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To The Mind (Poetry)

by Swami Sivananda

THY LIFE-HISTORY
O Mind; O Maya's child!
You always want a form
To lean upon;
You have two forms-
Suddha Manas, pure mind,
Asuddha Manas, impure mind.
Time, space and causation
Are thy categories.
You work through
The law of association;
You think, feel and know.

You are Atma-Sakti.
You are Manomaya Kosha.
You are like a mirror;
Brahman is reflected on you.
You are compared to a tree:
Ego is the seed of this tree,
Sankalpas are the branches,
Buddhi is the first sprout.

You have another three forms
The conscious mind,
The subconscious mind,
And the superconscious mind.
You are made up of
The subtlest form of food.
You are a bundle of habits,
Samskaras and Vasanas.

You are fourfold:
Manas does Sankalpa-Vikalpa,
Buddhi determines,
Chitta executes,
Ahankara self-arrogates.
Chitta comes under mind,
Buddhi comes under Ahankara.
It is all Vritti-Bheda.

THY BIRTH
Thy father, Supreme Brahman,
Felt loneliness once.
He was alone,
One without a second.
He wanted to multiply;
He thought,
"May I become many."
There was a vibration or Spandan
In thy mother, Maya,
The undifferentiated,
The unmanifested;
The equilibrium was disturbed.
You were born at once.
Thy body was made of pure Sattva;
You were known by the name 'Manas'.
The Lord ordained you to do four functions;
So you became fourfold-
Manas, Chitta, Buddhi, Ahankara.
You separated yourself from the Lord
Through self-arrogating 'I'.
You indulged in sensual objects
In company with the senses
And forgot thy divine origin.
You became attached to sons, wife,
Property, names, titles and honours;
You became quite worldly.
You identified yourself with the body,
Sons, wife, house and property
Through Avidya or ignorance.
This is the cause for your downfall
And all sorts of miseries and sufferings.
This is, in short, your life-history.
Give up attachments
And identification with the body.
Annihilate ignorance
By attaining Brahma-Jnana;
You can become one with Brahman
And regain thy divine nature.

THY ABODE
O wandering Mind!
You have three abodes.
In the waking state,
Your abode is the right eye
And the brain;
In the dreaming state,
You rest in the Hita Nadi
Of the throat;
In the deep sleep state
You rest in the Puritat Nadi
In the heart.
According to the Hatha Yogins,
Ajna Chakra is thy seat.
You can be easily controlled
If one concentrates on the Ajna.
Aspirants know now
Thy resting places;
They will surely attain you
And drive you out ruthlessly.
Vacate these dwelling houses
And go back to your original home,
The "Omkar Bhavan"
In the limitless Brahmapuri.

THY NATURE
You are compared to quicksilver,
Because your rays are scattered.
You are compared to a deer,
Because you are unsteady.
You are compared to a monkey,
Because you jump from
One object to another.
You are compared to a bird,
Because you fly like a bird.
You are compared to a ghost,
Because you behave like a devil.
You are compared to wind
Because you are impetuous
Like the wind.
You are compared to an engine,
Because you work
When the food-fuel is supplied.
You are compared to a child,
Because you need caning.
You are compared to the reins
In the Kathopanishad;
He who holds the mind-reins tight
Can reach the Abode of Bliss.
You are compared to a dog
That strolls in the streets.
You are compared to a flower,
Because a devotee offers you to the Lord;
This is the only good compliment for you.

THY THICK FRIENDS
O Mind! O Enemy of Peace!
Thy friends are many.
They help you
In a variety of ways.
So you are very strong.
Ahankara is your best friend;
He is very powerful too;
He is thy commander general.
Lust is your thick chum;
He is your right hand;
He lives with you always;
He is your constant companion;
You are attached to him.
Anger is your amiable friend;
He is your war-minister;
He is your left hand;
He assists you very much.
Raga-Dvesha are your
Intimate acquaintances;
They are very dear to you;
They render you great service.
Greed is your best friend;
He follows you
Like your shadow;
He is your obedient servant.
Pride feeds you;
Hypocrisy ministers you;
Moha counsels you;
Jealousy inspires you;
Cunningness vivifies you;
He is thy propaganda minister.
Crookedness energises you;
Arrogance fattens you;
Deceit rejuvenates you.

