How to control the mind?

How to control the mind? by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj | Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat

Taken from a lecture by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj

There is a question from a devotee which needs to be addressed.    How can we succeed in controlling our mind?  It is the biggest foolishness to even think that we can control our mind.  No one can ever succeed in controlling the mind.   Memorise this.  Mind is a form of maya.  It is also called maya’s son. And in fact it is the personification of maya.  That means if someone can control their mind, then he/she can control maya too.  And there is no power in this world that can help you control maya; be it karma, knowledge, austerity, etc.  Without God’s Grace, nobody can overpower maya.  It is impossible.  You can live without eating, without drinking water, and even without breathing.  But it is impossible to win over your mind.

The Vedas say: Those great sages of Satyayuga, who overpowered their senses and overpowered even Vayu (air), they too couldn’t  win over their minds.  Because if that could be possible, then what is the need of God?  Vishwamitra created a new celestial abode, for a new king, Trishanku.  You must never have heard of anybody, except  Brahma ji who can do this. That same Vishwamitra once went to Vaishastha’s place at midnight to kill him and hid behind his hut with the weapon. Such a grudge and enmity!  

He fought many times with Vashishtha but lost every time.  So finally he thought because I am a Kshatriya and Vaishistha is a Brahman, that’s why I keep losing to him. So I should kill him when he is asleep.  Coincidentally, at that time, while Vashishtha and his wife were sleeping, his wife asked him “Who is the greatest ascetic at present in this world?  Vashishtha replied, “The greatest ascetic is Vishwamitra.”  Vishwamitra heard him saying this.  He thought, “My biggest enemy, who I fought with many times is praising me behind my back.”  And here I am,  destroying all my rewards earned from austerity because of jealousy, hatred and anger.”  Then he surrendered himself to Vashishtha.  

He is the only example in Hindu philosophy who received a boon to become a brahman in the same life.  He was a Kshatriya originally but became a Brahman later.  Vashishtha told Vishwamitra, “Go and practise devotion to Shri Krishna.  That will purify your heart. There is no other option.” said Vashishtha. Lord Rishabh was an incarnation.  Once  Siddhis (acquisition of supernatural powers) came in front of him.   You must have heard or read about this incident in Srimad Bhagavatam. Lord Rishabh asked them, “ Why did you all come here?” Siddhis replied, “We are here to serve you.”  “Will you serve me??”  “Get lost from here, ” said Lord Rishabh

“Great sages become corrupt because of you.” Lord Rishabh said to siddhis.  They were all delighted to have conquered siddhis.  But they didn’t know this would be the reason for their downfall.  There is no enemy more dangerous than the mind.  But if someone surrenders to a true guru and gains true knowledge, then there is no friend like the mind.  Attaining God is the biggest thing in the world, right?  Yes.  Everyone is under His control.  The major thing is, God has two things that we want, renunciation from all sorrows and divine happiness.  This is our nature.  Because we are the eternal part of God, who is happiness himself.  Without attaining the ultimate happiness that God is, we can never be satisfied.

Even the king of the celestial abode wants the position of Brahma. Maya’s empire is everywhere. And so nobody’s mind is under their control.  Indra, the king of the celestial abode, got attracted by an ordinary woman of the earth; a human body which is full of filth and dirt.  Celestial bodies however, exude fragrance from them.  There is no question of filth and dirt there. You must have heard of the woman named Ahilya. And on top of that, Indra also got cursed by Ahilya’s husband.  So even the flaws in us, like lust, anger, greed, affection, etc. due to maya cannot go; forget about controlling maya.  It is impossible and madness to even think about it.

Lord Risharbh said to siddhis, “This mind is such a big enemy of ours and can be likened to   a characterless wife planning her husband’s murder along with her lover.  Our mind is just like that.  Therefore, please go away from here. Your wares won’t sell here.”  Lord Rishabh said to siddhis. That is why the Vedas repeatedly say:

Our mind is solely responsible for all our sorrows.  Mind is the source of our bondage in our transmigrating in 8.4 million body forms.  And mind alone will get you free from these bondages.  No one else can free you from these bondages.  Not even God himself.  You must have heard or read that God resides in everybody’s heart.

What  is He doing?  Did He do anything for us, related to freedom and bondage?  God lives exactly where we (the soul) live.   And yet we are being controlled by maya and God doesn’t take any action. Or maybe He doesn’t want to do anything.  Innumerable lives have passed and God was always with us.  We took birth as different living beings and God was with us everywhere.  But still God couldn’t free us from maya.  So if God could liberate us from all these bondages, then He is sitting right there in our heart.  He doesn’t need to put in any effort.  

