does Manana (reflection or meditation). Meditation or Dhyana is a continuous and unbroken flow of thought which is compared to the flow of oil from one vessel to another (Avichhinna Taila Dharavat).
The mind is refined and purified only by meditation and self-discipline. The mind that is rendered pure, will automatically move towards the Self or Atman. Then it has neither attraction nor attachment for the sensual objects.
Mind is the means to spiritual attainment, and yet it is an obstacle too. The higher mind helps one to progress spiritually, and the lower mind anchors one to the worldly mire.
The battle between the positive and the negative forces is decided by the superior strength of the either of the two parts of the mind.
The Supreme Being created this aggregate of the body and entered it in the form of Jiva or the individual soul. The individual soul is united with the mind and the senses and becomes the enjoyer of the objects. Friends and enemies are not outside. They exist in the mind only.
It is the mind that makes a friend an enemy and an enemy a friend, depending on its moods. No meditation on Truth is possible with a fickle mind. A steady, one-pointed mind serves as a powerful searchlight to find out the hidden spiritual treasure of the Atman. No meditation is possible when the senses are out of control and distract attention.
The self-controlled Yogi who has attained mastery over his mind through discrimination, dispassion and meditation attains Self-realisation. He who clings to pleasure and power cannot have steadiness of mind. He cannot concentrate and meditate.
He who is free from desire, greed and expectation can have a steady mind. When all desires for objects die, the mind becomes very peaceful and rests steadily in the Atman. Quiescence and despondence are different conditions.
When the mind becomes quite steady by constant and protracted practice of concentration, the Yogi beholds the reality by the mind which is now rendered pure, and yet which was an obstacle before.
He who does not practise any meditation cannot possess peace of mind.
Without peace man cannot have happiness. When the mind is completely withdrawn from the sensual objects there is a feeling of supreme contentment within the heart. He who cannot fix his mind in meditation is a slave of his senses.
A man of balanced mind is indeed a great soul. When the mind is always in a balanced state one rises above duality.
In the waking state the mind plays with the external objects. When you sit for meditation with closed eyes, the mind plays with past memories. It builds castles in the air. You will imagine that you are having deep meditation. When it gets tired it may become dull (Moodha state) or it may enter into deep sleep. Watch the mind carefully; be always vigilant.
Desire, judgment, doubt, belief, firmness, weakness-all are the Manas only.
Friend and enemy, virtue and sin, pleasure and pain are in the mind only
The mind has the potency of creating or undoing the whole world in the twinkling of an eye.
Mind is Jada but appears to be intelligent by borrowing light from Brahman.
Senses cannot do anything independently if the mind is not connected with them.
When the mind has once tasted the sexual pleasure, it always runs after woman.
The world is beautiful and pleasant or ugly and miserable just as the mind chooses.
The ghost of your mind dances in the theatre of this universe to the music of the organs.
The face is a notice-board wherein the Vrittis of the mind are advertised.
If all thoughts are eliminated there remains nothing which can be called as "mind".
If you want rapid progress in the spiritual path, watch every thought.
Enjoyment strengthens, increases and aggravates a desire.
Desires are the outcome of thoughts which are associated with objects.
Many people have fallen from Yoga through the influence of subtle desires.
Memory of the past retards an aspirant's spiritual advancements.
Yoga consists in the suppression of the functions and modifications of the mind.
When the mind is at work, Buddhi and Ahamta will work along with the mind.
A gross mind with selfishness and lust is absolutely unfit for a spiritual life.
When one reaches perfection, the mind melts in its source-Brahman.
Each nation has its own characteristic mentality and particular intellectual bent.
The mind can leave hold of lower things only if it is attracted by higher things.
People of dirty mind judge others according to their own standard of judgment.
The worldly minds want thorough overhauling and drastic regeneration.
A Rajasic mind full of desires can never dream of an inner spiritual life.
Purification of mind leads to the comprehension of the true nature of Brahman.
A pious man attends to his business concerns but has his mind's eye ever fixed upon the Lord.
Mind is Atma Sakti. It is through mind only that Brahman or the Supreme Self manifests as the differentiated universe with heterogeneous objects. Mind is nothing but a collection of Samskaras or impressions. It is nothing but a bundle of habits.
The true nature of the mind consists in the Vasanas or subtle desires; the idea of "l" or egoism is the seed of the tree of mind. The sprout which springs up from this seed-egoism is Buddhi or intellect. From this sprout, the ramifying branches called Sankalpas take their origin.
Mind is made of subtle Sattvic matter. According to Chhandogya Upanishad, mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of food.
Manolaya or temporary absorption of the mind in the object of meditation will not help you to attain liberation. Manonasa or annihilation of the mind only will enable you to achieve the final emancipation or Moksha.
Have no longing for objects. Reduce your wants, cultivate Vairagya or dispassion. Vairagya thins out the mind.
Do not mix much. Do not talk much. Do not walk much. Do not eat much. Do not sleep much.
Control your emotions. Abandon desires and Vasanas. Control irritability and lust. Slay the impure mind through meditation. Practise perfect Brahmacharya. There is no half measure in the spiritual path.
Never wrestle with the mind. Do not use any violent effort in concentration. When the mind is jumping and wandering much, make no violent effort to control the mind but rather allow it to run alone for a while and exhaust its efforts. It will take advantage of the opportunity and will jump around like an unchained monkey at first. Then it will gradually become quiet and look to you for orders.
If evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will-force in driving them. You will only lose your energy in doing so. You will tax your will. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force.
They will return more quickly also. The thoughts will become more powerful. Be indifferent. Keep quiet. Become a silent witness of those thoughts.
Do not identify yourself with them. They will vanish very soon. Substitute good thoughts. Pray and sing the Lord's name.
Never miss even for a day your meditation. Regularity is of paramount importance. When the mind is tired out do not concentrate. Give a little rest. Do not take heavy food at night. This will interfere with your morning meditation.
Japa, Kirtan, Pranayama, Satsanga (association with the sages), practice of Sama (serenity), Dama (self-restraint), Yama (right conduct), Sattvic food or pure food, study of scriptures, meditation, Vichara or Atmic enquiry-all these will help you to control the mind and attain bliss and immortality.
Fear accompanies the instinct of self-preservation. Man is afraid of impending danger. He tries to escape and save his life. Anger accompanies the instinct of combat. Man is aggressive and pugnacious. Lust or sexual excitement accompanies the reproductive instinct. Man copulates and generates. Feeling of loneliness accompanies the herding instinct. Man wants company and lives among groups of people. Man wants to possess or own and enjoy. He manifests the hoarding instinct.
Man tries for his self-preservation. This is the preservation instinct. He wants to hoard money for sensual enjoyment. This is the hoarding instinct. He wants to live in his own community This is the herding instinct. He wants to mate and reproduce. This is the reproductive instinct. He is aggressive and pugnacious. This is the instinct of combat.
Feeling always accompanies thinking. Feeling is the sense of touch. It is perception of objects by touch. It is consciousness of pleasure or pain. It is tenderness, emotion, sensibility, sentimentality. It is opinion as resulting from emotion. It is receiving an impression. It is affection, sensation, experience, sympathy, love, etc. It is throbbing, thrill, shock, agitation, quiver, flutter, tremor, pathos. It is ardour, zeal, enthusiasm, cordiality. Deep sense, glow, fervour, earnestness, eagerness, ecstasy, inspiration, cordiality, sympathy, love, affection, tenderness and aesthetics are lofty sublime feelings. They make you divine.
Aesthetics is the feeling of beauty in objects and fine arts. Vehemence, fanaticism, passion, excitability, agitation, flutter, flurry, ruffle, perturbation, are low Rajasic-Tamasic feelings. They are Asuric and diabolical in nature. They throw you down in low births. Cultivate sublime feelings and attain divinity.
All emotions come under the category of Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes). When the feeling is intense and has a big volume, it becomes an emotion. It is one of the three groups of the phenomena of mind. An emotional man is easily excited. Bengalis are highly emotional. A man of emotional temperament is fit for the practice of Bhakti Yoga. Emotions are of two kinds viz., high and low. Bhakti is a higher, divine emotion. Low surging emotions should be stilled and transformed by the practice of Pranayama, Japa, Sattvic food and Vichara. Higher emotions should be cultivated by Satsanga, Japa, Kirtan and study of Bhagavatam, etc. Raga, Dvesha, lust, hatred, pride, jealousy, are low emotions of the impure mind. Do not mistake emotion for devotion. Do not live on emotion. Control lower emotions and be calm and serene. Do not cultivate the habit of weeping through emotion. But shed tears of Prema in silence through Virahagni and practice of the presence of God. Do not jump and dance violently. Allow a single controlled emotion to glide smoothly like a gentle wave.
AND SPIRITUAL PROGRESS
Sentiment becomes a habit. It is more permanent, while an emotion is temporary. Sentiment is a thought occasioned by feeling. It is an exhibition of feeling as in literature or art. It is a thought expressed in words. It is the second division of the moral faculties.
A sentimental man is affectedly tender. He abounds in sentiments or reflections. He has an excess of sentiment or feeling. Sentiment is of two kinds viz., high and low. Sexual sentiment is a low sentiment. Aesthetics is sentiment of the sublime and the beautiful. A sentimental man who is swayed by low sentiments, who is easily upset by low sentiments, is ever perturbed and restless. But a man of sublime sentiments, who has kept his low sentiments under control, is peaceful and advances in the spiritual path. A man of sublime sentiment is very sympathetic and kind. He is easily moved when he looks at the sufferings of others. Control low sentiments, cultivate high, sublime sentiments.
Conscience is a moral faculty. It is a delicate instrument or sense that tells you then and there what is right and what is wrong. It is the inner voice without sound, that shows you the path of virtue and godliness. It raises the voice of protest, whenever anything is thought of or done, contrary to the interest of his Master (Atman). He is an ambassador in the durbar of King, Atman. He is an advocate of judge, Atman. Through misuse it becomes blunt. Through abuse or misuse it is even destroyed. Through wickedness it becomes perverted. Untiring falsehood and taking bribes destroy the conscience altogether. A pure, clean conscience helps the aspirant, to reach the goal quickly. Therefore cultivate a clean and pure conscience, by adhering to truth and Dharma. Keep the conscience bright, sharp and delicate. Pin-pricks in the heart, shame and depression indicate that you have done something against conscience.
Saints and Yogins will never think that they have controlled the mind. Only the deluded Sadhaka imagines that he has controlled the mind, and gets a terrible downfall. It is the very nature of life, mind and Prakriti, to be constantly in motion. When there is the idea in the mind that the Highest Goal is yet to be achieved, you will always move towards it. If you imagine that you have gone to the top, you will anyhow have to move, and that movement will be downward: you will have a downfall. Aspire for higher and higher realisation till the breath ceases in the nostril.
Mind is very treacherous. It will hurl you down in the abyss of ignorance. "Peetva Peetva Punar Janma na Vidyate." Drink again drink, there is no rebirth. It will say "Give up Sadhana: you will not gain anything; there is no bliss beyond senses. The world is real. There is nothing like sensual pleasure. Enjoy it to your heart's content." Hear not the voice of the mind. Swim against the mind current. Mind is your bitterest enemy. Bear this always in your mind. Treat the mind as such. Disconnect yourself from the mind. Ever stand as its silent witness. Do not become one with the mind and its Vrittis. Ever introspect and practise self-analysis. The mind will lurk as a thief. It cannot do any havoc. It will gradually be tamed. It will become your obedient servant.
Sensual pleasures are nectar in the beginning; but they are venom in the end. Co-operate not with the mind. This is the way to thin out the mind. This is the method to control the mind. If the mind says: "Go to cinema" say to the mind: "I will attend the Sadhana Week," and immediately proceed to Ananda Kutir. If the mind says "Attend the Nautch party," take part in Akhanda Kirtan and Satsanga. If the mind says: "Eat eggs, meat," eat spinach, fruits and milk. If the mind says: "Read novels, newspapers" study the Gita, the Upanishads and practice of Karma Yoga. If the mind says: "Take part in horse race" go to Badrinarayan and Gangotri. If the mind says: "Gamble in Deevali” practise vigil and do Kirtan whole night. If the mind says: "Go to the club for gossiping and card's play" attend the Satsanga and do Japa intensely.
Ghee has two states, viz., solid and liquid. Mind is like ghee. In the waking state it is solid. In the deep sleep state it is in a state of liquid. In the solid state it is limited and gross. So it has finite experiences. In the liquid state it is limitless and so the jiva experiences the homogeneous, limitless bliss. In the deep sleep state there is no ego or individuality. There is no desire also. Hence it experiences limitless bliss of the Atman.
When rice has its own individuality it can be differentiated. When it is powdered nicely and made into a thick paste rice loses its individuality. It is all one mass of homogeneous paste. Even so in deep sleep state mind is like the rice-paste. There is no differentiation here. It is a homogeneous mass. Mind can be compared to ice in the waking state. It can be compared to water, in the state of deep sleep.
A writer writes many books with the help of the fountain-pen. The fountain-pen is only an instrument of the writer. The fountain-pen should not think "I have written all these books. All the credit should come to me only." Your mind, senses and the body are only instruments in the hands of the Lord. God does everything: Feel like this, and abandon the doership or the agency. You will be freed from the bonds of Karma.
The stainful mind has not the benevolence to consider others' happiness as its own. So it is ever reeling. The mind has not the complacency to rejoice at another's virtues. Therefore there is no internal contentment. The mind becomes unstable and restless through desires for objects. When the mind is not centred in the Atman, man desires for objects. A mind attached to the pleasures of the senses leads to misery in the shape of births and deaths.
Vritti is a wave in the mind-lake. Lust, anger, etc., are evil vrittis in the mind. Faith, devotion. dispassion, discrimination, corage, mercy, are good Vrittis in the mind. Jealousy is a form of continuous anger. Arrogance is a form of pride. Insolence is overbearing nature. Irshya is a form of jealousy. Greed intensifies desire, destroys peace of mind and retards spiritual progress. Vismriti is the confused understanding of one who is swayed by evil propensities like passion, anger, greed, etc. Cultivate good Vrittis. The evil Vrittis will die by themselves. Do not attack the evil Vrittis directly.
AND ITS ELIMINATION
Ego or egoism or Ahamkara in Sanskrit is the self-asserting principle or Tattva born of ignorance or Prakriti. Abhimana is egoism. Garva is egoism. The seed of this ego is the differentiating intellect or Bheda Buddhi. It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or Atman. It is the ego which is the root cause for all human sufferings and births and deaths.
This ego identifies itself with the body, mind, Prana and the senses. Wherever there is ego, there are mineness, selfishness, likes and dislikes, lust, anger, greed, hypocrisy, pride, jealousy, delusion, arrogance, conceit, impertinence, Vasanas, Trishna or cravings and Vrittis or Sankalpas, clinging to this earth-life (Abhinivesa), agency, doership (Kartritva) and enjoyership (Bhoktritva).
You must have a very clear understanding of the nature of this ego, if you want to annihilate egoism. Killing of egoism is killing of mind. Destruction of thought, desires, cravings, mineness, selfishness, jealousy, pride, lust is really destruction of mind or egoism. Control of senses also is annihilation of the mind or egoism.
This egoism assumes a subtle form. The gross egoism is not so dangerous as the subtle egoism. Institutional egoism is a subtle form of egoism. The man identifies himself with the institution and gets himself attached to the institution or cult. He has no broad-mindendness or catholicity. The working of egoism is very mysterious. It is very difficult to detect its various ways of working. It needs subtle and sharp intellect to find out its operation. If you practise introspection daily in silence you will be able to find out its mysterious ways of working.
This ego likes his own birthplace and district, people of his district, his own mother-tongue, his own relations and friends, his own ways of eating, mode of dressing. He has his own predilection and preferences. He dislikes others' way of eating, dressing, etc.
This ego wants to exercise power and influence over others. He wants titles, prestige, status, respect, prosperity house, wife, children. He wants self aggrandisement. He wishes to domineer and rule over others. If anybody points out his defects his vanity feels offended. If anyone praises him, he is elated. This ego says: "I know everything. He does not know anything. What I say is quite correct. What he says is quite incorrect. He is inferior to me. I am superior to him." He forces others to follow his ways and views.
This ego will lurk like a thief when you start introspection and self-analysis. It will elude your grasp and understanding, You must be ever alert and vigilant. If you obtain the grace of the Lord through Japa, Kirtan, prayer and devotion you can easily kill this ego. Through Lord's grace only your self-surrender will become perfect. When this ego melts in the cosmic ego you will attain communion with the Lord or Self-realisation. May you realise the goal of life and attain everlasting Bliss through annihilation of this little ego.
Ahankara or egoism is the self-arrogating principle in man. It is a Vritti or modification that arises in the mind. Patanjali Maharshi calls this by the name "Asmita". The same mind assumes the form of egoism when man self-arrogates himself. Ahankara manifests first and then comes Mamata.
This baneful egoism generates actions, desires and pains. It is the source for all evils. It is illusory. It deludes people. Though it is nothing, it is everything for the worldly people. It is associated with mineness. It is born of Avidya or ignorance. It springs from false conceit. Vanity fosters it. It is the greatest enemy. If one renounces this Ahankara, he will be happy. The secret of renunciation is renunciation of egoism. Ahankara has its seat in the mind. It is under the influence of egoism that man commits evil and wrong actions. It is deep-rooted. Anxieties and troubles proceed from egoism. Ahankara is a veritable disease. Pride, lust, anger, delusion, greed, jealousy, love and hatred are the attendants of Ahankara. Ahankara destroys our virtues and peace of mind. It spreads the snare of affection to entrap us. He who is free from egoism is very happy and peaceful. Desires multiply and expand on account of egoism. Our inveterate enemy of egoism has spread about us the enchantments of our wives, friends, children, etc., whose spell is hard to break. There is no enemy greater than egoism.
He who neither desires nor dislikes anything and who preserves the serenity of mind at times is not affected by the feeling of egoism. There are three kinds of egoism in the three worlds. On these, two kinds of egoism are beneficial and of superior nature but the third is a vile kind and is to be abandoned by all. The first is the supreme and undivided ego which is eternal and which pervades throughout the world. It is the supreme soul (paramatma), besides which there is nothing in nature. Meditate on the formula “Aham Brahma Asmi-I am Brahman. Identify yourself with Brahman. It is Sattvic Ahankara. The knowledge which makes us perceive our own self to be more subtle than the tail end of paddy or to be as minute as the hundredth part of a hair, and to be ever existent is the second kind of Ahankara. The two kinds of egoism are found in a Jivanmukta or a liberated sage. They lead to the liberation of men. They will not cause bondage. Hence they are a beneficial and superior nature. The third kind of Ahankara is the knowledge of the hands, feet, etc., which takes the body for the Soul or the Self. This is the worst or basest form of egoism. This is found in all worldly persons. This is the cause for the growth of the poisonous tree of rebirths. Those who possess this kind of egoism can never come to their right senses. Countless persons have been deluded by this form of Ahankara. They have lost their intelligence, power of discrimination, and power of enquiry. This kind of egoism produces baneful results. People come under the influence of all evils of life. Those who are slaves of this form of Ahankara are troubled by various desires which induce them to do wrong actions. It debases them to the state of beasts. This kind of Ahankara should be destroyed by the other two kinds of Ahankara. The more you thin out this egoism, the more you will get knowledge of Brahman or the light of the soul.
Again there are three kinds of Ahankara, viz., Sattvic egoism, Rajasic egoism and Tamasic egoism. Sattvic egoism will not bind a man to Samsara. It will help the aspirant to attain the final emancipation. If you try to assert "Aham Brahma Asmi," "I am Brahman" this is Sattvic egoism. Even in a Jivanmukta there is slight trace of Sattvic egoism. "I am a king. I know everything. I am very intelligent"-this is Rajasic egoism. "I am a fool. I do not know anything"this is Tamasic egoism.
The literal meaning or Vachyartha of Aham Pada is Aham Vritti that arises in the mind, the little"l" which identifies itself with the physical body. The indicative meaning or Lakshyartha of Aham Pada is Atman or Brahman, the big or infinite "I".
The idea of l' or egoism, is the seed of the tree of mind The sprout which at first germinates from the seed of Ahankara is Buddhi or intellect. From this sprout, the ramifying branches called Sankalpas take their origin. The mind, Chitta and Buddhi are but the different names or qualities of the same Ahankara. The branches of Vasanas will naturally produce innumerable crops of Karmas, but if with the sword of Jnana you severe them from the heart's core, they will be destroyed. Cut the branches of the dire tree of mind and eventually destroy the tree at its root completely. Cutting the branches is only a secondary thing, the primary one being the eradication of the tree at its root. If you, through virtuous actions, destroy the idea l'at the root of the tree (mind), then it will not grow up. Atma Jnana or knowledge of the Self is the fire which destroys the conception of Ahamkara, the seed of the tree (mind).
There is another classification of egoism viz., gross (Sthula) and subtle (Sukshma). When you identify yourself with the gross physical body, it is gross egoism. When you identify yourself with the mind and Karana Sarira (seed body), it is subtle egoism. If you destroy pride, selfishness, desires and identification with the body, the gross egoism will perish but the subtle egoism will remain. You must annihilate the subtle egoism also. Subtle egoism is more dangerous and more difficult of eradication. "I am a rich man, I am a king, I am a Brahmin"—this is gross egoism. "I am a great Yogi: I am a Jnani; I am a good Sadhaka or Sadhu"—this is subtle egoism. There is another classification of Ahamkara, viz., Samanya Ahankara (ordinary egoism) and Visesha Ahamkara (special egoism). Ordinary egoism is present in animal; Visesha Ahamkara is present in human beings.
You say, "the body is mine." The vultures, jackals and fishes also say, 'this body is ours.' If you peel off the layers of the onion one by one, the onion dwindles into an airy nothing. So is the l'. This body, mind, Prana, senses, etc., are all combinations of the five elements and Tanmatras. They are all modifications of the Prakriti only. Where is the I then? This physical body belongs to Virat, astral body to Hiranyagarbha, and causal body to Isvara. Where is the l' then? T' is an illusory nothing fabricated by the juggler mind. Nothing can be said to exist, which is not produced by some cause. This body which is produced through Karmas is not itself the cause. The knowledge or consciousness, that we have of it, is itself illusory. Therefore, Ahankara and other effects which are produced through the delusion of knowledge are also non-existent. The real l' is the Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman only.
Just as the motion of the train or the boat is apparently transferred to the trees, so also I is transferred through jugglery of Maya, to the body, mind, Prana and senses. When you say, 'I am stout, I am hungry, I am thirsty', the l' is transferred to the Prana, you identify yourself with the Prana; when you say, 'I am angry, I am lustful', the l' is transferred to the mind. If you identify yourself with the Supreme Self, all false identification will vanish. If you kill the commander of an army, you can very easily subdue the soldiers, viz., lust, anger, pride, jealousy, greed, delusion, hypocrisy, who fight for their master-egoism.
Try to attain Brahman by means of the first two kinds of superior egoism. If you are firmly established in that supreme immaculate state wherein even these two kinds of superior egoism are abandoned one by one, then such a state is the imperishable abode of Brahman. Do not identify the l' with physical body. Identify yourself with the Supreme Self of Para-Brahman.
You might have reduced or thinned out your egoism to a very great extent but if you are still susceptible to censure and praise, know that the subtle egoism is still lurking in you.
An aspirant who treads the path of devotion destroys his egoism through self-surrender or Atma Nivedana to the Lord. He says "I am Thine my Lord. All is Thine. Thy will be done." He feels he is an instrument in the hands of the Lord. He dedicates all his actions and the fruits of his actions to the Lord. He feels that there is nothing but the Lord, that everything is done by the Lord, that even an atom cannot move without Him and that all live, move and have their very being in Him alone.
A Karma Yogi destroys his egoism through self-sacrifice. A Jnana Yogi kills his egoism through self-denial or self-abnegation, through Vichara and the practice of 'Neti-Neti'—"I am not this body, I am not the mind, I am not Prana, I am not the senses," and through identification with the Supreme Self, by meditation on the formula, "I am all-pervading Self or Brahman."
May you rest in the big infinite "I", the pure Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman and enjoy Eternal Bliss by annihilating this little illusory 'l', the product of Maya, through self-denial or self-sacrifice or self-surrender!
Mind cannot by itself illumine the objects. Without the Atman, which is of the nature of intelligence, no cognition is possible. The function of the mind is to go out to the object through the senses and manifest it. Just as the water flowing from the tank to the fields through channels assumes the forms of the respective fields so also the mind which pervades an object assumes the form of that object. Every object is an idea. It proceeds from the mind, exists in the mind and merges in the mind.
Just as the light of the sun takes the shape of the object it illumines, the mind which enlightens everything assumes the form of the object it reveals.
When the eye sees in orange, the mind projects itself through the eye and takes the form of an orange. When the mind, conceives of an orange, perceives an object, it transforms itself into the object.
The perceiver in spite of the presence of the sense-organs and the objects, can perceive the object only when the mind is attached to it. Therefore, the mind is the instrument.
Just as a lion that is shut up in a cage is restless, so also, the mind-bird that is shut up in the cage of our brain is restless. The mind runs after objects passionately. Fix it on the all-peaceful Atman. It will attain Supreme Peace.
If the mind is pure, even enemies become friends. Tigers and serpents cannot harm you. Poison will become nectar. The flames of fire become cool. All these things will happen, when you know that there is the same Immanent Being in the hearts of all. The lives of Mira and Prahlada confirm this.
Knowledge dawns only in a man who is endowed with a contented mind. A contented mind is ever calm and serene. He who does not wish for things which he has not got, who is not affected by what he possesses, and who is never elated or dejected, is a contented man. The heart of a man of contentment is ever full. He is ever happy. A disciplined and one-pointed mind is the essential requisite to God-realisation.
Conquest of the mind is possible only by lessening the desires. Therefore, abandon all desires through dispassion, discrimination and meditation on Brahman.
The mind of the cat is ever on the milkpot. The mind of the snake is ever on the frog. Even so, the mind of a passionate man is ever on the small, vulgar, sensual pleasures. O ignorant man! aspire for the big eternal bliss. The methods, the weapons, used to combat the enemy mind and watchwords of those who have attained Self-realisation are different in each case.
