Feb 19, 2008

MIND-VIII

Aum Shri Gurave NamaH!

BASIC TENDENCIES OF MIND AND THEIR CONTROL by Swami Sivananda

Desire, judgment, doubt, belief, firmness, weakness - all are the Manas only.

Friend and enemy, virtue and sin, pleasure and pain are in the mind only.

The mind has the potency of creating or undoing the whole world in the twinkling of an eye.

Mind is Jada but appears to be intelligent by borrowing light from Brahman.

Senses cannot do anything independently if the mind is not connected with them.

When the mind has once tasted the sexual pleasure, it always runs after woman.

The world is beautiful and pleasant or ugly and miserable just as the mind chooses.

The ghost of your mind dances in the theatre of this universe to the music of the organs.

The face is a notice-board where in the Vrittis of the mind are advertised.

If all thoughts are eliminated there remains nothing which can be called as - mind.

If you want rapid progress in the spiritual path, watch every thought.

Enjoyment strengthens, increases and aggravates a desire.

Desires are the outcome of thoughts which are associated with objects.

Many people have fallen from Yoga through the influence of subtle desires.

Memory of the past retards an aspirant's spiritual ­advancements.

Yoga consists in the suppression of the functions and modifications of the mind.

When the mind is at work, Buddhi and Ahamta will work along with the mind.

A gross mind with selfishness and lust is absolutely unfit for a spiritual life.

When one reaches perfection, the mind melts in its source - Brahman.

Each nation has its own characteristic mentality and particular intellectual bent.

The mind can leave hold of lower things only if it is attracted by higher things.

People of dirty mind judge others according to their own standard of judgment.

The worldly minds want thorough overhauling and drastic regeneration.

A Rajasic mind full of desires can never dream of an inner spiritual life.

Purification of mind leads to the comprehension of the true nature of Brahman.

A pious man attends to his business concerns but has his mind's eye ever fixed upon the Lord.

Mind is Atma Sakti. It is through mind only that Brahman or the Supreme Self manifests as the differentiated universe with heterogeneous objects. Mind is nothing but a collection of Samskaras or impressions. It is nothing but a bundle of habits.

The true nature of the mind consists in the Vasanas or ­subtle desires; the idea of - I or egoism is the seed of the tree of mind. The sprout which springs up from this seed-egoism is Buddhi or intellect. From this sprout, the ramifying branches called Sankalpas take their origin.

Mind is made of subtle Sattvic matter. According to Chhandogya Upanishad, mind is formed out of the subtlest ­portion of food.

Manolaya or temporary absorption of the mind in the ­object of meditation will not help you to attain liberation. Manonasa or annihilation of the mind only will enable you to achieve the final emancipation or Moksha.

Have no longing for objects. Reduce your wants, cultivate Vairagya or dispassion. Vairagya thins out the mind.

Do not mix much. Do not talk much. Do not walk much. Do not eat much. Do not sleep much.

Control your emotions. Abandon desires and Vasanas. Control irritability and lust. Slay the impure mind through meditation. Practise perfect Brahmacharya. There is no half measure in the spiritual path.

Never wrestle with the mind. Do not use any violent effort in concentration. When the mind is jumping and wandering much, make no violent effort to control the mind but rather allow it to run alone for a while and exhaust its efforts. It will take advantage of the opportunity and will jump around like an unchained monkey at first. Then it will gradually become quiet and look to you for orders.

If evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will-force in driving them. You will only lose your energy in doing so. You will tax your will. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force.

They will return more quickly also. The thoughts will become more powerful. Be indifferent. Keep quiet. Become a silent witness of those thoughts.

Do not identify yourself with them. They will vanish very soon. Substitute good thoughts. Pray and sing the Lord's name.

Never miss even for a day your meditation. Regularity is of paramount importance. When the mind is tired out do not concentrate. Give a little rest. Do not take heavy food at night. This will interfere with your morning meditation.

Japa, Kirtan, Pranayama, Satsanga (association with the sages), practice of Sama (serenity), Dama (self-restraint), Yama (right conduct), Sattvic food or pure food, study of scriptures, meditation, Vichara or Atmic enquiry - all these will help you to control the mind and attain bliss and immortality.

MIND-CONQUEST BY A SIMPLE SADHANA by Swami Sivananda

Man is a mixture of three ingredients, viz., human element, brutal instinct and divine ray. He is endowed with finite intellect, perishable body, a little knowledge and a little power. This makes him distinctly human. Lust, anger, hatred belong to his brutal nature. The reflection of cosmic intelligence is at the back of his intellect. So he is an image of God. When the brutal instincts die, when this ignorance is rent asunder, when he is able to bear insult and injury, he becomes one with the Divine.

