Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya, Darpa (arrogance), Dambha (hypocrisy), Asuya (a form of jealousy), Irshya (intolerance), Ahankara, Raga (attachment), Dvesha (repulsion) are some of the evil Vrittis. They bind a man to Samsara (transmigration). Pride, illusion and desires are so many binding cords of the mind.
Lust, A Powerful Force
Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Lobha (covetousness), Moha (delusion), Mada (pride), Matsarya (jealousy) are the six passions of the mind. If lust is conquered, anger, Lobha, etc., which are auxiliary weapons, will become ineffective. If this inveterate enemy, lust is destroyed, its followers or retinue can be quite easily conquered. If the commander is killed, it is easy to kill the soldiers. If lust, which is the source of all enjoyments, ceases, then all worldly bondage, which has its substratum in the mind, will cease. How, without its renunciation, can you expect to attain the rare Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Brahma Nishtha?
Lust arises in him who develops attachment specially towards a person of the opposite sex. Love's principal weapon is woman or lust. Therefore, attachment should not be developed, specially towards the opposite sex.
The love between a husband and wife is mainly physical. It is of a selfish, ephemeral and changing nature. He who has realised Atman can really love all with sincerity of heart. The love between two aspirants based on psychological affinity and intellectual parity is real and lasting. Get rid of selfishness. Selfishness is a major dirt. It clouds the understanding. Remove it by selfless service, charity, study of Vedantic literature and Satsanga.
In a Jnanin, the sexual craving is entirely eradicated. In a Sadhaka, it remains well-controlled. In a householder, when not controlled, it does havoc. It exists in him in its fully expanded state. He cannot resist it. He yields to it helplessly on account of his weak will and lack of firm resolution.
If you keep lemon juice or tamarind juice in a golden cup, it is not spoiled or tainted. If you keep it in a brass or copper vessel, it is at once spoiled and rendered poisonous. Even so, even if there are some Vishaya-Vrittis (sensual thoughts) in the pure mind of a person, they will not pollute him and induce Vikara (sensual excitement). If there are sensual thoughts in persons with impure minds, they cause excitement in them when they come across sensual objects.
Remembrance of image of a woman unsettles the mind. When a tiger has once tasted human blood, it always runs after killing human beings. It becomes a man-eater. Even so, when the mind has once tasted sexual pleasures, it always runs after women. Lust is powerful. It carries a flowery bow equipped with five arrows, viz., Mohana (fascination), Stambhana (stupefaction), Unmadana (maddening), Soshana (emaciation) and Tapana (inflaming).
In the Bhagavad-Gita, you will find it mentioned that senses, mind and Buddhi are the seats of passions. Pranamaya Kosha is another seat. Desire is all-pervading in the body. Every cell, every atom, every molecule, every electron is surcharged with passion. There are under-currents, cross-currents, inter-currents and submarine currents in the ocean of passion. You must completely annihilate each one of them.
Be careful in destroying passions. It is easy to control the conscious mind. But, it is very difficult to control the subconscious mind. You may be a Sannyasin. You may be a moral man. Mark how the mind behaves or conducts itself in dreams. You begin to steal in dreams. You commit adultery in dreams. The sex-impulses, ambitions, low desires are all ingrained in you and deep-rooted in the subconscious mind. Destroy the subconscious mind and its Samskaras through Vichara, Brahma-Bhavana, meditation on 'OM' and its meaning. A man who is established in mental Brahmacharya can never have even a single thought of evil in dreams. He can never have a bad dream. There is lack of Vichara or Viveka in dream. That is the reason why you get bad dreams, even though you are pure in the Jagrat state through the power of Viveka and Vichara.
That state of mind wherein no single sexual thought enters the mind is termed mental Brahmacharya. Bhishma had this state. If you are not established in mental Brahmacharya, at least try to control the body when the sex-impulse is troubling you.
A Source Of Perpetual Danger To Sadhakas
The presence or recollection of a woman usually excites unholy ideas in the minds of recluses who have abandoned this world and devoted themselves to spiritual exercises and thus deprives them of the fruit of their austerity. It is very difficult to understand the presence of subtle lust in the minds of others, particularly in spiritual Sadhakas, though eye (look), tone, gestures, gait, behaviour, etc., may give a clue.
The Example Of Jaimini
Once upon a time, Sri Vedavyasa was holding his Vedanta class amongst his students. In the course of his lecture, he mentioned that the young Brahmacharins should be very careful and should not mix with young ladies and that, with all their vigilance and circumspection, they may fall a victim as lust is very powerful. One of his students, Jaimini, the author of Purva-Mimamsa, was a little impertinent. He said, "Guruji Maharaj! Your statement is wrong. No lady can attract me. I am well-established in Brahmacharya." Vyasa said, "Jaimini, you will know that soon. I am going to Benares. I will return within three months. Be careful. Do not be puffed with pride." Sri Vyasa, through his Yogic powers, assumed the form of a beautiful young girl, with piercing eyes and very charming face, well-dressed in a thin silken garment. The lady was standing underneath a tree at sunset. Clouds gathered together. It began to rain. Accidentally, Jaimini was passing along the side of the tree. He saw the girl, felt pity and addressed her: "O lady, you can come and stay in my Ashrama. I shall give you shelter." The lady asked, "Are you living alone? Is any woman living there?" Jaimini replied, "I am alone. But, I am a perfect Brahmacharin. No lust can affect me. I am free from any sort of Vikara. You can stay there." The lady objected: "It is not right for a young virgin girl to stay with a Brahmacharin alone at night." Jaimini said, "O damsel, do not be afraid. I promise you of my perfect Brahmacharya." Then she agreed and stayed in his Ashrama at night. Jaimini slept outside and the lady was sleeping inside the room. At the dead of night, Jaimini began to feel the influence of lust in his mind. A little sexual craving arose in his mind. In the beginning, he was absolutely pure. He knocked at the door and said, "O lady, the wind is blowing outside. I cannot bear the cold blasts. I want to sleep inside." She opened the door. Jaimini was sleeping inside. Again, the sexual craving became a little more intense and keen, as he was very close to a lady and as he heard the sound of her bangles. Then he rose up and began to embrace her. At once, Sri Vyasa assumed his original form with his long beard and said, "O, my dear Jaimini, what about the strength of your Brahmacharya now? Are you established in your perfect celibacy now? What did you say when I was lecturing on this subject?" Jaimini dropped his head down in utter shame and said, "Guruji, I am wrong. Kindly pardon me."
