Rein in the unruly mind

We have so much pride in ourselves as human beings. But it is only our external forms that are human. Within, we are still super monkeys.

Published: 14th April 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2019 04:09 PM   |  A+A-

We have so much pride in ourselves as human beings. But it is only our external forms that are human. Within, we are still super monkeys. In the beginning, a human foetus is formed like a fish in the womb. Gradually it develops into the form of a monkey. And then, when it is born as a human being, it is reluctant to give up its monkey nature. It is the habit of a monkey to jump from one branch of a tree to another. But the human monkey (the mind) with only one leap can reach the moon. With the next leap it can be in the US, and then suddenly in Russia.

At times it will jump to the past, and the next moment leap into the future. This is the way the monkey of the mind behaves. It is not easy to transform such a mind because the power of our past samskaras (dispositions inherited from our previous lives) are very powerful. 

Three friends were wandering along a road. Their names were Ramu, Damu and Komu. Suddenly someone called from behind, “Hey Ramu!” So Ramu looked back. A little later another person called, “Hey Damu!” This time Damu stopped and turned. As they continued walking, someone else called out, “Hey Komu!” And Komu responded. Then someone called from behind, “Hey, you monkeys!” This time all three looked back. 

Everyone has a monkey mind that is perpetually running hither and thither. It is very difficult to reform the mind. In order to bring it under control, one has to train it and make it into a ‘circle’. To make the mind into a circle means to regulate its haphazard thoughts and make them orderly, to contain the mind and stop it from meandering. The first and foremost things required for this are humility and self-surrender. If we have these qualities, our thoughts cannot be unruly.

It is like a snake that curls round and bites its own tail; it can no longer run as it pleases. By containing the mind within a circle in this way, it will be freed from unnecessary thoughts and will be under our control. Mahabali had the humility to bow down before God. He was able to surrender to Him. Because of this, his mind became as vast as the universe, and he was filled with love and compassion. Thus, from being an asura (demon), he attained the state of divinity. 

We too can rise from our present monkey mind to the state of divinity. All that is required is our total surrender to God, having the attitude of bowing our heads before the Almighty. Humility should become part of our nature. Our present state is such that our physical bodies have grown and developed, but our minds have not. If our minds are to expand and become as vast as the universe, we have to become like children. For only a child can grow and develop. 

If a pipe is connected to a water tank, all the water can flow through the pipe and be useful to everyone. Similarly, if we allow ourselves to connect to the Paramatman (the Supreme Self), the infinite power of the Paramatman will flow through us. To connect to the Paramatman is to give up our sense of ego and surrender everything unto Him. With the attitude ‘I am nothing’, we become everything. This is the meaning of the statement: ‘When you become a  zero, you become a hero’. 

Humility towards others, reverence for all beings in the world, compassion for the suffering, the attitude of always being a beginner—these are the qualities a devotee should have. That is the samskara (heritage) that the rishis have handed down to us. If we live our lives imbibing these qualities, we will be able to realise the Supreme Goal. The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader

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