Volume 5 - Issue 10
The windows of the mind
Will Power motivated by God is the active force available for your uplift. This is called Sankalpa Bala. Develop it by concentration and japa (chanting the Divine Name).The mind must be compelled to submit to the dictates of the will. Now, you are easily led astray by the vagaries of the mind.
That is why, I say, WATCH! ‘W’ is for watch your Words; ‘A’ is for watch your Actions; ‘T’ is for watch your Thoughts; ‘C’ is for watch your Character; ‘H’ is for watch your Heart. If the watch reminds you every second of the need to watch these five, you can be quite happy.
The mind swings like a pendulum between one pleasant object and another. To stop the pendulum, the easiest means is to stop winding. That will put an end to the swing. So too, stop encouraging the mind by following its whims and fancies. When we beat another or cause harm to him, we justify it as only right and proper; when he beats us or harms us, we revolt and call it wrong and punishable.
Everything is judged by us on the touchstone of the ego. The mind is a double-edged sword - it can save, but it can also bind. Yoga is the restraint of the waves natural to the mind. By learning and practising the disciplines of yama, niyama, aasana, pranaayama, prathyaahaara dharana, dhyaana and samaadhi (abstention from evil-doing, various observances, postures, control of breath, restraining the sense organs, concentration, meditation, absorption in the Aathma), the seeker can overcome and eliminate the mind.
The Five Elements and The Five Senses
When the mind is eliminated, the Reality will become patent! It is like the discovery of the lost "tenth man." Ten friends waded across a river in floods, and when they reached the bank opposite, each one took a count and found only nine, for he did not count himself! So, they inferred that "the tenth man" was drowned and began lamenting his loss.
Then, a passer-by came along and counted them. He found that all were there; the tenth man too was there; only ignorance had kept him unrecognised. This is the consequence of illusion. Since you do not know the real nature of the Self or Aathma, you do not recognise the Self at all; when this knowledge is communicated by the Guru or scripture, the ignorance of the Self disappears.
The senses are the prime motive forces for the mind and the illusion it suffers from. The Five Elements have each a characteristic that affects and attracts one of the five senses: Sound (Ether), which fascinates the mind through the ear; Touch (Air) which draws the mind to itself through the skin; Form (Fire) which manipulates the mind in its favour through the eye; Taste (Water), which enslaves the mind through the tongue and Smell (Earth), which attracts the mind through the nose.
Contact with the external world is maintained by the senses for the sake of these experiences - which yield joy or grief. In order to escape being tossed about on the waves of joy and grief, one should cultivate unconcern (upeksha), an attitude of welcoming either, as a sign of Grace. Sri Raamakrishna Paramahamsa (an enlightened soul) said that if you must avoid the sticky fluid in the jack-fruit from contacting your fingers when you peel it, you have to apply a few drops of oil on them. “So too,” said he, "if you do not want the world and its reactions to stick to you, have a few drops of ‘unconcern' applied on your mind." This unconcern leads to the deepest yearning for God.
Chaithanya (a great devotee of Lord Krishna) went to Brindavan (the place where Krishna spent His childhood), and every particle of dust there was sacred for him, since Krishna trod that soil centuries ago. He did not see or hear or touch or smell or taste anything except Krishna at Brindavan. He was rendered so forgetful to the world around him that he ignored the demands of hunger, thirst and social etiquette. He yearned for the consecrated food that was offered to Krishna in the Temple.
But, one night, the Lord appeared before him, and admonished him for entertaining that one desire too! When at last, he gave up that desire also and was overwhelmed with the thirst for Him and Him alone, Krishna manifested before him, from within him. The Divine Chaithanya (Consciousness) illuminated the Chaithanya in human form.
Learn therefore the discipline that can make the mind settle on God only and never waver therefrom.
- Divine Discourse in Prasanthi Nilayam on October 9, 1967
Vol 5 Issue 10 - OCTOBER 2007
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