A thirsting aspirant is one who practises self-denial. He always tries to feel that the body does not belong to him. If anyone beats him, cuts his hand or throat, he should keep quiet. He must not speak even a single harsh word to him because the body is not his. He starts his Sadhana, - I am not the body. I am not the mind. Chidananda-Rupah Sivoham.

One harsh or unkind word throws a man out of his balance. A little disrespect upsets him. He feels and feels for days together. How weak he has become despite his boasted intellect, high position in society, degrees and diplomas and titles?

Bear insult. Bear injury. This is the essence of all Sadhana. This is the most important Sadhana. If you succeed in this one Sadhana, you can very easily enter the illimitable domain of eternal bliss. Nirvikalpa Samadhi will come by itself. This is the most difficult Sadhana; but it is easy for those who have burning Vairagya and yearning for liberation.

You must become a block of stone. Only then will you be established in this Sadhana. Nothing can affect you. Abuses, ridicules, mockery, insults, persecutions cannot have any influence on you.

Remember the instructions of Lord Jesus: - If anyone gives you a slap on one cheek, show him the other cheek also. If anyone takes your coat, give him your cap also. How sublime is this teaching! If you follow this you will have great spiritual strength and power of endurance. It will make you divine. It will transform the nature of the offender also at once.

Study the life of the Avanti Brahmin in Bhagavata (IX Skandha). You will draw inspiration and strength. People spat at this Brahmin, threw faecal matter on him and yet he stood adamant. A Mohammedan spat on Saint Ekanath 108 times, and yet the saint was not affected even a bit. All saints and prophets had this power of endurance. People pelted stones at Prophet Mohammed and threw the ovary of the camel on his head, and yet he was cool and serene. The Jews pierced thorns on the body of Lord Jesus. He was ill-treated in a variety of ways. He bore all these calmly and blessed the persecutors. He was nailed on the cross and yet he said, - O Lord! forgive these people. They do not know what they are doing. Read again and again the Sermon on the Mount by Lord Jesus.

All aspirants will be tested by the Lord and a time will come for everybody to bear worst trials, adversities and persecutions. These trials will make them wonderfully strong. They must be ever prepared to bear all these trials and persecutions.

You will have to develop wonderful patience and endurance. You will have to kill your egoism, pride, Deha-abhimana or false identification with the perishable body. Then only you can bear insult and injury.

Try at first to control the physical reactions and the feelings. Do not retort. Do not speak vulgar words. Do not revenge. Kill the vindictive spirit or attitude. Check the impulses of speech, thought and action. Gradually you will gain control. Regular Japa, meditation, Kirtan, prayer, enquiry, solitude, Satsanga, selfless service, Mouna, Asana, Pranayama, will-power will give you immense strength to bear insult and injury.

MIND-CONQUEST - TEN IMPORTANT METHODS by Swami Sivananda

Mind is a bundle of Vasanas (desires) and Sankalpas (thoughts, imagination). Mind is a bundle of Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes). Annihilation of mind is Mano-Nasa.

Manolaya is temporary absorption of the mind. This cannot give Moksha. The mind can come back again and wander in sensual objects. Manonasa alone can give release or Moksha.

I. BY VICHARA

How is the mind purified, brought under control and how are its activities stopped, and how is it annihilated? Here are some useful and practical points. Mind can be controlled and annihilated by Vichara or enquiry of ‘WHO AM I?'. This is the best and most effective method. This will annihilate the mind. This is the Vedantic method. Realise the unreality of the mind through philosophical thinking.

II. BY ERADICATION OF EGO

Eradicate the feeling of egoism. Ego is the seed of the tree of mind. - I thought is the source of all thoughts. All thoughts are centred on the little - I. Find out what the little - I is. This little - I will dwindle into airy nothing. It will be absorbed in the Infinite - I or Para Brahman, the source for the little - I or Ahamkara (egoism).

The Sun of Self-realisation is fully seen when the cloud of ego disappears.

III. BY VAIRAGYA

Vairagya (dispassion) is another method for annihilating the mind. It is distaste for objects of sense-pleasures by finding out the defects in the sensual life. Objects are perishable. Sensual pleasure is momentary and illusory.

IV. BY ABHYASA

Abhyasa or practice is another method. Concentrate the mind by fixing it on Brahman. Make it steady. Abhyasa is ceaseless meditation. This leads to Samadhi.