Even Jesus was tempted by Satan. Buddha had to fight severely with Mara (lust) just before he attained his Nirvana or Buddhahood.
Beware Of Maya-a Warning To Aspirants
Therefore, oh, dear aspirants, you will have to be very, very careful. During the period of Sadhana, avoid the company of women. You must never mix with young ladies, however strong you may be. Maya works through under-currents so stealthily that you may not be aware of your actual downfall.
Keep the mind fully occupied with spiritual pursuits. Keep yourself at the farthest distance from everything that would stir up your passions. Then only you will be safe.
Do not live with householders. Do not test your spiritual strength and purity when you are a beginner on the spiritual path. Do not rush into evil associations when you are a spiritual neophyte to show that you have the courage to face sin and impurity. It will be a serious mistake. You will be running into a grave danger. You will have a quick downfall. A small fire will be very easily extinguished by a heap of dust.
Mind has a great power of imitation. That is the reason why a spiritual aspirant is prohibited from mixing with householders. His mind will try to imitate the minds of worldlings. Downfall will ensue.
If an aspirant moves with rich people, Zamindars and Rajas, his mind begins to imitate the luxurious habits of these people and, ere long, he gets an unconscious downfall. Certain bad habits creep in him unconsciously. And he finds it difficult to tear out or remove these bad habits. After forty, it is difficult to tear out old habits and establish new healthy habits.
An aspirant can live only for a short time in his native place if there is an urgent call. Yogic rules and laws cannot permit him to stay there for a sufficiently long period, however suitable the place may be and whatever may be the degree of Vairagya (dispassion) of the aspirant. The force of Samskaras (impressions) is tremendous. Unless all the Samskaras are thoroughly burnt through pure Asamprajnata Samadhi or Nirvikalpa Avastha (seedless state), it is not safe for one to stay for a long time in one's own native place. He is still within the danger zone.
After seclusion for five years, the aspirant should test his mental state by coming into the world and mixing with the worldly people. If there is no attraction for objects, he can be quite sure that he has reached the third Jnana-Bhumika-Tanumanasi-a stage wherein the mind is thinned out like a slender thread.
How Lust Develops And Ruins
From the bed of Samskaras and Vasanas emanates imagination, through memory. Then comes attachment. Along with imagination, emotion and impulse manifest. Emotion and impulse exist side by side. Then comes sexual irritation, sexual craving, excitement and burning in the mind and throughout the body. The irritation and burning in the mind penetrate into the physical body just as water in the pot penetrates into the surface of the pot. If you are very vigilant, you can drive off the imagination itself in the very beginning and avert the danger. Even if you allow the thief imagination to enter the first gate, keep a careful watch at the second gate when the irritation manifests. You can stop the burning now. You can stop also easily the strong sexual impulse from being transmitted to the Indriya itself. Draw the sex energy up towards the brain through Uddiyana and Kumbhaka. Repeat OM mentally with force. Divert the mind. Pray. Meditate.
Methods To Control Lust
Just as you control the itching sensation in an eczematous part of the leg or scabies of the hand, you must control the itching from lust by Viveka, Vichara, Brahma-Bhavana, light Sattvic diet, fasting, Pranayama, Uddiyana, Bandha, Satsanga, study of the Gita, Japa, prayer, etc. Then only can you enjoy spiritual bliss.
Vichara and Brahma-Bhavana
It is through constant Vichara and Brahma-Bhavana that the mind has to be weaned from lustful thoughts and tendencies. You must remove not only the sexual craving and the sexual impulses, but also sex-attraction. Think of the miseries that you get from a married life with its various entanglements and bondage. Make the mind understand by repeated auto-suggestions and hammering that sexual pleasure is false, worthless, illusory and full of pain. Place before the mind the advantages, bliss, power and knowledge of a spiritual life. Make it understand that the exalted, eternal life is in the immortal Atman. When it hears constantly these useful suggestions, it will slowly leave off its old habits. The attraction for the sex will slowly die. Then only real sex-sublimation will take place. You will become then only an Urdhvaretas.
Atman is sexless. There is no sex in the five elements. It is the mind that creates the sex idea. Sukadeva had no sex idea. Consider that a woman is a combination of five elements, a mass of electrons or atoms. The sex idea will slowly vanish.
There are two kinds of force in the mind, viz., hostile or antagonistic force and friendly or favourable force. Passion is hostile force that drags you down. Pure reason is a favourable force that elevates you and transmutes you into Divinity. Develop, therefore, my child, pure reason to get unalloyed bliss and supreme Brahmic knowledge. The passion will die itself.
