CHENNAI: To discern the eternal truth amidst the maze of the real and the apparent one relies on the timeless message in scriptural texts. The Katopanishad, Yoga Vasishta, the Bhagavad Gita and many other texts speak of the importance of gaining Jnana (wisdom/knowledge) that alone can lead to salvation. The discipline of Jnana Yoga by which the mind is controlled is very difficult, and strenuous effort is needed to even start practising it, said Sri N. Veezhinathan in a lecture.

In addition, any progress in the quest for the eternal truth is possible only if one has faith in the words of the scriptures and in the teachings of one's preceptor. Lord Krishna points out that an austere way of life helps to turn the human mind from outward perceptions into the task of exploring the inner world of consciousness. The mind is a powerful instrument.

Sages such as king Janaka feared the mind, knowing its tendency to distract and dissuade one's sincere efforts. The taming of the mind can happen very slowly and if one has strong faith the goal is attainable. One has to learn to keep in check all desires born of selfish will and restrain the senses. One should avoid the very thought that worldly objects can give happiness since such a thought engenders a craze for them. Attachment to the wishes and desires of the mind has to be relinquished.

In the Yoga Vasishta, Lord Rama asks Sage Vasishta whether it is possible to overcome the two great hurdles that bind all beings the effect of impressions left on the mind by past actions (Vasanas) and one's fate or destiny (Prarabdha Karma). The sage replies that with God's grace sincere effort pitted against the influence of past karma can succeed.

The mind of a Jnani who is aware of his self (Atma swaroopam) remains undisturbed, unshaken and tranquil for there is no greater or higher gain to be obtained. He has attained a state of superior bliss that he knows is permanent and unchanging unlike the temporary joys arising from the contact of the senses with their objects. So he is neither agitated nor elated with the passing joys and sorrows in life.