"Sweep out the sphere of your mind:
Make a place for Loved One to sit.
Dust out all thoughts of this world
So that His throne may be fit.
A million desires engulf you,
A million ambitions and aims:
How can you make room for His Presence
Unless they vacate His domain?"
What Is Desire?
Desire is a mode of the emotive mind. It has got a power of externalising the mind. Desire is the fuel; thought is the fire. The thought-fire is kept up by the desire-fuel. If you withdraw the supply of fuel, the fire will be withdrawn into its womb. If you stop thinking by cutting off desires, the mind will be withdrawn into Brahman.
It is only when the mind, being divested of all its desires, is indifferent to pleasures and pains and is not attracted by any object that it will be rendered pure, free from the grip of the great delusion like a bird freed from its cage and roaming freely in the Akasa.
Desire, thought and Ahankara form one vicious circle. If you can destroy any one of them, the other two will die by themselves. These are the three pillars or corner-stones of the edifice of mind. They are the three links of the mind-chain. Destroy any one of the links; the whole chain will be broken.
Why Do Desires Arise?
Why do desires arise in the mind? On account of Ananda-Abhava (absence of Ananda or spiritual bliss). The cause for desire is the existence of objects outside. Curiosity becomes a desire in the mind. Interest and feeling precede a desire. Hope and expectation fatten the desire.
Vikshepa-the Very Nature Of Mind
Just as heat is inseparable from fire, Vikshepa or the tossing of the mind is inseparable from the mind. It troubles the Sadhakas a lot. It destroys all of a sudden the determinations of strong-willed persons also. The mind ceases to exist if it is destitute of this oscillation. This fluctuating mind alone creates the universe. Even Mala (impurity) can be removed easily. It demands strenuous efforts for a protracted time on the part of the Sadhaka to remove this Vikshepa. The undaunted Uddalaka suffered a lot from this distracting Vikshepa when he tried to enter into Nirvikalpa state. Raja Bhartrihari underwent the same difficulty when he tried to overcome this troublesome fluctuating Sakti of the mind. Vikshepa is Maya. Vikshepa is impure Vasana (Asuddha Vasana). You will have to destroy this Vikshepasakti by constant Upasana or Yoga or ceaseless Atmic enquiry (Brahmavichara). Then, peace (Santi) will come by itself.
Types Of Desire
Desire in the mind is the real impurity. Sexual desire, vulgar attraction for the opposite sex, is the greatest impurity. This causes the real bondage. You can even give up wife, children and wealth. But, it is extremely difficult to give up ambition, name and fame. Ambition is a serious obstacle in the path of Yoga. This is the most powerful weapon of Maya with which she slaughters worldly-minded persons. Even if there is a tinge of desire for name and fame, Truth will not manifest. Truth will shine by Itself. It does not need any pompous advertisement. It is the very Self of all beings and objects.
Anirbuddha Or Subtle, Hidden Desires
Even after you have renounced all the desires, there may remain in the mind some subtle, hidden desires (Sukshma, Anirbuddha) that cannot be comprehended. These are very dangerous ones. Therefore, you will have to be very, very careful. The lurking under-currents of desires will throw you down at any moment if you are not very vigilant and cautious, will destroy your Vairagya (dispassion) and will bring about your downfall eventually. I have witnessed many Yogabhrashtas who had fallen from Yoga owing to the overpowering influence of these subtle, hidden desires. So long as you have these subtle, hidden, Anirbuddha (unnoticeable) desires in your mind, you can never dream of entering into the Nirvikalpa state without any modification of the mind. You can never develop real Paravairagya (supreme non-attachment and dispassion) also.
Craving Or Trishna
You may become old, your hairs may turn grey, but your mind is ever young. The capacity may vanish, but the craving remains even when you have reached advanced senility. Cravings (Trishna) are the real seeds of birth. These craving-seeds give rise to Sankalpa and action. The wheel of Samsara is kept revolving by these cravings. Nip them in the bud. Then only will you be safe. You will get Moksha. Brahma-Bhavana, Brahma-Chintana, meditation on OM and devotion will root out these craving-seeds which are laid deep. You will have to dig them out properly in various corners and burn them beyond resurrection. Then only will your efforts bear the fruit of Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
"Love and kill," "Marry and observe Brahmacharya," "Enjoyment without desire," "Action without fruits" are paradoxical terms. A man with gross Vyavaharic Buddhi can hardly understand these terms. A subtle, pure intellect is needed. Suppose you were a terrible smoker for the last fifteen years. Then you gave up smoking for five years. The craving for smoking also died. Suppose one of your friends offers you a cigar in the sixth year. You have no craving for smoking now. If you take it now and enjoy it just to please your friend, it will be called a Suddha Bhoga only. You have enjoyed it without a craving or a desire. Isvara enjoys Suddha Bhoga.
Satisfaction Of Desire Yields Illusory Happiness Only
Desire excites the mind and senses. When desire is gratified by enjoyment of the objects of desire, satisfaction (Tripti) comes in temporarily. Rapture is delight in the attainment of the desired object. Bliss is the enjoyment of the taste of what is attained. Where rapture is there is bliss; but where bliss is there is not, quite of necessity, rapture. Rapture is like a weary traveller who hears or sees water or a shady wood. Bliss is the enjoying of the water or entering the forest shade.
When there is desire, then alone is there pleasure. The cause for pleasure is desire. When there is no desire, there cannot be any pleasure. When there is no hunger, delicious food can give you no pleasure. When there is no thirst, any refreshing beverage will have no effect. So, hunger is the best sauce. The first cup of hot milk gives pleasure. The second cup induces disgust. After the enjoyment is over, Tripti comes. Hence, disgust arises when the second cup is taken. There is no real pleasure in milk. The happiness is in Atman only. It is reflected in the object (milk) owing to ignorance, owing to Bhranti (illusion). It is Bhranti-Sukha. If there were real happiness in milk, it should induce pleasure always and in every person. It is not the case.
A desire arises in the mind. There is a Vritti now. This Vritti agitates your mind till you get satisfaction through enjoyment of the desired object. There is Santi or peace or happiness after the enjoyment is over. Another desire arises in the mind. Now, in the interval between the gratification of one desire and the manifestation of another, there is pure bliss, because there is no mind then. It is at rest. You are in union with Brahman. That state of pure bliss between two desires is Brahman. If you can prolong that period of bliss through Sadhana by keeping up the idea of Brahman and by not allowing another Vritti or desire to crop up, you will be in Samadhi. The period between one Vritti and another Vritti is the real Sandhi (juncture).
Desires Are Insatiable
Mind plays havoc through desires. As soon as a desire arises, you think you will get all happiness by its realisation. You exert yourself to achieve the desired object. As soon as you get it, a little satisfaction (false Tushti or gratification) is experienced for a short time. Again, mind becomes restless. It wants new sensations. Disgust and dissatisfaction come in. Again, it wants some new objects for its enjoyment. That is the reason why this world is termed as mere Kalpana (imagination) by Vedantins.
Desires are innumerable, insatiable and unconquerable. Enjoyment cannot bring in satisfaction. It is a mistake to think so. Enjoyment fans the desire. It is like pouring ghee in fire. Enjoyment strengthens, increases and aggravates a desire. See the case of Raja Yayati of yore. He borrowed the youthful state from his son to have sexual enjoyment for thousands of years. At last, he cries out in his old age with bitterness, "Alas! What a fool I am! Still my sexual desires are waxing. There is no end of desires. I have wasted my life. O God! Have mercy on me. Lift me up from this mire of Samsara." This comes in Mahabharata. In the Gita, Chapter III-39, you will find "Kama-rupena Kaunteya Dushpurena-analena cha-desire which is insatiable as a flame."
Freedom From Desires Necessary For Jnana
You can attain Jnana only if you are free from sensuous desires and immortal 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 cleansed 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.
How To Control Desires
In this ocean of Samsara, desires are the crocodiles. Kill them as soon as they arise on the surface of the mind. Do not yield to them. Do not become despondent under your trials. Make friendship with the pure, Sattvic mind and destroy the impure mind with the help of the pure mind. Make your mind rest in the blissful Atman. Desires should be crushed the very moment they arise in the mind, by discrimination and dauntless, indefatigable efforts.
Whenever a desire arises in the mind, consult always your Viveka (power of discrimination). Viveka will at once tell you that the desire is attended with pain, that it is only a vain temptation set up by the mind and that Vairagya and Tyaga alone can bring about satisfaction and peace of mind. It will advise you to renounce the desire immediately and take to the study of Upanishads, repetition of OM and to have Samadhi-Nishtha in a solitary place on the bank of the sacred Ganga. Think deeply again and again whether the new desire will give you more happiness or more spiritual gain. Viveka will guide you to take up the help of will and drive the desire immediately. Viveka and will are two potent weapons for an aspirant on the Jnana Yogic path to destroy evil Mara (temptation) and remove all major and minor impediments.
Never accept gifts from anybody, even from your closest friends. It will produce slavish mentality, weak will and attachment. Asking is begging. Recommending is begging. A beggar is absolutely unfit for freedom and spiritual pursuits.
Just as you starve a plant by depriving it of water, so you may starve out obnoxious desires by allowing the mind not to dwell upon such desires. You have no desire for a thing till you know what it is like. It is only after you have seen it or heard of it or touched it that you get a longing for it. Therefore, the best principle for a man is not to take, touch or see anything that is likely to taint the imagination. You will have to turn aside the attention resolutely and particularly the imagination from the subject. In course of time, all objectionable desires will die out.
It is desire in the mind that has created this body. The nature of the desire depends upon the quality of Samskaras. If these are good, virtuous Samskaras, good desires will crop up and, if they are bad, they will give rise to evil desires. Buddhi also is Karmanusarini (according to the nature of Karmas). It has to be specially trained by repeated efforts to think and act according to the holy injunctions of sacred scriptures. Desire becomes the thought and thought becomes the action. An evil desire sets up an evil thought which leads to evil action. Do always virtuous action-charity, Tapas, Japa, Dama, Dhyana and study of scriptures. Give up Nishiddha Karma (actions prohibited by Sastras). Have constant Satsanga. This is very important. It is the only means of changing the evil Samskaras of the mind.
The mind with half-developed Jnana feels severe pain when it relinquishes all desires. It demands aid, through prayer, from higher souls.
A counter-desire, a desire for God, one strong desire to attain Brahman will destroy all other worldly desires. Put down vicious desires through virtuous desires. Then give up virtuous desires through one strong desire-Mumukshutva (desire for liberation). Abandon this desire for God also in the long run. Give up Asubha Vasana through Subha Vasana. Give up Subha Vasana through Svarupa Vasana. Give up Svarupa Vasana by Nididhyasana. Desires will become extinct with the rise of discrimination. When desires cease, Jivahood becomes extinct.
Brahma-Chintana will destroy all desires. There are no desires in Brahman. Brahman is All-Purity. Repeat OM. Repeat the Mantra, "All purity I am." All the desires will vanish.
Kill the thoughts. Practise thoughtlessness. You can destroy desires. Mind associated with thoughts of gratifying the passionate desires, blindly goads a man to seek for sensual pleasures. Uncontrolled thoughts are the roots of all evils. Sublime thoughts will easily destroy lower, base thoughts. Do not entertain any base thought.
Destruction Of Desires Leads To Atmic Bliss
Vasanasahita mind (mind associated with desires) is Bandha (bondage). Mind free from desires is Mukta (free). Desires are themselves pain. Non-desire is itself pure Atmic Bliss. Mere annihilation of Maya is Moksha. With the extinction of the base Sankalpas, there is also the extinction of Avidya. Should all longings for the visibles cease, then such an abnegation of mind is itself the destruction of Ajnana or the mind. Such a bliss is generated through one's efforts only. There is nothing like Purushartha (right exertion). Purushartha changed the destiny of Markandeya. He became a Chiranjivi.
Desire is the enemy of peace. You have become the beggar of beggars through desires. A desireless man is the richest man in the world. It is the mind that makes a man rich.
Free yourself from the firm grip of crocodiles of desires. Do not get disheartened under trials. Cheer yourself up. Stand up like a lion. Destroy the impure mind with the help of the pure mind. Make friendship with the Sattvic mind and rest yourself peacefully in Atman.
"But the disciplined (lower) Self, moving among sense-objects with senses free from attraction and repulsion and mastered by the Higher Self, goeth to Peace." (Gita, II-64)
Raga-Dvesha, The Cause Of Bondage
Raga (attraction), Dvesha (repulsion) and Tatastha Vritti (indifference) are the three important Vrittis of the mind. Raga and Dvesha (like and dislike or love and hatred or attraction and repulsion) are the two currents in the mind which bind a man to the Samsaric wheel of birth and death. Raga and Dvesha are the two Doshas or faults in the mind that have brought you to this world. The Svarupa of Bandha (bondage) is Raga and Dvesha. The Svarupa of Ajnana is Raga and Dvesha. All the emotions come under the category of Raga-Dvesha. These two currents are the Dharma (characteristics) of the mind and not of the spirit. Pleasure and pain, Harsha and Soka, exhilaration and depression are due to Raga-Dvesha. If Raga and Dvesha vanish from the mind, Harsha-Soka also will disappear.
Selfish Love And Divine Love
When two forces of equal quality or power meet, a third force is formed. When two people of equal force and quality are attracted towards each other, a third force is formed between them. That is termed love. This is the scientific way of explaining what love is. Attraction is Akarshana-Sakti. Repulsion is Vikarshana-Sakti. When I see myself in another man, when I see him as my own self, I begin to love him as my own self. When I find something in you that I myself possess, I am naturally drawn towards you and begin to love you. This is Vedantic way of explaining love. Love is pouring forth one's affection (Prema) on another. Love is God. Love is of two kinds, viz., selfish or physical love and real Love or divine Love which is unselfish and lasting. The first kind is love with attachment. The second one is love without attachment. He who is a real aspirant of Vedantic path, who feels his own self everywhere and a real Bhakta who sees Narayana everywhere in everything can really love others. When an inferior person hangs on another person for his happiness or existence, physical attachment crops up. Attachment causes slave mentality and weak will. Attachment is death. Physical love is death. "Asangasastrena dridhena chhitva-Cut all sorts of attachment by the sword of non-attachment." (Gita, XV-3)
Raga As Painful As Dvesha
Raga (attraction) in the mind is as much dangerous as Dvesha (hatred or repulsion). Whenever there is Raga, there is Dvesha also. Not only the Dvesha-Vritti (the modification of dislike), but also the Vritti of Raga gives pain to man. If an object gives pleasure, you get Raga for the object. But when there is Viyoga (separation) from the object, as in the case of death of your dear wife or son, you get immense pain which is indescribable. Suppose you are in the habit of taking fruits after food. Fruits give you pleasure. You get Raga (liking) for fruits. But if you cannot get fruits in a place, you get pain.
Whenever there is pleasure and Raga, there exist side by side fear and anger. Anger is only a modification of desire. Fear and anger are two old associates of pleasure and Raga. Fear and anger are hidden in Raga. They constantly torment the mind.