Take light Sattvic food, such as milk, fruits, etc. You can control passions in this way. The wise say that purity of food leads to purity of mind.
Fasting weakens the sex Indriya. It destroys sexual excitement. Passionate young men and ladies should take recourse to occasional fasting. It will prove highly beneficial.
By Pranayama, the mind gradually proceeds from the gross to the subtle. It, therefore, exercises a wholesome check upon the sexual irritation. When some evil thought disturbs your mind, at once take to Padmasana or Siddhasana and practise Pranayama. The thought will leave you immediately.
Satsanga and Svadhyaya
Do not study romantic novels. Do not talk on sexual subjects. Do not keep company with men who indulge in sex. Strive your best to divert your mind and eyes from external objects that prompt sexual desires. Keep company with Sadhus and Sannyasins. Read sublime books such as the Gita, the Upanishads and the Yogavasishtha. Practise Mantra-Japa and Pranayama.
Keep the Mind Ever Engaged
Keep the mind fully occupied. You can be established in mental and physical Brahmacharya. I shall give here the routine of work: six hours for sleep (10 p.m. to 4 a.m.); six hours for meditation (4 a.m. and 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.); six hours for study; four hours for Nishkama work, service of the poor, service of the sick, etc., two hours for walking or indoor exercise. This will keep the mind ever engaged.
Benefits Of Brahmacharya
Mind, Prana, Virya (seminal energy) are three links of one chain. They are three pillars of the edifice of Jivatman. Destroy one pillar-either mind, Prana or Virya and the whole building will fall to pieces. If you can observe Akhanda Brahmacharya for a period of 12 years, you will enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi spontaneously without any effort. The mind will be controlled by itself. Seminal energy is a potent Sakti. Semen is Brahman itself. A Brahmacharin who has practised unbroken celibacy for full twelve years will reach to Nirvikalpa state the moment he hears the Mahavakya "Tat Tvam Asi" (That thou art). His mind is extremely pure, strong and one-pointed. He need not have repeatedly undergone the lengthy process of Sravana (hearing) and Manana (intellection).
A drop of semen is made out of 40 drops of blood. The energy that is spent in one act of copulation is tantamount to expenditure of mental energy through mental exertion for 24 hours or expenditure of physical energy through physical exertion for three days. Mark how valuable and precious is semen! Do not waste this energy. Preserve it with great care. You will have wonderful vitality and energy. When it is not used, it is all transmuted into Ojas-Sakti (spiritual energy) and stored up in the brain. Western doctors know little of this salient point. Most of your ailments are due to excessive seminal wastage.
A true Brahmacharin in thought, word and deed has wonderful thought-power. He can move the world. If you develop strict celibacy, Vichara-Sakti (power of enquiry) and Dharana-Sakti (power of grasping and holding the Truth) will develop. If a man persistently refuses to yield to his lower nature and remains as a strict celibate, the seminal energy is deflected upwards to the brain and is stored up as Ojas-Sakti (spiritual power). Thereby, the power of the intellect is intensified to a remarkable degree. The strict celibate has keen and acute memory even in old age. The celibate who has achieved the transmutation of the seminal energy will find that sexual desires no longer trouble him. Such celibate is known as Urdhvaretas. Hanuman, Bhishma, Lakshmana, Swami Dayananda and Swami Vivekananda were Urdhvareto-Yogins.
Anger-how It Arises
Anger arises in him who thinks of his enemy. Even if you have forgotten the feeling of annoyance, it lurks in the mind in a dormant form. The effect is there for some time. If you renew a number of times the same kind of thought of jealousy, envy or hatred about the same person, the effect lasts longer. Repetition of angry feeling intensifies hatred. Mere ill-feeling develops into intense malice by repetition of anger.
On days when you have many troubles, vexations, worries from the morning to evening, a trifling causes much irritation in the mind. The balance of mind is upset by a paltry affair. A single harsh word throws you out of the balance, whereas when you are peaceful throughout the day, even a strong abuse and severe censure do not produce any effect whatsoever.
Anger resides in the Linga Sarira or astral body. But, it percolates into the physical body just as water percolates through the pores into the outer surface of an earthen pot.
Ill-Effects Of Anger
Just as heat melts lead, just as heat and borax melt gold, even so, Kama and Krodha, the heating factors of the mind, melt it. When you are angry, the mind becomes disturbed. Similarly, when the mind is disturbed, the body also becomes disturbed. The whole nervous system is agitated. You become enervated.
Anger spoils the brain, nervous system and blood. When a wave of anger arises in the mind, Prana begins to vibrate rapidly. You are agitated and excited. Blood becomes hot. Many poisonous ingredients are formed in the blood. When the blood is agitated, the semen also is affected.
Once a child sucked the breast of his mother when she was in a fit of violent fury or rage and died immediately on account of poisoning by virulent chemical products that were thrown into the blood of the mother when she was in great excitement. Many such cases have been recorded. Such are the disastrous effects of anger. Even three minutes of violent hot temper may produce such deleterious effects in the nervous system that it will take weeks or months for the repair of injury.
Anger clouds understanding. When the mind is violently agitated, you cannot understand a passage of a book clearly. You cannot think properly and clearly. You cannot write a letter with a cool mind. When the lamp is flickering through wind, you do not see the objects clearly. Even so, when the Buddhi (mind) is flickering or agitated by anger, chaos arises in the Buddhi and you are not able to see and understand things properly. Buddhi is all light.
