Wednesday, December 31, 2014

1 January

Universal Prayer
O adorable Lord of mercy and love!
Salutations and prostrations to thee.
Thou art satchidananda.
(Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute)
Thou art omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
Thou art the indweller of all beings.

Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant us inner spiritual strength
to resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, anger, greed and hatred.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues.

Let us behold thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember thee.
Let us ever sing thy glories.
Let thy name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in thee for ever and ever.
—Swami Sivananda
 
Real Peace
How long do you want to live a life of duality? A life of restlessness and discontentment? How long do you wish to lead a life of ignorance, hatred, bitterness, and separation? How long do you wish to continue your own selfish struggles? How long do you wish to behold differences and distinctions? How long do you wish to keep the barriers between man and man?
You cry for shanti, for peace. But where to get it? Through whom to get it? Realise peace in your own heart through association with sages and by meditation. You can find this peace only in the stillness, only within your own Self. You certainly cannot find it in objects. Look within.
Sit silently in a quiet room for one or two hours. Close your eyes and concentrate on the point between the eyebrows. Withdraw the mind and the senses from the external objects. Be still.
Silence the surging thoughts and the bubbling emotions. Forget the body. Forget the world. Enter into the great calm. Dive deep down into the recesses of your heart. Plunge into the ocean of peace. Now you can realise your oneness with the Supreme Self.
Be regular in your practice. This is of paramount importance. It is useless to talk of the cessation of war, whilst you are still full of petty hatred and jealousy. So first remove your own inharmonious vibrations. Then there will be no more war between nations. It is only the individuals that constitute a nation.
Lead a life of peace. Kill suspicion. Kill envy. Kill prejudice. Kill selfishness. Kill the greed for power and possession. Do this ruthlessly.
Lead a simple life. Practise daily meditation and establish peace in your own heart. Then you will radiate it to all who come in contact with you.
Mysterious is this peace. If you enjoy this peace, you will be contributing peace to the whole world. Realise the peace that passeth all understanding and be free.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

31 December

A Beacon-Light to the World
The liberated sage, like unto holy waters, purifies others by mere sight, touch and the utterance of his name. Sometimes he remains unnoticed, while sometimes he becomes known to those who desire welfare. He eats food offered to him by pious devotees and burns up their past and future evils and impurities. A liberated sage or a saint is the ultimate source of knowledge of the soul. To keep company with a jivanmukta (liberated sage) for even a minute is much better than to rule a kingdom - his very presence is so thrilling and inspiring. Seek his company and evolve. Serve him with faith and devotion.
A jivanmukta may give up his body in any place, at any time. Just as the falling leaves and fruits of a tree will not affect the tree itself, so also, the shedding of the body will not affect the Self which survives like the tree. His vital airs do not depart elsewhere for transmigration. They are absorbed in Brahman after the exhaustion of his destiny, the results of past actions that have already begun to bear fruit. He is freed from further births. The jivanmukta is freed from the trammels of mind and matter. He is absolutely free, perfect, independent. He is absolutely free from hatred, lust, cares, worries and anxieties. Everybody surely desires this state of beatitude or final emancipation. It is the final goal of life, the end of all human aspirations.
The state of a jivanmukta is the be-all and end-all of existence. There is fullness in this state. All desires are burnt. It is a state of absolute and perfect satisfaction. There is no gain greater than this; no bliss greater than this; no wisdom greater than this.
There, at the summit of the hill of eternal bliss, you can see the sage or jivanmukta or a full-blown yogi. He has climbed the stupendous heights through intense and constant struggle. He did severe, rigorous spiritual practices. He did profound meditation. He spent sleepless nights. He kept long vigils during several halting stages. He persevered with patience and diligence. He surmounted many obstacles, conquered despair, gloom and depression. He is a beacon-light to the world now. Remember that he was also rotting in those days in the quagmire of births and deaths, like yourself. You can also ascend to that summit if only you will.

OM TAT SAT
- - -
Note: Please let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy and blessed New Year. May the New Year and all of time to unfold shower upon thee all that is best and blest. Thank you for allowing this service.  -Swami Suryadevananda

Monday, December 29, 2014

30 December

Sage's Behaviour
A liberated sage is not a whimsical man, neither is he bound by the rules of scripture or society. And yet, he will not deviate from righteousness. All that he does will be in strict accordance with the scriptures or sacred books. He spontaneously does only what is good. An expert dancer never makes a false step. So is a jivanmukta (liberated sage) when he works.
The sage works without effort, without agency, without egoism, desire and attachment. Like a child, his conduct is neither good nor evil. The sense of right and wrong will be natural in him independently of scriptural teachings. He has destroyed all egoism, is above all karma, and karmas cannot touch him. He may, for the instruction of the world, perform works or refrain from forbidden acts. The jivanmukta does not care for public criticism. He keeps a cool mind even when he is assaulted. He blesses those who persecute him. He beholds only his own Self everywhere.
His mark or characteristic is an internal mental state. It cannot be perceived or detected by others. The Lord uses him for His divine work.
A knower of Brahman or a liberated sage need not be a genius. He need not be an eloquent speaker, orator, lecturer or professor. But he is calm, serene and tranquil. His silence is superior eloquence. He has divine wisdom and intuitive knowledge. In his presence, all doubts are cleared.
Householders make a wrong judgement in deciding the nature of a jivanmukta. They take into consideration only the external conditions of a jivanmukta. Even educated people make mistakes in this regard.
He will sometimes appear like an 'all-knower'. He will sometimes appear like an ignorant man. He knows when to act like a knower of the self. Serve him with proper feeling and devotion, with spiritual thirst; he will impart the highest knowledge to you. If you approach him with a bad motive, he will behave like a madman and you will be deceived and great will be your loss.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

29 December

The Sage's View of the World
The man who stands up to his neck in water has a twofold experience. His head is exposed to the sun. He experiences both heat and cold. Such is the experience of a liberated sage. He has double consciousness. He enjoys the bliss of Brahman, but also has the experience of this world. He is like a man who knows two languages.
Just as the pot in which asafoetida or onion is kept emits a certain amount of smell even when it is cleaned several times, so also, a small trace of ignorance still remains in the mind of a sage. The jivanmukta (liberated sage) has a consciousness of the body in the form of an impression in the subconscious mind. That is the reason why he eats and drinks. Though the instinctive mind with low desires is destroyed, the pure mind does not perish in the liberated sage. How will he be able to engage himself in worldly activity without an instrument, namely, the mind?
The phenomenal universe does not vanish from the vision of the liberated sage. He sees the world as a dream within himself. Just as the mirage appears even after the illusory nature of the water is understood, so also, the world appears for a jivanmukta even after he has attained Self-realisation, even after he has clearly understood the illusory nature of the world. But, just as the man who has understood the nature of the mirage will not run after the mirage for drinking water, so also, the sage who is liberated will not pursue sensual objects like the worldly-minded people - though the world appears to him. That is the difference between a worldly man and a liberated sage.
The jivanmukta beholds the one reality or God everywhere and in all things. For him there is no distinction between a rogue and a saint, gold and stone, honour and dishonour. He actually feels that all is himself only - that snakes, scorpions, tigers, bears and lions are as much part of himself as his own eyes, nose, ears, hands and feet. He is one with the flower, sun, ether, ocean, mountain and sky. He has cosmic vision and cosmic feelings.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

