Make the Mind Joyful
Disciple says, “Gurudev, I have a question. For quite a while now, my mind has been extremely restless. When I sit down for meditation or Japa, I cannot concentrate. But the moment I come to you, sit here, listen to you, I become peaceful and calm. Please guide me, how do I control my monkey mind, so it obeys?”
Gurudev says, “Definitely, I will help! Listen carefully. I will tell you a story. Once you hear it, you will know the answer to your question. This story is as old as the Upanishads. There were a few lazy disciples in a saint’s ashram. They would only study the material that would be beneficial for them. Once the Guru taught them a shloka. The meaning of that shloka was that, ‘Don’t wait for the right time or an auspicious moment. The moment the mind is completely engrossed, any undertaken job will be successful. Work when the mind is willing’.”
Gurudev continues, “Now, the disciples found this teaching extremely beneficial. So, they stopped studying. The Guru noticed, called them and asked, ‘Why aren’t you all studying?’ They answered, ‘We don’t feel like studying. Our minds aren’t willing.’ The Guru was surprised, and instantly realized what happened. His disciples had completely misunderstood his teaching!”
Gurudev says, “After a few days, these disciples approached the Guru. They looked disheartened, so the Guru asked them the reason. The disciples answered, ‘Please scold the cook. For quite a while now, he does not cook food on time, and we starve. He also does not cook the food properly, so we don’t feel like eating it either. We have been starving for 3-4 days now!’”
Gurudev says, “The Guru called the cook and asked, ‘Is what these disciples are saying, true?’ The cook replied, ‘I have lost interest in cooking!’ The disciples realized their mistake and started studying sincerely.”
Gurudev explains further, “Now tell me, did you get the answer to your question?
Gurudev says, “Please understand, the mind must be directed towards something. By its nature, it loves to get involved in worldly attractions. Then begins its restlessness. Hence the mind must be controlled, it is a necessity!
In the Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita, Shri Krishna disclosed to Arjuna the secret to controlling the mind. He says, ‘The mind will wander, but with sincere study, it can be controlled.’ Samarth Shri Ramdas Swami composed ‘Manache shloka’ for the same reason.
Gurudev says, “Now do one thing, sit here in front of me, close your eyes and search for your mind and tell me where it is.”
The disciple closed his eyes, and desperately started searching for his mind. Quite sometime later, he opened his eyes.
Disciple says, “Gurudev, as I began searching for my mind, I started realizing that the so-called mind does not exist. The mind is actually a continuous flow of thoughts.”
Gurudev says, “This is the reason why the mind should be befriended. You must be constantly alert and watchful. Shri Tukaram Maharaj said that only when you are alone can you converse with your mind. In short, our mind is the source of bondage and it is also the source of our liberation. Seek refuge at the feet of the Divine. The spiritual lessons that you have been taught will guide you and take you to your destination.
Gurudev says, “Come on then.,
Close your eyes…
Relax your body…
Focus your attention on the free-flowing breath…
Surrender completely to the Divine….
You have blessings from the Guru lineage, ‘May your spiritual practice blossom (साधनसमृद्धिरस्तु)’.”