Fear is hidden in Raga. When you have got Raga for body, fear of death comes in. When you have Raga for money, there is fear of losing money, as money is the means of getting objects of enjoyment. When you have Raga for a woman, you always take care in protecting her. Fear is a very old, intimate friend of Raga.
The Different States Of Raga-Dvesha
Raga-Dvesha has four Avasthas, viz., Dagdha (burnt up), Tanu (attenuated or thinned out), Vicchinna (concealed) and Udara (fully expanded). The first two states pertain to a Yogin; the last two to worldlings. In a fully developed Yogin, the Vrittis of Raga-Dvesha are burnt up by Nirvikalpa Samadhi. They are Dagdha (like burnt-up seeds). In a Yogin who is practising, the impressions of Raga-Dvesha are tenuous. They are in a fine state. He has control over these two Vrittis. In those who are given to enjoyments (ordinary mortals), they are concealed and fully expanded. In the Vichhinna state, they are concealed. When the wife shows affection to her husband, when the Raga-Vritti is in operation, her anger and hatred remain concealed for the time being. The moment she gets displeased with him for some reason or other, the Dvesha-Vritti manifests itself. In the last (expanded) state, the Samskaras of Raga-Dvesha, having favourable surroundings, attain to great activity. A worldly-minded man is a mere slave of Raga-Dvesha currents. He is tossed about hither and thither by these two currents of attraction and repulsion.
In sleep, these two emotions exist in a man in a Bija state (seed form). They are not destroyed. As soon as the man gets up from sleep, they begin to operate again.
In children, these twin currents manifest for a short time and disappear soon. They fight in this second and join together with joy the very next second. They do not keep up any ill feelings in their minds. They do not brood also over the wrongs done by others. They do not exhibit any grudge. The wave comes and passes away. As the child grows, these currents assume a grave phase by constant repetition and become inveterate.
Dvaita slowly develops when the child reaches the second year. Place a baby within one year of age in any place. It will remain there like a block of stone. It will laugh and see alike all people without any Raga-Dvesha. Ask a child of two years of age to sit. It will stand. Ask the child to come near. It will recede back to a distance. Tell the child, "Do not go to the street"; it will immediately march to the street. It will do contrary actions, because Dvaita is developing now in the child.
The Causes Of Raga-Dvesha
Raga-Dvesha is due to the Anukula-Pratikula Jnana. You have Raga for things 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 also due 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.
Some minds hang on you through Raga, while some others hang on you through Dvesha. Ravana's mind was hanging on Sri Rama through hatred and fear. He was seeing Rama everywhere and in everything through constant, intense thinking of Rama. Similarly, Kamsa's mind was hanging on Sri Krishna. This is also a form of Bhakti (Vaira-Bhakti). Anyhow their minds were on God.
Raga-Dvesha Constitutes Real Karma
Raga-Dvesha in the mind is the real Karma. It is the original action. When the mind is set in motion or vibration through the currents of Raga-Dvesha, real Karmas begin. Real Karma originates from Sankalpas of the mind. It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed Karmas. External actions manifest later on. It is desire that sets the mind in motion. When there is a desire, Raga and Dvesha exist side by side in the mind. Desire is a motive force. Emotions and impulses co-exist with desire.
From Avidya emanates Aviveka (non-discrimination). From Aviveka originates Ahankara and Abhimana. From Abhimana emanates Raga-Dvesha. From Raga-Dvesha comes Karma. From Karma comes the body. From body comes misery. This is the chain of bondage with seven links. This is the chain of misery.
If you do not want misery, do not take up the body. If you do not want body, do not do Karma. If you do not want to do Karma, give up Raga-Dvesha. If you want to give up Raga-Dvesha, give up Abhimana. If you want to give up Abhimana, give up Aviveka. If you want to give up Aviveka, give up ignorance. O Rama! If you do not want ignorance, get Brahma-Jnana.
This Samsara or world process is kept up by the six-spoked wheel, viz., Raga, Dvesha, merit, demerit, pleasure and pain. If the root cause, the original Avidya, is destroyed by attainment of Brahma-Jnana, the whole chain of Abhimana, Raga, Dvesha, Karma body, merit and demerit, pleasure and pain will vanish. One link hangs upon another. All the links will be broken totally on the advent of Jnana. Sruti says: "Rite Jnananna muktih-Liberation comes from knowledge of Brahman."
Absence Of Raga-Dvesha Makes For Freedom
That Yogin or Jnanin who has destroyed these two Vrittis of Raga and Dvesha is the highest man in the three worlds. He is the real King of kings, Emperor of emperors. The chief Linga or distinguishing mark of a Jivanmukta or a liberated soul is freedom from Raga-Dvesha. Even if a Jnanin or Yogin sometimes exhibits traces of anger, it is Abhasamatra (mere appearance). Just as the impression made in water with a stick passes away soon, as also the anger will disappear in the twinkling of an eye, even though it manifests in a Jnanin. This can hardly be understood by worldly people.
He who has no Raga but possesses Titiksha (power of endurance) can do anything. He can move about wherever he likes. He is as free as the atmospheric air. His happiness, freedom and peace are unbounded. Their extent can hardly be imagined. The freedom and joy of such Sannyasins cannot be imagined by the poor, petty-minded worldlings. It is Raga and luxury that have enfeebled the householders.
Destruction Of Raga-Dvesha Constitutes
The Essence Of Spiritual Sadhana
I shall tell you the gist or essence of spiritual Sadhana. Destroy the true modifications of the mind, Raga-Dvesha, by Vichara and Brahma-Chintana (right thinking and meditation). Go beyond the Dvandvas (pairs of opposites). You will get eternal, infinite bliss and peace. You will shine in Brahmic glory. You will become Brahman. YOU ARE BRAHMAN.
Just as heat in fire can be removed by Mantra and Oushadha (recitation of God's Name and medicine), so also the Raga-Dvesha currents, the characteristics of the mind, can be removed by Yogic Kriya (practices of Yoga). These can be completely fried up by Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Asamprajnata Samadhi.
Amongst the several Vrittis in the mind, Raga-Dvesha and Moha are very deep-rooted. They demand strenuous and persistent efforts for their eradication. In your mental lives, you can either keep hold of the rudder and so determine exactly what course you take, what points you touch or you can fail to do this and, failing, you drift and are blown hither and thither by every passing breeze, by every emotion, by petty Raga-Dvesha currents.
Pleasure And Pain
Pleasure And Pain Pertain To Mind
Pleasure and pain are the effects of virtue and vice. They are two kinds of emotions that pertain to the mind alone. It is the mind alone which brings pleasures and pains on itself and enjoys them through its excessive inclination towards objects. Mind contracts during pain and expands during pleasure.
Ahankara creates the body. Prana does all sorts of Cheshtas (efforts). Mind experiences pleasure and pain. If you perform actions through a stainless mind (with Akartri Bhava and Nishkama Bhava), your body will not share their fruits.
There are only facts, vibrations or phenomena outside. Prakriti is blind. Prakriti is quite indifferent. There is neither pleasure nor pain in objects. It is all mental creation, mental perception, mental jugglery. It is only the mental attitude or certain kind of mental behaviour towards objects that brings joy or grief, pleasure and pain. Maya has her powerful seat in the imagination of the mind.
All pains are not equally felt. There is no pain when you are asleep. It is only when the mind is connected with the body that pains arise. It is the identification with the mind and body, Abhimana owing to Avidya, that causes pain.
When the mind is intensely fond of anything, there will be no perception of pain even if destruction awaits the body. When the mind is completely drowned in any object, who else is there to observe and flee from the actions of the body?
When you put one drop of oil on the surface of water, it spreads throughout the surface of water and makes it oily. Even so, a little pain for a luxurious man spoils all his pleasures and makes all objects appear very painful. When you are in acute agony, a cup of coffee, milk or tea does not give you any pleasure. When you are in acute agony, the whole world which appeared to you to be full of bliss while in good health, appears quite dreary. The world loses all its charms while you are seriously ailing.
If the pessimist changes his mental attitude, the world will appear to him to be full of Ananda.
Mind always runs after pleasure, because it is born of Ananda Brahman. You love a mango, because it affords you pleasure. Of all things, you love your own self most. This love of the self gives the clue to the fact that Ananda or bliss must be the nature of the Self.
Atman Has No Pleasure And Pain
Freedom from the body and mind is the real nature of the Self or Atman and, consequently, there being no possibility of virtue and vice, very much less is the chance for any effects of these on the Atman, hence, pleasure and pain do not touch Atman. Atman is Asanga, Anaasakta, Nirlipta (unattached). It is Sakshi of the two modifications, pleasure and pain that arise in the mind. Mind enjoys. Mind suffers. Atman is a silent witness. It has nothing to do with pleasure and pain.
Sense-Pleasure Is Only A Mental Deception
Pleasure and pain, beauty and ugliness are all false imaginations of the mind. Mind is a false illusory product. Conceptions of the mind also must, therefore, be false. They are all Mrigatrishna (like a mirage in the desert). What is beautiful for you is ugly for another. Beauty and ugliness are relative terms. Beauty is only a mental concept. It is only a mental projection. It is only a civilised man that takes much of symmetry of form, good features, graceful gaits, elegance of manners, graceful form, etc. An African negro has no idea of all these things. Real beauty is in the Self only. Pleasure and beauty reside in the mind and not in the objects. Mango is not sweet; the idea of mango is sweet. It is all Vritti. It is all mental deception, mental conception, mental creation, mental Srishti. Destroy the Vritti; beauty vanishes. The husband stretches his own idea of beauty in his ugly wife and finds his wife very beautiful through passion. Shakespeare has rightly expressed this in his "Mid-summer Night's Dream": "Cupid is painted blind. It finds Helen's beauty in the brow of Egypt."
Pleasure arising from external objects is evanescent, transitory and fleeting. It is mere nerve-titillation and mental deception. Jiva joins with mind and Vritti and enjoys the Vishayas (sense-objects). The thing that gives you pleasure gives you pain also. "Ye hi samsparsaja bhoga duhkhayonaya eva te-The delights that are contact-born, are verily wombs of pain." The body is an abode of misery and disease. Wealth brings a lot of trouble in acquiring and keeping safe. Sorrow springs from every connection. Women are a perpetual source of vexation. Alas! People prefer this path of misery to that of spiritual enjoyment.
No true, lasting satisfaction comes from the enjoyment of worldly objects. Yet, people rush headlong towards objects even when they know that the objects are unreal and the world is full of miseries. That is Maya. When the mind rests on Atman, then only Nitya-Tripti (eternal satisfaction) will come; because, Atman is Paripurna (all-full), you get everything there. It is self-contained. All desires are gratified by realisation of Atman.
Some say that children are very happy. It is wrong. They only become exuberant. They get serious reaction also. They have no balanced mind. They weep for hours together for nothing at all. It is only a man of balanced mind that can really be happy.
Pleasure Arises From Vritti-Laya:
Not From Sense-Objects
Really, there is no pleasure in objects. Atman gives a push to the mind and sets it in motion. A Vritti or thought-wave arises in the mind on account of the force of a Vasana. The mind is agitated and runs towards the particular object. The agitation will not subside till the mind gets the desired object. It will constantly think of the object. It will scheme and plan various methods to achieve the desired object. It will be ever restless. It will be ever assuming the shape of the object. As soon as the object is obtained and enjoyed, the particular Vritti that was causing agitation in the mind gets dissolved. Vritti-Laya takes place. When Vritti-Laya takes place, you get peace and Ananda from the Svarupa or Atman within only and not from the object outside. Ignorant persons attribute their pleasures to external objects. That is a serious blunder, indeed.
There is no happiness at all in any of the objects of the world. It is sheer ignorance to think that we derive any pleasure from the sense-objects or from the mind. Whenever we feel our desires are satisfied, we observe that the mind moves towards the heart, towards Atman. In pleasure also, there is exercise of the mind. It expands. It turns inward and moves to its original home, the place of its origin, Atman and enjoys Atma-Sukha (Bliss of the Self).
Real Happiness Lies Within
Why do you search, in vain, for your happiness, O worldly fools, outside, in objects, money, women, titles, honours, name and fame, which are false, worthless and like cow-dung? You cannot get your happiness there. You are entirely deluded. Search within the heart, subjectively in the Atman, the source and fountain of all happiness.
Real happiness is within you. It is in the Atman. It is subjective. It is in the Sattva Guna and beyond Sattva. It manifests when the mind is concentrated. When the Indriyas are withdrawn from the objects outside, when the mind is one-pointed (Ekagra), when there is Vasana-Kshaya (annihilation of the Vasanas) and Manonasa (annihilation of the mind), when you become desireless and thoughtless, Atmic bliss begins to dawn; spiritual Ananda begins to thrill.
Attachment And Pleasure
The mind is the cause of attachment to delusive objects. It is the mind which is the germ of all Karmas. It daily agitates this body of ours to work and secure for its enjoyment various pleasurable objects.
The mind always wants to be doing something and, when it attaches itself with the objects it cherishes, feels amused and happy. A play at cards has nothing in it; but, the attachment and attention produce pleasure.
There can be attraction without attachment. You can be attracted by a beautiful cabbage rose or a young lady. But it is not necessary that you must be attached either to the rose or to the lady. Attachment comes after possession and enjoyment.
Attachment, love and Ananda (bliss)-all go together. You are attached to your wife and children; you love them also, because they give you Ananda. As this world is illusory and as through Bhranti (illusion) pain appears as pleasure, you must cut asunder all worldly attachments ruthlessly and direct your love and attachment towards the Reality, Brahman, the Adhishthana (substratum or basis) that lies at the back of mind and all objects and is the Sakshi (witness) for all the activities that take place in Buddhi.
It is difficult to divert the mind which, from infancy, has fallen into the pernicious habit of seeking external pleasure and it shall ever persist in doing so, unless you give it something superior to be amused with, a greater form of pleasure to delight in.
Kinds And Degrees Of Pleasures
Intellectual pleasure is far superior to sensual pleasure. Ananda from meditation is far superior to intellectual pleasure. Spiritual bliss or Atmic bliss from Self-realisation is infinite, immeasurable and unbounded. It is Anandaghana (solid mass of bliss).
The Golden Mean
Keep the mind in a state of moderation or happy, golden mean. Never let it run to excesses. People die of shock from extreme depression as well as from extreme joy. Do not allow Uddharsha to crop up in the mind. It is excessive merriment. Mind always runs to extremes-either to extreme depression or extreme joy. Extremes meet. Extremes bring about reaction. Mind can never be calm in excessive joy. Let the mind be cheerful but calm.
Be always cheerful. Laugh and smile. How can a mind that is gloomy and dull think of God? Try to be happy always. Happiness is your very nature. This is termed Anavasada (cheerfulness). This spirit of cheerfulness must be cultivated by all aspirants.
Study spiritual books. Have constant Satsanga. Repeat OM 21,600 times daily with Bhava. It will take you three hours. Meditate on Atman or Krishna. Realise Brahman. Only this will free you from all mundane miseries and afford you eternal peace, knowledge and bliss.
