Question: How to control the Mind?
Answer: Enquire into the origin of thought. Find out from where the thoughts emanate. Switch off that source.
Q. This is an extremely difficult and subtle process. Kindly suggest some method of controlling the mind which an ordinary person like me can adopt.
A. Japa of the Lord's Name is the best for you, and for the vast majority of mankind. Steadily increase the time devoted to Japa and meditation. At the same time, cultivate Vairagya (dispassion). Pranayama also will help to a great extent. The combined method - synthesis of Japa, Dhyana, Pranayama, cultivation of virtues and eradication of vices - is the best.
Q. I am a devotee of Lord Siva. Should I go to temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Devi also; and if I go there, how shall I worship the Deity there?
A. Yes, you should never miss an opportunity of visiting and worshipping at any shrine you come across. When you go to a temple of Lord Vishnu or Devi, worship Lord Siva Himself there. Look upon the Deity in the temple as another - form of Lord Siva. If your father came to you in the attire of a High Court Judge, or (if he is an actor in a drama) if he came to you in the dress of a female, will you turn away from him? You will greet him as your own father in any case. Similar should be your attitude in worshipping the Lord. God is one. He is worshipped and adored variously by various people.
Q. I recite Vishnusahasranama every day. Have I to meditate upon the meaning of each word as I go on reciting it?
A. This is not possible, unless you are a Satavadhani. When you recite the Vishnusahasranama, have Saguna Upasana. Meditate on the form of Lord Narayana. When you have leisure or during the practice of meditation, you can select a few Slokas or Names and meditate over the meaning.
Q. In Taittiriya Upanishad it has been said: - First there was Asat. From Asat, Sat came. How is this?
A. This is said from the point of view of the common man. To him, what he does not see or experience is - Asat. To him, the Supreme Existence is - Asat inasmuch as it is beyond the comprehension of the senses, mind and intellect. - Sat, in this Mantra refers to the manifested world. To the man of gross understanding, the world of names and forms is the - Sat, because he is able to experience its reality through his senses. Therefore it is said that in the beginning there was - Asat (i.e., That was which you, with your senses and intellect, regard as non-existent); and from that - Sat (i.e., that which you regard as existent) came.