Feb 28, 2008

Chakras -II- Muladhara Chakra ( Base Chakra)

Aum Shri Gurave NamaH!

In my Previous post, Chakras -I, I have given the general account about these beautiful, subtle, invisible, non material, nerve centres or energy centres present in the Astral body of each and every human being, One can visualize like a key chain with three leaves cut like a human body, one is your physical body which is visible and second is the Astral body and the thrid is called the causal body, pull them together it is one body, separate them you will feel three.

Fig C1, Shows various Chakras and their positions in the Astral body.


Fig C2 shows various Chakra's and their positions. Awakened State


I have tried to show in a way that what happens to these energy centers when they get activated or opened and when the Kundalini Energy is sustained in them, an ordinary Human being once achieves this feat his/her Astral Self would expand and be a part of the whole universe, Like Microcosm in Macrocosm and Macrocosm in microcosm, I am playing with words here. basically what I want to say is that till that point the Human conscious is limited up to his body and his limited surrounding and happenings, but once he/she crosses this line and he/she connects with everything that was unreal for him/her, but actually he connects with the reality. :-)))

Fig C3: The first and foremost Chakra or the Base Chakra is Muladhara Chakra.

Mula meaning the Base, it is a 4 petal lotus like Chakra, with the Brahmdvara in its center, where the "Shakti" resides, and this Brahmdvara remains closed by the head of the Kundalani, the Serpentine power, it lays there inactive in three 1/2 coils. this point lies exactly near the end of the spine in the flat area between the Anus and the Testicles of a Human male.
this area is called "Kanda".

The Mandala is Earth
The Zodiac sign is Taurus
The Mantra is Lamn or Lang (लँ ) Pronounce it as LAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaMmmmmmmNnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn it should sink in to the silence of Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
The Endocrine Gland is Prostate, Adrenal.
The no of Petals are 4- Parmananda, Yogananda, Virananda and Samajanada
The Linga positioned here is Swamyambu (Meaning self created)
The Vayu or Air here is called Kandarpu Vayu
The color of this Chakra is Crimson Red
The area of Knowledge is Unconscious.
The Energy is called Kundalini, Dakini Shakti, or just Shakti.
The Deity for this Chakra is Lord Ganesha.
The Randhra or opening is Brahma Randhra, and Brahma resides here.

The Purpose of this yoga is to activate the Kundalini (Sanskrit meaning, to lye on the ground in a 3 1/2 circles) to reach the top Chakra, Shasrara Chakra, where Lord Shiva resides, so basically it is spiritual mating of Shakti (Female) with Shiva (Male).

The Chakra is related with, ability to live as a human being, ability to survive in this world, since every one comes here alone and helpless, the lucky ones then get introduced to the Parents, so this Chakra remains open and active and functioning in an infant, because it gives the energy and push to live, survive and learn, if this trait is kept in an continuous flow, the Chakra is bound to remain open through his/her life, but this trait stops and it happens with the majority, because they depend a lot on their parents and go through a phase where they get immense security, protection and stability, as a person starts to gain independence the Chakra opens and vibrates to extend the required energy to allow the person stand on his/her feet, so in a way all those people who live a independent life, earn, raise a family, support their kids this Chakra is open in a very physical sense, but it has Spiritual side also which is more important, which connects the physical side with the inner spiritual life. It is like a priest who worships daily with heart connected elsewhere so would lack divine connection, or it is like a telephone which is good and the carbon vibrators are good, but it is not connected to any telephone company, once connected to the divine energy the psychic energies manifest, and this is not possible with out the help of the eternal energy or superior energy or simply GOD.

To activate this Chakra there are many ways, to tune, make the physical body flexible one can do, Shirs Asan, i.e. Fig C4A, Sarvang Asan, Fig C4B, and Hal Asan Fig C4C,


See these Asan from www.bandhayoga.com, I could save two images from its downloadable section, there are two volumes and each volume costs 55$US.

This Asan is Sukha Asan, which is simple Siddhasana, the actual Siddhasana requires one to keep the ankle of one leg close to the anus and the ankle of the other leg resting on it, or just crossing it like in a sukha Asan, like I have tried to show in my drawings. The name Siddha itself suggests that this Asan is for the purpose of realizing Siddhis or Spiritual Powers.

This is Sarvangasana, but still I would suggest watch these Asanas on the website http://www.bandhayoga.com/flyarounds.html through their 3D pose viewer.

one very important point everyone needs to understand is that, to open physical aspect of this Chakra, one needs to keep his/her body in good condition, for this one can follow above given Yoga postures, and please try to stay in each pose for more than 3 minutes, but gain the time slowly, a good flexible body can attain the required time in few days where as a stiff and stressed out body would need more time, see that your muscles are free and flexible, if not, do some warm up exercises and then go to the main Asans, sweat out then sleep flat on your back till your breathing becomes very normal, then sit on any of the following Yogic Posture, Padma Asan, Siddha Asan, Vajra Asan, or Sukha Asan to commence your Meditation or Mantra Japa, Fig C5.

This is the actual purpose of this Yoga to connect spiritually with the divine, to activate the Kundalini Energy and push it towards the 7th Chakra, Shasrara Chakra, and again please note, do not put physical efforts here, because it is not physical entity, once GOD extends his grace, things manifest automatically, so one needs to wait for that god's grace to shower upon you, I know it sounds very disheartening, but it is like this, had it been a physical thing, everyone would have been a Psychic, but reality tells us it is not, few very lucky people based on their past Karma, take birth with this Chakras open and functional and they have this Psychic powers etc, like by birth, but dear folks for the majority population, one will have to sweat it out.

You need to see more how? go to www.bandhayoga.com keys_access2.html, this site infact shows all the anatomical side of this yoga, it is good to see them, then go to www.kundaliniyoga.org/index.html, it seems Shri Guru Bhajan brought this Kundalini Yoga to the West in 1969, but it appears his touch is mostly based on Sikh religion, well the purpose is same, then go to this interesting site of Mr Anmol Mehta (US based) he is extending free Online Kundalini Yoga lessons, www.anmolmehta.com/, here you can watch him in his free videos actually do the Pranayama and other Asans and warming excercise's.

This is one way, like to reach GOD, one can follow any religion, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Hebrew, Buddhism, Jainism, etc etc. but the purpose is one, to realize the almighty, likewise whether it is Jnana Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, or Bhakti Yoga, purpose is one to activate this energy so that one can experience the spiritual connection. Please try to understand this unless until you experience it yourself, you will never understand, no matter how many people show you or write millions and millions of words to explain it, it is a very personal experience.