With the growth of mind, pains increase; with its extinction, there will be great bliss. Having lorded over your mind, free yourself from the world of perceptions, in order that you may be of the nature of Jnana. Though surrounded by pleasurable or painful objects to disturb your equilibrium of mind, remain immovable as a rock, receiving all things with equanimity. The final cool joy and laugh consequent upon it is the bliss arising from the mind merging into the stainless Brahman.
What Is Viveka?
When you are fully aware of the magnitude of human sufferings in this miserable, relative world, you will naturally begin to discriminate between what is real and what is unreal. Brahman is real and Jagat is unreal. This is Viveka. Then sincerity or Sraddha will develop. Then aspiration or keen longing to realise God will be felt. Then you will have to remember the Truth constantly. Then you will have to assert constantly: "Aham Brahmasmi-I am Brahman." By incessant practice, Nama, Rupa and Sankalpa will vanish and you will realise Brahman. This is Vedantic Sadhana. Discrimination, sincerity, aspiration, remembering Truth always, assertion and then Realisation are the various stages or means for realisation of Brahman.
Aids To Viveka
Viveka or power of discrimination is only awakened by constant Satsanga and Sravana (hearing of Srutis). Those who have done countless virtuous Karmas in their previous births will have the fortune through the grace of God to have Satsanga of Mahatmas, Sadhus, Bhaktas, Yogins, Jnanins and Sannyasins.
Benefits Of Viveka
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.
Vairagya And Tyaga
What Is Vairagya?
If the mind is constantly thinking of tea and if it gets pain when you do not get it, it is said that you have got 'Aasakti' (attachment) for tea. This 'Aasakti' leads to bondage. The practice of 'Vairagya' (dispassion) demands you to renounce this 'Aasakti' for tea. Mere giving up of taking tea does not constitute the essence of 'Vairagya'.
Study Vairagya-Prakarana in Yoga Vasishtha. You will have a comprehensive understanding of the real Svarupa of Vairagya. A clean description of the actual dispassionate mental state of Sri Rama is given. Palatable dishes, refreshing beverages, affectionate father and mother, brother, dear friends, diamonds, pearls, flowers, sandal, ornaments, soft beds, gardens had no attraction for him. On the contrary, their very sight gave him intense pain.
In Vairagya, Brahmacharya is Antargata (hidden). Vairagya includes celibacy in thought, word and deed.
Two Kinds Of Vairagya
Vairagya (dispassion, indifference, non-attachment) is of two kinds, viz., (i) Karana Vairagya (Vairagya on account of some miseries) and (ii) Viveka-Purvaka Vairagya (Vairagya on account of discrimination between real and unreal). The mind of a man who has got the former type of Vairagya is simply waiting for a chance to get back the things that were given up. As soon as the first opportunity offers itself, the man gets the downfall and goes back to his former state. Vishaya does havoc in him with a vengeance and redoubled force from reaction. But the other man who has given up the objects on account of Viveka, on account of illusory nature of objects, will have spiritual advancement. He will not have a downfall.
How Vairagya Dawns
Note how Vairagya arises in the mind. The transitory and perishable nature of all things creates a sort of disgust in all minds and, in proportion to the depth and subtlety of nature, this reaction from the world works more or less powerfully in the mind of every individual. An irresistible feeling arises in our mind, viz., that the finite can never satisfy the Infinite within us, that the changing and perishable cannot satisfy the changeless and deathless nature of ours.
When you are not impressed with the idea of rich living, rich style of living cannot attract you. When you are impressed with the idea that meat and wine are not at all pleasurable, they cannot tempt you. In that case, if you do not get meat and wine or rich living, you will not be agonised at all in your mind. Why are you attracted towards a young, beautiful lady? Because, owing to your ignorance, you vainly think you will get pleasure through her. If you have got Viveka, it will at once tell you that you will get immense pain through her. Then the mind will recede or withdraw from the object, woman.
Sadhana Without Vairagya Goes To Waste
When Vairagya appears in the mind, it opens the gate to Divine Wisdom. From dissatisfaction (with the sense-objects and worldly sense-enjoyments) comes aspiration. From aspiration comes abstraction. From abstraction comes the concentration of the mind. From the concentration of the mind comes meditation or contemplation. From contemplation comes Samadhi or Self-realisation. Without dissatisfaction or Vairagya, nothing is possible.
Just as cultivation in a stony land or saltish earth becomes absolutely fruitless, so also Yogic practices and Atma-Vichara (enquiry of the Soul) done without Vairagya (dispassion and indifference to the sensual enjoyments) becomes fruitless. Just as water, when it leaks into the rat-holes, instead of running into the proper channels in agricultural fields, becomes wasted and does not help the growth of plants, grains, etc., so also, the efforts of an aspirant become a wastage if he has not got the virtue Vairagya. He gets no spiritual advancement.
Intense Vairagya Necessary For Moksha
There must be intense (Tivra) Vairagya in the minds of the aspirants, throughout the period of their Sadhana. Mere mental adhesion will not do for success in Yoga. There must be intense longing for liberation, a high degree of Vairagya plus capacity for Sadhana (spiritual practice). Then only they will get Nirvikalpa Samadhi and Moksha. It was only Raja Janaka and Prahlada who had Tivra Vairagya (intense dispassion). This kind of Vairagya is necessary for quick realisation. It is very difficult to cross the ocean of Samsara with a dull type of Vairagya. The crocodile of sense-hankering (Trishna) for sense-enjoyments and sense-objects will catch the aspirants by the throat and, violently snatching away, will drown them half-way.
Enemies Of Vairagya
The Curse of Affection
Delusion proceeds from affection. It is a common observation that a person is distressed if the cat eats his domestic fowl; but when his affections are not touched, for instance, if the cat eats a sparrow or a mouse, he expresses no sorrow. You must, therefore, root out affection, which is the cause of vain attachment. The body generates numerous germs which people are anxious to remove; but to one variety they give the name "children," for which their lives are wasted away. Such is the delusion of the world.
At the back of affection and love, there is grief and sorrow. Affection is mixed with sorrow. At the back of pleasure, there is pain. Pain is mixed with pleasure. Man sows the poisonous seed of sorrow under the name of love, from which quickly spring up shoots of affection which contain a fire dangerous as lightning; and from these shoots, grow trees of sorrow with innumerable branches which, burning like a heap of covered straw, slowly consume the body.
The knot of affection is strengthened by long indulgence. Affection has entwined its threads around the hearts of men. The principal means to get rid of affection is to consider that this is a fleeting existence. In this wide world, how many millions of parents, wives, children, uncles and grandfathers have passed away. You should consider the society of friends as a momentary flash of lightning and, revolving this often in your mind, enjoy felicity.
Hope and Anticipation
Hope and anticipation are the opposite of Vairagya and Tyaga. They fatten the mind. To be perfectly hopeless is a very high state for a philosopher. It is a very bad state for worldlings. They always say with contempt: "He is a hopeless man." Worldlings and philosophers move towards diametrically opposite poles.
How To Develop Vairagya
Those who do not develop the painless Vairagya inherent in one's self and that with great felicity and happiness are, at best, but vermins in human shapes. When a bee finds that its feet are stuck in the honey, it slowly licks its feet several times and then flies away with joy. Even so, extricate yourself from the mind's sticking and clinging to this body and children-honey owing to Raga and Moha through Vairagya and meditation and fly away from this cage of flesh and bone to the Source, Brahman or Absolute.
It is very difficult to wean some children. They suck the breast even when they are three or four years old. The mother applies some nim-paste to the nipples. The child is weaned quickly. Even so, you will have to get a medicine of nim-paste for the mind to get it weaned from sensual objects. Sit in a solitary room. Think of the miseries of this earthly life, its cares, worries, anxieties, hunger, thirst, sins, temptations, passion, fighting, fears, vanity, disease, death, old age, sorrow, grief, tribulation, loss, failures, disappointments, hostility, scorpion stings, mosquito bites, etc. This will serve as an efficient nim-paste to wean the mind from Samsara. You must think in the above-manner daily.
Remember constantly the pains of various kinds pertaining to this mundane existence. Moha will vanish if you repeat the following line of Chapter XIII of Gita several times daily: "Janma-mrityu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosha-anudarsanam-Insight into the pain and evil of birth, old age and sickness." Always make the mind understand clearly that there is only pain in this world. Reflect often on the instability of this world. This is the first Sadhana for aspirants. They can thus develop Vairagya. The mind will be weaned from objects. Attraction for sense-objects will gradually vanish.
Renunciation Brings About Moksha
Shun the earthly objects as fire or poison or offal. Renounce all desires and cravings. This itself is Moksha (freedom). Renunciation of desires brings about the annihilation of the mind. Annihilation of the mind brings on the destruction of Maya, because the mind alone is Maya. Maya is enthroned in the imagination of the mind. How cunning she is! A Viveki knows her tricks well. She is awfully afraid of the man of renunciation and Atmavichara. She bows to him with folded hands.
What Is True Renunciation?
The mind is the all-in-all and its mastery leads to the renunciation of all. Chitta-Tyaga alone constitutes the renunciation of all. True renunciation lies in the abnegation of the mind. It consists in renouncing all desires and egoism and not world-existence. Through such a mental abnegation, you will be able to free yourself from all pain. Then will come immortality in life or enjoyment of the infinite delight of existence free from ego, founded on oneness of all in Brahman.
Sannyasa-a Mental State
Sannyasa is a mental state only. It is Gerua or colouring of the heart and not of cloth alone. He is a veritable Sannyasin who is free from passions and egoism and who possesses all the Sattvic qualities, even though he lives with the family in the world. Chudala was a queen-Yogini-Sannyasini, though she was ruling a kingdom. That Sannyasin who lives in the forest, but who is full of passions is worse than a householder and a worldly-minded fool. Sikhidhvaja was a worldly man, though he lived in the forest naked for very many years.
True renunciation is the renunciation of all passions, desires, egoism and Vasana. If you have a stainless mind, a mind free from attachment, egoism and passion, you are a Sannyasin-no matter whether you live in a forest or in the bustle of a city, whether you wear white cloth or an orange-coloured robe, whether you shave the head or keep a long tuft of hair.
Shave the mind. Someone asked Guru Nanak, "O saint, why have you not shaved your head? You are a Sannyasin." Guru Nanak replied, "My dear friend, I have shaved my mind." In fact, the mind should be cleanly shaved. Shaving the mind consists in getting rid of all sorts of attachments, passions, egoism, Moha (infatuation), lust, greed, anger, etc. This is the real shaving. External shaving of the head has no meaning so long as there is internal craving, Trishna.
Many have not understood what true renunciation is. Renunciation of physical objects is no renunciation at all. The real Tyaga (renunciation) consists in the renunciation of egoism (Ahankara). If you can renounce this Ahankara, you have renounced everything else in the world. If the subtle Ahankara is given up, Dehadhyasa (identification with the body) automatically goes away.
Vedanta does not want you to renounce the world. It wants you to change your mental attitude and give up this false, illusory 'I'-ness (Ahamta) and mineness (Mamata). The snake-charmer removes only the two poisonous fangs of the cobra. The snake remains the same. It hisses, raises its hood and shows the teeth. In fact, it does everything as before. The snake-charmer has changed his mental attitude towards the snake. He has a feeling now that it has got no poisonous fangs. Even so, you must remove the two poisonous fangs of the mind, viz., Ahamta and Mamata only. Then you can allow the mind to go wherever it likes. Then you will have always Samadhi only.
You must renounce the Tyagabhimana also. The Tyagabhimana is very deep-rooted. You must renounce the idea, "I have renounced everything." "I am a great Tyagi"-this Abhimana of the Sadhus is a greater evil than the Abhimana of householders, "I am a landlord; I am a Brahmin, etc."
Control Of Indriyas
Indriyas, A Prolongation Of The Mind
Indriyas are objectified desires. Will to see is the eye. Will to hear is the ear. The Indriyas (senses) have two states, static and dynamic. When the desire begins to operate, the Indriyas are put in motion. This is the dynamic state. As soon as the desire is gratified, the Indriyas shrink through Tripti (satisfaction). This is the static or passive state.
Mind and Indriyas are one. Indriya is a prolongation of the mind. The sea is fed by the rivers; the sea cannot exist without the rivers. Even so, mind is fed by Indriyas and cannot exist without Indriyas. If you have controlled the Indriyas, you have already controlled the mind. Indriya is another name for mind.
Mind is a mass of Indriyas. Mind is a higher power than the Indriyas. Mind is a consolidated Indriya. Indriya is mind in manifestation. Just as a minister obeys the king, so also, the five Jnana-Indriyas act in accordance with the dictates of the mind. Indriyas represent backwaters. The desire in the mind to eat has manifested as tongue, teeth and stomach. The desire in the mind to walk has manifested itself as legs and feet. If you can control mind, you can control the Indriyas.
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. Mind is the common sensory. The five senses are blended there. It can directly see, hear, smell, taste and feel independent of the senses. It is an aggregate of the five senses. 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 is termed the sixth sense: "Manah shashthanindri-yani-the senses of which mind is the sixth" (Gita, XV-7). The five senses are the five Jnana-Indriyas (organs of knowledge, sensation or perception).
Ayatana means mind (Chhandogya Upanishad, IV-vii) which is the substratum of the experiences of all other organs. Senses cannot do anything, if the mind is not connected with them. When you are wholly absorbed in the study of an interesting newspaper, you do not hear when your friend loudly calls you. You are not aware that the clock has struck five. It is everybody's daily experience. The mind was away at that time. It was not then connected with the sense of hearing. The eyes may be wide open during sleep. They do not see anything, because the mind is not there.
Nose and anus are sister Indriyas. They are born of the same Prithvi-Tanmatra, nose from the Sattvic portion, anus from the Rajasic portion. These two Indriyas are the least mischievous. The olfactory sense and the olfactory nerve do not trouble you much. They can be controlled very easily.
Tongue and genitals are born of Jala-Tanmatra, the former from the Sattvic portion and the latter from the Rajasic portion. They are sister Indriyas. Eating strengthens the reproductive Indriyas.
Eye and feet are of Agni-Tanmatra, eye from the Sattvic Amsa (portion), feet from the Rajasic Amsa. They are sister Indriyas. Eye likes to see 'sights'. Her sisters, feet, say, "We are ready to take you to the Kumbha Fair at Allahabad. Be ready."
Skin and hands are born of Vayu-Tanmatra, skin from the Sattvic Amsa and hands from the Rajasic Amsa. They are sister organs. Skin says, "I want silk and other smooth articles for my enjoyment." Her sister, hand, says, "I can feel through my tactile corpuscles. I shall get for you fine soft silk. Do not be afraid, my dear sister."
Speech and ear are born of the same Akasa-Tanmatra, ear from the Sattvic Amsa and speech from the Rajasic Amsa. They are sister Indriyas. They help each other in the economy of Nature.
In a bungalow you will find two gates, one for entrance, another for exit. Our body is also a nice bungalow for the Lord. Eyes and ears are entrance gates for the reception of forms and sounds. These are avenues of sense-knowledge (sight and hearing). Upastha Indriya (organ of reproduction) and Guda (anus, organ of excretion) are exit gates. They throw out urine and faeces.