28 December

Jivanmukta
A jivanmukta is a liberated sage. He is released even while living, He lives in the world, but he is not of the world. He always revels in the eternal bliss of the Supreme Self. He is the Lord himself, a God on earth.
The jivanmukta or full-blown sage is full of pure love, compassion, mercy, exquisite gentleness and hidden power and strength. Love and lustre shine through his brilliant eyes.
The jivanmukta has not a bit of selfish interest in him and is absolutely free from worries, difficulties, troubles, tribulations and sorrows under all circumstances. Even when pains and afflictions attach themselves to his body, exhibit themselves on his face, his mind never writhes under them or their antithesis. He is not a slave of his moods; he is ever cheerful and peaceful. His higher excellences have been perfectly unfolded; all divine attributes are fully awakened in him. Every one of his weaknesses and limitations is burnt in toto. He shines in his own pristine glory, in his own essential nature of divine consciousness. He radiates peace and joy everywhere. The true greatness of a realised yogi is indescribable. His eyes are inspiring and impressive. His nature is magnanimous, his touch purifying; his looks are merciful, gestures illuminating. He is omniscient; he has intuitive transcendental knowledge and clear insight into the very heart of all things and beings. You will experience a deep sense of peace and harmony, great elevation and inspiration, in his presence.
The jivanmukta or liberated sage is absolutely free from egoism, fear, doubt and grief. These are the four important signs that indicate that one has attained perfection. The liberated sage is perfectly content, has unruffled peace of mind, experiences deep abiding joy and bliss, possesses super-sensual spiritual knowledge and has the ability to clear any kind of doubt an aspirant may have. Doubts vanish when one remains in his company.
The jivanmukta does not even care for the wants of the body. He is not afraid of death and has no longing to live. Mother Nature is his obedient and sweet nurse, attending upon him carefully. Bodily wants come by themselves. Nature arranges everything for him beforehand, this being her responsibility. Balanced mind, equal vision, indifference to the pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain, censure and praise, heat and cold, success and failure - these are the marks of a jivanmukta.

Raja Yoga, Message 4

Time — A Mode of the Mind
Time is but a mode of mind. It is also illusory like the objects. When your mind is deeply concentrated, a period of two hours appears like five minutes. If the mind is distracted and wandering, half an hour appears as two hours. This is everybody's experience. In dream also the experiences of some years take place within ten minutes. Through the play of the mind a kalpa is considered as a moment, and vice-versa.
If all the modifications of the mind stop through restraint (nirodhah), time will vanish. Time is a mental creation. Mind is a product or modification of the indescribable power of the Lord. The one power (shakti), which is known by various names, assumes various forms for keeping up the divine play of the Lord. Wonderful is the illusive power of the Lord! Still more wonderful is the Lord and His divine play (lila). He who obtains the grace of the Lord through total unreserved self-surrender and unswerving devotion understands His divine play, rejoices in Him, goes beyond time and mind and attains immortality.

Atman is One 
Bulbs are of different colours but the light is the same in all bulbs. Even so, the bodies and mental attitudes (bhavanas) are different but Atman (the Self) is one in all beings. A white bulb represents sattvic mind or sattvic bhavana; a red bulb rajasic mind or rajasic bhavana; a black bulb tamasic mind or tamasic bhavana.
Bodies are different, mental attitudes are different, gunas (qualities born of nature) are different and actions are different, but the Self is the same in all beings.
Noses are different. Some noses are aquiline, some are broad, but the power (shakti) that grasps the smell is one in all noses. Flowers are different, colours of flowers are also different, but the organ that sees is one. Even so, bodies are different and minds are different, but the Intelligence (Self, Atman or consciousness) is one.
All colours are centred in the eye, all tastes are centred in the tongue, all touches are centred in the skin, all sounds are centred in the ear, all scents are centred in the nose, all senses are centred in the mind, all minds are centred in OM or Atman or the Supreme Self, the support of everything.
This universe is also an aspect of the Lord, because its creation, preservation and dissolution proceeds from Him. Golden ear-rings, armlets, etc., are nothing but gold; so also this world of names and forms is nothing but the Lord. All the forms are divine manifestations of the Lord. If you remember this constantly you will have a new angle of vision. You will be freed from attachment and hatred. You will attain Self-realisation through the worship of the Lord in His form as the manifested universe.

Metaphysics of the Inner Man 
The physical body, the astral body, life-force (prana), intellect (buddhi), the instinctive mind, the spiritual mind and the spirit are the seven principles of man. Buddhi is pure reason. The seat of buddhi is just below the crown of the head in the pineal gland in the brain. Buddhi is manifested only in those persons who have developed right intuitive discrimination (viveka). The ordinary reason of worldly people is termed practical reason, which is dense and has limitations.
Prana is the vital-force or life-energy. It is the eternal symbol of God or Brahman. It is the link between the astral and physical body.
Prana is divided into physical prana and psychic prana. Breathing is an external manifestation of physical prana. All thoughts are due to the vibration of psychic prana in the sub-conscious. Prana is the horse and the body is the chariot. It vibrates and mind is set in motion. Mind thinks when prana moves. If it departs from the body all functions of the body will stop. The physical body will remain like a log of wood. Separation of prana from the physical body is called 'death' in common parlance. Control of prana leads to control of mind and vice-versa.
Just as an arrow is propelled by a bowman, so this body is propelled by prana. It is prana which manipulates this physical body and which fills and permeates it.
By the command of Brahman the ocean does not exceed its limits. By His command the sun shines and rises at the appointed time in the east. By His command the fire burns. By His command the mind, prana and the senses function.
Matter, prana and mind are the three relative manifestations of the Absolute. Prana is really a modification or manifestation of mind. Prana is the faculty of action. Matter emanates from prana. Prana proceeds from mind. Matter is below prana. Prana is above matter but below mind. Prana is positive to matter but negative to mind. Mind is positive to both prana and matter, but negative to will. Will is the centre of ego. Will is the general-in-chief which directs the mind and prana to all parts and in all directions. Intuition is above reason and is the channel of communication between man and spirit. Development of the will-power by auto-suggestion is the basic principle of raja yoga or vedanta.

The Power Within 
If you separate yourself from negative feelings and identify yourself with the Supreme Being no external influence can affect you. You will be invulnerable. Sometimes depression manifests on account of some disappointment or failure, severe dyspepsia or heated debates, wrong thinking or wrong feeling. Drive out the feeling of depression and gloom at once by enquiry, singing divine songs, prayers, chanting of OM, pranayama, a brisk walk in the open air or thinking of the opposite quality, the feeling of joy. Try to be happy in all states and radiate only joy towards all around you.
Why do you weep, my child? You are more emotional than rational. Control the emotions and become calm. Remove the bandage from your eyes and see now. You are surrounded by truth and truth alone. All is light and bliss only. The cataract of ignorance has blurred your vision. Extract the cataract immediately. Put on a new pair of glasses by developing the inner eye of wisdom through regular practice of concentration.
It is not thought alone that determines action. There are some intelligent people who think reasonably on the pros and cons of a thing, but when the time comes they are led astray by temptations. They do wrong actions and repent later on. It is the feeling that really goads man to action. Some psychologists lay special stress on imagination and say that it is imagination that really determines action. They bring the following illustrations in support of their view. Suppose a long plank one foot broad is placed between two turrets, each twenty feet high. When you begin to walk on this plank you imagine that you will fall down, and so you actually fall down, whereas you are able to walk on the same plank when placed on the ground. Suppose you go on a bicycle along a narrow lane. You see a big stone on the way. You imagine that you will hit the cycle against the stone, and so you actually run the cycle against the stone. Some other psychologists say that it is the will that determines an action. Will can do everything. Vedantins are of this latter opinion.
Will is the basic power in man. It is the soul-force. If the desires are destroyed, will-power develops. Control of the sense organs also augments the will-power. Determination, patience, interest, attention, perseverance, tenacity, application, fixity of purpose, persistency, practice of celibacy and meditation on the Self develop the will-power. A man of strong will has perfect self-confidence. He achieves sanguine success in all his attempts. Failure is unknown to him. Do not mistake obstinacy or stubbornness for strong will. Stubbornness is born of tamas or inertia. It is a form of stupidity.
Within you is a vast magazine of power, within you is the ocean of knowledge, within you is the fountain of bliss. All faculties are latent in you. The inner man is the immortal Soul. You are identical with the supreme Self. Realise this and be free. Unfold your latent faculties through meditation. Tap the source, dive deep within and bring up the pearl of the Atman. Be bold, be cheerful. May you become a superman!
You are the architect of your own fate and fortune. You are the master of your own destiny. You can do and undo things. You can attain Brahmanhood by right thinking, right feeling and right acting. You can break old morbid habits by the power of your will.
You can destroy wrong tendencies, unholy desires and incorrect imaginations. You can cultivate new habits, you can change your nature, you can build up a beautiful character. You can move the whole world by your spiritual force, you can elevate others also to the status of divinity. You can control the forces of nature and command the elements.
The powers of the mind are like rays of light dissipated. The rays of the mind are drawn towards various objects. You will have to gather them patiently through dispassion (vairagya) and practice (abhyasa), renunciation and austerity, and then march boldly on with indefatigable energy towards God or Brahman. When the mental rays are concentrated, illumination begins.
The intelligent, skilful and ever vigilant yogi is ever ready with his arrows to kill this wandering mischievous, turbulent mind. He attains ethical perfection, discipline of the senses and the mind, steadies the body, regulates the breath, adjusts the diet, controls the semen and finally hits at the mind straightaway. Then he enters into deep samprajnata-samadhi. You will find in the Mandukya Upanishad: "Pranava or OM is the bow, the mind or the lower self the arrow, and Brahman the mark or the target. If one carefully shoots at the mark, he becomes one with it."

