Technique of Controlling the mind
In Bhagvadgita Chapter 6, Shloka 35 the blessed Lord Krishna says to Arjuna :
Asamsayam mahabaho mano durnigraham calam
Abhyasena to kaunteya vairagyena ca grhyate.
Doubtless O mighty armed, the mind is restless and hard to control but by practice and non-attachment, O son of Kunti, it can be controlled.
In my opinion the Lord has given us via Arjuna the secret of controlling our mind which remains ever so restless. But before one strives to understand what the Lord is saying, one must be able to recall what Arjuna asked in previous Shlokas. In Shlokas 33 and 34 of Chapter 6 of The Gita Arjuna had talked about the restless nature of mind and hence, he had told the Lord that the mind is as hard to control as the wind. In this shlok 35 the Lord gives Arjuna the technique of controlling the mind. However, first the Lord agrees with Arjuna that the mind is not easy to control and then the Lord gives us via Arjuna two important means to control the mind. The first one is Practice and the second one is Non-attachment.
Now let us try to understand these two techniques. Why do we find it hard to control our minds? Because we have become slave to our minds. We have completely surrendered ourselves to the bent of our minds. The Lord says we can change our old habits if we so desire. The uncontrollable and restless mind can be controlled and made calm by earnest and persistent practice. What is Practice? A consistent attempt.
To wean the mind from its old habit of restlessness requires regular and persistent attempt to draw it towards someone who is always at peace. Who is that someone? God who is always at peace. Mind becomes pacified as it gets drawn to God. Lord Krishna however cautions that the practice alone may not work because the mind runs after those objects to which it has been attached. What should we do then?
The Lord gives us the second watchword-“Non-attachment”. How? Tell your mind that you as the soul are its boss and you have experienced the evils of such attachments of the mind. You have to remind the mind of these evils every time it wanders. Ask your mind what had it achieved by running after worldly attachments? More pain than pleasure? Is there any worldly relation that is not based on selfishness? Is there any thing in the world that has given your mind ever lasting pleasure? Remind your mind about all the sufferings due to attachments. Thus, you will see that when all the worldly attachments are put down through discrimination, the mind slowly but surely comes under control.
The essence of Lord’s message is that if we want to succeed in the practice of meditation for controlling our mind, we have to learn the practice of non-attachment.