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Bhagvat Gita on the Stability of Mind

The Bhagavad Bhagvat Gita lays heavy emphasis on the need to cultivate stability of mind for spiritual success. Equal mindedness or equanimity of the mind is the precondition to self-realization. When the mind ceases its movements and becomes stable (nischala), one is called sthithapragna (one who is stabilized in intelligence). Without this state of mind, God realization is a difficult task.

A man is said to be stable of mind when he renounces all desires, remains satisfied in the self by the self, and shows the same attitude towards heat and cold, pleasure and pain, sorrow and happiness, friend and foe, success and failure, respect and disrespect, himself and others, and such other dualities of earthly life. He remains undisturbed and unmoved by the vagaries of the mind and the outside world.

It is however not so easy to attain this state of mind. Lord Krishna concur with Arjuna about this fact in the Bhagvat Gita (6.35). The mind is fickle like the wind or the candle light or water in motion. But it can be controlled through "abhyas" (practice) and vairagya (dispassion). According to the Bhagavad Bhagvat Gita, the mind is unstable because of the activity of the senses and the attachment of the mind to the sense-objects. An unstable mind verily is the cause of delusion, an enemy of the self (6.6), where as the stabilized mind is the very seat of Brahmic consciousness, the doorway to self-realization and the precondition for attainment of immortality.

Having traced the causes, the Bhagvat Gita also prescribes the remedy for an unstable mind. The mind can be stabilized through self-discipline and self-control, by withdrawing the senses from the sense objects the way a tortoise withdraws its limbs, developing desirelessness through detachment from the sense objects, living in solitude, free from possessiveness, by fixing the mind constantly on God.

These are however not the only means. Through pure and sincere devotion, concentration , by performing actions without desire and without seeking to enjoy the fruit of actions, living in solitude, accepting life as it unfolds, completely surrendering to God and living the life of sacrifice are equally effective.

Moderation in every thing we do is another method prescribed to achieve this state of mind (6.16). The mind becomes stable when one realizes the interplay of the gunas in deluding men and transcends these gunas (14.23-25) though practice.

With the stability of the mind comes undisturbed peace and unending calm. All sorrows cease to bother the person who has become stable in mind as his mind does not crave any more for any thing and accepts every condition of life equally as divine providence (yaddruchcha labha samtushta) and goes through all experiences with the same attitude and becomes immune to the play of Prakriti.

He goes beyond the sense of duality (dwandatitha) and overcomes jealousy. He lifts the veil of illusion covering his mind and sees with his inner eyes the beauty and splendor of his self deep within and beyond. He becomes united with the Infinite Consciousness, sees the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self.


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