THY ENEMIES
O Mind, why do you tremble?
Show your strength now.
You cannot stand now.
Surrender yourself
Or you will be killed.
You shudder
When you hear the words
"Vairagya," "Tyaga," "Sannyasa,"
"Satsanga," "Sadhana," "Yoga."
Vairagya is your dire enemy;
It is an axe to cut you.
Renunciation is a sword
To cut your throat.
Sannyasa is an atom bomb
To reduce you to ashes.
Meditation will roast you.
Samadhi will fry you.
Take to your heels, O Mind;
Run away at once,
Get thee gone.
Tarry not; stop thy havoc.
You will be crushed now.
Your teeth will be extracted.
You will be blown out.
You will be smashed.
Japa and Kirtan also
Have joined the forces.
Pranayama is working hard.
Vichara is fiery.
Viveka is persevering.
There is not the least hope for you.
Go back to your original home
And rest peacefully.

THY TRICKS
O Mind! O Wanderer!
In this dire Samsara,
I have found out thy tricks;
You cannot delude me now.
You tempt the worldlings
Through imagination.
You produce intoxication
And turbulence of the mind.
You put on a veil also.
There is nothing in the objects;
And yet you make the people
Believe there is great pleasure
In the sensual objects.
You cause forgetfulness in people.
You cause perversions
Of the intellect.
You tantalise, tempt and enchant.
You cause disgust in monotony.
You always want variety.
You excite the emotions.
You play through instincts.
You agitate the senses.
You destroy discrimination.
Attachment, affection,
Praise, respect, name and fame
Are thy tempting baits.
O Mind! I cannot live with you;
I cannot tolerate now your company.
You are a traitor, diplomat.
You are treacherous.
You cannot play with me now.
Enough, enough of thy tricks.
I am a Viveki.
I will rest in Brahman.
I will ever be blissful.

THY SECRETS
O Mind! O Slayer of Atman!
I know thy secrets now.
You have no real existence.
You appear like a mirage.
You borrow your power
From the Brahman, the substratum.
You are only Jada,
But appear to be intelligent.
You lurk like a thief,
When thy nature is found out;
You are definitely pleased,
When you are coaxed;
You hiss and raise your hood,
When you are directly attacked.
You can be easily attacked
Through Pratipaksha-Bhavana method.
You keep the Samskaras
In the subconscious;
This is your strength,
This is your strong fortress.
You emerge out of your fort
And attack the Jiva again and again
And then hide yourself
In the subconscious.
You play with the Gunas.
You have three colours-
White, red and black.
When you are Sattvic,
You are white;
When you are Rajasic,
You are red;
When you are Tamasic,
You are black.
Vasanas and Sankalpas
Are your vital forces;
You exist
On account of them.
You are nowhere
If these are destroyed;
I will subdue you now
And attain Eternal Bliss.

THY BLUNDER
O Mind! Thy glory is indescribable.
Thy essential nature is all-bliss.
Thou art born of Sattva.
Thou art pure like crystal and snow.
Thy powers are ineffable.
Thou canst do anything.
Thou canst do and undo things.
Thou hast spoiled thyself
In company with Rajas and Tamas,
In friendship with the senses and objects.
Thou hast forgotten all about thy divine nature.
Bad company has tainted you.
The evil Vrittis have degraded you.
You were tempted once by lust;
You have become a slave of lust now.
You were very quiet, calm and serene;
Desires have made you restless now.
You were very near the Supreme Lord once;
Worldliness has blinded thy heart
And taken you away from the Lord.
Keep company with saints and sages;
Shun the company of Rajas, Tamas and senses.
Free yourself from the taint of desires.
You can regain your original position;

You can reach your original sweet home.

THY WEAKNESS
O Mind! You are the greatest fool on this earth!
You are dull, stupid and obstinate;
You never heard the words of the wise;
You have your own foolish ways;
You do not wish to attend Satsanga of saints;
You dislike, hate, speak ill of Mahatmas;
You belong to the dregs of the society;
You always like to revel in filth.

You never find out your own faults,
But you magnify the faults of others;
You even superimpose Doshas on them.
You never like to hear the praise of others;
You want to glorify yourself only;
You hide cleverly your own faults.
You never think of the glorious feet of the Lord,
But you think of all sorts of rubbish things.

You know you can get Supreme Bliss
Through meditation on the Supreme Lord;
And yet you wander here and there
Like the strolling street-dog.
I rebuked you, scolded you;
I reprimanded you;
I gave you admonitions;
And yet you stick to your own ways.

