Meditation has been practiced from time immemorial to interiorize the mind and enjoy higher states of consciousness. Besides being a panacea for all mental ailments and afflictions, meditation is the only passport that ensures entry into the kingdom of God. Divinity blooms when the mind is controlled and centered in the spiritual self. All the dualities of our experiences are dissolved and we are sheltered
in infinite consciousness, that is, God.
Our Upanishads, the treasure-trove of spiritual wisdom, declare that “It’s our mind that keeps us in bondage; it alone can liberate us.”
Our mind is a double-edged sword. It can both make and mar us. When the mind is uncontrolled and impure, it pushes us towards the whirlpool of worldly attachments and concomitant sufferings. A well-regulated, pure mind sunders the prison bars of mortal limitations.
The common question posed by all spiritual aspirants is how to control the mind, an apparently impossible task. Even Arjuna, who represents a devotee on the path of God-realization, describes the turbulent nature of the mind and
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wants to know from Lord Krishna, his divine yoga master, how to control it.
O Krishna! The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong and to control it is more difficult than controlling the wind.
– Bhagavad Gita VI: 34
Most neophytes stumble on the spiritual path and derail when they fail to accomplish this goal. Unfortunately, they are deprived of the divine blessings that meditation bestows on its practitioners.
All our efforts to control the mind go up in smoke when we try to control the mind through the mind. This is a deceptive endeavor. It is like setting a thief to arrest himself for having committed a theft. Just as we need a subject to control an object, we need another agency to control the mind. Those who fail to understand interdependence of mind and life-energy are utter failures in the game of hide and seek between man and mind.
The practice of kriya yoga reverses the flow of life-energy and helps us gain control over the body and the mind. When kriya yoga is practiced, the mind is interiorized and becomes still, and spiritual aspirants are spontaneously established in the pratayahara, the fifth step on the inner journey. (There are seven successive steps which lead devotees towards the soul.) Concentration and meditation are next to impossible until one learns to control the mind.
Our body is controlled by our senses, our senses by our mind and our mind by our life-energy. Kriya yoga is the highest technique of pranayama or life-energy control. Control over life-energy automatically leads to control over the body, senses and mind.