Small Favorites

Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre U.K.

Bourne End, London

Magazine Vedanta March-April 2004


Control of the Mind

Sri Krishna says in the Gita: "Man is his own best friend and his own worst enemy. He who has controlled his mind by discrimination is verily his own friend; but he who has not, becomes his own worst enemy."
A controlled mind is neither a blank nor one filled with unworthy ideas, thoughts and imaginations. Mind control always means filling it with higher, nobler aspirations. Such a mind becomes pure, peaceful and joyful.
Now the question is how to control the mind?
One of the best means of controlling the mind is meditation. Of course, it is not easy to meditate. According to the eight-fold scheme of Patanjali, meditation is the last but one step, next only to Samadhi.
If meditation is to be fruitful certain conditions must be fulfilled.
a. There must be a noble goal or purpose. Meditation itself acts as a self-reinforcing mechanism. The more one meditates the stronger becomes the goal.
b. The mind must be calm and peaceful to some extent at least. Pranayama or Breath-control can be a help in this respect.
c. One must practise regularly whether one likes it or not.
d. Part of the meditation practice is to find out one's defects and obstructions and the best ways of getting rid of them.
Practised regularly meditation helps one develop insights into the nature of life, the world and Reality. It helps us in discovering our own personality, helps us get rid of our weaknesses, and helps us unfold our potentialities. The benefits of meditation are truly stupendous: relaxation, good health, efficiency, peace and happiness - these are but a few superficial benefits.
The real benefit of meditation is the realisation of Self, or God-vision. As Sri Ramakrishna says, the goal of human life is to realise God.

Swami Dayatmananda