A man who is a slave to anger, may have washed himself well, anointed himself well, dressed his hair and put on white garments; yet he is ugly, being overcome by anger. There are symptoms on the face to indicate the presence of anger in the mind. If you get anger, you will lose the battle of life. If you have an easily irritable mind, you will not be able to do your daily duties and business in an efficient manner.
How To Control Anger
There are three ways of destroying the anger and lust Vrittis: (1) You can drive them through will-force. This is, no doubt, difficult and taxing. It exhausts your energy much. (2) Pratipaksha-Bhavana method: Entertain counter-thoughts- thoughts of purity and love. This is easy. (3) Live in Truth or Brahman. There are no Vrittis of any kind in Brahman. Brahman is Nirvikara, Nirvikalpa and Nitya Suddha (ever pure). This method is a perfect and powerful one. Vrittis completely die away.
Conquer passion. It will then be easy to subdue anger, which is only one of its followers.
Control anger by love. Anger is a powerful energy that is uncontrollable by practical Vyavaharic Buddhi, but controllable by pure reason (Sattvic Buddhi) or Viveka-Vichara.
When you become angry with your servant when he fails to supply your usual milk on a day, raise a question within yourself: "Why should I be a slave to milk?" Then the wave of anger will at once naturally subside. It will not arise on other occasions also, if you are careful and thoughtful.
Control anger by Kshama (forgiveness), Daya, patience, tolerance, universal love (Visva-Prema), mildness, Viveka, Vichara, Atma-Bhava, Udasinata, Nirabhimanata and such other virtues. Forgive and pity the man who does you harm. Consider censure as a blessing, ornament and nectar. Bear reproach. Develop universal love by service, charity, Brahma-Bhava. Recall any calm and pure state, which when once brought to mind, suppresses the hatred and brings composure. When anger is subdued, rudeness, pride and envy will vanish of themselves. Prayer and devotion will root out anger.
Practise Pratipaksha-Bhavana (entertaining a counter-idea). When you get angry, fill the mind with the idea of love. If you are depressed, fill the mind with the idea of joy and exhilaration.
When you become intensely angry, leave the place immediately for half an hour. Take a long walk. Repeat the sacred Mantra, "OM SANTIH," 108 times. Your anger will subside. I shall tell you another easy way. When you get angry, count from one to thirty. The anger will subside.
When anger tries to exhibit itself, observe silence. Keep quiet. Never utter a harsh word or obscene speech. Try to nip it before it emerges out from the subconscious mind. You will have to be very alert. It tries to come out suddenly. Before anger manifests, there is an agitation (Udvega) in the mind. You must try to extirpate this very agitation in the mind before it assumes a very gross form in the shape of twitching of muscles of the face, clenching of teeth, red eyes, etc. You will have to punish the mind well. You will have to impose self-restraint and punishment on yourself by way of fasting for a day whenever Udvega (agitation) manifests in the mind.
If you strive and make sincere effort to subdue your anger, the hatred subsides. Even then, a slight movement of impatience lingers although the angry feeling has gone. You must eschew this slight disturbance also. For a man who is leading a divine life, this is a very serious drawback.
Irritability is a weakness of the mind. If you are easily irritable, it is likely that you may do injustice to many. Remove this by the practice of patience, Titiksha, tolerance, Karuna (mercy), love, Brahma-Bhava, Narayana-Bhava, etc.
Calmness of mind is a direct means to the realisation of Brahman (or the Highest Self).
Verily a certain man in his behaviour is calm. His calmness is noticed by everyone as he discharges his duties, large and small, beautifully well. Another man is calm in his behaviour, in speech, which is noticed by everyone. For, by nature, he is friendly, sweet in speech, congenial, of a frank countenance, ready at greetings. You should be calm in all the three states. Towards such a one, the development of love is not difficult.
You must have the knack to keep the mind always in balance and in tune. Close your eyes. Dive deep into the Divine Source. Feel His Presence. Remember Him always. Practise His Name. Repeat His Name even while at work. You will gain immense spiritual strength. Meditate early in the morning before you mix with people. You must rise above the thousand and one things which would irritate you easily in the course of your daily life. Then only you can turn out wonderful work daily with harmony and concord.
Hatred And Its Modifications
Hatred and malice are two formidable passions. They are so deeply implanted in your system that it is very difficult to root them out. Pride is not so fearful as hatred and malice. When a man is placed in a high position and earns much money and is thereby honoured and respected by all, he becomes very proud. When he loses that position and fails to earn money, his pride vanishes. But hatred and malice are two passions which are inveterate and need constant and diligent efforts for their eradication.
Prejudice, intolerance, Ghrina, insolence, impertinence, scorn, contempt-these Vrittis are all modifications of the emotion of hatred. Suspicion becomes prejudice by repetition. Prejudice develops into ill-will (Ghrina) and intolerance. Ill-will is a mild form of hatred. When repeated, it develops into hatred. Hatred, by successive repetition, becomes malice or extreme enmity.
Prejudice or unreasonable dislike, prepossessions and intolerance are three undesirable Vrittis in the mind. Prejudice makes the mind and brain callous. The mind cannot think truly. Prejudice is a kind of mental sore. If you have prejudice against Mohammedans, you cannot understand the teachings of Mohammed in the Quoran. The brain and the mind will not harmoniously vibrate to receive the spiritual ideas of the Quoran, because the prejudice has rendered the mind callous.
