Cessation of thoughts is the penultimate state in spiritual path!
Mata Amrutanandamayi quotes!
Witness the thoughts without involvement!
The mind depends on a body for its survival whereas the body is an inert instrument. The mind is attached to the body all the time and aims at keeping the body in comforts and joy. Hence the mind rebels when there is a negative environment. It becomes anxious and sorrowful when it perceives harm to the body. Hence people become restless when they are bedridden by ill health. The agitations of the mind bring disquiet and sorrow in the same mind. Man foolishly believes that the mind is a good friend and counselor. Truth is otherwise. Mind can never assist us to rise higher in spiritual realm. It is just like a fly which sits on garbage and offal, but refuse to do anything with the fire.
Spirituality is like a fire place for the sensual mind. As the fly relishes filthy places and environment, the mind too likes to descend to lowly pleasures, the senses offer. The mind becomes intoxicated with such addictions. To remove the mind from such harmful environment is a herculean task. Why the mind is so? What for the mind is created? The mind is the interface for the human being to perceive the external world. We have the monitor in a PC. It is an interface for the computer operator. All output is seen through the monitor of a computer. All icons, application short cuts are revealed in the desktop. Then only we can work with a computer. If there is no display, what is the use of a computer?
Exactly, in a similar manner, the mind connects the individual to the world of sensory perceptions. A man may possess a perfect vision or eyesight. He may look at some scenery. Yet, if the mind is not focused, he cannot perceive the scenery! Hence, the mind is a vital link for every human being to lead his life on the world, consuming food and drinks, looking at things, hearing sounds and feeling the sensations of touch as well as the smell. Senses can pass on their input through the sensory organs to the brain. Though the brain recognizes each such separate input, yet it cannot perceive the feelings. The mind alone is capable of enjoying or perceiving each such sensory output and react accordingly. For instance, a Youngman looks at the form of a beautiful girl. Though the senses are engaged in the tasks, it is ultimately the mind which enjoys the beauty of the form. It is not the brain or the eye.
Hence for each such sensual output, if the mind is absent or otherwise engaged, one cannot perceive the sensory impressions. Unfortunately, the same mind is incapable of leading a man in spiritual path of meditation. Meditation is real, when the mind is absent or there are no thoughts. Meditation will succeed when the flow of thoughts cease and the mind become empty absolutely. This state is more or less ‘no mind’ state. When the mind is absent, one is in the realm of self. The mind is really a thick veil over the brilliant light of the self. Hence worldly people are unable to perceive the self. Perfect Yogis, great sages and saints realized the self within by following the intuitions of the Self. When the mind is active, even concentration will be difficult. But concentration is really within the realm of mind. It is one pointed focus on a given task. Hence, many people who want to practice meditation, finds it very difficult as long as the mind is active and thoughts flow madly.
In such circumstances, the practitioner has to remain indifferent to the distracting thoughts and chant some potent syllables prescribed in the scriptures. Also, focusing on the breath will assist subduing the maddening thoughts. Hence many yogis practice “Pranayama”, the technic of controlling breath. It is dangerous to practice ‘pranayama’ without a preceptor who is an expert in this aspect. Wrong practice will lead to breathing problems which may sometimes even cause death. Hence unless one get an adept instructor, one can practice ‘observing the mind’. For that, one must stand apart from the thought process and observe it from outside. Initially, this may seem difficult but with persistent practice, one will be able to gain this ‘witness state’. We observe many things through the window of a room. We just observe them or witness them. We need not be affected by our seeing since the events outside are not concerned to us. There may be a quarrel, there may be people who carry a dead body to the cremation ground or there may be some pleasant scenes also like the flower vendor carrying a bunch of beautiful flowers, procession of deities from temples. We can always look at them without getting involved.
In a similar manner, one can train himself to observe his thoughts without getting involved in them. Slowly, the mind will slow down, when we do not evince any interest in the thoughts. In course of time, if we are persistent with the practice, the thoughts will cease effortlessly. If a man carrying a heavy burden is able to deposit it on some place, he will be relieved very much. The cessation of thoughts too is a great relief for any!