A potter moulds the clay; goldsmith moulds the gold; and a blacksmith moulds the iron; but an aspirant moulds his mind. Detect the dodgings of the mind and overcome them. The mind will cheat you in a variety of ways when you want to sit for meditation.
Prepare the ground first. Purify the mind first. Only then the Governor of the mind will enthrone Himself in your heart.
Tune the instrument first. Keep everything in order before the Master of music arrives to play on the instrument, viz.. mind. Spiritual experience does not remain constant when the mind is not perfectly purified. The Jiva descends again into the egoistic life. The higher consciousness is withdrawn from him.
The more the mind is withdrawn from the outer world, the more it is making headway in the realm of spirit or Atman. A pure well-directed mind will do you tremendous service. It will become your obedient servant, true guide or Guru and an affectionate mother.
To have control over the mind and the senses is real heroism. To refrain from harming other creatures is the highest charity. To abandon desires is the true Tapas. Whatever brings about unity and harmony is Dharma. Only when you have purified the vehicles of Adhara, only when the mind is serene, you can behold the majesty and glory of the Self.
Lead a well-regulated, disciplined life. Control the senses first. Subject them absolutely to the mastery of the mind. The bring the lower mind under the control of the higher mind. Balance of mind or mental equipoise is an indispensable element in spiritual life. Develop this again and again.
A very big needle is of no use in stitching a fine cloth. Even so a gross mind is of no use in realising the Supreme Self. A vacant mind cannot be called a serene mind. There is no thinking, no conception, no mental action, in a vacant mind. The most essential prerequisite in the spiritual path is an undivided, one-pointed mind.
When the mind is longing for a particular food or drink, when the thing is right in front of you when you are just putting out your hand to grasp it, do not touch it. Stop and say, "I am not a slave of any particular food or drink or any object. I can leave it any moment. My will is powerful now."
As a diamond can be cut only by a diamond, so also, the mind can be conquered only by the mind. The lower instinctive mind should be conquered by the higher, pure, Sattvic mind.
When the mind is rendered pure and one-pointed, it gets established in the one Supreme Self which is of the nature of pure-consciousness, that is all-pervading like the ether, homogeneous like a lump of salt. Adversities become sweet when your mind is turned towards God.
Mind is like a monkey. It is never satisfied with the objects which are already under its possession. It jumps to other unattained ones. It always wants variety and gets disgusted with monotony. Tame this mind by making it taste the nectar of the Atman within, by regular meditation.
Your mind swings like a pendulum between a tear and a cheer, between fleeting pleasure and pain. Regular and constant meditation can stop this swinging of the mind, and bestow on you unalloyed felicity. Therefore, meditate. When you try to fix the mind, only then it becomes restless, and the thoughts which you never dreamt of before enter the mind. Your enemy becomes more violent only when you begin to attack him. Even So, are the thoughts. Gradually they will lose their vigour and die. Persist in your Sadhana. Be regular in your meditation. You will attain success in concentration.
Gradually empty the mind. When the attraction for objects dies through dispassion and discrimination, the number of thoughts or ideas gradually decreases. Meditation keeps only the one idea or God or Atman. Gradually the mind is emptied of all worldly thoughts and is filled with Atman or God.
The spiritual practices begin to take firm root when the mind becomes concentrated. The mind that takes refuge in inactivity mistakes inertia for liberation.
Close the senses through Pratyahara or abstraction and Dama or self-restraint. Make the mind steady. Let it cease vibrating. Let it become still. Allow not any desire to disturb its tranquillity. Behold now the majesty and glory of Atman in the silence.
Negate your ego; deny your separateness; efface yourself; suffer pains and sacrifice pleasures. Deny the wants of thyself; it asks for many a cup of poison. It is a moth that falls into the fire thinking it is pleasant. It is a child that walks into the well. Humble thyself, annihilate thyself, if you wish to Live.
Shame upon the man of mere dry intellect without practical wisdom. He cannot avoid crookedness and cunningness. He is self-deceived and a husband of everlasting misery. He is far away from the Real. He has married sin.
Throw away your learning, O basket of vanity! Give away everything that is dear and behold the light within. The ego bursts into Infinity or sinks into nothingness. These are the two paths by which the ego loses itself in toto.
Realisation of the Supreme State can come only if one is sincere and earnest in practical Sadhana. The lesser the connection with the ego and the greater the detachment from objective consciousness, the quicker is the Realisation of the Absolute.
The more the ego-sense is pressed down, the nearer we are to the Eternal. The place of the annihilated ego is taken by the revelation of the Absolute Reality.
The mind is weak. The senses are strong. The bonds of temptation are stronger still. In the midst of these three, you are tossed up and down. Spiritual Sadhana alone can really impart to you the inner Santi or eternal peace. Do Japa, meditation kirtan Satsanga and study of spiritual books. These will help you and not the temptation that assails you. Do not think of the Obiects of the senses. Cessation from worldly enjoyments is Uparati. Constant practice to fix the mind in God is Samadhana. Deep concentration is Samadhana. Do not allow the mind to externalise. This is Sama. Checking the external instruments of the sense-organs is Dama.
Ninety per cent perspiration and ten per cent inspiration make a genius or prodigy. Intelligence is ninety per cent memory. When the sense-object attracts you, withdraw the mind from the object. To see Rama or Krishna in a sense-object is possible only for well-advanced aspirants. "I am non-doer." This is the Bhava of a Vedantin. The devotee offers all his actions as sacrifice unto the Lord. He feels that he is an instrument in the hands of the Lord (Nimitta Bhava).
The Lord knows what is best for you. He moulds you in a variety of ways for His unhampered play or Lila and for the attainment of the final beatitude. Therefore resign yourself to His supreme will and be satisfied with whatever happens and thus prepare yourself for the attainment of that balanced state (Samata) wherein there is absence of likes and dislikes or the pairs of opposites.
Lust deals a deadly blow to spiritual Sadhana. Kill this lust by diverse methods. Do not entertain lustful thoughts. Do not look at figures that create the mental sensation of passion. Avoid going to cinemas. Do not mix with all sorts of people who take pleasure in lustful speech. Think of the Lord when the idea of sex enters the mind. Pray to Him fervently.
The conception that the body is the Atman constitutes Avidya or ignorance. (Dehadishvan-atmasu aham asmi Yatmabuddhiravidya). From it spring desires with regard to whatever promotes the well being of the body and aversion with regard to whatever tends to injure it. There further arises fear and confusion when we observe anything threatening to destroy it. All this constitutes an endless series of manifold evils. A sage always rests in Samadhi or Turiya state. He has only one state, the state of Turiya or the fourth. He has none of the three states. He neither wakes dreams nor sleeps. He has neither past, nor present nor future.
If you fail in keeping your resolves, make fresh resolves. Just as the child falls many a time when it tries to walk without the help of the wall, just as the new cyclist falls from the cycle a number of times before he learns to sit steadily in the seat, so also the new aspirant will fail a number of times in his resolves. He has to make repeated attempts. Ultimately the will come out victorious. Just as the tongue is not affected by Ghee, so also the skilful aspirant is not affected by the temptation of the world. He takes shelter in the Lord. In His name and grace.
Sometimes you get the solution for a certain difficult problem as soon as soon get up form sleep the subconscious mind is working when you go to bed. The subconscious mind has the impressions of all actions of the past. It lays before you by a sudden flash the hidden mysteries, when you concentrate. A lustful look itself is break in Brahmacharya. There is internal discharge. Veerya is separated from the system.
Make the mind understand by repeated hammering and Vichara that all sexual pleasure is false, utterly worthless and extremely harmful. Clearly think over how very illusory and full of pain it is. On no account should you listen to the promptings of the impure mind. Place before the mind the glory and the advantage of a life in the eternal and all blissful, omniscient. Atman. He who is humble, calm, quiet in mind, and controlled in conduct, and who is content in his heart finds the whole universe full of joy and bliss. All rivers find their centre in the ocean, all touches in the skin, all tastes in the tongue, all smells in the nose, all colours in the eye, all sounds in the ear, all percepts in the mind, all knowledge in the heart, all actions in the hands, all movements in the feet and all the Vedas in speech. Even so the centre for all individual souls and all beings is Brahman or the Supreme Self.
If the Jivahood is a reality, it can never be destroyed and freedom would be impossible. The Jiva becomes one with the Supreme self on release. There is nothing like Jivahood an unreality, a creation of ignorance, the Jiva being identical with Brahman. In reality the Jiva is neither created nor destroyed. It is your ignorance that makes you see the individual soul or Jiva limited by Upadhis as something different from Brahman. When the dark ignorance, the deluder of all men, the great nescience, the veil that covers the individual soul is rent asunder, then he realises the Nirguna Brahman within him dwelling in the intellect, in cavity of his heart. Brahman is to be realised by meditation alone and not otherwise.
When you practise Yoga, certain Siddhis like celestial scents, sounds, sights, the most agreeable sensations of taste and touch, pleasurable sensations of coolness and warmth, will come to you. Disregard them. Shun them, as they will bind you and cause distraction and downfall. They are distractions on your path. March forward and try to attain the summit of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Restrain speech and the senses and practise meditation during the hours after dusk, the hours before dawn and at dawn of day. These periods are quite congenial for the practice of Yoga. The mind will soon come under your control.
The mind is like a wheel which revolves endlessly with tremendous velocity. It generates new thoughts with every revolution. This wheel is set in motion with the vibrations of psychic Prana or subtle Prana. The practice of Pranayama lessens the velocity of the mind, slows down the wheel gradually. Perfect control of Prana will bring the wheel to a standstill.
Alcohol, meat Rajasic foods, the cinema, novel reading, obscene songs, obscene sights, obscene talks, evil company will make the wheel of mind revolve very rapidly; whereas fruits, Sattvic food the company of Mahatmas, study of religious books, solitude, Japa kirtan, concentration, meditation, enquiry of who am I will slow down the wheel and eventually bring it to a standstill.
Identify yourself with the immortal self. Enquire, “Who am I? whenever bad thoughts arise in your mind. All the thoughts will gradually die.
The fewer the desires, the fewer the thoughts. Become absolutely desireless. The wheel of your will stop entirely. If you reduce your wants, if you do not try to fulfil your desires, if you try to eradicate your desires one by one, your thoughts will diminish in frequency and length. The number of thoughts per minute will also decrease. Fewer the thoughts greater the peace. Remember this always. A wealthy man who speculates in a big city and who has a large number of thoughts has a restless mind. In spite of his comforts, whereas a Sadhu who lives in a cave in the Himalays and who practises thought control is very happy in spite of his poverty.
The power of concentration will increase by lessening the number of thoughts. Certainly it is an uphill work to reduce the number of thoughts. In the beginning it will tax your ability very much. The task will be very unpleasant. But later on you will rejoice as you get immense strength of mind and internal peace by reduction of thoughts. Armed with patience, perseverance, vigilance, fiery determination and iron will, you can crush the thoughts easily just as you crush a lemon or an orange with ease. After crushing, it will be easy for you to root them out. Mere crushing or suppression will not suffice. There may be again resurrection of thoughts. They should be totally eradicated just as loose tooth is pulled out.
When you hit at the head of a snake with a stick and crush its head, it remains absolutely motionless for some time. You think it is dead. All of a sudden it raises its head and runs swiftly. Even so, the thoughts that were once crushed and suppressed by you regain strength and raise up their heads. They must be destroyed totally beyond resurrection.
It is very difficult to fix the mind on a single thought in the beginning. First diminish the number of thoughts. Try to have thoughts on one subject only. If you think of a rose, you may have all sorts of thoughts connected with the rose only. You may think of different kinds of roses that are grown in different parts of the world. You may think of the various preparations that are made out of roses, and their uses. You may allow even thoughts of other kinds of flowers to enter; but do not entertain thoughts of fruits and vegetables. Check the aimless wandering of the mind. Do not have thoughts at random when you think of a rose. Gradually you can fix the mind on one thought. You will have to discipline the mind daily. Eternal vigilance is needed in thought-control.
The fewer the thoughts the greater the mental strength and concentration. Suppose that the average number of thoughts that pass through your brain within one hour is one hundred. If you succeed in reducing it by constant practice of concentration and meditation to ninety, you will have gained 10 per cent in concentration of mind. Every thought that is reduced adds strength and peace of mind. Reduction of even one thought will give you mental strength and peace of mind. You may not be able to feel this in the beginning, as you do not possess a subtle intellect: but there is a spiritual thermometer inside to register the reduction of even a single thought. If you educe one thought, the mental strength that you have gained his reduction will help to reduce the second thought easily.
In rubber plantations planters thin out the rubber trees by first cutting the small surplus trees which stand in the vicinity of big ones. By so doing they can tap more milk or rubber juice from the big trees. Even so you must thin out the thoughts by destroying them one by one to drink the ambrosial milk or nectar of Immortality.
When the tail of a lizard is cut, the cut-end will flutter about for some time, as there is still a little residual Prana in the tail. After one or two minutes all motions will cease. Even so, even after thinning and reduction of thoughts some thoughts will move about like the tail of the lizard. But they are powerless. They cannot do any serious havoc. There is no vitality in them. Just as the drowning man tries to catch anything to save himself, so also these lifeless thoughts try their best to come back to thier previous state of life and vigour. If you go on with your daily practice of concentration and meditation regularly, they will die by themselves like a gheeless lamp.
Just as a warrior chops off the heads of his enemies one by one when they come out of a fortress through a trapdoor, as also chop off your thoughts one by one when they emerge out to the surface of the mind through the trapdoor of consciousness.
The substitution method is very easy and effective in the destruction of evil thoughts. Cultivate only positive, virtuous thoughts of mercy, love, purity, forgiveness, integrity, generosity and humility in the garden of your mind. The negative vicious thoughts of hatred, lust, anger, greed, pride, etc., will die by themselves. It is difficult to destroy the evil thoughts by attacking them directly. You will have to tax your will and waste your energy.
Thought makes man. Man makes civilisation. There is a powerful thought-force behind every great event in life and in the history of the world.
Behind all discoveries and inventions, behind all religions and philosophies, behind all life-saving or life-destroying devices is thought.
Thought is expressed in words and executed in deeds. Word is the handmaid of thought, and deed is the end result. Hence, the saying: "As you think, so you become."
How to build a new civilisation?
By generating a new thought-force.
How to build a civilisation that will ensure the peace of mankind, the prosperity of society, the salvation of the individual.
By generating a thought-force that will invariably result in man enjoying peace of mind, that will instil in his heart the divine virtues of compassion, of service to his fellow-men, of love of God, and of an intense desire to realise Him.
If but a fraction of the wealth and the time spent on wasteful pursuits and destructive activities is devoted to the creation of a good THOUGHT, there will be a new civilisation right now.
Atomic and hydrogen bombs, I.C.B.M. and a host of other inventions drive mankind inevitably to destruction.
They waste your wealth, they destroy your neighbours; they pollute the atmosphere of the whole world, and generate fear, hatred, and suspicion in your heart; the mind is unbalanced and the body is subjected to diseases. Stop this trend.
Promote research in spirituality, in religion, in all the good things of life. Support the philosophers and saints—the real benefactors of mankind. Encourage them in their study of religion, researches in ancient spiritual literature, and the projection of a Great Thought-force for the Good.
Ban all literature that pollute the thoughts of the young Flood the young brain with healthy thoughts, ideas and ideals.
The man who commits murder, the man who steals your purse, the man who cheats you-law punishes him. But this crime is insignificant when compared to the crime committed by the wicked intellectual who instils a wicked idea into the mind of youth.
He is the author of many murders that take place on earth; he steals your greatest wealth viz., wisdom; he cheats you by presenting you with poison in the name of sweet elixir. The laws of the new civilisation will deal very severely with such Asuric beings.
The New Civilisation will give every encouragement to those who wish to study philosophy, religion and spiritual thought. It will make their study compulsory in schools and colleges. It will award scholarships to students of philosophy. It will confer prizes and titles on those who conduct researches in religion and philosophy. The deepest urge in man—the spiritual urge—will be given the fullest scope to realise its goal.
The fruits of the New Civilisation are well worth all that everybody can do towards building it up. In the New Civilisation man will want to lead a righteous life, he will be eager to serve his fellow-beings and share with them what he has: he will love all, realising that his own Self dwells in all; he will be devoted to the welfare of all beings.
What an ideal society it will be, where people will share with others all that they possess, and will serve everybody! Where will be the need for taxes and duties in such a society in which everyone will voluntarily work for all? Where is the need for police and the army when people are devoted to virtue?
This, then, is the ideal. Towards this end, let everyone, strive to generate a Thought-force.
May God bless you all!
Second Phase of Mind conquest its Theory and Practice
Mind is made up of subtle matter. It is through mind that God manifests as the universe. Mind is a subtle force. Prana vibrates on mind and mind generates thoughts. Mind is a bundle of impressions, thoughts, Vasanas (desires) and cravings. The seed of mind is egoism.
Mind can do five functions of the five senses of perception or knowledge (Jnana Indriyas). There are three Gunas or qualities. viz. Sattva. Raias and Tamas in the mind. Lust, anger. greed, jealousy, pride, delusion, egoism, likes and dislikes are waves in the mind. The ever-restless mind becomes quiescent when all desires perish. The mind is purified by the practice of selfless service, Japa, Tapas, right conduct or practice of Yama (self-restraint) and meditation. The mind filled with Sattva is Suddha Manas or pure mind. The mind filled with Rajas and Tamas is Asuddha Manas or impure mind. Relaxation of mind, Japa, prayer, meditation, cheerfulness, Sattvic food, study of religious books, are necessary for keeping up mental health.
The mind assumes the form of any object it intensely thinks of. If it thinks of an apple, it assumes the form of an apple. If it thinks of the form of Lord Jesus, it assumes the form of Lord Jesus. As you think, so you become. This is an immutable psychological law.
In waking state mind has its abode in the brain. In dream state it has its abode in the throat. In deep sleep it rests in the heart.
Prana is the connecting link between body and mind. If you control Prana or sex-energy, you can control the mind. If you can control the mind, you can control Prana also. Through control of breath you can control the mind. Cosmic mind is the universal mind of the Lord. It is superconscious mind. Conscious mind operates through the brain in the waking state. Subconscious mind is Chitta. All impressions are imbedded in the subconscious mind. Practice of Pranayama helps to attain mental equipoise. It can hear and see at the same time.
Mind is the dividing wall between soul and body. Mind is the commander-in-chief. The senses are the soldiers. Egoism greed, jealousy, vanity, etc., are the attendants of the mind. Man says, "My mind was elsewhere; I did not see. My mind was elsewhere; I did not hear." Man sees with his mind and hears with his mind. Steadying or fixing the mind in one point is called Abhyasa.
You can control the mind through Abhyasa or practice and Vairagya. You can be established in Samadhi or superconscious state only by long practice, with zeal and faith. Without dispassion or non-attachment or indifference to sensual enjoyments no spiritual progress is possible. Annihilate the impure mind or the lower mind with the help of the pure or the higher mind and transcend the higher mind also.
The senses cannot do anything without the cooperation of the mind.
Do not try to drive away impure thoughts. The more you try, the more they will return. Fill the mind with divine thoughts. The impure thoughts will gradually vanish by themselves. Do not try to control the mind through violent methods. You will miserably and hopelessly fall. Use the approved and intelligent methods. You can control the mind easily.
The mind is at the root of Samsara or world-proces: Desire is the fuel. Thought is the fire Withdraw the fuel of desire, the fire of thought will be extinguished. Mind is like an ocean; thoughts are the waves. Mind is the organ of sensation and thoughts. Mind thinks, intellect determines, egoism self arrogates, subconscious mind memories. When the mind is Sattvic, calm and pure, you will get glimpses or flashes of intuition.
Mind and Prana are interdependent. Prana is overcoat of the mind. Wherever there is Prana, there is mind, wherever there is mind, there is Prana.
Waking state, dream state and deep sleep state are the three states of the mind.
Mental actions are the real actions. Thought is the real action.
A Rajasic mind wants variety and new sensations. It gets disgusted with monotony. Change of work is change for the mind.
Mind is a gatekeeper. It allows only one thought at a time to enter the mental factory or the mental palace.
AND ITS SUBDUAL
The universe is nothing but a mode of mind. The mind manifests itself as the external world. Time is but a mode of mind. This mischievous mind dances in the theatre of this universe to the music of the organs. The mind constitutes the root of the tree of Samsara or Ajnana which ramifies in all directions with branches full of flowers, tendrils, fruits, etc.
All that you are now is the result of what you have thought. You build your own future by the thoughts you think. Entertain divine thoughts. You will attain God-realisation. Conquest of mind means conquest of the world. You may overcome a thousand men in battle, but he who conquers his mind is the greatest victor. Mind-control is the indispensable discipline for those who seek to obtain the knowledge of Atman or the Supreme Self. Illusion is the vibration (Vritti) of mind under an imagination which makes one thing appear as another thing. Mind is the cause for the appearance of Aham "l" and ldam "this". One cannot attain everlasting peace without the extinction of mind (Manonasa).
The seed of Ajnana or ignorance is no other than the sprout of Sankalpa or thought. With the checking of all thoughts, your mind will perish. Do not for a moment think of the universe. Do not dream of walking in the path of Sankalpa o thought. Cut asunder the bond of desires through the destruction of Sankalpa (thought, imagination).
If your mind is free from cravings, desires and attachment, you will not be born again. You will attain freedom and perfection. Mind is an instrument of the Self. If it is disciplined, stilled and purified, it is your useful servant, but if it is left unbridled and undisciplined, it brings misery and sorrow.
If you allow your lower mind to get pampered with earthly things, then true Jnana (wisdom) will recede to a great distance from you. So long as there is the centering of affection in this body which is not Atman and the mistaken identification of it with Atman, so long will the mind grow fatter and fatter in its association with the Samsara of wife, children, etc. A stainless mind without attractions, though engaged in worldly acts, will never be bound thereby. A mind with attractions, though engaged in innumerable Tapas, will ever be in bondage. Mind coloured by desire drives man to search for personal satisfaction. Man is the creature of thought. Whatever he thinks, that he becomes. As the mind itself, which thinks, feels and wills, is a modification of ignorance, it cannot know Brahman or the Absolute. Cogitation, emotion and volition are the three aspects of the human mind. Whtch the mind. Restrain it.
Have a well-directed mind, which confers very great benefits. Make straight the mind. Restrain the mind. A subjugated mind is conducive to happiness. Focus the entire mind at its source. The source of mind is Atman. The mind will be absorbed in the Atman. The Atman alone will shine in all its splendour. The regular practice of Japa with Bhava and concentration will ultimately remove all fickleness of mind and make it steady and calm. Carry on the Abhyasa or Yoga practice continuously. It is Abhyasa that overcomes all Vikshepa or mental oscillation and steadies the mind. The mind may run about a little in the beginning due to previous habit but the repetition of the divine Name is the magic wand to subdue the turbulent and irregular mind. He who has controlled the mind is awake in that which is night to all beings. When the mind is serene, the body also becomes healthy. Let the outward and inward man be at one. He who has controlled his mind and subdued the senses is the greatest hero. Be steadfast; you will control the mind. Wake up. O Man! Conquer your mind and then conquer the entire universe with your spirituality and divine force. A mind, devoid of pains, which has developed an equal vision over all, through quiescence, will attain Para Brahman or the Eternal which is the plenum of complete bliss. This is Moksha.
The fundamental mode of the mind is Ahankara or ego. It manifests as the self-arrogating little "l". Egoism is the most inveterate and incurable disease. But, there is one sovereign Specific to cure this disease. It is wisdom of Atman or the Soul. The whole life of man is centred in the idea of self. Minus the Self the world is nil. There is then no experience whatsoever. All your relative experiences in this world turn on the pivot of the ego. Without the "l" there is no experience, no life in this world. The self is an experiencing unit which is endowed with the faculties of conception, perception and sensation. The root cause of egoism is ignorance or Avidya; Ego is the false self. After destroying all conceptions of "l” in the hosts of visible objects, it matters not where you live, whether in a house, a hill or a big city. The abode of a householder who has a calm mind and is not tainted with egoism can well be termed a forest.
With the annihilation of "1" (egoism), the body will perish like a tree felled to its root. In the absence of objects this little "I" does not exist or these objects do not exist in the absence of “I”
Separate yourself from the objects with the idea that the "I" does not belong to the objects or the objects do not belong to the "l". The ego of a devotee is harmless. It is Sattvic. It helps to develop, to realise God. The more you annihilate the Ahankara or egoism, the more will the Brahmic principle dawn in you? The offering of ego in the fire of wisdom is the greatest form of sacrifice. When this little "T" or ego is traced down to its source, viz., Atman, it will disappear. It will be absorbed in Atman, like the water in a hot frying pan. The source of egoism or this little Atman or the Supreme Self. Meditate on Atman. It will be absorbed in the Atman. The little "I will vanish. Atman alone will shine in all its glory. When the ego is non-existent it is liberation, when the ego persists it is bondage.
When the mind is attached to the objects, it is bondages; when the mind is not attached to any object, it is liberation. When the mind desires anything, grieves to anything, reject accepts anything, and gets pleased with one and angry with another, it is the state of bondage.
When the mind desires nothing. Grieves for nothing, reject nothing accepts nothing, and gets pleased or angry with none, It has attained liberation. Absolute consciousness of self-awareness destroys the ego and bestows the final emancipation.
The greatest obstacles to Self-realisation are desire for property, desire for wealth and desire for name and fame. Desire is born of ignorance. The fundamental desire is the urge for mate. Destruction of desire is destruction of ignorance. Desire arises from a sense of imperfection or limitation, by identifying with the finite body, mind and ego.
Desire is the seed from which sprout ceaseless births. As is your desire, so is your will. As is your will so is your action. He who is desireless will have an absolute free will. He is ever blissful who longs for nothing and fears nothing. If you crave for objects, then only they come in the way of your God-realisation.
