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Mind: Good servant, bad master

The mind is the reason behind a person's bondage or salvation. Pious and benevolent resolves and actions purify the mind, remove all faults and lead to final salvation, says Lilashahji in a discourse.

The same mind, when it becomes impure by impious resolves and actions, promotes insentience and binds one to bondage of this world.

Take your mind to task everyday! Constantly counsel your mind. "O restless mind! Now be quiet and steady. Why do you disturb me by wandering all the time? Time and again you run after sense pleasures and worldly relations, seeking company in relationships but don’t you know that they are short-lived? You have been forced to abandon them in all of your previous lives and will have to abandon them in this life as well. So immerse yourself in meditation of your True Self that is always with you, that is Bliss Supreme.”

The mind is deceptive. Never trust it. Keep a constant watch to see whether the mind is following your commands. Keep a vigil on its activities at all times. You have to always be ready to discipline the mind with the stick of insightful discrimination, ready to take preventive action and restrain the mind from engaging in any act of transgression against established principles and time-tested social norms.

Never allow the mind free rein because it is an incredible treasure house of tremendous powers. It is such a fast horse as can easily and quickly simply gallop towards its goal if only given good direction by keeping it in control. Without restraint, it is most likely to go berserk and throw you into a pile of thorny bushes. Always keep a tight vigil on the mind. Do not give it free time at all; otherwise it will suck you into undesirable activity. As the saying goes, 'An idle mind is a devil's workshop'. Therefore, always keep the mind engaged in some worthwhile pursuit, something that requires application of the mind.

Ruminate on the Self, study the scriptures, listen to the discourses of the wise and those with positive knowledge and engage yourself in chanting the name of the Supreme Being. Never allow the mind to run free. And when it strays, as it frequently will, prod it and rein it back. Just as a large animal can be controlled with a goad, the mind will also come under your complete control with constant monitoring and discipline. The mind has no sovereign power of its own; you yourself have created it. It is your own child whom you have spoilt with excessive pampering. Insightful restraint is the key to keep a loved one from straying. A sapling must be protected until it grows and turns into a tree. Similarly, your constant vigil is required to protect the mind from going berserk.

Towards accomplishing this, the following experiment could prove instructive: Lie down flat on a blanket. Leave the body loose and relaxed. Keep yourself completely calm. Forget the whole world and when you’ll think with a tranquil mind, you will see that all events of happiness and sorrow are the results of your own past deeds; and friends or foes are only instrumental in bringing to you what is your due. When you are awake, the world exists; and when you are asleep, it ceases to exist. In effect, the world is unreal; it’s like a dream. This is the Truth and this is ultimate reality.

As the mind comes to realise the Truth, it will become calm and silent. A silent and serene mind is always pure.

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