Tongue, The Most Difficult To Control
The most mischievous and troublesome Indriya is the generative organ. Then comes tongue. Then comes speech. Then comes ear. Then comes eye. Control of the organ of taste is far more difficult than control of the genitals, because you have been enjoying delicious articles of food even from your very birth. Lust manifests itself just before eighteen. You indulge in sexual pleasure only for a short period in every birth. But, you have to take food even in advanced senility. Control of tongue means control of all Indriyas.
Music, cinema, sight-seeing are enjoyed in human births only. Ants and rats do not enjoy cinema-show. The Indriya of sight is not so powerful as the tongue.
The organ of sight serves as a loving comrade to the organ of taste. The mind is at once tickled at the sight of a yellow colour of the mango. The eyes see a beautiful mango and the different dishes that are served on the table. At once, the glosso-pharyngeal nerves are stimulated. You get good appetite and relish. The food is rendered more palatable. A blind man may not have as good a relish as a man with sharp sight has.
Object Of Sadhana-to Prevent Externalisation By The Indriyas
The three organs of eye, ear and tongue externalise the mind and make a man altogether worldly. Eyes and ears are the avenues of sense-knowledge or Vritti-Jnana. Close the eyes. Shut the ears either with balls of cotton or balls of cotton beaten with yellow bee's wax or with the two thumbs making Yoni-Mudra. Now you have destroyed two-fifths of the world. Do not allow anything to enter the mind through these two doors of sense-knowledge.
The object of Sadhana is to internalise the mind by introspection or Antarmukha Vritti and to realise the Truth within yourself. Control the three organs of eye, ear and tongue. Then you can bring the mind under discipline and prevent the mental energy from flowing externally. These organs are the main causes of making the mind restive. Control over them helps the purpose of concentrating the energy internally.
He is a real Kshatriya who wages internal war with the mind, who fights with the Indriyas, the Svabhava, through Viveka and will-force and obtains absolute mastery over the mind. He is a real Kshatriya who fights with the host of evil Samskaras and evil thoughts, the Rajasic and Tamasic, by awakening and increasing the Sattva Guna. He is a real Kshatriya whose Sastra is Will, and Astra is Viveka, whose battle-field is within, whose band is chanting of Pranava and Udgitha of the Chhandogya Upanishad and whose coat-of-arms is the three qualifications, viz., Viveka, Vairagya and Mumukshutva.
How To Control The Indriyas
There are six ways of controlling the Indriyas: (i) through Vichara, (ii) by will-force, (iii) by Kumbhaka (retention of breath in Pranayama), (iv) by Dama (restraint), (v) by Pratyahara (abstention) and (vi) by Vairagya and Tyaga. Perfect control can be made only through Vichara.
Dama is restraint of the Indriyas. Dama blunts the Indriyas. Perfect control of the senses is not possible through Dama alone. If the senses are very sharp and acute, they carry away the minds of even good Sadhakas impetuously, just as the gale carries away the ship in stormy weather (Gita, II-67). They can be controlled perfectly through the help of the mind, through Vichara.
When you walk along Mount Road, Madras, each Indriya tries its level best to get hold of its objects of enjoyment and revelry. The Indriyas revolt vehemently if you do not procure them these objects. Tongue drags you to the coffee hotel or Hotel de Angelis. Tvak (skin) says, "Let me go to the Bombay Sait's shop and have a piece of fine China silk." Ear says, "Let me have a gramophone or harmonium." Nose says, "Let me have a bottle of Otto de Rose." The mind is at the bottom of these Indriyas to instigate. A tumultuous internal fight goes on between the five organs of knowledge, each trying to have a lion's share of enjoyment. Use Viveka, power of discrimination, always. Indriyas tempt and deceive you. Indriyas are the jugglers. Maya spreads her Moha-Jala through mind and Indriyas. Be on the alert. Practise Dama through Vairagya and Vasana-Tyaga. Happiness comes through calmness of Indriyas, through calmness of mind (Uparati). Go to the sweets' bazaar with plenty of money in hand. Walk hither and thither for fifteen minutes. Look with a greedy eye at the various sweets. Do not purchase anything. Return home. Even if dainties are served that day at home, reject them. Have a plain diet. By so doing, you will control the tongue which is at the root of all troubles. You will eventually control the mind also. You will develop will-power.
Give up all luxurious food and all articles of sensuous enjoyment. Practise rigid penance. Tapas thins out the Indriyas and eventually leads to control of mind. If you give up tea, you have really controlled a small portion of the mind; control of tongue really means control of mind.
When the Indriyas give up the objects, they take up the form of the mind-stuff. They are drawn into the mind. This is termed Pratyahara or abstraction. When the Indriyas are withdrawn from their respective objects, it is Indriya-Pratyahara. Mental abstraction takes place when the mind is disconnected with the Indriyas. Pratyahara is a general, broad term which includes Dama also. The effect of Dama (restraint of Indriyas) is Pratyahara.
If you can do consciously Pratyahara at will, consciously attaching and detaching the mind to and from the senses, you have gained really a great control over the mind. You can check at any time the outgoing tendencies or outgoing forces of the mind. Pratyahara is the stepping-stone to inner spiritual life. He who has succeeded in Pratyahara can concentrate his mind quite readily for a very long time. Dharana and Dhyana come automatically if Pratyahara is perfect. An aspirant has to struggle hard to have mastery over Pratyahara. Perfect Vairagya is indispensable for success in Pratyahara. You can succeed after strenuous and incessant struggle for some years. "Tatah parama vasyatendriyanam-Thence arises the supreme control of the organs" (Patanjali Yoga Sutras, II-55). If Pratyahara is perfect, all the organs are under perfect control.
During the period of Sadhana, do not mix much; do not talk much; do not walk much; do not eat much; do not sleep much. Observe carefully the five 'do-nots'. Mixing will cause disturbances in the mind. Talking much will cause distraction of the mind. Walking much causes exhaustion and weakness. Eating much induces Alasya and Tandri (laziness and sleepiness).
Control of Thought-A Great Desideratum
If you have the reins of the horses under your control, you can have a safe journey. The Indriyas are the horses. If you have the senses under your efficient control, you can have a safe journey in the path of Moksha. Indriyas cannot do anything without the help of the mind, their master and commander. Control of the Indriyas means control of the mind only. Control of thoughts leads to the control of mind and Indriyas also. It leads to the attainment of infinite bliss and eternal life. Control of thought is indispensable-a great desideratum for all.
Remember Your Original Home
O Mind! Do not ruin yourself by keeping company with the senses and their objects. Enough. Enough. Now get yourself concentrated on Brahma-Svarupa. That is your original home. That is your real, happy home. Remember this constantly when you chant OM. Brahmakara or Akhandakara Vritti will arise thereby. Svarupa is your original home. I have to repeat this again and again, as you always forget your real nature. You have taken your birth from Svarupa. Now, go back to your original home or birth-place through the help of Brahmakara Vritti generated by constant Nididhyasana (profound and constant meditation), through Mahavakya-Anusandhana or Chintana (enquiry into or thinking on the deep and real significance of the great sentence "Tat Tvam Asi" or "Aham Brahmasmi"). Then the Avidya (nescience) will be destroyed and you will be free from all kinds of miseries and pain and will attain the Paramananda state (highest knowledge coupled with infinite bliss). When the Svarupakara Vritti arises, all your vain Sankalpas will vanish. You will reach the Turiya state with Sahajananda (bliss which is your very nature). Then, O mind, you will be free from birth and death. You will no longer have to enter again this filthy house of physical body. You will not be clothed again by flesh and bone. You will be merged in Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman, your Adhishthana or repository.
Mouna And Introspection
Mouna-its Practice And Benefits
Miscellaneous talking is a very bad habit. It distracts the mind. It keeps the mind always Bahirmukha (outgoing) and makes a man unspiritual. A vow of silence must be practised once a week. Much energy is wasted in talking.
The Vag-Indriya (organ of speech) seriously distracts the mind. "Speech is the fourth 'foot' of Mind-Brahman, because it is by means of the 'foot' of speech that the mind approaches the denotable objects such as cow, goat, etc. Therefore speech is like a foot of mind. In the same manner, nose is a 'foot', because it is through nose that the mind approaches objects of smell. Similarly, the eye is a 'foot'; the ear is another 'foot'. This constitutes the four-footed character of the Mind-Brahman" (Chhandogya Upanishad).
Do not allow anything to come out from the mind through the Vag-Indriyas (organ of speech). Observe Mouna (a vow of silence). This will help you. Considerable peace follows Mouna. The speech energy becomes transmuted into spiritual energy (Ojas). Sankalpas become much decreased. Will becomes stronger. Now you have shut out a big source of disturbance. You will rest now in peace. Meditate on God or Brahman now in right earnest.
Spiritual aspirants must observe Mouna for some hours daily.
Be careful in the selection of your words before you speak. Think thrice before you speak. Consider what effect the words will produce on the feeling of others. Observe Mouna for a couple of years. It is Tapas of speech.
Do not argue unnecessarily. Argument brings about hostility, heated feelings and wastage of energy. Every man has got his own views, his own opinion, ideas, sentiments, beliefs and convictions. It is very difficult to change the views of others. Do not try to convince others. When you are an aspirant, when you are gathering facts and knowledge from the study of sacred lore, do not argue with others till your thoughts have become mature and steady.
Imagination in the mind always exaggerates. Exaggeration is a modification of lie. Aspirants should not exaggerate. They should utter words with mathematical and scientific precision.
An aspirant is asked to give up company and observe Mouna, because on account of Raga, he will multiply acquaintance; on account of Dvesha, he will incur the displeasure of others by uttering some unpleasant words. There is a sword in the tongue. Words are like arrows. They injure the feelings of others. By observing Mouna and giving up company, one can control the Vag-Indriya and remove Raga. Then the mind will become calm.
There are fifteen Doshas that arise from company. An aspirant should, therefore, preferably remain alone during the period of Sadhana. The Doshas of company are: (1) Misunderstanding, (2) Ill-feeling, (3) Displeasure, (4) Raga-Dvesha, (5) Jealousy, (6) Vampirism, (7) Attachment, (8) Mental sharing of pain of another man, (9) Criticisms of others, (10) Anatma topics, (11) Habit of talking, (12) Bahirmukha Vritti, (13) Idea and Samskara of duality, (14) Slavish mentality and weak will, (15) Contempt. Love little, but love long.
When you take a vow of silence, never assert from within very often, 'I won't talk'. This will produce a little heat in the brain, because the mind wants to revenge on you. Simply once make a determination and then remain quiet. Attend to other affairs. Do not be thinking always, 'I won't talk, I won't talk.'
In the beginning, when you observe Mouna, you will find some difficulty. There will be a severe attack of Vrittis. Various kinds of thoughts will arise and force you to break the silence. There are all vain imaginations and deceptions of the mind. Be bold. Concentrate all energies on God. Make the mind fully occupied. The desire for talk and company will die. You will get peace. The Vag-Indriya (organ of speech) considerably distracts the mind.
Mouna Of The Mind
Mouna of the mind is far superior to Mouna of Vak (speech). Mouna should come of itself. It must be natural. Forced Mouna is only wrestling with the mind. It is an effort. If you live in Truth, Mouna will come of itself. Then only will there be absolute peace.
What is wanted is natural Mouna and mental nudity. Physical nudity has no meaning. It is Tamasic Tapas of fools, that is not countenanced by Sastras and reason. In a Jivanmukta or a liberated soul, nudity comes of itself as he is absorbed in Brahman, when he is in the Saptama Jnana-Bhumika (the seventh stage of knowledge).
Introspection-what It Is And What It Does
The self-existent Brahman created the mind and senses with outgoing tendencies. The mind has a pernicious habit of externalisation from time immemorial. So you behold the external universe and not the internal Self. It is the Vikshepa-Sakti or Maya that draws you out. From your childhood, you are taught to look to the external world and not to the internal, psychic world. You have entirely lost the faculty of introspection. To have a comprehensive understanding of what is going on in the inner 'mental factory', a Suddha Buddhi (pure reason) and subtle intellect with power of introspection is needed. You will have to turn the mind inside, then concentrate all its powers and throw them upon the mind itself, in order that it may know its own nature and analyse itself. This is Raja Yoga.
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.
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 studies the lower mind. Introspection is apperception. Just as you watch the work done by a coolie, a portion of the mind watches the movements of the rest of the mind. If you are one with the mind, if you identify yourself with the mind, you cannot know your defects. If you are a Sakshi or silent witness of the mind and if you practise introspection, you can know your various defects.
By a careful watch, many defects are detected and removed by suitable Sadhana. Enter a quiet room. Enter into silence daily for about fifteen minutes, morning and evening. Introspect. Watch the mind carefully. The mind will be doing either thinking, planning, feeling, knowing or willing. You will have to find out through subjective introspection what the mind is exactly doing at a particular time. To go through this practice, you must have Antarmukha Vritti, a subjective mind and a subtle Buddhi. Buddhi can be rendered subtle by study of philosophical books, Satsanga, control of Indriyas (Dama) and Sattvic food. The constant utterance of holy Names of God as Hari, OM, Narayana, Rama, Siva purifies the mind-stuff and helps make the mind introspective (Antarmukha).
How To Practise Introspection
You are the best judge of your mind. Introspect by living alone in solitude or retiring into a calm room for an hour. You must sit quiet in a solitary room alone, with closed eyes and watch the activities of the mind. You will then know your defects and weaknesses very clearly.
You should afterwards feel the necessity of removing them. Then your Svabhava should agree to change. You must know the right method to remove the defect. You must apply the method constantly. Then only improvement will set in. Constant application of the Sadhana is an indispensable requisite. You must watch the improvement every now and then, say, once a week, a fortnight or a month. You will have to keep a record of your progress (spiritual daily diary). You must watch carefully whether you are progressing in the spiritual path, whether you remain stationary or retrograding, whether the mind is distracted or concentrated. If it is distracted, you must remove the distracting causes one by one with patience and vigilance by suitable methods. If one method fails to bring about the desired results, you will have to combine two methods (the Yogic methods and Vichara).
Remember the triplet, viz., self-analysis, self-reliance, self-determination. It will be of immense use in your spiritual Sadhana. Analyse your self through introspection. Find out the nature of your Vrittis. Find out what Guna (quality) is predominating at a particular moment, whether it is Sattva, Rajas or Tamas. How long can the mind be absolutely fixed on your Lakshya (point of meditation)-either God, Brahman, idea or object, whether internal or external? How long can the mind be fixed on the object, rose and rose alone to the exclusion of all other objects-whether two seconds or two minutes or five minutes or half an hour? This is self-analysis. Rely on your self alone. You are your own redeemer and saviour. Nobody can give you Moksha. You will have to tread the spiritual path step by step. Books and Gurus can show the path and guide you. This is self-reliance. Make a strong self-determination, "I will realise God. I will have Atma-Sakshatkara or Brahmanubhava this very moment and not in the uncertain future." This is self-determination.
