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Various Methods of Mind-Control

by Swami Sivananda

The mind can be controlled by Abhyasa and Vairagya. Abhyasa is constant effort to fix the mind on God or Atman. Vairagya is dispassion or non-attachment to sensual objects.

Enquire "Who am I?" Do Vichara. Do mental Japa of Om and meditate on Atman. All thoughts will die by themselves. You will rest in Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman.

Sit alone and watch the Vrittis (thought-waves) of the mind. Be indifferent. Remain as a Sakshi (witness). Don't identify yourself with the Vrittis. The mind will then be under your control.

Destroy the fuel of desire, and the fire of thought will be extinguished. With the annihilation of Sankalpa, the reality of Brahman will shine. Cultivate divine qualities such as friendliness, mercy, gladness and indifference towards happiness, pain, virtue and vice. You will get peace of mind.

Don't think of the past. Don't plan for the future. Don't allow the mind to build images. Live in the solid present.

Do a thing which the mind does not want to do. Don't do a thing which the mind wants to do.

Don't try to fulfil your desires. Don't hope. Don't expect anything. Destroy the vicious desires through virtuous desires and destroy the virtuous desires also through one strong desire for liberation.

Practice of Pranayama destroys Rajas and Tamas, makes the mind steady and one-pointed.

Study of religious books, Tapas, charity and Satsanga with Mahatmas, Sadhus and Sannyasins overhaul worldly vicious Samskaras (latent impressions) and pave a long way in the control of mind.

Japa of any Mantra and Upasana (worship of God) destroy the impurities of the mind, makes the mind inwards, induce Vairagya, help concentration and eventually lead to control of mind and attainment of God-consciousness.

"Kalau Kesavakirtanam." "In this Kali Yuga the easiest way for controlling the mind and attaining Moksha is Kirtan or singing the Name of the Lord."

Food has influence over the mind. Sattvic food (milk, fruits, etc.) calms the mind. Rajasic food (meat, alcohol, etc.) excites the mind. Take Sattvic food; have Mitahara (moderation in diet).

Destroy evil habits by establishing new good habits. Control the lower instinctive mind through the higher Sattvic mind.

Constant selfless service with Atma-Bhava is highly efficacious in purifying and controlling the mind.

Don't wrestle or struggle with the mind. Be regular in your concentration and meditation.

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