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Precepts for Practice of Mind Control

By Swami Sivananda

The mind is weak. The senses are strong. The bonds of temptation are stronger still. In the midst of these three, you are tossed up and down. Spiritual Sadhana alone can really impart to you the inner Santi or eternal peace. Do Japa, meditation, Kirtan, Satsanga and study of spiritual books. These will help you and not the temptation that assails you. Do not think of the objects of the senses. Cessation from worldly enjoyments is Uparati. Constant practice to fix the mind in God is Samadhana. Deep concentration is Samadhana. Do not allow the mind to externalise. This is Sama. Checking the external instruments of the sense-organs is Dama.

Ninety per cent perspiration and ten per cent inspiration make a genius or prodigy. Intelligence is ninety per cent memory. When the sense-object attracts you, withdraw the mind from the object. To see Rama or Krishna in a sense-object is possible only for well-advanced aspirants. - I am non-doer. This is the Bhava of a Vedantin. The devotee offers all his actions as sacrifice unto the Lord. He feels that he is an instrument in the hands of the Lord (Nimitta Bhava).

The Lord knows what is best for you. He moulds you in a variety of ways for His unhampered play or Lila and for the attainment of the final beatitude. Therefore resign yourself to His supreme will and be satisfied with whatever happens and thus prepare yourself for the attainment of that balanced state (Samata) wherein there is absence of likes and dislikes or the pairs of opposites.

Lust deals a deadly blow to spiritual Sadhana. Kill this lust by diverse methods. Do not entertain lustful thoughts. Do not look at figures that create the mental sensation of passion. Avoid going to cinemas. Do not mix with all sorts of people who take pleasure in lustful speech. Think of the Lord when the idea of sex enters the mind. Pray to Him fervently.

The conception that the body is the Atman constitutes Avidya or ignorance. (Dehadishvan-atmasu aham asmi ityatmabuddhiravidya). From it spring desires with regard to whatever promotes the well-being of the body and aversion with regard to whatever tends to injure it. There further arises fear and confusion when we observe anything threatening to destroy it. All this constitutes an endless series of manifold evils. A sage always rests in Samadhi or Turiya state. He has only one state, the state of Turiya or the fourth. He has none of the three states. He neither wakes, dreams nor sleeps. He has neither past, nor present nor future.

If you fail in keeping your resolves, make fresh resolves. Just as the child falls many a time when it tries to walk without the help of the wall, just as the new cyclist falls from the cycle a number of times before he learns to sit steadily in the seat, so also the new aspirant will fail a number of times in his resolves. He has to make repeated attempts. Ultimately he will come out victorious. Just as the tongue is not affected by Ghee, so also the skilful aspirant is not affected by the temptations of the world. He takes shelter in the Lord, in His name and grace.

Sometimes you get the solution for a certain difficult problem as soon as you get up from sleep. The subconscious mind is working when you go to bed. The subconscious mind has the impressions of all actions of the past. It lays before you by a sudden flash the hidden mysteries, when you concentrate. A lustful look itself is break in Brahmacharya. There is internal discharge. Veerya is separated from the system.

Make the mind understand by repeated hammering and Vichara that all sexual pleasure is false, utterly worthless and extremely harmful. Clearly think over how very illusory and full of pain it is. On no account should you listen to the promptings of the impure mind. Place before the mind the glory and the advantage of a life in the eternal and all blissful, omniscient, Atman. He who is humble, calm, quiet in mind, and controlled in conduct, and who is content in his heart finds the whole universe full of joy and bliss. All rivers find their centre in the ocean, all touches in the skin, all tastes in the tongue, all smells in the nose, all colours in the eye, all sounds in the ear, all percepts in the mind, all knowledge in the heart, all actions in the hands, all movements in the feet and all the Vedas in speech. Even so the centre for all individual souls and all beings is Brahman or the Supreme Self.

If the Jivahood is a reality, it can never be destroyed and freedom would be impossible. The Jiva becomes one with the Supreme Self on release. There is nothing like Jivahood - an unreality, a creation of ignorance, the Jiva being identical with Brahman. In reality the Jiva is neither created nor destroyed. It is your ignorance that makes you see the individual soul or Jiva limited by Upadhis as something different from Brahman. When the dark ignorance, the deluder of all men, the great nescience, the veil that covers the individual soul is rent asunder, then he realises the Nirguna Brahman, within him dwelling in the intellect, in cavity of his heart. Brahman is to be realised by meditation alone and not otherwise.

When you practise Yoga, certain Siddhis like celestial scents, sounds, sights, the most agreeable sensations of taste and touch, pleasurable sensations of coolness and warmth, will come to you. Disregard them. Shun them, as they will bind you and cause distraction and downfall. They are distractions on your path. March forward and try to attain the summit of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Restrain speech and the senses and practise meditation during the hours after dusk, the hours before dawn and at dawn of day. These periods are quite congenial for the practice of Yoga. The mind will soon come under your control.


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