Controlling the mind

Published - June 10, 2019 09:50 pm IST

The mind is instrumental in impelling all sense organs to do good and evil deeds. It is said that the highest power that one can ever aspire for is gaining control over the mind and it is also the greatest challenge. Krishna therefore emphasises that individual effort has to be on the control of both the karmendriyas and the jnanendriyas by which alone can one engage in sincere meditation, pointed out Nannilam Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapadigal in a discourse. The puranas and the Itihasas showcase instances of the struggle of many realised souls to overcome the temptations of the indriyas. Without gaining mastery over the senses, mind and intellect if one tries to engage in meditation, one is neither practising jnana yoga nor karma yoga.

The Lord suggests that initially one should train to keep the karmendriyas under check by sitting still without movement and trying to engage in meditation. But this is hardly any effort when compared to the enormous task of controlling the jnanendriyas, for the mind’s movements tend to be roving. So, one has to repeatedly try to gain control over the restless and wavering mind to bring it into a state of stillness. Conversely, it is shown that one is in yoga when even in the midst of temptation one has full control over the mind.

When Hanuman is in Lanka in search of Sita, he looks for her in many places, and especially in the women’s quarters. Being night time, he sees many women sleeping in disarray. Has it brought a slur in his personal integrity? He makes a self assessment and realises that in spite of being exposed to such sights, no foulness of purpose has entered his mind. His mind has not led him to do any evil. For the strong minded, it matters little where one stays or what one does since they are unaffected by desires and external stimuli.

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