Like I remember the first time when someone got married in our group, everyone was curious to know how it was to make love, but the fellow who got married would not talk about it, obviously he wanted to keep it personal, he would just say, it is not for you children, though he was our age. so it is exactly like it. ;-))

Now here one needs to have lots of patience, because first you will have to stabilize the Bija Mantra for the first Chakra, which is Lang (लँ ) and please take note that this is a vibration so start slowly and take time to sink in to the nnnnnnn part of the Mantra.

There are four more Akshara Mantra for the four petals of the Chakra, see the Fig C3, I would suggest everyone interested to learn the Alphabets of Devanagari (Hindi or Sanskrit) then it would become very easy to chant these Mantras, otherwise you will get stuck with the pronunciation of the Alphabets, then the correct way to say them and then chant the Mantra in a Mala.

Swami Sivananda says:
The MULADHARA CHAKRA is situated between the root of the reproductive organ and the anus at the base of the spinal column. It is here, as I have already mentioned, that the two Nadis, Ida and Pingala, meet the Sushumna. The Muladhara Chakra is two fingers above the anus and two fingers below the genitals and four fingers in width. It has four petals of crimson hue. In the pericarp of this Chakra there is a beautiful triangle in which the sleeping Kundalini of the form of a coiled-up serpent dwells. She holds her tail in her mouth and covers the mouth of the Brahma-dvara (the gateway to the Seat of Brahman) with her head. The Yogi who concentrates on the Muladhara Chakra gets full knowledge of the Kundalini and the various means to rouse it to action. As soon as the Kundalini is roused, the Yogi gets the power to rise up above the ground. He gets full control over his breath, mind and semen. His Prana flows through the Sushumna and all his sins are destroyed. He gets knowledge of the past, present and future. He is immensely happy.

The drawing of the Chakra, lot of people have tried to draw with all that mystic colors and curves and things like that, I have tried to keep it simple as per Swami Sivananda Maharaj's explanation.

Basically every time you explain anything it comes to the bottom line, the Mind, Body and Soul in tandem and all this package connected with the Purusha. C'est Tout.....:-))

And please if you find any spelling mistakes, bear with it, the "ABC" icon in the menu sometimes it works and mostly it remain dormant like the Kundalini Serpentine power. :-)))

More to Follow: Chakra III.
Aum NamaH Shivaya!
Sianala, Montreal, Feb 2008

Feb 19, 2008

MIND-X

Aum Shri Gurave NamaH!

MIND - ITS FUNCTIONS, ITS FORCE, ITS FACTS by Swami Sivananda

I. MIND CREATES THE WORLD

The fluctuating power of the mind is dubbed with several names such as Maya, the impure Vasanas, and so on. This fluctuating mind alone is this universe; devoid of this fluctuation, the mind ceases to exist. Differentiation is the inevitable aspect of the mind. The poisonous tree of Maya's illusion flourishes more and more out of the seeds of the mind's modifications in the soil of the variegated enjoyments of the world. Undisciplined mind is the cause of all sufferings. Control of mind is Yoga. Disciplined mind leads one to Self-knowledge. Every mind has two aspects - the lower and the higher. The lower mind is predominant in most of the people. It is rooted in impulse. Higher mind is guided by reason and discrimination. Lower mind is the destroyer, the higher mind the redeemer. The higher mind should be used to discipline the lower mind. Mind does the function of attention, selection and synthesizing of sense-impressions. It is the seat of pleasure and pain. Mind is called Ahankara or egoism when conceptions ‘I' and ‘mine' assert themselves with the signs of anger, jealousy, likes and dislikes, etc. Mind is called Buddhi or intellect because of its faculty of reasoning and discernment.

Though intellect emotion, and will are separate functions, they are interconnected and inter blended. The intellect is dependent on the Atman, or soul and cannot work without its help. The intellect is very near to Atman and reflects the intelligent quality of the Atman, just as a heated iron ball has got the burning and lustrous qualities of fire. Just as heat is inseparable from fire, fluctuation or oscillation is inseparable from mind.

Chitta-vritti can be subdued either by continuously thinking of one thing alone, or by trying not to think at all. In the former method, one should be careful that the mind does not fit to any second object, and the later, that it does not slump back torpor or inertia or unconsciousness.

Balance of mind is attained by cultivating an objective attitude, thinking of the imperishable Reality and of the impermanence of objects, discrimination, dispassion and other forms of spiritual disciplines.

II. THE THOUGHT-FORCE

Thoughts are dormant seeds of action. The mind's acts, and not the bodily acts, are alone true acts. It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed Karmas. Thought and act are interdependent. There is no such thing as mind apart from thought. Thoughts constitute the mind. Words are nothing but the outward expressions of thoughts which are imperceptible. Actions are caused by feelings of desire and aversion likes and dislikes). These feelings are caused by feelings of desire and aversion by the fact that you attribute a pleasurable or painful nature to objects. Thought is finite. It is inadequate to express even temporal processes, not to speak of the absolute which is inexplicable. The body with its organs is no other than the mind.

The thought that you hold, will manifest in your life. If you are courageous, cheerful, compassionate, tolerant and kind, then these qualities will manifest in your physical life. The only impurity of the mind is base thought and desire. Guard your good thoughts as an alert watchman guards the treasury. When there is not the ‘I' thought then there will be no other thought. Life is an interplay of thoughts. Duality ceases when the mind stops its function. Thinking is bound by the time factor. Thinking must cease. Then alone you will attain the Timeless. Be still. Let all the waves of thought subside. In that stillness, when the mind melts, there shines the self-effulgent Atman, the pure consciousness. Watch the mind. Watch the thoughts. Pursue serenity. Make your heart a fitting abode for the Lord.

Your mind must be empty of worldly thoughts. It must be filled up with thoughts of God and with nothing else. Keep your mind filled with good, Divine, sublime, lofty thoughts so that there will be no room for evil thoughts. Never speak the unnecessary word. Never allow any unnecessary or vain thought to occupy your mind.

III. SOME FACTS OF THE MIND

The expansion of the mind's thoughts towards the objects is bondage, while the abandoning of the Sankalpa (desire) is emancipation. Perception is the result of the conjunction of the organ of the sense and the object. The individual soul desires to see, makes an effort to see and immediately the vision is formed. The mind is made alert. The corresponding objects of all the senses are alerted. It is the mind alone which brings on pleasure and pain to itself and reaps them through its excessive inclination or aversion towards the objects. The Psychological tendencies are caused by your action in this and previous lives.

