Vedānta Series – 6
The third among sādhanacatuṣṭayaṁ or four fold practice is six fold wealth. The six fold wealth deals internally. Out of the four, only the third one is described as wealth. Though, this does not undermine the importance of the other three, it undoubtedly underlines the importance of six fold wealth than others. The previous two, discrimination and dispassion are related to objects. Tattvabodha calls six fold wealth as sādhanasampattiḥ. Sādhana means practice and sampatti means accomplishment; in this context sampatti means wealth. The goal of spirituality can be attained only through practice. The six fold wealth consists of i. śamaḥ or mind control, ii. damaḥ or control of external sensory organs, iii. uparatiḥ orobservance of one’s dharma, iv. titikṣā or endurance of pleasure and pain, v. śraddhā or faith in the words of guru and Holy Scriptures and vi. samādhānaṁ or single pointed attention (samādhānaṁ also means reconciliation).
1. Mind control: Mind by nature is always attracted to sensory inputs. An idle mind cannot remain quiet. It is waiting for some sensory inputs to construct thought processes, which inturn lead to desires, attachments, etc. When desire is not fulfilled, it transforms into impressions and induces the mind to fulfil the desire at any cost. This is the point where a man’s quality is determined. A person with a fragile mind goes after the desired object at any cost and in the process transforms himself as a completely materialistic person. Materialistic life and spiritual life cannot go together, whereas materialistic life and religious life can go together comfortably. Spiritual unfoldment happens only in the mind and therefore, the mind has to be kept devoid of any impressions. These impressions are also known as impurities. The mind functions not merely on the impressions of objects on the gross level, but also functions on the impressions of the subconscious mind on the subtle level. It is always easier to deal with the mind at gross level than at the subtle level. Mind cannot be controlled automatically and there has to be a serious and sincere attempt to subjugate the mind. It has to be controlled consciously. Ultimately, one has to transcend his mind to realize the true concept of non-dualism, wherein all discriminations are rejected.
Patañjali in his Yoga Sūtra (II.28) says, “By the practice of different parts of yoga, the impurities are being destroyed, knowledge becomes effulgent up to discrimination.” Therefore, mind can be purified by constant practice. Practice here means retraction and withdrawal of mind from thought processes. When one does not have desires and attachments, there cannot be any thoughts.
2. Control of sensory organs: If the mind is to be controlled, sensory organs are to be made ineffective. Sensory organs cannot be made ineffective easily, as they are inherently made to communicate to the mind about the objects that they come into contact. The sensory impact on the mind can be reduced only if sensory organs are not made to look externally. An aspirant has to make his senses to look and explore within.
Vivekachūḍāmaṇi (verse 23) says that turning both kinds of sense organs (organs of action and organs of perception) away from objects and placing them in the respective centres is the best way for self-control. Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.i.1) also says, “Brahman has created the sense organs with the inherent defect that are by nature outgoing. The one who wants to attain the Brahman can withdraw his sense organs from external objects and the Self within.” Undoubtedly, controlling senses is tough job. But for a true spiritual aspirant nothing is difficult, as he will have immense willpower. Spirituality cannot be pursued without willpower and sacrifice.