Prejudice is like an open sore on the physical body through which the will-power of the man is leaking. Be liberal or catholic in your views. You must give a place for every school of philosophy and every religion. A particular religion suits a particular nation according to the stage of evolution, temperament and capacity of the people. Arya Samaja, Brahmo Samaja, New Thought Movement, Occultism and cults of various kinds and denominations serve their own useful purpose. Prejudice is only unreasonable dislike. You must remove it by efforts and right thinking.
Intolerance is narrow-mindedness on account of some narrow beliefs, convictions and views. You must be extremely detached and sober in your views. Your mind will be greatly disturbed through intolerance. Even though your views are diametrically opposite to the views of others, you must have perfect tolerance. A man of tolerance has an expanded heart. Tolerance brings lasting peace.
Insolence is overbearing nature. It is haughtiness manifested in contemptuous treatment of others. It is arrogant contempt. It is brutal impudence. It is grossly rude or disrespectful nature. Insolence is rude, haughty behaviour in violation of the established rules of social intercourse. The insolent man has utter disregard for the feelings of others. He makes personal attacks either in words or in actions, indicative of either scorn or triumph.
How To Eradicate Hatred
No Samadhi or union with God is possible when hatred, prejudice, jealousy, anger, lust, etc., exist in the mind. Remove these defects by love, Titiksha, Brahma-Bhavana, Atma-Drishti, Satsanga, Vichara. Love is the greatest power on earth. Karuna is the highest Sadhana. Do not give pain to others and relieve pain where it is; this is Karuna.
He who loves another man, loves himself only. He who gives rupees five as charity to a poor man in distress, gives it to himself. For, there is nothing else save his own self in the universe. He who hurts, hates and abuses another man, hurts, hates and abuses himself only. He digs his own grave.
When thoughts of revenge and hatred arise in the mind, try to control the physical body and speech first. Do not utter evil and harsh words. Do not censure. Do not try to injure others. If you succeed in this by practice for some months, the thoughts of revenge, having no scope for manifesting outside, will die by themselves. It is extremely difficult to control such thoughts from the very beginning without having recourse to control of body and speech first.
Constant Vichara and development of the opposite virtues -Prema, Daya and Karuna (love, compassion, sympathy and commiseration)-will eradicate the two violent passions of hatred and malice.
When hatred manifests, reflect on the blessings of love; it will slowly vanish. The blessings of love are many. Happy he sleeps. Happy he lives. He sees no bad dreams. He is dear to all alike. He is dear to subhuman beings. Devas guard him. Fire, poison and sword cannot approach him. Quickly he concentrates the mind. His complexion is serene. He dies peacefully and goes to Brahma-Loka.
Have no enemies. Do not entertain inimical thought against any person who might have done any wrong to you. If, while you are directing your mind towards your enemy, you recall the offences that have been committed against yourself and hatred arises in you, you should dispel it by repeatedly dwelling on love with him. Imagine again and again that he is your intimate friend and, with effort, raise a strong current of love towards him. Call in the mind affectionate feelings and others that cause love and tenderness. Remember the story of Pavahari Baba and Jayadeva, the author of Gita Govinda in Bhakta Vijaya, who intently prayed to God and got Mukti for his enemy-the robber who had cut off his two hands.
Serve the man whom you hate. Share with him what you have. Give him something to eat. Shampoo his legs. Make prostration sincerely. Your hatred will subside. He will also begin to love you. Gifts and kind words tame the untamed men. Men bow their heads by gifts and kind words.
If you give a blanket to a needy man with unwillingness, it is not Dana (charitable act) at all. It is a selfish act only. The mind will be waiting to take the blanket back when the first chance comes. Give anything willingly.
The Sadhana Of Equal Vision
Serve all. Serve the Lord in all. Love all. Respect all. Develop cosmic love. Have Atma-Bhavana and Atma-Drishti. Have equal vision (Sama Drishti). All kinds of hatred will disappear. The Sadhana of equal vision is extremely difficult, but strenuous and constant efforts will bring about success eventually.
Aspirants who wish to abolish the dividing line should immediately develop love for a very dear person, after him for an indifferent person and then after him for an enemy. And, in doing so, in each compartment they should make the heart tender and loving and should immediately afterwards induce Dhyana (meditation).
You should discriminate between a thief and an honest man, but you should love the thief. A worldly-minded person hates a thief, sees him outside and considers that he is entirely separate from the thief; whereas, a Jnani loves a thief as his own Self and sees him within himself.
When you remember that a savage or a rogue is a saint of the future and has all the divine qualities in a potential form, you will begin to love everybody. Hatred will slowly vanish. It is only a question of time for the rogue or the savage for his evolution and development.
An aspirant who wishes to begin with the development of the four divine states, viz., love, pity, sympathy, and even-mindedness should first, having cut off the impediments, take up the subject of meditation, finish his light tiffin and drive away his drowsiness due to eating, sit comfortably on a seat well-arranged in a secluded spot and think on the evils of hatred and the very many advantages of forbearance. Verily, by means of this practice, hatred will slowly vanish and forbearance will be developed. A man who is overcome with hatred and whose mind is assailed by hatred, kills beings. Patience is the highest virtue. Nothing can excel forbearance. He who is strong in forbearance is, indeed, a divine being.