Mind is a feeling. That which makes you aware of pleasure and pain is mind. Just as a minister obeys a king, the five organs of the body act in accordance with the dictates of the mind. All that man pursues in this life has no existence except in his mind, not in reality. Separateness is an illusion caused by mind. Mind is like a mirror. It collects dust while it reflects. It must be cleansed by reciting the names of the Lord.

Find out the source of the mind and keep the mind there. The mind will perish (Manonasa). The mind becomes of the nature of Jnana or wisdom through effort in spiritual direction and also becomes of the nature of the world through Ajnana or ignorance. If the mind is divested of the thought of ‘I' then through meditation on Atman, you can attain immortality and eternal bliss. If the lower mind is annihilated through the higher mind, then you will attain perennial bliss. All become subject to bondage through their own Sankalpas and Vasanas like a silk-worm in its cocoon.

IV. MIND-CONQUEST BY SELF-KNOWLEDGE

Like a caged lion, mind is always restless. Know the Self. The restless mind will become peaceful. The mind attains, through discrimination the peace of the Eternal. If the mind turns its back upon discrimination, it entangles itself in the folds of Vasanas, or desires. Detach your mind from the world and attach it to the All-pervading Reality called Atman or the Supreme Self. If all doubts vanish through spiritual knowledge arising through meditation on Atman or the Supreme Self, then the mind ceases to exist as it does now. If all objects which have an enchanting appearance become eye-sores and present the very reverse of the former feelings, then mind ceases to exist. With the destruction of mind, all the three periods of time vanish into nothing. If the mind is purged of all its impurities, then it will become very calm and all delusion attendant with its birth and death will be destroyed.

Like one iron mould shaping another iron, the pure mind should correct and mould the impure mind. The sacred syllable 'Om' is the bow. Brahman or the Absolute is the target. just as the arrow becomes one with the target, so also by the practice of meditation the mind becomes united with Brahman.

Meditation releases a great amount of spiritual power. By constant meditation on the Self, one attains liberation. Meditate upon purity, and other similar qualities associated with purity, qualities like simplicity, guilelessness, frankness, truthfulness, open heartedness, innocence, goodness, etc. Attune yourself with the Infinite by stilling the mind, by silencing the thoughts and emotions. Mind is the biggest radio. It is the receiving set. Attune it with the Infinite. Enjoy the supreme bliss or the Supreme Soul.

Meditate. Root yourself in Divinity. Shut down in meditation, the conscious mind, that part of your mind which thinks of the external world, your body, and its wants. Meditation on Brahman is the highest form of religion. You can realise Brahman when you have stillness or serenity of mind. O Ram! meditate regularly in the early hours of the morning. Let the mind taste the bliss of the Self. The meditative mood comes and goes. Restrain the senses. Be eternally vigilant.

MIND - ITS UNCHANGING SUBSTRATUM AND THE SUPPRESSION OF ITS CHANGING NATURE by Swami Sivananda

Mind is ever changing. You feel happy now. In the next second you feel miserable. The mind is active now. The next moment, it becomes dull and inactive. It is pure now. The next second it is filled with anger and lust. The mind undergoes various transformations. There must be a basis or substratum which does not undergo any change. Just as there is substratum rope for all the changing, illusory appearances as snake, garland, stick, etc., so there is the changeless Atman or Brahman, for this everchanging mental phenomena. This changeless, continuous Atman connects all the states of the mind, all the changes in the body, the three Avasthas or states. Then alone memory is possible. Atman is a great synthetic Unifier.

I. ATMAN IS THE WITNESS

Annihilate such ideas, - This is mine, - That is mine, which spring from the identification of the Self with the body, mind, etc., and which cause bondage and attachment. Identify yourself with the non-dual Brahman, which will relieve you of the fear of death and which will bestow Immortal Bliss. Know the Self as the witness of the mind and the three states: waking, dreaming and deep sleep.

II. MIND ALONE SEES AND HEARS

Mind alone sees, hears and tastes. I had my mind engaged elsewhere; so I did not see. I had my mind engaged elsewhere; so I did not hear. This is the experience of all. Wherever there is the mind, there is the sense. Wherever there is no mind, there is no functioning of the mind. If the mind is not linked to the ear, you cannot hear the recitation of the Gita. If the mind is not linked to the eye, you cannot see an object. Hence mind exists. If anybody touches your back, you feel particularly the touch of the hand and fingers. The eye does not see the spot. The skin can only feel the hardness or softness of the touch. The mind alone is the cause of this knowledge. Mind alone really feels the touch.

III. MIND, THE SYNTHETIC ORGAN

Eye can only see colours. Ear can only hear sounds. Eye cannot do the function of ear, but the mind hears, sees, etc. It can do the functions of all the senses. It is a synthetic organ. It unifies, collects and synthesises. It is a great unifier. It is like the administrator or office-superintendent. It supervises the functions of the ten organs. Body is made of several parts viz., hands, fingers, legs, toes, chest, hip, etc. It is the mind that connects itself with all the parts of the body. If there is a pinprick in the inert body, at once it feels.

NEW APPROACHES TO MIND - ITS MYSTERIES AND ITS CONQUEST

by Swami Sivananda

I. THE MYSTERIOUS MIND

The human mind, at birth, resembles a writing table that has never been used. With the dawn of reason comes the first moral principle. Mind is subtle matter. It is the instrument for manifesting Prana. The condition of the body depends on how the Prana works. The condition of Prana depends upon how the mind works and what desires it has. Your inner nature is revealed by your manners, behaviour, conduct and character. Your mind is known by your speech and action. When the mind is serene, the body also becomes healthy. The mind cannot grasp more than one thing at a time. The mind is a bundle of thoughts, desires, cravings and impressions. The whole history of creation is inscribed in the mind. Mind is power that moulds and makes a man. Mind alone is Maya. The man dances in the theatre of this world to the music of the organs. The mind is not self-luminous. It fluctuates. It is sometimes dull and sometimes brilliant. It cannot be the self-luminous Atman. The mind is the battlefield or Kurukshetra where the forces of good and evil are pitted against each other.

