Wednesday, October 24, 2012

VI: 35

Chapter 6, Verse 35

Krishna says,

"The mind is restless, Arjuna.
It is indeed hard to train,
But by constant practice and detachment,
In truth the mind can be mastered."

Swami Shivananda:

The repeated effort to keep the wandering mind steady by means of concentration on the center, the ideal, the goal, manifesting as the object of meditaiton, is called Abhyasa, or practice.  The same idea or thought of the Self is to be constantly maintained.  This steadiness destroys the vacillating quality of the mind and its selfish desires, making it one-pointed.  Make your mind understand the transitory nature of all worldly enjoyments.  Suggest to it that fulfillment can be found, not in perishable and fluctuating externals, but by abiding in the changeless Self within.

Ramana Maharshi:

[...responding to the question...Why is my mind so restless?]

Suppose a cow plays the rogue and strays into a neighbor's field to graze.  She is not easily weaned from her stealthy habit.  How can she be kept in her stall?  If she is tempted with fine grass, she takes one mouthful on the first day and again waits for the opportunity to bolt.  The next day she takes two mouthfuls.  She takes more and more on each succeeding day, until finally she is weaned from straying.  When entirely weaned, she may be left alone, never to stray again.  Even when beaten in her stall, she will not leave.

The mind is accustomed to stray outwards by the force of Vasanas [latent impressions of past actions], manifesting as thoughts.  The mind is like the cow, playing the rogue.  The thoughts are like the neighbor's pasture.  The Mantra is like the fine grass, and your primal state of being, free from thoughts, is like the stall.

If you want to abide in the thought-free state, a struggle is inevitable.  Fight your way through to regain your original state.  With success, and by the grace of God, you will experience what was before an ideal, and your thoughts will subside and disappear entirely in the Self.

[We engage in practice voluntarily.  Detachment follows naturally in its train.  "When entirely weaned, she may be left alone, never to stray again."]

Father Bede Griffiths:

Perseverance is an essential requirement in the practice of Yoga.  It is to be practiced day by day, week by week and year by year, until the mind is brought to the "still point" where it becomes flooded by the grace of God.

St. Teresa of Avila:

What empire is comparable to that of a soul who, from this sublime summit to which God has raised her, sees all things of the Earth beneath her feet and is captivated by none of them?  How amazed she is at her former blindness.  What lively compassion she feels for those whom she recognizes to be still shrouded in darkness.  She laughs at herself that there should ever have been a time in her life when she made a case for money.  Oh!  With what friendship we would all treat each other if our preoccupation with money could but disappear from the Earth.  For my own part, I feel like this would be a remedy for all our ills.

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