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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mind conquest - 10 important methods from Swami Sivananda

Mind is a bundle of desires, thoughts, imaginations, likes and dislikes. Annihilation of the mind is Mano-Nasa. Manolaya is temporary absorption of the mind. This cannot give Moksha. The mind can come back again and wander in sensual objects. Manonasa alone can give release or Moksha.

1. BY VICHARA - Self-inquiry (enquiry of "Who am I?")

This is the best and most effective method. This will annihilate the mind. This is the Vedantic method. Realize the unreality of the mind through philosophical thinking.

2. BY ERADICATION OF EGO

Eradicate the feeling of egoism. Ego is the seed of the tree of mind. "I" thought is the source of all thoughts. All thoughts are centred on the little "I". Find out what the little "I" is. This little "I" will dwindle into airy nothing. It will be absorbed in the infinite "I" or Para Brahman, the source of the little "I" or Ahamkara (egoism).

The sun of Self-realization is fully seen when the cloud of ego disappears.

3. BY VAIRAGYA - Dispassion

Distaste for objects of sense-pleasures by finding out the defects in the sensual life. Objects are perishable. Sensual pleasure is momentary and illusory.

4. BY ABHYASA - Practice of ceaseless meditation

Concentrate the mind by fixing it on Brahman. Make it steady. Abhyasa is ceaseless meditation. This leads to Samadhi.

5. BY NON-ATTACHMENT

Asanga or non-attachment is a sword to destroy the mind. Take the mind away from objects. Detach attach. Detach it from the objects and attach it to the Lord. Do this again and again. The essence of the seed of the sprout of world-experience, which is desire, can be destroyed by the fire of non-attachment.

6. BY VASANAKSHAYA - renunciation of desires

Vasana is desire. Renunciation of desires leads to Vasanakshaya. This will lead to annihilation of the mind (Manonasa). Desire for objects of pleasures is bondage; giving it up is emancipation. Desire is the most essential nature of the mind. Mind and egoism are synonymous.

7. BY PRANAYAMA

Vibration of Prana causes movement of the mind. It gives life to the mind. Pranayama or control of Prana will stop the activities of the mind. But it cannot destroy the mind to its roots like Vichara.

8. BY CONTROL OF THOUGHTS

Avoid imagination or day-dreaming. The mind will be annihilated. Extinction of thoughts alone is Moksha. The mind is destroyed when there is no imagination. The experience of the world illusion is due to your imagination. It vanishes away when imagination is completely stopped.

9. BY EQUANIMITY AND BALANCE

Mental renunciation of possessions is another method. The absolute experience can be realized if you learn to be in a state of thought-suspending Samadhi.

Attainment of equanimity is another method. Be balanced in pain and pleasure, heat and cold, etc.

10. BY DEVOTION AND SERVICE

Japa, Kirtan, prayer, devotion, service of Guru and study are also means to annihilate the mind.

He alone experiences everlasting peace and Eternal Bliss who has transcended the mind and rests in his Own Satchidananda Atman.

- Conquest of mind, Swami Sivananda

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My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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