The mind uncontrolled, is one's worst enemy causing great sorrow and
bondage. So, one must control one's mind.
indriyAnAm hi charatAm yat manah anuwidhiyate
tat asya harati prajnAm wAyuh nAwam iwa ambhasi ||2.67||
"For the mind, which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind carries away a boat on the
As a ship with sails up and its helmsman dead would be completely at the mercy
of the fitful storms and reckless waves, and cannot reach any definite harbour,
but would get destroyed by the very tossings of the waves, so too, life gets
capsized and the individual drowned by the uncertain buffets of passionate
sense-storms. Therefore, the senses are to be controlled if man is to live a
better and more purposeful life, designed and planned for enduring success.
By practice and by renunciation.
asamshayam mahAbAho manah durnigraham chalam
abhyAsena tu kaunteya wairAgyena cha grhyate ||6.35||
"Undoubtedly, O mighty-armed, the mind is difficult to control and is restless;
but, by practice, O Son of Kunti, and by dispassion it is restrained."
Krishna admits that the mind is turbulent, strong, unyielding, and restless and
that it is very difficult to control, and therefore, the goal of perfect and
enduring tranquillity cannot be EASILY achieved.
In the second line of this stanza, again, the eternal missionary in Krishna
very carefully weighs his words and uses the most appropriate terms to soothe
the mind of Arjuna. 'O SON OF KUNTI, IT CAN BE BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL', is an assertion which comes only as the last word in the entire
stanza. Through practice and renunciation the mind can be brought under reins
in the beginning, and ultimately to a perfect halt-- this is the confident,
reassuring declaration of the Lord in the Geeta.
Renunciation has been already described earlier in the Geeta as SANNYASA,
which was defined as renunciation of (a) all clinging attachments to the objects of the world, and (b) lingering expectations of the fruits of
action. These two are the main causes for the agitation of thoughts which again
thickens the flood of the thoughtflow and makes the mind uncontrollable. As
Sankara describes it, 'practice' (ABHYASA) is 'constant' repetition of the
same idea regarding one and the same objectof-thought. This consistency of
thought during steady meditation generally gets diverted and dissipated because
of the frequent explosive eruptions of desires. Whipped by new desires that are
rising at every moment, the thoughts wander into dissimilar channels of
activities, upsetting the inner equilibrium and thereby shattering the true
vitality of the inner personality.
Thus viewed, practice (ABHYASA) strengthens renunciation, and detachment
(VAIRAGYA) deepens meditation. Hand in hand, each strengthening the other,
the progress is maintained. In spiritual textbooks the arrangement of words is to be carefully noted, for,
in all cases, the words are arranged in a descending order of importance. To
every seeker the question comes at one time or the ther: whether he should wait for the spirit of detachment to voluntarily
arrive in his mind, or he should start his practice. The majority
wait in vain for the accidental moment of VAIRAGYA before they start their
ABHYASA. The Geeta, in this stanza, clearly declares that such an expectation
is as ridiculous as waiting for the harvest of crops for which we never sowed
Let us analyse life, question its experiences, argue with ourselves, and note
carefully how much we put into life and how much we gain from life as a return.
When we become aware of the deficit balance each time, we, of necessity, shall
start inquiring how our life can be more profitably reorganised so that our
entire coffers of joy and happiness can be replenished to their brim. Soon, the
study of the Sastras will follow, which will give us an inkling into the
wonders of the moral life, the wisdom of the ethical values, the joys of
self-control, the thrills of growth, and the suffocation of the egocentric
From the moment we are trying to become aware of our own lives, we are in the
realm of 'practice' (ABHYASA). As a result of this, the detachment that comes
to us automatically is the true and the enduring 'detachment' (VAIRAGYA). All
else is a sham show of stupid self-denial which cramps a human soul and
distorts and perverts his intelligence into an ugly figure riddled with its own
hysterical ravings and bleeding with
its own psychological ulcers. VAIRAGYA born out of abhyasa alone is the
charter for free spiritual growth: of your own accord never renounce anything.
