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


Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

We Are Our Own Hurdles

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  Cont'd (Swami Swaroopananda)

The Source of the Mind's Power.

:: The Five Senses
Whenever one sees, hears, smells, touches or tastes a fascinating and beautiful object, the five sense-organs experience something; the mind begins to enjoy the sensation of it; it becomes aattracte and that pleasure pulls it into the world of sense objects, very often against our goals.

Each of these sense-organs is so powerful that the Rsis have pointed out how indulging in just one of them leads to destruction. For example, the moth, which has a weakness for sight, flies and and burns itself in the flame. The bee and the wasp, intoxicated by smell of the lotus, are trapped in its soft petals when it closes at night.  The fish that remains under water is hooked by the fisherman because of its weakness for taste. The hunter starts playing the mridanga (drum) to lure and trap the deer. Even the  mighty elephant is snared by its desire for the touch of its herd family. Such is the power of the senses; just one causes a risk to life - and man has five!

:: Impressions of the Past
Secondly, the mind gains power from pleasant memories and impressions of the past. Something enjoyed in the past creates a desire to want more and more of it - even if it is harmful. Cigarette smoking is a prime example of this. The deep-rooted impressions (vaasanas) are gathered and form habits within us. What is a habit? If one removes the 'h'... a bit remains; remove the 'a' and only bit remains; remove the 'b'... and IT remains!

:: False Imaginations
Another force by which the mind is led is imagination. It sits, broods and colours everything with imaginary zeal, creating attachments leading to likes and dislikes. Therefore, one is either helplessly and constantly running towards what one prefers or turning away from what on detests.

Mastering the Mind - Neither Suppression Nor Indulgence.
The sense experiences, vaasanas and false imaginations are mighty forces  controlling the mind. It gains its power and strength from them. Just as it is not feasible to dam a torrential river, which would break the walls and flood everything, it is not possible to restrain the mind by sheer brutal control.  Therefore, mere suppression is not the method of mastering the mind. We do not use the world 'control', because it is misunderstood to mean stopping the senses. Management is a very appropriate term here. The Rsis have warned that mere restraint of the senses only creates suppression. Sri Krishna has pointed out;
He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking in his mind of the sense objects; he of deluded understanding, is called a hypocrite.
By merely keeping quiet, restraining your organs of action and sitting down, the mind does not become quiet. Now, you may think it is better to fulfill all desires and get over the pressure. Greed never comes to an end. What is to be done, then? Of course, there are techniques of temporarily controlling the mind through breathing exercises, etc. They are helpful and the mind is contained through the grosser; but it is back with all its force once the control is removed. Therefore, sages like Ramana Maharshi have pointed out, 'control the mind by the mind'. Such a control is permanent.

(c) Yamini Ali MacLean

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