The human mind and Sadhna

Image & Graphics by: Deepak Ganju
*Ashok Kotha
he 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. Every thought creates a molecule some where in the body. 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 .
Swami Vivekananda teaches

"The mind has to be gradually systematically brought under control . The will has to be strengthened by slow , continous 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 like the study of good and holy books and contemplation on good topics etc. Malice, deceit and crookedness should be entirely 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 choosen Deity ( Ishta Devta ) 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 more milk when it is well fed , likewise when the mind is provided with 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 acquintances , 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 .Bhagwan Krishna says in sloka 60 & 67 of chapter 2 in the Gita-.

"The turbulent senses , O , Arjuna , do violently snatch away the mind of even the mind of 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 off its 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 simillarly it is not a very easy affair to ingather and concentratethe mind which runs after worldly things in diverse directions .If therefore we are to nip the troble 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 motionless, attains to Peace and not he who hugs his desires".Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating :.

  • a Friendliness towards the happy .
  • b Compassion for the unhappy .
  • c Delight in the good .
  • d Indifference to the evil.

It will be impossible to control the mind .

  1. If we have strong likes and dislikes
  2. If we live an immoral life .
  3. If we have the habit of deliberately harming others
  4. If we indulge in intoxicants and live unbalanced chaotic lives .
  5. f we habitually indulge in vain controversies.
  6. If we torture our bodies unnecesserily, spend our energies in little persuits  force rigid silence upon ourselves or become too egocentric .
  7. If we are over ambitious .
  8. If we have a feeling of guilt...

The impurities of the mind can be gradually removed by providing the mind wholesome food .The body of ours is like a boat . We should see it does not spring a leak .The body and mind are closely related , when the body is disturbed, the mind also becomes disturbed . Therefore particular attention must be given to the diet in order to keep the body healthy .Food rich in antioxidants & fibre help preventing damage by free radicals.So we must avoid eating fatty foods , instead eating plenty of fruit and vegetables (for their antioxidants) protects us. Green tea like our ages old traditional Kehwa is wonderfuly protective food . Kehwa should be prefered over processed tea . Cooking medium is also to be taken care of. Microwaving destroys antioxidant content of the food . So always avoid using microvave. If we have the compulsion of its use then sparingly use it for warming purposes only in emergencies .

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 form the mind '. When the food is pure  the mind becomes pure , memory becomes firm ; and when a man is in possessionof a firm memory, all the bonds which tie him down to the world are loosened . A good memory is indispensible to sound judgement .

* Born on 27 May 1948 at Banmohalla, Srinagar, Mr Ashok Kotha is a Dairy Technologist by profession. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Science (Dairy Technology). Having retired from Jammu Milk Federation, where he worked for more than 35 years, he pioneered the production of Flavored Milk and production on Mozzarella cheese in the state. He was instrumental in establishing the procurement division of the federation which he later headed for about 20 years.
After his retirement from Government Service, he dedicates his time in writing articles on Vedanta and spirituality and their benefits in our daily life.
Mr.Kotha has been associated with the Sri RamaKrishna Mission for more than 25 years.
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