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Meditation for Mind Control

by Swami Sivananda

I. HINTS ON MIND-CONTROL

There is no other vessel on this earth to wade through the ocean of rebirth than the mastery of this turbulent mind. Tame the mind; collect all your thoughts. Keep the mind serene. Think not of evil. You will enter the realm of deathlessness. He who has controlled the serpent of mind will reach the dominion of Moksha or eternal Bliss. Withdraw the senses from their objects. Collect the rays of the mind. Direct the mind towards the Ajna Chakra, the space between the two eyebrows and fix it there steadily.

Understand the mind; study the mind; and know this machinery well, and know also how to manage it. The mind abhors a vacuum. As blinding as desire is aversion, which is of the same root. Desire and aversion resemble two monkeys sitting on the tree of the heart; while they continue to shake and agitate it there can be no peace.

Thought is a modification of ignorance or Ajnana. Man falls into the cycle of births and deaths through his own Sankalpas or thoughts. Study my book, Mind, Its Mysteries and Control. It will throw a flood of light upon how to deal with the mind, and control it.
The Sattvic mind is your father or a rare and true friend - father on account of its protecting nature, a rare and true friend through the true counsels it imparts in the way of obtaining the higher goal.

There are two paths to control the mind, viz., Yoga and Jnana. Yoga is that which makes the actions of the mind turn on one only, or makes the mind to concentrate itself upon one object only. By Jnana is meant the perfect illumination and spiritualisation of consciousness, in which the individual consciousness becomes wholly identical with the absolute consciousness.

Raja Yoga is a means to attain the intuition of Brahman. Yoga is an auxiliary path to knowledge or Jnana. Yama and Niyama afford preliminary moral training. They consist in giving up vices and acquiring virtues. The chief aim of Yoga is to control the unruly senses and the wandering mind. When the mind is subdued, when the thought-waves are stilled, the veil is lifted and the Real is attained easily.

Asanas, Pranayama and Pratyahara are aids for controlling the mind indirectly through physical discipline, steadiness of body, regulation and stoppage of breath and the withdrawal of the senses from their objects. The mind will become quiescent through the practice of Pranayama. With the quiescence of the mind, the supreme state alone will remain.

Mind is nothing but the fluctuations of the speedy Prana; with the arrest of Prana, the mind is also controlled. Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are different stages in concentration. They help directly in controlling the mind. Have the company of saints. Destroy desire. Study sacred scriptures. You can easily control the mind.

II. MEDITATION - THE DIVINE WAY TO SUBDUE THE MIND

Meditation is necessary for spiritual success and illumination. Meditation is the key which will unlock the door of the supreme abode of Immortal Bliss. The natural tendency of the mind is to go forward and outward. In meditation it turns backward and inward. He who practises uninterrupted meditation on God becomes absolutely fearless. The way to unlock the door of intuition is by meditation, purity, and enquiry.
Meditation is a way for the great unknown. There can be no greater purpose of the mind than meditation on Atman or the Supreme Being. Meditation brings serenity, insight, illumination and Samadhi (Superconscious state). Meditation is an integral part of education. To meditate is to go within oneself and open the heart in silence to God.

Meditation imparts to the face and the whole being a spiritual radiance. You will acquire skill in right living and attain illumination and wisdom of the Self through meditation. Meditation is the sheet-anchor of peace and poise and the enemy of ignorance. Meditation bestows self-confidence and courage, serenity and inner spiritual strength. Meditation stills the mind of its bubbling emotions and thoughts, removes distraction and mental discord and produces composure and tranquillity.

When you pray or meditate shut thy doors. It is the door of the senses. During meditation you are never left without an unseen guide and teacher. He will help you.

Without meditation, where is peace? Without peace, where is happiness? Meditation is the most essential food for the soul. Meditation is the key to knowledge.

III. TRAINING THE MIND TO ITS TASK

A lustful mind can never know things of the Spirit or deep things of God. The carnal mind cannot grasp spiritual things, things which are beyond the grasp of the intellect. Saturate your mind with thoughts divine. Check the rising of evil desires and emotions and stimulate good thoughts and feelings. Continuous struggle to keep the modifications or thoughts of the mind perfectly restrained is practice.

A mind is the result of the past thinking. It is constantly being modified by present thinking. It is material. It is made up of subtle matter. It borrows light form Atman or Soul. Train your mind. Avoid dissipation of the mental forces in mind - wandering, daydreaming and badly directed and unorganised thinking. Self-discipline must begin with the mind first. The practice of Sama (control of mind) comes first and then comes Dama (control of senses). The subconscious mind is a sort of vast storeroom underneath the conscious mind. The subconscious mind plays an important part in the psychological life of man. Your distractions, pulls and cravings emanate from the subconscious.