There is nothing absolutely right or absolutely wrong in this relative universe. Right and wrong are mind-made. Everybody is right from his own point of view. There is a grain of truth in everything. The point of view is the determining factor in the life of each. When the understanding is illumined by wisdom, the point of view is broad and entire. When the understanding is darkened by ignorance, the point of view is narrow, limited and one-sided. Broad view is the sign of expansion of heart. A man of broad view is free from suspicion, prejudice, prepossessions and intolerance of various sorts. Broad view results from foreign travels, good birth, vast study, Satsanga, public service, varied experience, meditation, etc. A man of broad views sees things in their entirety and in their right relations. Broad view creates harmony and concord. Narrow view creates disharmony and discord.
Anticipation And Avarice
Memory and anticipation are two kinds of evil Vrittis for a spiritual aspirant, though they are beneficial for worldly-minded persons. Pratyasa (anticipation) and Parigraha (grasping) make you a beggar of beggars and destroy your will-power. Do not anticipate anything. Anticipation fattens the mind and causes restlessness. Do not expect anything. It causes mental disturbance. If you do not expect, you would not have disappointment. Forget everything that pertains to the world. Even if anything that is conducive to luxury comes, reject it at once. You will grow strong. Remember God and God alone. Everything else here is a dream. The world is a long dream.
Destroy avarice by Santosha (contentment), integrity, disinterestedness and charity. Do not entertain hopes. You will not have any disappointment. Santosha is one of the four sentinels of the domain of Moksha. A contented mind is a continual feast. If you have Santosha, you will get help from the other three sentinels, viz., Sama, Vichara and Satsanga. With the help of these four sentinels, you can attain Brahma-Jnana, the ultimate goal of life.
Moha And Its Cure
Moha (delusion) is a strong weapon of Maya. Do not say, my friend, that desire is more powerful than Moha. Moha is as much powerful and dangerous as desire is. Moha does three things. It creates the idea of 'mineness'-my wife, my son, my house, etc. It produces infatuated love and attachment for body, wife, son and property. It creates the 'Nitya-Buddhi' (the idea of stability) in the perishable objects of the world and 'Dehatma-Buddhi'. It makes a false thing appear as true. The world appears as real on account of Moha. The body is mistaken for Atman or pure Self owing to the delusive influence of Moha.
Although you know fully well that the body of a woman is made up of flesh, bone, skin, hair, blood, urine and faeces, yet you passionately cling to the form. Why? Because of the force of Raga, Moha, Samskara, Vasana and Kalpana (imagination). When there is Vasana-Kshaya (annihilation of Vasanas) through Vichara and Viveka, you will not be attached towards a woman.
Get rid of excessive Moha and attachment to wife, money and also children by Sannyasa (external renunciation). If there is external change, internal change must also come. External renunciation is quite necessary.
The mind is generally attracted by brilliant light, beauty, intelligence, varied colours and pleasant sounds. Do not be deceived by these paltry things. Enquire within. What is the Adhishthana or background for all these things? There is one Essence at the back of the mind and all objects of this seeming sense-universe. That Essence is all-full (Paripurna) and self-contained. That Essence is the Brahman of the Upanishads. That Essence verily you are-"Tat Tvam Asi"-my dear readers!
Pride is a feeling of superiority over others. It is of nine kinds: (i) physical pride (pride of possessing great physical strength), (ii) intellectual pride (pride of great learning), (iii) moral pride (pride of possessing great moral virtues), (iv) psychic pride (pride of possessing great psychic powers or Siddhis), (v) spiritual pride, (vi) pride of noble birth, (vii) pride of power, wealth and other possessions, (viii) pride of being handsome and (ix) Rajamada (pride of sovereignty). All these varieties of pride should be completely overcome.
Get rid of pride through Viveka. Everything is Anitya. Why are you vainly puffed up with pride?
Arrogance is a form of pride. It is undue assumption of self-importance. It is claiming too much.
Darpa is vanity. It is vain display. It is vain show. The man is puffed up even though he actually does not possess anything. A man of pride actually possesses something. That is the difference between pride and vanity. Vanity is a form of exaggerated pride.
Hypocrisy (Dambha) is pretending to be what one is really not. It is feigning. It is concealment of one's true character. It is the opposite of Adambhitva of the Gita (XIII-7). A hypocrite pretends to be what he is really not, in order to extract money, honour, fame or something else from others.
Hypocrisy, falsehood, cheating, avarice and Trishna (avidity) are very closely related. They are members of one family. Hypocrisy is the offspring of avarice. Falsehood is the son of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy co-exists with falsehood. Trishna is the mother of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy cannot live even for a moment without falsehood, the son and avarice and Trishna (father and mother). When there is a craving for objects, greed for money comes in. Without money, there can be no enjoyment. To satisfy the hunger for money, persons have to put on hypocrisy, tell lies and cheat others. The root cause of all this is craving for enjoyment. Deceitful diplomacy and falsehood are old allies of greed and hatred.
Self-sufficiency is a peculiar modification in the mind. It is the effect of vanity, pride and Dambha. It is a Rajoguna Vritti. Remove it by right thinking, Vichara and practice of the opposite virtue, humility.
Jealousy And Its Modifications
Jealousy is a form of continuous anger. Irshya is a form of jealousy. It is a form of hatred. Blaming, accusing, mocking, ridiculing, unjust criticism, censure, cavilling, vilifying, tale-bearing, backbiting, scandalmongering, faultfinding, complaining-all proceed from jealousy, either subtle or gross, a hatred of various sorts. They all indicate lack of proper mental culture and meanness of the person. They should be removed.
