Some of the functions of the mind are mechanical, but there are some which are volitional. As in the case of our nerves, which are sympathetic and otherwise, involuntary and voluntary, such is the case with our mind also. The mechanical functions of the mind are planted by nature with a special purpose, and the chief part of that purpose is preservation and sustenance of the life of the jiva. Unless we exercise the voluntary functions of the mind, we can make no progress in the furtherance of the cause of our peace and of the world peace. It is therefore our duty to think consciously and by our thought to direct the machinery of the mind towards a particular goal. It is important. This is called spiritual living.
We should occasionally still our mind, that is to say, place its functions in abeyance. This is called meditation. When the mental functions are placed in abeyance voluntarily, then the result is emergence of the sattvic vrittis, the vritti of devotion, the vritti of universal compassion, the vritti of vairagya or detachment. In order to suspend the functions of the mind, we say “OM” and take a deep breath and retain the breath, and we say “OM” again. We say “OM” with the feeling that it is all the best, the highest, the noblest, and the sound of “OM” is verily God himself. And then to focus the mind on it will lead to the suspension of the functions of the mind.
Care has to be taken that this voluntary mental life is not interrupted either by the earthly desires or by associationship with the undeserving objects. Have faith in the law of karma. Whatever you have sown you will reap. If my past karma warrants that I should suffer from a symptom called purgation of the mind, that is, some illness and so forth, it is better to let it come and to endure it patiently. It is silliness to think “I may always be healthy”. If you want always to be healthy, then do good karma, do benevolence.
If you have by thought, word or deed inflicted on any jiva pain, if you have been selfish and taken undue advantage of a simple friend or a companion or a neighbour , you have sown the seeds of trouble for yourself and you will have to suffer. You say: “Will Yoga not help us in overcoming it?” We do not want to apply Yoga for this purpose. Yogic life is to cultivate an equipoised mind, mind it, an equipoised mind. The mind which is not disturbed by illness and any other adventitious occurrence, the mind which is not elated by success, that is the state to be cultivated. And this state is cultivated by meditation and by self-study.
It is a whole-time job. You cannot say: “Well, I have lived the Yogic life up to 5 o’clock, but now it is the club time, I can have a few games of cards over a few drinks”. That will not do. You can easily undo what you have done, very easily indeed. The desires that arise in the mind are due to the desires you have harboured in the past. If you ever harbour a desire – that you have may have a good horse! – and you are not critical of it, it will go deep, and then it will change your mind and you will perform the actions which will bring a horse to you.
But you may have a horse and be a member of the mounted police – you have a horse! You may have a horse and be in the cavalry. You may have a horse and become a hunter. But the horse you will have, if you have desired to have it. Those who have started the Yogic path, their desires become strong as they progress and they are fulfilled. Therefore let us be very careful what to desire. There is only one thing to desire: knowledge of truth, knowledge of truth, knowledge of truth. This is about the discipline which is for you and it is for you to share it with others. OM.
In the morning, usually your mind is like a blank paper. Deep sleep has stilled it, and rajas and tamas have fallen out of it. The morning verily is the best time for remembrance of the Lord, for meditation, for study, and for spiritual reflection.
In the morning, write on the mind:
“Brahmaivaham na sansari, muktoham, naiva shoka bhak”
“I am Brahman. I am not a performer in the relative existence called sansara.
I am not the food of sorrow.”
This is a text from Shri Shankara. By repeating it slowly a few times and then by feeling it. Not “I will be Brahman”. “I am Brahman”. How can I be Brahman when I told lies only two days ago? No! In spite of that, because Shruti (“Chandogya Upanishad” 6.8.7.) says “That Thou Art”, not “That thou shalt be after such and such conditions”. No! “That Thou Art”.
“I am free, I am liberated”. From what? From all the darkness of ignorance. The assumption of bondage was due to an illusion; there is no bondage in consciousness. “Muktoham. I am not the food of suffering”. Let sorrow and grief exist in the world, it is not for me, because my relationship to my mind is the relationship between the moon and the waves in which the moon is reflected.
The moon is stationary; in the waves it appears to be restless. Such is the relationship between me and the objects of the world. “But I do feel sorrow, I do grieve, I do repent. How can I say it?” These are the functions of the mind, not of the consciousness. The waves come and go. The waves make the reflections of the moon restless, sometimes make it small and sometimes large. But the moon is not affected. “Brahmaivaham na sansari. Muktoham, naiva shoka bhak.”
It is the mind which is tainted, it is the mind which is purified. As long as the jiva is attached to the mind, the tainted condition of the mind presses upon the jiva and wants will not be satisfied. It demands purification. But the mind is made up of the three gunas. If it is absolutely purified, it cannot exist. It must have rajas and tamas in it. Therefore, for the initiated the teaching is “Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham.” In spite of the thousand taints of the mind, think “Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham.” What is wanted is disindetification with the mind and not attachment to the mind and its conditions. Mind is made up of ajnana, nescience, and it will never become jnana, or consciousness.
Therefore the Yogis detach their mind by reading “Vira Vijaya”, the “Gita”, “Ashtavakra Gita” , the “Avadhut Gita”. These classics have to be read and to be meditated upon. But in the beginning you must have a suitable place and suitable atmosphere. Otherwise it will take a very, very long time for the detachment to be matured. But all the time the meditation has to be :
“Brahmaivaham na sansari, Muktoham, naiva shoka bhak”. OM.