The tendency to think of sense-objects is indeed the cause of bondage or transmigration. Lust and greed are hindrances to renunciation. Kamini (lust), Kanchana (gold), and Kirti (fame), are the three obstacles to God-realisation. A lustful and greedy man is not fit for spiritual life. Anger, lust and greed are the basic enemies of spirituality. A weak will is overpowered by the strong desire. Wherever there is Raga, there is fear. Reduce your desire and live self-contented. Root out desire by Viveka and Vairagya, discrimination and dispassion.
The mind is the slayer of Peace. The mind is the slayer of Truth. Make your mind your friend. Control your mind and the senses. This is the greatest victory. The mind is responsible for the feelings of pleasure and pain. Control of the mind is the highest Yoga. If the mind is controlled, it is then capable of great service. If it is not subdued, it creates endless pains and sufferings.
He alone, who has controlled his mind, will be ever peaceful and joyful. Use your mind as a filter, watch and do not allow any useless thought to enter the mind. Filter all useless thoughts. The greatest weakness is doubt. Doubt is thy enemy. Doubt is the greatest sin. Slay this doubt. Slay the slayer mind. A man of perverted mind and a doubting person do not get spiritual knowledge. The intellect is a hindrance. Too much of arguing is the bane of modern civilisation.
Belief determines conduct. Thought determines character. Man is changed by every thought he thinks and by every action he does. All that you are is the result of what you have thought. It is founded on your thoughts. It is made up of your thoughts. The root of evil which has brought about your bondage is Moha or infatuated love. Moha is delusion. It is not pure love. It is attachment to flesh, but not to the soul. Control the lower emotions. Emotion is a waste of energy and power. It clouds the light of reason and wears the physical body.
The spectator derives more joy than the actor. So, be a witness of your thoughts. You will enjoy more lasting happiness.
Annihilate double-dealing, diplomacy, jealousy, self-conceit and hypocrisy—the enemies of devotion, peace and wisdom. Hatred, pride, harshness, revengefulness, anger, cruelty, greed, etc., are brutal qualities. Seek wisdom, and not powers. Powers are obstacles to God-realisation. O Mind! Go back to the original sweet home, Brahman or Atman wherein alone lie everlasting peace and eternal bliss.
True glory lies in the silent conquest of mind. If you control your mind, you are a conqueror of the whole world. Mind is at once the venue of man's bondage and release. Control of the mind is higher than the control of Prana or control of the body. The greatest war is the war with the Mind. The practice of the control of mind is a key to open the lock of the temple of silence. Detach the sense-organs from objects and their respective centres. This is self-control.
Close the doors of the senses through abstraction and self-restraint. Self-control is the very key to beatitude. Self control is the restraint of the outgoing tendencies of mind and the senses. Development of will-power and also the strengthening of the intellect will control all the sense-organs. Do not allow the mind to react to external stimuli. This is mental poise.
Raise the rod of Viveka (discrimination), when the senses hiss. Through Pratyahara or abstraction, the greatest control is exercised over the senses. The mind functions under distinct limitations. Therefore it is unable to grasp the infinite. The mind is like a laboratory. The sense-impression are poured into it for conversion into thoughts. The cooperation of the mind is necessary for both perception and action. All sorts of loose thoughts of diverse kinds come and go in the mental factory.
If you want rapid progress in the spiritual path, watch every thought. A vacant mind is ever distressed. It is the devil's workshop. Be thoughtful. Keep guard over your mind. Watch every impulse and thought. Spiritualise or sublimate your instincts. Evil thought is the most dangerous thief. Slay this thief with the sword of wisdom. Generate daily new divine vibrations or thought-waves in your mind. Make your thought pure, strong, sublime and definite. You will gain immense spiritual strength and peace.
Every thought must be constructive and noble. Thoughts are only refractions. Slay all thoughts. Go thou within the Light of lights. If you wish to attain Self-realisation, imagination and speculation must stop. Purify and control the emotions. Beneath your conscious life, there is a very wide region of subconscious life.
All habits originate from the subconscious plane. Subconscious life is more powerful than your ordinary life of objective consciousness. Through the practice of Yoga you can modify, control and influence the subconscious depths. Take one evil trait. Meditate on its opposite virtue every morning. Practise it during the day. The evil quality will vanish soon. Meditate on mercy in the morning and practise it during the day. You will soon develop mercy.
"Purity is perfection." "Purity is the highest good.” “Purity is my goal," "I am all purity;" All these are the methods of meditation upon purity. The tricks of the mind are most subtle. Only constant Vichara will keep you alert and safe. Through introspection, analysis, discrimination, vigilance, enquiry and prayer, you can understand the tricks and jugglery of the mind and escape from its deceptions. Sit and introspect. Study the mind as though it were a thing apart from you.
There are external and internal distractions; it is difficult to understand the internal ones. Self-analysis and inspiration are needed to know the internal distractions. Introspection purifies the mind quickly. Wherever the mind goes, see the One Lord there. There the mind will easily come under your control. Constant Japa and prayer will calm the mind and fill it with peace and bliss. Still the mind. Herein lie freedom and bliss eternal. Draw the mind inward. Hold it still to obtain the priceless Atmic treasure within.
Tune the radio of mind of the voice of the inner self. Restrain the senses. Withdraw the mind. Fix it on the Lord. This is the essence of Sadhana. Negate the personality and affirm the university. This is Sadhana. This is yoga. He who has controlled his mind will have an absolute free will.
To concentrate is exclude every thought, but one. Through the practice of concentration and meditation you attain clarity of mind, increased grasping power, retentive memory, increased intelligence, confidence, optimism, peace of mind and control of mind and senses.
Thought is a finer manifestation of being than ether or energy. You thin, because you share the universal thought. Thought is both force and motion. Thought is dynamic. Thought moves. Thought decides the future. As you think, so you become. Thought makes a saint or a sinner. Thought can shape a man. Think that you are Brahman and become Brahman.
Sacred thoughts generate and sustain divine thoughts. Thoughts of hatred interfere with the inner harmony of the heart. Every useless thought is wastage of energy. Useless thoughts are obstacles to spiritual growth. Every thought must have a definite purpose. Negative evil thoughts cannot overcome fear. Patience overcomes anger and irritability. Love overcomes hatred. Purity overcomes lust. Mind is not daily made in every minute it changes its colour and shape. The thoughts that we perceive all around us are only the mind in form or substance. “Manomatram Jagat”. Mind creates; mind destroyes. Bitterness and sweetness do not lie in the objects, but they are in the subject. They are created by the mind.
Through the play of the mind in objects, proximity appears to be a great distance and vice versa. The mind has the potency of creating or undoing the whole world in the twinkling of an eye. All objects are unconnected in this world. They are connected and associated together only by the imagination of your mind. It is the mind that gives colour, shape, qualities to the objects. Mind assumes the shape of any object it intensely thinks upon.
Friend and enemy, virtue and vice are in the mind only. Every man creates a word of good and evil, pleasure and pain, Out of his own imagination only. Good and evil, pleasure and pain do not proceed from objects. These belong to the attitude of your mind. There is nothing good nor pleasant in this world. Your imagination makes it so.
Dharana or concentration matures in due course into Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (superconscious state). Meditation is prolonged concentration. The process of meditation is like the pouring of oil from one vessel into another in a steady, unbroken stream. Meditation is an effort in the beginning. Latter on it becomes habitual and gives bliss, joy and peace. Only when you have practised preliminary stages of Sadhana such as Yama, Niyama, you will obtain the full benefit of meditation. In the one pointed state, there cannot be more than one idea. One idea can go only if another idea enters the mind. However intellectual you may be, you cannot concentrate without the help of some image or symbol in the beginning.
Success in meditation is quick to those whose practice and dispassion are intense. Meditation is a positive, vital, dynamic process. It transforms man into divinity through regular meditation you can build an impregnable and invulnerable fortress. Maya cannot assail thee. Meditation is the key to intuition meditation is the key to unfold the divinity or atman hidden in all names and forms. Meditation is the key to spiritual illumination. Meditation is the only passport to the satisfaction of life. Meditation is an antidote to death.
Meditation is a vital part daily living. Therefore, meditate, meditate daily. Even a little meditation daily will raise you a little higher, and a little nearer to God. The mind is refined by devotion and meditation. As gold purified in crucible, shines bright, so constant meditation on Atman makes the mind pure and effulgent with spiritual lustre. A purified mind can grasp anything. It can dive deep in the subtlest subject, and understand even transcendental things.
The fluctuating power of the mind is dubbed with several names such as Maya, the impure Vasanas, and so on. This fluctuating mind alone is this universe; devoid of this fluctuation, the mind ceases to exist. Differentiation is the inevitable aspect of the mind. The poisonous tree of Maya's illusion flourishes more and more out of the seeds of the mind's modifications in the soil of the variegated enjoyments of the world. Undisciplined mind is the cause of all sufferings. Control of mind is Yoga. Disciplined mind leads one to Self-knowledge. Every mind has two aspects—the lower and the higher. The lower mind is predominant in most of the people. It is rooted in impulse. Higher mind is guided by reason and discrimination. Lower mind is the destroyer, the higher mind the redeemer. The higher mind should be used to discipline the lower mind. Mind does the function of attention, selection and synthesising of sense-impressions. It is the seat of pleasure and pain. Mind is called Ahankara or egoism when conceptions l' and 'mine' assert themselves with the signs of anger, jealousy, likes and dislikes, etc. Mind is called Buddhi or intellect because of its faculty of reasoning and discernment.
Though intellect emotion, and will are separate functions, they are interconnected and interblended. The intellect is dependent on the Atman, or soul and cannot work without its help. The intellect is very near to Atman and reflects the intelligent quality of the Atman, just as a heated iron ball has got the burning and lustrous qualities of fire. Just as heat is inseparable from fire, fluctuation or oscillation is inseparable from mind.
Chitta-vritti can be subdued either by continuously thinking of one thing alone, or by trying not to think at all. In the former method, one should be careful that the mind does not fit to any second object, and the later, that it does not slump back torpor or inertia or unconsciousness.
Balance of mind is attained by cultivating an objective attitude, thinking of the imperishable Reality and of the impermanence of objects, discrimination, dispassion and other forms of spiritual disciplines.
Thoughts are dormant seeds of action. The mind's acts, and not the bodily acts, are alone true acts. It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed karmas. Thought and act are interdependent. There is no such thing as mind apart from thought. Thoughts constitute the mind. Words are nothing but the outward expressions of thoughts which are imperceptible. Actions are caused by feelings of desire and aversion (likes and dislikes). These feelings are caused by feelings of desire and aversion by the fact that you attribute a pleasurable or painful nature to objects. Thought is finite. It is inadequate to express even temporal processes, not to speak of the absolute which is inexplicable. The body with its organs is no other than the mind.
The thought that you hold, will manifest in your life. If you are courageous, cheerful, compassionate, tolerant and kind, then these qualities will manifest in your physical life. The only impurity of the mind is base thought and desire. Guard your good thoughts as an alert watchman guards the treasury. When there is not the l' thought then there will be no other thought. Life is an interplay of thoughts. Duality ceases when the mind stops its function. Thinking is bound by the time factor. Thinking must cease. Then alone you will attain the Timeless. Be still. Let all the waves of thought subside. In that stillness, when the mind melts, there shines the self-effulgent Atman, the pure consciousness. Watch the mind. Watch the thoughts. Pursue serenity. Make your heart a fitting abode for the Lord.
Your mind must be empty of worldly thoughts. It must be filled up with thoughts of God and with nothing else. Keep your mind filled with good, Divine, sublime, lofty thoughts so that there will be no room for evil thoughts. Never speak the unnecessary word. Never allow any unnecessary or vain thought to occupy your mind.
The expansion of the mind's thoughts towards the objects is bondage, while the abandoning of the Sankalpa (desire) is emancipation. Perception is the result of the conjunction of the organ of the sense and the object. The individual soul desires to see, makes an effort to see and immediately the vision is formed. The mind is made alert. The corresponding obiects of all the senses are alerted. It is the mind alone which brings on pleasure and pain to itself and reaps them through its excessive inclination or aversion towards the objects. The Psychological tendencies are caused by your action in this and previous lives.
Mind is a feeling. That which makes you aware of pleasure and pain is mind. Just as a minister obeys a king, the five organs of the body act in accordance with the dictates of the mind. All that man pursues in this life has no existence except in his mind, not in reality. Separateness is an illusion caused by mind. Mind is like a mirror. It collects dust while it reflects. It must be cleansed by reciting the names of the Lord.
Find out the source of the mind and keep the mind there. The mind will perish (Manonasa). The mind becomes of the nature of Jnana or wisdom through effort in spiritual direction and also becomes of the nature of the world through Ajnana or ignorance. If the mind is divested of the thought of l' then through meditation on Atman, you can attain immortality and eternal bliss. If the lower mind is annihilated through the higher mind, then you will attain perennial bliss. All become subject to bondage through their own Sankalpas and Vasanas like a silk-worm in its cocoon.
Like a caged lion, mind is always restless. Know the Self. The restless mind will become peaceful. The mind attains, through discrimination the peace of the Eternal. If the mind turns its back upon discrimination, it entangles itself in the folds of Vasanas, or desires. Detach your mind from the world and attach it to the All-pervading Reality called Atman or the Supreme Self. If all doubts vanish through spiritual knowledge arising through meditation on Atman or the Supreme Self, then the mind ceases to exist as it does now. If all objects which have an enchanting appearance become eye-sores and present the very reverse of the former feelings, then mind ceases to exist. With the destruction of mind, all the three periods of time vanish into nothing. If the mind is purged of all its impurities. Then it will become very calm and all delusion attendant with its birth and death will be destroyed.
Like one iron mould shaping another iron, the pure mind should correct and mould the impure mind. The sacred syllable Om is the bow. Brahman or the Absolute is the target. Just as the arrow becomes one with the target, so also by the practice of meditation the mind becomes united with Brahman.
Meditation releases a great amount of spiritual power. By constant meditation on the Self, one attains liberation. Meditate upon purity, and other similar qualities associated with purity, qualities like simplicity, guilelessness, frankness, truthfulness, openheartedness, innocence, goodness, etc. Attune yourself with the Infinite by stilling the mind, by silencing the thoughts and emotions. Mind is the biggest radio. It is the receiving set. Attune it with the Infinite. Enjoy the supreme bliss or the Supreme Soul.
Meditate. Root yourself in Divinity. Shut down in meditation, the conscious mind, that part of your mind which thinks of the external world, your body, and its wants. Meditation on Brahman is the highest form of religion. You can realise Brahman when you have stillness or serenity of mind. O Ram! meditate regularly in the early hours of the morning. Let the mind taste the bliss of the Self. The meditative mood comes and goes. Restrain the senses. Be eternally vigilant.
Mind is ever changing. You feel happy now. In the next second you feel miserable. The mind is active now. The next moment, it becomes dull and inactive. It is pure now. The next second it is filled with anger and lust. The mind undergoes various transformations. There must be a basis or substratum which does not undergo any change. Just as there is substratum rope for all the changing, illusory appearances as snake, garland, stick, etc., so there is the changeless Atman or Brahman, for this everchanging mental phenomena. This changeless, continuous Atman connects all the states of the mind, all the changes in the body, the three Avasthas or states. Then alone memory is possible. Atman is a great synthetic Unifier.
Annihilate such ideas, "This is mine," "That is mine," which spring from the identification of the Self with the body, mind, etc., and which cause bondage and attachment. Identify yourself with the non-dual Brahman, which will relieve you of the fear of death and which will bestow Immortal Bliss. Know the Self as the witness of the mind and the three states: waking, dreaming and deep sleep.
Mind alone sees, hears and tastes. "I had my mind engaged elsewhere, so I did not see. I had my mind engaged elsewhere; so I did not hear." This is the experience of all. Wherever there is the mind, there is the sense. Wherever there is no mind, there is no functioning of the mind. If the mind is not linked to the ear, you cannot hear the recitation of the Gita. If the mind is not linked to the eye, you cannot see an object. Hence mind exists. If anybody touches your back, you feel particularly the touch of the hand and fingers. The eye does not see the spot. The skin can only feel the hardness or softness of the touch. The mind alone is the cause of this knowledge. Mind alone really feels the touch.
Eye can only see colours. Ear can only hear sounds. Eye cannot do the function of ear, but the mind hears, sees, etc. It can do the functions of all the senses. It is a synthetic organ. It unifies, collects and synthesises. It is a great unifier. It is like the administrator or office-superintendent. It supervises the functions of the ten organs. Body is made of several parts viz., hands, fingers, legs, toes, chest, hip, etc. It is the mind that connects itself with all the parts of the body. If there is a pinprick in the inert body, at once it feels.
Desire is death. Desirelessness is immortality. Desire is an enemy of peace. It cuts at the root of wisdom and knows no satiation. Therefore, cultivate dispassion, discrimination, meditate and enjoy everlasting bliss. Conquer desire and attain self-realisation or knowledge of Atman. Resist. Conquer all worldly attractions through prayer, Japa, meditation and Vichara. Craving for sensation gives pain. Cultivate dispassion and discrimination. Meditate. This craving will die. Peace is the fruit of the death of all emotions, cravings and desires.
Perfect life is attained by liberation from desires. The cause of all pain and sorrow, is rooted in desire. If desire is annihilated all pain and sorrow will vanish. Detach. Control desires. Meditate on Atman. You will attain self-realisation.
The dynamic power of substitution is the safest way to conquer desire. Your longing for objects will disappear if your eyes turn upwards to God. The practice of contentment and meditation leads to a few wants and peace.
Freedom from passion is the truest enjoyment. True serenity dawns by subduing your passions. Vasanas or desires tend towards bondage, but the extinction of them leads to Moksha or salvation.
Vairagya or dispassion is true power. With the development of dispassion and discrimination all pains will cease. You will attain bliss eternal.
Walk in the path of renunciation of desires. Consider as fire or poison all objects which are said to be pleasures. The longing after the stainful material enjoyments, is itself bondage; the renunciation of the same is Moksha or freedom.
Attraction and repulsion towards objects alone is bondage and nothing else. The more you try to get away from sense-objects, the more you get into them. But dispassion, discrimination and meditation will make you free. Detachment comes through discrimination (between the real and the unreal).
Sensual pleasures make you oblivious of the painless blissful Moksha or emancipation. Renunciation of worldly pleasures, is only an effective means to attain God-realisation, but not an end in itself.
Empty your mind, you will be filled with God. Wisdom is a better support than all other possessions. Dispassion is wisdom. Therefore, attain the wisdom of Atman. Make wisdom your provision for the journey from this world to the Absolute or the Domain of eternal bliss.
You must know thoroughly the nature of mind and its activity. Mind constitutes the root of the tree of Samsara or Ajnana (ignorance).
If the baneful root of mind is destroyed, the tree of birth and death will also be destroyed. This body is the seed from which generates the sprout of pleasures and pains, giving rise to the ever-gyrating creeper of Samsara.
The cause of the seed of body is the mind which following the track of desires, is the receptacle of pleasures and pains arising from births and deaths. The mind that is ever hankering after, and involved in, sensual pleasures, is the seed of all Maya.
It is the imagination of the individual that is the cause of his bondage and not the mere existence of the universe as an object of perception.
It is through the mind that the hosts of bodies, which do not exist, though seeming to exist, arise beyond number. It enjoys these bodily objects as in a dream. The mind is brought under control by mental discipline such as Sama, Dama, etc.
The best means of conquering Maya which involves all in pains, is the destruction of mind.
Atman begins to dawn with the destruction of the mind. You should so destroy the mind that it will not afterwards be able to rear up its head at all.
Destroy the mind past all resurrection through Vichara or enquiry and ceaseless meditation on Atman. Annihilate Vasanas and egoism: Now the mind will be emptied. Just as the flame of a lamp is extinguished when the oil and wick are burnt only, so also the mind gets immediately dissolved and becomes one with Brahman when the Vasanas or desires and egoism are destroyed.
The real Samata is the absorption of the mind in the contemplation of Brahman. Destroy the impure mind through your higher mind and get yourself firmly seated in the Supreme Paramatman.
Learn to control desires and emotions. Learn to subdue, to purify, to order all your thoughts. Fight against all negative thoughts and doubts. Let sublime divine thoughts come to you from every side.
Be careful of your thoughts. Whatever you send out of your mind, comes back to you. Every thought you think, is a boomerang. If you hate others, hate will come back to you. If you love others, love will come back to you.
Thoughts of depression, failure, weakness, darkness, doubts, fear, etc., are negative thoughts. Cultivate positive thoughts of strength, confidence, courage, cheerfulness. The negative thoughts will disappear.
Mind is the thief who had robbed the Atmic Jewel, viz., the Self. Slay by the arrow of Viveka the demon of lower, selfish mind whose form covers up the five senses of knowledge and the five senses of action.
Sensation are turned into percepts, and percepts are converted into concepts. It is the life-experience in the sense-universe.
No thought of anything is possible, where neither the eyes have seen nor the ears have heard. The senses do not perceive anything. It is the mind that perceives through the senses. The mind is often directed by the senses.
The Vasanas generate rever-ending pains arising from mental actions. Therefore, they should be made to wear themselves away. The great Vasanas are the nets to catch the fishes of Jivas who are worldly-minded.
A mind which is never disturbed with its worries, will reach the Nirvana seat, devoid of actions through the extinction of Vasanas. Power intoxicates. Be careful. Beware. It will bring about your downfall quickly.
Where wealth and power reign, contentment runs away. Even wise men lose all sense of moderation when invested with vast powers. With the growth of Sankalpa (thought, imagination) there will arise the universe; with the extinction of Sankalpa, the world also will disappear.
If after destroying your mind ever surging through the Vasanas of Ajnana in this world of objects replete with its cause and effect, you give up even the Vasanas of the body, then you will attain Brahma-Jnana or the knowledge of the Supreme Self.
Mind alone is the whole world, the great pains, the old age, death and the great sin, earth, water, fire, air, ether, and the internal organ. Mind binds a man. He who has controlled his mind, is a veritable God on this earth. You live in a world of thoughts. First is thought. Then there is the expression of that thought through the organ of speech. Thought and language are intimately connected. Thoughts of anger, bitterness and malice injure others. If the mind which is the cause of all thoughts vanishes, the external objects will disappear. Thoughts are things. Sound, touch, form, taste and odour, the five sheaths, the walking, the dreaming and deep sleep states-all these are the products of mind. Sankalpa, passion, anger, bondage, time-know them to be the result of mind. Mind is the king of the Indriyas or senses. Thought is the root of all mental processes.
The true laboratory is the mind. Study of the mind is essential. Test the mind. Go beyond the mind. You will realise the truth. You will discover the hidden soul. If only your mind is quieted, you will enjoy peace in your own home as well as in a forest. For one whose mind is entirely fixed and purified, forest or house is alike. Man has a mind but mind is not man. Mind is a good servant. It is an instrument. You will have to utilise it tactfully and properly. The prime requisite for happiness is control over the mind or the lower self. Your thought is imprinted over your face. Mind is a bridge that connects the human with the Divine. Your body, your business, your home-they are only ideas within your mind. Thought is a dynamic force. Good thought is the first perfection. Thought is real wealth.
Emotion is the driving force at the back of thought. Will-power is a master-key to all success. Knowledge, thought, intellect, reason are one. Appetite, impulse, instinct, desire are one. Emotion, ambition, spirit, courage, are one. The mind is master of body. Soul is master of mind. Thou art in essence Immortal Soul above body and mind. Always remember this supreme fact. Love in the awareness of thy spiritual nature.
As you think, so you become. As your thoughts so must be your life. Improve your thinking. Better thoughts bring better action. Mere thinking of the objects of this world is pain. Bondage is caused by the very act of thought. Pure thought is a mightier force than electricity. The mind which is attracted by objects of sense, tends to bondage, while that which is not so attracted, tends to emancipation. Mind is a dacoit. Slay this mind-dacoit. You will be happy and free forever. Manifest all your strength in the task of conquering your mind. This is true manliness or Purushartha. Self-denial is a means to the purification and refinement of mind. Purify and still the mind. The layers of ignorance covering knowledge, will not be removed without a calm mind.
The subtle part of food forms the mind. Mind is manufactured out of food. The subtle part of food is transformed into mind. Food does not mean merely what we eat, but what we gather through all our senses. Learn to see God everywhere. This is real food for the eyes. Purity of mind depends upon purity of food. You can see better, hear better, taste better, think better, when you entertain sublime, divine thoughts. Look at an object through a green or red glass; the object appears green or red. Even so, the objects are coloured by the desires through the mirror-mind. All mental states are transitory; they produce pain and sorrow. Have freedom of thought. Free yourself from the slavery of prejudice that blunts intellect and dulls thought. Think of the Immortal Atman. This is the right method of direct, original thinking. The Atman reveals Himself after the purification of the mind. When the mind is serene without any want, without any motive, without any craving or desire or thought, without any compulsion, without hope, then the Supreme Atman shines. There is the experience of Bliss. Live the way in which saints live. This is the only way to victory over mind and the lower self and until you have conquered mind, there can be no sure and permanent victory.
Watch your thoughts. Control the thoughts. Be a witness of your thoughts. Rise above thoughts and dwell in that pure consciousness where there is no thought. The subtle impressions, tendencies, desires and passions lying in the depths of the subconscious, have a tremendous effect on your conscious life. They should be purified and sublimated. They must be given a spiritual turn. Hear what is auspicious. Behold what is auspicious. Think what is auspicious. Talk what is auspicious. Meditate what is auspicious. Understand what is auspicious. Know what is auspicious.
Fear, strong dislike, buried hatred, prejudice, intolerance, anger, lust, disturb the action of the subconscious mind. Cultivate virtues. Purify and strengthen the subconscious mind. Desire, greed, etc., enslave and obscure the mind which must be freed and restored to its pristine purity, to reflect Truth and practise meditation. The lower impulses belong to the physical body and the mental plane.
When the mind does not function owing to the absence of Vasanas (mental impressions and subtle desires), then arise the state of Manonasa or annihilation of the mind.