The Subconscious Mind 
It is an admitted psychological fact that the mental processes by which you obtain knowledge are not merely confined to the field of consciousness, but also cover the field of subconsciousness. If you know the technique of speaking to your subconscious mind and the art or science of extracting work from it just as you would speak to your servant or a dear old friend, then all knowledge will be yours. Yes, it is a question of practice, and practice will make you perfect.
All that you have inherited, all that you have brought with you through innumerable births in the past, all that you have seen, heard, enjoyed, tasted, read or known either in this life or in past lives, are hidden in your subconscious mind.
When you are unable to solve some puzzle in metaphysics, science or philosophy, ask your subconscious mind to do the work for you with the full trust and confidence that you are bound to get the right solution from it. Master the technique of concentration and way of commanding your subconscious mind and make full and free use of all that knowledge. Command your subconscious mind in the following manner: "Look here, you subconscious mind! I want the solution to this puzzle or problem very urgently tomorrow morning. Kindly do it quickly." Let your command be given in very clear terms, and let there be no ambiguity about it. You will positively get the answer from your subconscious mind the next morning. But sometimes the subconscious mind may be busy otherwise, and in such cases you will have to wait for some days. You will have to repeat the same command regularly every day at a fixed time. 
If an idea is planted in the mind it grows at night through the operation of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind never takes any rest. From the authentic writings and the experiences of a hypnotised person we can clearly infer the existence of the subconscious mind which operates throughout the twenty-four hours.
Practice of telepathy, thought-reading, hypnotism, mesmerism, distant healing, psychic healing, etc., clearly prove that mind exists and that a higher developed mind can influence and subjugate the lower mind.
The occult phenomena that take place in the mental world are all based on scientific laws. Occultists and raja yogins should have a comprehensive, intelligent understanding of these laws. Then only will they be able to easily control the psychic forces.

Mind is Like a Chameleon 
Mind is not only daily made, but hourly made. Every minute it changes its colour and shape like a chameleon. It is very wavering and unsteady. 
Neem leaves are bitter when you are in normal health, but if you taste them when you are bitten by a cobra, they are sweet. Bitterness and sweetness do not lie in the leaves, but they are in the subject. They are created by the mind. It is the mind that gives the qualities of shape, colour, taste, etc., to the object. 
Just as the water that flows from a tank to the fields through channels assumes the forms of the respective fields, so also the mind goes out through the channel of the eyes, pervades the objects and assumes the forms of the respective objects. As soon as one field is filled with water, the water is diverted and sent to the next field. Water thus flows from one field to another field. Even so, the mind assumes the form of one object, and then it jumps to another object, then to a third object and so on. 
Sometimes one says: "I was absent in mind, I did not hear. I was absent in mind, I did not see." In this manner it is evident that a person sees with the mind and hears with the mind. Desire, determination, uncertainty, belief, unbelief, steadiness, unsteadiness, intellect and fear are mind alone. 
When one is under chloroform anaesthesia, the activity of the cells of the brain is inhibited by the effect of chloroform. The mind, which has its seat in the brain during waking consciousness, now rests in a place midway between the throat and the heart and so one has no feeling of pain even when his leg is amputated. Man feels pain only when the mind is connected with the body. When one is under chloroform the mind is disconnected from the physical body. 
When the mind is fully occupied in the affairs of warfare the soldier does not feel any serious injury when he gets a gunshot wound in the leg. He is filled with enthusiasm. He is not conscious of his body for the time being. When the excitement is over, when he sees some blood spots on his clothing or when one of his comrades points out to him the wound on the leg, he comes to consciousness. Then he is alarmed a bit. The power of imagination havocs now. He gets a collapse. The power of imagination always exaggerates. 
Conscience is the result of the action of environment on the mind. It is one's own convictions. It is ever-changing. The conscience of one man differs from that of another. If you acquire some more experience you will have a different conscience. 
Though the mind is the same, the mode of thinking is different in different persons. The mentality, temperament and latent tendencies are different in different persons. A Persian poet, a Delhi grocer and an Ayodhya priest were travelling together on the road to Badrinarayan. Near Deva Prayag, where the Ganges and the Alakananda meet together, a nightingale was singing in a very melodious tune. The Persian poet said: "This bird is singing subhan teri kudaret — How magnanimous is Thy nature's glory." The grocer said: "The bird is singing hing haldi adharak — Asafoetida, turmeric, ginger." The Ayodhya priest said: "The bird is singing Rama-Sita-Dasarath (names of God)". 
A philosopher will make out some kind of philosophy even from abusive words and unpleasant expressions. 
The mind born of meditation is free from desires and impressions. There cannot be any abode for desires or attraction and repulsion or virtue and sin in the mind that is born of meditation.

Marvels of the Mind 
Look at the marvels of the mind! One is struck with awe and wonder when he witnesses a hypnotised person in trance and hears his narratives. The hypnotised person narrates very lucidly the life history and incidents of a person whom he has not seen in his life. 
A maid servant who was attending on a Hebrew priest used to hear the Hebrew verses during her service. She suddenly developed a double-personality when she was sick in the hospital, and repeated Hebrew verses. She did not know the Hebrew language. All the impressions (of hearing from the priest) were in the subconscious mind, and she repeated the verses. No impressions are lost. They are indelibly recorded in the gramophone machine of the mind stuff (chitta). 
A priest used to forget his old personality and assume a new personality, a new name and a new vocation for six months. When he developed a double-personality he would leave his old house and entirely forget all about his old life, and then return after six months and entirely forget all about the second personality he assumed for six months.