Wordlings have no time to think over even for a few minutes the life-problems, the mystery of life, etc. They get up in the morning. Their minds usually run to the special objects of enjoyment on account of Raga. Their mental energies are poured forth in the usual grooves and avenues-in thoughts of body, thoughts of eating and dressing, thoughts of wife, children, friends and also thoughts of office-work and business; and thus, the day is over. The same routine follows day after day, week after week. Years roll on and life is wasted. It is highly lamentable, indeed!
Only he who does Manana (reflection) and introspection through Antarmukha Vritti can change his worldly nature. In him only the idea of Brahman can get permanently lodged.
Evil Vrittis And Their Eradication
Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya, Darpa (arrogance), Dambha (hypocrisy), Asuya (a form of jealousy), Irshya (intolerance), Ahankara, Raga (attachment), Dvesha (repulsion) are some of the evil Vrittis. They bind a man to Samsara (transmigration). Pride, illusion and desires are so many binding cords of the mind.
Lust, A Powerful Force
Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Lobha (covetousness), Moha (delusion), Mada (pride), Matsarya (jealousy) are the six passions of the mind. If lust is conquered, anger, Lobha, etc., which are auxiliary weapons, will become ineffective. If this inveterate enemy, lust is destroyed, its followers or retinue can be quite easily conquered. If the commander is killed, it is easy to kill the soldiers. If lust, which is the source of all enjoyments, ceases, then all worldly bondage, which has its substratum in the mind, will cease. How, without its renunciation, can you expect to attain the rare Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Brahma Nishtha?
Lust arises in him who develops attachment specially towards a person of the opposite sex. Love's principal weapon is woman or lust. Therefore, attachment should not be developed, specially towards the opposite sex.
The love between a husband and wife is mainly physical. It is of a selfish, ephemeral and changing nature. He who has realised Atman can really love all with sincerity of heart. The love between two aspirants based on psychological affinity and intellectual parity is real and lasting. Get rid of selfishness. Selfishness is a major dirt. It clouds the understanding. Remove it by selfless service, charity, study of Vedantic literature and Satsanga.
In a Jnanin, the sexual craving is entirely eradicated. In a Sadhaka, it remains well-controlled. In a householder, when not controlled, it does havoc. It exists in him in its fully expanded state. He cannot resist it. He yields to it helplessly on account of his weak will and lack of firm resolution.
If you keep lemon juice or tamarind juice in a golden cup, it is not spoiled or tainted. If you keep it in a brass or copper vessel, it is at once spoiled and rendered poisonous. Even so, even if there are some Vishaya-Vrittis (sensual thoughts) in the pure mind of a person, they will not pollute him and induce Vikara (sensual excitement). If there are sensual thoughts in persons with impure minds, they cause excitement in them when they come across sensual objects.
Remembrance of image of a woman unsettles the mind. When a tiger has once tasted human blood, it always runs after killing human beings. It becomes a man-eater. Even so, when the mind has once tasted sexual pleasures, it always runs after women. Lust is powerful. It carries a flowery bow equipped with five arrows, viz., Mohana (fascination), Stambhana (stupefaction), Unmadana (maddening), Soshana (emaciation) and Tapana (inflaming).
In the Bhagavad-Gita, you will find it mentioned that senses, mind and Buddhi are the seats of passions. Pranamaya Kosha is another seat. Desire is all-pervading in the body. Every cell, every atom, every molecule, every electron is surcharged with passion. There are under-currents, cross-currents, inter-currents and submarine currents in the ocean of passion. You must completely annihilate each one of them.
Be careful in destroying passions. It is easy to control the conscious mind. But, it is very difficult to control the subconscious mind. You may be a Sannyasin. You may be a moral man. Mark how the mind behaves or conducts itself in dreams. You begin to steal in dreams. You commit adultery in dreams. The sex-impulses, ambitions, low desires are all ingrained in you and deep-rooted in the subconscious mind. Destroy the subconscious mind and its Samskaras through Vichara, Brahma-Bhavana, meditation on 'OM' and its meaning. A man who is established in mental Brahmacharya can never have even a single thought of evil in dreams. He can never have a bad dream. There is lack of Vichara or Viveka in dream. That is the reason why you get bad dreams, even though you are pure in the Jagrat state through the power of Viveka and Vichara.
That state of mind wherein no single sexual thought enters the mind is termed mental Brahmacharya. Bhishma had this state. If you are not established in mental Brahmacharya, at least try to control the body when the sex-impulse is troubling you.
A Source Of Perpetual Danger To Sadhakas
The presence or recollection of a woman usually excites unholy ideas in the minds of recluses who have abandoned this world and devoted themselves to spiritual exercises and thus deprives them of the fruit of their austerity. It is very difficult to understand the presence of subtle lust in the minds of others, particularly in spiritual Sadhakas, though eye (look), tone, gestures, gait, behaviour, etc., may give a clue.
The Example Of Jaimini
Once upon a time, Sri Vedavyasa was holding his Vedanta class amongst his students. In the course of his lecture, he mentioned that the young Brahmacharins should be very careful and should not mix with young ladies and that, with all their vigilance and circumspection, they may fall a victim as lust is very powerful. One of his students, Jaimini, the author of Purva-Mimamsa, was a little impertinent. He said, "Guruji Maharaj! Your statement is wrong. No lady can attract me. I am well-established in Brahmacharya." Vyasa said, "Jaimini, you will know that soon. I am going to Benares. I will return within three months. Be careful. Do not be puffed with pride." Sri Vyasa, through his Yogic powers, assumed the form of a beautiful young girl, with piercing eyes and very charming face, well-dressed in a thin silken garment. The lady was standing underneath a tree at sunset. Clouds gathered together. It began to rain. Accidentally, Jaimini was passing along the side of the tree. He saw the girl, felt pity and addressed her: "O lady, you can come and stay in my Ashrama. I shall give you shelter." The lady asked, "Are you living alone? Is any woman living there?" Jaimini replied, "I am alone. But, I am a perfect Brahmacharin. No lust can affect me. I am free from any sort of Vikara. You can stay there." The lady objected: "It is not right for a young virgin girl to stay with a Brahmacharin alone at night." Jaimini said, "O damsel, do not be afraid. I promise you of my perfect Brahmacharya." Then she agreed and stayed in his Ashrama at night. Jaimini slept outside and the lady was sleeping inside the room. At the dead of night, Jaimini began to feel the influence of lust in his mind. A little sexual craving arose in his mind. In the beginning, he was absolutely pure. He knocked at the door and said, "O lady, the wind is blowing outside. I cannot bear the cold blasts. I want to sleep inside." She opened the door. Jaimini was sleeping inside. Again, the sexual craving became a little more intense and keen, as he was very close to a lady and as he heard the sound of her bangles. Then he rose up and began to embrace her. At once, Sri Vyasa assumed his original form with his long beard and said, "O, my dear Jaimini, what about the strength of your Brahmacharya now? Are you established in your perfect celibacy now? What did you say when I was lecturing on this subject?" Jaimini dropped his head down in utter shame and said, "Guruji, I am wrong. Kindly pardon me."
Even Jesus was tempted by Satan. Buddha had to fight severely with Mara (lust) just before he attained his Nirvana or Buddhahood.
Beware Of Maya-a Warning To Aspirants
Therefore, oh, dear aspirants, you will have to be very, very careful. During the period of Sadhana, avoid the company of women. You must never mix with young ladies, however strong you may be. Maya works through under-currents so stealthily that you may not be aware of your actual downfall.
Keep the mind fully occupied with spiritual pursuits. Keep yourself at the farthest distance from everything that would stir up your passions. Then only you will be safe.
Do not live with householders. Do not test your spiritual strength and purity when you are a beginner on the spiritual path. Do not rush into evil associations when you are a spiritual neophyte to show that you have the courage to face sin and impurity. It will be a serious mistake. You will be running into a grave danger. You will have a quick downfall. A small fire will be very easily extinguished by a heap of dust.
Mind has a great power of imitation. That is the reason why a spiritual aspirant is prohibited from mixing with householders. His mind will try to imitate the minds of worldlings. Downfall will ensue.
If an aspirant moves with rich people, Zamindars and Rajas, his mind begins to imitate the luxurious habits of these people and, ere long, he gets an unconscious downfall. Certain bad habits creep in him unconsciously. And he finds it difficult to tear out or remove these bad habits. After forty, it is difficult to tear out old habits and establish new healthy habits.
An aspirant can live only for a short time in his native place if there is an urgent call. Yogic rules and laws cannot permit him to stay there for a sufficiently long period, however suitable the place may be and whatever may be the degree of Vairagya (dispassion) of the aspirant. The force of Samskaras (impressions) is tremendous. Unless all the Samskaras are thoroughly burnt through pure Asamprajnata Samadhi or Nirvikalpa Avastha (seedless state), it is not safe for one to stay for a long time in one's own native place. He is still within the danger zone.
After seclusion for five years, the aspirant should test his mental state by coming into the world and mixing with the worldly people. If there is no attraction for objects, he can be quite sure that he has reached the third Jnana-Bhumika-Tanumanasi-a stage wherein the mind is thinned out like a slender thread.
How Lust Develops And Ruins
From the bed of Samskaras and Vasanas emanates imagination, through memory. Then comes attachment. Along with imagination, emotion and impulse manifest. Emotion and impulse exist side by side. Then comes sexual irritation, sexual craving, excitement and burning in the mind and throughout the body. The irritation and burning in the mind penetrate into the physical body just as water in the pot penetrates into the surface of the pot. If you are very vigilant, you can drive off the imagination itself in the very beginning and avert the danger. Even if you allow the thief imagination to enter the first gate, keep a careful watch at the second gate when the irritation manifests. You can stop the burning now. You can stop also easily the strong sexual impulse from being transmitted to the Indriya itself. Draw the sex energy up towards the brain through Uddiyana and Kumbhaka. Repeat OM mentally with force. Divert the mind. Pray. Meditate.
Methods To Control Lust
Just as you control the itching sensation in an eczematous part of the leg or scabies of the hand, you must control the itching from lust by Viveka, Vichara, Brahma-Bhavana, light Sattvic diet, fasting, Pranayama, Uddiyana, Bandha, Satsanga, study of the Gita, Japa, prayer, etc. Then only can you enjoy spiritual bliss.
Vichara and Brahma-Bhavana
It is through constant Vichara and Brahma-Bhavana that the mind has to be weaned from lustful thoughts and tendencies. You must remove not only the sexual craving and the sexual impulses, but also sex-attraction. Think of the miseries that you get from a married life with its various entanglements and bondage. Make the mind understand by repeated auto-suggestions and hammering that sexual pleasure is false, worthless, illusory and full of pain. Place before the mind the advantages, bliss, power and knowledge of a spiritual life. Make it understand that the exalted, eternal life is in the immortal Atman. When it hears constantly these useful suggestions, it will slowly leave off its old habits. The attraction for the sex will slowly die. Then only real sex-sublimation will take place. You will become then only an Urdhvaretas.
Atman is sexless. There is no sex in the five elements. It is the mind that creates the sex idea. Sukadeva had no sex idea. Consider that a woman is a combination of five elements, a mass of electrons or atoms. The sex idea will slowly vanish.
There are two kinds of force in the mind, viz., hostile or antagonistic force and friendly or favourable force. Passion is hostile force that drags you down. Pure reason is a favourable force that elevates you and transmutes you into Divinity. Develop, therefore, my child, pure reason to get unalloyed bliss and supreme Brahmic knowledge. The passion will die itself.
Take light Sattvic food, such as milk, fruits, etc. You can control passions in this way. The wise say that purity of food leads to purity of mind.
Fasting weakens the sex Indriya. It destroys sexual excitement. Passionate young men and ladies should take recourse to occasional fasting. It will prove highly beneficial.
By Pranayama, the mind gradually proceeds from the gross to the subtle. It, therefore, exercises a wholesome check upon the sexual irritation. When some evil thought disturbs your mind, at once take to Padmasana or Siddhasana and practise Pranayama. The thought will leave you immediately.
Satsanga and Svadhyaya
Do not study romantic novels. Do not talk on sexual subjects. Do not keep company with men who indulge in sex. Strive your best to divert your mind and eyes from external objects that prompt sexual desires. Keep company with Sadhus and Sannyasins. Read sublime books such as the Gita, the Upanishads and the Yogavasishtha. Practise Mantra-Japa and Pranayama.
Keep the Mind Ever Engaged
Keep the mind fully occupied. You can be established in mental and physical Brahmacharya. I shall give here the routine of work: six hours for sleep (10 p.m. to 4 a.m.); six hours for meditation (4 a.m. and 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.); six hours for study; four hours for Nishkama work, service of the poor, service of the sick, etc., two hours for walking or indoor exercise. This will keep the mind ever engaged.
Benefits Of Brahmacharya
Mind, Prana, Virya (seminal energy) are three links of one chain. They are three pillars of the edifice of Jivatman. Destroy one pillar-either mind, Prana or Virya and the whole building will fall to pieces. If you can observe Akhanda Brahmacharya for a period of 12 years, you will enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi spontaneously without any effort. The mind will be controlled by itself. Seminal energy is a potent Sakti. Semen is Brahman itself. A Brahmacharin who has practised unbroken celibacy for full twelve years will reach to Nirvikalpa state the moment he hears the Mahavakya "Tat Tvam Asi" (That thou art). His mind is extremely pure, strong and one-pointed. He need not have repeatedly undergone the lengthy process of Sravana (hearing) and Manana (intellection).
A drop of semen is made out of 40 drops of blood. The energy that is spent in one act of copulation is tantamount to expenditure of mental energy through mental exertion for 24 hours or expenditure of physical energy through physical exertion for three days. Mark how valuable and precious is semen! Do not waste this energy. Preserve it with great care. You will have wonderful vitality and energy. When it is not used, it is all transmuted into Ojas-Sakti (spiritual energy) and stored up in the brain. Western doctors know little of this salient point. Most of your ailments are due to excessive seminal wastage.
A true Brahmacharin in thought, word and deed has wonderful thought-power. He can move the world. If you develop strict celibacy, Vichara-Sakti (power of enquiry) and Dharana-Sakti (power of grasping and holding the Truth) will develop. If a man persistently refuses to yield to his lower nature and remains as a strict celibate, the seminal energy is deflected upwards to the brain and is stored up as Ojas-Sakti (spiritual power). Thereby, the power of the intellect is intensified to a remarkable degree. The strict celibate has keen and acute memory even in old age. The celibate who has achieved the transmutation of the seminal energy will find that sexual desires no longer trouble him. Such celibate is known as Urdhvaretas. Hanuman, Bhishma, Lakshmana, Swami Dayananda and Swami Vivekananda were Urdhvareto-Yogins.
Anger-how It Arises
Anger arises in him who thinks of his enemy. Even if you have forgotten the feeling of annoyance, it lurks in the mind in a dormant form. The effect is there for some time. If you renew a number of times the same kind of thought of jealousy, envy or hatred about the same person, the effect lasts longer. Repetition of angry feeling intensifies hatred. Mere ill-feeling develops into intense malice by repetition of anger.