Mind is everything. He who has a pure mind sees everything pure. It is with the mind that you truly see. It is with the mind that you truly hear. Mind is a miracle. The greatest miracle of all is your Atman or soul. It is your will that makes your thoughts, words and deeds, good or evil. Your will shapes and dictates your actions in life. Uncontrolled mind is the root of unhappiness. He who knows his own mind, knows heaven. You will attain everything when the mind is steady. Nothing can be attained without purity of mind. O Ram! Be not like dumb-driven cattle. Be a hero. Fight bravely with the mind and the senses. Come out victorious. Thought is a great force. It has a tremendous influence. The mind is nothing but temperament to a modern psychologist. There is no greater fool than he who has studied, known and taught and yet does not control his senses and mind.
The mischievous mind generates all pains, sorrows: fears, doubts and delusion and robs you of the inner spiritual wealth. The functions of the mind are thinking, feeling and willing Conscience is the light of the mind which discerns good and evil. Mind's very nature is restlessness. It is very rebellious. Mind is not soul. Thou art pure, blissful soul or spirit. Soul is self-contained. Thinking and planning are important characteristics of the mind. Mind is a bundle of Vasanas (desires) and Samskaras (impressions). Analyse the mind. go deeper within and discover the source of your life, the Soul of your soul.
There are two seeds for the tree of mind, viz., vibration of Prana and Vasanas. Vasana is of two kinds, viz., Asubha or impure Vasanas, the cause for rebirths, and Subha Vasanas, the pure Vasanas which are destructive of births. He who is subject to bondage, is verily bound by Vasanas. Liberation is the annihilation of Vasanas. After annihilation of all Vasanas, abandon the seeking after liberation as well. Through the practice of annihilation of Vasanas, control of mind, and Jnana or wisdom, the knots of the heart, viz., ignorance, desire and Karma are rent asunder.
Annihilation of Vasanas, attainment of the knowledge of Brahman, and dissolution of the mind, when practised for an equal length of time, over a long period, are bestowers of Self-realisation. By the eradication of Vasanas, the mind attains the state of dissolution, being deprived of its functioning. Restraining the flow of the vital air or the practice of Pranayama is similar to the practice of the eradication of Vasanas. If the Vasanas remain in a potential form, they will again and again trouble the Jiva and generate rebirth.
As long as the mind is not dissolved, so long there is no annihilation of Vasanas or desires. As long as there is no tranquillity of the mind, so long there is no knowledge of the Truth. As long as there is no annihilation of Vasanas, so long there can be no attainment of the Truth or Brahma-Jnana. As long as there is no attainment of knowledge, so long there is no annihilation of Vasanas. Knowledge of Truth, dissolution of the mind and annihilation of Vasanas, each of them becoming the cause in its turn, is difficult of accomplishment. The state devoid of dotage and death, is attained by the destruction of Vasanas alone.
Learn to control your emotions, moods, temper, fear worry. Learn self-control and mental discipline. A well- disciplined mind will do you tremendous service. Therefore, discipline the mind. The mind is rendered free from passion and desire of all sorts through the practice of meditation. Then, develop a strong aversion to carnal pleasures and worldly ties. Merge your speech in the mind, merge your mind in the cosmic mind, merge your will in the Divine Will, merge your life in the Eternal life. Keep the mind pure. Saturate the mind with sublime, lofty, divine thoughts. Environments are not bad, but your mind is bad.
Your mind is not disciplined properly. Overcome your moods. Then the circumstances will become all right. When the mind merges in ignorance in deep sleep, the senses cannot function independent of the mind. The sense of separateness is primarily responsible for the desire for action. Nothing can give you eternal happiness but your self; nothing can give you everlasting joy but the victory over the lower self or mind. Be not soft. Be hard. Cultivate power of endurance. Endurance develops will. Energy is the root of all actions. Will is the root of all desires (I will. I desire). Knowledge is the root of all thoughts (I know or I think).
The great hindrance to the proper use of will is the lack of ability to focus the attention. Attention is a prerequisite of good memory. Willing is the power to execute the decisions of intellect and the dictates of emotion. The first step towards the development of will lies in the exercise of attention. Attention is at the base of will. Strong will makes men giants. Pratyahara is ingathering of the mind, Dharana is fixing the mind on one point or idea. The Yogi who by meditation and Yogic discipline, conquers his mind, conquers easily the world of matter. 'Jitam jagadyena mano jitam hi.
He is the Master of the Self, he is the king of the inner spiritual kingdom, who keeps his mind and senses under perfect control. He who conquers his mind, is greater than those who conquer dominions in the war. The surging up of the mind spells ruin, while the annihilation of the mind spells liberation. The mind which has been educated in the love of the body through ages, feels very much distressed when detached from the body. Snanam manomala tyagam. Real bath is cleansing the mind. Apart from the conquest of the mind, there is no other course left open to you for being saved from the ocean of worldly existence. Subdue the mind, control the mind and defeat it through Brahmacharya and meditation. Cheerfulness brings strength and steadiness to the mind. Benevolence, tenderness and complacency are helpful for purifying the mind and bringing peace.
Serenity, restlessness, attachment, anger, courage, purity, impurity, covetousness, nobility-all this is truly mind. Control of the Prana and the dissolution of the mind are to be practised constantly for attaining liberation. When the desires of the mind are destroyed, when the senses are withdrawn in the mind, when you are regular in your meditation, Japa, prayer, Vichara and study, you will enjoy peace of mind. Slay this mind past all resurrections. Achieve perfection. Rest in your Satchidananda Svarupa!
AND ITS CONQUEST
The human mind, at birth, resembles a writing table that has never been used. With the dawn of reason comes the first moral principle. Mind is subtle matter. It is the instrument for manifesting Prana. The condition of the body depends on how the Prana works. The condition of Prana depends upon how the mind works and what desires it has. Your inner nature is revealed by your manners, behaviour, conduct and character. Your mind is known by your speech and action. When the mind is serene, the body also becomes healthy. The mind cannot grasp more than one thing at a time. The mind is a bundle of thoughts, desires, cravings and impressions. The whole history of creation is inscribed in the mind. Mind is power that moulds and makes a man. Mind alone is Maya. The man dances in the theatre of this world to the music of the organs. The mind is not self-luminous. It fluctuates. It is sometimes dull and sometimes brilliant. It cannot be the self-luminous Atman. The mind is the battlefield or Kurukshetra where the forces of good and evil are pitted against each other.
Your greatest enemy is your own lower mind. Slay this mind with the sword of dispassion and discrimination. It is the inner enemy that is more dangerous than any other enemy outside. That inner enemy is your lower nature. The task of fighting with the lower mind requires single-minded and courageous effort. The deluding mind is the thief who has stolen the Atmic pearl. Slay the mind and get back the Atmic pearl. Be quick. Tarry not even a minute. Iron is cut by iron. Even so, the lower mind is destroyed by the higher mind.
What is the highest achievement? It is mastery over one’s own mind. It is Self-realisation. He who has controlled his own mind, knows the secret of every mind. Develop an attitude of non-attachment and of witnessing the activities of the mind.
Goodness dawns when the mind ceases to function in the lower plane.
Maya is mind. Maya is egoism. All troubles come to an end when mind perishes, when ego dies. The mind as the locus of nescience (Avidya) is a finitising principle which veils the Truth and distorts it, presenting another false picture in its stead. The lower mind is the great slayer of Atman or the soul. The mind is no other than the Vasanas generating many rebirths. All the delusions of pains and pleasures are the attributes of the mind and not of Atman. With the growth of the mind, the pains increase; with the extinction of it, there will be bliss. The most important thing in the world of experience, is the mastery of the mind. The victory of man over nature, will be fruitless unless he attains victory over his mind. Mind is no other than Ahankara, the idea of T. The ego is the veil between God and the soul. Ego is the veil between man and God. This ego is like a cloud. When the cloud disappears you can see the sun. Even so, if the ego vanishes you can see God.
If this idea of l be destroyed through the desireless Atma-Jnana—this idea which is the source of all accidents, non-eternal, dependent, discriminationless, seed of all sins, Ajnana and the seed of birth and death-then this very destruction is the seat of the stainless Jivanmukti state. The experience "I am" is prior to the experiences, "I know, I feel, I see, I think."
Egoism is an error, an illusion, a dream. Wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Open your eyes. He who has realised the nature of the rope that seemed to be a serpent, no longer trembles with fear. The identification of l' with this body, produces bondage. Mind is a bundle of thoughts. The source of all thoughts is the I thought. Find out the real I. The mind will Vanish. After destroying the idea of l' contemplate upon all objects through the idea of Abhava (non-existence), as formless as Chit, and quiescent.
There is no enemy outside you. Turn your gaze within. This mysterious mind, the most potent instrument in the hands of Maya, the power that deludes all, is your enemy. A real hero is not he who is a conqueror in a battle, but he who subdues his senses and conquers his mind. The first thing that an aspirant has to acquire, is mastery over his mind. By constant practice of meditation, by right discernment, by renouncing his own personality, the aspirant can manipulate his mind and focus it on the Atman. Through the discriminative mind, the lower mind is powerfully mastered by the wise. A well-directed mind becomes your Guru. It is conducive to happiness. It elevates you. Control the mind and the senses. Cultivate non-attachment. Mastery of the mind leads to the renunciation of all. Be watchful or alert about every thought, feeling or desire that comes to your mind. Your mind will become quiet. Purity of mind results in happiness. Pray. Purify. The lower desire will be transmuted into aspiration and higher, divine will. Detach the mind from the objects. Do not allow the mind to go out. You will attain serenity and wisdom.
If you have dispassion and serenity, the mind is not affected by the external objects. The objects cannot produce any effect on the mind. Self-withdrawal and poise come if you practise self-restraint, discrimination and dispassion. When the mind, through the powerful Pratyahara, hankers not after desires, then it will remain still. This effort is called Asamvedana. That which is described as the imperishable state of quiescent Jnana is Asamvedana. That Jnana which tends to the destruction of the mind, is Asamvedana. Asamvedana will confer upon one, Moksha as its result.
Manas is mind. Manava is man. The stuff of the world is the mind-stuff. Mind has created or proiected this world. The mind connects us with the whole of the external world. It is a receiving station for all communications from outside. The mind will exist only so long as you think of external objects. If you withdraw the mind from the external objects and make it thing of Atman or the Universal Self, the source of the mind, it will cease to exist. Mind is conscious of separateness. Mind ditterentiates, separates, dwells in distinctions and differences.
Mind doubts. Doubt destroys. Intellect gives certainty. Pride, illusion and desires are the binding-chords of mind. Thought includes feeling. By thought you are made; by thoughts you can change your character; by thought you can become that on which your heart is set. Find out on what your heart is set. The thoughts and outlook of individuals, differ owing to temperament, Samskaras and past lives. Sankalpa only is Samsara; its destruction is Moksha.
Sankalpa is the cause of bondage and all Karmas. The destruction of Sankalpa is itself Moksha or salvation. Ideas are the food of the mind. Bombs and bullets are not half as harmful as evil ideas. If the ideas are sublime, divine, uplifting and cultured, one prospers. The mind becomes good when it lives and acts in the company of sages; it becomes bad when it lives and acts in the company of wicked people. A God-filled mind moves towards God, perfection and illumination. A sense-object-filled mind moves towards darkness and ignorance. Empty the mind of sense-objects and fill it with God-thought. You will attain God-realisation.
When the rays of the sun pass through a lens, they are concentrated. They can burn anything. Even so when the rays of the mind are concentrated, the mind can do anything. It can work wonders.
Mercury-particles are scattered. When they are collected and made into a pill and when the pill is kept in the mouth, the Yogi can fly in the air. Similarly when the scattered rays of the mind are collected. The Yogi can attain anything.
Withdraw the mind from its engagements in sense-experience and use the mental energy in meditation and pure positive thoughts. Do not stuff your mind with all sorts of information. It is a huge burden on the mind. You cannot meditate. Do not make the mind dull and passive. Bring it to a deep silence.
Japa, repetition of Lord's Name, Kirtan, prayer, enquiry. meditation melt the mind and dissolve the ego. Restrain the mind from the objective world and focus it on the Atman which abides secretly in the innermost cave of the heart. You will transcend pain and sorrow and enjoy infinite bliss. To go beyond mind, is to go beyond time, space and causation. Pure consciousness or the Absolute consciousness is the ultimate Reality manifested in different forms and expressed by different names.
Pure consciousness is the supreme principle of the universe. It is all-pervading, all-comprehending, infinite, eternal, indivisible, all-full, existence, bliss. It is Para Brahman.
Bhoomirapoanalo vayuh kham mano buddhireva cha ahankara iteeyam me bhinnah prakritirashtadha. According to Sankhya cosmology, mind is the fourth principle that has emanated from the Self-asserting principle, Ahankara or egoism or Asmita. Prakriti or Avyaktam (matter in an unmanifested state) is styled as "Ashtangini" or eightfold Prakriti (Prakritirashtadha). Mind is one of the eight limbs or Ashtangas.
Mind is itself a word whose meaning is extremely vague, one incapable of being clearly defined except in terms of some questionable and speculative hypothesis. No one can point out to a mind and say: "That is what the word mind shall denote." Mind consists of a bundle of faculties, viz., the faculties of cognition or perception, volition or will, imagination, judgment, reason, understanding, memory. Character concerns the effective or conative organism of the mind. Knowledge concerns the cognitive organism. There are different channels of communication through which the cognitive and conative faculties are directed. There is only one mind which has diverse names according to the plane on which it functions, viz., the subjective mind, the objective mind, the universal mind (cosmic consciousness), or the superconscious mind, the subconscious mind, the instinctive mind, the spiritual mind. The Vishaya or function of the mind is cognition (Sankalpa-Vikalpa or will, thought, doubt).
The doubting mind is a collective aggregate of all Jnana-Indriyas or organs of sensation or perception. Mind is bellow will and above Prana or energy or matter. Mind is a relative manifestation of the Absolute. Mind is positive to Energy and Matter, but negative to will, which is again positive to mind. but negative to Atman. Mind when purified becomes your real Guru. You will hear the voice of conscience. You will get answers for your insoluble problems. A pure mind is no longer a subtle matter but Brahman itself.
The original home for the mind is Omkar in the Sahasrara or thousand-petalled lotus. Mind has become impure by your own desires. How the pure Brahman has become the impure Jiva is a problem that has baffled all human efforts for a clear correct and satisfactory solution. This is a question which has no answer. This is the mystic side of nature. You cannot solve transcendental divine problems that belong to supramental plane, with the finite intellect or the physical plane. Develop intuition. Acquire transcendental wisdom. Look within through cosmic consciousness. Then you will get a real solution.
Through the searchlight of the concentrated mind, you will have to behold the treasures of the Soul or Atman. Just as rays permeate solid bones or block of wood, the concentrated mental rays of a focused mind will pass through the different forms of matter and reveal their nature. During cosmic consciousness, you are aware of the oneness of life. You will find that there is no such thing as dead matter, but all is alive, vibrating and intelligent. You will see the universe as the all, the Atman which is the essence or background of this sense-universe, of this world of Dvandvas or opposites, of this world of mere conceptions of ideas, of this world of names and forms.
In Svarga or paradise or heaven, you are in the "thought-world". You feel or experience no pain. Why? Because you get whatever you think of or imagine. Your desires are immediately gratified. Your thought instantaneously materialises, crystalises, and precipitates before you. You are satisfied. But this is not real.
The science of Raja Yoga deals with the methods of controlling the ever-oscillating mind, under the command of the will. Manoyama is superior to Pranavama: but the Adhikaris or qualified persons for practice of Manoyama should be very intelligent with bold understanding and tremendous will. Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana facing East or North. Make Trataka or Dharana on Trikuti, the space between the two eyebrows with closed eyes. Control the force of thought by meditation on Pranava or Om and its meaning. Practise regularly from half to two or three hours daily. You will become a Yogi and an Atma-Jnani soon.
Listen, to this mystery of mysteries, by knowing which man is freed from the illusion of the world, which is only due to the action of the mind having no existence in fact. First of all I shall tell you about the nature of Maya, then about the means of attaining knowledge and lastly about knowledge and realisation.
I shall also tell you of the subject of knowledge, the Supreme Self, by knowing which one is freed from fear. The perception of Self (Atman) in the non-Self, the body and the rest, is verily Maya; by it is this world taken to exist. There are two modes of Maya, Avarana and Vikshepa (veiling and oscillation of mind). It is the Vikshepa-Sakti that creates the world. Avarana-Sakti envelops all knowledge. By the power of Maya this world is superimposed upon the Supreme Self which is non-dual, just as the snake is superimposed on the rope. In reality, nothing exists. All that is seen, heard or remembered by men, is like a dream. Attachment is the root cause of this world.
The gross body is composed of the five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth. The subtle body is made up of the five subtle elements (Tanmatras), Ahankara (egoism), intellect, the five Karma-Indriyas (organs of action) and the five Jnana-Indriyas (organs of sense-knowledge), the reflection of the Supreme Self (Chidabhasa), the mind and the Mulaprakriti (primordial matter). This is known as Kshetra or body.
The Jiva is other than this. It is the Supreme Self-diseaseless, undecaying. Listen now to the means of attaining knowledge. Give up pride and violence. Absence of egoism, balance of mind in pleasure and pain, single-minded devotion to the Supreme Self, freedom from attachment to sons, wives and wealth, residence in a place free from the society of men, having no contact with worldly persons, constant effort towards attainment of Atma-Jnana, reflection upon the meaning of Vedanta-through these, knowledge is acquired.
The Atman is all-pervading. It is different from the Buddhi Prana, Ahankara. It is ever pure. That by which this is known is knowledge. The same knowledge when realised becomes direct perception.
Unattached, it is the self-effulgent seer. When knowledge of the unity of the embodied and the Supreme Self arises through the teaching of preceptor expounding the Sastras' Avidya, together with its effects and instruments, is merged in the Supreme Self. This is emancipation. Just as in the night even those having eyes cannot see their way, but those carrying a lamp can, in the same way to those possessed of devotion unto the Supreme Self, the Atman appears in its real nature.
Company of Bhaktas, service of the Lord and His devotees, fasts on the days of Ekadasi and the like, observances of days sacred unto Him, constant love for hearing, reading and expounding stories relating to the Lord, faith in worshipping Him and recitation of His sacred Name these are the means to the attainment of this knowledge.
To the person who is devoted to Him comes forth knowledge and Realisation.
Mind is like a goat. The goat jumps from one plant to another plant. It never eats a plant fully. Even so, the mind jumps from one object to another. Instead of killing a goat in sacrifice, kill the mind. This is real sacrifice. Do not kill the innocent goat to satisfy your palate or tongue. Senses are the bulls. Do not kill a bull in sacrifice. Slay or sacrifice the senses. Egoism is like a cock. A cock sits at the top of a house and shouts. He thinks that he is the first to get up in the morning. He becomes egoistic and proud. When he shouts the whole body becomes stiff. When a man becomes egoistic his body also becomes stiff. Slay your egoism instead of killing a cock. Chitta is like a pig. The pig revels in the filth. The Chitta ever thinks of foul things. Slay this Chitta, instead of sacrificing a pig.
Mind creates this universe. Subjectively it is the universe. Slay the mind through destruction of Vasanas, Pranayama and Brahma Vichara. You will attain Self-realisation.
Mokshapriya said: Gurudev! May I know all about mind in a nutshell?
Swami Sivananda answered: Mind is Atma-Sakti. It is born of Prakriti. It is the Principle of thinking and sensation. Mind connects itself with the five senses of perception and enjoys all sensual objects. Mind is the dividing wall between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul. If the mind is destroyed the individual soul becomes identical with the Supreme Soul.
If the modifications of the mind which lean towards sensual pleasures are destroyed, then the individual soul attains Supreme Peace. Mind is a bundle of Vasanas, Sankalpas and likes and dislikes. If you free yourself from these, the mind dwindles.
It is the mind that creates this universe. Manomatram Jagat; Manah Kalpitam Jagat. In deep sleep there is no mind. Therefore there is no world also in deep sleep. Dispassion, discrimination, renunciation, meditation are all enemies of the mind. You can destroy the mind easily, if you possess these virtues. The mind manifests itself as the external world in the shape of pains and pleasures. The mind subjectively is consciousness, while objectively it is this universe. The mind has the potency of creating or undoing the world in the twinkling of an eye. Slay this mind. O Mokshapriya, through the destruction of the Vasanas (desires) or the control of the Prana and Brahma Vichara (enquiry into the nature of Brahman). Meditate on the innermost Self ceaselessly. The mind will be absorbed in Brahman. You will attain Self-realisation.
How to control the mind? Eradicate all desires and thoughts. Control the mind through Yoga, Jnana, Bhakti and Nishkamya Karma.
Mokshapriya said: O Lord! Please tell me the methods to control the mind. The mind is very turbulent. It is very mischievous. It is ever jumping like a monkey, which has drunk wine and which is bitten by a scorpion.
Swami Sivananda replied: O Mokshapriya, I shall give you suitable methods to control this mind. Mind is a bundle of Vasanas and thoughts. It has attraction and repulsion, likes and dislikes. It is filled with egoism and cravings. It is born of ignorance. If you eradicate all desires and thoughts, it will die by itself. Vairagya (dispassion) and Abhyasa (concentration and meditation) are the weapons to annihilate this turbulent mind. Do not use any violent method to control the mind. You will lose your energy and weaken the will. Use intelligent methods to curb the mind.
Mind cannot be controlled by mere human efforts. The grace of the Lord and the Guru is necessary. Pray fervently. Surrender completely to the Lord. You will surely obtain His grace. You can control the mind through Yoga and Jnana. For some it is easy to control the mind through Yoga and Jnana. For some it is easy to control the mind through Yoga; for some through Jnana or wisdom.
Enquire "Who am I?" Do Brahma Vichara. Enquire into the nature of the Absolute. Meditate ceaselessly on the all-pervading immortal, innermost Atman or the Self. The mind will be absorbed into its Source. O Mokshapriya, you can control the mind through the practice of Bhakti Yoga. This is more easy. than the practice of Raja Yoga or Jnana Yoga. Do Japa. Sing the Lord's glory. Cultivate the nine modes of devotion.
Nishkama Karma Yoga is another method. It will purify the mind and lead to the descent of divine grace and divine light. Temperaments, tastes, and proclivities differ. Hence various Yogas are necessary to control the mind and to attain Immortality and Eternal Bliss. O Mokshapriya, you are fit for the practice of Bhakti Yoga. You have a good heart and you are emotional, too.
Mokshapriya said: O Swamin! Please throw some light on Sankalpa and its destruction.
Swami Sivananda answered: O Mokshapriya! Sankalpa is thought. This is the function of the mind. The life of the mind is Sankalpa. The Svabhava of the mind is Sankalpa.
Tamasic Sankalpa generates pain. It is base. Rajasic Sankalpa leads persons naturally into the mundane existence. The pure Sattvic Sankalpa leads to good or virtuous actions, Jnana or wisdom and salvation. It is only Sankalpa destroyed beyond resurrection that constitutes the immaculate Brahmic Seat of ineffable effulgence and splendour. Sankalpa only is Samsara. Its destruction is Moksha or the final emancipation. If you are Sankalpa-less, you will attain Self-realisation very easily.
Free yourself from all desires. Steady your impure mind through your pure mind. Then eradicate all Sankalpas. You will be able to attain Moksha or the final beatitude only through the annihilation of Sankalpa. Therefore O Mokshapriya, endeavour to destroy this Sankalpa and attain the immortal Bliss of Brahman or the Absolute, devoid of pains and heterogeneity. Sankalpa is destroyed with the control of thoughts. The highest goal can be attained through the extinction of Sankalpa. Sankalpa arose through Ajnana or nescience. Do not contemplate upon the objects of the world. Observe silence towards material pleasures. The seed of ignorance or Ajnana is the sprout of Sankalpa alone. One Sankalpa multiplies and increases prodigiously. The Sankalpa of tea multiplies in a minute. There comes the Sankalpa of tea, sugar, milk, tea-cups, tables, table-cloth, biscuits, fruits, etc. Think of objects, entertain sensual desires, then Sankalpa reigns supreme.
Rising from a small beginning, the Sankalpa gradually increases and clouds the one, clear, self-luminous Atman. Man forgets all about his divine nature. He identifies himself with the body and external objects. You will be able to attain the stainless Moksha only through the firm path of the annihilation of Sankalpa. In the string of Sankalpa, countless thoughts are strung like so many beads. If the string is cut to pieces, the illusory thoughts which are strung on it, will disappear at once. O Mokshapriya! Annihilate all Sankalpas through meditation on your innermost Atman and attain the immortal, eternal Bliss here and now.
Mokshapriya said: O Swamin! May I know, what this Ahankara is?
Swami Sivananda replied: O Mokshapriya! Hearken! Ahankara is "I-ness" or "egoism". This is generated through delusion. It permeates the Jiva or the individual soul all throughout. It is only through Ahankara that all the mental cares, dangers and the ever-increasing actions of life arise. There is no enemy greater than Ahankara. Ahankara is born of Ajnana or ignorance. The real secret of divine life lies only in the renunciation of this dire Ahankara. So long as this Ahankara beclouds you, so long the flowers of desires bloom and abound in you. This baneful Ahankara is the source of all dangers in this world. It is evanescent. It has its seat in the mind. It is foolish and stupid in its nature. It is without due discrimination and intelligence. It is one of the five afflictions that are enumerated in Raja Yoga. Raga and Dvesha (like and dislike) are its offsprings. If the cloud of Ahankara called "l” screens the sun of Jnana then the lily of Brahman which is "Non-l" will never bloom. The original sprout of the painful Ahankara within tender stem of rebirths ramifies itself everywhere with its long branches of "mine" (Mama) and "thine" (Tava) and yields its unripe fruits of hell and all sorts of pains, sufferings and sorrows. This tree of Ahankara can be destroyed to its root by Jnana (wisdom) fire only.
The idea of "l" which contains all frailties, is the seed of the tree of the mind. The sprout which is at first generated from this seed of Ahankara, is termed Buddhi or intellect. From this sprout the ramifying branches called Sankalpas (thoughts) take their origin. Manas (or mind) Chitta (subconscious mind) and Buddhi (intellect) are but the different names or qualities of the one Ahankara. If you destroy the idea of "I" at the root of the tree (mind), then it will not again spring up.
