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Higher Methods for Mind Conquest

by Swami Sivananda

I. ACHIEVEMENT OF MANOJAYA

To the wheel of Moha (delusion, infatuation) mind is the axle. If by dint of discrimination your mind is destroyed, then Maya will not affect you. Mind is the container of matter and form, time and space.

Mastery over the mind and impulses is life victorious. Disciplined thinking and feeling will give you strength and peace and help you in the attainment of God-realisation.

Control of the emotions is of paramount importance if you wish to commune with God. When a Vritti arises, do not think about it, divert your attention, let it sink back. Do not spin your imagination. It is imagination that strengthens the Vritti.

From the experience you get Samskaras (impressions), from Samskaras you get Vasanas, from Vasanas you get Vrittis or thought-waves. The imagination makes the Vrittis into a desire. Then ego attaches itself to the desire and it becomes then an urge, a Trishna. Then you are forced to do Cheshta to fulfil the desire. The process of the mind is going on.

You can prevent the formation of new Samskaras, and stop past Samskaras to get further strengthened by fresh ones. The Vasanas are the woven nets to bind man. If the Vasanas are mastered, then you have scored a tremendous victory. The Vrittis and Samskaras are countless and deep-rooted, but they have an end through Vichara, Viveka, Japa, Satsanga, Svadhyaya, meditation and prayer.

The mind associated with objects leads to bondage, and dissociated from objects to emancipation. The secret of strength lies in the calm and serene mind. When the mind remains without any attraction or repulsion towards objects, it will cease to exist. When the mind is dull, rouse it by Kirtan; when it is distracted, bring it back to calmness through Pranayama, worship and meditation, when it becomes attached get it detached through dispassion and discrimination. Thought is motivated by desire. Desire is the motive-force that makes the mind move. Desire and thought are closely connected. Every thought is prompted by the desire that stands behind it. Desire is the fuel. Thought is the fire that is kept up by the fuel of desire. Desire is another name for mind. Desire is constantly feeling the ego. So desire is at the root of our fears. Give up the load of excessive desires. If desires are allowed to grow, then they become the fuel for the fire of thought.

With the passing away of the fuel of desires, the Sankalpas or thoughts also perish. Annihilate your Sankalpas or thoughts. You will not be subject to the trammels of birth; and, the mind is extinguished like a lamp without Ghee or oil.

The mind is a blessing of God. Because without mind you cannot think of God. Without it you cannot concentrate and meditate. Without mind and emotions, thoughts and feelings, you cannot have Bhava and Bhakti.

II. INNER YOGIC SADHANA

So long as the mind is not destroyed, the Vasanas are not destroyed; vice-versa, so long as the Vasanas are not destroyed, the mind is not destroyed. Vasana is the ignorance which enslaves us in sensual objects after giving up true discrimination. Form exists in the mind, so long as the Vasanas are coupled with it. The conception of the heterogeneous objects in the mind, through a conception of their reality and the enjoyment of the pleasures therein, can be said to be of the form of the mind.

So long as the knowledge of Brahman is not attained, so long will the mind be not destroyed; conversely, so long as the mind is not destroyed, so long will knowledge of Brahman remain unattained.

If thoughts are destroyed through the extinction of Vasanas, the quiescence of the mind will result and the mind's destruction will ensue. It is only to control this heterogeneous mind, that the intelligent Yogins perform Pranayama through the control of Prana. The fluctuation of Pranas and Vasanas are the two seeds of mind. Of these, if either of them dies both perish. Through Vasanas Prana's motion is caused; through Prana's motion Vasanas are caused. These two are the seeds and the sprouts to the ripe dried fruit of the mind. These two have their root in the visibles of the universe. If the visibles are destroyed, then Prana's fluctuation and Vasanas will be eradicated to their root like a tree. It is the mental actions that are the seeds of the visibles. If the intelligence does not play its part in the visibles, then the visibles cease to exist.

The beneficent control of Prana leads to that of the mind and causes in one equality of vision over all. Through aspiration, Pratyahara and indifference, you can effectively burn away the impressions of the objects at their initial stage. Repetition of God's name and deep meditation enable the mind not to retain in itself the remembrance of anything other than God. Just as the bee which drinks the honey, does not desire the scent, the mind which is ever absorbed in the Nada (sound Om) does not desire the objects.

To transcend time and space is to control the mind. Have unshakable faith in the Lord. Cling to His Divine Name. Surrender unto Him. Pray to Him sincerely. The mind will be powerless to do anything to you.

III. SECRET OF YOGA SADHANA

I solemnly affirm that the fell disease of birth and death can be removed only through the divine panacea of the mind-mastery and not through any other means. The path of annihilation of your mind will be most beneficial to you and will never generate the least of pains. If the mind is destroyed by dint of discrimination, then Maya will not affect you.

Moksha means nothing but the destruction of the impurities of the mind. If your mind is free and pure, you will not again enter into birth. Control of mind is not done in a day. But by constant practice and sustained Vairagya, the victory is yours. Become a true hero. Have self-conquest or mastery over mind. Enter the illimitable realm of immortal bliss. Blessed is he who has controlled his mind and has achieved Self-conquest.

IV. SECRET OF MANONASA

The root of all evil is the sense of "I'' and "mine''. If you destroy the Ahamkara or egoism and conquer the foes of senses, the Vasanas or subtle desires will vanish. Slay egoism which appears in the forms of fear, hate, envy, doubt, deception and anger. When ego perishes God reveals Himself. Emancipation is release from bondage of the ego and its desires, of the ego and its propensities, its cravings for the sensuous. The original sprout of the painful egoism with its tender stem of rebirths ramifies itself everywhere with its long branches of ''mine'' and ''thine'' and yields its unripe fruits of pain, sorrow, delusion, etc. Egoism obstructs vision of truth and causes death. Annihilation of egoism bestows immortality, freedom and everlasting peace. Egoism or individuality takes man away from Truth and consequently causes discord, pain, sorrow, fights, quarrel and war. Die to the lower self to become alive to the Brahman within you. Sin emanates from the ego's assertion of its will. The ego subjecting itself to the clutches of Vasanas which make it to be transformed into the object it sees to the exclusion of others, fancies that object to be real and is deluded by the same. In the presence of fire, iron appears to gleam. Iron by itself has no brightness of its own, but its contact with fire makes it appear so. Similarly, the intellect borrows the light of Atman and feels, 'I am the doer, I am the enjoyer', etc.

The true egoism can be destroyed to its root by the fire of Jnana only. When the spirit is freed from its relationship with the mind in the state of Jnana, or illumination, the world vanishes like the mirage-river in the sandy desert. The cognition by one, of the Reality, after true discrimination that he is not in this world and that the universe is not, constitutes mind's destruction.


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