On days when you have many troubles, vexations, worries from the morning to evening, a trifling causes much irritation in the mind. The balance of mind is upset by a paltry affair. A single harsh word throws you out of the balance, whereas when you are peaceful throughout the day, even a strong abuse and severe censure do not produce any effect whatsoever.
Anger resides in the Linga Sarira or astral body. But, it percolates into the physical body just as water percolates through the pores into the outer surface of an earthen pot.
Ill-Effects Of Anger
Just as heat melts lead, just as heat and borax melt gold, even so, Kama and Krodha, the heating factors of the mind, melt it. When you are angry, the mind becomes disturbed. Similarly, when the mind is disturbed, the body also becomes disturbed. The whole nervous system is agitated. You become enervated.
Anger spoils the brain, nervous system and blood. When a wave of anger arises in the mind, Prana begins to vibrate rapidly. You are agitated and excited. Blood becomes hot. Many poisonous ingredients are formed in the blood. When the blood is agitated, the semen also is affected.
Once a child sucked the breast of his mother when she was in a fit of violent fury or rage and died immediately on account of poisoning by virulent chemical products that were thrown into the blood of the mother when she was in great excitement. Many such cases have been recorded. Such are the disastrous effects of anger. Even three minutes of violent hot temper may produce such deleterious effects in the nervous system that it will take weeks or months for the repair of injury.
Anger clouds understanding. When the mind is violently agitated, you cannot understand a passage of a book clearly. You cannot think properly and clearly. You cannot write a letter with a cool mind. When the lamp is flickering through wind, you do not see the objects clearly. Even so, when the Buddhi (mind) is flickering or agitated by anger, chaos arises in the Buddhi and you are not able to see and understand things properly. Buddhi is all light.
A man who is a slave to anger, may have washed himself well, anointed himself well, dressed his hair and put on white garments; yet he is ugly, being overcome by anger. There are symptoms on the face to indicate the presence of anger in the mind. If you get anger, you will lose the battle of life. If you have an easily irritable mind, you will not be able to do your daily duties and business in an efficient manner.
How To Control Anger
There are three ways of destroying the anger and lust Vrittis: (1) You can drive them through will-force. This is, no doubt, difficult and taxing. It exhausts your energy much. (2) Pratipaksha-Bhavana method: Entertain counter-thoughts- thoughts of purity and love. This is easy. (3) Live in Truth or Brahman. There are no Vrittis of any kind in Brahman. Brahman is Nirvikara, Nirvikalpa and Nitya Suddha (ever pure). This method is a perfect and powerful one. Vrittis completely die away.
Conquer passion. It will then be easy to subdue anger, which is only one of its followers.
Control anger by love. Anger is a powerful energy that is uncontrollable by practical Vyavaharic Buddhi, but controllable by pure reason (Sattvic Buddhi) or Viveka-Vichara.
When you become angry with your servant when he fails to supply your usual milk on a day, raise a question within yourself: "Why should I be a slave to milk?" Then the wave of anger will at once naturally subside. It will not arise on other occasions also, if you are careful and thoughtful.
Control anger by Kshama (forgiveness), Daya, patience, tolerance, universal love (Visva-Prema), mildness, Viveka, Vichara, Atma-Bhava, Udasinata, Nirabhimanata and such other virtues. Forgive and pity the man who does you harm. Consider censure as a blessing, ornament and nectar. Bear reproach. Develop universal love by service, charity, Brahma-Bhava. Recall any calm and pure state, which when once brought to mind, suppresses the hatred and brings composure. When anger is subdued, rudeness, pride and envy will vanish of themselves. Prayer and devotion will root out anger.
Practise Pratipaksha-Bhavana (entertaining a counter-idea). When you get angry, fill the mind with the idea of love. If you are depressed, fill the mind with the idea of joy and exhilaration.
When you become intensely angry, leave the place immediately for half an hour. Take a long walk. Repeat the sacred Mantra, "OM SANTIH," 108 times. Your anger will subside. I shall tell you another easy way. When you get angry, count from one to thirty. The anger will subside.
When anger tries to exhibit itself, observe silence. Keep quiet. Never utter a harsh word or obscene speech. Try to nip it before it emerges out from the subconscious mind. You will have to be very alert. It tries to come out suddenly. Before anger manifests, there is an agitation (Udvega) in the mind. You must try to extirpate this very agitation in the mind before it assumes a very gross form in the shape of twitching of muscles of the face, clenching of teeth, red eyes, etc. You will have to punish the mind well. You will have to impose self-restraint and punishment on yourself by way of fasting for a day whenever Udvega (agitation) manifests in the mind.
If you strive and make sincere effort to subdue your anger, the hatred subsides. Even then, a slight movement of impatience lingers although the angry feeling has gone. You must eschew this slight disturbance also. For a man who is leading a divine life, this is a very serious drawback.
Irritability is a weakness of the mind. If you are easily irritable, it is likely that you may do injustice to many. Remove this by the practice of patience, Titiksha, tolerance, Karuna (mercy), love, Brahma-Bhava, Narayana-Bhava, etc.
Calmness of mind is a direct means to the realisation of Brahman (or the Highest Self).
Verily a certain man in his behaviour is calm. His calmness is noticed by everyone as he discharges his duties, large and small, beautifully well. Another man is calm in his behaviour, in speech, which is noticed by everyone. For, by nature, he is friendly, sweet in speech, congenial, of a frank countenance, ready at greetings. You should be calm in all the three states. Towards such a one, the development of love is not difficult.
You must have the knack to keep the mind always in balance and in tune. Close your eyes. Dive deep into the Divine Source. Feel His Presence. Remember Him always. Practise His Name. Repeat His Name even while at work. You will gain immense spiritual strength. Meditate early in the morning before you mix with people. You must rise above the thousand and one things which would irritate you easily in the course of your daily life. Then only you can turn out wonderful work daily with harmony and concord.
Hatred And Its Modifications
Hatred and malice are two formidable passions. They are so deeply implanted in your system that it is very difficult to root them out. Pride is not so fearful as hatred and malice. When a man is placed in a high position and earns much money and is thereby honoured and respected by all, he becomes very proud. When he loses that position and fails to earn money, his pride vanishes. But hatred and malice are two passions which are inveterate and need constant and diligent efforts for their eradication.
Prejudice, intolerance, Ghrina, insolence, impertinence, scorn, contempt-these Vrittis are all modifications of the emotion of hatred. Suspicion becomes prejudice by repetition. Prejudice develops into ill-will (Ghrina) and intolerance. Ill-will is a mild form of hatred. When repeated, it develops into hatred. Hatred, by successive repetition, becomes malice or extreme enmity.
Prejudice or unreasonable dislike, prepossessions and intolerance are three undesirable Vrittis in the mind. Prejudice makes the mind and brain callous. The mind cannot think truly. Prejudice is a kind of mental sore. If you have prejudice against Mohammedans, you cannot understand the teachings of Mohammed in the Quoran. The brain and the mind will not harmoniously vibrate to receive the spiritual ideas of the Quoran, because the prejudice has rendered the mind callous.
Prejudice is like an open sore on the physical body through which the will-power of the man is leaking. Be liberal or catholic in your views. You must give a place for every school of philosophy and every religion. A particular religion suits a particular nation according to the stage of evolution, temperament and capacity of the people. Arya Samaja, Brahmo Samaja, New Thought Movement, Occultism and cults of various kinds and denominations serve their own useful purpose. Prejudice is only unreasonable dislike. You must remove it by efforts and right thinking.
Intolerance is narrow-mindedness on account of some narrow beliefs, convictions and views. You must be extremely detached and sober in your views. Your mind will be greatly disturbed through intolerance. Even though your views are diametrically opposite to the views of others, you must have perfect tolerance. A man of tolerance has an expanded heart. Tolerance brings lasting peace.
Insolence is overbearing nature. It is haughtiness manifested in contemptuous treatment of others. It is arrogant contempt. It is brutal impudence. It is grossly rude or disrespectful nature. Insolence is rude, haughty behaviour in violation of the established rules of social intercourse. The insolent man has utter disregard for the feelings of others. He makes personal attacks either in words or in actions, indicative of either scorn or triumph.
How To Eradicate Hatred
No Samadhi or union with God is possible when hatred, prejudice, jealousy, anger, lust, etc., exist in the mind. Remove these defects by love, Titiksha, Brahma-Bhavana, Atma-Drishti, Satsanga, Vichara. Love is the greatest power on earth. Karuna is the highest Sadhana. Do not give pain to others and relieve pain where it is; this is Karuna.
He who loves another man, loves himself only. He who gives rupees five as charity to a poor man in distress, gives it to himself. For, there is nothing else save his own self in the universe. He who hurts, hates and abuses another man, hurts, hates and abuses himself only. He digs his own grave.
When thoughts of revenge and hatred arise in the mind, try to control the physical body and speech first. Do not utter evil and harsh words. Do not censure. Do not try to injure others. If you succeed in this by practice for some months, the thoughts of revenge, having no scope for manifesting outside, will die by themselves. It is extremely difficult to control such thoughts from the very beginning without having recourse to control of body and speech first.
Constant Vichara and development of the opposite virtues -Prema, Daya and Karuna (love, compassion, sympathy and commiseration)-will eradicate the two violent passions of hatred and malice.
When hatred manifests, reflect on the blessings of love; it will slowly vanish. The blessings of love are many. Happy he sleeps. Happy he lives. He sees no bad dreams. He is dear to all alike. He is dear to subhuman beings. Devas guard him. Fire, poison and sword cannot approach him. Quickly he concentrates the mind. His complexion is serene. He dies peacefully and goes to Brahma-Loka.
Have no enemies. Do not entertain inimical thought against any person who might have done any wrong to you. If, while you are directing your mind towards your enemy, you recall the offences that have been committed against yourself and hatred arises in you, you should dispel it by repeatedly dwelling on love with him. Imagine again and again that he is your intimate friend and, with effort, raise a strong current of love towards him. Call in the mind affectionate feelings and others that cause love and tenderness. Remember the story of Pavahari Baba and Jayadeva, the author of Gita Govinda in Bhakta Vijaya, who intently prayed to God and got Mukti for his enemy-the robber who had cut off his two hands.
Serve the man whom you hate. Share with him what you have. Give him something to eat. Shampoo his legs. Make prostration sincerely. Your hatred will subside. He will also begin to love you. Gifts and kind words tame the untamed men. Men bow their heads by gifts and kind words.
If you give a blanket to a needy man with unwillingness, it is not Dana (charitable act) at all. It is a selfish act only. The mind will be waiting to take the blanket back when the first chance comes. Give anything willingly.
The Sadhana Of Equal Vision
Serve all. Serve the Lord in all. Love all. Respect all. Develop cosmic love. Have Atma-Bhavana and Atma-Drishti. Have equal vision (Sama Drishti). All kinds of hatred will disappear. The Sadhana of equal vision is extremely difficult, but strenuous and constant efforts will bring about success eventually.
Aspirants who wish to abolish the dividing line should immediately develop love for a very dear person, after him for an indifferent person and then after him for an enemy. And, in doing so, in each compartment they should make the heart tender and loving and should immediately afterwards induce Dhyana (meditation).
You should discriminate between a thief and an honest man, but you should love the thief. A worldly-minded person hates a thief, sees him outside and considers that he is entirely separate from the thief; whereas, a Jnani loves a thief as his own Self and sees him within himself.
When you remember that a savage or a rogue is a saint of the future and has all the divine qualities in a potential form, you will begin to love everybody. Hatred will slowly vanish. It is only a question of time for the rogue or the savage for his evolution and development.
An aspirant who wishes to begin with the development of the four divine states, viz., love, pity, sympathy, and even-mindedness should first, having cut off the impediments, take up the subject of meditation, finish his light tiffin and drive away his drowsiness due to eating, sit comfortably on a seat well-arranged in a secluded spot and think on the evils of hatred and the very many advantages of forbearance. Verily, by means of this practice, hatred will slowly vanish and forbearance will be developed. A man who is overcome with hatred and whose mind is assailed by hatred, kills beings. Patience is the highest virtue. Nothing can excel forbearance. He who is strong in forbearance is, indeed, a divine being.
There is nothing absolutely right or absolutely wrong in this relative universe. Right and wrong are mind-made. Everybody is right from his own point of view. There is a grain of truth in everything. The point of view is the determining factor in the life of each. When the understanding is illumined by wisdom, the point of view is broad and entire. When the understanding is darkened by ignorance, the point of view is narrow, limited and one-sided. Broad view is the sign of expansion of heart. A man of broad view is free from suspicion, prejudice, prepossessions and intolerance of various sorts. Broad view results from foreign travels, good birth, vast study, Satsanga, public service, varied experience, meditation, etc. A man of broad views sees things in their entirety and in their right relations. Broad view creates harmony and concord. Narrow view creates disharmony and discord.
Anticipation And Avarice
Memory and anticipation are two kinds of evil Vrittis for a spiritual aspirant, though they are beneficial for worldly-minded persons. Pratyasa (anticipation) and Parigraha (grasping) make you a beggar of beggars and destroy your will-power. Do not anticipate anything. Anticipation fattens the mind and causes restlessness. Do not expect anything. It causes mental disturbance. If you do not expect, you would not have disappointment. Forget everything that pertains to the world. Even if anything that is conducive to luxury comes, reject it at once. You will grow strong. Remember God and God alone. Everything else here is a dream. The world is a long dream.
Destroy avarice by Santosha (contentment), integrity, disinterestedness and charity. Do not entertain hopes. You will not have any disappointment. Santosha is one of the four sentinels of the domain of Moksha. A contented mind is a continual feast. If you have Santosha, you will get help from the other three sentinels, viz., Sama, Vichara and Satsanga. With the help of these four sentinels, you can attain Brahma-Jnana, the ultimate goal of life.
Moha And Its Cure
Moha (delusion) is a strong weapon of Maya. Do not say, my friend, that desire is more powerful than Moha. Moha is as much powerful and dangerous as desire is. Moha does three things. It creates the idea of 'mineness'-my wife, my son, my house, etc. It produces infatuated love and attachment for body, wife, son and property. It creates the 'Nitya-Buddhi' (the idea of stability) in the perishable objects of the world and 'Dehatma-Buddhi'. It makes a false thing appear as true. The world appears as real on account of Moha. The body is mistaken for Atman or pure Self owing to the delusive influence of Moha.
Although you know fully well that the body of a woman is made up of flesh, bone, skin, hair, blood, urine and faeces, yet you passionately cling to the form. Why? Because of the force of Raga, Moha, Samskara, Vasana and Kalpana (imagination). When there is Vasana-Kshaya (annihilation of Vasanas) through Vichara and Viveka, you will not be attached towards a woman.
Get rid of excessive Moha and attachment to wife, money and also children by Sannyasa (external renunciation). If there is external change, internal change must also come. External renunciation is quite necessary.