Power of Thought 
Man is thought-formed. "As a man thinks, such indeed he is and as he thinks in this world he becomes on departing hence." —Chhandogya Upanishad: III-41-1 
If all thoughts are eliminated there remains nothing which can be called 'mind'. So 'thoughts' are the mind. Again, there is no such thing as the world independent of and apart from thoughts.
Your thoughts mould your character and shape your destiny. Thought has tremendous power. It is more powerful than electricity. Thoughts control your life. Conquer your thoughts. 
Thoughts gain strength by repetition. If you entertain an evil thought or good thought once, this evil thought or good thought has a tendency to recur again. Thoughts crowd together just as birds of the same feather flock together, so if you entertain one evil thought all sorts of evil thoughts join together and pull you down. If you entertain any good thought, all good thoughts join together and raise you up. 
Kill ruthlessly the fear-thoughts, selfish-thoughts, hate-thoughts, lustful-thoughts and other morbid negative thoughts. These evil thoughts induce weakness, disease, disharmony, depression and despair. 
At first an evil thought enters the mind. Then you entertain a strong imagination. You take delight in dwelling on that evil thought. You give it consent to stay in the mind. Gradually the evil thought, when it is not resisted, takes a strong hold in your mind. Then it becomes very difficult to drive it off. The proverb goes: "Give a rogue an inch and he will take a mile." This is true of thoughts also. 
Like attracts like. If you entertain an evil thought this thought attracts all sorts of evil thoughts from others. You pass on that thought to others also. Thought moves; it is a living force. Thought is a thing. If you allow your mind to dwell on a sublime thought this thought will attract good thoughts from others. You pass on that good thought to others. You pollute the world with your bad thoughts. You improve the world with your good thoughts. 
Cultivate positive thoughts such as mercy, courage, love and purity. The negative thoughts will die by themselves. Try this and feel your strength. Pure thoughts will infuse in you a new exalted life. 
The thoughts you create in your mind and the images you form in your daily life will help in making you what you are or what you want to become. If you constantly think of the pure, immortal Atman and meditate on the formula 'I am Brahman', you will become identical with Atman. If you constantly think of Lord Krishna you will become identical with the Lord. You will abide in Him for ever. 
Sublime divine thoughts produce tremendous influence in the mind and drive away evil thoughts and change the mental substance. Mind is wholly changed into light by entertaining divine thoughts.
Thoughts are solid things, more solid than a lump of stone. They have tremendous force or power. Utilise this thought-power carefully. It can serve you nicely in a variety of ways. But do not misuse this power at random. If you do misuse it you will have quick downfall or a terrible reaction. Utilise it to help others. 
From thinking comes attachment; from attachment desire is born; from desire proceeds anger — anger arises when desire is frustrated by some cause or the other; from anger arises delusion; from delusion, failure of memory, from failure of memory, loss of intellect; from loss of intellect man is totally ruined. If you want to attain everlasting peace do not think of objects but think always of the immortal, blissful Atman alone. 
Desires by themselves are harmless. They are galvanised by the power of imagination or thought. Then only they do much havoc. Man muses or thinks on the objects of the senses. He imagines that he will get a great deal of pleasure from them. This imagination cooperates with the desires. Then the desires are invigorated or vitalised. They attack the deluded jiva vehemently. 
The external objects are continuously acting upon the brain. The sense-impressions reach the brain through sense-avenues and produce mental stimuli. Now you are conscious of the external objects. Consciousness may be caused by an awakening, either by an external stimulus, i.e., a stimulus from a sense-impression or an internal stimulus through memory. Each simple sense-impression is a highly complex bundle of afferent-stimuli (stimuli that are carried from outside towards the brain). A stimulus is an awakening in the substratum of the mind. The associations of awakenings which arise from a single sense-impression are very complex. 
When the mind thinks of worldly objects there is order. The mind may think of a rose and then it may think of a bungalow, money, sea-voyage, aeroplane, motor car, restaurants and pictures. You may think that the mind is aimlessly wandering, but there is order in its movement. The idea of a bungalow comes when it thinks of a rose because the rose is grown in the compound of a bungalow. As soon as it thinks of a bungalow the idea of money creeps in, because a wealthy man who possesses money lives in a bungalow. Then the mind wants to enjoy pleasant objects with the help of money. It wants to take a pleasure-trip to Europe and move about there in an aeroplane and automobile, to eat dainties in hotels and to see pictures in cinemas. 
Molten gold which is poured into a crucible assumes the shape of the crucible. Even so, the mind assumes the form of the object which it intensely dwells upon. If it thinks of an orange it assumes the shape of an orange. If it thinks of Lord Krishna it assumes the form of Lord Krishna. You must train the mind properly and give it proper pure sattvic food for assimilation. Have a pure background of thought or mental image. 
It is the mental attitude that determines the nature of an action and brings its fruits. You may embrace your mother or sister or your wife. The action is the same but the mental feeling (bhava) is different. 
Watch your ideas and feelings always. Your attitude should always be pure. You should always entertain thoughts of God. Watch the feeling during meditation. 
If you have purity and concentration you can make the mind assume any feeling you like. If you think of mercy your whole being will be saturated with mercy. If you think of peace your whole being will be pervaded with peace.

Chitta 
The subconscious mind is termed chitta. Much of your subconscious consists of submerged experiences, memories thrown into the background, but recoverable. 
When you show symptoms of losing your memory as you grow old, the first symptom is that you find it difficult to remember the names of persons. The reason is not far to seek. All the names are arbitrary. They are like labels. There are no associations along with the names. The mind generally remembers through associations, as the impressions become deep thereby. You can remember in old age some passages you have read in school and college, but you find it difficult to remember in the evening a passage you have read in the morning. The reason is that the mind has lost its power of grasping ideas. The cells have degenerated. Those who overwork mentally, who do not observe the rules of celibacy and who are afflicted with many cares, worries and anxieties, lose their power of memory soon. Even in old age you can remember old events as there are associations with these events. 
The mental processes are limited to the field of consciousness alone. The field of subconscious mentation is of a much greater extent than that of conscious mentation. Only ten percent of mental activities come into the field of consciousness. At least ninety percent of our mental life is subconscious. We sit and try to solve a problem and fail. We look around, try again and again, but fail. Suddenly, an idea dawns and leads to the solution of the problem. The subconscious process was at work. Messages when ready come out like a flash from the subconscious mind or chitta.
Sometimes you go to sleep at night with the thought: "I must get up very early in the morning to catch a train." This message is taken up by the subconscious mind and it is this subconscious mind that wakes you up unfailingly at the exact hour. Subconscious mind is your constant companion and sincere friend. You repeatedly fail at night to get a solution for a problem in arithmetic or geometry. In the morning when you wake up you get a clear answer. Even in sleep it works incessantly without any rest. It arranges, classifies, compares, sorts all facts and works out a proper satisfactory solution. This is all due to the subconscious mind. 
When you desire to remember a thing you will have to make a psychic exertion. You will have to go up and down the depths of the different levels of the subconscious mind and then pick up the right thing from a curious mixture of multifarious irrelevant matter. Just as the mail sorter in the Railway Mail Service takes up the right letter by moving the hand up and down along the different pigeonholes, so also the sorter in the subconscious mind goes up and down along the pigeon-holes in the subconscious mind and brings the right thing to the level of normal consciousness. 
The other functions of chitta are remembrance, attention and investigation. When you repeat a mantra it is the chitta that does the remembering. It does a lot of work. It turns out better work than the mind or intellect. 
With the help of the subconscious mind you can change your vicious nature by cultivating healthy, virtuous qualities that are opposed to the undesirable ones. If you want to overcome fear, mentally deny that you have fear and concentrate your attention upon the opposite quality, the ideal of courage. When this is developed, fear vanishes by itself. The positive always overpowers the negative. This is an infallible law of nature. You can acquire a liking for distasteful tasks and duties by cultivating a desire and taste for them. You can establish new habits, new ideals, new ideas and tastes and a new character in the subconscious mind by changing the old ones.

