The primary motive behind all spiritual practices is to control and destroy the mind.
“sarva mano nigraha lakshanAntha: paro hi yogo manasa: samadhI:”, says Srimad Bhagavatam.
In daily life, we see people committing suicide when they are disgusted with themselves and murdering others due to hatred. Consequently, only the body is affected and destroyed. Our mind, which is the sole reason for sorrow and hatred, remains intact. None of us become aware of this truth and remain ignorant all our life.
Each person’s mind reacts or responds differently to each incident. Therefore, it is very difficult to fathom the various dimensions of the mind. This being the case, how is it possible to control and annihilate the mind?
Moreover, it is said that one should first control the senses before controlling the mind. But it is not possible for us to even forego a single course of meal. In his work Kali Dharma Undhiyaar, Sri Swamiji says, “suvaiyaana unavudan sukamaana vaazhkaiyil manamadangum enbadhu undhipara; madamaye aagum endru undhipara” – It is mere foolishness to think that one can control the mind while leading a comfortable life and indulging in sense pleasures!
Our thoughts and actions are largely influenced by various factors prevalent in our environment. There is no shortage of negative happenings around us like diseases, accidents, natural calamities, riots and violence. In this Kali Yuga, the average human life span is very short. In such a pitiable situation, is it possible at all for us to keep our mind steady and in a state of equanimity?
If a person who is freezing in the cold winter months or a person who is burning under the hot sun in summer during mid-day, yells and shows his anger on the season, what would a wise man say? He would say, “Sir! This is summer (or winter). You have to protect yourself by using an umbrella (or a woolen blanket). What is the use of abusing the seasons?”
Same is the case when it comes to the happenings in Kali Yuga. It is up to us to find a solution to overcome the problems and obstacles that come our way. Chanting the names of the Lord with complete surrender is truly the solution we are seeking. Rather than chanting mechanically or for the sake of count, we must chant His Divine Name with our prayers to God expressing our inability to control the mind. When we continue to chant that way, the all-compassionate Supreme Lord will shower his blessings on us, and make it possible.
Compiled by Dr. Janani Vasudevan, based on HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji’s discourses. Originally published in English MadhuraMurali magazine, Dec 2015 issue