6th November, 1935
A Bengali visitor asked: How is the mind controlled?
Maharshi: What do you call `the mind'?
D.: When I sit down to think of God, thoughts wander away to other objects. I want to control those thoughts.
Maharshi: In the Bhagavad Gita it is said that it is the nature of the mind to wander. One must bring one's thoughts to bear on God. By long practice the mind is controlled and made steady. The wavering of the mind is a weakness arising from the dissipation of its energy in the shape of thoughts. When one makes the mind stick to one thought the energy is conserved, and the mind becomes stronger.
D.: What is the meaning of the strength of the mind?
Maharshi: Its ability to concentrate on one thought without being distracted.
D.: How is that achieved?
Maharshi: By practice. A devotee concentrates on God; a seeker, follower of the jnana-marga, seeks the Self. The practice is equally difficult for both.
D.: Even if the mind is brought to bear on the search for the Self , after a long struggle the mind begins to elude him and the man is not aware of the mischief until after some time.
Maharshi: So it would be. In the earlier stages the mind reverts to the search at long intervals; with continued practice it reverts at shorter intervals until finally it does not wander at all. It is then that the dormant sakti manifests.
The satvic mind is free from thoughts whereas the rajasic mind is full of them. The satvic mind resolves itself into the Life-current.
D.: Can one keep the mind away from entering into the phase of thoughts before one experiences the current?
Maharshi: Yes; the current is pre-existent.
Talk 90 Talk 92