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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Last evening, I was discussing about how to tackle the mind and what is the nature and effectiveness of ‘mantra japa’. I thought I will speak something more about it or maybe confirm and emphasize what I have said already.
The mind is generally an unknown factor. Though we have the mind, we possess the mind, we never care to look into the mind and try to understand it. This is a great defect, a vacuum in our life. Actually, we also do not care our body. How many times I tell people “You have to take exercises.”? But they will do everything but not exercise, including our inmates here. After all, it is the body that lives, it is with the body and its organs that we live and move every time. So that have to be kept healthy.
In order to have health, you must have nourishing food, nourishing air, nourishing water, nourishing light also. These are the intakes which our system normally by creating hunger, thirst etc. automatically get, we don’t play any important role except perhaps exercising some choice and selection. With regard to food, what we do is, we don’t take nourishing food but we take the opposite type also, out of a habit and misunderstanding.
So at one point of time you should develop the habit and the art and the insistence of being governed by knowledge and discrimination, viveka. In the matter of food, in the matter of air, in the matter of ventilation, in the matter of water, you should make sure that helpful and nourishing food are taken and harmful and non-nourishing should be avoided. Now this is a discipline; how many people have it? It is exactly in the same manner that they will live and move with the mind. And the mind alone makes the body function; we don’t care to know what the mind is and we also do not try to nourish the mind to become a better one. We need not go into details, this is the nature of people. Some nature will be there, so this is the nature. We have to identify this and try improve our nature.
How can you improve your mind, its quality and its function? First of all, be careful about your mind, attend your mind. So everyday you should spend sometime to looking into your own thought pattern, attitude pattern and things associated with these. Unless you are attentive to your mind, you will not know it. After knowing it, when you are convinced that ‘It is the mind that is really the treasure in my life. I have to keep the mind a treasure.’
That you have a body is a recognition or cognition the mind generates. Don’t think that you have a body independently. When you sleep you have no body; only when you wake up. Who wakes up? It is not the body that wakes up, it is the mind, the inner awareness. So even the existence of the body is actually a cognition of the mind. So the mind is very, very important.
In the mind, you think it is something like the sea, many rivers flow on to the sea, but the sea remains saline, almost like that. We have to change the sea into something purer in term of salinity. The example is not to be extended further. So, we have a got a sea-like mind with its character. Now, we have to enter into it and make it different. That is why this mantra and optional thought become absolutely indispensable. Go on employing this mantra, using that mantra, retaining that mantra, the more and more you retain the mantra, you are getting into the mind and removing the unnecessary and distracting thoughts. I think we will have a few hours of distraction and unnecessary thoughts. These few hours of unnecessary and dis-allied thoughts should be avoided by engaging the mind with the optional thought, the mantra.
It is actually a very simple process, you don’t have to make any additional exertion. It is a question of recognizing that ‘The mind is having a lot of unnecessary thinking, I should avoid it, therefore the optional thought I shall preserve, preserve, preserve, preserve.’ If you are able to do it for even something like hundred hours, you will find your mind starts changing.
‘Oh! I have a mind, it produces thoughts. These unnecessary thoughts should be avoided and necessary thoughts...’ So, for the first time in your life you get into a phase where you feel you can direct your mind. You can employ your mind. You know, that beginning point is something very, very important in our life, I can even say it is a second life that you are having, when you know that your mind can be directed and its content and stock can be improved and changed.
I can tell you that in this matter, poetry alone will help you. We read quite a number of prose, but nothing from the prose lines will cling to our mind, very rarely but poetry by its very nature lends itself to remembrance. So in the form of poetry we have a number of formulae, a number of pronouncements, a number of evaluations, a number of values, ideals, inspiration.
When you learn poetry, the mind has a stock of it and every time, one or the other will come to you. Suppose you learn Bhagavad Gita, every time in your life, one verse or the other of Bhagavad Gita will come to you in the form of a correction, consolation, inspiration, strength, persuasion, confidence, creativity, perseverance and achievement. Something or the other will come but you have to learn it. When you learn it and it becomes your stock, from the stock you can draw it and it is very good to have memory till the last point of your life.
So this mantra is what? It is the life of man. It is the creativity of man. It is the achievement of man. That is why we say Hanuman, simply by chanting ‘Ram, Ram....’ he leaped to Lanka and did a survey there, ultimately found out Sita, then he was taken to Ravana. He started coiling his tail and then jumped and sat up. Ravana had to raise his head to look at Hanuman. This Hanuman was the one who was refused a proper reception and seat, so he made a seat for himself. Who in this world has been able to do such marvels? All because of his Rama japa, Rama japa, Rama bhakti, Rama bhakti, something very, very important.
So this mantra means mind power, mantra means mind’s confidence, mantra means mind’s creativity. Understand that there is nothing unattainable in this life so far as the mind is concerned. There is no height which the mind cannot climb, there is no distance which it cannot cover. Without feet it walks, without mouth it speaks, without brain it thinks. To access the mind and to make it as qualitative as you want, the mantra is the means. Mantra means thinking, mantra means directing the mind, mantra means instilling confidence, clarity, creativity, a sense of invincibility, correction, improvement, purity into the mind. So understand it very well. It is an optional thought which represents your life’s need and goal. And through that, we can change the character, quality, the type of working and the destiny of our life.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.