Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Mind Control

Hari Om

Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

MANAGING THE MANAGER (Swami Swaroopananda)

Image result for swami swaroopanandaSwami-ji is head of Chinmaya International Residential School, (CIRS), Coimbatore; also regional head of mission for Australasia and UK. His background lay in the business world and he is quite sought after for his dynamic talks on different aspects of management. Swami-ji is also very good at helping us see where our blocks lie in meditation. All will be in the mind, of course - our 'manager'. In this little text, Swami-ji helps us in managing it.

In the mountains, when the heavens pour rain, water gathers to form crystal pure lakes. the water is so pure, still and clear, that one can see right to the depths below. At night is is an exquisite sight to view the stars and the moon shining not from above, but upon the surface of the waters, as if part of the earth itself. Unfortunately, the waters do not remain there; they start trickling down the mountains, forming streams, gather dust and soil on the way, meeting each other and becoming rivulets. By the time these rivulets reach the plains, they have become a mighty river, muddy, dirty, full of pebbles and branches. it goes on gushing down, finally reaching the ocean to waste itself.

Image result for managing the managerSuppose one wanted to use this water for more productive purposes than allow it to get dissipated in the salty ocean; one would have to regulate the flow of the river and change the quality and the quantity of the water.

The mind is like this turbulent river. Together with the intellect, it moves the machinery of life and manages everything. Unless one knows how to regulate and channel the mind, one will not be able to gain success and happiness in life. All techniques, learning and knowledge are inadequate until one learns to manage the manager. The Mind.

What Is The Mind?
Just as a river is not water but a flow of water drops, the mind is not just a pool of thoughts, it is a constant flow of them. Most of the time, one identifies with the conditions of the mind. If the mind is miserable, the world looks worthless; if the mind is cheerful, everything appears buoyant; if the mind is organised, our work also is methodical. Therefore, the bulk of the scripture teach us hoe to manage and deal with the mind. For example, the Bhagavad Gita states;
Your mind is your best friend and it is your deadliest enemy. The mind, which is under your mastery, managed and trained very well, is your best friend and the mind which controls you is your deadliest enemy.
However, the fact is that most people have no control over the mind. The mind does not listen; it is like the clerk who creates havoc in the office. Hence, it is no surprise that all endeavours are unsuccessful when one acts in the world with an untrained mind.

Can The Mind Be Managed?
The mind is understood to be a mighty, uncontrollable force. Even Arjuna in the Gita points out;
The mind verily is, oh Krishna, restless, turbulent, strong and unyielding. I deem it as difficult to control as the wind!
Can it be mastered? How can we ever bring this mind under our will? Is it at all possible?!

The intellect may have the knowledge and discrimination of right and wrong but the mind has a knack of hoodwinking it and stealing away the understanding and wisdom.  The power of the mind is such that it can be our deadliest enemy; but here, the aim is not just to gain victory over the enemy, but also to convert it into a friend. This requires strategy. One has to understand the mind, how it gets its force and how it operates.

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