If a desire comes and if you fulfill it, that samskara which caused that desire, gets more strengthened. The implication is that by fulfilling a desire, the desire never ends. You can never put an end to desires by fulfilling them. Just as the hungry flames will not subside by any amount of ghee poured in it, similarly the desire gets strengthened by fulfillment.
Non-cooperate with the mind. Do not fulfill desires, when they arise in the mind. It is the nature of the mind to desire. Mind and desire are synonymous. Non-fulfilment of desire is the only way of attaining mastery over the mind. Countless desires may arise; be silent. Do not say, “Come along, I will fulfill it.” It is only when you make the mistake of saying, “I am the mind”, “I am desiring”, you commit a blunder.
Only when the mind is purified, it becomes your guide. Till then non-cooperate with it. Then the mind will cease to be the mover of the human, and the human will become the mover of the mind. You should be the independent mover of the mind. Then you become Manojit or Indriyajit. That is what an aspirant has to become. The law is, desires never perish by fulfilling them.
The desires that come on the surface of the mind have their roots in the subconscious, and in as much as the roots are hidden, you will have to do daily the digging of the mind, and delving to the root of these desires. Set apart a time when there is no external distraction, sit in a secluded place and feel that you are the witness of the mind. Just allow the mind to wander for a while and see how it behaves and try to delve within.
All our time we are engaged in drawing the mind outward. Now make the mind go inward and try to see within yourself what is going on. It requires regular practice, or else we will be thinking we are looking into the mind, but in the processes, we would be drifting with the mind. You should delve inward and introspect. You must do twofold process. One is diverting the mind’s rays inward, and when you go inward, focus keenly on a certain part of your mind and analyse it, dissect it.
One is that we should not go inward with partiality. If you are studying the mind, be impartial, because this introspection is done with the purpose of ejecting out all that is undesirable and supplying all that is required.
If after studying the mind, you are full of self-satisfaction, if you are satisfied with whatever is there in the mind, such introspection and self-analysis will serve no purpose. You should have a critical attitude. Otherwise, the benefit of introspection and self-analysis will be lost.
If as a result of your introspection, you find in your mind certain traits which are not desirable, you should find out the means of removing those defects. Self-justification, self-approbation, are not what is meant by introspection. Once you find out your defects, be practical. Have some effective device to remove the defects.
You should find out how to make the best capital out of what you have discovered in your moments of self-introspection and sadhana. Thorough purification can only come, if there is detailed, impartial introspection, followed by practical measures to remove the defects. This introspection should be done daily. Daily you should throw out some rubbish from within the mind. This is the process of purification.
There are two more important steps that one has to take in living the divine life. Each sadhaka should bear in mind that divine life is to be lived in small details. If you are divine in small details, you can be divine in big things. You cannot afford to be undivine in small actions and expect to be divine fundamentally. If your Yoga becomes practical in little things, then great achievements will come as a matter of course.
Some sadhakas think that details do not matter much. They think that it does not matter if they use harsh words occasionally. The sadhaka thinks, “There is no harm in uttering a harsh word. I am quite calm inwardly. God wants only the heart.” But a calm heart cannot come unless every word of yours is full of love and compassion. The heart is made up of only the sum-total of all little actions and words. It is not possible to have a wonderful heart inside, and indulge in every type of actions and words.
Every action goes to form one’s character even as every drop goes to form the ocean. Day-to-day movements of the human constitute the very essence of divine living, the very essence of Yoga and Vedanta. One should not commit the mistake of being content with the idea that by merely having a great idealism, it will manifest itself as perfect goodness in one’s actions, words and thoughts.
Unless you are careful in your day-to-day life and mould your life in accordance with your idealism, it cannot bear fruit. If you are careful that the broad principles of divine living are observed, the edifice will come by itself.
What are those broad principles? Truthfulness, compassion, purity — these have to cover your entire life down to the minutest details. Your whole life, at least in the beginning, should be characterised by restraint. You should restrain your tongue. Do not think that you can eat anything and say anything and meditate well. If you think so, you are deceiving yourself. Yoga is not a toy, which you can easily take and play with. It is like an iron-fort, lodging well-equipped soldiers.
Every action should be done with proper examination. The quality of food that you take, its quantity, and the time you take food, all are important. A little immoderate food, or improper time of taking food may affect your system and render meditation difficult. So, too, with the thoughts you entertain and actions you are engaged in. The whole body and mind should be restrained. You should live a life of moderation.