Just be a witness!
Tame the mind by slowing the thoughts!
Now we will examine the term ‘witness’. A witness is one who views a scene or event and he is aware of what is seen but he is in no way involved in the scene or event. He is just a mute witness. In spiritual parlor too, a witness is just an observer of the thought process and stands aside and do not show interest in the thoughts per se. This is a vital requirement for all spiritual aspirants if they want to avoid agitations of the mind. Thoughts are the reasons for the mental agitations in anybody. The first step of a spiritual aspirant is to slow down the thought process and to aim at a ‘thoughtless state’. Then alone, he can make progress in ‘meditation’ which is essential for relinquishing the ego principle and selfishness.
The mind has no function in real meditation. The mind may help to regulate the posture of the aspirant. Then it is purely the function of the inner man. All external stimuli are rendered null and void during the process of meditation. In short, one has to forget himself (his individuality), the thoughts arising in the mind etc. This is practically possible when one is able to witness the thoughts that arise but do nothing about it. He should ignore them, be indifferent to the thoughts. Then slowly one day, he will find the slowing of thoughts which may ultimately lead to cessation of thoughts. But this requires persistent vigil on the part of the spiritual aspirant. He should ignore the inputs conveyed by the senses by closing the eyes, concentrating on the breath process. Chanting of some potent mantras like “Om” or Soham or the name of any form of God will slowly internalize our focus on the Self. Whenever the thoughts stray, we must bring it back on the Self repeatedly without any slackness. Practice leads to perfection in course of time. When we focus our mind on the breathing, the inhalation and exhalation becomes slow. In fact, the mind is connected to breath. It would be of interest to know that the last breath snatches the mind with it.
The body of the individual may suffer death. But the mind is ever active in the sense that the mind contains all the impressions gathered in one’s life time. The mind subtly registers all the experiences undergone during the course of life. In Hindu philosophy, it is an accepted fact that ‘before death, the mind replays the important experiences once again. The individual is made to see his positive and negative traits during the replay and the wise one will avoid the negatives at least during the next birth. Of course, reincarnation is not accepted in some religions. But the wide disparities at birth of each baby when compared to others will prove that there is a reason behind the differences. We consider God as Just. How he will inflict punishments on the newborn? The entire effects of past births decide the future birth of every individual. Hence we find that some babies are healthy and are born in affluent families. Some babies are born to poor parents. Some babies are ill even at birth. Some are intelligent and some of muff. Some babies are born with disabilities. How can we explain these abnormalities unless there is a valid cause behind it? Each one reaps what he has sown earlier. This is an accepted fact even in rational societies. We won’t suffer for other’s faults.
The scriptures of various religions deal with all these improbable assigning a reason for them in the past deeds. The Bible speaks of “Final judgment”. Hindus talk of hell and heaven, though they are not separate spaces above or below, the terms indicate the sufferings the mind undergoes due to torment or the happiness felt by the mind. Hence it is imperative that ‘every little happening in the world has a previous cause! Hence sages have cautioned man not to indulge in sensual pleasures and abhor evils from their life. Instead we have to lead a moral life based on Truth, Love and Righteousness. Non-violence is an essential quality everyone should cultivate. The mind is termed as a ‘monkey’ and we have to avoid relying on it. The body is a water bubble and hence it may burst at any time. Rely on the discriminating faculty and try to reach the source which is Self.