It is said that you can not start your journey by two boats at the same time. If you really want to make your life beautiful, you have to leave negative thoughts, ideas and associations. Otherwise it is very difficult to re-shape your life. There are some conditions for making the life beautiful. You have to accept it. There is a certain method of character building. And for this, you have to practice it daily. It is not a project of certain duration, like a five year plan. Rather it is a life long process. Early risers will certainly get advantages. At first take a resolution that I will make my life beautiful, I will make my character perfect. Here `beautiful` means unveiling the beauty of character. Develop the inner human qualities and make your character perfect. So, resolution is important. That will guide your life. For this, mental concentration is highly essential. Because, without the help of your mind, you can not make your character beautiful. Our mind is restless and always roaming here and there like a maddened monkey. Swami Vivekananda compared the state of our mind with a maddened monkey - `` How hard it is to control the mind! Well has it been compared to the maddened monkey. There was a monkey, restless by his own nature, as all monkeys are. As if that were not enough some one made him drink freely of wine, so that he become still more restless. Then a scorpion stung him. When a man is stung by a scorpion, he jumps about for a whole day; so the poor monkey found his condition worse then ever. To complete his misery a demon entered into him. What language can describe the uncontrollable restlessness of that monkey? The human mind is like that monkey, incessantly active by its own nature; then it become drunk with the wine of desire, thus increasing its turbulence. After desire takes possession comes the sting of the scorpion of jealousy at the success of others, and last of all the demon of pride enters the mind, making it think itself of all importance. How hard to control such a mind! (CW, 1:174)
Why our mind is restless?
ü incessantly active by its own nature
ü wine of desire
ü sting of the scorpion of jealousy at the success of others
ü demon of pride
There are two sides of our mind. One is good mind, which will help me to attain my aim. The other is bad mind, which is constantly giving me negative signals. Now the question is: who will win? Whom you support. If you support bad mind, certainly you will get the negative advantages. You can not make your life beautiful with negative thoughts and ideas. In this level, a firm resolution is necessary. If you support (follow) good mind and act accordingly, your every thought and work will be good and meaningful. Supporting of good mind is essential in this journey.
How to control our mind? It is a very tough work but not impossible. By the practice and detachment (abhyasa and bairagya) we can control our mind.
Swami Vivekananda gave us some basic ideas regarding this.
``Before we can control the mind we must study it.
We have to seize this unstable mind and drag it from its wanderings and fix it on one idea. Over and over again this must be done. By power of will we must get hold of the mind and make it stop and reflect upon the glory of God.
The easiest way to get hold of the mind is to sit quiet and let it drift where it will for a while. Hold fast to the idea, ``I am the witness watching my mind drifting. The mind is not I``. Then see it think as if it were a thing entirely apart from yourself. Identify yourself with God, never with matter or with the mind.
Picture the mind as a calm lake stretched before you and the thoughts that come and go as bubbles rising and breaking on its surface. Make no effort to control the thoughts, but watch them and follow them in imagination as they float away. This will gradually lessen the circles. For the mind ranges over the wide circles of thought and those circles widen out into ever-increasing circles, as in a pond when we throw a stone into it. We want to reverse the process and starting with a huge circle make it narrower until at last we can fix the mind on one point and make it stay there. Hold to the idea, ``I am not the mind, I see that I am thinking, I am watching my mind act``, and each day the identification of yourself with thought and feeling will grow less, until at last you can entirely separate yourself from the mind and actually know it to be apart from yourself.
When this is done, the mind is your servant to control as you will. `` (CW, 8:47-48)