Friday, December 26, 2014

27 December

Key to Perfection
Meditate on the Atman; you will enjoy peace and bliss. The more you grow in aspiration and meditation the more God-like you grow, for in meditation is the light of the Lord. Meditate and charge your battery by contact with God. Dive deep into the chambers of your heart through profound and silent meditation and bring up the pearl of truth. Meditate and retire to your innermost centre. Abide now in perfect serenity and the peace that passeth all understanding.
Fear, distress, worry, temptation and despair will assail you during meditation. Repeat the Lord's name vigorously and sincerely - all will vanish. Meditate amidst noise, study amidst noise. Discipline and again discipline. There will be no tossing of the mind for you. You will have a strong unperturbed mind. If purity increases, the body becomes light and the mind becomes cheerful. One attains greater balance of mind and the power of concentration increases. You enter into deep meditation. If for one day you do not practise meditation, you will lose much; you will not be able to reach the original spiritual height the next day. Therefore always be regular in your meditation. Enquire, "Who am I?". Find the seer, find the knower. Meditate on satchidananda Atman, the inner ruler, the indweller.
Meditate on Brahman as support, greatness, wisdom, bliss and existence. The light which never fails is the light of meditation. You experience samadhi (the vision of truth) through the light of meditation. Moksha (emancipation) is very near to him who is perfect is meditation. Connect your mind with the mind of God through meditation or yoga. Your life will become divine, your life will be transformed.
- - -
Meditation is the means; knowledge is the end. Meditation is the process; knowledge is the culmination. In meditation there is struggle, striving or effort. In knowledge there is no striving. So long as there is meditation, the meditator is only an aspirant. When meditation ceases and the goal is reached, the meditator becomes the knower of truth - all meditation and effort cease. He is a jivanmukta (liberated sage). When you try to behold a tree, there is effort in the beginning of perception. Later it becomes a continuous stream of consciousness of the tree. So is knowledge of Brahman.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

26 December

Meditate on the Lord
Meditate on the Lord, the inner ruler, the indweller of your heart. The lotus of your heart will blossom; the sun of wisdom will shine. The darkness of the heart will end. The five kleshas (psychic sources of sorrow) will be annihilated. The three fires (internal, external and supernatural suffering) will be extinguished. Sins and samskaras (mental impressions) will be burnt. Vasanas (tendencies) and cravings will be fried.
Meditate on the eternal which is free from pain, from disease, from fear and delusion, which is all-filling, pure, far yet near, the birth place of the five elements, the final goal of yogins and sages, the source of mind, senses and vedas, the place where silence reigns supreme, where there is immortal bliss beyond thought, the supreme, glorious splendour where thought is dead, where there is neither noise nor fight.
Purity, humility and mercy are the rungs of the ladder to the supreme abode of my beloved. You may burn the ladder now - I will not come down any more. Rivers of honey run in this wonderful land and flowers do not fade at any time - I swim daily in the ocean of eternity. I drink the immortal nectar. Hunger and thirst torment me not. Exhaustion and fatigue trouble me not. There is no need of lamps and electric light - there is eternal sunshine. There is no fear of snakes and scorpions - this deathless realm makes everyone fearless.
When you have realised oneness, when you behold Brahman everywhere, can there be 'here' and 'there'? Can there be 'this' and 'that'? Can there be 'I' and 'you' and 'he'? Can there be one, two or three? One homogeneous, blissful essence alone exists. There is only one Brahman - the infinite. All dualities, differences and distinctions melt away. The seer and the seen become one. The meditator and the meditated fuse. The thinker and the thought blend. The knower and the knowable merge. It is the transcendental experience of wholeness, perfection, fullness, freedom and perennial joy.
- - -
Meditate on courage, humility, love, compassion, peace, bliss, serenity. First practise concentration on an object. Then concentrate on the idea of the object. Finally concentrate on the existence behind the idea. Meditate on completeness and spiritual perfection. To meditate is to go into oneself and open the heart, in silence, to the divine spirit. Meditate on the Atman. You will see the light of truth, you will understand the oneness of all life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

25 December

Christmas Message
Christmas is the great festival of Christendom. There is a spirit of joy everywhere. Men and women lay aside their jealousies and enmities for a while. They come a little nearer to each other - and to Christ.
Christ came and lived among men to awaken the Christ-consciousness within them. Christ should be born in each one of you - then alone you will understand spiritual life. Then alone you will try to live a perfect, divine life. Then alone you will realise the spirit of Christ, which is within each one of us.
The sacrament of baptism enables you to come one step nearer to this perfect life. The sacrament of confirmation enables you to come another step nearer to sharing his life, using his force and his love.
Now, you are a knight in Christ's service. When you partake of communion, you really partake of his very life. Thus the spirit of Christ in you is gradually being roused, and you are awakened to the higher life of Christ-consciousness.
Every day should be Christmas day for us. So bring the spirit of Christ into your daily life. Behold Christ in everything, in all beings.
Cultivate sympathy and mercy for all beings. Expand your heart and embrace all.
Greet the Christ, everywhere. Perform each day, for yourself, the Christ's mass. Remember that Christ is in the priest. Christ is in the saint and the sinner. Christ is in the dog and in the labourer. Christ is in all.
- - -
Every day is a fresh beginning. Spend it usefully. Beginning the day right will bring great success. The whole day will be well-lived. Begin the day at 4 a.m. Pray, meditate, do japa.
 
Pray unto the Lord: 
"Lord, lead me from the unreal to the real,
from darkness to light,
from hatred to love,
from impurity to purity,
from imperfection to perfection,
from disharmony to harmony,
from diversity to unity."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

24 December

Moksha Gita - 10
O my child! Hast thy delusion been destroyed? Have you become fearless now? Have your doubts been removed? Are you resting now in your own satchidananda svaropa? I have declared to thee the profound secret of vedanta, the essence of vedas.
O preceptor! I have realised the Self now. I am verily that Brahman, which is self-effulgent, one without a second, which is changeless, partless, formless, eternal, all-pervading, the absolute and the homogeneous essence.
I am satchidananda Brahman. I am pure, infinite, unattached, timeless, motionless, deathless, decayless and fearless. I have no connection with the body and the mind. I am actionless, formless.
Salutations unto thee, O venerable guru! Thou hast saved me from the wheel of birth and death. Through thy grace I have attained immortality and eternal bliss. All my doubts, delusion and ignorance have vanished. Millions of prostrations unto thee, O merciful Lord.

Song of Divine Life
Gopala Gopala Muralilola
Yasoda Nandana Gopibala.
Serve - love - give - purify, practise ahimsa,
Satyam, brahmacharya 'take satvic food', study Gita,
Have satsang, control senses, do japa kirtan,
Meditate in brahmamuhurta, know thyself.
Love all, embrace all, be kind to all,
Work is worship (serve all), serve the Lord in all.
Purify, concentrate, reflect, meditate,
Know the Self through enquiry, "Who am I?".
Purify, concentrate, reflect, meditate,
Serve, love, give and be dispassionate,
Know Brahman, maya, samsara and 'I',
Behold the goal of life, hae Saumya nearby.
(Gopala Gopala .....) 

Monday, December 22, 2014

23 December

Moksha Gita - 9
Thou art not this perishable body. Thou art not the wavering mind. Thou art not the indriyas (senses). Thou art not the intellect. Thou art not the causal body. Thou art the all-pervading, immortal Brahman. Realise this and be free.
Thou art the prajnana ghana Atman (embodiment of wisdom). Thou art chidghana Brahman (mass of consciousness). Thou art vijnana ghana purusha (mass of knowledge). Thou art ananda ghana soul (mass of bliss). Realise this and be free.
Thou art akhanda ekarasa Brahman (one homogeneous essence). Thou art chinmatra purusha (pure consciousness). Thou art spotless, passionless, sexless and bodiless soul. Realise this and be free.
Thou art timeless, spaceless, deathless, changeless, endless, beginningless, motionless, desireless, faultless and actionless Brahman. Realise this and be free.
Thou art indivisible, partless, and infinite. Thou art birthless and deathless. Thou art immutable and self-luminous. Thou art eternal, perpetual and self-contained. Realise this and be free.
Thou art anandamaya-purusha (blissful soul). Thou art chinmaya Brahman (pure consciousness). Thou art jyotirmaya Atman (radiant). Realise this and be free.
Thou art distinct from the three bodies and the five koshas. Thou art the witness of the three states. Realise this and be free.
That supreme Brahman which is the immortal Self of all, which is the beginningless entity, which is immutable and infinite, which is beyond the reach of mind and speech - that Brahman art thou. Meditate on this. Realise this and be free.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

