The Root of All Evils
by Swami Sivananda
The erroneous imagination that you are the body is the root of all evils. Through wrong thinking, you identify yourself with the body. Dehadhyasa arises. You are attached to the body. This is Abhimana. Then, Mamata (mineness) arises. You identify yourself with your wife, children, house, etc. It is identification or attachment that brings about bondage, misery and pain. You never wept when millions of Germans died in the war. Why? Because, there was no identification and attachment. But, you weep profusely when your son dies, on account of attachment. The word 'My' produces wonderful influence in the mind. Note the difference in effects produced in the mind when you hear the two sentences: 'Horse is dead' and 'My horse is dead.'
Pain Is In Mind Only
Pain is evident so long as you connect yourself with the mind. There is no pain in sleep. If there is an inflammatory swelling on your back with throbbing pain, you do not experience any pain at night when you are asleep. Only when the mind is connected with the diseased part through nerves and thinking, you begin to experience pain. There is no pain when the mind is disconnected from the body by the administration of chloroform. During moments of great joy, the severe pain entirely ceases, as the mind is taken away from the body, from the seat of the pain. If you can consciously withdraw the mind from the diseased part by concentrating it on God or any other attractive object, you will not experience any pain even when you are wide awake. If you have a powerful will and strong Titiksha (power of endurance), then also you will not experience any pain. By constant thinking of any trouble or disease, you only augment your pain and suffering. Pain is in mind. Atman or spirit is Anandasvarupa (full of bliss).
Conquer The Mind To Control The Body
With the majority of mankind, the mind is greatly under the control of the body. Their minds being very little developed, they live on Annamaya Kosha mostly. Develop the Vijnanamaya Kosha and, through Vijnanamaya Kosha (Buddhi), control the Manomaya Kosha (mind). The Vijnanamaya kosha is developed by abstract thinking and reasoning, by systematic meditation, Brahma-Chintana, study of the Upanishads, Yogavasishtha and Brahma Sutras.
When you have controlled the mind, you have perfect control over the body. The body is only a shadow of the mind. It is the mould prepared by the mind for its expression. The body becomes your slave when you have conquered the mind.