Advice on how to control the mind

30th April 2003. Perth , Australia

The evening program began with Babaji entering the hall as devotees sweetly sang Swamiji's aarati. After paying his devotional respects to Swamiji at the altar, Babaji sat on the dais and began by reciting the Guru slokas.

Babaji offering surrender and salutations at the Lotus Feet Of Shri Guru Maharaj Shivabalayogi and welcomed everyone by conveying blessings to everyone and began explaining the nature of the mind. "The mind," Babaji said, "is our own conscious energy and it has troubled humanity in the same way that instincts trouble other creatures. Its distraction has caused fear, confusion, violence and unhappiness. Compared to this, the contentment available from God is the greatest experience we can have. Human beings are actually all the poorer the more desires they have, like an emperor who always wants more power and is never content with what he has. If we have contentment then we are really rich and would be like emperors, because we do not want anything."

Meditation gives total contentment and Supreme Peace. The more distracted the mind is, the less powerful we are, the more concentrated the mind is, the more powerful we are and the more pleasant life becomes. Babaji reminded everyone that a life of regular meditation is totally compatible with leading a normal life and asked everyone to commit to daily regular meditation for at least 45 minutes, gradually increasing to one hour daily. This will also improve our brain power, memory and self-restraint and take us eventually to God.

Babaji then referred to the great sages of ancient India who explored the existence of the Self, like the scientists of today study the earth, sun and other planets. These sages asked what the purpose of human existence was given that the body has to die. They posed the question whether one really dies when the body dies. They wanted to observe and reach the truth. This process of observation involves directing one's attention, which is dhyana meditation. Attention is important in any field of life which becomes easy if the mind is concentrated. The mind has countless millions of layers that form as infinite bodies. Some portion of our mind is listening to Babaji's talk while another may be out shopping, driving and running wild like a monkey. When you are driving a car on the road, imagine how it will be if that car has no gears and brakes. Such a car can be disastrous for the driver and dangerous to others. The uncontrolled mind is like that, when emotions take over and one let loose the tempers of the mind, such a monkey mind can be disastrous to that person and dangerous to others. We need to regain control over it and bring it to a halt like a runaway car. The wildness of the mind is responsible for violence and depression and so on..

Human desires have no end. If we own a bicycle, then we dream of having a motorbike, if we have a motorbike, we soon want a car. If we get a car, then we want a more expensive one and so on! This is the craving of the mind. So we must practise sadhana to regain control over the mind so it becomes an obedient assistant. The restless mind is like compressed gas just waiting to explode. As the saying goes, an idle man's brain is the devil's workshop. Baba reminded us that the mind is a very good servant but can be a very, very bad master if you do not have control over it. Your mind will make to dance to its tunes.

Babaji explained that attention is needed to discover who we actually are and how we exist as the Immortal Soul beyond the birth and death of the body. Babaji reassured everyone that each person's true nature is the Abode of Supreme Peace which we have been seeking and that we don't need to take refuge in caves, forests or ashrams. Babaji said He knew the truth of our existence not from scripture or other people's testimony but from His own direct experience.

Babaji went on to show how our false identification with the body is ignorance and causes trouble, and illustrated this with the story of Astavakra, the sage who taught Yoga to King Janaka, the father of Sita, wife to Lord Rama. Ashtavakra was a great Realized Teacher. Astavakra means "eight deformities" and on entering the court the King's ministers laughed at Astavakra because of his deformed body. Seeing this Astavkara addressed the King and said "O King, I thought your ministers were all men of learning but clearly they are fools, for they believe that this body is me. This body will die. They fail to realise that their body will also die one day". On hearing this the King understood that Astavakra was not just an ordinary person and accepted him as a Guru.

It is the false identifications in the mind, which cause suffering. As examples Babaji mentioned thoughts like "I am an Indian" or "I am an Australian", "I belong to the Earth", "I'm an engineer". Meditation will free us from false identifications like "I am so and so" , "I am such and such". Babaji wanted to clarify at this point that He does not advocate not to love one's country or any one. Love is essential. What Baba wants to teach the spiritual seekers to rise above everything to reach God.

Finally, Babaji outlined the responsibilities that come with a human birth. Firstly, we must maintain the health of the body which is a gem. One should undertake proper exercises and try to maintain health. We must understand the purpose of the human body, control our desires and give the body proper food. No material object can ever give happiness. Secondly using this body only, we have to learn to control the mind. Undertaking proper exercises to control and keep the mind healthy is the spiritual sadhana and the company of the wise and experienced. Then, we must be considerate towards others. Everyone needs the help of others sometime, so we should be ready to give and not just take. The practise of meditation will give one control over oneself and promote physical, mental and moral health. This is particularly relevant to the younger generation. Many young people want to know what religion can give them. Religion has been misinterpreted and misused. It is actually a system to provide health on all these levels - physical, mental and moral. Someone who has attained all three can be called a truly religious person.

One devotee wanted to know how important chanting and bhajan singing was to make the mind peaceful before meditation. Babaji replied that melodious sound and proper rhythm could assist in mind control and make one more meditative. However it is essential that the mind is focused on the bhajans and the chants. Another asked what the main signs of progress were in meditation. The answer was that excessive questioning, doubts and mental agitation all decrease and the mind settles down and becomes more peaceful.

A woman who was just about to give birth asked Babaji what preparations He could recommend to make the experience as spiritually uplifting as possible. Babaji replied that the mind and brain should be calm and non-violent. Reading and listening to the stories of great souls, remembering God and His glories would be beneficial. Grateful and relieved these women thanked Babaji for His answer.

One young woman expressed a doubt arising from one of the ten commandments in the Judeo-Christian scripture, which says, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me". She wanted to know how this could be reconciled with the honour given to the many Hindu gods and goddesses in the bhajans sung during the program. Babaji replied that one is free to propitiate Divinity in any way one wants. Like space, which is all-pervading, God is Infinite and the Ultimate Truth of the mind. The principle known as "God" is omnipotent and omnipresent.

Finally, Babaji concluded by stressing the need for total faith and surrender so that attachment to God will be natural and lasting. Like an innocent child learns the "a,b,c" with total acceptance, we need to accept the teachings of the Guru with the same faith and love.

Copyright © 2003 SRBY, All rights reserved.

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