II. THE LOWER MIND

Your greatest enemy is your own lower mind. Slay this mind with the sword of dispassion and discrimination. It is the inner enemy that is more dangerous than any other enemy outside. That inner enemy is your lower nature. The task of fighting with the lower mind requires single-minded and courageous effort. The deluding mind is the thief who has stolen the Atmic pearl. Slay the mind and get back the Atmic pearl. Be quick. Tarry not even a minute. Iron is cut by iron. Even so, the lower mind is destroyed by the higher mind.

III. MASTERY OVER MIND

What is the highest achievement? It is mastery over one's own mind. It is Self-realisation. He who has controlled his own mind, knows the secret of every mind. Develop an attitude of non-attachment and of witnessing the activities of the mind.

Goodness dawns when the mind ceases to function in the lower plane.

IV. MAYA IS WITHIN YOU

Maya is mind. Maya is egoism. All troubles come to an end when mind perishes, when ego dies. The mind as the locus of nescience (Avidya) is a finitising principle which veils the Truth and distorts it, presenting another false picture in its stead. The lower mind is the great slayer of Atman or the soul. The mind is no other than the Vasanas generating many rebirths. All the delusions of pains and pleasures are the attributes of the mind and not of Atman. With the growth of the mind, the pains increase; with the extinction of it, there will be bliss. The most important thing in the world of experience, is the mastery of the mind. The victory of man over nature, will be fruitless unless he attains victory over his mind. Mind is no other than Ahankara, the idea of ‘I'. The ego is the veil between God and the soul. Ego is the veil between man and God. This ego is like a cloud. When the cloud disappears you can see the sun. Even so, if the ego vanishes you can see God.

If this idea of ‘I' be destroyed through the desireless Atma-Jnana - this idea which is the source of all accidents, non-eternal, dependent, discriminationless, seed of all sins, Ajnana and the seed of birth and death - then this very destruction is the seat of the stainless Jivanmukti state. The experience - I am is prior to the experiences, - I know, I feel, I see, I think.

Egoism is an error, an illusion, a dream. Wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Open your eyes. He who has realised the nature of the rope that seemed to be a serpent, no longer trembles with fear. The identification of ‘I' with this body, produces bondage. Mind is a bundle of thoughts. The source of all thoughts is the ‘I' thought. Find out the real ‘I'. The mind will vanish. After destroying the idea of ‘I' contemplate upon all objects through the idea of Abhava (non-existence), as formless as Chit, and quiescent.

V. MASTER THE MIND; VANQUISH MAYA

There is no enemy outside you. Turn your gaze within. This mysterious mind, the most potent instrument in the hands of Maya, the power that deludes all, is your enemy. A real hero is not he who is a conqueror in a battle, but he who subdues his senses and conquers his mind. The first thing that an aspirant has to acquire, is mastery over his mind. By constant practice of meditation, by right discernment, by renouncing his own personality, the aspirant can manipulate his mind and focus it on the Atman. Through the discriminative mind, the lower mind is powerfully mastered by the wise. A well-directed mind becomes your Guru. It is conducive to happiness. It elevates you. Control the mind and the senses. Cultivate non-attachment. Mastery of the mind leads to the renunciation of all. Be watchful or alert about every thought, feeling or desire that comes to your mind. Your mind will become quiet. Purity of mind results in happiness. Pray. Purify. The lower desire will be transmuted into aspiration and higher, divine will. Detach the mind from the objects. Do not allow the mind to go out. You will attain serenity and wisdom.

If you have dispassion and serenity, the mind is not affected by the external objects. The objects cannot produce any effect on the mind. Self-withdrawal and poise come if you practise self-restraint, discrimination and dispassion. When the mind, through the powerful Pratyahara, hankers not after desires, then it will remain still. This effort is called Asamvedana. That which is described as the imperishable state of quiescent Jnana is Asamvedana. That Jnana which tends to the destruction of the mind, is Asamvedana. Asamvedana will confer upon one, Moksha as its result.

VI. MAN'S MIND, A GREAT MYSTERY

Manas is mind. Manava is man. The stuff of the world is the mind-stuff. Mind has created or projected this world. The mind connects us with the whole of the external world. It is a receiving station for all communications from outside. The mind will exist only so long as you think of external objects. If you withdraw the mind from the external objects and make it think of Atman or the Universal Self, the source of the mind, it will cease to exist. Mind is conscious of separateness. Mind differentiates, separates, dwells in distinctions and differences. Mind doubts. Doubt destroys. Intellect gives certainty. Pride, illusion and desires are the binding-chords of mind. Thought includes feeling. By thought you are made; by thoughts you can change your character; by thought you can become that on which your heart is set. Find out on what your heart is set. The thoughts and outlook of individuals, differ owing to temperament, Samskaras and past lives. Sankalpa only is Samsara; its destruction is Moksha.

Sankalpa is the cause of bondage and all Karmas. The destruction of Sankalpa is itself Moksha or salvation. Ideas are the food of the mind. Bombs and bullets are not half as harmful as evil ideas. If the ideas are sublime, divine, uplifting and cultured, one prospers.

The mind becomes good when it lives and acts in the company of sages; it becomes bad when it lives and acts in the company of wicked people.

A God-filled mind moves towards God, perfection and illumination. A sense-object-filled mind moves towards darkness and ignorance. Empty the mind of sense-objects and fill it with God-thought. You will attain God-realisation.

VII. HARNESSING THE POWERFUL MIND

When the rays of the sun pass through a lens, they are concentrated. They can burn anything. Even so when the rays of the mind are concentrated, the mind can do anything. It can work wonders.

Mercury-particles are scattered. When they are collected and made into a pill and when the pill is kept in the mouth, the Yogi can fly in the air. Similarly when the scattered rays of the mind are collected. The Yogi can attain anything.

Withdraw the mind from its engagements in sense-experience and use the mental energy in meditation and pure positive thoughts. Do not stuff your mind with all sorts of information. It is a huge burden on the mind. You cannot meditate. Do not make the mind dull and passive. Bring it to a deep silence.

Japa, repetition of Lord's Name, Kirtan, prayer, enquiry, meditation melt the mind and dissolve the ego. Restrain the mind from the objective world and focus it on the Atman which abides secretly in the innermost cave of the heart. You will transcend pain and sorrow and enjoy infinite bliss. To go beyond mind, is to go beyond time, space and causation. Pure consciousness or the Absolute consciousness is the ultimate Reality manifested in different forms and expressed by different names.