God has 8 major qualities. One of them is “sach sankalp” or the power of self-fulfilment. That means, whatever He thinks just happens. He doesn’t actually have to do anything.  He just has to think “ Create the world” and  the world is created.  Even before ending the world, He just thinks, “ End the world”  And it happens.  He doesn’t even have to say it.  Then why doesn’t He just  think, “All the souls under the control of maya be free from maya.” Then we would all have been freed by now.  

He revealed the Vedas.  He takes birth in this world again just to get cursed by the people here.  But in spite of his innate ability to self fulfil his every desire,  He doesn’t set us free from maya.  So God cannot do anything in this matter.  We cannot just leave it on God that he will one day set us free from Maya.  Nor will a saint do it for you.  We have met innumerable saints in our innumerable past lives.  

God is not senior to us. God is immortal and so are we (the soul).  All the saints that existed till now were right in front of us.  We have also witnessed all the avatars of God that existed till now. But we did not accept any saint to be a saint.  We did not accept any avatar to be God.  Our intellect, which is controlled by maya, doesn’t let us accept this fact. This is the same “mind” we were talking about.  It is also known as the intellect.  

So the Vedas say, “O humans!  Do not blame anyone else. Your mind alone is the reason of bondage and liberation.  (Scriptural Verse). The same verse is in various other scriptures also.  All these verses from the Vedas show that mind is the major blockage behind everything.  And if you want to turn all your desires towards God, that too will be done by mind. God says he wants nothing from us.  Just our mind. (Scriptural Verse)

The job of our mind is to think.  God says to Arjuna, “ Always keep me in your mind and that is it. Then even if you murder someone, I will not note it down.”  God will not even note it down, far less punish that person.  “Because your mind is concentrated on me,”  God says to Arjuna.  “That is why your physical actions will not be counted.”  Hanuman ji murdered  thousands of Brahmans and set Lanka on fire.  And yet Lord Ram did not note it down.  Because Hanuman ji’s mind was thinking of Shri Ram alone.”  

Every action, good or bad, divine or of maya, is counted only when the mind is involved.   God doesn’t look at  physical actions. The world however only looks at outward physical actions.  You accomplish their work and they are happy.  Parents, children and wife everyone is happy.  Just do  their work and they are happy.  They don’t want your mind.  They want their work to be done.  So God says, “Just fulfil their desires physically and give your mind to me.  This is called “karmayoga.”

Therefore to think about controlling your mind is the biggest foolishness. Even Kalidasa’s example is nothing compared to this.  He had tried to make the impossible possible.  It might be possible to extract oil from sand or to extract butter from water, but it is impossible to have control over mind without God’s Grace. There is only one solution for all  problems.  Concentrate your mind on God.  It will not get attracted to God automatically.  You have to try to attach it.  

Any work you have ever done in this world also demands practice and hard work first.  First you tried, then it happened.   Initially, you used to take cigarettes or tea as a hobby.  And eventually you became addicted to it.  Did anyone start running as soon as they took birth?  You didn’t even know how to turn to your side while sleeping.  You tried a lot.  When a doctor advises a healthy man not to turn to his side for four days due to his injury, then the man says “O God!  Four days without turning around! It is so difficult.”  

But when we took birth with that delicate and soft body, we didn’t turn to our sides for months and yet survived.  We tried a lot and yet couldn’t turn.  And trying to turn innumerable times, we finally learnt to turn on our side and that made us very happy. Then we practised again and again.  We used to see all grown ups sitting and we used to think ”When will I be able to sit like this?”  Our mother tried to make us sit several times but we fell down.  

We did a lot of hard work.  We have forgotten all that now. We didn’t know how to ride a bicycle or drive a car.  Everything you have done required a lot of practice.  And when you talk about meditating on God you easily say, “My mind doesn’t get focussed on God.”  Getting our mind naturally attracted to God is an achievement.  

Achievement comes after the hard work is done.  First, try to focus your mind over and over again, then one day it will automatically get focused on God. So the degree of your attachment to God is directly proportional to the control you have on your mind.  And when your mind will get completely attached only to God:

The word “only” has been used.  So only when your mind is 100% attached to God alone, your mind will be 100% under your control.  That is why you have to practise sadhana. Your mind can only be under your control  through devotion towards God.  This is an irrefutable statement that everyone should remember at all times.

*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*

(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharaj Ji)

The original title of Jagadguruttam (Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957, by Kashi Vidvat Parishad (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like Prem Ras Madira, Prem Ras Siddhant, and Radha Govind Geet to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh, Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharaj Ji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.