[Advaita-l] How to control the mind (without meditation)?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Mar 1 23:49:08 CST 2009

On Sat, 28 Feb 2009, Suresh wrote:

> Thanks everyone for all your replies.
> The reason I view everything as an illusion is because, Isn't that the 
> right thing to do? I mean, that's what advaita is about? The world is 
> mithya and all that? So I assumed that would be the right form of 
> meditation.

If one truly believes that the world-appearence is mithya then one should 
immediately renounce it.  You have put yourself in an untenable position 
by being immersed in samsara yet trying to deny it. As you have found out 
it is very difficult to maintain such an attitude.

The Vedic path is two-fold, pravrtti or desireless works and nivrtti or 
renunciation.  Although Advaita Vedanta considers nivrtti to be superior 
it does not condemn pravrtti precisely for people like you (and me.)  By 
restraining the ego through strict attention to duty without expectation 
of reward, the mind gradually becomes steady and still over time and will 
naturally tend towards renunciation.  Meditation is a part of this not an 
end to itself.

> In this connection, I'd also like to understand the role of deities 
> here. Are they real, and if so, do they help us control our minds? If 
> not, (if we have to do all the work ourselves), what's the point in 
> believing/worshiping deities? Must they be abandoned as illusions too?

Again it is unhelpful to talk about abandoning illusions.  Instead think 
of them as purNa -- unlimited.  So in terms of deities the Advaitin does 
not see them as false but as pervading all include ones own Self.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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