Mental austerity

Says Shri Krishna:

मनः  प्रसादः  सौम्यत्वं  मौनात्मविनिग्रह: |

भावसंशुद्धिरित्येतत्तपो  मानसमुच्यते  || (भगवद  गीता : १७ : १६ )

Manah prasadah saumyatvam mounatmavinigrahah |

Bhavasamshuddhirityetattapo manasamuchyate || (bhagavad gita: 17: 16)

Serenity of mind, good heartedness, silence, self-control, purity of nature are together called ‘mental austerity’.

यज्ञदानतपःकर्म  न  त्याज्यं  कार्यमेव  तत्  |

यज्ञो  दानं  तपश्चैव  पावनानि  मनीषिणां  || (भगवद  गीता : १८ : ५ )

Yagnadantapahkarma na tyajyam karyameva tat |

Yagno danam tapaschaiva pavanani maneshinaam || (bhagavad gita: 18: 5)

Acts of charity, sacrifice and austerity should not be abandoned. Worship, charity and austerity purify even the purest.

Mind becomes mighty when it is serene, silent, pure and well managed. There is no exception/exemption to this. We must reduce the quantity of thoughts in the mind and increase its quality. We can see the depths of our personality unfold by sacrificing our weaknesses, giving in charity large heartedly, without grudge or pride. This mental austerity brings about a brilliant discipline within and creates conditions under which alone, the highest spiritual unfoldment is made possible.

Swami Chinmayananda says,” as your body requires cleansing, so does your mind. So long as your mind is full of negative tendencies, you can never bring it to single-pointed concentration.  Control the mind.”

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4 Responses to Mental austerity

  1. Polar Shift says:

    ” as your body requires cleansing, so does your mind. So long as your mind is full of negative tendencies, you can never bring it to single-pointed concentration. Control the mind.”

    —-Well said, single pointed concentration through mind control. Bravo !!!!!
    But how the negative thoughts had come in the first place?
    If someone enjoyed having the so called ‘negative thoughts’, are they still negative ?

    • vasudha says:

      Thank you for sharing this query Polar Shift.
      I interpret Sw. Chinmayananda’s words as: Any thought / tendency that creates an agitation, that disturbs the serenity of the mind is a negative thought. Whether it is liked or disliked, enjoyed or not is not considered. That mind which is serene, calm, silent, is a pure mind and that is available to be present every moment. One may enjoy a thought or get excited with it, but even those thoughts are counted as negative as they have disturbed the equilibrium. This equipoise of the mind is necessary to reflect deeper levels of consciousness.

  2. Polar Shift says:

    So its between a chaotic and a calm mind ? While the chaotic mind is negative, the calm mind is positive? This calm mind full of positivity is achieved by single pointed concentration through mind control ?

    if so, control is the key ? why we hate control freaks who control others?
    How different if one controls outer or inner ? When control the mind its a sacred act and control outside is ignoble and tyranny ?

    • vasudha says:

      Yes ! exactly ! it’s between the calm and chaotic. If we have eaten too much or the wrong food, for instance and our stomach is upset. The doctor prescribes medicines and says, “control diet.” We don’t assume he or our own self is a control freak. Do we ? The word ‘control’ has to be understood this way here. It has nothing to do with being a tyrant or dictator. We ‘control’ our salt/diet intake if we have BP/ cholesterol problems, exactly the same way one who is in an agitated state of mind has to relax first. If one had already been able to ‘see’ levels of consciousness deeper than the mind then the agitations of the mind doesn’t bother him. But for someone who doesn’t know this, he has first to learn to relax. Mental austerity is for such a person. And works well for the “Realized” one too :-)

      About control of inner, we must realize that we can control our mind. Like if I owned a vehicle and have mastered the driving skills then I can say I have control over my car. But I cant stop another drunken driver or another who has lost control of his own vehicle from causing an accident. If I have controlled my own vehicle then the best I can do is to escape this accident with my mastery and avoid it altogether. If I think that I can control the other vehicle then, am I not a ‘freak’?

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