Let your attachments with things, of their own accord, drop
off as a result of your intellectual growth into the higher planes of better
understanding and truer estimation of things and beings, happenings and
behaviours, occurrences and incidents around you in life. When, through right
'practice', enduring 'detachment' has come rushing in full gush into our inner
lives, then the mind comes under our control because it has no more any world
of pluralistic objects to roam in, and the only world where it has a free
access is the world of equanimity and same-ness. ||4.2||
One can gain single pointedness by dropping all one's agitation-causing
desires and then, with an extra strength in one's mind, withdraw one's attention to the Self.
shanaih shanaih uparamet buddhyA dhrtigrheetayA
Atmasamstham manah krtwA na kinchit api chintayet ||6.25||
"Abandoning without reserve all desires born of SANKALPA, and completely
restraining the whole group of senses by the mind from all sides,
Little by little, let him attain quietude by his intellect, held firm;
having made the mind established in the self, let him not think of anything."
In these two brilliant stanzas the subtle art of meditation has been explained.
The sacred secret as to how to bring the mind to a singlepointedness and,
thereafter, what we should do with that mind in concentration and how we should
approach the Truth and ultimately realise It in an act of deliberate and
conscious becoming--are all exhaustively indicated in these two significant
Renouncing 'all' (SARVAN) desires 'fully' (ASESHATAH) by the mind, control
all the sense-organs from their entire world of sense-objects. Herein every
word demands commentary since every phrase leaves a hint which is so important
in ultimately assuring for the seeker a complete success. It is not only
sufficient that all desires are renounced, but each desire must be TOTALLY
eradicated. By these two terms (SARVAN AND ASESHATAH), no trace of doubt is
left in the minds of the seekers as to the condition of their mental equipoise
during the moments of their
higher meditation. The term ASESHATAH means that even the desire for this
perfection in YOGA is to be in the end totally renounced.
'RENUNCIATION OF DESIRES' is advised here with a very necessary and important
qualification; but, unfortunately, the un-intelligent had been ignoring in
Hinduism this significant qualification, and had thus perverted our sacred
religion to act and behave as though it recommended a life of indolence with
neither any ambition to achieve nor any desire to accomplish. The term 'BORN OF
SANKALPA' is a very significant term, qualifying the desires that are to be
renounced totally and fully. The term 'SANKALPA' had been already explained
earlier with reference to which we can easily understand that it is the
renunciation of such agitation-breeding desires that is meant here.
When once this renunciation of the disturbing desires has been accomplished,
the individual's mind gains strength and stamina to assert itself, at first to
make the wild horses of the sense-organs more tame and work under greater
control, and, soon, it comes to restrain all the sense-organs from all the
sense-objects, from all sides.
It is scientifically very true that our mind is not able to control our
sense-organs, for it has been rendered weak and thoroughly impotent due to the
permanent agitations caused by its own false desires. Once the mind gets strong
as a result of its conquest over the desires, it discovers in itself all the strength and capacity to control the INDRIYAS
from all sides. This process of quietening the mind can never be accomplished
in a hasty action, or by any imagination, or by any strange and mysterious
method. It is clearly indicated by the very insistence that the Geeta makes in
this stanza that the seeker should 'ATTAIN QUIETITUDE AS A RESULT OF HIS
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE WORLD OF SENSE-OBJECTS BY DEGREES'. Slowly and slowly (SANAIH-SANIAH) the mind gains more and more quietude.
No doubt, when the sense-organs have stopped their mad onrush among
their respective objects, a certain amount of mental quietude is gained. The
methods of intensifying this inner peace have been indicated in this
'PATIENTLY, WITH THE INTELLECT, THE MIND IS TO BE CONTROLLED AND RESTED IN THE
CONTEMPLATION OF THE SELF'. This advice is extremely important to every seeker,
and it gives the next item of the programme for a meditator when he has
accomplished, through the exertion of the mind, a total withdrawal of himself
from the sense-world during his meditation.
The mind that is thus brought to a relative quietude is next to be controlled
by the subtler personality layer in the meditator, which is his intellect. Just
as the sense-organs were controlled and restrained by the mind, the mind is now
treated by the discriminating intellect and brought under complete restraint.
Mind cannot be restrained except by fixing it to the exclusive contemplation of
one idea. Mind, we have noticed, is but 'A THOUGHT FLOW' and, as such, the
constant thought of the Nature of the Self is the exercise by which the mind is
restrained by the intellect. A mind that has merged in the steady contemplation
of the Self becomes, as it were, still, and a divine quietude comes to pervade
its very substance. This is, as it were, the last lap of the journey to which
deliberate and conscious action (PURUSHARTHA) can take any seeker.
Krishna's exhaustive theory, which can be practised by any sincere devotee
concludes in these two stanzas with a warning as to what the seeker should
avoid at this moment of inward silence and peace. The Lord here does not
instruct the seeker on what he should positively do. The Divine Flute-player
says: 'LET HIM NOT THINK OF ANYTHING', when he has reached this state of inward
After the 'halt-moment' there is nothing more for the seeker to act and
achieve. All that he has to do is to avoid starting any new line of
imagination. 'UNDISTURBED BY ANY NEW THOUGHT WAVE, LET HIM MAINTAIN THE INNER
SILENCE AND COME TO LIVE IT MORE AND MORE DEEPLY', is all the instruction that
the technique of meditation gives to the meditator. 'Knock, and thou shalt
enter', is the promise: the 'knocking' is done, and to the Supreme Presence
thou shalt enter..ere long (ACIRAT).
No two simple-looking stanzas any where in the spiritual literature of the
world, including the books in Hinduism, can claim to have given such an
exhaustive amount of useful instructions to a seeker as these two stanzas in
the Geeta. Even in the entire bulk of Divine Song itself, there is no other
similar couple of stanzas which can stand a favourable comparison with this
perfect pair. ||4.3||
Start now and strengthen it by practice.
yatah yatah nishcharati manah chanchalam asthiram
tatah tatah niyamya etat Atmani ewa washam nayet ||6.26||
"From whatever cause the restless and the unsteady mind wanders away, from that let him restrain it, and bring it back to be under the control of the
The wanderings of the mind may be due to many reasons: the memory of the past,
the near presence of some tempting objects, the association of ideas, some
attachment or aversion or, may be, even the very spiritual aspiration of the
seeker. Lord Krishna's instruction here is very categorical and all-embracing.
He says: 'WHATEVER BE THE REASON BECAUSE OF WHICH THE RESTLESS AND THE UNSTEADY
MIND WANDERS AWAY', the seeker is not to despair, but should understand that it
is the nature of the mind to wander and the very process of meditation is only
a technique to stop this wandering.
'LET HIM BRING IT BACK': The seeker is advised to bring back the mind that has,
as it were, rushed out into its own self-appointed dissimilar channels of
To rest in knowledge of Brahman.
iha ewa taih jitah sargah yeshAm sAmye sthitam manah
nirdosham hi samam brahma tasmAt brahmani taih sthitAh ||5.19||
"Even here (in this world) birth (everything) is overcome by those whose minds rest in equality. Brahman is spotless indeed, and equal, therefore they
are established in Brahman."
The relative existence as a limited ego-centre can be ended and the imperfect
individual can realise himself to be the Infinite Godhead. This goal is not a
post-mortem stage, but in this very same life, here in this very body, among
these very same worldly objects, one can live in the consciousness of God,
evolving oneself from the immaturities of one's own deluded ego-sense.
One 'WHOSE MIND RESTS IN EVENNESS' gains the divine tranquillity of a
God-man. Where the thought-flow, which creates unequal and spasmodic mental
fluctuations, is arrested, there the mind ends. Where the mind ends, it being
the equipment through which life expresses as a limited ego, this sense of
separative existence also ends. When the ego has ended, the egocentric thraldom of SAMSAR also ends. The ego, thus undressed of its
SAMSARIC sorrows, rediscovers itself to be nothing other than the Self
itself. Unless one comes to this mental equipoise, one is not capable of
experiencing the SAMATVAM of the SAMADARSIN described in the above
'Such an individual, who has conquered his mind and has come to live in perfect
equanimity in all conditions of life and in all relationships', Krishna
vehemently asserts, 'HE INDEED RESTS IN BRAHMAN'. ||4.5||