Pure consciousness is the supreme principle of the universe. It is all-pervading, all-comprehending, infinite, eternal, indivisible, all-full, existence, bliss. It is Para Brahman.

MIND - ITS PHILOSOPHY AND THE DISCIPLINES FOR ITS CONQUEST

by Swami Sivananda

I. MIND - A PHILOSOPHICAL EXPLANATION

Bhoomirapoanalo vayuh kham mano buddhireva cha

ahankara iteeyam me bhinnah prakritirashtadha.

According to Sankhya cosmology, mind is the fourth principle that has emanated from the Self-asserting principle, Ahankara or egoism or Asmita. Prakriti or Avyaktam (matter in an unmanifested state) is styled as - Ashtangini or eightfold Prakriti (Prakritirashtadha). Mind is one of the eight limbs or Ashtangas.

Mind is itself a word whose meaning is extremely vague, one incapable of being clearly defined except in terms of some questionable and speculative hypothesis. No one can point out to a mind and say: - That is what the word mind shall denote. Mind consists of a bundle of faculties, viz., the faculties of cognition or perception, volition or will, imagination, judgment, reason, understanding, memory. Character concerns the effective or conative organism of the mind. Knowledge concerns the cognitive organism. There are different channels of communication through which the cognitive and conative faculties are directed. There is only one mind which has diverse names according to the plane on which it functions, viz., the subjective mind, the objective mind, the universal mind (cosmic consciousness), or the superconscious mind, the subconscious mind, the instinctive mind, the spiritual mind. The Vishaya or function of the mind is cognition (Sankalpa-Vikalpa or will, thought, doubt).

The doubting mind is a collective aggregate of all Jnana-Indriyas or organs of sensation or perception. Mind is bellow will and above Prana or energy or matter. Mind is a relative manifestation of the Absolute. Mind is positive to Energy and Matter, but negative to will, which is again positive to mind, but negative to Atman. Mind when purified becomes your real Guru. You will hear the voice of conscience. You will get answers for your insoluble problems. A pure mind is no longer a subtle matter but Brahman itself.

The original home for the mind is Omkar in the Sahasrara or thousand-petalled lotus. Mind has become impure by your own desires. How the pure Brahman has become the impure Jiva is a problem that has baffled all human efforts for a clear, correct and satisfactory solution. This is a question which has no answer. This is the mystic side of nature. You cannot solve transcendental divine problems that belong to supramental plane, with the finite intellect or the physical plane. Develop intuition. Acquire transcendental wisdom. Look within through cosmic consciousness. Then you will get a real solution.

II. BEYOND MIND

Through the searchlight of the concentrated mind, you will have to behold the treasures of the Soul or Atman. Just as rays permeate solid bones or block of wood, the concentrated mental rays of a focused mind will pass through the different forms of matter and reveal their nature. During cosmic consciousness, you are aware of the oneness of life. You will find that there is no such thing as dead matter, but all is alive, vibrating and intelligent. You will see the universe as the all, the Atman which is the essence or background of this sense-universe, of this world of Dvandvas or opposites, of this world of mere conceptions of ideas, of this world of names and forms.

In Svarga or paradise or heaven, you are in the - thought-world. You feel or experience no pain. Why? Because you get whatever you think of or imagine. Your desires are immediately gratified. Your thought instantaneously materialises, crystalises, and precipitates before you. You are satisfied. But this is not real.

III. METHODS FOR MIND-CONTROL

The science of Raja Yoga deals with the methods of controlling the ever-oscillating mind, under the command of the will. Manoyama is superior to Pranayama; but the Adhikaris or qualified persons for practice of Manoyama should be very intelligent with bold understanding and tremendous will. Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana facing East or North. Make Trataka or Dharana on Trikuti, the space between the two eyebrows with closed eyes. Control the force of thought by meditation on Pranava or Om and its meaning. Practise regularly from half to two or three hours daily. You will become a Yogi and an Atma-Jnani soon.

Listen, to this mystery of mysteries, by knowing which man is freed from the illusion of the world, which is only due to the action of the mind having no existence in fact. First of all I shall tell you about the nature of Maya, then about the means of attaining knowledge and lastly about knowledge and realisation.

I shall also tell you of the subject of knowledge, the Supreme Self, by knowing which one is freed from fear. The perception of Self (Atman) in the non-Self, the body and the rest, is verily Maya; by it is this world taken to exist. There are two modes of Maya, Avarana and Vikshepa (veiling and oscillation of mind). It is the Vikshepa-Sakti that creates the world. Avarana-Sakti envelops all knowledge. By the power of Maya this world is superimposed upon the Supreme Self which is non-dual, just as the snake is superimposed on the rope. In reality, nothing exists. All that is seen, heard or remembered by men, is like a dream. Attachment is the root cause of this world.

The gross body is composed of the five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth. The subtle body is made up of the five subtle elements (Tanmatras), Ahankara (egoism), intellect, the five Karma-Indriyas (organs of action) and the five Jnana-Indriyas (organs of sense-knowledge), the reflection of the Supreme Self (Chidabhasa), the mind and the Mulaprakriti (primordial matter). This is known as Kshetra or body.

The Jiva is other than this. It is the Supreme Self - diseaseless, undecaying. Listen now to the means of attaining knowledge. Give up pride and violence. Absence of egoism, balance of mind in pleasure and pain, single-minded devotion to the Supreme Self, freedom from attachment to sons, wives and wealth, residence in a place free from the society of men, having no contact with worldly persons, constant effort towards attainment of Atma-Jnana, reflection upon the meaning of Vedanta - through these, knowledge is acquired.

The Atman is all-pervading. It is different from the Buddhi Prana, Ahankara. It is ever pure. That by which this is known is knowledge. The same knowledge when realised becomes direct perception.

Unattached, it is the self-effulgent seer. When knowledge of the unity of the embodied and the Supreme Self arises, through the teaching of preceptor expounding the Sastras, Avidya, together with its effects and instruments, is merged in the Supreme Self. This is emancipation. Just as in the night even those having eyes cannot see their way, but those carrying a lamp can, in the same way to those possessed of devotion unto the Supreme Self, the Atman appears in its real nature.

Company of Bhaktas, service of the Lord and His devotees, fasts on the days of Ekadasi and the like, observances of days sacred unto Him, constant love for hearing, reading and expounding stories relating to the Lord, faith in worshipping Him and recitation of His sacred Name - these are the means to the attainment of this knowledge.

To the person who is devoted to Him comes forth knowledge and Realisation.

