The Human Mind and
by A. K. Kotha
human mind is like that monkey, incessantly active by its own nature; then it
becomes drunk with the wine of desire, that increases its turbulence. Desire
begets jealousy at the success of others and last of all the demon of pride
enters the mind, making it consider itself all-important. How hard to control
such a mind.
The mind influences every
cell in the body; human ageing is fluid and changeable; it can speed up, slow
down, stop for a time, and even reverse itself! Hundreds of research findings of
the last three decades have verified that ageing is much more dependent on the
individual than was ever dreamed of in the past. To challenge ageing in its
core, this entire world-view must be challenged first, for nothing holds more
power over the body than ingrained beliefs of the mind.
Spirituality is not meant
to be something that is unrelated to the body. Sickness and ageing result from
the body's inability to reach its natural goal, which is to join the mind in
perfection and fulfilment. Using meditation as way to defeat ageing is a
legitimate spiritual goal.
There is nothing more
powerful than holy company to uplift the depressed mind of a spiritual aspirant
and infuse it with the favour of the spiritual mood.
Swami Vivekananda teaches:
"The mind has to be
gradually and systematically brought under control. The will has to be
strengthened by slow, continuous and persevering drill. The purer the mind, the
easier it is to control. Purity of the mind must be insisted upon. The man who
is perfectly moral has nothing more to do; he is free". A reverent study of
lives and teachings of the great souls who have realised God will keep the mind
pure, then there are powerful aids to steady the mind the study of good and holy
books and contemplation on good topics. Malice, deceit and crookedness should be
utterly given up. If the mind does not become steady when we sit for meditation,
recite exalting prayers and cry to Him with a yearning heart. Keep a large
picture of your chosen Deity (Ista-Devata) in front of you, and fixing your eyes
thereon, pour forth your heart in prayer. A weak minded person will not pray;
instead, he will simply sit brooding over his past or blaming other people for
his misfortunes. Just as a cow yields much milk when it is well fed, likewise
when the mind is provided spiritual food, it attains tranquility, spiritual food
consists of meditation, prayer, contemplation and japam. Gossip, speaking ill of
others, interference in matters not pertaining to oneself, the seeking of
acquaintances, and idling away time in the company of others, are very harmful.
It will not be difficult to control the mind if one resorts to solitude and
divine contemplation from one's early years. Shri Krishna says in sloka 60 &
67 of chapter 2 in the Gita:
senses, O Arjuna, do violently snatch away the mind of even a wise man striving
after perfection. For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering
senses, carries away his discrimination as a wind carries offits course a boat
on the waters". As it is very difficult to gather the mustard seeds that
escape out of a torn package and get scattered in all directions, so it is not a
very easy affair to ingather and concentrate the mind which runs after worldly
things in diverse directions. If therefore we are to nip the trouble in the bud,
we must restrain the mind from thinking constantly about sense objects. The mind
is like a spoiled child always restless. Practise of japa and meditation
regularly is very helpful in controlling the mind.
The Gita also says in
sloka 70 of chapter 2 "He unto whom all desires enter as waters into the
sea. Which, though ever being filled is ever mentionless, attains to Peace and
not he who hugs his desires". Undistrubed calmness of mind is attained by
a. Friendliness towards
b. Compassion for the
c. Delight in the good.
d. Indifference to the
It will be impossible to
control the mind
1. If we have strong likes
and dislikes, attachments and aversions.
2. If we live an immoral
3. If we have the habit of
deliberately harming others.
4. If we indulge in
intoxicants and live unbalanced chaotic lives.
5. If we habitually
indulge in vain controversies.
6. If we torture our
bodies unnecessarily, spend our energies in futile pursuits, force rigid silence
upon ourselves or become too egocentric.
7. If we are over
8. If we have a feeling of
The impurities of the mind
can be gradually removed by providing the mind wholesome food on the one hand
and by transforming theguna structure of the mind in order to bring about the
preponderance of sattva in the personal nature, and finally by transcending even
Swami Vivekananda says
"the food that we eat is transformed in three different ways; that the
heaviest part of it becomes the excrement, that of medium density is transformed
into flesh and the subtlest part goes to from the mind". When the food is
pure, the mind becomes pure, memory becomes firm; and when a man is in
possession of a firm memory, all the bonds which tie him down to the world are
loosened. A good memory is indispensable to sound judgement.