13th January, 1937
In answer to a question by a long resident attendant Sri Bhagavan
said: “Everybody complains of the restlessness of the mind. Let the
mind be found and then they will know. True, when a man sits down
to meditate thoughts rush up by dozens. The mind is only a bundle
of thoughts. The attempt to push through the barrage of thoughts is
unsuccessful. If one can by any means abide in the Self it is good.
For those who are unable to do so, chanting or meditation (Japa or
dhyana) is prescribed. It is like giving a piece of chain to an elephant
to hold in its trunk. The trunk of the elephant is usually restless. It
puts it out in all directions when taken out in the streets of the town.
If given a chain to carry the restlessness is checked. Similarly with
the restless mind. If made to engage in japa or dhyana, other thoughts
are warded off: and the mind concentrates on a single thought. It thus
becomes peaceful. It does not mean that peace is gained without a
prolonged struggle. The other thoughts must be fought out.
Here is another illustration. Suppose a cow plays rogue and strays into
neighbours’ fields to graze. She is not easily weaned from her stealthy
habit. Think how she can be kept in the stall. If forcibly tethered in
the stall she simply bides her time to play the rogue. If she is tempted
with fine grass in the stall she takes one mouthful on the first day and
again waits for the opportunity to run away. The next day she takes
two mouthfuls; so she takes more and more on each succeeding day,
until finally she is weaned from her wicked tendencies. When entirely
free from bad habits she might be safely left free and she would not
stray into neighbours’ pasture land. Even when beaten in the stall,
she does not afterwards leave the place. Similarly with the mind. It
is accustomed to stray outward by the force of the latent vasanas
manifesting as thoughts. So long as there are vasanas contained
within they must come out and exhaust themselves. The thoughts
comprise the mind. Searching what the mind is, the thoughts will
recoil and the seeker will know that they arise from the Self. It is the
aggregate of these thoughts that we call ‘mind’. If one realises that
the thoughts arise from the Self and abide in their source, the mind
will disappear. After the mind ceases to exist and bliss of peace has
been realised, one will find it then as difficult to bring out a thought,
as he now finds it difficult to keep out all thoughts. Here the mind is
the cow playing the rogue; the thoughts are the neighbours’ pasture;
one’s own primal being free from thoughts is the stall.
The bliss of peace is too good to be disturbed. A man fast asleep
hates to be awakened and ordered to mind his business. The bliss
of sleep is too enthralling to be sacrificed to the work born of
thoughts. The thought-free state is one’s primal state and full of
bliss. Is it not miserable to leave such a state for the thought-ridden
and unhappy one?
If one wants to abide in the thought-free state, a struggle is inevitable.
One must fight one’s way through before regaining one’s original
primal state. If one succeeds in the fight and reaches the goal, the
enemy, namely the thoughts, will all subside in the Self and disappear
entirely. The thoughts are the enemy. They amount to the creation of
the Universe. In their absence there is neither the world nor God the
Creator. The Bliss of the Self is the single Being only.
When Prahlada was in samadhi, Vishnu thought within Himself:
“This asura being in samadhi, all the asuras are in peace. There is no
fight, no trial of strength, no search for power, nor the means for gaining
power. In the absence of such means for power - yaga, yajna, etc., i.e., the
gods are not thriving; there is no new creation; nor even is any existence
justified. So I will wake him up; then the asuras will rise up; their original
nature will manifest itself; the gods will challenge them: the asuras and
others will then seek strength and adopt the means for its acquisition.
Yajnas, etc., will flourish; the gods will thrive; there will be more and
more of creation, more of fight and I shall have enough to do”.
So Vishnu awakened Prahlada, blessing him with eternal life and
jivanmukti. Deva-asura fight was resumed and the old order of things
was restored so that the universe continues in its eternal nature.
D.: How could God Himself wake up the asura element and bring
about constant warfare? Is not Pure Goodness the nature of God?
M.: Goodness is only relative. Good always implies bad also; they
always co-exist. The one is the obverse of the other.