V. BY NON-ATTACHMENT

Asanga or non-attachment is a sword to destroy the mind. Take the mind away from objects. Detach Attach. Detach it from the objects and attach it to the Lord. Do this again and again. The essence of the seed of the sprout of world-experience, which is desire, can be destroyed by the fire of non-attachment.

VI. BY VASANAKSHAYA

Vasanakshaya is another method. Vasana is desire. Renunciation of desires leads to Vasanakshaya. This will lead to annihilation of mind (manonasa). Desire for objects of pleasures is bondage; giving it up is emancipation. Desire is the most essential nature of the mind. Mind and egoism are synonymous.

VII. BY PRANAYAMA

Vibration of Prana causes movement of the mind. It gives life to the mind. Pranayama or control of Prana will stop the activities of the mind. But it cannot destroy the mind to its roots like Vichara.

VIII. BY CONTROL OF THOUGHTS

Control the thoughts or Sankalpas. Avoid imagination or day-dreaming. The mind will be annihilated. Extinction of Sankalpas alone is Moksha, or release. The mind is destroyed when there is no imagination. The experience of the world illusion is due to your imagination. It vanishes away when imagination is completely stopped.

IX. BY EQUANIMITY AND BALANCE

Mental renunciation of possessions is another method. The absolute experience can also be realised if you learn to be in a state of thought-suspending Samadhi.

Attainment of equanimity is another method. Be balanced in pain and pleasure, heat and cold, etc.

X. BY DEVOTION AND SERVICE

Japa, Kirtan, prayer, devotion, service of Guru and study are also means to annihilate the mind.

He alone experiences everlasting peace and Eternal Bliss who has transcended the mind and rests in his Own Satchidananda Atman.

MIND-CONQUEST BY SAMA AND DAMA by Swami Sivananda

Calmness of mind comes through the practice of Sama and Dama. Sama is calmness of mind induced by the eradication of Vasanas. Vasana-tyaga (renunciation of desires) through discrimination constitutes the practice of Sama, one of the sixfold virtues (Shadsampatti). If a desire arises in your mind, do not give way to it. This will become the practice of Sama. Sama is keeping the mind in the heart by Sadhana. Sama is restraint of the mind by not allowing it to externalise or objectify. The restraint of the external activities and the Indriyas is the practice of Dama (Bahyavritti-nirodha).

If you renounce the desire for eating mangoes, it is Sama. If you do not allow the feet to carry you to the bazaar to purchase the mangoes, if you do not allow the eyes to see the mangoes and if you do not allow the tongue to taste them, it is Dama.

A desire arises to eat sweets. You do not allow the feet to move to the bazaar to purchase the sweets. You do not allow the tongue to eat the sweets. You do not allow the eyes to see the sweets also. This kind of restraint of the Indriyas is termed Dama.

It is termed Sama when you do not allow any thought to arise in the mind concerning sweets by eradication of Vasanas (Vasana-tyaga). This eradication of the Vasanas can be accomplished through Vichara, Brahma-chintana, Japa, Dhyana, Pranayama, etc.

Sama is an internal restraint. Dama is a restraint of the Indriyas. Though the practice of Sama includes the practice of Dama, as the Indriyas will not move and work without the help of the mind, yet the practice of Dama is necessary. The practice of Dama should go hand in hand with Sama. Sama alone will not suffice. You must attack the enemy, desire, from within and without. Then alone you can control the mind quite easily. Then alone the mind will be in perfect control.

MIND-CONQUEST BY OVERCOMING RAGA-DVESHA by Swami Sivananda

Raga-Dvesha is due to the Anukula-Pratikula Jnana. You have Raga for a thing favorable (Anukula) and Dvesha for things unfavorable (Pratikula). When this Anukula-Pratikula Jnana which depends upon Bheda Jnana disappears, Raga-dvesha will vanish.

Raga-Dvesha is due also to Abhimana-Ahankara. As soon as Abhimana manifests, there comes Raga-Dvesha. When you conceive yourself as husband, there comes the attachment (Raga) for your wife. As soon as you conceive yourself to be a Brahmin, there comes the love of the Brahmins. Give up Abhimana, if you want to eradicate Raga-Dvesha. If this Abhimana, the result of Avidya (ignorance) vanishes, Raga-Dvesha will vanish, and with it, the mind too vanishes.