Atma-Jnana or a knowledge of the true nature of "I" is the fire which destroys this egoism. "Aham Brahma Asmi" "I am Brahman" or identification with the Supreme Being is Sattvic Ahankara. This Sattvic Ahankara will not bind you; on the contrary, it will help you to cross this Samsara and attain Moksha or emancipation.
will help you
O Mokshapriya! That Ahankara which makes you identify yourself with the body of flesh and bone is the cause of the poisonous tree of rebirth and dire pains. Destroy it by cultivating the Sattvic Ahankara. "I am Brahman," and enjoy the immortal Bliss of the Eternal.
There is a desire to increase your possessions. You may have 5 lakhs of rupees. But you desire to possess one crore. This is Trishna or craving. There is a desire to complete. You may have wealth but you may not have a have a son. This is Ichha. There is a desire to protect what you have. This is Spruha. There is a desire to procure your wants. You want to protect yourself from heat and cold etc., this is Vasana.
Trishna is intense craving. Vasana is subtle form of desire or tendency. Ichha is desire. Kamana is longing. Spruha is yearning. Chapalata is strong craving of tongue and genitals. Eshana is desire for son, wealth, name and fame. All are forms of desire.
When you are in a state of unconsciousness, or when you are under chloroform, anaesthesia or when you are in deep sleep, you cannot see, hear or taste, because the mind is not there. When you are looking at an object, when you are absorbed in that object, or when you study a book intensely, you o not hear the voice of your friend who is shouting for a few minutes; because the mind was elsewhere. It was not conccted with auditory centre. In the brain and the external instrument eye, ear, etc.
A great Badshah purchased a horse for ten thousand rupees. The horse was restless. No one was able to ride on that horse, but his son Sikhandar said "Beloved father, I can ride on this horse." He sat on the horse and rode in the direction of the sun. The horse galloped. The Badshah was quite astonished He said "O Sikhandar! how did you manage to ride?" Sikhandar replied, "The horse was afraid of his shadow. I made the horse run towards the sun." Such is the restless mind-horse also. If you turn it towards Atman, it will be peaceful. Turn it towards Maya, it will jump and dance.
The mind cannot do any mischief without the help of the senses. The senses cannot do any harm without the help of their leader, mind. Desire moves the mind and the senses. The force of desire, or impulse moves the mind and the senses. It makes the mind outgoing. Abandon desires, control the senses first. Then alone you can easily control the mind.
Thinking starts the process of creation. Thinking means externalisation or objectification. Thinking means differentiation, quality and multiplicity. Thinking is Samsara. Thinking causes identification with the body. Thinking causes "I-ness" and "mine-ness". Thinking causes time, space, etc. Stop this thinking through Vairagya and Abhyasa, and merge yourself in the Pure Consciousness. Where there is no thinking or Sankalpa, there is Absolution or Jivanmukti.
O mind! you cannot be my friend now. I know your worth and nature. I was deluded till now through your tricks. We move now in diametrically opposite poles. You want fleeting sensual pleasure from objects outside. But I want Immortal Bliss of Soul inside. You are ever restless and worried. I am peaceful and tranquil now. You are full of passion, fear and attachment. I am dispassionate, fearless and unattached. You want women, wealth and property. I am dispassionate and full of renunciation. We cannot agree on many points now. Therefore, leave me quickly and quietly. Good-bye, friend, my old comrade.
O mind! Give up thy folly. Do not associate thyself with this perishable body. It will burst like a bubble or pot. It will vanish like the flash of lightning. It is full of imparities. You will be drowned in miseries. Soar high, think high. Seek the Immortal Bliss of Atman within. Enquire, cogitate and meditate.
O devilish mind, listen! Do not wander in sensual objects. You cannot find the Truth in objects there. Wake up! Seek the Eternal Bliss in Atman. Do not keep friendship with the body. Keep company with the sages. The whole world is a modification of the five elements only. Do not be deluded. Beware! Beware! O truant mind. Meditate on the feet of Guru. Your ignorance will be burnt. Light of the Atman will shine in your heart. The ghost of egoism will run away. The pairs of opposites will be annihilated. The five afflictions will be destroyed. You will enjoy Bliss Immortal. You will be ever peaceful.
O mind! Drink the nectar of Lord's name. Give up evil company. Live in the company of the sages. Hear the Lilas of the Lord. Do Japa, sing, pray and meditate. Give up lust, anger, greed, etc. Do not keep company with the senses and objects. You will enjoy Immortal Bliss.
O mind! Eradicate evil qualities. Cultivate virtuous qualities. Do not join with the senses in future. Go back to your original home. There alone you will find eternal peace.
O mind! Drink the nectar of the holy Name. Shun evil company. Seek the company of saints. Sing the Glory of the Lord. Abandon lust, anger and greed. Cultivate purity, love and generosity. Wander not aimlessly. Rest at the lotus-feet of the Lord. Thou art indeed blessed.
O Mind! give up pride, vanity and egoism. Be balanced in pleasure and pain, censure and praise, honour and dishonour, success and failure. Do not stroll here like a street-dog. Go back to your original abode of Bliss. Thy original nature is purity.
O deluded mind! Wealth and property will not follow you. Virtue and vice alone will follow you. This body will perish like a flash of lightning. This world is a jugglery of Maya. Walk in the path of virtue or Dharma. Control the senses and the mind. Meditate on your own Atman and attain Self-realisation now and here.
O head! bow to the Lord. O tongue! praise the Lord. O ear! hear the Lilas of the Lord. O eye! behold the form of the Lord. O hand! serve the Lord. O feet! perambulate round the Lord. O mind! think of the Lord.
More Methods for Mind Conquest
It is the Vritti (modification in the mind) that binds you with the obiect. You identify yourself with the Vritti and, through the Vritti with the object. That is the secret. Be a Sakshi (silent witness to the activities of the mind) of the Vrittis of the mind. There will be no longer bondage. Be the seer of the mind's dramatic performances and be not involved with the mind itself.
When you see a man suffering from appendicular colic, you do not feel yourself any pain. But when you get the same colic, you cry out and experience intense agony. Why? Because of egoism (Ahankara) you identify yourself with the body. If there is absence of Ahankara, you will not feel any pain. This absence of Ahankara can come only when you become impersonal, when you become the Sakshi, when you identify yourself with Brahman (Absolute).
"I am neither Prana nor the senses. I am quite distinct from these. I am Sakshi (witness) for these and their activities. I am Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa." This alone is sufficient for the Vedantic Nirguna meditation (formless meditation without any attribute). At once you will be elevated to the highest pinnacle of glory. This is the best formula.
If you have a strong Nischaya (determination) only on the above formula, it is termed Paroksha Jnana (indirect knowledge of Brahman). If you have actual Anubhava through meditation, it is termed Aparoksha Jnana (direct intuitive knowledge of Brahman or Atmasakshatkara).
If you go above body-consciousness, if you can abandon the body-idea and if the mind rests on Atman or the Self. Then doubtless, you are Sukhi, Santa and Mukta (happy, peaceful and free)
Mind has got a reflective power of looking up into its own depths. A Raja Yogi develops this power. Introspection helps to cultivate this Yogic faculty. Enter into silence now from today in a dark quiet room. Watch the mind carefully. Be patient. Do not identify yourself with the mind. Be a Sakshi or a silent witness. Separate yourself. You can directly perceive the various mental states.
Do not struggle with the mind. It is wastage of energy. It is great strain and drain on the will-force. Do not fight with the mind. Live in Truth. Live in Om. Live in Atman, through Vichara, Brahma-bhavana and Nididhyasana. All obstacles, all disturbing factors, all emotions will vanish of themselves. Try, practise, feel and realise the usefulness of the Vichara method. Perfect control of mind can be effected only through Brahma-vichara. Pranayama, Japa, and various other methods are only auxiliaries.
Mind is the cause of bondage and salvation of man. The mind has two aspects- one is discriminative and the other is imaginative. Mind, in its aspect of discrimination, releases itself from the bondage and attains Moksha. In its aspect of imagination, it binds itself to the world.
It is the mind which binds a man to this world; where there is no mind, there is no bondage. Mind imagines, through indiscrimination and ignorance, that the soul has been confined and located in this body and hence it perceives the soul to be in bondage. Mind exactly identifies itself with the Jivatma and feels itself to be T and hence thinks 'I am in bondage.' The egoistic mind is the root of bondage. The non-egoistic mind is the root of Moksha.
Brahma-Jnana, which enquires into the true nature of I 'is the fire which destroys the mind. It is the Jnanagni' referred to in the Gita (IV-37): "The fire of wisdom reduces all actions (and the false 'T') to ashes."
When any thought arises in the mind, enquire: Why has this Vritti (modification) arisen? Whom it concerns? Who am I? All the thoughts will die eventually. All mental activities will cease. The mind will turn inward. It will rest on Atman. This is Vedantic Sadhana. You will have to persist constantly in the Sadhana. Whatever stray thoughts arise, the one thought 'Who am I?' will destroy all other thoughts of worldly nature. That thought will die by itself. Ego will vanish. Balance left is Kevala
Asti; Chinmatra; Kevala Suddha Chaitanya; Chidakasamatra which is Nama-rupa-rahita (free from all names and forms), Vyavahara-rahita, Mala-vasana-rahita, Nishkriya, Niravayava, which is Santa-Siva-Advaita of the Mandukya Upanishad. That is Atman. That is to be known.
To bring about control of mind, two things are essential, viz. Prana-nirodha (control of Prana) and Sanga-tyaga (renunciation of Sanga or association). By the latter is meant dissociation, not with the world, but only with the longing after or the attraction towards the objects of the world.
Pranayama or control of breath checks the velocity of the mind and reduces the quantity of thinking. It removes the dross (impurities) in the form of Rajas and Tamas from the mind.
For control of the mind, Kumbhaka (retention of breath) is indispensable. You will have to practise Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechacka (inhalation, retention and exhalation of breath) regularly and rhythmically. Then the mind will become Ekagra. The period of Kumbhaka will increase by systematic practice, with regulated diet and proper dietetic discipline (light, nutritious Sattvic food). This is the Hatha-Yogic method. The practice of Kumbhaka must be done under the guidance of a Guru who is a developed Yogi.
Prana and mind stand to one another in the relationship of the supporter and the supported. Both these are only like the flower and its odour or a sesamum seed and the oil in it. If either of them is slain, then the other also will cease to exist. If the mind and Prana cease to exist, then thoughts will not arise at all. The destruction of both will confer Moksha on all.
Ekagrata (one-pointedness) and Nirodha (controlled state) are two Avasthas of the mind. Spanda (subtle or Sukshma) and Nirodha are two Avasthas of the Prana. When the mind becomes one-pointed, Spanda Avastha of the Prana comes by itself. If the mind is purified with true Sattva Guna, the Prana will be distributed freely throughout the body. The food will be digested thoroughly.
Calmness of mind comes through the practice of Sama and Dama. Sama is calmness of mind induced by the eradication of Vasanas. Vasana-tyaga' (renunciation of desires) through discrimination constitutes the practice of Sama, one of the sixfold virtues (Shadsampatti). If a desire arises in your mind, do not give way to it. This will become the practice of Sama. Sama is keeping the mind in the heart by Sadhana. Sama is restraint of the mind by not allowing it to externalise or objectify. The restraint of the external activities and the Indriyas is the practice of Dama (Bahyavritti-nirodha).
If you renounce the desire for eating mangoes, it is Sama. If you do not allow the feet to carry you to the bazaar to purchase the mangoes, if you do not allow the eyes to see the mangoes and if you do not allow the tongue to taste them, it is Dama.
A desire arises to eat sweets. You do not allow the feet to move to the bazaar to purchase the sweets. You do not allow the tongue to eat the sweets. You do not allow the eyes to see the sweets also. This kind of restraint of the Indriyas is termed Dama.
It is termed Sama when you do not allow any thought to arise in the mind concerning sweets by eradication of Vasanas (Vasana-tyaga). This eradication of the Vasanas can be accomplished through Vichara, Brahma-chintana, Japa, Dhyana, Pranayama, etc.
Sama is an internal restraint. Dama is a restraint of the Indriyas. Though the practice of Sama includes the practice on Dama, as the Indriyas will not move and work without the help of the mind, yet the practice of Dama is necessary. The practice of Dama should go hand in hand with Sama. Sama alone will not suffice. You must attack the enemy, desire, from within a without. Then alone you can control the mind quite easily. In alone the mind will be in perfect control.
If you think again and again of an impure thing, it gains new strength. It gets the force of momentum. You must drive it immediately. If you find it difficult to do so, entertain counter-thoughts of God. Cultivate sublime and elevating thoughts. Evil thoughts will die by themselves. A noble thought is a potent antidote to counteract an evil thought. This is easier than the former method. By repetition of God's Name, thousands of times daily, good thoughts gain new strength. By repeating Aham Brahma Asmi' thousand times daily, the idea that you are the spirit (Atman) becomes stronger. The idea that you are the body becomes weaker and weaker.
If evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will-force in driving them. You will lose your energy only. You will tax your will only. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force. They will return more quickly also. The thoughts will become more powerful. Be indifferent. Keep quiet. They will pass off soon. Or substitute good counter-thoughts (Pratipaksha Bhavana method). Or think of the picture of God and the Mantra again and again forcibly. Or pray.
Serpent is very fond of music. If you sing Punnaga Varali tune melodiously, the serpent will come in front of you. Mind also is like a serpent. It likes melodious tunes very much. It can be entrapped very easily by sweet sounds.
Fix the mind on the sweet Anahata sounds that emanate from the heart by closing the ears. It can be controlled quite easily by this method. This is Laya-Yoga. The Ganika Pingala fixed her mind on the "Rama, Rama" sound uttered by the parrot and attained Bhava-Samadhi. Ramaprasad of Bengal, a famous Bhakta, controlled the mind through music. Music exercises a tremendous, soothing influence on a ruffled mind. In America, doctors use music in curing many diseases, particularly of nervous origin. Music elevates the mind also.
Kirtan, which is one of the nine forms of worship (Nava-Vidha-Bhakti), causes Bhava-Samadhi (union with God through Bhava or feeling). It is prevalent throughout India. It corresponds to the singing of hymns by Christians. Ramaprasad realised God through Kirtan. His songs are very famous in Bengal. In this Kali Yuga or Iron Age, Kirtan is an easy way to God-realisation. Sing the Name of Hari constantly. Praise constantly His qualities. You will have Darshan of Hari. Those who can sing well should retire to a solitary place and sing heartily with Suddha Bhava. In course of time, they will enter into Bhava-Samadhi. There is no doubt about it.
AND BODILY CONTROL
With the majority of mankind, the mind is greatly under the control of the body. Their minds being very little developed, they live on Annamaya kosa mostly. Develop the Vijnanamaya Kosa and, through Vijnanamaya kosa, mind. The Vijnanamaya Kosa is developed by abstract thinking and reasoning, by systematic meditation, Brahma-chintana, study of the Upanishads, the Yoga-Vasishtha and the Brahma Sutras.
When you have controlled the mind, you have perfect control over the body. The body is only a shadow of the mind. It is the mould prepared by the mind for its expression. The body becomes your slave when you have conquered the mind.
Mind, Prana and Virya (semen) are under one Sambandha (connection). If you can control any one of these three, the other two are controlled by themselves, quite easily. Hatha Yogins try to control the Prana, Raja Yogins try to control the mind, Jnana Yogins start their Sadhana with Buddhi and will.
The real peace of mind does not come from outside. It is produced in the same mind when the mind is controlled and its thoughts are checked. You must put forth great efforts to check the passions and desires. Then alone will your aptitude for activity be subdued and you will be at rest and your thoughts will be stilled. Develop, therefore, Sattva Guna by Japa, Vichara, Satsanga, meditation, light Sattvic food, Tapas and Svadhyaya.
THOUGHTS AND DESIRES
Through constant and intense practice of Yoga and Jnana Sadhanas, you can become waveless (thought-free). The waveless Yogi helps the world more than the man on the platform. Ordinary people can hardly grasp this point. When you are waveless, you actually permeate and pervade every atom of the universe, purify and elevate the whole world.
The names of waveless Jnanis such as Jada Bharata and Vamadeva are even now remembered. They never published books. They never made disciples. Yet, what a tremendous influence these waveless Jnanins had produced on the mind of the people.
You can attain Jnana only if you are free from sensuous desires and immoral mental states. Aloofness of body from sensuous objects and aloofness of mind from immoral states of mind are needed for the attainment of Jnana. Then only will Divine Light descend. Just as a bungalow is cleaned of cobwebs and all kinds of dirts, and the garden of all its weeds for the reception of the Viceroy, the mental palace should be cleaned of all vices, desires and immoral states, for the reception of the Holy Brahman, the Viceroy of viceroys.
When a desire arises in the mind, a worldling welcomes it and tries to fulfil it; but an aspirant renounces it immediately through Viveka. Wise people consider even a spark of desire as a very great evil. Therefore, they will not entertain any kind of desire. They will be ever delightful in Atman only.
The vast majority of people will always want something concrete to hold on to, something around which, as it were, to place their ideas, something which will be the centre of all thought-forms in their minds. That is mind's very nature. A background of thought is needed for fixing the mind.
Have a Sattvic background of thought or mental image. The mind assumes the shape of any object it intensely thinks upon. If it thinks of Lord Krishna with flute in hand, it assumes the shape of Lord Krishna. You must train the mind properly and give it proper, Sattvic food for assimilation.
You must have Sattvic background of thought to take you to the goal (Salvation). If you are a devotee of Lord Krishna, have a background of thought of His picture and the repetition of His famous Mantra "Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya" and his qualities (Form-formula-qualities). A Nirguna Upasaka Vedanti should have a background of thought of 'OM' and it’s meaning infinite Ocean of Light, Satchidananda Vyapaka, Paripurna-Atman). Work in the world and, the moment the mind is free, begin to think of the background of thought-either Saguna or Nirguna background according to taste, temperament and capacity for Sadhana. By constant thinking, a habit in the mind will be formed and, without effort, the mind will run towards the background of thought.
It is a pity that vast majority of persons have no ideal, no programme of life at all and no Sattvic background of thought. They are doomed to destruction. The background of thought of a young married lady is usually lustful. The background of thought of an old mother is the affection towards her sons and grandsons. The background of thought of the vast majority of persons is hatred and jealousy. Even the so-called educated persons with many university qualifications and academic knowledge which is only husk when compared with spiritual Knowledge, have no ideal, no programme of life and no background of thought. A deputy collector, after getting pension, marries a third wife and goes on as a Dewan of a State.
A worldly-minded person is a prey to sexual thoughts and thoughts of hatred, anger and revenge. These two types of thoughts actually take possession of his mind. He is a slave of these two sets of thoughts. He does not know how to divert his mind and fix it on some other good, noble thought. He does not know the laws of thought. He is quite unaware of the nature and subtle workings of the mind. His position is extremely deplorable despite his earthly possessions and bookish knowledge obtained in universities. Viveka has not awakened in him. He has no Sraddha in saints, Sastras and God. He is unable to resist an evil desire, craving or temptation on account of his weak will. The only potent remedy to remove his world-intoxication. world-charm, world-delusion is constant Satsanga or association with Sadhus, Sannyasins and Mahatmas.
After retirement, everybody should have a background of thought and spend his time in philosophical studies and divine contemplation. Old habits of loose thinking must be replaced by cultivating fresh habits of good thoughts. At first, a tendency to think of good thoughts will be formed. By continued practice a positive definite habit of thinking of virtuous, helping thoughts will be developed. You will have to struggle very hard. The old habits will try to recur again and again. Till you are firmly established in the habit of thinking of good thoughts only, you will have to fill the mind again and again with Sattvic thoughts, divine thoughts, thoughts of the Gita. Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Upanishads, etc. New Grooves and avenues will be formed now. Just as a gramophone-needle cuts a small groove in the plate, Sattvic thinking will cut new, healthy grooves in the mind and brain. New Samskaras will be formed.
You will have concentration without much effort. He who has subdued his mind beholds in his own Self by the help of his own pure intellect the Immortal Eternal Brahman which is subtler than the subtlest, which is an embodiment of bliss, peace and wisdom. It is the contact of the sense with the sense-object that gives rise to a mental perception. But if the senses are withdrawn and the mind is stilled there comes a state where there is no touch with any sense-object. It is the state of bliss and pure consciousness or Nirvikalpa Samadhi which burns an Samskaras that give rise to birth and death. Attachmenu death. You are attached to body, actions, wife, children, property, house, place and articles that give you pleasure. Wherever ever there is attachment there are anger, fear and Vasana. Attachment leads to bondage. If you want to attain God-realisation you must get rid of all sorts of attachment. The first step in detachment is to be detached from the body with which you feel so much identified. The Sanskrit word for the Self is Atman. Atman is derived from the root 'At' which means to go always. Atman thus means that which evolves itself always into names and forms of the universe in order to realise His real, essential nature which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute.
Make the three processes that take place in the mind during meditation. These are: CONTEMPLATION, FILLING and IDENTIFICATION. This is another triplet. Remember these three word-images. Repeat them mentally while doing Sadhana. It will help you a lot really.
Contemplate on Atman. Fill the mind with Atman. Then the mind becomes identified with Brahman in accordance with what is known as the Bhramarakitanyaya (analogy of wasp and caterpillar). As you think, so you become. Think you are Brahman; Brahman you will become.
When the mind is withdrawn from the objects and deep reflection sets in, the objective consciousness is shut up; Savitarka Samadhi commences. Ratiocination, analysis and synthesis (a priori and posteriori way of reasoning), investigation and abstract reasoning take place. This is Samadhi with reasoning. Evil thoughts cannot enter now. The mind is Sattvic.
Deep study of philosophical works with Chitta Suddhi is itself a form of Samadhi. The mind here is free from worldly thoughts.
When your meditation becomes deep, you generally operate through the subtle Karana-Sarira only. The Karana-Sarira consciousness becomes your normal consciousness. Yogins have a normal Karana-Sarira consciousness. Bhaktas like Lord Gouranga, Tukaram, Tulasidas, identified themselves with their Karana Sarira and had a normal Karana-Sarira consciousness. A Bhakta of Karana-Sarira consciousness is an occupant of Brahma Loka even when living in the fleshy tabernacle. He is one with Brahman or Hiranyagarbha. He has DIvine Aiswarya; yet he has a thin ethereal body. He keeps up his individuality. A whirlpool is one with the whole mass of the water. It has a separate existence also. Similar is the case with the Bhakta who has a life with his Karana-Sarira in Isvara.
Do not allow the mind to wander here and there like the strolling street-dog. Keep it under your control always. Then alone you can be happy. It must be ever ready to obey you, to carry out your behests. If the mind says to you, "Go southward," then march northward. If the mind says to you "Take a hot cup of tea in winter," then take a cup of icy cold water. Swim like a fish against the mental current. You will control the mind quite easily.
Order the mind to do a thing which it does not relish and it will revolt. Coax and it will obey.
If the mind is deprived of its pleasure-centres of all sense-objects, it clings to Vairagya and Tyaga, and must naturally move towards Atman. Renounce everything mentally and destroy the mind through the attainment of Atma-jnana. Rest in the self-existent Brahmic seat. It is only through dauntless energy that the priceless wealth of Moksha can be acquired.
Raga-Dvesha is due to the Anukula-Pratikula Jnana. You have Raga for a thing favourable (Anukula) and Dvesha for things unfavourable (Pratikula). When this Anukula-Pratikula Jnana which depends upon Bheda Jnana disappears, Raga-dvesha will vanish.
Raga-Dvesha is due also to Abhimana-Ahankara. As soon as Abhimana manifests, there comes Raga-Dvesha. When you conceive yourself as husband, there comes the attachment (Raga) for your wife. As soon as you conceive yourself to be a Brahmin, there comes the love of the Brahmins. Give up Abhimana, if you want to eradicate Raga-Dvesha. If this Abhimana, the result of Avidya (ignorance) vanishes, Raga-Dvesha will vanish, and with it, the mind too vanishes.
The only Sara Vastu in this world is Prema or Love. It is eternal, infinite and undecaying. Physical love is passion or Moha or infatuation. Universal love is divine love. Cosmic love. Visva Prema, universal love are synonymous terms. God is love. Love is God. Selfishness, greed, egoism, vanity, pride and hatred, contract the heart and stand in the way of developing universal love.
Develop universal love gradually through selfless service, Satsanga (association with Mahatmas), prayer, recitation of Guru Mantra, etc. When the heart is contracted through selfishness, man loves his wife, children, a few friends and relatives only, in the beginning. As he evolves, he loves the people of his own district, then the people of his own province. Later on, he develops love for men of his own country, eventually, he begins to love other people of different countries. In the long run, he begins to love all. He develops universal love. All the barriers are broken now. Heart expands infinitely.
It is very easy to talk of universal love. But when you want to put it in actual practice, it becomes extremely difficult. Petty-mindedness of all sorts comes in the way. Old, wrong Samskaras (impressions) which you have created by your wrong mode of life in the past, act as stumbling blocks. Through iron determination, strong will-power, patience, perseverance and Vichara (right enquiry), you can conquer all obstacles quite easily. The grace of the Lord will descend on you if you are sincere, my dear friends!
Universal love terminates in Advaitic unity or oneness or Upanishadic consciousness of seers and sages. Pure love is a great leveller. It brings equality. Hafiz, Kabir, Mira, Gournaga, Tukaram, Ramadas, all have tested this universal love. What others have achieved, you can also attain.
Feel that the whole world is your body, your own home. melt or destroy all barriers that separate man from man. Idea of superiority is ignorance or delusion. Develop Visva-prema, all-embracing love. Unite with all. Separation is death. Unity is eternal life. Feel that the whole world is Visva-brindavan. Feel that this body is a moving temple of God. Wherever you are, whether at home, office, railway station or market, feel that you are in the temple. Consecrate every act as an offering unto the Lord.
Transmute every work into Yoga by offering its fruits to God. Have Akarta Sakshi Bhava, if you are a student of Vedanta. Have Nimitta Bhava, if you are a student of Bhakti Marga. Feel that all beings are images of God. Isa Vasyamidam Sarvam—this world is indwelt by the Lord. Feel that the One Power or God works through all hands, sees through all eyes, hears through all ears. You will become changed being. You will enjoy the highest peace and bliss.
