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Important Matters of Mind Conquest

By Swami Sivananda

I. CONQUEST OF DESIRE

Desire is death. Desirelessness is immortality. Desire is an enemy of peace. It cuts at the root of wisdom and knows no satiation. Therefore, cultivate dispassion, discrimination, meditate and enjoy everlasting bliss. Conquer desire and attain self-realisation or knowledge of Atman. Resist. Conquer all worldly attractions through prayer, Japa, meditation and Vichara. Craving for sensation gives pain. Cultivate dispassion and discrimination. Meditate. This craving will die. Peace is the fruit of the death of all emotions, cravings and desires.

Perfect life is attained by liberation from desires. The cause of all pain and sorrow, is rooted in desire. If desire is annihilated all pain and sorrow will vanish. Detach. Control desires. Meditate on Atman. You will attain self-realisation.

The dynamic power of substitution is the safest way to conquer desire. Your longing for objects will disappear if your eyes turn upwards to God. The practice of contentment and meditation leads to a few wants and peace.

Freedom from passion is the truest enjoyment. True serenity dawns by subduing your passions. Vasanas or desires tend towards bondage; but the extinction of them leads to Moksha or salvation.

II. RENUNCIATION - THE REAL STRENGTH

Vairagya or dispassion is true power. With the development of dispassion and discrimination all pains will cease. You will attain bliss eternal.

Walk in the path of renunciation of desires. Consider as fire or poison all objects which are said to be pleasures. The longing after the stainful material enjoyments, is itself bondage; the renunciation of the same is Moksha or freedom.

Attraction and repulsion towards objects alone is bondage and nothing else. The more you try to get away from sense-objects, the more you get into them. But dispassion, discrimination and meditation will make you free. Detachment comes through discrimination (between the real and the unreal).

Sensual pleasures make you oblivious of the painless blissful Moksha or emancipation. Renunciation of worldly pleasures, is only an effective means to attain God-realisation, but not an end in itself.

Empty your mind, you will be filled with God. Wisdom is a better support than all other possessions. Dispassion is wisdom. Therefore, attain the wisdom of Atman. Make wisdom your provision for the journey from this world to the Absolute or the Domain of eternal bliss.

III. NEED FOR A THOROUGH STUDY OF THE MIND

You must know thoroughly the nature of mind and its activity. Mind constitutes the root of the tree of Samsara or Ajnana (ignorance).

If the baneful root of mind is destroyed, the tree of birth and death will also be destroyed. This body is the seed from which generates the sprout of pleasures and pains, giving rise to the ever-gyrating creeper of Samsara.

The cause of the seed of body is the mind which following the track of desires, is the receptacle of pleasures and pains arising from births and deaths. The mind that is ever hankering after, and involved in, sensual pleasures, is the seed of all Maya.

It is the imagination of the individual that is the cause of his bondage and not the mere existence of the universe as an object of perception.

It is through the mind that the hosts of bodies, which do not exist, though seeming to exist, arise beyond number. It enjoys these bodily objects as in a dream. The mind is brought under control by mental discipline such as Sama, Dama, etc.

The best means of conquering Maya which involves all in pains, is the destruction of mind.

Atman begins to dawn with the destruction of the mind. You should so destroy the mind that it will not afterwards be able to rear up its head at all.

Destroy the mind past all resurrection through Vichara or enquiry and ceaseless meditation on Atman. Annihilate Vasanas and egoism. Now the mind will be emptied. Just as the flame of a lamp is extinguished when the oil and wick are burnt only, so also the mind gets immediately dissolved and becomes one with Brahman when the Vasanas or desires and egoism are destroyed.

The real Samata is the absorption of the mind in the contemplation of Brahman. Destroy the impure mind through your higher mind and get yourself firmly seated in the Supreme Paramatman.

IV. NOBLE IS RESTRAINT

Learn to control desires and emotions. Learn to subdue, to purify, to order all your thoughts. Fight against all negative thoughts and doubts. Let sublime divine thoughts come to you from every side.

Be careful of your thoughts. Whatever you send out of your mind, comes back to you. Every thought you think, is a boomerang. If you hate others, hate will come back to you. If you love others, love will come back to you.

Thoughts of depression, failure, weakness, darkness, doubts, fear, etc., are negative thoughts. Cultivate positive thoughts of strength, confidence, courage, cheerfulness. The negative thoughts will disappear.

V. MASTERY OF MIND

Mind is the thief who had robbed the Atmic Jewel, viz., the Self. Slay by the arrow of Viveka the demon of lower, selfish mind whose form covers up the five senses of knowledge and the five senses of action.

Sensation are turned into percepts, and percepts are converted into concepts. It is the life-experience in the sense-universe.

No thought of anything is possible, where neither the eyes have seen nor the ears have heard. The senses do not perceive anything. It is the mind that perceives through the senses. The mind is often directed by the senses.

The Vasanas generate never-ending pains arising from mental actions. Therefore, they should be made to wear themselves away. The great Vasanas are the nets to catch the fishes of Jivas who are worldly-minded.

A mind which is never disturbed with its worries, will reach the Nirvana seat, devoid of actions through the extinction of Vasanas. Power intoxicates. Be careful. Beware. It will bring about your downfall quickly.

Where wealth and power reign, contentment runs away. Even wise men lose all sense of moderation when invested with vast powers. With the growth of Sankalpa (thought, imagination) there will arise the universe; with the extinction of Sankalpa, the world also will disappear.

If after destroying your mind ever surging through the Vasanas of Ajnana in this world of objects replete with its cause and effect, you give up even the Vasanas of the body, then you will attain Brahma-Jnana or the knowledge of the Supreme Self.


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