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Basic Tendencies of the 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 wherein 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.


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