There are four ways of transforming evil into good. He who practises this useful Sadhana will never have an evil Drishti or the eye of evil vision, and will gain the eye of spiritual vision. He will never complain of bad environments. You must put these into practice daily.
1. No man is absolutely bad. Everyone has some good trait or other. Try to see the good in everyone. Develop the good-finding nature. This will act as a powerful antidote against the fault-finding habit.
2. Even a rogue of the first order is a potential saint. He is a saint of the future. Remember this point well. He is not an eternal rogue. Place him in the company of saints. In a moment his pilfering nature will be changed. Hate roguery but not the rogue.
3. Remember that Lord Narayana Himself is acting the part of a rogue, thief and prostitute in the world's drama. This is His Lila (sporting). The whole vision becomes changed at once. Devotion arises in your heart immediately when you see a rogue.
4. Have Narayana-Drishti everywhere. See Narayana everywhere. Feel His presence. Whatever you see, feel, touch, taste is nothing but God.
Change the mental attitude. Change the angle of vision. Then only one will have heaven on earth.
Generally, in untrained persons, four or five kinds of thoughts occupy the mind at a time. Household thoughts, business thoughts, thoughts of office, thoughts of body, thoughts of food and drink, hope and anticipation, some kind of planning to get money, some kind of thoughts of revenge, some habitual thoughts of answering calls of nature, bathing, etc., occupy the mind at a time. When you are studying a book with interest at 3.30 p.m. the idea of pleasure of witnessing a cricket match at 4 p.m. disturbs your study every now and then. It is only a Yogi with Ekagra mind who can have only one thought at a time and can keep it as long as he likes.
If you watch the mind carefully, you will find that many thoughts are inconsistent. The mind wanders at random aimlessly. There will be some thoughts of the body and its wants, some thoughts of friends, some thoughts of acquiring money, some thoughts of eating and drinking, some thoughts of your boyhood, etc. If you can study the mind and if you have consistent thoughts of one subject or one kind only to the exclusion of all other thoughts—this itself is a very great achievement, is a great step in advancement in thought-control. Do not be discouraged.
Drive away from your mind all unnecessary, useless and obnoxious thoughts. Useless thoughts impede your spiritual growth; obnoxious thoughts are stumbling blocks to spiritual advancement. You are away from God when you entertain useless thoughts. Substitute thoughts of God. Entertain only thoughts that are helpful and useful. Useful thoughts are the stepping-stones to spiritual growth and progress. Do not allow the mind to run into the old grooves and to have its own ways and habits. Be on the careful watch.
You must eradicate through introspection all sorts of mean thoughts, useless thoughts, unworthy thoughts, impure thoughts, all sexual thoughts, thoughts of jealousy, hatred and selfishness. You must annihilate all destructive thoughts of disharmony and discord. You must develop thought-culture of good, loving, sublime thoughts, divine thoughts. Every thought must be of a constructive nature. It must be strong, positive and definite. The mental image must be of a clear-cut and well-defined thought; it must bring peace and solace to others. It could not bring even the least pain and unhappiness to anyone. Then you are a blessed soul on the earth. You are a mighty power on the earth. You can help many, heal thousands, spritualise and elevate a large number of persons as did Jesus or Buddha.
Just as you grow jasmine, rose, lily, Honolulu flowers in a garden, so also you should cultivate the flowers of peaceful thoughts of love, mercy, kindness, purity in the vast garden of Antahkarana. You will have to water this garden of mind with introspection, meditation and sublime thinking and remove the weeds of vain, useless discordant thoughts.
When the mind is vacant, evil thoughts try to enter. Evil thinking is the beginning or starting point of adultery. Through a lustful look only, you have already committed adultery in the heart. Mental actions are the real actions. Remember this! God judges a man by his motives; worldly people judge a man by his external physical actions. You will have to look to the motive of the man. Then you will not be mistaken. Keep the mind fully occupied. Then evil thoughts will not enter. An idle brain is the devil's workshop. Watch the mind every minute.
Always engage yourself in some work-stitching, cleaning vessels, sweeping, drawing water, reading, meditating, counting the beads, singing divine songs, praying, serving the elders or nursing the sick. Avoid loose talk and gossip. Fill the mind with sublime thoughts, such as those contained in the Gita, the Upanishads, the Yoga-Vasishtha, etc.
The sovereign specific presented by the wise sages for the eradication of the mind's disease can be had easily through the mind alone. The intelligent cleanse a dirty cloth with the dirty earth only. A murderous Agni-astra or missile is counteracted by Varuna-astra. The venom of serpent-bite is removed by its antidote of an edible poison. So also is the case with Jiva. Having developed discrimination, destroy the delusions of the heterogeneous mind through the one-pointed Manas, like an iron severing another iron.
The ideas of differentiation of this person or that person or I' or 'thou' or of this or that object do pertain to the mind only. Put an end to the mind with the sword of Abhavana (non-thought). Kill the soldiers one by one when they emerge out of the fort. Eventually you can get hold of the fortress. Even so, destroy every thought one by one as it arises in the mind. Eventually you can conquer the mind.
If you can do the extinction of all sorts of Kalpanas (imaginations, thoughts), like thick clouds that are dispersed through stormy gales, the mind will get absorbed into the source, Chit (Absolute Consciousness). Then you will be free from all sorts of tribulations and worries and miseries. Then only you will have perennial happiness and the wealth of Moksha.
Mind is Maya. If the mind runs towards the sensual objects wildly, Maya takes a stronghold of the man. Maya havocs through the mind. This lower impulsive mind drags you down in all kinds of petty sensual enjoyments and deludes you in a variety of ways. Maya, through her power, raises millions of Sankalpas in the mind. The Jiva becomes a prey to the Sankalpas.
This lower Manas cannot approach those who have a strong Viveka (power of discrimination between Sat and Asat (the real and the unreal). Maya is very easy to be detected and Self to be realised by men who possess discrimination and strong determination. Through these powers, viz., Viveka and Will, it can be controlled.
Slav the lower mind which is the enemy of Atman through the higher and Sattvic mind. Use your Vichara, Viveka and pure reason constantly when objects trouble you, delude you for reason has dispersed the darkness of the illusions of one which cover the mind, it still returns to those things which are deceitful as the appearance of water on sandy deserts. Again and again, exercise your reason till you are established in knowledge. The power of Avidya is great, indeed.
Renounce desires; renounce Sankalpas of objects. Cultivate Vairagya. Give up this little false 'l.' All the Sankalpas encircle and envelope this 'I.' Do not pay much heed to the body. Think of the body and its wants as little as possible.
Have no Sankalpa. The fluctuating mind will die by itself. It will melt in Brahma (Arupa Manonasa). Then you will have the Sakshatkara (Beatific vision of Atman). When the Mind dies, 'T', 'you', 'he', 'this', 'that', 'time', 'space', Jiva', all will dwindle into nothing. Idea of inside and outside will vanish. There will be only one experience of the One, Akhanda (the Indivisible) Chidakasa which is Paripurna (all-full). All the doubts and delusions will disappear through the Jnana in the heart.
The mind in the vast majority of persons has been allowed to run wild and follow its sweet will and desire. It is ever changing and wandering. It jumps from one object to another. It is fickle. It wants variety. Monotony brings disgust. It is like a spoiled child who is given too much indulgence by his parents or badly trained animal. The minds of many of us are like menageries of wild animals, each pursuing the bent of its own nature and going its own way. Restraint of the mind is a thing unknown to the vast majority of persons.
This wandering habit of the mind manifests itself in various ways. You will have to be alert always to check this wandering habit of the mind. A householder's mind wanders to cinema, theatre, circus, etc. A Sadhu's mind wanders to Varanasi, Brindavan and Nasik. Many Sadhus do not stick to one place during Sadhana.
The wandering habit of the mind must be controlled by rendering it chaste and constant by Vichara. The mind must be trained to stick to one place for five years during your meditative life, to one method of Sadhana, to one path of Yoga-either Karma, Bhakti or Vedanta-to one spiritual objective and to one guide. "A rolling stone gathers no mass." When you take up a book for study, you must finish it before you take up another. When you take up any work. You must devote your whole-hearted attention to the work on hand and finish it before you take up another work. "One thing at a time and that done well, is a very good rule as many can tell." This is Yogi's way o doing. This is a very good rule for success in life.
Do not have goat's mind or a prostitute's heart. A goat grazes for a few seconds in one patch of green grass and in then immediately jumps to a far distant patch, even though there is plenty of grass to eat in the first patch. Even so, a wavering mind jumps from one Sadhana to another Sadhana, from one Guru to another Guru, from Bhakti Yoga to Vedanta, from Rishikesh to Brindavan. This is extremely deleterious for the Sadhana. Stick to one Guru, one place, one form of Yoga, one Kind of Sadhana. Be steady and firm. Then only, you will succeed. Have a steady, resolute mind.
Discipline the mind. Tell the mind, "O Mind! Be steady. Be fixed on one idea. Absolute is the only Reality." If it wanders, if it wavers, go to a lonely place, give two or three sharp slaps on your face. Then the mind will become steady. Self-punishment helps a lot in checking the wandering mind. Frighten the mind as if you will beat it with a whip or rod, whenever it wanders from the Lakshya, whenever it entertains evil thoughts.
Mind tempts and deceives you through objects. Distance lends enchantment to the view. Until you attain the object, it will seem to you as a pleasurable object from a distance. When you actually get it, it becomes a source of vexation and pain. Desire is mixed with pain. Objects are so delusive that they often deceive even the wise in this way. He is a really wise man who can detect the illusive nature of these objects.
Mind always tempts you to go to various places for sight-seeing. It is all a vain trick of the mind to divert you from the goal. Use your Viveka always. Address the mind thus: "O foolish mind, have you not seen before, various places and sceneries? What is there in sight-seeing? Rest in Atman within. It is self-contained. You can see everything there. It is Purnakama; it is Purnarupa. (It contains all forms; it is beauty of beauties). What are you going to see outside? Is it not the same sky, the same earth, the same passions, the same eating, the same gossiping, the same sleeping, the same latrines, the same urinals, the same cemeteries everywhere?"
In the beginning, I used to give a long rope to my mind. It will whisper to me, "Let me go to Allahabad Kumbha Mela." || would say, "My dear friend, my mind! You can go now." As soon as I would return, I would ask, "O mind, are you satisfied now? What did you enjoy there," It would hide itself and drop down its head in utter shame. Gradually, it left off its old habits and became my true friend, quide and Guru through the true counsels it imparts in the way of obtaining the highest goal.
Mind wants repetition of a pleasure once enjoyed. Memory of pleasure arises in the mind. Memory induces imagination and thinking. In this way, attachment arises. Through repetition, a habit is formed. Habit causes strong Trishna. Mind then exercises its rule over poor, helpless, weak-willed worldlings. As soon as discrimination arises, the power of the mind becomes weakened. The mind tries to recede, to retrace its steps to its original home—the heart. Its poisonous fangs are extracted by discrimination. It cannot do anything in the presence of discrimination. It gets dethroned. The will becomes stronger and stronger when discrimination is awakened. Thanks to Viveka which enables us to get out of this miserable Samsara.
Try to acquire the power of closing yourself against detrimental or undesirable influences by making yourself positive by a particular attitude of the mind. By doing so, you may be receptive to all higher impulses of the soul within and to all higher forces and influences from without. Make a suggestion to yourself I close myself; I make myself positive to all things below and open and receptive to all higher influences; to all things above." By taking this attitude of the mind, consciously, now and then, it soon becomes a habit. All the lower and undesirable influences from both the seen and the unseen side of life are closed out while all higher influences are invited and, in the degree that they are invited, they will enter.
In the mind there is doubt; there is reality also. A doubt arises whether there is God or not. This is termed Samsayabhavana. Another doubt crops up whether I can realise Brahman or not. Then another voice tells; "God or Brahman is real. He is a solid, concrete Reality as an Amalaka fruit in my hand. He is a mass of knowledge and Ananda (Prajnanaghana, Chidghana, Anandaghana). I can realise!" We have clearly understood something and these ideas are well-grounded and imagined. Some ideas are hazy and not firm. They come and go. We will have to cultivate ideas and ground them till they are firmly fixed and implanted. Clarification of ideas will remove perplexity and confusion in the mind.
When a doubt arises, "whether there is God or not, Whether I will succeed in Self-realisation or not," it must be dispelled by well-directed suggestions and affirmations such as: It is true; I will succeed. There is no doubt of this." "In my dictionary, in my vocabulary, there are no such words as 'can't', 'impossible.’ difficult', etc. Everything is possible under the sun." Nothing is difficult when you strongly make up your mind. strong determination and firm resolution will bring sanguine success in every affair or undertaking, and particularly so in the conquest of mind.
BY ADVERSE CONDITIONS
Take everything as it comes, instead of complaining. By this means, one seizes every opportunity. One develops easily, gains a great deal of mental strength and evenness of mind. Irritability vanishes. Power of endurance and patience will develop.
If you have to live amidst noise, do not complain of it, but profit by it. One may make use of outer disturbances for the practice of concentration. You must develop the power to work undisturbed by whatsoever may happen nearby. The power comes with practice and it is then useful in a variety of ways. To learn to work under different conditions means progress and a great deal of mental control.
AIDING FORCES WITHIN
Inside, There are helping forces also to act against the hostile forces of demoniacal nature. If you once repeat 'Om' or Rama ten times it you once sit in meditation for five minutes, The Samsaras of this will force you to repeat the Mantra again many times, to sit again in meditation for some time though you forget all about spirituality owing to the force of Maya or Avidya. The hostile forces, eg, lust, anger, etc., will try to bring you down; the spiritual currents, the force of Sattva and Subha Vasanas will try to take you up to God.
If evil thoughts enter your mind once in a month instead of thrice weekly (remember that evil thinking is the beginning of adultery) if you become angry once in a month instead of once weekly, that is a sign of progress, that is a sign of your increased will power that is a sign of growing spiritual strength. Be of good cheer. Keep a diary of spiritual progress.
WITH THE SPIRITUAL
A mind always hopeful, confident, courageous and determined on its set purpose and keeping itself to that purpose, attracts to itself, out of the elements, things and powers favourable to that purpose.
Without being impressed with a clear idea of the nature of the mind, you cannot bridle it. A sublime thought checks the mind and a base idea excites it. It is necessary for a man to keep company with spiritual men and to avoid the company of the dregs of society.
Company of spiritual persons and good environments play a tremendous part in the elevation of the mind. Satsanga helps a long way in the attainment of Moksha. There is no other way. It thoroughly overhauls the mind and changes the current and its Rajasic nature. It removes the old Vishaya-Samskaras and fills the mind with Sattvic Samskaras. It destroys the three fires-Adhyatmic, Adhibhautic and Adhidaivic Tapas-and cools the Antahkarana. It destroys Moha. If you can have Satsanga, you need not go to any Tirtha. It is Tirtha of Tirthas. Wherever there is Satsanga the sacred Triveni is already there.
Annihilate this mind of Ajnana (ignorance) through the power of constant association with holy men (Satsanga). In the absence of positive good company, have negative good company of books written by realised persons and books dealing with Atmajnana (spiritual knowledge) such as Sri Sankara's works, Yoga-Vasishtha, Sri Dattatreya's Avadhuta Gita the Upanishads, the Brahma-Sutras. Atma-Purana, Sarva-Vedanta-Siddhanta-Sangraha, Sri Sankaracharya's Aparokshanubhuti, etc., etc.
Study of inspiring books helps spiritual Sadhana, but too much study brings about muddy condition of the brain. When You come down from meditation, you can study occasionally for a short time, books like Avadhuta-Gita. Yoga-Vasishtha, Katha-Upanishad, Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad. This will elevate the mind.
If you are in the company of Sannyasins, if you read books of Yoga, Vedanta, etc., a mental adhesion takes place in the mind for attaining God-consciousness. Mere mental adhesion will not help you much either. Burning Vairagya, burning Mumukshutva, capacity for spiritual Sadhana, intense and constant application and Nididhyasana (meditation) are needed. Then only is Self-realisation possible.
Mind is a bundle of habits. Bad habits and prejudices hidden in one's nature, will necessarily be brought to the surface of the mind when the proper opportunity comes. If you change the habits, you can also change your character. You sow an act; you reap a habit. You sow a habit; you reap a character. You sow a character; you reap a destiny. Habits originate in the conscious mind. But, when the habits become established by constant repetition, they sink down into the depths of the unconscious mind and become 'second nature.'
Though habit is second nature, it can be changed by a new healthy, agreeable habit of a stronger nature. You can change any habit by patient efforts and perseverance. Habits of sleeping in the day time. late rising, loud talking, etc., can be gradually changed by developing new habits.
By new practice, you can change the manner of your handwriting. So also, by a new mode of thinking, you can change your destiny. When you draw water with a rope and bucket from a well with a brick-parapet, a definite groove is formed along the brick and the rope readily runs along the groove. Even so, the mental force (the mind) runs easily or flows readily along the grooves in the brain made by continuous thinking on certain lines. Now you are thinking, 'I am the body.' Think, 'I am Brahman.' In course of time, you will be established in Brahmic consciousness.
By spiritual Sadhana, Vichara, Meditation, Pranayama, Japa, Sama and Dama an entirely new mind is formed in a Sadhaka with new feeling, new nerve-channels, new avenues and grooves in the brain for the mind to move and walk about new nerve-currents and new brain-cells, etc. He will never about affairs that tend to self-aggrandisement and self-exaltation. He thinks for the well-being of the world. He thinks, feels and works in terms of unity.
Do not be a slave to one idea. Whenever you get new, healthy ideas, the old must be given up. The vast majority of persons are slaves of old outgrown ideas. They have not got the strength to change the old habits in the mind and the old ideas. When you hear a new and striking news, you are startled. It is natural. It is much more so with new ideas. The mind runs in ruts-in its old, narrow grooves. It is directly or indirectly attached to some pleasing or favourite ideas. It unnecessarily sticks to one idea like glue and never gives it up. It is a great ordeal for the mind to take up a new idea. Whenever you want to introduce any new, healthy idea in the mind and eschew any old outgrown idea, the mind fights against it and rebels with vehemence. Place the idea near the ruts. It will slowly take it. It may revolt furiously to take it up in the beginning. Later on, by coaxing and training, it will absorb and assimilate it.
Mind is your tool or instrument only. You must know how to handle it nicely. When emotions, moods, sentiments arise in the mind, separate them, study their nature, dissect, analyse them. Do not identify yourself with them. The real l' is entirely distinct from them. It is the silent Sakshi. Master your impulses, emotions and moods and rise from the position of a slave to a spiritual king who can rule over them with force and power. You are eternal all-pervading Atman in reality. Shake yourself from the tyranny of the mind that has oppressed you for so long, domineered over you and exploited you up till now. Rise up boldly like a lion. Assert the magnanimity of your real Self and be free.
Become an expert driver of the subtle, powerful 'machine-mind.' Use all the mental faculties to your best advantage. Mind will become quite a good, willing servant when you know how to deal with it ably. Use the subconscious mind also; pass on orders to work for you while you are asleep and even while you are conscious. It will sort, analyse and rearrange all facts and figures for you in the twinkling of an eye.
The mind is very plastic if you know the secret of its manipulation. You can bend it any way you like. You can create a dislike for the things you like best how and a liking for the articles which now you dislike most.
Do a thing which the mind does not want to do. Do not do a thing which the mind wants to do. This is one way of developing the will and controlling the mind.
The man who can see his own faults as he sees those of others, will soon become a great soul. Have ceaseless devotion to truth and be ready to sacrifice your all for it.
Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in future. Be cautious. Just think of the causes which led to your failures and try to remove them in future. Be vigilant and circumspect. Strengthen yourself with new vigour and virtues. Develop slowly your will-power.
In the mind, there is an internal fight that is ever going on between Svabhava (nature) and will, between old worldly habits and new spiritual habits in the case of the aspirants, between old Vishayasamskaras and new spiritual Samskaras, between Subha Vasanas and Asubha Vasanas, between Viveka and instinctive mind and Indriyas. Whenever you try to change an evil habit and establish a new habit, there will ensue an internal fight between Will and Svabhava (nature). If you try to drive away anger, lust, etc., they say and assert, "O Jiva! you have given us permission to stay in this house of flesh and body for a long time. Why do you want to drive us now? We have helped you a lot during times of your excitements and passion. We have every right to remain here. We will persist, and resist all your efforts to drive us; we shall disturb your meditation and recur again and again." The Svabhava will try its level best to get back to its old habit. Never yield. The will is bound to succeed in the end. Even if you fail once or twice it does not matter. Again apply the will. Eventually, will-pure, strong and irresistible is bound to succeed. There is no doubt about this. When your reason grows, when you become wiser and wiser by study, contact with the wise and meditation, your mind must be “well prepared to take up at any moment new, healthy rational ideas and eschew old, morbid ones. This is a healthy growth of the mind.
Those who practise Vairagya, are real tamers of their minds. Have no longing for objects. Avoid them. Vairagya thins out the mind. Vairagya is a drastic purgative for the mind. The thief-mind shudders and trembles when it hears the words Vairagya,' 'Tyaga,' 'Sannyasa.' It gets a death-blow when it hears these three terms.
Destroy all the pleasure-centres of the mind such as frequently eating dainty dishes, gossiping, sightseeing, music and company of women, slowly and cautiously. Keep up three Sattvic pleasure-centres such as study of books dealing with Atma-Jnana, meditation and service of humanity. When you advance in meditation, give up service and study also for some time. After you have attained Nirvikalpa state, preach, work and distribute divine knowledge (Jnana-Yajna of the Gita, XVIII-70).
Whatever object the mind likes much, must be given up. Whatever object the mind dwells upon constantly, thinks about very often, must be abandoned. If you like brinjals or apples much, give them up first. You will gain a great deal of peace, will-power and control of mind.
Suppose you like tea, mangoes, grapes and sweets very much. Make it a point to renounce them and even the desire for these objects. After some months, the craving or the hankering will be attenuated and will slowly vanish. You must be devoting three or four hours daily in proper prayer, Japa and meditation of God. The above objects which used to attract you before very much, are very loathsome now. They present the very reverse of your former feelings. They give you intense pain. This mind. is a sign of true Vairagya (dispassion) and destruction of the mind.
If all objects which have an enchanting appearance become eyesores and present the very reverse of the former feeling then know that the mind is destroyed. When the mind is changed the objects which gave you pleasure before, will give you pain. This is the sign of annihilation of the mind.
Things which used to upset you easily, will not touch you now. Occasions which would have made you irritable, do not make you so now. You have gained strength, power and endurance, power of resistance, power to deal with troubles. Certain unkind words from other people which used to torment you, no longer give you the trouble now. Even if you become irritable and show signs of anger, you are able now to compose yourself quickly. These are all the signs of your gaining mental strength and will-power. Meditation brings about all these beneficial results.
When there is quiescence in the mind and an indifference in it towards all enjoyments and when the powerful Indriyas are turned inwards and the Ajnana of the mind is destroyed, then and then only all the noble words of the wise Guru will infiltrate and spread in the mind of disciple, just as rose-coloured water impinges on a perfectly white cloth.
Fully realise yourself the grave and ruinous consequences of evil thought. This will set you on your guard when the evil thoughts would come. The moment they come, exert yourself or divert the mind to some other object of divine thoughts, prayer or Japa. A real earnestness to drive away the evil thoughts will keep you on the alert so much so that even if they appear in dream, you will at once wake up. Should the enemy appear when you are awake, it will not be very difficult for you to cope with him, if only you are sufficiently watchful.
You must be saved from the malformation and the miscarriage of your mind. Mind is like a playful child. The claimant energies of the mind must be bent to become the passive channels for the transmission of truth. The mind must be filled with Sattva (purity). It should be trained to think of Truth or God, constantly.
The Yoga system requires us to go through a course of mental and spiritual discipline. The Upanishads also emphasise the practice of austere virtues before the goal can be reached. Tapas destroys sins, weakens the Indriyas, purifies the Chitta and leads to Ekagrata (one-pointedness of mind).
The penances will give you mental quiet and remove the restlessness of the mind which is a great obstacle to knowedge. The life of celibacy (Brahmacharya), where you will have no family attachment to perturb your mind, would enable you to give wholehearted attention to your spiritual Sadhana. If you practise Satya and Brahmacharya, you will become fearless (Nirbhaya). You will eventually realise Brahman also. Get hold of one thing firmly with leech-like tenacity. Sraddha or faith is necessary.
Arsenic, when purified and administered in proper doses, is a blessing. It removes many diseases. It improve the blood. When it is not purified properly and given in overdoses it bringe about many ill-effects. Even so, when the mind is rendered pure and Nirvishaya, it leads on to Moksha. When it is impure and Vishayasakta (fond of sensual objects), it leads on to bondage.
OF THE EGOISTIC FORCES
You should try to destroy not only the thoughts (Sankalpas), but the mind itself and the Aham Vritti that identified with the body and the Vyavaharic Buddhi that creates the Jiva-bhava and differences in the world. Then you will be established in Svarupa (Sahaja Sat-Chit-Ananda Nirvikalpa) state. That is the Real Mouna state or Advaita Brahmanishtha. Control of mind includes control of Buddhi and the annihilation of the little T', the false self-arrogating personality.
Lord Jesus says, "Empty thyself and I will fill thee.” The meaning is: "Destroy your egoism. You will be filled with God." This emptying means restraining all the mental modifications. This emptying process or "making the mind blank" is, no doubt, a trying discipline. But, continued practice of an intense type will bring success. There is no doubt about this. It is only through the rigorous discipline that you can rise to that height of strenuous impersonality from which the gifted souls of the world see distant visions and enjoy a higher, divine life.
If the mind is divested of all the Sankalpas of 'I', then, through meditation of Atman after being initiated by a Guru and having known the real significance of the Vedas, can be turned back from various pains and made to rest on the subjective blissful Atman.
Spiritual enquiry must be set afloat in the mind.
