Control Of Thought
The mind is like a wheel which revolves endlessly with tremendous velocity. It generates new thoughts with every revolution. This wheel is set in motion by the vibrations of psychic Prana or subtle Prana. The practice of pranayama lessens the velocity of the mind, slows down the wheel gradually. Perfect control of Prana will bring the wheel to a standstill.
Alcohol, meat, rajasic food, the cinema, novel-reading, obscene songs, obscene sight, obscene talks, evil company will make the wheel of mind revolve very rapidly; whereas fruits, sattwic food, the company of Mahatmas, study of religious books, solitude, Japa, kirtan, concentration, meditation, enquiry of “Who am I “? Will slow down the wheel and eventually bring it to a standstill.
Identify yourself with the Immortal Self. Enquire “Who am I”? whenever bad thoughts arise in your mind. All the thoughts will gradually die.
The fewer the desires, the fewer the thoughts. Become absolutely desireless. The wheel of your mind will stop entirely. If you reduce your wants, if you do not try to fulfil your desires, if you try to eradicate your desires one by one your thoughts will diminish in frequency and length. The number of thoughts also per minute will decrease. Fewer the thoughts greater the peace. Remember this always. A wealthy man who speculates in a big city and who has a large number of thoughts has a restless mind, in spite of his comforts, whereas a Sadhu who lives in a cave on the Himalayas and who practises thought control is very happy in spite of his poverty.
The power of concentration will increase by lessening the number of thoughts. Certainly it is an uphill work to reduce the number of thoughts. In the beginning it will tax your ability very much. The task will be very unpleasant. But later on you will rejoice as you will get immense strength of mind and internal peace by reduction of thoughts. Armed with patience, perseverance, vigilance, fiery determination and iron will, you can crush the thoughts easily just as you crush a lemon or an orange, with ease. After crushing, it will be easy for you to root them out. Mere crushing or suppression will not suffice. There may be again resurrection of thoughts. They should be totally eradicated, just as a loose tooth is pulled out.
When you hit at the head of a snake with a stick and crush its head, it remains absolutely motionless for some time. You think it is dead. All of a sudden it raises its head and runs swiftly. Even so the thoughts that were once crushed and suppressed by you regain strength and raise up their heads. They must be destroyed totally beyond resurrection.
It is very difficult to fix the mind on a single thought in the beginning. First diminish the number of thoughts. Try to have thoughts on one subject only. If you think of a rose you may have all sorts of thoughts connected with a rose only. You may think of different kinds of roses that are grown in different parts of the world. You may think of the various preparations that are made out of roses and their uses. You may allow even thoughts of other kinds of flowers to enter ; but do not entertain thoughts of fruits and vegetables. Check the aimless wandering of the mind. Do not have thoughts at random when you think or a rose. Gradually you can fix the mind on one thought. You will have to discipline the mind daily. Eternal vigilance is needed in thought –control.
The fewer the thoughts the greater the mental strength and concentration. Suppose that the average number of thoughts that pass through you brain within one hour is one hundred. If you succeed in reducing it by constant practice of concentration and meditation to ninety you will have gained ten per cent in concentration of the mind. Every thought that is reduced adds strength and peace to the mind. Reduction of even one thought will give you mental strength and peace of mind. You may not be able to feel this in the beginning as you do not possess a subtle intellect but there is a spiritual thermometer inside to register the reduction of even a single thought. If you reduce one thought the mental strength that you have gained by this reduction will help you to reduce the second thought easily.
In rubber plantations planters thin out the rubber trees by first cutting the small surplus tress which stand in the vicinity of big ones. By do doing they can tap more milk or rubber juice from the big trees. Even so you must think out the thoughts by destroying them one by one to drink the ambrosial milk of nectar of Immortality.
When the tail of a lizard is cur, the cut end will flutter about for some time, as there is still a little residual Prana in the tail. After one or two minutes all motion will cease. Even so, even after thinking and reduction of thoughts some thoughts will move about like the tail of the lizard. But they are powerless. They cannot do any serious havoc. There is no vitality in them. Just as the drowning man tries to catch anything to save himself, so also these lifeless thoughts try their level best to come back to their previous state of life and vigour. If you go on with your daily practice of concentration and meditation regularly, they will die by themselves like a ghee-less lamp.
In the beginning of your practice of thought-control you will experience great difficulty. You will have to wage war with your thoughts. They will struggle their level best for their own existence. They will say, “We have every right to remain in this place of the mind. We have had a sole monopoly from time immemorial to occupy this area. Why should we vacate our dominion now? We will fight for our birthright till the end”. They will pounce upon you with great ferocity. When you sit for meditation all sorts of evil thoughts wioll crop up. As you attempt to suppress then they will want to attack you with redoubled force and vigour. But the positive always overcomes the negative. Just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of the sun, just as a leopard cannot face a lion, so also all these dark, negative thoughts – these invisible intruders, enemies of peace cannot stand before the sublime divine thoughts. They must die by themselves.
Just as the warrior chops off the heads of his enemies one by one, when they come out of a fortress through a trap door, so also chop up your thoughts one by one when they emerge out to the surface of the mind through the trap door of consciousness.
The substitution method is very easy and effective in the destruction of evil thoughts. Cultivate only positive virtuous thoughts of mercy, love, ,purity, forgiveness, integrity, generosity and humility in the garden of your mind. The negative vicious thoughts of hatred, lust, anger, greed, pride, etc., will die by themselves. It is difficult to destroy the evil thoughts by attacking them directly. You will have to tax your will and waste your energy.
Suppose the evil thoughts stay in your mind for twelve hours and recur every third day. If you can make them stay in your mind for ten hours only and recur once a week by daily practice of concentration and meditation, that would be a decided improvement. If you continue you practice the period of stay and recurrence will be gradually lessened. Eventually they will disappear altogether. Compare your present state of mind with that of last year or year before last. You will be able to find out your progress. The progress will be very slow in the beginning. It will be difficult for you to gauge your growth and advancement.
Thoughts gain strength by repetition. If you entertain an evil thought or a good thought once, this evil thought or good thought will have a tendency to recur again. Thoughts crowd together just as the birds of the same feather flock together, so also if you entertain once evil thought all sorts of evil thoughts will join together and attack you. If you entertain any good thought all good thoughts will join together.
Like attracts like. If you entertain an evil thought that thought will attract all sorts of evil thoughts from others. You will then pass on that thought to others also. A thought moves. A thought is a living dynamic force. Thought is a thing. If you allow your mind to dwell on a sublime thought this thought will attract good thoughts from others. You will pass on that good thought to others. You pollute the world with your bad thoughts. You help the world with your good thoughts.
When you reach the spiritual summit of thoughtlessness you will reach the abode of Immortality and eternal peace and supreme bliss. O Ram ! start your homeward journey. March boldly in the spiritual path. Be not afraid of difficulties. Be bold. Ascend peak after peak. Cross the deep ravines of subtle Moha and pride that come on your way. Take a long jump and cross the mystric frontier of avyaktam. Kill the thoughts that wage again and again in a guerilla war. Enter now the infinite domain of pure bliss and highest knowledge. Regain your old pristine divine glory. Rest in your Sat-chit-ananda Swaroop.