The 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 background for all these things? There is one Essence at the back of the mind and all objects of this seeming sense-universe. That Essence is all-full (Paripurna) and self-contained. That Essence is the Brahman of the Upanishads. That Essence verily you are-"Tat Tvam Asi"-my dear readers!
Pride is a feeling of superiority over others. It is of nine kinds: (i) physical pride (pride of possessing great physical strength), (ii) intellectual pride (pride of great learning), (iii) moral pride (pride of possessing great moral virtues), (iv) psychic pride (pride of possessing great psychic powers or Siddhis), (v) spiritual pride, (vi) pride of noble birth, (vii) pride of power, wealth and other possessions, (viii) pride of being handsome and (ix) Rajamada (pride of sovereignty). All these varieties of pride should be completely overcome.
Get rid of pride through Viveka. Everything is Anitya. Why are you vainly puffed up with pride?
Arrogance is a form of pride. It is undue assumption of self-importance. It is claiming too much.
Darpa is vanity. It is vain display. It is vain show. The man is puffed up even though he actually does not possess anything. A man of pride actually possesses something. That is the difference between pride and vanity. Vanity is a form of exaggerated pride.
Hypocrisy (Dambha) is pretending to be what one is really not. It is feigning. It is concealment of one's true character. It is the opposite of Adambhitva of the Gita (XIII-7). A hypocrite pretends to be what he is really not, in order to extract money, honour, fame or something else from others.
Hypocrisy, falsehood, cheating, avarice and Trishna (avidity) are very closely related. They are members of one family. Hypocrisy is the offspring of avarice. Falsehood is the son of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy co-exists with falsehood. Trishna is the mother of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy cannot live even for a moment without falsehood, the son and avarice and Trishna (father and mother). When there is a craving for objects, greed for money comes in. Without money, there can be no enjoyment. To satisfy the hunger for money, persons have to put on hypocrisy, tell lies and cheat others. The root cause of all this is craving for enjoyment. Deceitful diplomacy and falsehood are old allies of greed and hatred.
Self-sufficiency is a peculiar modification in the mind. It is the effect of vanity, pride and Dambha. It is a Rajoguna Vritti. Remove it by right thinking, Vichara and practice of the opposite virtue, humility.
Jealousy And Its Modifications
Jealousy is a form of continuous anger. Irshya is a form of jealousy. It is a form of hatred. Blaming, accusing, mocking, ridiculing, unjust criticism, censure, cavilling, vilifying, tale-bearing, backbiting, scandalmongering, faultfinding, complaining-all proceed from jealousy, either subtle or gross, a hatred of various sorts. They all indicate lack of proper mental culture and meanness of the person. They should be removed.
Taunting is to censure sarcastically. Teasing is to torment or irritate with jests. Sneering is to show contempt by the expression of the face, as by turning up the nose. Frowning is to wrinkle the brow as in anger. Mocking is to laugh at in ridicule, to mimic in ridicule. Ridiculing is to make a wit exposing one to laughter. It is derision or mockery. It is exposing one to merriment. A joke is a clever insult. You must avoid all these when you move with others, as they cause rupture between friends, heated feelings and a sense of hostility. Words must be soft and arguments hard; if words are hard, they will bring discord. A single harsh word will break the friendship of long years in a minute. Word or sound has got tremendous power. It is Sabda Brahman. It is Sakti.
There is a world of difference between "Just comments" and Ninda (censure). "Just comments" is not Ninda. It is permissible. It is unavoidable too. You can avoid it only when you shut yourself alone in a far-off Himalayan cave. If you have no hatred for a man, if you are not jealous of him and if you point out to your friend in the course of conversation his weaknesses and good virtues also-"Mr. Thomas is an honest, loving, kind, sympathetic man. He is humble. He speaks the truth. But, he is extremely irritable and hot-tempered."-this is not Ninda (censure) at all, although you point out the defect of Mr. Thomas. In Ninda, you vilify a man. You point out his defects only. You exaggerate his weaknesses. You point out the defect to everybody of your own accord without being asked. In your heart of hearts, you are jealous of the man. You want to vilify him.
If you always look into the faults of others, you will actually imbibe those faults by constantly thinking of them. Always look into the bright side of a man. Ignore his defects. Hatred will vanish. Love will increase.
Faultfinding, cavilling and scandalmongering are defects. Defects and weaknesses are two distinct qualities. Anger is a defect. Tea-habit is a weakness. To be over-sentimental is a weakness. Both defects and weaknesses should be removed by substituting the opposite virtues.
How To Destroy Jealousy
There are three ways of destroying jealousy:
(i) Mithya Drishti (Dosha Drishti): "The whole world with its enjoyments, wealth and luxury is quite illusory. What do I gain by being jealous of another?" When anyone thinks like this seriously several times daily, the Vritti of jealousy will slowly die. This Vritti is the root of all miseries. It is deep-rooted.
(ii) Bhratri Bhava (feeling of universal brotherhood). You are not jealous of your intimate friend or loving brother. In these cases, you have become one with your friend or brother. You feel inwardly that all that belong to them is yours. You will have to do this with everybody. You will have to love everybody as your brother or friend. Then you will have no Vritti of jealousy.
(iii) This is a developed stage: Repeat the formula 'I am the all,' 'I am all-in all.' Feel yourself everywhere. Think there is nothing save Atman, your own Self, everywhere. Jealousy will slowly vanish by entertaining this Atma-Bhava. You must always entertain this idea-"Vasudevah sarvamiti" (Vasudeva is all). "Vasudeva" means all-pervading. You will have infinite joy which can only be felt. It cannot be adequately described in words.
If you place a big mirror in front of a dog and keep some bread in front, the dog at once barks by looking at its reflection in the mirror. It foolishly imagines that there is another dog. Even so, man sees his own reflection only through his mind-mirror in all the people, but foolishly imagines like the dog that they are all different from him and fights on account of hatred and jealousy.
Fear-a Dire Disease
Fear is a great human curse. It is a negative thought. It is your worst enemy. It assumes various forms, viz., fear of death, fear of disease, fear of public criticism, fear of losing your property or money, etc. Fear blights many lives, makes people unhappy and unsuccessful.
Some people can bravely face the shell or the shot on the battlefield. But they are afraid of public criticism and public opinion. Some can face a tiger fearlessly in the forest. But they are afraid of the surgeon's knife and bistoury. You should get rid of fear of all sorts.
The power of imagination in the mind intensifies fear. Fear is due to delusion or Moha, attachment to the gross and physical body on account of Avidya (ignorance). Attachment to the body (Moha, Dehadhyasa) is the cause of all fear. He who can throw off the physical sheath (Annamaya Kosha) either by Yoga or Jnana will be free from fear. He who has conquered fear, has conquered everything, has gained mastery over the mind.
Some people faint when they see a copious quantity of blood. Some men cannot see a surgical operation. They faint. These are all mental weaknesses. Some cannot take their food if some faecal or vomited matter is nearby. All mental weaknesses must be eradicated by Vichara.
A calm mind means courage. You may face without fear the trials and difficulties of the spiritual path. It has its root in the recognition of the unity of the Self. "Abhayam" (fearlessness) is one of the Daivi Sampats (divine qualities). Constantly think you are Atman. You will slowly develop immense courage. The one idea that you are the Immortal Self (Atman) can destroy efficiently fear of every description. This is the only potent tonic, the one sure panacea for this dire disease of fear. Think you are immortal (Amrita), fearless (Abhaya) Atman. Slowly the fear will vanish. Develop the positive virtue, namely, courage. Fear will slowly disappear.
Doubt is a great tormentor of mind. It has got a mental world of its own. It again and again troubles a man. There is no end for doubts. If one doubt is removed, another doubt stands ready to take its place. This is the trick of the mind. Cut the knot of doubts by the sword of wisdom. Know him who gets the doubts. No one doubts the doubter. If all doubts vanish through Brahma-Jnana, then the mind will be destroyed.
Thoughts of worry and thoughts of fear are fearful forces within us. They poison the very sources of life and destroy the harmony, the running efficiency, the vitality and vigour; while the opposite thoughts of cheerfulness, joy and courage heal, soothe, instead of irritating and immensely augment efficiency and multiply the mental power. Be always cheerful. Smile. Laugh.
Evil Vrittis Are Your Real Enemies-destroy Them
Who is your real enemy? It is your own Antahkarana (mind) possessed by the evil Vrittis. That mind alone, which is free from attachment, delusion, jealousy, lust, selfishness and anger, can have constant memory of God. If the mirror is dirty, you cannot see your face properly. Even so, if the mind-mirror is dirty through the accumulation of Mala (six passions, Kama, Krodha, etc.), Brahman cannot be reflected in the mind. When it is cleansed thoroughly, when it becomes Sattvic, it is fit (Yogayukta) to reflect Brahman.
Whatever you practise-Karma Yoga or Bhakti Yoga or Raja Yoga or Jnana Yoga-, you must be free from jealousy, hatred, attachment, pride and egoism and you must have control over Indriyas. Chitta-Suddhi-Yama and Niyama-is a common element in all kinds of Yoga. What can a man do in Karma Yoga if he has no self-restraint, if he is extremely selfish? If you want everything for yourself, if you are luxurious and if you have not reduced your wants, how can you spare something for others? You can unite with the cosmos only through love, unselfish service and disinterested charity.
Aspirants should totally abandon all the evil Vrittis described above. These constitute what is known as Asuri Sampat (devilish qualities). Whether you live in a town or in a cave of the Himalayas, it is all the same when you have a ruffled mind. You carry your own thoughts with you even if you remove yourself to a far-off, lonely cave. The mind remains the same. Peace comes from within. Irritation, anger, impatience, revenge, suspicion, prejudice, grudge, dislike, intolerance, restlessness, depression, fired or heated feelings-all these must be totally removed by spiritual Sadhana, by developing Sattvic qualities, by meditation on OM, by constant Vichara. Then only can peace be obtained. By developing Daivi Sampat (divine qualities) such as Karuna, Satya, Ahimsa, Brahmacharya, Daya, etc., the devilish qualities will be overcome.
Pratipaksha-Bhavana Or The Method Of Substitution
It is the method of substitution, Pratipaksha-Bhavana. When there is a lustful thought, substitute thoughts of purity. Begin to study the Gita or the Upanishads. Sing Hari's Bhajana on harmonium. Impure thoughts will vanish. When there is hatred, substitute thoughts of love. Think of the good qualities of the man whom you hate. Remember again and again his kind actions. Serve him with sweets, fruits and milk. Talk to him kind words. Laugh with him. Shampoo his legs. Take him to be Lord Siva or Narayana when you serve him. Hatred will disappear. When there is fear, fill the mind with thoughts of courage. When there is irritability, meditate on the virtues of tolerance, patience and self-restraint. The negative thoughts will die of themselves. If you are depressed, fill the mind with the idea of joy and exhilaration. If you are sick, fill the mind with ideas of health, strength, power and vitality. Practise this. Practise this. Herein lies a great treasure for you.
Every thought or emotion or mood produces a strong vibration in every cell of the body and leaves a strong impression there. If you know the method of raising an opposite thought or counter-thought, then only you can lead a happy, harmonious life of peace and power. A thought of love will at once neutralise a thought of hatred. A thought of courage will immediately serve as a powerful antidote against a thought of fear.
Idea creates the world. Idea brings one into existence. Idea develops the desires and excites the passions. So, a contrary idea of killing the desires and passions will counteract the former idea of satisfying the desires. So, when a man will be impressed with this, a contrary idea will help him to destroy his desires and passions.
How can you ignore an evil thought? By forgetting. How can you forget? By not indulging in it again. How can you prevent the mind from indulging in it again? By thinking of something else which is more interesting. IGNORE. FORGET. THINK OF SOMETHING INTERESTING. This is a great Sadhana. Call to mind the sublime ideas contained in the Gita. Remember the ennobling and soul-elevating ideas embodied in the Upanishads and the Yogavasishtha. Argue, cogitate, reflect, ratiocinate within-subjectively. Worldly thoughts, thoughts of enmity, hatred, revenge, anger, lust-all will die.
When there are diseases, discord, disharmony in the cells of the body owing to influence of vicious thoughts, worry-thoughts, fear-thoughts, hatred-thoughts, jealousy-thoughts, lustful thoughts, you can neutralise the poison or canker in these diseased, morbid cells and establish peace, harmony, health, new vigour and vitality by entertaining sublime, soul-stirring, life-giving, soul-awakening, Sattvic, divine thoughts, by vibrations of 'OM' chanting, by repetition of the different Names of the Lord, by Pranayama, Kirtana (singing of the Name of the Lord), study of the Gita and the holy scriptures, by meditation, etc. Think constantly that you are Suddha Sat-Chit-Ananda Vyapaka Atman. All the evil propensities will vanish and the Sattvic virtues will manifest themselves.
Do not exert to destroy the different Vrittis-Kama, Krodha, Dvesha, etc. If you can destroy one Vritti Ahankara, all other Vrittis will die by themselves. Ahankara is the corner-stone of the edifice of Jiva. If the corner-stone is removed, the whole edifice of Jiva will tumble down. This is the secret.
Why are you afraid of Kama, Krodha, etc.? They are your servants. You are Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman. Assert the majesty and magnanimity of the Self.
Cultivation Of Virtues
Maitri (friendliness), Karuna (compassion), Daya (sympathy), Visva-Prema (cosmic or universal love), Kshama (forgiveness), Dhriti (spiritual patience), Titiksha (power of endurance, forbearance) and tolerance are Sattvic qualities of the mind. They contribute to the peace and happiness of human beings. They should be cultivated to a very high degree.
Love and pity make the mind soft. Pity has the characteristic feature of evolving the mode of removing pain; the property of not being able to bear seeing others suffer; the manifestation of not harming; the proximate cause of seeing the need of those overcome by pain. Its consummation is the suppression of harming; its failure is the production of sorrow.
Patience, tenacity, Utsaha (perseverance) and determination are indispensable for success in Self-realisation. They should be developed to a maximum degree, particularly by spiritual aspirants. When you meditate on OM, when you assert yourself as Brahman in the morning meditation, you will gain a lot of strength. That will help to give you courage that is needed for the progress in the spiritual path. Many difficulties on the path of Truth are to be overcome through the help of fortitude and endurance (Titiksha). These qualities are the forms of courage. Fortitude is mental power of endurance. It is firmness in meeting danger. It is power of resistance.
The Ten Lakshanas Of Dharma
"Dhritih kshama damo'steyam saucham-indriyanigrahah
Dheer-vidya satyam-akrodho dasakam dharmalakshanam"
Patience, forgiveness, control of mind, non-stealing, external and internal purity, control of Indriyas, knowledge of Sastras, knowledge of Atman, truthfulness and absence of anger are the ten Lakshanas of Dharma according to Manu.
Your thoughts must agree with the word. This is Arjava (straightforwardness). Practise this. You will derive wonderful benefits. If you practise Satya for twelve years, you will get Vak-Siddhi. Whatever you speak will come to pass. Chinta (anxiety) will vanish. You will be free from committing many evil actions by speaking the truth.
