Saturday, 15 December 2012

Control of Desires

...As I told you, we cannot run away from our senses and mind, we have therefore to understand the working of the mind. When a Vritti arises, do not think about it, divert your attention, let it sink back. Do not spin your imagination. It is imagination that strengthens the Vritti. Do not identify yourself with the desire, and if the worse comes to the worst, if the desire is strong, be stubborn, do not submit to it; divert your attention. I have always said, "Try always to nip the desire in the bud." When the desire comes in the form of a ripple, try to liquidate it then and there itself. But if due to lack of your vigilance it takes the form of an impulse, see that it is not fulfilled. Do not make Cheshta outwardly. If a desire comes, "I should go and gossip," say "No. I will not allow the body to move." If the body does not move, the mind cannot fulfil its desire, and ultimately the reverse process will happen, and the desire will sink back into the mind, and there will be calmness.

In the beginning of Sadhana, more and more desires will have to be controlled at the physical level, but as we go on acquiring mastery over ourselves, even when a Vritti comes, it is liquidated by Vichara and Viveka, which are a great help to the Sadhaka. As soon as a Vritti comes, it is put back, and ultimately all these have to be completely destroyed by repeating the Lord's Name, by Satsanga, Svadhyaya, meditation, prayer, performance of Purascharana, etc. All these are powerful, positive methods to deal with the Vrittis and Samskaras which are countless and deep-rooted but which have an end.

The more we understand the machinery of the mind, the more will we be able to deal with it, with all its subtle tricks and undercurrents, and we will be able to make use of the mind as an effective instrument of Sadhana instead of being a constant obstacle. All the most ideal conditions may be given to a Sadhaka. He may have ideal surroundings, ideal company, all sacred books, and yet if he does not do this important task of trying to understand the mysterious nature of the workings of the mind and try to lessen his Vasanas and strengthen his will, he cannot make use of anything. He cannot make use of his Guru. He cannot make use of his seclusion. Because they have to be made use of only through the mind and if the mind is not controlled, cultivated, he cannot make use of any of these. But once that is done, he can make use of all that God has given. Even a sentence from a scripture is enough to raise a flood of spiritual consciousness within him. But until that is done, Yoga will be useless.

Therefore, understand the mind, study the mind and know this machinery will, and know also how to manage it. This is an important part of Yoga, an important part of Vedanta, an important part of Sadhana, or divine life. In the beginning of one's practice all these are important. When one has practised all these, God-realisation is easy. They say that God-realisation is so easy that it can be attained "within the time taken to squeeze a flower," once you are completely rid of all impurities. For that you have to patiently keep on striving, and the more we devote our time with humility, sincerity and earnestness to a study of our own being and especially of this machinery which is inside us, and try to make the best use of it, as an instrument of Yoga, the more will we be able to succeed in the path of Yoga and Vedanta or in leading the divine life.

(pgs. 447-448, Sadhana by Swami Sivananda)

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