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Introspection and Contemplation

Swami Sivananda Saraswati
One who practices daily introspection and self-analysis can discover his defects and habits and remove them. This is very patient work. Through introspection, an aspirant gains knowledge of the laws and ways of the mind and can easily check its wanderings and manage it perfectly. During introspection, the rapid shifting of the mind from one line of thought to another can be clearly observed.
Herein lays a chance to mould the mind properly and direct the thoughts and mental energy into the divine channel. Throw out worldly and useless thoughts, and do not allow the intruders of anger, greed, delusion and pride to enter the mental factory. This is a stupendous task indeed, but success is sure with daily introspection. The practice demands patience, perseverance, tenacity, iron will, a subtle intellect and courage. Concentration can be practiced uninterruptedly. The reward is invaluable. It is immortality, supreme peace and infinite bliss.

Finding peace in the Self Man is essentially a spiritual being expressing himself through the mind and body. His innermost essence is the Atma or divine spirit. Man is not this body, not his senses or even his mind; these are only his vehicles. The body and mind are subject to change, decay and death, whereas the real man, the immortal Self, is never-ending and eternal. Only a calm mind can grasp the Truth, see the immortal Self and receive the divine light.

The mind has the power to reflect, to look into its own depths. An aspirant must learn the art of making the mind introspective or turned inward upon itself. If you go above body consciousness and if the mind rests in the Self, then you are happy, peaceful and free. Acquire the power of introspection. A raja yogi develops this power through self-enquiry. When, by analyzing your own mind, you come face to face with something which is by its own nature eternally pure, perfect, self-luminous and unchanging; you will no longer be miserable or unhappy. One essence only exists, which is infinite, spotless, ever pure and completely full. Contemplate upon it and be free from all pain with true calmness of mind.

Become the silent witness enter into silence now from today in a dark, quiet room. Watch the mind carefully. Be patient. Do not identify with the restless, unbalanced mind. Be a sakshi or a silent witness. When there is indifference towards all enjoyments and when the powerful indriyas or senses are turned inwards and the ajnana or ignorance of the mind is destroyed, only then will all the noble words of the wise men infiltrate the disciple’s mind. It is the modifications of the mind, the vrittis that bind one to objects. Be a silent witness to the activities of the mind, and there will no longer be bondage. Be the seer of the mind’s dramatic performances and not involved with the mind itself.

When you see a person suffering from colic, you do not feel any pain yourself, but when you get the same colic, you cry out and experience intense agony. Why? Because you identify with the body. If there is no ego identification, you will not feel any pain. This can come only when you become the witness, when there is identification with the AbsoluteThrough introspection and contemplation, separate yourself from the thought waves and the fourfold mind.
Watch the mind, intellect, subconscious mind and ego, and stand aloof as the witness in your original all blissful nature. Contemplate the words, “I am neither prana nor the senses; I am quite distinct from these. I am the witness of their activities; I am sat-chit-ananda swaroopa.” This alone is sufficient for practice. Contemplate the idea that the body is the temple of the radiant and self-effulgent spirit or Atma within, which controls all the faculties of the mind and the body. Be aware that you are breathing the breath of the spirit and not a physical breath. You have a body, but you are not the body. You have a mind, but you are not the mind. The body and mind are instruments, like the tools of a carpenter. This body is an instrument or servant of the soul, not its prison. When discrimination dawns, one will see the Atman within.
Sit peacefully. Discriminate. Thinking causes identification with the body, I-nessand ‘mine ness, time and space. Stop this thinking through dispassion and practice and merge yourself in the pure consciousness where there is no thinking. Disassociate from the thoughts and the mind, which is the thinking principle or entity. Identify with the innermost Self and become the silent witness. This is liberation while living. Continue the practice of mental quiet. Only when the subtle desires are annihilated is mental tranquility possible. Gradually all thoughts will die by themselves. You will become one with the Supreme Self or Para Brahman.


August 6, 2013 | Satsang | 0