THY POWERS
O Mind! you are not weak.
You are not impotent
You are not a beggar.
You are not a slave of objects.
You are not impure.
You are not a clerk.
You are not poor.

You are omnipotent.
You are Light of lights.
You are Sun of suns.
You are King of kings.
The whole wealth of the Lord belongs to you.
You are the nectar's son.
You are the child of Immortality.
You are Amrita Putra.

You are purity itself.
You are strength itself.
You are fountain of joy.

You are ocean of bliss.
You are pool of immortality.
You are river of felicity.
You are the abode of peace.
You are sweet harmony.
Restlessness is not thy nature.
You have clairvoyance.
Ashta Siddhis are yours.
Nava Riddhis are thine.
Powers of judgment,
Discrimination, Vichara,
Reflection, meditation,
Thought-reading, telepathy,
Trikala-Jnana
Are all yours only.

Brahmakara Vritti
Rises from you alone.
The door of intuition is in you.
The key of knowledge is with you.
Thou art the Lord of lords.

WAY TO BLISS
O Mind!
I shall show you the way
To Eternal Bliss.
March in the way boldly
And go direct to the abode.
Do not think of objects any more.
Do not keep company with the senses.
Free yourself from Rajas and Tamas.
Kill Vasanas and cravings.
Give up 'mine-ness' and 'I-ness'.
Let thy conduct be pure.
Let thy behaviour be noble.
Let thy Nishtha be steady.

Be firm in your resolves.
Cultivate virtuous qualities.
Stick to daily spiritual routine.
Keep daily spiritual diary.
Follow the "Twenty Instructions."
Write Mantra for two hours daily.
Be truthful and non-violent.
Do 200 Malas of Japa.
Do Kirtan daily for one hour.
Study Gita and Bhagavata,
Upanishads and Yoga Vasishtha.
Fast on Ekadasi.
Take simple, Sattvic diet.
Be moderate in everything.

Have Saguna realisation first.
This will enable you
To equip yourself with the "Four Means"
And to attain Nirguna realisation.
Bhakti alone will give you Jnana.

GLORY OF DIVINE LIFE
O Mind! Just hear
The glory of the Divine Life.
You will love it immensely;
You will rejoice and dance.
The glory of Divine Life
Is the glory of the father,
Thy creator, thy master,
Thy source and support.
You will be ever peaceful.
You will be always blissful.
You will be one with the Lord.
No cares, worries and anxieties
Will affect you.
You will not be touched
By hunger and thirst.

You will be free from fear,
Fatigue and disease.
No enemies will attach you.
Atomic bomb cannot touch you.
Heat will not torment you.
Cold will not benumb you.
You will sleep soundly.
You will enjoy sleepless sleep.
You will experience Samadhi.
No bugs, no scorpions, no snakes,
No mosquitoes are there.
You will drink the nectar
Of Immortality.

No floods, no earthquake,
No epidemics are there.
There is no communal strife there.
There is no hooliganism.
There is no riot or strike there.

Rivers of honey flow there.
You will enjoy the celestial manna
And all divine Aisvarya.
You will feel oneness
With the Supreme Lord.
You will never be reborn
In the terrestrial plane.
You will become Immortal.

DRINK THE NECTAR OF NAME
O dull Mind!
Throw away laziness.
Meditate upon Lord Hari.
Drink, O Mind,
That immortal Elixir
Of Lord Hari's Name,
The joy of the devotees,
The medicine that destroys
The fear of Samsara
And all delusion in man.
Drink, O Mind,
The Divine Medicine
Of Sri Krishna's Name,
That excites the flow
Of divine ecstasy,
That awakens Kundalini
And makes it rise
In the Sushumna Nadi,
That helps the flow of nectar
From the Sahasrara.
Drink, O Mind,
The Amrita of Vishnu's Name.
There is no better Elixir
Than the nectar of
The remembrance of Lord's Name.
The Name will take you
To the other shore-
Of fearlessness and immortality.

MANO-MANDIR
O Mind! Drink thou
The nectar of Lord's holy Name.
Shun evil company.
Abandon tea, liquor and smoking.
Give up tobacco, costly dress.
Wear simple clothing.
Have plain living
And high thinking.
Associate with the saints,
Devotees and sages.
Hear thou Lord's discourses.
Drive lust, anger and greed.
Keep thy abode holy.
Then only the Lord
Will dwell in 'Mano-Mandir',
Temple of Mind.
A pure mind
Is the house of love.
Remove the seeds
Of jealousy and pride
Then only my King
Will dwell in you,
Light the light of love
And illumine His palace.