The conscious mind co-operates with and never condemns the subconscious. This world is full of wonders, but nothing is more wonderful than mind. Have always a background of good divine thoughts. Let not your mind stay idle. Silence of the heart, silence of the mind is better than the silence of the tongue. Man's mind cannot rest until it finds rest in God. The mind is born of bliss. So it tries to attain happiness. It is always seeking to attain Brahman or the Absolute who is an embodiment of bliss. The mind requires Being or Reality.

IV. GREATEST HIDDEN ENEMY

The chief of man's enemy is within himself. It is egoism. Ego co-exists with mind. When the mind perishes, ego also perishes. Chitta is subconscious mind. It is the mind-stuff. It is the storehouse of memory. Samskaras or impressions of actions are embedded here. It is one of the four parts of Antahkarana or inner instruments, viz., mind, intellect, Chitta and Ahamkara or egoism.

Mind is formed out of wind. So it is fleeting like the wind. Intellect is formed out of fire. Chitta is formed out of water. Egoism is formed out of earth. In egoism is bondage. In egolessness is freedom. Egoism is at the bottom of all great blunder.

If there is no egoism, if the mind is free from desires and likes and dislikes, you will not again enter into this world of birth and death. Ego is the veil between God and the soul. When the ego vanishes, then is the realisation of universality or cosmic consciousness. Egoistic assertion is a terrible disease. It separates you from God and your fellowmen. Ego is the cause for the sorrows of life and miseries of the Samsara. Burn this ego, through discrimination, Atmavichar or enquiry into the nature of Atman, or the Supreme Self and Samadhi. You will enjoy the immortal bliss of the Eternal. Slay egoism - your arch-enemy - through self-sacrifice, self- surrender, self-denial, service, humility, prayer, worship and identification with Atman. Watch the mind. Mind is the slayer of the soul. Slay this mind ruthlessly through the sword of discrimination. Fear, anger, greed, hatred, lust, jealousy are symptoms of an impure mind. Feeling of superiority and inferiority are rooted in egoism. They generate tensions between individuals. With the awakening of the mind, there arises consciousness of duality. Duality is ignorance. From duality arise fear, desire, etc. Silence your senses and mind and commune with the Lord. You will enjoy eternal peace and bliss now. The mind is like a monkey jumping around. Let the monkey jump as much as it can. Wait and watch. Give it the rein. Meditate regularly. Each day the mind's vagaries will become calmer and calmer. Only he is truly mighty who has conquered his mind or lower self. He who conquers the mind is the greatest of conquerors.

V. MASTERY OVER MIND

Chitta has two causes for its existence, viz., Vasanas or subtle desires and the vibration of Prana. If one of them is controlled, then both are controlled. Of these two, the student of Yoga should control Prana through moderate food (Mitahara), Asanas or postures and, thirdly, Sakti-Chalana. I shall explain the nature of these.

The Yogi should take sweet and nutritious food. He should fill half the stomach with food. He should drink water quarter of the stomach. He should leave forth of the stomach unfilled in order to propitiate Lord Siva, the patron of the Yogins. For success in life, Sadhana, concentration of mind is indispensable. All difficulties and obstacles will melt if you know how to tap the source of power by concentration and meditation. A hermitage is of no use for one who has not controlled his mind. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on Atman or the Supreme Self is eternal life and everlasting peace. The mind becomes no mind when the Supreme Reality or Para-Brahman is revealed. Meditate. All anxieties and emotional conflicts will vanish. You will enjoy tranquillity and everlasting bliss. In a mind filled with jealousy, hatred, anger and crookedness, there cannot be an iota of meditation even if one sits for six hours. Love, truthfulness, purity, humility, tolerance, compassion, are symptoms of a pure mind.

Meditation confers clarity of thought, serenity of mind and poise. Meditation is a concentrated effort. Regular practice of concentration and meditation will give you peace, bliss, success and ultimately Self-realisation. Practise Japa or recitation of Mantras with meditation. When you advance in meditation, Japa will stop automatically. Meditation must become natural. In the beginning, there is effort in meditation. Later on meditation becomes habitual. Not in study but in meditation on Atman is to be found the seed of immortality. The discovery of Atman or the Self is the greatest discovery of all the discoveries. Sit silently. Meditate and discover the innermost Self in Silence. When you meditate deeply, when you enter more and more into Silence, your desires are gradually eliminated. You become more and more calm and tranquil. Meditation is the proximate means to the attainment of Self-realisation. Meditation awakens illumination. Meditate. Dive deep into the heart and know your essential divine nature. Then you will know everything. Become one with pure Consciousness or Intelligence by meditating on that which is of the nature of pure Consciousness or Intelligence. Become pure Consciousness itself.


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