What is control of the mind?
Control really means being indifferent to the vagaries of the mind.
It is difficult to control the mind,
just as it is difficult to confine air in one’s grasp.
How can anyone control the mind which is all-pervading in the vastness
its range and comprehension to attain eternal peace
through metaphysical vision
When it is realised that the mind is made up of thoughts and doubts,
the elimination of the thoughts is the means of restraining the mind.
Thoughts are associated with desires.
As long as desires remain,
one cannot have detachment.
It is necessary to limit desires.
When there is no restraint,
excessive desire becomes an evil.
It leads to misery.
When we strive to control desire, in due course,
it develops into
renunciationor non- attachment.
Arjun has raised a question in Bhagavad Gita:
“Since the mind is so restless,
I cannot see, O Madhusudan,
it can dwell steadily and long in the Way of Knowledge
you have expounded to me as equanimity.”
“For l find restraining the mind as difficult
as restraining the wind,
it is equally restless, turbulent, and mighty.’’
And in reply, Lord Krishn sings:
“The mind is, O the mighty-armed,
doubtlessly fickle and hard to restrain,
but it is disciplined,
O son of Kunti,
by perseverance of effort and renunciation.”
Arjun is “mighty-armed” because he is capable of great accomplishment.
The mind is indeed restless and most difficult to subdue,
but as Sri Krishn tells him,
it is restrained by constant effort
giving up of all desire.
Repeated endeavour to keep the mind steadily fixed on the object
to which it should be dedicated is meditation (abhyas),
whereas renunciation is the sacrifice of desire for or attachment to,
all seen as well as heard sense-objects,
which include pleasures of the world
also the promised joys of heaven.
So, although it is difficult to curb the mind,
it can be subdued
constant meditation and renunciation.
Lord Krishn adds:
“It is my firm conviction that
while the attainment of yog is most difficult for a man
who fails to restrain his mind,
it is easy for him who is his own master
active in the performance of the required action.’’
The achievement of yog is not really so difficult as Arjun has assumed.
It is difficult, indeed impossible, for the man with an unrestrained mind.
But it is within the reach of one
has disciplined his thoughts and feelings,
and is enterprising.
So, Arjun should not abandon his endeavour for yog
just because of his fear that it is something impossible to achieve.
Lord Krishn sings in Chapter Five of Bhagavad Gita:
“A man is said to be endowed with yog when,
restrained by the practice of selfless action
contented with Self,
his mind is freed from all desires.’’
Thus, when disciplined by the practice of selfless action,
the mind of a man is firmly centered on God and is indeed dissolved in him, and
when there remains no desire,
the worshiper is said to have attained to yog.
Let us now see what a well-restrained mind is?
Lord Krishn sings:
“An analogy is usually drawn between the lamp
whose flame does not flicker because there is no wind
the fully restrained mind of a yogi engaged
contemplation of God.’’
When a lamp is kept where there is not a whiff of air,
its wick burns steadily and the flame goes straight up-it does not tremble.
So it is used as a simile for the subdued mind of a yogi
who has completely given himself up to God.
True that the mind has been conquered and restrained, but it is still there.
What spiritual splendour is realized
the restrained mind too is dissolved?
Lord Krishn sings:
“In the state in which even the yog-restrained mind is dissolved
a direct perception of God,
he (the worshiper) rests contented in his Self.’’
This state is achieved only by a constant and long practice of yog.
In the absence of such exercise,
there can be no restraint of the mind.
So when the intellect,
the refined mind that has been curbed by yog,
also ceases to be because it is absorbed in God,
the worshiper perceives him through his Self
abides with contented happiness in his own Self.
He apprehends God,
he dwells contented in his Soul.
In the moment of attainment he sees God,
face to face as it were,
but the very next moment he finds his own Self
overflowing with the eternal glories of that God.
God is immortal, constant, unmanifest, and vital;
now the worshiper’s soul too is imbued with these divine attributes.
True, but now it is also beyond thought.
So long as desire and its urges exist,
we cannot possess the Self.
But when the mind is restrained and then dissolved by direct perception,
the very next moment after the visionary experience the embodied Soul
endowed with all the transcendental qualities of God.
And it is for this reason
the worshiper now lives happily and contented in his own Self.
This Self is what he really is.
This is the point of crowning glory for him.
Further Lord Krishn adds:
“After knowing God,
he (the yogi ) dwells for ever and unwavering in the state
in which he is blessed
the eternal, sense-transcending joy
that can be felt
only by a refined and subtle intellect;
and in this state,
in which he believes that there can be no greater good
the ultimate peace he has found in God,
he is unshaken
even the dire of all griefs.’’
Such is the state after attainment in which the worshipper lives for ever
from which he never strays.
Moreover after he is once blessed with God’s transcendental peace,
settled firmly in the state of his realization,
the yogi is freed from all grief,
now even the most painful sorrow cannot affect him.
It is so because the mind, that feels,
now itself dissolved.
Lord Krishn sings:
“It is a duty to practise this yog,
untouched by miseries of the world,
with vigour and determination,
and without a sense of ennui.”
That which is equally free
worldly attraction and repulsion is named yog.
Yog is experiencing the final beatitude.
Attainment of the ultimate essence, that is God, is yog.
Engaging in this yog without a sense of monotony or boredom (ennui)
with resolution, is a sacred obligation.
He who is patiently engaged in selfless action is the one
who succeeds in achieving yog.
“Abandoning all desire, lust, and attachment,
pulling in by an exercise of the mind
the numerous senses from all sides,
his intellect should also rein in the mind firmly
make it contemplate nothing except God
thus step by step,
he should proceed towards
the attainment of final liberation.’’
It is man’s duty to sacrifice all the desires that arise from will
along with attachment and worldly pleasure
restrain well with his mind,
the senses from straying here and there.
And after having done this,
the final dissolution in God comes only gradually with the practice of yog.
When the mind is fully under control,
the Self is united
However, at the beginning,
when the worshiper has just set out on the path,
he has to concentrate his mind patiently on,
and think of nothing else except, God.
The way of this spiritual enterprise
that attainment comes only with constant application.
But at the outset,
the mind is restless and refuses to stay at one point.
This is what Yogeshwar Krishn speaks of now.
“Doing away with the causes
make the inconstant and fickle wander
among worldly objects,
he should devote his mind to God alone.’’
Strictly keeping out all allurements
tempt the changeable and restless mind to associate with worldly objects,
the worshiper should try repeatedly to confine it to the Self.
It is often contended that the mind should be let free to go
wherever it tends to go.
After all, where else can it go except to nature,
which is also a creation of God?
So if it roams amidst nature,
it is not transgressing the bounds of God.
But according to Sri Krishn this is a misconception.
There is no room for such beliefs in the Bhagavad Gita.
It is Sri Krishn’s injunction that the very organs
which the mind strays here and there should be curbed
in order to devote it solely to God.
Restraint of mind is possible.
But what is the consequence of this restraint?
Lord Krishn adds:
“The most sublime happiness is the lot of the yogi
whose mind is at peace,
who is free from evil,
passion and moral blindness have been dispelled,
who has become one with God.’’
Nothing is superior to the happiness that comes to this yogi,
for this is the happiness that results from identity with God;
and this ultimate bliss comes only to that man
who is perfectly at peace in his heart and mind,
free from sin,
whose property of passion and moral blindness has been subdued.
“Thus constantly dedicating his Self to God,
the immaculate yogi experiences
the eternal bliss of realization.”
The emphasis here is on sinlessness and continuous devotion.
The yogi needs to possess these qualities
before he can experience
the blessedness of touching God
and merging into him.
So worship is a necessity.
~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans~