Disciplining the Mind

To acquire a healthy mind, you will have to overhaul your entire vehicle. To make sure your car runs properly you send it to the service station for a complete overhaul. In the same way when there is discomfort in the body or anxiety in the mind, this vehicle has a problem and it needs overhauling. For this, study spiritual literature, the words of the sages, the literature of wisdom which contains jnana. Your mind will change. Practise asana and pranayama, go for a walk in the evening. If you have the time and the inclination, go to a temple and participate in bhajan.

Live in the world, make money, but know that these are not the aims of life; they have to be done. They are compulsions. If you were going on a train from here to Kolkata, you will have to eat something on the way. That is a compulsion, but the destination is Kolkata. Similarly, there is only one goal of human life – remembrance of God.

There is a very big power in the world who we call God. He does not have any name, but we give Him names. He is within you, within me, He lives everywhere. One should always remain in remembrance of God, the way a lover always remains in remembrance of his beloved. Since you have come into this world, you will have to earn a living, and passion, anger and greed will continue to trouble you. All this has to be handled, but that is not the aim. What is necessary is wisdom, and that wisdom should come from within. It is said:

Aaye the Hari bhajana ko, otana lage kapaasa

We came to sing the name of the Lord, but instead spent our time separating seeds from cotton wool.

To control the mind is not in your hands. So you simply go on practising your meditation. You do your job and let the mind do its job just as a mother cooks food and at the same time keeps an eye on her child that is running everywhere. To control the mind is the hardest thing in the world. One who has controlled the mind is God. He is not human. So even if your mind is restless, don’t leave your practice whether you are reading the Bhagavad Gita, doing japa, singing kirtan or performing pooja. Don’t think that ‘My mind is not with me, so there is no benefit’. There is always a benefit.

There are only two ways to reach God – one is the path of yoga, and the other is the path of faith. To concentrate the mind on one point is one path, and the other is faith or bhakti. One is called the path of pipilika, the ant, and the other of vihanga, the bird. The bird’s path is for those who can excel in vairagya, renunciation, and tapasya, austerity, who don’t get distracted by moha, delusion, and maya, illusion. They leave everything and go, like Buddha and Shukadev. This happens through some karma of a past life. This disposition is not there in too many people, it is a rare person who has this.

The path of yoga brings a certain amount of discipline. It will not bring the mind completely under your control, but some discipline is achieved. The real path is that of bhakti. Bhakti establishes a relationship with God. The way you have a relationship with your wife, father, son or servant, you need to establish a relationship with God.

It does not matter who you worship. Whether you eat peda, rasagulla or barfi, all these sweetmeats are made of milk. Whether you worship Rama, Krishna or Devi, it does not make a difference. Bhakti means that you establish a relationship with God. All the different forms of God, whether with form or formless, are creations of the mind. Within there is only one thing.