Taunting is to censure sarcastically. Teasing is to torment or irritate with jests. Sneering is to show contempt by the expression of the face, as by turning up the nose. Frowning is to wrinkle the brow as in anger. Mocking is to laugh at in ridicule, to mimic in ridicule. Ridiculing is to make a wit exposing one to laughter. It is derision or mockery. It is exposing one to merriment. A joke is a clever insult. You must avoid all these when you move with others, as they cause rupture between friends, heated feelings and a sense of hostility. Words must be soft and arguments hard; if words are hard, they will bring discord. A single harsh word will break the friendship of long years in a minute. Word or sound has got tremendous power. It is Sabda Brahman. It is Sakti.
There is a world of difference between "Just comments" and Ninda (censure). "Just comments" is not Ninda. It is permissible. It is unavoidable too. You can avoid it only when you shut yourself alone in a far-off Himalayan cave. If you have no hatred for a man, if you are not jealous of him and if you point out to your friend in the course of conversation his weaknesses and good virtues also-"Mr. Thomas is an honest, loving, kind, sympathetic man. He is humble. He speaks the truth. But, he is extremely irritable and hot-tempered." - this is not Ninda (censure) at all, although you point out the defect of Mr. Thomas. In Ninda, you vilify a man. You point out his defects only. You exaggerate his weaknesses. You point out the defect to everybody of your own accord without being asked. In your heart of hearts, you are jealous of the man. You want to vilify him.
If you always look into the faults of others, you will actually imbibe those faults by constantly thinking of them. Always look into the bright side of a man. Ignore his defects. Hatred will vanish. Love will increase.
Faultfinding, cavilling and scandalmongering are defects. Defects and weaknesses are two distinct qualities. Anger is a defect. Tea-habit is a weakness. To be over-sentimental is a weakness. Both defects and weaknesses should be removed by substituting the opposite virtues.
How To Destroy Jealousy
There are three ways of destroying jealousy:
(i) Mithya Drishti (Dosha Drishti): "The whole world with its enjoyments, wealth and luxury is quite illusory. What do I gain by being jealous of another?" When anyone thinks like this seriously several times daily, the Vritti of jealousy will slowly die. This Vritti is the root of all miseries. It is deep-rooted.
(ii) Bhratri Bhava (feeling of universal brotherhood). You are not jealous of your intimate friend or loving brother. In these cases, you have become one with your friend or brother. You feel inwardly that all that belong to them is yours. You will have to do this with everybody. You will have to love everybody as your brother or friend. Then you will have no Vritti of jealousy.
(iii) This is a developed stage: Repeat the formula 'I am the all,' 'I am all-in all.' Feel yourself everywhere. Think there is nothing save Atman, your own Self, everywhere. Jealousy will slowly vanish by entertaining this Atma-Bhava. You must always entertain this idea-"Vasudevah sarvamiti" (Vasudeva is all). "Vasudeva" means all-pervading. You will have infinite joy which can only be felt. It cannot be adequately described in words.
If you place a big mirror in front of a dog and keep some bread in front, the dog at once barks by looking at its reflection in the mirror. It foolishly imagines that there is another dog. Even so, man sees his own reflection only through his mind-mirror in all the people, but foolishly imagines like the dog that they are all different from him and fights on account of hatred and jealousy.
Fear-a Dire Disease
Fear is a great human curse. It is a negative thought. It is your worst enemy. It assumes various forms, viz., fear of death, fear of disease, fear of public criticism, fear of losing your property or money, etc. Fear blights many lives, makes people unhappy and unsuccessful.
Some people can bravely face the shell or the shot on the battlefield. But they are afraid of public criticism and public opinion. Some can face a tiger fearlessly in the forest. But they are afraid of the surgeon's knife and bistoury. You should get rid of fear of all sorts.
The power of imagination in the mind intensifies fear. Fear is due to delusion or Moha, attachment to the gross and physical body on account of Avidya (ignorance). Attachment to the body (Moha, Dehadhyasa) is the cause of all fear. He who can throw off the physical sheath (Annamaya Kosha) either by Yoga or Jnana will be free from fear. He who has conquered fear, has conquered everything, has gained mastery over the mind.
Some people faint when they see a copious quantity of blood. Some men cannot see a surgical operation. They faint. These are all mental weaknesses. Some cannot take their food if some faecal or vomited matter is nearby. All mental weaknesses must be eradicated by Vichara.
A calm mind means courage. You may face without fear the trials and difficulties of the spiritual path. It has its root in the recognition of the unity of the Self. "Abhayam" (fearlessness) is one of the Daivi Sampats (divine qualities). Constantly think you are Atman. You will slowly develop immense courage. The one idea that you are the Immortal Self (Atman) can destroy efficiently fear of every description. This is the only potent tonic, the one sure panacea for this dire disease of fear. Think you are immortal (Amrita), fearless (Abhaya) Atman. Slowly the fear will vanish. Develop the positive virtue, namely, courage. Fear will slowly disappear.
Doubt is a great tormentor of mind. It has got a mental world of its own. It again and again troubles a man. There is no end for doubts. If one doubt is removed, another doubt stands ready to take its place. This is the trick of the mind. Cut the knot of doubts by the sword of wisdom. Know him who gets the doubts. No one doubts the doubter. If all doubts vanish through Brahma-Jnana, then the mind will be destroyed.