22 December

Moksha Gita - 8
A jivanmukta (liberated sage) who has reached the imperishable turiya (transcendental) state can never be affected by the pairs of opposites. He always rests in his own satchidananda svarupa (essential entity as satchidananda). He roams about happily.
A jivanmukta realises that he is beyond the three bodies and the five koshas; he is the witness of the three states; he is pure consciousness.
For a liberated sage who has realised that all beings are the self, there is neither delusion nor grief, as there is no second for him.
The sage who has destroyed all his desires and egoism, who is always calm and serene, equanimous, who does not see any distinction of form and who has freed himself from delusion or ignorance, shines brilliantly.
The jivanmukta rests with an unshaken mind in the all-blissful Brahman. He is free from all the modifications of the mind. His heart is pure like the Himalayan snow or the crystal. He is free from the distinctions - I, he, thou.
The liberated sage, the prince among ascetics who has conquered the enemy, ignorance, who has known the secret of true bliss, uses the palms of his hands as his bowl, and sleeps blissfully under the foot of a tree.
The sage does not care for public criticism. He keeps a cool mind even when he is assaulted. He blesses those who persecute him. He beholds only his own Self everywhere.
He whose mind does neither sink nor float amidst pains and pleasures is indeed a liberated sage. He has rendered his mind completely quiescent by identifying himself with Brahman.
The jivanmukta has a consciousness of body in the form of a samskara (psychological impression). The videhamukta has no consciousness of the body.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

21 December

Moksha Gita - 7
He who thinks, "I am the body ... This body is mine ... She is my wife ... He is my son ... I am a brahmana ... I am fat ... I am black ... I am a pandit", is an ignorant man. He is bound.
He who thinks, "I am not the body: I am all-pervading, changeless, immortal, indivisible, self-contained, self-existent, satchidananda Brahman", is a wise sage. He is free.
He who thinks, "I did this work, so I will go to heaven; I enjoyed such and such a thing", is an ignorant man.
He who thinks, "Prakrti (nature) does everything ... I am only witness .... I am non-doer ... I am non-enjoyer" - is a wise sage.
The annamaya sheath (food sheath) is made up of the five elements. It has a beginning and an end. It is inert and full of parts. It is an effect of the five elements. It is full of impurities. 
Therefore you are not this physical body or the annamaya sheath. You are the witness of this body. Understand therefore, "I am not the body. I am Brahman."
The pranamaya kosha (the vital sheath) is the product of rajoguna (dynamism, passion). It also has a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. Therefore you are not the pranamaya kosha. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not the pranamaya kosha. I am Brahman."
The manomaya kosha (the mental sheath) is a product of satva guna. It also has a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. Therefore you are not the manomaya kosha. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not manomaya kosha. I am Brahman."
The vijnanamaya kosha (the buddhi sheath) is a product of satva guna. It has also a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. Therefore you are not the vijnanamaya kosha. You are witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not the vijnanamaya kosha. I am Brahman."
The anandamaya kosha (the bliss sheath) is avidya or ignorance, a modification of prakrti (nature). It is the effect of past deeds. It is endowed with changing attributes. It is jada (insentient). Therefore you are not the anandamaya kosha. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not the anandamaya kosha. I am Brahman."

Raja Yoga, Message 3

Necessity for a Guru
"If these truths have been told to a high souled one who has supreme devotion to God and as much devotion to his guru or preceptor as to God, then only they will shine forth, then only they will shine forth indeed." —Svetasvatara Upanishad: VI-23
The spiritual path is thorny, rugged and precipitous. It is enveloped by darkness. The guidance of a guru who has already trodden the path is imperative.
Some do meditation for some years independently. Later on, they actually feel the necessity of a guru. They come across some obstacles in the way. They do not know how to proceed further and how to obviate these impediments or stumbling blocks. Then they begin to search for a master. A stranger in a big city finds it difficult to go back to his residence in a small avenue even in broad daylight, even though he has walked half a dozen times. When difficulty arises even in the case of finding out the way in streets and roads, what to speak of the difficulties in the razor path of spirituality when one walks alone with closed eyes!
The guru will be able to throw light and remove the obstacles on the path. The knowledge of the Self is handed down from guru to disciple in succession. Matsyendranath taught it to Nivrittinath.
Nivrittinath gave the knowledge to Jnana Dev, and so on. Gaudapada initiated Govindapada into the mysteries of Kaivalyam. Govindapada instructed Sankaracharya. Sankaracharya instructed Suresvaracharya, and so on.
The spiritual path is quite a different line altogether. It is not like writing a thesis for M.A. examination. The help of a teacher is necessary at every moment. Young aspirants become self-sufficient, arrogant and self-assertive in these days. They do not care to carry out the orders of a guru. They do not wish to have a guru. They want independence from the very beginning. They apply in an absurd manner with a perverted intellect the 'neti neti' (not this, not this) doctrine in the case of guru also. They think they are in the fourth state of consciousness when they do not even know the A.B.C. of spirituality or truth. This is the philosophy of devils. They mistake licentiousness or 'having their own way and sweet will' for freedom. This is a serious, lamentable mistake. That is the reason why they do not grow. They lose faith in the efficacy of their practice and in the existence of God. They wander about in a happy-go-lucky manner, without any aim, from Kashmir to Gangotri and from Gangotri to Rameshvaram talking some nonsense on the way, and posing as liberated beings.
He who lives under the guidance of a guru for twelve years, who carries out implicitly the orders of the guru, who serves the guru sincerely, taking him for God himself, can really improve in the spiritual path. There is no other way for spiritual progress. So long as there is world, there are spiritual teachers and spiritual books. The number of liberated beings may be less in Kali Yuga than in Satya Yuga. If you cannot get an ideal guru, you can take even a senior aspirant who has been treading the path of realisation for some years, who is straightforward and honest, who is selfless, free from pride and egoism, who has good character and who has knowledge of scriptures, as your guru. Live with him for some time. Study him carefully. If you are satisfied, take him as your preceptor and follow his instructions strictly. After you have accepted him once as your guru, never suspect him and never find fault with him. Also, do not change the guru very often. You will be bewildered. You will get different conflicting ideas. Everybody has got his own method of spiritual practice. You will find no improvement if you change your method frequently. Stick to one guru and stick to his instructions.
Stick to one method. You will evolve quickly. Single-minded devotion to one guru, to one ideal and to one kind of sadhana and whole-hearted application, are indispensable requisites for God-realisation.
If an aspirant from Kashmir meditates upon his guru or spiritual guide at Uttarkashi, Himalayas, a definite connection is established between him and the teacher. The guru radiates power, peace, joy and bliss to the student in response to his thoughts. He is bathed in the powerful current of magnetism. The stream of spiritual electricity flows steadily from the preceptor to his disciple, just as oil flows from one vessel to another. The student can imbibe or draw from his teacher in proportion to his degree of faith. Whenever the student sincerely meditates upon his teacher, the teacher also actually feels that a current of prayer or sublime thoughts proceeds from his student and it touches his heart. He who has the inner astral sight can clearly visualise a thin stream of bright light between the disciple and the teacher, caused by the movement of the vibration of pure thoughts in the ocean of consciousness.
Beware of pseudo-gurus. They are knocking about in abundance these days. They will exhibit some tricks or feats to attract people. Think that those who are proud, who are roaming about to make disciples and to amass money, who talk of worldly matters, who speak untruth, who boast of themselves, who are talkative, who keep company with worldly people and women and who are luxury-loving, are false imposters. Do not be deceived by their sweet talk and lectures.
In this connection, it will not be out of place to mention the story of a man who was in search of a sad-guru. He found out after all, one sad-guru. The student asked the guru: "O venerable sir, give me some instruction."
The guru asked: "What sort do you want?"
The disciple asked: "O beloved master! Who is superior, disciple or guru?"
The guru said: "Guru is superior to disciple."
The disciple said: "O beloved guru! Make me a guru. I would like that."
Such sort of disciples are plenty in these days.
 