SERVE THE SAINTS
O Murkha Mind!
You can't expect
An iota of happiness
In sensual objects.
Give up all vain hopes
If you still hope.
It is like trying
To get butter
By churning water.
It is like the attempt
Of the Chatak bird
To get water from the smoke;
Its eyes will be spoiled.
It is like the attempt
To drink water
In the mirage;
Or to get silver
From the mother of pearl.
Think of the feet of Hari.
Recite His Name.
Live in the company
Of saints and Bhaktas.
Do regular Kirtan.
Meditate on His form.
Serve the saints.
You will enjoy bliss.

ADMONITION
O Mind! Devotion's path and devotees' company take;
Then Sri Hari will in thy inner Self, His sacred abode make.
Give up forever all abuse of man or beast;
Love and praise all, greatest as well as least.
At early dawn, O Mind, think intently on Ram;
Then soft, yet audible, chant Ram's sweet Name.
Right conduct, the supreme good, never a moment renounce;
The righteous one, all mankind on earth, most blessed pronounce.

O Mind! Vasanas wicked do thou never have.
Likewise, O Mind, sinful mentality never have.
O Mind! Ethics and morality, never leave;
And ever inwardly the essence of truth perceive.
O Mind! thou shouldst all sinful intent abandon;
Cling throughout life to pure and sincere intention.
Give up imagination vain of sensual pleasure;
Such indulgence brings on life-long shame and endless censure.

Never have, O Mind, this anger, so fraught with untold harm;
Never foul desire with all its variegated charm.
Never into thyself, the least access give,
To pride and to jealousy as long as you live.
A lofty ideal in life you shouldst conceive,
All the abuse of the world with forbearance receive.
Thyself shouldst always observe sweetness of speech,
For sweetness, the inmost heart of mankind doth reach.
Perform, O Mind, such actions just, noble and pure,
That, after demise, tend forever to make thy fame endure.
In selfless service wear thyself like sandal-wood;
In inmost heart do thou pray for universal good.
O Mind! Earthly wealth and treasures do not covet;
Selfishness of nature, O Mind, most ruthlessly reject.
Greed of mind, when unfulfilled, great sorrow brings;
Sinful acts, the heart later on with sharp remorse wrings.
Ever and anon on the Divine Lord let pour thy love,
To vicissitudes of life calmly and fearlessly bow.
Pains of physical form as mere trifles regard,
For, in essential nature, thou art nature's overlord.

REST AT THE FEET OF HARI
O Mind! You have all along been
In the habit of thinking
That wife, children and bungalows
Are your great possessions.
You have failed to bow
Before the Supreme Lord and saints.
Rest, my Mind, rest at the feet of Hari.
O Mind! Surely this body will drop down.
Every moment life is shortening;
The Serpent of Time is swallowing.
The Prana will depart at any moment.
You are happy-go-lucky and playful.
You are silly and stupid.
O Mind! Thou art blind.
You see only this vanity of things.
You do not see the great end drawing near.
Death is creeping in silently.
Wake up, O Mind,
From thy slumber of ignorance
And think of the all-merciful Hari.
There is no hope for thee
Except through the glorious Hari.
Break through the illusion
And take refuge in Hari.
Then alone you are blessed.
Thus sayeth Sivananda.

WHY DO YOU FORGET?
O Mind! You are still under delusion,
Even after doing some Sadhana
And enjoying the Satsanga of great souls.
Why do you, O Mind, forget
That this world is a manifestation of Lord Hari?
Why do you become angry,
Although you know
That all are forms of Lord Hari?
Why do you offer stale plantains to Hari,
Who feeds the whole world
With all kinds of food?
How vainly do you offer to the Lord
Sweetmeats, fruits and Shundal!
Feed Him with the nectar of devotion
And be happy forever.

SACRIFICE THE PASSIONS
O Mind, why art thou so anxious?
Abandon all anxieties.
Repeat Lord Hari's Name.
Sit in meditation in a quiet place.
Worship the Lord in secret
So that none may know.
You will become proud
From all pomp of worship.
Why do you sacrifice animals?
Sacrifice egoism, Raga-Dvesha
And the sex-passions.
What need is there for drums,
Bells and tom-toms?
Clap your hands
And lay your mind at His feet.
Why do you endeavour to illumine Him
With lamp, petromax and candle?
Light the jewelled lamp of the Mind.
Let is flash its lustre day and night.

