|Meditation controls the vacillating mind|
Our feelings vary throughout the day because of the presence of the three guṇas in the mind. This has been explained in detail in the chapter titled “How to Deal with the World.” The material energy, Maya, has three modes, or guṇas— sattva guṇa, rajo guṇa, and tamo guṇa. The mind is made from
Maya, and it too contains these three guṇas. As these guṇas vary throughout the day, a person’s thoughts too keep fluctuating.
To give an example, when sattva guṇa becomes prominent in the mind, you may start thinking, “I have received so much Grace from my Guru. The human form is precious and it should not be wasted in mundane pursuits, so I should endeavor to progress rapidly in my sādhanā.” When rajo guṇa becomes prominent, you may think, “I must surely progress on the spiritual path, but what is the hurry?
At present, I have many responsibilities to discharge, and they are more important.” When tamo guṇa dominates, you could think, “I am not really sure if there is any God or not, for no one has ever seen Him. So why waste time in sādhanā?” Notice how the same person’s thoughts have oscillated from such heights to the depths of devotion. For the mind to fluctuate due to the three guṇas is very natural.
If it remained at the highest consciousness all day, there would be no need for sādhanā. Sādhanā means to fight with the flow of the three guṇas in the mind, and force it to maintain devotional feelings towards God and Guru. Though the mind’s natural sentiments may be inclined towards the world, yet with the intellect, we force it into the spiritual realm. Initially, this may seem difficult, but with practice it will become easy. This is just as driving a car is difficult in the beginning, but with practice it becomes natural.
|Swami Mukundananda clarifying on the fluctuating nature of the mind|
The problem in this process is that we do not see the mind as different from ourselves. And so when the mind presents a disturbing thought, we feel, “Oh! I am thinking in this negative manner.” We begin to associate with the poisonous thought, allow it to reside in us, and damage us spiritually. To the extent that even if the mind presents a thought against God and Guru, we accept the thought as ours. If, at that time, we could see the mind as separate from ourselves, we would be able to dissociate from that negative thought. We could then chastise the mind, “I will have nothing to do with any thought that is not conducive to my devotion.”
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says:
mana ko māno śhatru usakī, sunahu jani kachhu pyāre (Sādhanā Karu Pyāre)
“Declare war on your mind. Do the opposite of what it says, and soon it will stop bothering you.”
Jagadguru Shankaracharya also stated:
jagad jitaṁ kena? mano hī yena
“Who will conquer the world? One who conquers the mind.”
Saint Tulsidas ji has repeatedly and severely chastised his mind in his
bhajans in the “Vinay Patrikā.” So do not be disappointed if the mind troubles you and repeatedly runs to the world. Put on the spiritual armor (tattvagyān) given by your Gurudev, and begin the fight.