MIND-CONQUEST BY THE CONQUEST OF MENTAL HABITS

The mind in the vast majority of persons has been allowed to run wild and follow its sweet will and desire. It is ever changing and wandering. It jumps from one object to another. It is fickle. It wants variety. Monotony brings disgust. It is like a spoiled child who is given too much indulgence by his parents or badly trained animal. The minds of many of us are like menageries of wild animals, each pursuing the bent of its own nature and going its own way. Restraint of the mind is a thing unknown to the vast majority of persons.

This wandering habit of the mind manifests itself in various ways. You will have to be alert always to check this wandering habit of the mind. A householder's mind wanders to cinema, theatre, circus, etc. A Sadhu's mind wanders to Varanasi, Brindavan and Nasik. Many Sadhus do not stick to one place during Sadhana.

The wandering habit of the mind must be controlled by rendering it chaste and constant by Vichara. The mind must be trained to stick to one place for five years during your meditative life, to one method of Sadhana, to one path of Yoga - either Karma, Bhakti or Vedanta - to one spiritual objective and to one guide. - A rolling stone gathers no mass. When you take up a book for study, you must finish it before you take up another. When you take up any work, you must devote your whole-hearted attention to the work on hand and finish it before you take up another work. - One thing at a time and that done well, is a very good rule as many can tell. This is Yogi's way of doing. This is a very good rule for success in life.

Do not have goat's mind or a prostitute's heart. A goat grazes for a few seconds in one patch of green grass and then immediately jumps to a far distant patch, even though there is plenty of grass to eat in the first patch. Even so, a wavering mind jumps from one Sadhana to another Sadhana, from one Guru to another Guru, from Bhakti Yoga to Vedanta, from Rishikesh to Brindavan. This is extremely deleterious for the Sadhana. Stick to one Guru, one place, one form of Yoga, one kind of Sadhana. Be steady and firm. Then only, you will succeed. Have a steady, resolute-mind.

Discipline the mind. Tell the mind, - O Mind! Be steady. Be fixed on one idea. Absolute is the only Reality. If it wanders, if it wavers, go to a lonely place, give two or three sharp slaps on your face. Then the mind will become steady. Self-punishment helps a lot in checking the wandering mind. Frighten the mind as if you will beat it with a whip or rod, whenever it wanders from the Lakshya, whenever it entertains evil thoughts.

Mind tempts and deceives you through objects. Distance lends enchantment to the view. Until you attain the object, it will seem to you as a pleasurable object from a distance. When you actually get it, it becomes a source of vexation and pain. Desire is mixed with pain. Objects are so delusive that they often deceive even the wise in this way. He is a really wise man who can detect the illusive nature of these objects.

Mind always tempts you to go to various places for sight-seeing. It is all a vain trick of the mind to divert you from the goal. Use your Viveka always. Address the mind thus: - O foolish mind, have you not seen before, various places and sceneries? What is there in sight-seeing? Rest in Atman within. It is self-contained. You can see everything there. It is Purnakama; it is Purnarupa. (it contains all forms; it is beauty of beauties). What are you going to see outside? Is it not the same sky, the same earth, the same passions, the same eating, the same gossiping, the same sleeping, the same latrines, the same urinals, the same cemeteries everywhere?

In the beginning, I used to give a long rope to my mind. It will whisper to me, - Let me go to Allahabad Kumbha Mela. I would say, - My dear friend, my mind! You can go now. As soon as I would return, I would ask, - O mind, are you satisfied now? What did you enjoy there, It would hide itself and drop down its head in utter shame. Gradually, it left off its old habits and became my true friend, guide and Guru through the true counsels it imparts in the way of obtaining the highest goal.

Mind wants repetition of a pleasure once enjoyed. Memory of pleasure arises in the mind. Memory induces imagination and thinking. In this way, attachment arises. Through repetition, a habit is formed. Habit causes strong Trishna. Mind then exercises its rule over poor, helpless, weak-willed worldlings. As soon as discrimination arises, the power of the mind becomes weakened. The mind tries to recede, to retrace its steps to its original home - the heart. Its poisonous fangs are extracted by discrimination. It cannot do anything in the presence of discrimination. It gets dethroned. The will becomes stronger and stronger when discrimination is awakened. Thanks to Viveka which enables us to get out of this miserable Samsara.

To Follow: MIND IX

Basically what Sivananda Guru told here is that, Mind is the only obstacle that stands between the Soul and what ever it wants to achieve, the goal could be anything, but the most important goal is to reach your inner self that is Purusha, the eternal light, the all prevading silence, where the Mind get suffocated and looses its nature to jump like a monkey.

Aum NamaH Shivaya!

Sianala, Montreal, Feb 2008

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