TO THE MIND AND SENSES-I
O Mind! You are a fool. You have dragged me in the avenues of senses and brought disgrace on me.

I will not keep company with you in future.

You are playing truant. You are a mischievous monkey. You are a strolling street-dog. You are a pig who revels in filth. You are a vile wretch. You are a vagabond.

You are born of Ananda (bliss). Your parentage is very high. Your father is Brahman or the Absolute. You are born in a very exalted, reputed and cultured family and yet you have degraded yourself and me also by your useless company. Your mother Maya also is born in a very high family. She is the wife of Brahman.

Your very Svabhava is to run towards external, sensual objects. Just as the water runs downwards without any effort by its very nature, so also you run by your very nature towards perishable mundane things. You get knocks, blows and kicks and yet you repeat the same old things. You have become like a habitual, old criminal. Any amount of advice and admonition has not done you any good nor reformed your nature and character. Fie on thee!
Now I will totally disconnect myself from you. I will leave you alone. You can do just as you please. Good-bye unto you! I am going back to my original
Supreme Abode of Immortality and Eternal Bliss (Param Dhama).

O Ear! You also have been spoiled by your company with the mind. You do take immense delight in hearing the censure of others and all sorts of news of the world, but you do not take so much delight in hearing the Lilas of the Lord and the Kirtan, religious discourses and sermons.
O Eye! You have no interest in looking at the picture of the Lord, images of God in temples, saints and Mahatmas; but you are wholly absorbed in looking at women.

O Nose! You are highly pleased in smelling the odour of scents, lavender, etc.; but you do not evince any interest in smelling the sweet fragrance of the flowers etc., offered to the Lord.

O Tongue! You dance in joy in eating sweet-meats, fruits and all other palatable dishes; but there is no joy for you in taking Charanamrita and Prasad of the Lord in temples.

O Skin! You rejoice in touching women and other soft things; but you do not experience happiness in touching the feet of the Lord and the saints.

O Vak-Indriya! You daily talk all sorts of non-sense. You take delight in abusing others, in scandal-mongering and backbiting; but you do not feel any joy in singing Lord's Name and doing Japa and studying the Gita and other holy scriptures.

O Hands! You are highly pleased in taking bribes, in beating others, in stealing others' properties, in touching women; but you do not rejoice in doing charity, in serving the poor people and Sadhus, in doing worship of the Lord and offering flowers to Him.

O Feet! You take delight in going to cinemas, clubs, restaurants, hotels; but you do not find happiness in going to places of pilgrimage, temples and Ashrams.

O Senses! Behave properly in future. This is the last chance for you. Improve yourselves and get a good name. If you live for the Lord and serve Him, you will be ever happy. All miseries will come to an end.

Good-bye unto you all!

TO THE MIND AND SENSES-II
O Mind!
Always think of Lord Narayana.
Repeat Hari's Name.
Meditate on His form with four hands.
Fix yourself at His lotus-feet.
O Tongue!
Always sing Achyuta's Name and glory.
Do Kirtan and Bhajan.
Take His Prasad and Charanamrita.
O Ears!
Hear the Lilas of Kesava
And Hari Kirtan.
O Eyes!
Behold the image of Mukunda.
O Nose!
Smell the Tulasi leaves and flowers
That have been used in the worship of
Sri Krishna.
O Hands!
Offer flowers to Govinda.
Wave lights to Sri Rama.
Sweep the temple.
Clean the lights in the temple.
Bring flowers and Tulasi for worship.
Do charity and do service,
In worship of Panduranga.
O Feet!
Do Pradakshina around the temple.
Go on pilgrimage to temples of Vishnu.
O Body!
Serve the Bhaktas, saints and the Guru.
Serve the poor and the sick.
Prayer To The Lord
O Lord of compassion!
Just hear my prayer.
The mind is very mischievous.
It is very turbulent.
It is disobedient.
I scolded the mind.
I gave him admonitions.
I gave him good counsels.
But he has his own ways.
I told the mind clearly
Not to take Laddu
When there is diarrhoea.
He said, 'Very well'
Like the lady in labour pains.
But he eats Laddu again!
I told the mind
Not to speak ill of others.
But he never leaves this habit!
I again and again told the mind
Not to become angry.
But he becomes annoyed
For trifling things!
I cannot control the mind.
Thou art the Indweller
And prompter of the mind.
You alone can control him,
Please do this for me.


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