Three Things 
Here are some triads for your daily spiritual practices.
Practise three things: non-violence, truthfulness and celibacy.
Remember three things: death, pains of worldly existence (samsara) and God.
Renounce three things: egoism, desire and attachment.
Cultivate three things: humility, fearlessness and love.
Eradicate three things: lust, anger and greed.
Three things to love: desire for liberation, company of the wise and selfless service.
Three things to despise: miserliness, cruelty and petty- mindedness.
Three things to admire: generosity, courage and nobility.
Three things to hate: lust, anger and pride.
Three things for reverence: guru, renunciation and discrimination.
Three things to control: tongue, temper and tossing of the mind.
Three things to shun: evil company, evil desires and evil actions.
Three things to cultivate: cosmic love, forgiveness and patience.
Three things to avoid: back-biting, falsehood and harsh words.

MYSTERIES OF THE MIND
"Though objects are similar, the ways of mind are different according to the difference in minds." (IV-15)
The form which the infinite all-pervading Atman has assumed through its power of imagination is called 'mind'. Raja yoga is an exact science concerned with the mind and the suppression of all its modifications. Because the mind is the cause for the existence of the phenomenal world, its annihilation will eventually lead the yoga practitioner to the highest goal i.e., asamprajnata samadhi, wherein he rests in complete peace in union with the Supreme Soul.
The practice of raja yoga will enable you to possess a vigorous healthy mind, strong will-power and wonderful power of concentration and self-control. It will enable you to acquire various psychic powers.
Every human being has within himself various potentialities and capacities. He is a magazine of power and knowledge. Through this path he can become the master of internal and external nature. He can unfold new powers, new faculties, new qualities. He can change his environment and influence others. He can subdue other minds. He can enter into super-conscious state. He can govern all the phenomena of nature — he can control the elements. The whole mystery of nature will be unravelled to him.
Raja yoga deals in detail with the process of restraining the vrittis (waves of the mind) and attaining nirvikalpa samadhi or the state of super-consciousness in which the samskaras (the seeds of rebirth) are fried in toto. The yogi attains perfection or kaivalya — independence.
The earnest student of the science of raja yoga will find a wealth of occult lore in the book on raja yoga written by Patanjali Maharishi. The book contains aphorisms or laconic sutras. (Without the help of an explanatory commentary and a master who has actually mastered all the yoga practices, it is rather difficult to comprehend the teachings contained in this book.)
Nature of the Mind
Mind is a power born of Atman because it is through mind that God manifests Himself as the differentiated universe of names and forms. Mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts and habits. As the T thought is the root of all thoughts, mind is only the thought 'I'.
Mind is nothing but a collection of samskaras or impressions. It is nothing but a collection of desires arising from contact with different objects. It is also a collection of feelings aroused by worldly botherations. It is a collection of ideas gathered from different objects. These desires, ideas and feelings constantly change. Some of the old desires are constantly departing from their store-house of the mind, and new ones are replacing them.
Mind is the greatest force on this earth. He who has controlled his mind is full of powers, he can bring all minds under his influence. All diseases can be cured by psychic healing. One is struck with awe and wonder at the marvels and mysterious powers of the mind of man. The source or home or support for this mysterious mind is God or Atman.
Mind is a mysterious something which is really nothing but does everything. It is born of the illusory power of God. It is a product of ignorance. It is a compound of desires, thoughts and imagination, a mixture of worry and fear. It is a confection.
If you pant for breath or feel tired even when you walk a short distance it indicates that you are physically weak. If you feel tired when you study a book for a short while it denotes that something which is inside the body is weak. That 'something' which is inside the body, which becomes weak when you study, is the 'mind' or thinking principle. This clearly proves that mind exists.
Mind feels tired after hard and protracted work. It cannot, therefore, be the Atman. The Atman is the storehouse of all powers.
Mind is only an instrument of the Atman. It should be properly disciplined. Just as you develop the physical body through gymnastics and various kinds of physical exercises, you have to train the mind through mental training, mental culture or mental drill — for instance the training of memory, the cultivation of reflection, discrimination and enquiry of 'Who am I?'. The practice of meditation itself is a potent clarifier of memory. The practice of memory-culture powerfully helps the attainment of meditation.
Mind is the instrument or sense which is the cause for the feelings of pleasure and pain. It is countless as it remains with each soul. It is in the form of an atom and is eternal.
The mind is like the sensitive plate of a camera. Just as the picture of a man who comes in front of a camera is impressed on the sensitive plate behind, so also the images of all objects of the world are indelibly printed in the mind. The book that you see in front of you is a mental image plus an external something. In fact the whole external world is within the mind. The mind has projected this world from itself, just as the spider has projected the web from its own body. The mind manifests itself as the external world. The things that we perceive all around us are only mind in form or substance. The mind is subjectively consciousness and is objectively this universe.
Just as the physical body is composed of solid, liquid and gaseous matter, so also the mind is made up of subtle matter of various grades of density with different rates of vibration. A raja yogi penetrates through the different layers of the mind by intense practice.
Mind can be compared to water. Water exists in four states, viz., causal state in the form of H2O, subtle state in the form of water, gross state in the form of ice and gaseous state in the form of vaporised steam. Even so, the mind is in a gross state during waking state when it enjoys sensual objects, it is in a subtle state when it functions in the dream state, it is in a causal state when it gets involved into its cause during deep sleep and it evaporates as gas when it melts or dissolves in Brahman during nirvikalpa samadhi.
When rice has its own individuality it can be differentiated. When it is powdered nicely and made into a thick paste, rice loses its individuality. It is all one mass of homogeneous paste. Even so, in deep sleep state mind is like the rice paste. There is no differentiation here. It is a homogeneous mass.
Ghee has two states, viz., solid and liquid. Mind is like ghee; in the waking state it is solid and in deep sleep state it is liquid. In the solid state it is limited and gross and so it has finite experiences. In the liquid state it is limitless and so the jiva experiences the homogeneous, limitless bliss. In the deep sleep state there is no ego or individuality. There is no desire also. Hence, it experiences limitless bliss of Atman.
Mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of food. It is not a heavy thing. It is like a light diffusable gas or vapour or fume. When a scented stick is burnt the fumes pervade the whole room in a minute. Even so, the mind pervades the whole brain as soon as it emerges out of the causal body from deep sleep.
Some philosophers say that the size of the mind corresponds to the size of the body with which it is connected, and that it contracts and expands like a light placed in a jar or a house, as the case may be. This is wrong. The flame of the light neither increases nor decreases, contracts nor expands according to the space. So also the mind remains the same always. The mind, therefore, is all-pervading and subtle.
The vast universe shines as the thought or imagination of the Self (atma-sankalpa). Only if there is mind will this universe exist. There is no mind during deep sleep. So there is no world. The more you think of the objects, the more this world will appear to you as real. The conception of the reality of the universe will increase if you think of sensual objects often and often. If all the thoughts are eliminated there remains nothing which can be called mind. So thoughts are the mind. Again, there is no such thing as world, independent of and apart from thoughts.
All duality is of the mind. The whole of duality is caused by the imagination of the mind. If all imaginations are withdrawn into the mind itself by constant practice of discrimination, dispassion, contentment, self-control and concentration, you will not experience the dual universe. The mind will become no-mind. As it has nothing to cognise, it will rest in the source, the Atman.
The mind is single, but through the power of illusion it appears to be dual in the dreaming state as the perceiver and the perceived. The mind itself takes the form of a rose, mountain, elephant, river, ocean, enemy etc.
Just as heat is inseparable from fire, so also fluctuation is inseparable from mind. It makes the mind restless. This fluctuation is caused by the power of rajas. It is the fluctuation that causes absence of peace of mind. The bhaktas remove this tossing by repetition of a mantra and devout meditation.