Annihilate this mind of Ajnana or ignorance, through the power of constant association with holy men, through Satsanga, and books dealing with Atma-jnana or spiritual Knowledge, such, as the Yoga-Vasishtha, the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras, the Atma-Purana, Sarva-Vedanta-Sangraha, Sri Sankaracharya's Aparokshanubhuti, the others.
Through direct perception of Atman, the mind will be destroyed and will generate infinite Bliss. In such a perception the seer, sight and the seen become one.
1. Atman or Self is one. There is one common consciousness in all beings. All Jivas are reflections of the one Supreme Soul or Paramatman. Just as one sun is reflected in all pots of water, so also the one Supreme Being is reflected in all human beings. One cannot become many. One appears as many. One is real. Many are illusory. Separateness is illusory. Separateness is temporary. Unity is real. Unity is Eternal. One life vibrates in all beings. Life is common in animals, birds and human beings. Existence is common. This is the emphatic declaration of the Upanishads. This primary truth of Religion is the foundation of ethics or Sadachara. If you hurt another man, you hurt yourself. If you help another man, you help yourself. On account of ignorance one man hurts another man. He thinks that other beings are separate from himself. So he exploits others. So he is selfish, greedy, proud and egoistic. If you are really aware that one Self pervades, permeates all beings, that all beings are threaded on the Supreme Self, as row of pearls on a string, how can you hurt another man, how can you exploit another man?
2. Who among us is really anxious to know the truth about God or Divine life? We are more ready to ask ourselves: "How much money you have got in the Imperial Bank? Who said that against me? Do you know who I am? How are your wife and children doing?" and questions of this sort than questions like: "Who I am? What is Samsara? What is bondage? What is freedom? Whence have I come? Whither shall l go? Who is isvara: What are the attributes of God? What is our relationship to God? How to attain Moksha? What is the Svarupa of Moksha?
3. The beginning of ethics is to reflect upon ourselves, our surroundings and our actions. Before we act we must stop to think. . When a man earnestly attends to what he recognises as his duties, he will progress and in consequence thereof his comfort and prosperity will increase. His pleasure will be more refined; his happiness, his enjoyments, and recreations will be better and noble. Happiness is like a shadow, if pursued it will flee from us, but if a man does not trouble himself about it and Strictly attends to his duties, pleasures of the best and noblest kind will crop out everywhere in his path. If he does not anxiously pursue it, happiness will follow him.
4. The increase or rather refinement of happiness, however, cannot be considered as the ultimate aim of ethics, for pain and affection increase at the same rate because man's irritability, his susceptibility to pain, grows with the growth of his intellectuality. The essence of all existence is evolution or a constant realisation of new ideals. Therefore, the elevation of all human emotions, whether they are painful or happy, the elevation of man's whole existence, of his actions and aspirations, is the constant aim of ethics.
5. The Socratic formula: "Virtue is knowledge" is found to be an adequate explanation of the moral life of men. Knowledge of what is right is not coincident with doing it, for man while knowing the right course is found deliberately choosing the wrong one. Desire tends to run counter to the dictates of reason; and the will perplexed by the difficulty of reconciling two such opposite demands, tends to choose the easier course and follow the inclination rather than endure the pain of refusing desire in obedience to the voice of reason. Hence mere intellectual instruction is not sufficient to ensure right doing. There arises the further need for chastisement or the straightening of crooked will, in order to ensure its co-operation with reason in assenting to what it affirms to be right, and its refusal to give preference to desire or the irrational element in man's nature when such desire runs counter to the rational principle.
6. The pure reason urges a man to do what is best. The Asuric nature of a man fights and struggles against the man. The impulses of man who has not undergone the ethical discipline run counter to his reason.
7. The basis of good manner is Self-reliance. For such reasons the great founders and eminent teachers of all religions have repeatedly proclaimed the need for recognising the Godhead within and for self-reliance in the last resort, rather than any texts and persons and customs. Self-reliance is the basis of behaviour.
8. Self-control is greatest in the man whose life is dominated by ideals and general principles of conduct. The final end of moral discipline is self-control. The whole nature of man must be disciplined. Each element requires its specific training. Discipline harmonises the opposing elements of his soul. The self-control will enable the aspirant to know the truth, to desire the good to win the right and thus to realise the Reality.
9. Discipline is the training of our faculties through instructions and through exercise, in accordance with some settled principle of authority. You must discipline not only the intellect but also the will and the emotions. A disciplined man will control his actions. He is no longer at the mercy of the moment. He ceases to be a slave of his impulses and Indriyas. Such mastery is not the result of one day's effort. One can acquire the power by protracted practice and daily self-discipline. You must learn to refuse the demands of impulses. A self-controlled man will have to resist the wrong action to which a worldly man is most strongly impelled.
10. Do always virtuous actions. Watch the mind and see what it is doing. These two methods are quite sufficient to control the mind.
11. Awaken your spiritual Samskaras by Satsanga, Japa, etc. Protect them. Develop them. Nourish them. Vichara, Sadhana, Nididhyasana, Satsanga, will all pave a long way in the control of the mind and the attainment of Moksha.
THOUGHT OF GOD
Constantly think of God. You can very easily control the mind. Even if you think of Lord Vishnu or Siva only once, even if you once form a mental image of these deities, the Sattvic material will increase a bit. If you think a crore of times, your mind will be filled with a large quantity of Sattva. Constant thinking of God thins out the mind and destroys the Vasanas and Sankalpas.
When you fix your mind on Lord Krishna in the lotus of your heart, your attention is fixed on the figure of Lord Krishna. When the attention is fixed, the spiritual current is started. When you meditate, the flow of the current becomes steady and when the meditation gets very deep and intense, 'Union' (Samadhi) takes place. You become one with the Lord. All Sankalpas and Vikalpas stop. There is complete 'Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha' (stoppage of the modifications of the mind).
Purify the mind by Japa, Pranayama, Satsanga. Svadhyaya, Dana, Yajna, Tapas and selfless service. Then fix it on God. Destroy Sankalpa-Vikalpa of the mind. Unite the currents of the mind with the spiritual current. Abandon the idea or notion of "I", "he", "thou", Ghata (pot), Pata (cloth), i.e., Nanabhava, Dvaita-bhava. Have Brahma-bhavana instead. Then Samadhi or superconscious state will supervene automatically.
There are four ways of destroying the ego or Ahankara, viz., two Advaitic methods (positive and negative), one Bhaktas' method of ungrudging, unreserved, absolute self-surrender (Atmanivedana) and the fourth, complete self-sacrifice of Nishkama Karma Yogins.
The negative Vedantic method is denial: "I am not the body, I am not the mind. Brahman alone is real. The world is unreal. Jiva is identical with Brahman." World Includes the body. Meditate on this idea. Aham will vanish. The positive method is that everything is Self only: All is Brahman. There is nothing but Brahman."
Too much salt, too much chillies, too much tamarind, make you impulsive and cause anger. Hence give up these three things entirely or take a very very small quantity.
Speak a little. Speak always sweetly. Do not speak harsh or filthy words. Again and again discipline the organ of speech; keep quiet when another abuses you.
Enquire. An abuse is nothing. It is mere jugglery of words or Sabda-Jaalam. He who abuses, wastes his energy and spoils his tongue and character.
Mind exaggerates things. Imagination troubles you; you simply imagine that Mr.X is trying to harm you. In reality Mr.X is innocent. He is your friend and well-wisher. Mind does havoc through exaggeration and false imagination.
The mother-in-law falsely thinks that her daughter-in-law is ill-treating her. The daughter-in-law falsely imagines that her mother-in-law is treating her very badly. So the quarrels are going on daily in every house. The manager falsely imagines that the proprietor is ill-treating him. The clerk falsely imagines that office superintendent is not treating him properly and so bears ill-will towards his superior. This is Maya's jugglery. This is all trick of the mind. Beware, learn the ways of the mind and become wise. Learn to discriminate. Learn to do selfless service.
Do not make parties. Do not join parties. Be neutral. Remain alone. Keep company with saints and sages, and the Indweller within through prayer, Japa and meditation.
Bless the man that curses you. Pray for that man who tries to harm and persecute you. Serve that man who speaks ill of you. Love that man who wants to injure you. Embrace all. Serve all, Love all. Develop Atma Bhava, Narayana Bhava. The two currents of Raga and Dvesha will perish by themselves.
Give up respect and honour. Treat this as dung or poison. Treat disrespect, dishonour as ornaments. Do not expect high seats and kind words. Do not sit on flowery cushion seats. Sit on the floor. Lord Gouranga sat in the place where shoes were kept. Be humble and do these services which are considered as menial services in the eyes of the worldly-minded people. but which are really worship of the Lord and Yoga activities for the knower and wise man. During last supper, Jesus tied the boot-lace and washed the feet of his disciples. Sri Krishna, the Lord of the three worlds; washed the feet of guests and priests in the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Yudhishthira. Remember those two incidents always. This will make you humble.
Daily watch your mind and feelings. Be on the alert. Develop patience little by little. Grow. Evolve. Expand. Become strong like the Avanti Brahmin, Ekanath or Jesus and rest peacefully.
May Lord give you inner spiritual strength to hear insult and injury? May you become a Jivanmukta!
1. It is due to the veil of ignorance that you have forgotten our real essential nature, the Sat-Chit-Ananda State. It is not at all necessary for you to renounce the world and run to some Himalayan cave to regain your lost divinity. Here is an easy Sadhana by which you can definitely attain God-consciousness, even while living in the world amidst multifarious activities.
2. You need not necessarily have a separate meditation room or fixed time for meditation. Close your eyes for a minute or two once in every two hours, and think of God and His various Divine qualities such as mercy, love, joy, knowledge, purity, perfection, and so forth, during work, and mentally repeat: "Hari Om", or "Sri Ram", or "Ram Ram", or any other Mantra according to your taste.
3. This should be done even during night whenever you happen to get up from bed to micturate or any other account. Though you are not in the habit of getting up from sleep, you should do this practice at least occasionally when you slightly change your posture during sleep. This sort of habit will come only by repeated practice.
4. Feel all along that the body is a moving temple of God, your office or business house is a big temple or Brindavan, and all activities such as walking, eating, breathing, seeing, hearing, reading, etc., are offerings unto the Lord. Work is worship. Work is meditation, when done in the right spirit.
5. Work for work's sake without any motive, without the idea of agency (i.e., I am the doer, I am the enjoyer), and without expectation of fruits. Feel that you are an instrument in the hands of God and that He works through your organs. Feel also that this world is a manifestation of the Lord or Visva Brindavan and your children, wife, father, mother and other relations are the images or children of the Lord. See God in every face and in every object. If you develop this changed angle of vision and Divine Bhava by protracted and constant practice, all actions will become Puja or worship of the Lord., This is quite sufficient.
You will have God-realisation soon. This is a dynamic Yoga. This is an easy Sadhana. Hereafter do not bring your old lame excuse: "Swamiji, I have no time to do spiritual practices." Even if you practise this dynamic Yoga for three months you will become an entirely changed being altogether. Realise right now your identity and intimate relationship with all beings, with ants and dogs, elephants and tigers, Muslims and Hindus, Jews and Christians. There is only a degree of difference in manifestation or expression. All forms belong to God or Saguna Brahman. When you look at a tree or shrub, a Sikh or a Muslim, endeavour to behold behind the veil or form, the real hidden Consciousness. If you do this for some time, you will feel inexpressible joy. All hatred will cease. You will develop Cosmic love or unity of consciousness. This will be a magnanimous experience.
6. Write daily for half an hour in a notebook your Ishta Mantra observing Mouna and without turning to this side or that. Write down in bold types on cardboards or paper:
SPEAK THE TRUTH.
I MUST REALISE GOD NOW
TIME IS MOST PRECIOUS.
I WILL BE A TRUE BRAHMACHARI
BRAHMACHARYA IS DIVINE LIFE.
I AM AN EMBODIMENT OF COURAGE,
PURITY, MERCY, LOVE AND PATIENCE.
And fix them in bedroom, dining hall, front-room and verandahs. Keep such slips in your pocket and diary also. This is an easy way for developing virtuous divine qualities.
7. Here are some formulae for effecting ungrudging and total self-surrender. Repeat them mentally several times daily with Bhava: "O Lord! I am Thine. All is Thine. Thy will be done. Thou art everything. Thou doest everything." This practice will remove egoism and mineness and the idea of agency also.
SEAT OF THE MIND
According to Vedanta, the seat of mind is the heart. According to the Hatha Yoga School, the seat of mind is Ajna Chakra, the space between the two eyebrows. Concentration on the Chakra leads to control of mind easily. During waking state the mind occupies the brain. In dream the seat of mind is the throat. In deep sleep the seat of mind, is the heart.
THE TREE OF THE MIND
The idea of l' is the seed of the tree of mind. The sprout which first springs up from this seed of Ahamkara is Buddhi or intellect. From the sprout the ramifying branches called Sankalpas or thoughts have their origin. The poisonous tree of the great Maya's illusion flourishes more and more out of the seed of mind's modification full of Sankalpas in the soil of variegated enjoyments of the world.
Nishkama Karma Yoga or the performance of disinterested works is Bahiranga Sadhana, which leads you to meditation on 'Aham Brahma Asmi'. Karma is more external than the four means of salvation, Sadhana-Chatushtaya. The four means are more external than Sravana. Sravana is more external than Manana or reflection of what is heard through teacher or books. Manana is more external than Nididhyasana. Antaranga-Sadhana is Nididhyasana or deep meditation on Aham Brahma Asmi' and its meaning.
In Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali Maharshi also you have the Bahiranga and Antaranga-Sadhana. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara are the Bahiranga-Sadhana; while Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are Antaranga Sadhana.
Introspect. Aim at an inner living always. Let a portion of the mind and hands do their work mechanically. An acrobat girl, while exhibiting her performances, has her attention rivetted on the water-pot she bears on her head although all the time she is dancing to various tunes. So does truly pious man attend to all his business concern, but has his mind's eye fixed upon the blissful feet of the Lord. This is Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga combined. This will lead to integral development. This is balance. This is Synthetic Yoga. Some Vedantins have one-sided development. This is not good.
Man is a mixture of three ingredients, viz., human element, brutal instinct and divine ray. He is endowed with finite intellect, perishable body, a little knowledge and a little power. This makes him distinctly human. Lust, anger, hatred belong to his brutal nature. The reflection of cosmic intelligence is at the back of his intellect. So he is an image of God. When the brutal instincts die, when this ignorance is rent asunder, when he is able to bear insult and injury, he becomes one with the Divine.
A thirsting aspirant is one who practises self-denial. He always tries to feel that the body does not belong to him. If anyone beats him, cuts his hand or throat, he should keep quiet. He must not speak even a single harsh word to him because the body is not his. He starts his Sadhana, "I am not the body. I am not the mind. Chidananda-Rupah Sivoham."
One harsh or unkind word throws a man out of his balance. A little disrespect upsets him. He feels and feels for days together. How weak he has become despite his boasted intellect, high position in society, degrees and diplomas and titles?
Bear insult. Bear injury. This is the essence of all Sadhana. This is the most important Sadhana. If you succeed in this one Sadhana, you can very easily enter the illimitable domain of eternal bliss. Nirvikalpa Samadhi will come by itself. This is the most difficult Sadhana; but it is easy for those who have burning Vairagya and yearning for liberation.
You must become a block of stone. Only then will you be established in this Sadhana. Nothing can affect you. Abuses, ridicules, mockery, insults, persecutions cannot have any influence on you.
Remember the instructions of Lord Jesus: "If anyone gives you a slap on one cheek, show him the other cheek also. If anyone takes your coat, give him your cap also." How sublime is this teaching! If you follow this you will have great spiritual strength and power of endurance. It will make you divine. It will transform the nature of the offender also at once.
Study the life of the Avanti Brahmin in Bhagavata (IX Skandha). You will draw inspiration and strength. People spat at this Brahmin, threw faecal matter on him and yet he stood adamant. A Mohammedan spat on Saint Ekanath 108 times. and yet the saint was not affected even a bit. All saints and prophets had this power of endurance. People pelted stones at Prophet Mohammed and threw the ovary of the camel on his head, and yet he was cool and serene. The Jews pierced thorns on the body of Lord Jesus. He was ill-treated in a variety of ways. He bore all these calmly and blessed the persecutors. He was nailed on the cross and yet he said, "O Lord! forgive these people. They do not know what they are doing." Read again and again the Sermon on the Mount by Lord Jesus.
All aspirants will be tested by the Lord and a time will come for everybody to bear worst trials, adversities and persecutions. These trials will make them wonderfully strong. They must be ever prepared to bear all these trials and persecutions.
You will have to develop wonderful patience and endurance. You will have to kill your egoism, pride, Deha-abhimana or false identification with the perishable body. Then only you can bear insult and injury.
Try at first to control the physical reactions and the feelings. Do not retort. Do not speak vulgar words. Do not revenge. Kill the vindictive spirit or attitude. Check the impulses of speech, thought and action. Gradually you will gain control. Regular Japa, meditation, Kirtan, prayer, enquiry, solitude, Satsanga, selfless service, Mouna, Asana, Pranayama, will-power will give you immense strength to bear insult and injury.
There are five ways of effecting Manahkshaya (destruction of the mind). Two are Yogic methods. Three ways concern Jnana Yoga. (i) When a thought arises drive it out. Say unto yourself, "Neti, Neti—not this thought, not this thought. I do not want this thought." (ii) Pratipaksha Bhavana-substitute a counter-idea, love for hatred, courage for fear, etc. (iii) Have Brahma-bhavana. All Sankalpas will die. (iv) Be a Sakshi of the mind. Be indifferent (Udasina). (v) Make the enquiry, "Who am 1?" constantly. All thoughts will die. For a man of Vichara (enquiry), the mind dwindles into an airy nothing. This is easier and more effective than the "Neti, Neti" or "Pratipaksha Bhavana" method.
Sankalpa, desire, Raga, Dvesha, Ahankara and mind are the six bricks of the mansion of Jiva. They are the six links of the chain which constitutes the personality-Jiva. Destruction of one brick or one link brings about the destruction of the whole edifice or whole chain.
Therefore, cut off daily the branches of Sankalpa from this dire tree of Manas and ultimately destroy the tree of mind at its root completely. The cutting off of the branches is only secondary. The eradication of the tree by removal of T is the primary thing. Therefore, if through virtuous actions you destroy the idea of l' which forms the very root of the tree of mind, then it will not spring up again.
Power, possessions, money and knowledge strengthen the Abhimana, i.e., the idea of 'I' they thicken the mind also. They should be given up in order to thin out the l and the mind. It Is through Vairagya and Tyaga that you will have to thin out the mind. When the mind becomes thread-like through the thinning process, it is termed Tanumanasi.
The mind can be controlled either through the control of prana (Hatha-Yogic method) or the arrest of the fluctuation of the mind (Raja-Yogic method of Maharshi Patanjali). Control of mind leads to stoppage of breath and control of breath leads to stoppage of mind, because Prana and mind are under one Sambandha. During meditation, the breathing becomes very slow. Those who practise meditation may be aware of this fact. This goes to show that when the mind is concentrated, Prana stops by itself without any effort.
Pranayama cannot bring about Manonasa (annihilation of the mind). The Vrittis are quieted only temporarily.
Constant and pure thought of Paramatman in our heart would bring about the natural Kumbhaka and absorption of the mind in the heart, the ultimate state and the state which the sages long for. Absorption of the mind in itself is Eternal Bliss (salvation). Through direct perception of Atman, the mind will be destroyed and will generate infinite Bliss. In such a perception, the seer, sight and the seen become one.
Mind is so framed that it runs to extremes. Through Sadhana or spiritual practice, it should be brought to a baled state (Samata). It is one-sided by its very nature. It is through mental drill or training that integral development must be achieved.
Make a vigorous and earnest search within. Do not trust the mind and the Indriyas. They are your enemies. Woman and wealth are your bitter foes. These are two great evils.
Mind exercises its sovereignty over man through the force of attachment, craving, Samskara and Vasana tendency latent desire, will to possess and enjoy, world-desire). It does various tricks. When you once know its ways, it lurks like a thief. It will no longer trouble you.
In controlling the mind, you have to do seven things: (1) You must get rid of all desires and Vasanas and Trishnas. (2) You must control your emotions. You must control the temper so that you may feel no anger or impatience. (3) You must control the mind itself so that the thought may always be calm and unruffled. (4) You must control the nerves through the mind so that they may be as little irritable as possible. (5) You must give up Abhimana. Abhimana strengthens the mind. It is the seed of the mind. When you have become a Nirabhimani, how can criticisms, taunts and censure affect you? (6) You must destroy all attachments ruthlessly. (7) You must give up all hopes and prejudices.
The following will bring you peace of mind undoubtedly. (1) Avoid the company of evil persons. (2) Live alone. (3) Reduce your wants. (4) Do not argue. Arguing creates sense of hostility. It is a sheer waste of energy. (5) Do not compare yourself with others. (6) Do not lend your ears to popular criticism. (7) Give up the idea of name and fame.
According to Patanjali Maharshi, Maitri (friendship between equals), Karuna (mercy towards inferiors), Mudita (complacency towards superiors). Upeksha (indifference towards rogues), will bring about Chitta-prasada or peace of mind.
You should, through your higher Sattvic mind, avoid the mind which runs, in the direction of objects and, progressing higher up, should, without any despondency of heart, accumulate wealth of Tapasya for acquiring that imperishable Supreme Seat (Parama Pada). Like an emperor who brings under his sway all kings on earth, the fluctuating mind should be brought under the perfect control of the non-fluctuating mind and then, the latter reaches its own state which is the Supreme One.
You take great care of the body. You desire that it should be clean, healthy, beautiful and strong. You take bath with sweet soaps and hot water. You regularly feed it with nourishing food. If there is the least pain or disease, medicine is given. Doctor is consulted. But you never give a thought to the much more important thing-Mind.
Body is only the outward appearance, a projection of the Mind. Mind operates through the senses and the sense-organs. If the mind is well, then the body is well. If the mind is sick, the body becomes ill. Mind is everything. It controls your whole life. Upon it depends your happiness or misery, success or failure. 'Mana eva Manushyanam Karanam Bandha-mokshayoh' thus say the Upanishads. Again 'Yena Mano Jitam Jagat Jitam Tena' is the great truth. As you think, so you become. Do you fully realise now the great importance of controlling, training and overcoming the mind? So long, you have neglected the care of the mind. Attend to this vital subject from now.
Mastery of mind means success in all fields of life. To achieve this mastery you must study the mind. You must understand its nature, habits, tricks and the effective methods of bringing it under restraint.
Mind is a bundle of desires, thoughts, feelings and emotions. It is nothing but a collection of Samskaras, desires arising from contact of the sense-organs with different objects, feelings aroused by worldly botherations, ideas gathered together from various different obiects. These desires, feelings and ideas are not steady—they will be constantly changing. Suddenly some will subside and some others will occupy their places like the waves in the seas. Some old ones will depart from the storehouse, the mind and some new ones will replace them at once. It is also a bundle of habits. The bad habits and prejudices, although hidden by one's own nature will come up and occupy the surface of the mind as and when opportunity occurs.
According to the Vedantic school of philosophy, mind is of middling size (same size as that of the body), it is atomic (Anu) as per Nyaya School and Patanjali Maharshi says in Raja Yoga that it is Vibhu (all-pervading). Most of the western doctors who are still groping in utter darkness, say that it is an excretion of the brain, like bile from liver.
Lord Krishna says, "The senses of which the mind is the sixth (Manah Sashtani Indriyani)"—Gita Chap. XV-7. Here the five senses are the five Jnana Indriyas, viz., the ear, the skin the tongue, the nose, the eye; and the mind is termed as the sixth. Mind is the common sensory and an aggregate of the five senses. As all the five senses are mingled with it, the mind is able to see, hear, smell, taste and feel independently of the senses.
Mind assumes the shape of any object instantly it thinks upon. If it thinks of a mango, it assumes the form of a mango. Then it gets an attachment with the mango. Now a desire arises in the mind to taste it. Then the mind makes a firm determination to eat that mango and satisfy itself. One thought follows another. The thought of the mango invites instantaneously the thought of the mango-fruit seller, the tree, the garden where the tree is and so on and so forth. This is the expansion of thoughts or Sankalpas.
The whole world is nothing but the expansion of Sankalpas. This expansion of Sankalpas of mind towards the various objects is called the BONDAGE. The present-day people have no right understanding, discriminative power from unreal to real. They are completely deluded by Maya. They are under the firm grip or crocodile catch of Maya. They have fallen prey to worldly desires and enjoyments. Therefore they are Victims to this bondage; forgetting totally their divine birth right-liberation from the dire disease of births and deaths and attainment of Immortality, the Life eternal and final Beatitude!
Mind is a monkey which jumps from one place to another. It is like the air, which is always moving (Chanchala.) Like the quicksilver it scatters its rays over various objects. It can also be compared to a furious elephant, because of its passionate impetuosity. Like the fish out of the water, it will always be thirsting to run after the evil habits and entertain bad and vicious thoughts. It is also known as a "Great Bird" because it skips from one object to another just as the bird wanders from one Tree to another tree, one twig to another, and one place to another.
The last thought determines the next birth. "Whosoever at the end leaves the body, thinking upon any being, to that being only he goes, O Kaunteya! because of the constant thought of that being"-Gita Chapter VIII-6. Whatever thought you entertain at last breath, accordingly you take your next birth. This thought entirely depends upon the constant desires and ideas you entertained throughout your whole life.
Every man has a definite outlook on life; due to the power of the mind he has got a definite thinking, definite craving, desire, and hope and definite character, temperament, taste and attitude. For the gratification of the mind these desires, cravinas, etc., are constantly repeated again and again, and these acts leave definite impressions upon the subconscious mind. These impressions take indelible forms in subconscious mind.
At the time of death the whole storehouse, the subconscious mind which is full of various thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc., is churned out and the strongest and most cherished desire comes to the surface of the subconscious mind or the field of mental consciousness. This churned up butter or cream (cherished desire) arrests his attention for immediate gratification. You will think of this desire only at the time of death. If you are much attached to your pet dog, the thought of dog will come at the time of death and you will take the form of dog in the next birth. If you always think of body and identify yourself with the perishable body you will be born again. If you constantly think of Immortal self during your lifetime, you will entertain the thought of Atman only at the time of death and you will surely attain freedom from births and deaths, Immortality and everlasting Bliss! For this you must have a well-regulated, perfectly disciplined, correctly moulded, well-controlled and pure and devoted mind. Mark here the importance of Sadhana, particularly the control of mind which is the central purpose of Sadhana!