IV. MIND A GOAT, CHITTA A PIG

Mind is like a goat. The goat jumps from one plant to another plant. It never eats a plant fully. Even so, the mind jumps from one object to another. Instead of killing a goat in sacrifice, kill the mind. This is real sacrifice. Do not kill the innocent goat to satisfy your palate or tongue. Senses are the bulls. Do not kill a bull in sacrifice. Slay or sacrifice the senses. Egoism is like a cock. A cock sits at the top of a house and shouts. He thinks that he is the first to get up in the morning. He becomes egoistic and proud. When he shouts the whole body becomes stiff. When a man becomes egoistic his body also becomes stiff. Slay your egoism instead of killing a cock. Chitta is like a pig. The pig revels in the filth. The Chitta ever thinks of foul things. Slay this Chitta, instead of sacrificing a pig.

Vairagya And Tyaga by Swami Sivananda

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.

Note: I have not reached this stage of non -attachment yet, as for the Swami Sivananda, he never married and lived all his life a Brhamachari, so it could have been easy for him to say it.

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."

Cultivation Of Virtues by Swami Sivananda

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"

(Manusmriti, VI-92)

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.

Note: Noah of Bible appears to be the Manu, because during the great deluge he too preserved two of each kind of living things in an ark.

Your thoughts must agree with the word. This is Arjava (straightforwardness). Practise this. You will derive wonderful benefits.

If you practise Satya (Truth) 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 (Courage) and Utsaha (Enthusiasm) that reaches the goal of Sat-Chit-Ananda state. Hail, hail, to such rare noble souls!

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 (Senses).

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.

Sister Indriyas

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 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

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 (Chennai), 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 (Mumbai) 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.

Pratyahara

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.

ACHIEVEMENT OF PEACE by Swami Sivananda

You will find Mouna, solitude and non-mixing as great helpers in the achievement of peace.

Development of virtues like Daya, love, Karuna will remove the cruel nature of the heart. Pranayama, meditation and Vichara will check restless nature, will destroy emotions and passions. You will rest in peace. What is wanted is steady Abhyasa. You must not be hasty.

Peace comes gradually, slowly, stage by stage, step by step. Wait patiently.

PEACE AS GOD AND THE KEY TO IT

The way to peace is the way of tolerance, truth, understanding, purity and love.

Find peace within, first through discipline and meditation and then disseminate peace outside in the world.

God is peace. Root yourself in Peace or God. Now you are fit to radiate Peace.

The entire universe is one mass of Consciousness, for it is pervaded by the Atman.

PEACE THROUGH AVOIDANCE OF COMPARISONS

If you are earning one hundred rupees per month, do not compare yourself with a man who is earning five hundred rupees, per month. If you so compare, you will get discontentment. This will disturb the peace of mind.

Compare yourself with a man who is earning rupees twenty-five only per month. Thank God for having given you this present state. There is no end for your desires. Contentment alone can calm your restless mind. There is no wealth greater than contentment. Worldly ambitions are useless. Aim high. Aim at attaining Brahman. Have this highest spiritual ambition. This will annihilate all vain worldly ambitions. Worldly ambitions will land you in pain, sorrow and disappointment.

SAMAHITA CHITTA AND FREEDOM FROM WRONG MENTAL MODIFICATIONS

Give up evil company. Subdue lust, anger, avarice by constant effort. You will enjoy peace, joy and immortality.

He who has a balanced mind, (Samahita Chitta) is really a happy and strong man. One has to discipline the mind carefully for a long time. He may tumble down again and again. He may commit mistakes. But he will get sanguine success if he is vigilant, patient and persevering.

Balance is Jnana. The Gita says: - Nirdosham hi samam brahma. The Eternal is incorruptible and balanced.

Keep the mind cool always. Do not be irritated by petty things. Irritability is weakness. Balance is strength.

You should be entirely free from all sorts of Vikaras (evil modifications of the mind) at all times (Sarvada) even under the worst provoking conditions or adverse environments or circumstances and possess a balanced mind. Then only can you enter into deep meditation and Samadhi.

PEACE AMIDST DIN AND BUSTLE OF LIFE

By leading a forest-life you cannot attain the final emancipation. The deer, the tiger, the birds, though they lead a forest-life cannot attain salvation.

You must have a calm and desireless mind. You must possess dispassion, discrimination, faith, self-restraining, true renunciation. Then only can you have solitude even in the bustle of a city.

Even if you become the Emperor of the whole world, you can hardly enjoy real peace and bliss so long as you have cares, worry, anxiety, fear, lust, greed and desires.

IGNORANCE THE CAUSE OF PEACELESSNESS

Causes of grief by thousands and causes of fear by hundreds, day by day overwhelm the ignorant.

Knowledge of Atman alone can give real peace, happiness, and immortality. Therefore, conquer Maya. Realise Atman through meditation. Then you will become the real Emperor of emperors.

From ignorance or Avidya desire is born. To realise the objects of desire, man does Karmas or actions, likes some and dislikes others, expects fruits of his actions and is therefore bound to the wheel of birth and death.

Attain Brahma Jnana or Knowledge of Brahman or supreme Self. Pain, sorrow and suffering will cease. You will achieve bliss, immortal everlasting peace and perennial joy. You will be freed from birth and death.

MENTAL PEACE THROUGH NON-ATTACHMENT

The subject of non-attachment is of universal importance.

Attachment is the most powerful weapon of Maya for binding the Jivas to the Samsaric wheel of birth and death. You would have never come into this world, had it not been for attachment.

The attachment first starts with this physical body. Then all other attachments crop up. Then comes relationship of father, mother, brother, sister, wife, son, friend, etc.

One may be attached to a place, person, or an object. Wherever there is attachment, there is the idea of Mineness or Mamata. Attachment is a kind of very strong glue that binds the mind with the objects. Why does the mind get attached to objects or persons? Because it finds pleasure in objects or persons. Wherever there is pleasure, the mind gets attached there. It is attached to wife, son, house, property, money or a friend, because the mind finds pleasure in these objects.

Attachment is the root cause for human sufferings. It is the product of effect of ignorance or Avidya. It is a modification of nescience or ignorance.

It is attachment that brings us again into this Mrityuloka (World of Death). The seeds of attachment are ingrained in the subconscious mind. We have to obliterate or fry up all these seeds through right thinking, Vichara and Atma-jnana. We have to cut all these illusory attachments through the sword of non-attachment or Vairagya.