Thoughts of worry and thoughts of fear are fearful forces within us. They poison the very sources of life and destroy the harmony, the running efficiency, the vitality and vigour; while the opposite thoughts of cheerfulness, joy and courage heal, soothe, instead of irritating and immensely augment efficiency and multiply the mental power. Be always cheerful. Smile. Laugh.
Evil Vrittis Are Your Real Enemies-destroy Them
Who is your real enemy? It is your own Antahkarana (mind) possessed by the evil Vrittis. That mind alone, which is free from attachment, delusion, jealousy, lust, selfishness and anger, can have constant memory of God. If the mirror is dirty, you cannot see your face properly. Even so, if the mind-mirror is dirty through the accumulation of Mala (six passions, Kama, Krodha, etc.), Brahman cannot be reflected in the mind. When it is cleansed thoroughly, when it becomes Sattvic, it is fit (Yogayukta) to reflect Brahman.
Whatever you practise-Karma Yoga or Bhakti Yoga or Raja Yoga or Jnana Yoga-, you must be free from jealousy, hatred, attachment, pride and egoism and you must have control over Indriyas. Chitta-Suddhi-Yama and Niyama-is a common element in all kinds of Yoga. What can a man do in Karma Yoga if he has no self-restraint, if he is extremely selfish? If you want everything for yourself, if you are luxurious and if you have not reduced your wants, how can you spare something for others? You can unite with the cosmos only through love, unselfish service and disinterested charity.
Aspirants should totally abandon all the evil Vrittis described above. These constitute what is known as Asuri Sampat (devilish qualities). Whether you live in a town or in a cave of the Himalayas, it is all the same when you have a ruffled mind. You carry your own thoughts with you even if you remove yourself to a far-off, lonely cave. The mind remains the same. Peace comes from within. Irritation, anger, impatience, revenge, suspicion, prejudice, grudge, dislike, intolerance, restlessness, depression, fired or heated feelings-all these must be totally removed by spiritual Sadhana, by developing Sattvic qualities, by meditation on OM, by constant Vichara. Then only can peace be obtained. By developing Daivi Sampat (divine qualities) such as Karuna, Satya, Ahimsa, Brahmacharya, Daya, etc., the devilish qualities will be overcome.
Pratipaksha-Bhavana Or The Method Of Substitution
It is the method of substitution, Pratipaksha-Bhavana. When there is a lustful thought, substitute thoughts of purity. Begin to study the Gita or the Upanishads. Sing Hari's Bhajana on harmonium. Impure thoughts will vanish. When there is hatred, substitute thoughts of love. Think of the good qualities of the man whom you hate. Remember again and again his kind actions. Serve him with sweets, fruits and milk. Talk to him kind words. Laugh with him. Shampoo his legs. Take him to be Lord Siva or Narayana when you serve him. Hatred will disappear. When there is fear, fill the mind with thoughts of courage. When there is irritability, meditate on the virtues of tolerance, patience and self-restraint. The negative thoughts will die of themselves. If you are depressed, fill the mind with the idea of joy and exhilaration. If you are sick, fill the mind with ideas of health, strength, power and vitality. Practise this. Practise this. Herein lies a great treasure for you.
Every thought or emotion or mood produces a strong vibration in every cell of the body and leaves a strong impression there. If you know the method of raising an opposite thought or counter-thought, then only you can lead a happy, harmonious life of peace and power. A thought of love will at once neutralise a thought of hatred. A thought of courage will immediately serve as a powerful antidote against a thought of fear.
Idea creates the world. Idea brings one into existence. Idea develops the desires and excites the passions. So, a contrary idea of killing the desires and passions will counteract the former idea of satisfying the desires. So, when a man will be impressed with this, a contrary idea will help him to destroy his desires and passions.
How can you ignore an evil thought? By forgetting. How can you forget? By not indulging in it again. How can you prevent the mind from indulging in it again? By thinking of something else which is more interesting. IGNORE. FORGET. THINK OF SOMETHING INTERESTING. This is a great Sadhana. Call to mind the sublime ideas contained in the Gita. Remember the ennobling and soul-elevating ideas embodied in the Upanishads and the Yogavasishtha. Argue, cogitate, reflect, ratiocinate within-subjectively. Worldly thoughts, thoughts of enmity, hatred, revenge, anger, lust-all will die.
When there are diseases, discord, disharmony in the cells of the body owing to influence of vicious thoughts, worry-thoughts, fear-thoughts, hatred-thoughts, jealousy-thoughts, lustful thoughts, you can neutralise the poison or canker in these diseased, morbid cells and establish peace, harmony, health, new vigour and vitality by entertaining sublime, soul-stirring, life-giving, soul-awakening, Sattvic, divine thoughts, by vibrations of 'OM' chanting, by repetition of the different Names of the Lord, by Pranayama, Kirtana (singing of the Name of the Lord), study of the Gita and the holy scriptures, by meditation, etc. Think constantly that you are Suddha Sat-Chit-Ananda Vyapaka Atman. All the evil propensities will vanish and the Sattvic virtues will manifest themselves.
Do not exert to destroy the different Vrittis-Kama, Krodha, Dvesha, etc. If you can destroy one Vritti Ahankara, all other Vrittis will die by themselves. Ahankara is the corner-stone of the edifice of Jiva. If the corner-stone is removed, the whole edifice of Jiva will tumble down. This is the secret.
Why are you afraid of Kama, Krodha, etc.? They are your servants. You are Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman. Assert the majesty and magnanimity of the Self.