Mind is like a mirror. When the mirror is dusty and dirtladen, you cannot see your face clearly. So also when the mind is dirty, full of impurities, caught in the network of desires, You cannot perceive the Atman or Truth. Just as the eczematoid part of the leg and scabiatic hand are always itching, the mind will always be itching from lust. Purify and control the itching mind by uninterrupted, undaunted, and regular practice of Sadhana, meditation, devotion, selfless works by wisdom, Vichara, light Sattvic diet, Japa, study of the Gitá Satsanga, Asanas.
The mind in the vast majority of persons, has been allowed to run wild and follow its sweet will and desires. It is like a spoiled child which is given too much of indulgence by the parents or a badly trained animal. The minds of many of us are like menageries of wild animals each pursuing the bent of its own nature and going on its way. Like the light feather in the wind and a ship in the violent storm, the mind is tossed about among objects of love and hatred. It whirls far and wide like a strolling city dog vainly among sensual objects.
It whirls at the mere sight of the skeleton covered with flesh and dressed fashionably with coloured silken clothes. It is intoxicated by wealth. It will flit in a moment more swiftly than air from Calcutta to New York. In a second it will be in Paris thinking of the up-to-date fashions. In short, it fluctuates, gets excited and confused. It flits about from object to object forever discontented and never satiated. It rejoices in vain. It weeps in regret. It is humiliated for one moment. And it is again puffed up with pride and filled with Ahankara.
Mind havocs through the power of imagination. Imaginary fears of various sorts, exaggeration, concoction, mental dramatisation, building castles in the air, are due to the power of imagination. Even a perfect healthy man has some imaginary disease or other, due to the power of imagination. Much energy is wasted through imaginary fears.
Mind tricks and plays. It always wants to be doing something or other and when it attaches itself with objects, it cherishes, it feels amused and happy. For example, a play at cards has nothing in it, but the attachment and attention give pleasure. Having no idea that these momentary pleasures will result in misery, people take delight and repeat the same act again and again. These evil acts, in due course form as bad habits. Then it becomes very difficult to divert the mind from such evil habits which were practised from infancy.
To make a Bhasma by purifying the Hartal (yellow oxide of arsenic ointment) it takes very long time. The Hartal is to be soaked in cow's urine for seven days, in lime water for ten days, And in milk for seven days. Then it is burnt out one hundred and eight times to make it into Bhasma (ash). Even so, it will take a very long time to purify the mind and attain the state of Blessedness, but success in this earnest attempt is sure and certain.
Aspire fervently. Be vigilant. Be on the alert. Watch your mind always very carefully. Check the surging emotions and bubbling thoughts. Do not allow the waves of irritability, jealousy, anger, lust and hatred to rise in your mind. Do not allow the current of bad thoughts, evil notions, vicious ideas, to pass through your mind.
Mind is generally attracted by brilliant light, beauty, intelligence, varied colours and pleasant sounds. Do not be deceived by these paltry things. Enquire within, "What is the Adhishthana or substratum for all these things? What is the background of all these things?" You will then find that there is one real Essence behind these names and forms—beyond the objects of this seeming sense-universe. That real Essence is that All-full, Ever-blissful, All-pervading, Atman, immanent in all beings. Identify with that Atman, you will reach the Supreme!
Positive always overpowers negative this is the natural law. When the sun rises the fog vanishes—this is the daily occurrence. When light is lighted in dark room the darkness is removed—this is common incidence. If you substitute divine virtuous qualities, the evil qualities will disappear. If you entertain new sublime thoughts, old vicious thoughts will subside by themselves. At the early dawn, in the precious Brahmamuhurta, meditate on a virtuous quality. Think of its various attributes, benefits and some moral stories relating to that virtue. Feel day by day that you are possessing that virtue. Gradually that virtue will be developed. The vice will be destroyed. The evil qualities will leave their hold one by one. You can chuck them out one by one with redoubled force at every time. The evil qualities once you welcomes and entertained and nourished well till now from time immemorial, will all fly away. You will notice a marvellous change. Your mind will be at ease. It will be one-pointed.
You must think of your Hidden indweller. Remember His Lilas. Every moment discriminate between the unreal and the real. Determine to do Brahma Chintana. Just as you saturate the water with salt or sugar, you will have to saturate the mind with thoughts of God or Brahman, with Divine glory, Divine Presence, with sublime and soul-stirring and awakening spiritual thoughts. Only then, the one-pointed mind will be established in the Divine Consciousness always.
To control the Indriyas through introspection, to develop Vairagya for restraining the Indriyas, to give up the objects which one particular Indriya tries to grasp, to destroy the thirsting for objects and sense-enjoyments, to observe Brahmacharya, to fix your mind gradually on your Ishta Devata—is a supreme blessing. This must be your aim in your life.
To give up attending Nautch party, and hearing vulgar music, to give up attending cinemas, to give up looking at ladies with lustful look, to give up using scents, to speak truth at any cost, to live on simple Sattvic food, to fast on Ekadasi days, to talk little and observe Mouna-is a supreme blessing. This must be your daily practice.
Now, mark the nature of the mind of a Jivanmukta. It is perfectly balanced under all circumstances. His mind is always cool and unaffected by the Dvandas (pairs of opposites). His mind is free from Harsha and Soka (elation and depression). It is neither elated by enjoyments nor depressed by sorrow and grief. Without being affected by the pleasures or pains or enjoyments, though moving in them, the mind of a Jivanmukta will become injured to them.
Through internal contentment and freedom from pains, there will arise in the Jnani equanimity of mind in all circumstances and at all places. Even when pains and the rest attaching themselves to his body exhibit themselves on his face, his mind never writhes under them or their antithesis. It is free from impure Vasanas. There will be no anger or desire. There will not arise any evil impulses of Kama in such a mind. There is not the least longing for objects. His mind is above worldly things. He is not affected by the world. He need not have a separate room or Asana. He need not close the eyes. He need not do any Pratyahara of the senses.
A mind which, though apparently enjoying the diverse objects, does not, in reality, enjoy them, may be stated to be Brahman itself.
Mind, through ignorance and indiscrimination, considers its false personality to be true and thinks it is the doer of all karmas and thus becomes egoistic. It imagines that it is in bondage. It identifies itself with the Jivatma; it becomes Jivatma itself and takes the responsibility upon itself for doing good or bad Karmas and enjoying or suffering from their fruits. Hence is mind the doer of Karmas (action), and responsibility for the Karmas, therefore, rests with it.
Mind is the stealer of Atman. It is a thief. Mind drags the Jivatma into Vishaya (sensual enjoyments). Jivatma is the Abhasa of Chaitanya or reflected intelligence in mind. Mind and Jivatma always live together. They cannot be separated. Slay the mind, the stealer of Atman, through Vichara, Manana and Nididhyasana (constant and profound meditation) on Brahman.
Mind has the potency of creating or undoing the whole world in the twinkling of an eye. Therefore, slay this mind the slayer of Atman, whether through the destruction of Vasana (latent, subtle desires) or Vakya Chintana. The best means of disposing of the great danger of Maya, involving all in pains, is the destruction of mind. With the destruction of the mind, all the three periods of time vanish into nothingness. With the destruction of mind, Atmajnana begins to dawn.
The extinction of Vasanas (Vasana-kshaya), Manonasa (annihilation of the mind), and Tattva-Jnana (understanding of the Reality), when practised together for a long time, are regarded as fruitful. They should be practised at a time. So long as these three are not equally practised, again and again, the Supreme Seat (Parama Pada) cannot be attained even after a lapse of hundreds of years. Through the practice of these three for a long time, the firm knots of the heart are cut without doubt, like the breaking of the threads in a lotus-stalk rent in two.
Destruction of the mind does not mean annihilation of the self. The Vedantin divides the mind into the higher and the lower of which the lower one leading to desires is asked to be destroyed.
Destruction of desires, annihilation of Ahankara destruction of Sankalpa-all mean control of mind or annihilation of mind (Manonasa or Amanaskata). Destruction of egoism, raga-Dvesha (attraction and repulsion for objects) and all Vasanas along is Manonasa. Manonasa comes through the destruction of the Vasanas. Manonasa does not mean that you should take a sword and cut the mind to pieces.
Manonasa means the death of the present form of the mind (i.e., the instinctive mind of emotions and passions), the form which perceives differences where none exists, which identifies the Self with the body. Its death really means its transformation into and, therefore, the birth of cosmic consciousness.
Vast majority of persons live in Annamaya kosa only. Their thoughts are directed towards eating, cleansing the body and putting on neat dress. That is all. Even the so-called educated persons live in Annamaya kosa only. Sometimes, they live in Manomaya kosa (mental sheath). A spiritual aspirant and Viveki live in Vijnanamaya kosa (Buddhi Sheath). The Vijnanamaya kosa is developed by abstract thinking and reasoning by systematic meditation, Brahma- chintana, study of the Upanishads, Yoga-Vasishtha and Brahma Sutras. You must all develop the Vijnanamaya kosa by the study of Vedantic literature and pure thinking. Then you are safe. Mind will stop to deceive and torment you.
Mind is absorbed in Mahat or Buddhi. Individual Buddhi is absorbed in the Cosmic Buddhi: Cosmic Buddhi in Avyakta; Avyakta in Brahman. This is the Laya-Chintana of Antahkarana or Mind.
Sambhavi Mudra, Bhrukuti-Drishti (looking at the spot midway between the two eyebrows) Nasikagra-Drishti (looking steadily at the tip of the nose), Nadanusandhana (hearing the sounds of the ear) -all belong to Laya Yoga. By these practices the mind gets Lava soon. The Unmani state supervenes rapidly. The Unmani Avastha of Laya-Yogis co Bhava-Samadhi of Bhaktas. In Sambhavi Mudra, the eyes are open but the mind is fixed on the Lakshya. The eyes do not see the external objects.
When the mind and senses are thinned out and eventually controlled, Smaranendriya-vyapara (the various activities of Antahkarana and senses) ceases. Jivatva (personality-notion and sensation) vanishes. Brahmatva (existence) remains. That is kevala Asti.
Manonasa is of two kinds, viz., (1) Svarupa Manonasa, destruction of the Svarupa of mind, as in the case of the Jivanmuktas and (2) Arupa Manonasa, destruction of the very form of the mind, as in the case of Videhamuktas, when they leave off their physical bodies. The first is termed "destruction of the mind with form." The second is termed "destruction of the mind without form."
Poem on Mind-Conquest
POEMS ON MIND-CONQUEST
Study of psychology is not the end of life.
Psychology of Yoga Vasishtha is more grand.
Mind is only an airy nothing.
It is a bundle of Vasanas, habits and thoughts.
There is death for the mind also,
You will have to transcend the mind,
To get at the Ultimate Reality.
Understand well the purpose of your existence.
Cultivate a good and clear conscience.
Endure bravely all difficulties and adversities.
The purpose of your existence
Is to serve humanity with divine Bhav,
To purify and steady the mind,
To attain freedom, perfection,
Which is Self-realisation or Jivanmukti.
From the senses and the mind.
Be a witness.
The eyes do not see;
They are only instruments.
The ears do not hear;
They are also instruments.
They are products of Prakriti.
The Atman is pure Consciousness.
That pure Consciousness thou art.
Identify yourself with the Atman.
O Assert: "I am not this body.
This body is not mine.
I am not this mind.
This mind is not mine.
I am not this intellect.
This intellect is not mine.
I am Satchidananda-Atman.
I am Satchidananda-Svarupa."
How can I rely on this world!
It has no real existence,
The body is like froth or a bubble.
Everything is perishable;
Kings, poets, scientists,
Have been reduced to dust.
This world is but a long dream.
Days and nights are passing away;
The senses and mind are deceiving.
I have detected the dacoit.
That dacoit is the mind;
It cannot deceive me now.
I have slain the mind
With the sword of discrimination.
I have found out the Atmic Pearl;
I enjoy the bliss of eternal;
Sivoham, Sivoham, Sivoham.
I am not the mind.
The mind is not mine.
I am distinct from the mind;
Mind is my instrument;
Mind is my obedient servant.
I give power and light to the mind.
How can the inert mind
Be the sentient Atman?
How can the ever-changing mind
Be the everchangeless Atman?
Mind gropes in darkness,
Mind frets and fumes and swoons.
Mind weeps, worries and thirsts.
How can mind be the Atman?
Do not identify yourself with the mind;
Separate yourself from the thoughts;
Stand as a witness of the mind.
Realise: "I am the mindless (Amanas) Brahman,
Aham Sakshi, I am the Witness."
I am Avinasi Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am deathless Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am Akshara Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am imperishable Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am Avyaya Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am undiminishing Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am Akhanda Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am Vyapaka Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am all-pervading Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am Paripoorna Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am all-full Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am Anadi Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am Beginningless Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am Ananta Brahman
OM OM OM.
I am endless Brahman
OM OM OM.
Meditation tunes the mind.
Meditation keeps the mind
In tune with the Infinite;
Therefore, meditate, meditate.
The mind does two things;
It ceaselessly thinks of sensual objects;
When it is tired of thinking of objects,
It goes to sleep and rests in Mula-Avidya,
If sleep or Laya tries to overpower you during meditation
Awake the mind, be on the alert.
If the mind is distracted on account of Vikshepa,
Calm it, render it serene,
If there is attachment to any object,
When the mind, make it unattached.
Again and again think of Brahman;
Start the Brahmachintan vigorously;
Abandon the bliss of Savikalpa Samadhi also.
It is also a hindrance to the highest realisation.
When the mind has become perfectly calm,
Do not disturb it even a bit.
Continue the meditation vigorously.
You will soon enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
And realise the supreme universal Bliss.
Mind is the biggest radio.
The body is the radio-box.
Attune the mind in sweet harmony.
You can be in tune with the Infinite.
Mind is both the receiving and transmitting instrument.
You can have television and telesound.
You can have clairaudience and clairvoyance.
You can behold distant objects and hear distant sounds.
Collect the dissipated rays of the mind;
Focus it, centre it on the Atman within.
Fix the plug of self-restraint.
Use the amplifier "Brahmakara Vritti.’
Take recourse to the "pick up" of Vichara.
Instal the loud-speaker of "Sadhana Chatushtaya."
Generate the high-volt current of 'intuition'.
You can hear the Anahat, the transcendental music of the soul.
The soundless, noiseless, Atmic flute.
You can realise the immortal bliss of Brahman,
Cosmic consciousness, or Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Mind alone is Maya.
Maya is only mind.
Control of mind is control of Maya.
Control of Maya is control of mind.
Maya plays through mind.
Maya havocs through mind.
Maya is the veiling principle.
She hides the Real
And makes the unreal appear as Real.
Through Jnana-Sadhana, conquer this mind.
Mental pose is more important than the physical pose;
It is more difficult than the practice of Asanas.
Keep the mind also steady and fixed on the Lakshya.
Keep it in a balanced state.
Let it not sink down or jump with emotion.
Be always serene, tranquil and calm.
Check its wanderings, make it motionless.
Fill it with joy, cheerfulness and zeal.
Curb the thoughts, desires and cravings.
Annihilate likes and dislikes and building castles in the air.
When the mind is more steady and poised,
The physical pose also will be perfect and steady.
In this war there will be no need
For bombs, missiles or machine-guns.
Fight the battle with the mind:
The time has come now
You will have to fight single-handed:
Therefore, O gentle youth, Hey Saumya!
Prepare thyself to carry on the fight against thy mind
By the practice of Yama, Niyama, four means,
By developing divine virtues
Like serenity, purity, truthfulness, mercy, etc.,
By concentration and meditation;
And reach the other shore of fearlessness and Immortality
Some psychologists say:
There are compartments or pigeon-holes in the mind.
There is a big index in the mind:
When you come out of the room,
And come across various objects,
Each impression is indexed alphabetically.
There are various layers in the mind.
Mind is like 'Khaja' sweetmeat or 'Parotta',
Or Puff biscuits of Huntleys.
Each layer receives the impressions from the sense-objects And glides back quickly.
It is like a revolving big Chaddar or canvas.
It is like a running wheel of Diesel Engine.
It is like an ocean,
And each Vritti is a wave or whirlpool.
It does not function in three dimensions
Of length, breadth and width.
A blank portion is ever ready
To receive new impressions.
If you do not roll the film in the camera
The next impression spoils the previous images.
Even so, if the impressioned layer of the mind
Does not move back.
The new impressions will obliterate the previous ones,
The fact is that the impressioned layer
At once glides back.
A Vedantin says:
Mind is nothing but can appear as everything mysteriously
Through its jugglery or trick.
Conquer the mind by the Light of Vedantic wisdom.
O shameful mind!
You are obstinate and foolish.
You are like the dog
That strolls in the street.
People pelt stones at the dog,
Again it stands before the door.
Many bitter experiences you had!
And yet you repeat the same things
You are born in a noble family.
High is your parentage.
Thou art born of pure Sattva,
Keep up your prestige.
Do not run after sensual filth.
Think high, enquire well,
Do virtuous actions,
And rest for ever peacefully.
Thou art born of Ananda;
Thou art born of Brahman.
Go back to your original abode,
And remain ever blissful.
O Mind! Do not vacillate.
do not stray here and there,
Like the strolling street dog.
you Will get pain and sorrow only
From these perishable sense-objects.
Go back to your sweet, immortal Abode
Of ineffable splendour and glory.
You will find there alone
Everlasting peace and immortal bliss.
Abandon your old filthy habits.
Develop dispassion and discrimination.
Rest peacefully for ever in the Supreme Soul.
This is real shaving of Saints, Sadhus and Swamis.
This makes the man perfectly clean and pure.
This constitutes real Tyaga or Sannyasa,
Shave the mind with the crop-razor, discrimination;
Shave the mind with the safety razor, of Vichara;
Shave the mind with the Gillette blade of meditation.
Use the strap of dispassion for sharpening the razor.
Use the oil of Satsang for sharpening it in the whetstone.
Shaving the Vasanas is only partial face shaving.
Shaving Raga-Dvesha is also partial shaving.
Shaving the egoism entirely is full shaving.
Dattatreya and Mansoor shaved their minds well.
Ramdas and Kabir shaved only their minds.
Shaving the head is indeed nothing, nothing.
An ignorant worldly man thinks, feels and imagines.
That there is pleasure in external sense-objects.
This is a terrible and formidable mistake indeed,
Owing to lack of discrimination, dispassion,
Vichara, study of scriptures and Satsang,
He has no idea of the ocean of bliss
In his own innermost Atman that abides in his heart.
Your effort or struggle will be made easy
If you constantly think that the objects are painful,
Illusory, poisonous and dangerous.
Real happiness can be had in one's own Self within.
The mind and senses will be weaned gradually.
They will not run violently towards the objects,
Just as the child will not run towards fire
When the finger is burnt once.
They will move gradually towards the source within.
Make the mind taste the internal bliss a bit daily,
Through Japa, Kirtan, meditation and enquiry.
Remember the Gita Sloka (Chapter XVIII):
"The sensual pleasure is nectar in the beginning
But poison in the end."
Wear green spectacles,
All objects will appear green.
Place a white flower before a green glass;
The white flower will appear green.
The greenness in the flower is due to an Upadhil
Or limiting adjunct, the green glass.
Even so, this world is seen with its colour
On account of the Upadhi, mind.
Remove the green glass;
There is no greenness in the white flower.
Annihilate this mind;
There is no world for you.
There is only Brahman and Brahman everywhere.
Saints and Yogins
Will never think that they have controlled the mind.
Only the deluded Sadhak
Will imagine that he has controlled the mind,
And get a terrible downfall.
it is the very nature of
Life, mind and Prakriti
To be constantly in motion.
When there is the idea in the mind
That the Highest Goal is yet to be achieved,
You will always move towards it.
If you imagine that you have got to the top,
You will anyhow have to move,
And that movement will be downward;
You will have a downfall.
Aspire for higher and higher realisation
Till the breath ceases in the nostril.
One man is capable, kind-hearted;
He nicely serves patients;
He washes their clothing, removes motion;
He appears to be polite, innocent, courteous.
Nobody will suspect anything unpalatable.
Everybody will take him for a perfect gentleman and saint.
But there is a disciplined, organised mischief inside.
He intrigues and makes parties.
He aims at destruction.
It is very hard to diagnose and scrutinise
One's mental make-up, Bhavas and contents.
Opposite attributes exist in the mind.
Such is the mysterious nature of mind,
The product or son of Maya or Brahman.
Expert psychologists are baffled at it.
Brahman alone knows the mind in all its details.
Very great effort is needed to purify the mind.
Perfect purification of the mind is needed
To attain Self-realisation.
If you wish to conquer mind and attain Immortality,
You will have to pay the highest price.
That highest price is destruction of your egoism.
You will have to annihilate
This self-arrogating little 'l'.
You will have to crush your individuality:
This ministership, premiership, dictatorship,
This doctorhood, engineerhood, and professorhood,
And melt it in the Supreme Being,
You will have to powder your mind;
Vasanas, cravings and "Will-to-live."
You must give up all possessions
Including body, mind and senses.
This is the performance of Jnana Yajna
Or, sacrifice of wisdom
In the fire of supreme renunciation.
I do not allow the tongue to speak evil of others;
I make it sing the glory of the Lord.
I do not allow the ears to hear scandals;
I make them hear sweet Kirtans.
I do not allow the eyes to run hither and thither;
I make them see the image of the Lord.
I do not allow the nose to smell scents;
I make it smell Tulasi and Bael leaves.
I do not allow the hands to do evil deeds:
I use them in the service of saints.
I do not allow the feet to go to any place;
I make them perambulate round the temple.
By controlling the senses, I control the mind.
The leg is prickable.
The thorn is capable of pricking the leg.
A shoe removes the contact
Of the thorn with the feet.
Even so the mind is prickable
It experiences pain.
Rajas is capable of pricking the mind.
scrimination and meditation can prevent the pricking.
They remove the contact of Rajas with the mind.
They serve the part of a shoe.
They fill the mind with Sattva or bliss.
They help the aspirant to attain the ever blissful Atman.
Asha is hope.
Pratiksha is anticipation.
Hope is for things unseen such as pleasure of heaven
Anticipation is for things seen such as wealth.
Hope and anticipation bring disappointment.
Give up hope and anticipation,
And enjoy the Supreme Peace of the Eternal.
To be hopeless is a very high state
In the spiritual sense.
In the worldly parlance people say
"He is a hopeless man.
He is incorrigible."
It has a bad sense.
Hope is a tonic of Maya,
That makes a man stick to this world.
Conquer hope and anticipation
And you will conquer the mind.
If you give up reading newspapers,
If you abandon playing cards,
If you reduce your time spent
In playing tennis, football and billiards,
You will have ample time to do Sadhana.
Mind is very treacherous;
If you think, when the alarm rings at 4 a.m.
I will get up after ten minutes,
You will never get up.
You will sleep till 8 a.m.,
If you begin to take a few raisins
When you fast on Ekadasi,
The determination will slacken;
You will try to take some plantains, milk,
Then, two laddus, half a seer of milk, etc.
Therefore be firm in your determination.
Come what may, stick to your resolve.
Be adamant; do not give a long rope to the mind;
Cut all temptations in one stroke.
Rama bhajo Rama bhajo Ramo bhajo ji
Rama Krishna Govinda Gopala bhajo ji.
I will try to learn one new thing every day,
I will do one good act daily, daily.
I will practise Asanas daily to remove inertia,
I will do Suryanamaskara to get rid of lethargy
I will practise virtues to make the mind positive,
I will never allow the mind to remain negative.
I will be ever diligent, vigilant and be on the alert,
I will march forward always to attain the goal of life.
I will never indulge in anything in which the worldlings indulge,
I will not allow the mind to copy and imitate them.
I will try to become like Yudhishthira,
I will strive to tread the path which Buddha has trodden
In the fire of supreme renunciation.
I will lead the life which Kabir, Nanak, Ram Das have led.
I will emulate Bhishma, Sankara and Guru Dattatreya.
I will remember the teachings of Lord Buddha and Lord Mohammed.
I will practise the precepts of Lord Krishna and Vyasa Bhagavan.
will not be careless and say, "There is no danger";
will not be heedless and say, "I am perfectly safe";
I will try to fortify myself in all directions,
To resist the subtle workings of the mysterious Maya,
I will try to fence myself strongly and powerfully,
To resist the temptations and snares of Avidya.
I will not say in future "I will indulge in this just only once,”
This "only once" will multiply into thousand and one.
This "only once" will pull me down into the dark abyss,
This "only once" will cause in me hopeless downfall.
I will never say "by and by" and put off doing so.
Opportunities come but once and soon slip away.
Through the grace of the Lord and my adorable Guru.
I have now found out this clever Maya's trick.
I will do in future rigorous Tapas and meditation.
I will strengthen my resolves and hold Siva's Trisul.
The mind is compared to a lake:
Just as there are waves in a lake,
There are waves in the mind;
The Vrittis are the waves.
If the lake is without waves,
You can see your reflection in it,
Even so, if there are no Vrittis,
You can realise the Supreme Self.
When the lake dries up
The reflection of the sun in the lake
Gets absorbed in the sun itself;
Similarly, When the mind-lake dries up
Through purity and meditation,
The reflection of the individual soul
Gets absorbed in the Supreme Soul.
A reflection or Pratibimba is illusory,
The individual soul is only a reflection;
The Bimba alone is real.
Thou art verily the Bimba or the Source;
Identify yourself with Bimba or Brahman.
Mind-river flows steadily
In two directions.
It runs along the plane of discrimination;
Now the desires are thinned out;
The aspirant attains desirelessness.
He reaches the goal of Moksha.
He attains immortality and freedom.
It also runs along the plane of objects;
Now, desires are intensified;
The mind falls into the abyss of ignorance
O man! allow the mind-river
To run towards the ocean of eternal bliss,
Through the practice of dispassion,
discrimination and meditation.
And be happy for ever. <