The Gita says, - Asangasastrena dridhena cchitva. - - Cut this tree of Maya with the sword of non-attachment. (Chapter XV)

Develop internal Vairagya by understanding the illusory nature of this world. Remember the pains of this Samsara, viz., birth, death, old age, diseases and miseries of this world. Place before the mind the glorious life in Atman and the immense bliss of a spiritual life. Remember the Saints and Yogins and Jnanis like Sri Sankara, Mansoor, Shams Tabriez, Jnana Dev and their teachings. Slowly the mind will be weaned from sensual objects. It can be gradually turned towards God and higher things. Have recourse to Satsanga.

Do Atma-Vichara. Meditate daily. That man who has no attachment in this world, is the most happy man. He is God Himself. His joy is indescribable. He must be adored.

MENTAL PEACE THROUGH CONTENTMENT

You all know the maxim, ‘A contented mind is a continual feast'. The mind is always restless on account of greed. Greed is a kind of internal fire that consumes a man slowly.

Contentment is a powerful antidote for the poison of greed. Just as a man who comes from a long walk in the sun is quite refreshed by taking a plunge in the Ganges, so also that greedy man who is burnt by the fire of Lobha, finds immediate joy and relief by a dip in the ambrosial water of contentment.

Although people know that contentment is a virtue that gives peace of mind, yet they do not try to develop this virtue. Because they have lost the power of discrimination and the power of Aatmic enquiry or Vichara Sakti on account of passion and greed.

Contentment can never make you idle. It is a Sattvic virtue that propels man towards God. It gives strength of mind and peace. It checks unnecessary and selfish exertions. It opens the inner eye of man and moves his mind towards divine contemplation. It turns his energy in the inner Sattvic channels. It transmutes the gross energy, viz., greed, that is forcing man towards selfish exertions into spiritual energy, Ojas. That man who is contented is full of Sattva, is more energetic now, is inward, and has an inner life in the Atman. He is always peaceful and turns out more work calmly and with one-pointed mind. All the dissipated rays of the mind are collected now.

Contentment develops Vairagya, discrimination and Vichara. Mira has perfect contentment. She never cared for the paltry things of the world. She lived on Bhiksha.

MENTAL PEACE THROUGH ADAPTABILITY

The vast majority of persons do not know how to adjust themselves with others. Adaptability is a peculiar knack or pluck to win the hearts of others by a little bending.

The wife does not know how to adapt herself with her husband. She displeases her husband always and makes quarrels in the house and gets a divorce. The clerk does not know how to adapt himself with his boss or superior. He quarrels with the superior and gets an immediate sack. The disciple does not know how to adapt himself with his Guru. He misbehaves and leaves the Guru. The businessman does not know how to adapt himself with the customers and loses his customers and business. The Divan does not know how to adapt himself with the Maharaja. He has to leave the State service. The world runs on adaptability. He who knows this art or science of adaptability pulls on quite well in this world and is always happy under all conditions of life.

HOW I ABIDE IN PEACE, NOW! by Swami Sivananda

First I abandoned desires, then attachment. Now I abide in supreme peace.

I do not mix much. I do not move. I meditate. Now I abide in eternal peace.

I controlled the senses and the mind. I cultivated dispassion. Now I abide in everlasting peace that passeth all understanding.

I am all-pervading, immortal Atman; knowing this, now I abide in immortal peace.

I have renounced both action and renunciation of action. I live happily in any state now. So I abide in perennial peace.

The sense-objects are the robbers. I have annihilated these robbers, I am quite safe and happy. Now I abide in unalloyed peace.

RECIPE FOR PEACE OF MIND

Be contented always in any condition or circumstance or environment.

Erase the impressions of sensual experience quickly, Through Viveka, Vichara, meditation, Mithya-drishti and Dosha-drishti.

Do not allow the mind to dwell or brood over the ­objects.

Give up planning and scheming;

But you can cultivate foresight or far-sightedness.

Do not argue or have heated debates

Just for bringing the man to accept your opinion;

But you can always have profitable religious discussions.

Cultivate serenity or calmness of mind.

Be regular in your Japa, Kirtan, study and meditation.

Give up reading newspapers and novels.

Be simple in your food and dress and everything.

Be in the company of sages and saints.

Ignore insults, bad treatment, harsh words,

Talk a little, mix a little, eat a little.

Meditate on peace and benefits of peace.

ENEMIES OF ETERNAL PEACE

Sensual enjoyment

Too much talking

Love for the world

Lust, greed, hatred, egoism, etc.

Attachment to wife, children and property

Attachment to body

Lust, greed, hatred, egoism, etc

Are enemies of eternal peace.

PRAYER FOR WORLD-PEACE

When you sit for meditation in the morning hours, send out currents of your love and peace to all living beings. Say -

Sarvesham swasti bhavatu - May auspiciousness be unto all;
Sarvesham santir bhavatu - May peace be unto all;
Sarvesham purnam bhavatu - May fullness be unto all;
Sarvesham mangalam bhavhtu - May prosperity be unto all;
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu - May happiness be unto the whole world.

Let us all pray for the peace of all.

May absolute peace reign over the whole world.
May all nations and communities be united by the bond of pure love.
May all enjoy peace and prosperity.
May there be deep abiding peace, throughout the universe!O All-compassionate, Adorable Lord! Grant us eternal peace, purity, strength to serve our country and the humanity and the Mahatmas and preceptors!
May we all work together harmoniously with the spirit of self-sacrifice for the well-being of the world.
May we all develop cosmic love and universal brotherhood.
May we see God in all faces.
May we all possess an understanding and forgiving heart, broad tolerance and adaptability. Grant us the inner eye of wisdom, O Lord, with which we will behold Oneness of the Self everywhere!

PEACE THROUGH PERFECTION

Peace is the essential nature of every person. Atman is Peace. Ayam Atma Santo - declares the Upanishad. This Atman is Peace by its nature. You can have peace only from where peace resides. Peace is not in external objects. Peace is not in the sensual pleasures. Like the ghee (clarified butter) poured into the fire to put it out, every indulgence in sensual pleasures serves only to aggravate the flames of desires and causes increased restlessness of mind. The panacea for this cycle of sensual pleasures and sensual desires lies in turning the mind away from these objects, recognising the futility of seeking peace in them, and fixing it in one's own all-blissful Atman. Saints and sages from beginningless past have been dinning this truth into the ears of man, yet due to colossal ignorance, he pays a deaf ear to their counsels and persists in his senseward life. After receiving knocks here and there in his pursuit of happiness in sense-objects, he ultimately turns to God for happiness, having convinced himself that peace does not lie in objects outside.