The power of fluctuation is itself the mind. This fluctuating mind alone is this world. The mind becomes no-mind if fluctuation disappears. The mind ceases to exist if it becomes destitute of this fluctuation. What is called the illusory power of the Lord (maya) is this fluctuating potency of the mind. Mind does havoc through the power of fluctuation. It is this fluctuation that brings about the downfall of a struggling aspirant. Destroy this fluctuation through strong discrimination (viveka) constant meditation and ceaseless Brahma vichara (enquiry into Brahman).
As soon as the fluctuation manifests itself, various sorts of imaginations crop up. Imagination co-exists with fluctuation. Imagination is as dangerous as fluctuation. Fluctuation moves the mind, imagination fattens the mind. Minus fluctuation and imagination, mind is a mere zero. Fluctuation and imagination are the two wings of the mind-bird. Cut the right wing through enquiry of the Atman and the left wing through the practice of thoughtlessness. The great bird — mind — will fall dead on the spot immediately.
The one dividing wall between the soul and the body is mind. If this wall is broken by ceaseless enquiry of the Atman the individual soul (jiva) mixes with the Supreme Soul, just as the river mixes with the ocean.
In a dark room, if a pot containing a lamp inside it is broken, the darkness of the room is dispelled and you see light everywhere in the room. Even so, if the body-pot is broken through constant meditation on the self, i.e., if you destroy ignorance and its effect (such as identification with the body) and rise above body-consciousness, you will cognise the supreme light of the Atman everywhere.
Close your eyes. Meditate. Open your heart to the inflow of the invisible power. You will find in the Bible: "Empty thyself, I will fill thee." You will have abundant, super-intuitional knowledge which is beyond the reach of intellect. Just as water freely flows when the tap is turned, so also divine wisdom will flow freely when the obstacles of ignorance that stand in the way of knowledge are removed. You will get flashes of divine inspiration, revelation and intuition. You will have to put yourself in a state of quietude by silencing all bubbling thoughts and emotions and connect the mind with the Source by withdrawing the mind from sensual objects, just as you do with a telephone when you turn the switch off and connect the two persons who want to speak.
When your business fails or you are in heavy grief due to the death of your only son you get emaciation of body even though you eat nourishing substantial food. You feel tremendous internal weakness. When a lady is deeply engaged in the management of the affairs of her daughter's marriage she forgets to take her food. She is always happy. Her heart is full of joy. The joy and cheerfulness are powerful tonics for her mind. She gets inner mental strength although she does not take any food. This clearly proves that mind exists and that cheerfulness is good mental food.
Change of thought, relaxation of mind by dwelling on thoughts of pleasant objects, cheerfulness, pure food and mental recreation of pure nature are necessary for mental health.
Mind is everything. Mind can make a hell into a heaven and a heaven into a hell. Keep this monkey-mind under proper control; then alone you can be really happy. Mind creates and destroys. It creates the whole universe by its power of imagination. The chief characteristic of the mind is imagination. It is the creator and enjoyer of all happiness and misery. It is the cause for bondage and liberation. Mind is all. It is everything. It is your true friend and bad enemy. The impure mind is your enemy. It causes various sorts of attachment. It is filled with various base desires and appetites. The highest mind is a rare friend and benefactor because it imparts true counsel in the way of obtaining the supreme goal of life. The higher mind becomes your guiding guru. Hear its sweet, small voice and follow its instruction. The voice of the pure mind is the voice of God. It is an infallible voice. In the Bhagavad Gita you will find: "A man should uplift himself by his own self, so let him not weaken the self. For, this self is the friend of oneself and the self is the enemy of oneself The self is the friend of oneself for him who has conquered the self, the self is inimical (and behaves) like (an external) foe for him who has not conquered the self." (VI-5, 6)
There is no other vessel on this earth to cross the ocean of worldly existence (samsara) than the mastery of the lower instinctive mind.
Mind always attaches itself to something objective. It cannot stand by itself. It gropes in darkness. It forgets. It is changing every second. If food is withdrawn for a couple of days, it cannot think properly. There is no functioning of the mind during deep sleep. It is full of impurities, desires and cravings. It gets puzzled during anger. In fear, it trembles. In shock, it sinks. How can you take the mind then as the pure Self?
A writer writes many books with the help of the fountain pen. The fountain pen is only an instrument of the writer. The fountain pen should not think: "I have written all these books, all the credit should come to me only." Your mind, senses and the body are only instruments in the hands of the Lord. God does everything: feel like this and abandon the doership or the agency. You will be freed from the bonds of karma.
A son inherits only the physical characteristics of his father, not the mental traits. The son has his own thoughts, temperament, tendencies, mental aptitude, mental traits, etc. A man with musical tendencies may get his birth in the house of a renowned musician in order to get favourable conditions for his further growth in the art of music. This does not mean that he has inherited his musical tendencies from the father.
Mind has got various preconceptions. When an artist begins to draw a picture on the canvas he draws the picture out of the materials preconceived by the mind. Any action that is done by the physical body is the outcome of a preconceived idea. The mind thinks, plans and schemes at first. Then the action manifests itself. For instance, he who invented a watch at first had all ideas in his mind about the construction of the lever, various wheels, dial, minute-hand, second-hand, hour-hand, etc. These ideas materialised later on into action.
The best philosophers and seers (rishis and sages) are unanimously agreed that the mind cannot actually attend to more than one thing at a time. Two thoughts, however closely related to one another, cannot exist at the same time. You cannot attend to two different objects at a time. Mind can do only one thing at a time. Because it moves with such a tremendous velocity backwards and forwards you think that the mind can attend to several objects or things at a time. You can only either see or hear at a time. You cannot see and hear at the same time. But this law is not applicable to a developed yogi. A developed yogi can do several things at a time because his will is not separate from the cosmic will which is all-powerful.
A speck of light presents the appearance of a continuous circle of light if it is made to rotate rapidly. Even so, though the mind can attend to one thing at a time (either hearing or seeing or smelling) and can admit one kind of sensation at a time, because it moves from one object to another with tremendous velocity there appears to be simultaneous activity.
You must train the mind properly and give it proper pure food for assimilation. Have a divine background of thought or mental image.
The mind becomes that on which it dwells. This is an immutable psychological law. If you begin to think about the defects of a man, for the time being at least your mind dwells on the bad qualities and becomes charged with these qualities, whether the man possesses these bad qualities or not. This may be your vain imagination only, because of your wrong thinking, wrong tendencies or wrong (bad) habits of the mind. He may not possess even a bit of the bad qualities which you have superimposed on him through ill-will or some form of jealousy or petty-mindedness or habitual faultfinding nature. Therefore give up the dangerous habit of censuring others and finding faults in others. Praise others. Develop the power or vision of finding only good in others. Do not bark like a wild dog about the bad qualities of others. Glorify others. You will grow spiritually. You will be liked, honoured and respected by others.
A mind always hopeful, confident, courageous and determined on its set purpose and keeping itself to that purpose, attracts to itself, out of the elements, things and powers favourable to that purpose.
Diversities or heterogeneities which you notice in this world are of mental creation. When the mind is annihilated by destruction of thoughts, desires and egoism, all diversities vanish. Wisdom alone remains.
Just as the body exists for the enjoyment of the senses, just as the senses exist for the enjoyment of the mind, so also the mind exists for the enjoyment of the Self (Purusha). Just as the house which has assumed its shape as such by various materials being brought together exists for the enjoyment of another, so also this compound mind exists for the enjoyment of the Purusha.
Just as there are doors in a bungalow between the outer and inner rooms, so also there are doors between the lower and higher mind. When the mind is purified by the practice of karma yoga, tapas, right conduct or the practice of yama, niyama, japa, meditation, etc., the doors between the lower and the higher mind are opened. Discrimination between the real and the unreal dawns. The eye of intuition is opened. The practitioner gets inspiration, revelation and higher divine knowledge.
Life in this physical plane is a mere preparation for the eternal life of everlasting sunshine and joy which is to come when one gets the knowledge of the Self through intense and constant meditation after purifying the mind. This immortal life of supreme joy is described in the Bible as the 'Kingdom of Heaven' which is within you, in your heart. Realise this immortal life by controlling the mind, and enjoy the supreme bliss of the Self.