Gita Series – 78: Bhagavad Gita Chapter -VI. Verses 35 – 36

Krishna begins to clarify Arjuna’s doubt. “Oh! Mighty armed! The mind is always restless and difficult to control. But, this can be brought under control by practice and determination. Yoga is difficult to achieve for the one who has not subdued his mind. But, for the one, who has controlled his mind, yoga can be attained through persistent practice.”

Mind becomes the foundational aspect of spirituality. A person gets transformed from his mundane level of existence to spiritual existence only through his mind. Any amount of physical transformation will not help in making spiritual progress. Cessation of transmigration begins to happen only if the internal spiritual transformation is complete. Krishna says that sincere practice of meditation coupled with determination truly helps to control the mind. When one determines to control his mind, his determination is also passed on to the mind. At the time of this decision, his mind is filled with too many thoughts and consequent impressions. Now his mind is fully active and too busy to permit any other extraneous factors to influence it. His mind got addicted to the influences of sensory inputs. The aspirant’s will power should be several times more powerful than his thought processes and impressions in the mind. Both his will power and sensory influences fight against each other only in the arena of his mind. His mind transforms into a battle field where these two forces fight against each other. If his will power is extraordinary powerful, his sensory influences on the mind are subdued and the cleansing process of the mind begins to happen. This should be the first step of any spiritual aspirant. There is no way this process can be circumvented, to achieve real spiritual progress. If one thinks that he is progressing in spirituality without controlling his mind, it will only be the manifestation of his illusion. This is the reason why all sacred scriptures repeatedly talk about mind, consciousness, etc. It is ultimately in the mind, true spirituality unfolds. As long as the mind is corrupt and impure, this unfoldment never happens. Possibly the highest achievement that one can be proud of in one’s life time is mastering his mind. When the mind is conquered, Self realization is not far off. When the mind begins the process of cleansing, spiritual energy that enters the body helps to hasten this process. The Lord is always waiting for the initiation of this cleansing process to happen in someone, so that He could rush to them and offer eternal liberation. He is always the Lord in waiting, waiting to offer liberation.

Krishna highlights the importance of practice. This is explained by sage Patanjali in yoga sutras. He says that struggling to keep the inherent nature of the mind at bay is practice (I.13). He further says that by long and persistent practice coupled with great love for the Lord, the desired result is attained. What is important during practice is to remain with the Lord all the time. Remain here means immersed in the thought of the Lord. This is also known as love for the Lord or devotion. When devotion to the Lord becomes love for the Lord, one can clearly understand that he is making rightful beginning in spiritual progression.

Krishna is very specific in saying that unless mind is controlled, yoga, the union of Self and self can never take place. Once the mind is totally purified, the aspirant begins the next step of realizing the Lord within. Seeking the Lord externally only delays the process of realizing Hm. Purity of mind is a prerequisite for Self realization.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita. Chapter VI. 37 - 39

Bhagavad Gita. Chapter VI. 33 - 34

E-Book - Bhagavad Gita - Chapters I and II