Peace is in leading a divine life. Peace is in knowing one's essential Atmic nature. Peace is in practising devotion to God. Peace is in stilling the restless mind. Peace is in serving God in His creations.

Peace and perfection are synonymous terms. There is no peace to the imperfect. Perfection does not consist in physical strength or beauty, nor does it consist in studying a car-load of books. Perfection is not physical, mental or intellectual, but it is spiritual knowledge of one's Atomic nature, born not through mere study of books, but through purification of one's heart; hearing, reflection, deep meditation and actual experience of one's essential Nature alone can make one perfect.

THE ART OF FINDING PEACE OF MIND

The peace that passeth all understanding has been, since the remotest times, the axis around which Indian culture has revolved in all its aspects. Peace is a state of quiet; it is freedom from disturbance, anxiety, agitation, violence, disharmony, restlessness; it is harmony, silence, calm, repose, rest, tranquillity. Peace is the very nature of the inner Self in man.

Nothing can bring man peace but himself; nothing can bring him peace but the victory over his own lower self, the triumph over his own senses and mind, desires and cravings. If he has no peace within himself, it is vain to seek it in external objects and outward sources. Wealth, women, children, property and palatial buildings cannot give him everlasting peace. Look within the chambers of his own heart, he must, should he desire real peace. When he is established in the highest Self within, he will not be shaken by heavy sorrow, loss or failure and inharmonious or disagreeable vibration. He will tide over all difficulties and crises in life easily and will come out with triumph in all life's experiences.

Peace comes from prayer, Japa, Kirtan, meditation, good and sublime thoughts and understanding. Development of cosmic love, kindness, forgiveness, understanding of the views of others, selflessness, desirelessness, non-attachment, freedom from ‘I-ness' and ‘mine-ness' and cravings, devotion to God, self-restraint, control of the mind and the senses, bring happiness and peace of mind.

Anger, greed, jealousy, hatred are all enemies of peace. Development of goodwill, cooperation, mercy, compassion, non-resistance or non-retaliation to injuries done to him, forgiveness, contentment, nobility and magnanimity will flood man with peace. Praying for those that have done him harm, sending of thought-currents of peace and goodwill to them and to all the world, when one sits for meditation or for prayer, will bring the individual great peace of mind.

Perfect peace cannot be had in this world, for the simple reason that this is a relative plane. The mind itself and all objects are conditioned in time, space and causation. But where are we to look for peace? We can find peace in its plenitude in the immortal Self within. The Self in us is the embodiment of peace and is beyond time, space and causation.

Man has forgotten this inner Self, his inherent and essential Nature, on account of Ignorance, and so is he tossed about hither and thither in the ocean of this Samsara by the two currents of Raga and Dvesha, likes and dislikes.

Man vainly searches for his peace and his happiness in perishable objects that are conditioned in time, space and causation, and therefore, he has no peace of mind. The musk deer does not know that the fragrance of musk is emanating from its own naval. It wanders about here and there to find out the source of this smell. Even so, the man of ignorance and worldliness is not aware that the fountain of bliss is within himself in the Immortal Atman or the Soul and he is running after the external perishable objects to get peace and happiness. He can have real and permanent peace if he would turn his mind from the objective universe and live in the Divine within his own heart. He can be free from cares, worries, anxieties, fear, delusion, doubt, restlessness, only if he leads a Divine Life, and obtains purity of heart and concentration of mind. Through Sadhana man should attain Knowledge of the Self within, and it then that ignorance, egoism, anger, jealousy, and all those traits that are responsible for the errors and evils and restlessness of life, will vanish. With their vanishing, man will enjoy ineffable peace of the Self.

UNIVERSAL MESSAGE OF PEACE AND LOVE

The urge of peace which unmistakably manifests itself in the wise men of the world, in those who have the power of discrimination well developed in them is proof enough to convince even the rank sceptic that the essential nature of man is Peace. The Self or the Atman which alone is Reality in every being here, is Peace, because it is non-dual, one without a second. Its other ‘Names' - if we can call them ‘Names'! - are Truth, Love, Life, Light, Knowledge, Bliss. This Atman is the ultimate Reality of every religion, though each religion gives it a ‘Name' of its own. If you wish to have Peace, therefore, all that you have to do is to awaken Man to his own real Nature.

Man should adhere to Truth in every sphere of life. He should love all, even those whom he considers to be his enemies - for enemies he should have none. He should respect, love and protect the life of all other beings. Killing of every sort - not only of human beings, but of animals too - should be anathema to him. He should reveal by his thoughts, words and deeds that he is an enlightened being, a man who has a certain amount of knowledge which the lower forms of life do not possess. Then and then alone will there be Peace in this world. Politics has its basis in sociology; sociology has its basis in individual personal development; individual personal development is governed by the philosophy of and the religion that each man follows! The philosophy of the East considers Man as the unit. Man is asked to perfect himself. As the world is only a mirage projected by his own nescience, he is to ignore it and concentrate all his attention on his own Self, removing the defects within him. This has been called a futile - other world philosophy which deprives man of what this world can give him and makes him a dreamer, an idealist, unfit to inhabit this earth. On the contrary, it is this philosophy alone that can give us Peace. Disregarding the world outside him, man endeavours to perfect himself, to find the Peace within himself - for, Peace is the nature of the Self. He loves his neighbours, for Love is the nature of the Self within. A nation or a community composed of such men is naturally peace-loving, united and harmonious. It is a great psychological advantage to tell man that he is of greater moment to himself than what the world around him appears to him to be, to make him realise that what the world depends on what he is and thus to educate him to the peace within himself, so that the world might enjoy Peace.

This is, in fact, the Message of every religion in the world. Humanity neglected the various messages it received from the Prophets, Sages and Saviors, lent its ear to the false prophets who assured it maximum enjoyment - confident of injecting this through the senses - and has, therefore, come to grief. The remedy is simple enough, once the diagnosis is recognized. Humanity should turn its back on the false prophets and return to the ancient wise ones. Each man and each woman should be made to realise the paramountcy of religion, which means philosophy-in-practice - and the futility of running after illusory sense-pleasures of this world.

Aum NamaH Shivaya!

Sianala, Montreal, Feb 2008