Swami Vishwananda Darshan Talk at Springen, September 18, 2009 & Guruji Dancing During Navaratri: On the spiritual path the utmost thing that we have to do is to control the mind. We say, “Watch our thoughts.” What is this thought? A thought is an image, a creation, an imagination. Why is it said that we have to watch our thoughts? We watch because most of the time our thoughts make us negative. We have to watch our thoughts and we have to have them under control, but very often it’s quite difficult. Our thoughts make us who we are because we always run behind them.
A few days ago, there was a reading in the Chapel [at Springen], where there was a saying from Saint Silouan from Mount Athos, “Let your thoughts be in hell but you rejoice in the Divine.” I commented a little bit on that. I said, ‘Nowadays, the moment they see their thoughts running to hell everybody runs to hell with their thoughts.’ Your thoughts are jumping, jumping, jumping; and you also jump behind them and do the same. When we watch ourselves, we see that very often we like to speak out what we have in our mind. We like to tell everybody how great we are. We like to publicize ourselves: “Oh, I have seen that light, I have seen this and I have seen that. I have felt this and I have felt that.” Why? We feed the thought so that the thought can become bigger. It’s like when you analyze a reptile. A reptile can be very soft, going its way. The moment it falls in a pit, it will try its best to come out. But the moment that reptile comes out of the pit, it will be more aggressive than ever. That is how our thought is also. The moment we let it out, it’s in flame with this rigorous power, saying “Yes, I am out.” That’s what Christ said, “It’s not what goes inside the person that makes a person polluted, but what comes out of the person.” The Gita says: “A controlled mind is your best friend; an uncontrolled mind is your worst enemy.” Like I said, ‘The way we think is the way we are.’
There was once a great Sadhu in great Divine ecstasy. He fell down in the middle of the road in Samadhi. A few hours later a thief passed by. The thief saw the Sadhu on the road and said to himself, “This must be a thief that last night was stealing and now he is tired and is just resting. The policemen will come and get him.” Then the thief went away. Next a drunkard came passing by. He saw the Sadhu lying down and said, “Oh you fell down. You drank too much. Look at me, I am still standing.” Then the drunkard went his way. Thirdly another Sadhu came passing by. When this Sadhu saw the other Sadhu in Samadhi, he knew that the sadhu lying on the road was in Samadhi. He sat down near him and started pressing his legs.
Those three reactions to the sadhu lying on the road show how our mind functions. We will always see what we have inside ourselves. Christ said “Don’t judge your brothers. Don’t try to remove the speck or the splinter in the eye of your brother when you have a big pole in your eye.” First we have to control our thoughts. Prayer and remembering the Divine continuously helps us to control our mind and helps us to bring calmness and silence into the thoughts which are always running. Through silence the thoughts will disappear. When your thoughts are negative and you let them out, all around you becomes negative; there will be nothing positive. But if you control thoughts through prayer and through silence inside, the thoughts will dissolve.
Now we like so much to express ourselves and our thoughts. You can express your thoughts; I won’t say, “No.” First though, master your thoughts and then you can express them. Through silence, when you have silenced yourself completely, when you have silenced your mind, you will receive everything. You don’t need to ask to receive because God is merciful. When we say, “God,” He is the all knowing. Do you think we really have to ask Him? We always ask God for something: Give us this; give us that. Give us this; give us that. And very often our asking is so limited that it’s never finished. We have to ask, but we have to know really what to ask. Some people will say to ask for love, but it’s already there.
What do you think we can ask God? Ask God for only one thing: Purify our thoughts and help us to go beyond the thoughts, to go beyond the mind. That’s it. The moment you have gone beyond the mind, it will be very easy. And this is the most difficult part where everybody gets stuck because the mind is very active; we see it every day. In whatever we do our thoughts are always in front. At the beginning when we were with the Divine always, our thoughts were continually focused on God. There was not a second where our thoughts were diverted to limited things like a Mercedes. But nowadays how many people’s thoughts and minds are on God? Only a few, a handful, of minds are on God if you consider the amount of people living on Earth. The rest are thinking of how they can get a Mercedes and how will I get this and how will I get that. They will even pray, “God, get me this.”
God says “What can I do for you?” So through prayer, through japam, through meditation, we learn to control the thoughts. But the best of all is silence. Pray, chant your Mantra and silence yourself. Feel the Mantra inside of you. When you chant the name of God, don’t just say, “Narayana,” or “Durga,” or “Babaji.” It’s not just the name. These names create this vibration and the vibration, even when you are not aware is still vibrating. You have to be aware of that vibration inside of you. You have to feel that each part of your body vibrates these Divine names. And you may really feel that and really know it only when you are in silence. Silence doesn’t mean that you have to stop your work and say, "Now I sit in silence. No; silence means that whatever you are doing you stay calm.
Control the tongue. It is said that we can control wherever there are bones. The body is made of 206 bones, so we can control wherever there are bones. The tongue is not made of bones, so we have to learn to control it. When the tongue chants the Divine name all the time, you will be able to control the tongue. And when you have controlled the tongue, you will be able to control your mind and then the moment you express the thought it is Divine. You will see the positivity. You will see the result of a controlled mind. But if the mind is negative, you will see the results also. Then you will ask yourself, “Why am I not advancing? Why am I not feeling the Divine? But He is here with you. Ask yourself: Are you calm? Are you quiet? Are you in silence or are you in pride and want to express it?
Watch your thoughts always. To be in silence is the first basic of spirituality. All the religions tell you the same thing. All religions will give you a Mantra to go and chant whether it is the name of Allah or the name of Jesus Christ or the name of Rama. Chant and make yourself calm. If you want better meditation and you want to advance, then control your thoughts and be in silence as much as possible.
Swamiji Dancing Navaratri September 2009