By conquering mind we conquer world

Swami Chinmayananda

Swami Chinmayananda

The mind in us determines the quality and beauty, the dynamism and glory, the nature and arrangements of the world around us. An extension of our mind in its constant perceptions and interpretations, unveils for us our private world of sorrows and joys, likes and dislikes, successes and failures.

By conquering the mind we conquer our world. The outer circumstances and the available objects and beings around us can no longer make us dance to their will and whim. We shall come to call the tune, and the world around us shall learn to obey, as we will it act. In fact, without this subjective conquest of one’s own mind, no conquest anywhere is a real conquest.

Even if you have won the whole world, of what avail is it to you, if you have not won over the soul (mind) in yourself? No success is a success, no joy a real joy, no beauty a true beauty unless the individual has conquered his own mind.

Even though you have not conquered, in battles, the world, you become the world conqueror when you have conquered your mind; and although you have for long conquered the world by force, you have conquered nothing so long as you have not conquered yourself.”

In order to thus conquer the mind one need not run away physically from all sense objects or living beings in one’s life. All that we have to do is to attend consistently to the taming of the mind. Objects (Vishayas) are helpless against a mind under control of the clear intellect. The sense-organs will not dare run out into the cess-pools of sensuous gratifications, when the mind behind them is a fully disciplined and strictly cultivated one.

Therefore, instead of unnecessarily wasting our energies in regulating the world of objects and environments, instead of exhausting ourselves in vain attempts at controlling the sense-organs, let us attend to the mastering of our mind.

Say the Acharyas: “Extrovert thought (chittam) is the commander of the sense-organs, and so to win him is to win all; not to win him is to win noneā€¦.. just as to one who is wearing shoes the whole world is covered with leather”

We need not conquer the sense-organs one by one, nor need we run away from all objects of sense fascinations. Control the mind: and then go wherever you will. With shoes one can walk even over thorny bushes and stony slopes. You are protected from them all. Conquer your mind, then you are insured against everything, everywhere, at all times.

A meditator must thus direct his attention constantly in capturing the wild mind and taming it to obey his own pure decisions and sattvika commands. Once the mind is conquered all else is conquered.

A conquered mind is called “pure mind” in Vedanta (shuddha antahkarana), and it is a mental equipment which is not agitated by every passing mood of passion, or is disturbed by every fascinating object that comes across it.
The nature of the mind is that its thoughts will readily flow towards any object of its love. Where our prem is, there our mind reaches and lingers lovingly. This being its natural and instinctive mode of behavior, if we supply it with an alternative field of joyous love, it is sure to turn towards it, and in so doing, will be turning away from the world-of-objects, where it is now getting totally dissipated of all its rich potentialities.

Excerpted from The 27th death anniversary of Swami Chinmayananda was observed on August 3

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