Patience, perseverance, application, interest, faith, zeal, enthusiasm, determination are necessary during Sadhana. Sraddha and Bhakti are noble Vrittis that help a man to free himself from bondage. These virtues have to be cultivated. Then only is success possible. Look at the various difficulties that crop up in the way. The spiritual line is, therefore, difficult. Very few take to the path, one in thousands (according to the Gita). Out of them very few succeed. Many give up Sadhana when they are half-way, as they find it difficult to pull on till the end is reached. It is only the Dhira (firm) with Dhriti, Dhairya and Utsaha that reaches the goal of Sat-Chit-Ananda state. Hail, hail, to such rare noble souls!
How To Control The Mind
"Manojaya eva mahajayah-Conquest of mind is the greatest victory."
"Man jita, jag jita--If you conquer mind, you have conquered the world." (Hindi Proverb)
In Hindu philosophy, you will always find an esoteric and an exoteric meaning. This is the reason why you need the help of a teacher. It is extremely difficult to comprehend the esoteric, inner meaning. You will find in Hatha Yogic books: "There is a young, virgin widow seated at the junction of the Ganga and the Yamuna." What will you make out of this? It is difficult to understand. The young widow is the Sushumna Nadi. The Ganga is Pingala Nadi. The Yamuna is Ida Nadi.
In Katha Upanishad, you will find a word whose meaning is brick. 'Brick' means here 'Devata' or deity.
The Secret Of Ramayana
There is also a Rahasya (secret) of Ramayana. The secret of Ramayana is control of mind. Killing the ten-headed monster Ravana of Lanka means the annihilation of the ten evil Vrittis of the mind such as Kama, Krodha, etc. Sita is mind. Rama is Suddha-Brahman. Bringing Sita back from Lanka is concentrating the mind on Rama (Brahman) by withdrawing it from Vishaya (objects) and uniting it with Rama. Sita (mind) unites with Rama (Brahman), her husband in Ayodhya (Sahasrara Chakra). Mind merges in Brahman. This is, briefly, the esoteric meaning of Ramayana. This is the Adhyatmic exposition of Ramayana.
Mastery Of Mind, The Only Gateway To Moksha
On this side is matter; on the other side is pure Spirit (Atman or Brahman). Mind forms a bridge between the two. Cross the bridge (control the mind). You will attain Brahman.
He is a real potentate and a Maharaja who has conquered the mind. He is the richest man who has conquered desires, passions and the mind. If the mind is under control, it matters little whether you stay in a palace or a cave in the Himalayas like Vasishtha-Guha, fourteen miles from Rishikesh, where Swami Ramatirtha lived, whether you do active Vyavahara or sit in silence.
It is, indeed, a rare thing to find a mind that is not affected by its contact with fluctuation. Like heat which is inseparable from fire, fluctuation which debases the mind, is inseparable from it. Devoid of this fluctuation, the mind ceases to exist. It is this fluctuation-potency of the mind that you should destroy through ceaseless Atma-Jnana enquiry.
Mind is the cause of Sankalpa-Vikalpa. Therefore, you must control the mind. You must bind it.
True freedom results from the disenthralment of the mind. Reflection of the Self made upon the mind cannot be perceptible when the mind is not free from its fluctuations, as the reflection of the moon made upon the surface of a turbulent ocean cannot be visible or perceptible. To attain Self-realisation, one must constantly struggle with the mind for its purification and steadiness. It is only the power of the will which can control it and stop its fluctuations. With the triple weapon of strong desire, Sraddha (faith) and strong will-power, you can have sanguine success in any attempt you undertake. If the mind is purged of all its impurities and worldly taints, it will become exceedingly calm. All fluctuations of the mind will cease. Then the supreme Nishtha (meditation) will supervene. Then all Samsaric delusion, attendant with its births and deaths, will come to an end. Then you will get Parama Dhama (supreme abode of peace).
There is no other vessel on this earth on which one can cross the ocean of metempsychosis than the mastery of the antagonistic mind. They alone will reach the world of Moksha who have controlled the serpent of mind replete with desires and impure Vasanas.
To lovers of Moksha, in whom the invincible desires have been destroyed and who try to win their way up to Salvation through their own efforts, the easy abandonment of their dire mind is itself their transcendental path and they then feel as if a great load were off their heads. No other path is truly beneficial.
If you get the mastery over the mind and get true Jnana or illumination after destroying Ahankara and subjugating the Indriyas (organs), you will be doubtless free from the trammels of births and deaths. The differentiations such as 'I,' 'you,' 'he' will vanish. All tribulations, annoyances, miseries, grief will cease with the destruction of the mind.
Who Can Control The Mind ?
The mind can be controlled by untiring perseverance and patience equal to that of one engaged in emptying the ocean, drop by drop, with the tip of a blade of grass.
A bird laid its eggs on the seashore. The waves came in and washed away the eggs. The bird became very angry. It wanted to empty the ocean with its beak. It applied all its energy in emptying the ocean. The king of the birds pitied its condition and came to its help. Narada, the peace-making Rishi, also came and gave some advice to the bird. When the king of the ocean saw all these, he was very much terrified. He brought back all the eggs of the bird and handed them over to the bird with apology and prostrations. Sadhakas (aspirants), who are attempting to control the mind, should have the same asinine patience and untiring perseverance as that of the bird which attempted to empty the ocean with its small beak.
You must have the knack or the pluck or the aptitude to tame the mind. To tame a lion or a tiger is far more easy than taming one's own mind. Tame your own mind first. Then you can take the minds of others quite easily.
Mind Is The Cause Of Bondage And Liberation
Mind is the cause of bondage and salvation of man. "Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayoh"-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 Jivatman and feels itself to be 'I' and hence thinks, 'I am in bondage.' The egoistic mind is the root of bondage. The non-egoistic mind is the root of Moksha.
Destroy Mind Through Mind
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 (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.
Purify The Mind
You must be saved from the malformation and the miscarriage of your mind. Mind is like a playful child. The clamant 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 knowledge. The life of celibacy (Brahmacharya), where you will have no family attachment to perturb your mind, would enable you to give whole-hearted 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 improves the blood. When it is not purified properly and given in overdoses, it brings 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.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will have Darshan of the Lord. The heart must be pure. The eye also must be chaste in its look. There is a tongue in the eye. A lustful eye wants to taste the different types of beauty for its selection. Lust of the eyes is as much dangerous as lust of the flesh. Beauty of nature emanates from the Lord. Train the eye properly. Let it see Atman everywhere.
The Yogic methods give directions as to how you should purify and refine the mind and improve the mirror and keep it clean by getting rid of the impurities such as lust, anger, greed, vanity, jealousy, etc. The aim of Dana, Japa, Vrata, Tirtha-Yatra, Seva, Daya, Svadhyaya, Agnihotra, Yajna is purification of the mind.
The Sermon on the Mount by Lord Jesus is the essence of Raja-Yogic Yama practice. It is difficult to put the teachings into practice. But, if they are put into practice, mind can be easily controlled.
This is the summary of the Sermon:
(1) "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(2) "Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted."
(3) "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth."
(4) "Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled."
(5) "Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy."
(6) "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God."
(7) "Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called the children of God."
(8) "Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(9) "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is the reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
(10) "But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
(11) "And if any man shall sue thee in the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also."
(12) "Love your enemies as thyself, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
Before you go to work daily, study once carefully this Sermon of Lord Jesus in the morning and remember the teachings once or twice during the course of the day. In course of time, you will be able to regulate your emotions and moods, cultivate virtue and eradicate vice. You will have immense peace and will-force.
The spiritual path is rugged, thorny and precipitous. Sruti declares: "Kshurasya dhara nisita duratyaya durgam pathastat kavayo vadanti,-The path is as sharp as the edge of a razor and impassable; that path, the intelligents say, is hard to go by." The thorns must be weeded out with patience and perseverance. Some of the thorns are internal; some are external. Lust, greed, wrath, delusion, vanity, etc., are the internal thorns. Company with the evil-minded persons is the worst of all the external thorns. Therefore, shun ruthlessly evil company.
Do Good And Introspect
Do always virtuous actions. Watch the mind and see what it is doing. These two methods are quite sufficient to control the mind.
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.
Introspect. Have an inner life always. Let a portion of the mind and hands do their work mechanically. An acrobat girl, while exhibiting her performances, has her attention riveted 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 concerns, 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.
A serpent is very fond of music. If you sing Punnagavarali 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 (Navavidha 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.
Always Think 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' (restraint of the modifications of the mind).
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 Kumbhaka daily. You will have to practise Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka (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 Hathayogic method. The practice of Kumbhaka must be done under the guidance of a Guru who is a developed Yogin.
Practise Sama And Dama
Uparati of mind (calmness) 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 (Shatsampatti). 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 (Bahyavrittinigraha).
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 of 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 and without. Then alone you can control the mind quite easily. Then alone the mind will be in perfect control.
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 seem very loathsome now. They present the very reverse of your former feelings. They give you intense pain. This 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 feelings, then know that the mind is destroyed. When the mind is changed, the objects which gave you pleasure before will give you pain. That 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 the disciple, just as rose-coloured water impinges on a perfectly white cloth.
The mind is ease-loving, easy-going and happy-go-lucky. You must check this nature. The desire for ease and comfort is ingrained in the mind. Aspirants should be very cautious and careful. Do not try to fulfil your desires. This is one way of controlling the mind.
You must not take back those things which you have once renounced. Whenever you give up an object, the desire for that particular object becomes keen and strong for a few days. It agitates your mind. Keep quiet. Stand firm. It gets thinned out and dies eventually. Whenever the mind hisses to get back the objects that are rejected, raise the rod of Viveka. It will lower down its hood. It will keep quiet.
You must not give indulgence or leniency to the mind. If you increase your wants even by one article, the articles will begin to swell in number. Luxuries will come one by one. If you allow it to take one luxury today, it wants two tomorrow. Luxuries will increase daily. It will become like an overfondled child. Spare the rod and spoil the child; this also applies to the mind. It is worse than the child. You will have to punish it by fasting for every serious mistake it does. Keep the organs in their proper places. Do not allow them to move an inch. Raise the rod of Viveka whenever an organ hisses to raise its head. By this practice you will get a concentrated mind. Those who, without longing for objects, avoid them can be termed the subjugators of their minds.
Those who are not content with anything that comes in their way are of weak minds only. Santosha (contentment in the mind) is a very great virtue. "Santoshat paramam labham-by contentment, you will have great gain." It is one of the four sentinels of the vast domain of Moksha. If you have this virtue, it will lead to the attainment of Satsanga (association with the wise), Vichara (enquiry of Self) and Santi (peace).
When you do not want to store things for tomorrow, it is called "Asangraha Buddhi." It is the mental state of a true Sannyasin. A Sannyasin has no thought of tomorrow; whereas a householder has, on the opposite, Sangraha Buddhi. We must be as free as a lark which has no "Sangraha Buddhi."
Take Everything As It Comes
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.
Have Recourse To Satsanga
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 Tapa-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 Atma-Jnana (spiritual knowledge) such as Sri Sankara's works, Yogavasishtha, Sri Dattatreya's Avadhuta Gita, the Upanishads, the Brahma-Sutras, Atma-Purana, Sarva-Vedanta-Siddhanta-Sara-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 book slike Avadhuta-Gita, Yogavasishtha, Katha-Upanishad, Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad. This will elevate the mind.
If you are in the company of Sannyasins, if you read books on 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, intent and constant application and Nididhyasana (meditation) are needed. Then only is Self-realisation possible.
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.
Slay the lower mind, the enemy of Atman through the higher and Sattvic mind. Use your Vichara, Viveka and pure reason constantly when objects trouble you, delude you. After reason has dispersed the darkness of the illusions of sense 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 'I.' All the Sankalpas encircle and envelop 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 Brahman (Arupa Manonasa). Then you will have the Sakshatkara (Beatific vision of Atman). When the mind dies, 'I,' 'you,' 'he,' 'this,' 'that,' time, space, Jiva, Jagat, 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.
Destroy The Ego
You should try to destroy not only the thoughts (Sankalpas), but the mind itself and the Aham Vritti that identifies 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 'I,' 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 "Yogas-chittavrittinirodhah- 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, the mind can be turned back from various pains and made to rest on the subjective blissful Atman.
Do not wrestle or 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.
Do Not Let Failures Discourage You
Do not let failures discourage you, but go on doing your best. Do not brood over your faults and failures. Only look at them to see the reason why you failed and then, try again. So doing, you will starve out the tendencies which led you into them; whereas, thinking about them only gives them new strength. Do not make too much fuss about little failures. Do not sit down and brood over failures.
There are some people who have got the habit of trying to do one thing while thinking of another. These people always fail in undertakings. The thinking part of the mind should work in harmony with the acting part of the mind. While attending to any one object, our thoughts ought not to wander on another. While you are reading, think of reading only. Do not think of cricket match. While you are playing in a cricket match, do not think of studies. The frequent cause of failure is striving to think of more than one thing at a time.
Whenever you observe Niyama (religious observances) do it to the letter rigidly. Do not say, "I will do it as far as possible." This term 'as far as possible' will give leniency to the mind. The mind will be simply waiting for an opportunity and it will yield to the first temptation quite readily, whenever the first chance arises. Be strict, therefore.
Check The Wandering Habit Of The Mind
The mind in the vast majority of persons has been allowed to run wild and follow its own 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 to much indulgence by its 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 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, Vrindavana 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 moss." 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 Yogin's way of doing. This is a very good rule for success in life.
Do not have a goat's mind or a prostitute's heart. A goat grazes for a few seconds in one patch of green grass and 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 Vrindavana. 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 object. 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 have various sightseeing. It is all 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 scenery? What is there in sightseeing? 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." I would say, "My dear friend, my mind! You can go now." As soon as I 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, guide and Guru through true counsels it imparts in the way of obtaining the highest goal.
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 eastward," then go westward. 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 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 painless wealth of Moksha can be acquired.
Change The Habits
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 they 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 daytime, 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 feelings, 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 think 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 ideas 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. When you see a new thing, 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.
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 Vishaya-Samskaras 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. If you try to drive away anger, lust, etc., they say and assert, "O Jivas! 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 passions. We have every right to remain here. We will persist, 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.
Mind Is Your Tool Only: Handle It Nicely
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 and analyse them. Do not identify yourself with them. The real 'I' 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 uptil now. Rise up boldly like a lion. Assert the magnanimity of your 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 tackle 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 now 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.
Maintain A Positive Attitude
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 so doing, 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 a God or not. This is termed Samsaya-Bhavana. Another doubt crops up whether I can realise Brahman or not. Then another voice yells: "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 ingrained. 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.
The Power Of The Helping Forces
Inside, there are helping forces also to act against the hostile forces of demoniacal nature. If you once repeat 'Om' or 'Rama' ten times, if you once sit in meditation for five minutes, the Samskara 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, e.g., 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.
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.
Some Guide-Lines In Mind-Control
Mind is so framed that it runs to extremes. Through Sadhana or spiritual practice, it should be brought to a balanced 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. Women 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, 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 for public 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 Chittaprasada 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.