Training the Mind
by Swami Krishnananda

(Spoken on March 2, 1997)

What do you want? Let anybody answer this question: What do you want finally? They cannot answer this question. They have come here and will give a hundred answers: I want rest, I want peace of mind, and I cannot stay in the house. All types of answers will come, and nobody knows what they want finally.

The greatest quality is mumukshutva. Sankaracharya has mentioned four qualities: nitya-anitya vastu viveka, ihamutra-phalabhoga-viragah, shamadishatkasampattih and mumukshutva. The first three are somehow okay, but the last one, mumukshutva, means ‘wanting it’. Discrimination between the real and the unreal in an intellectual and philosophical manner we may achieve to some extent, and we may reduce our desires to a large extent – we can want nothing and not get attached – but what is the last one? Do you want it or not? You say that you have come for realisation of God, that you want God. How much of God do you want? The whole God, or some little God? Do you want a small God or a big God or an entire God? This asking also has no meaning. If you can imagine what God is, you cannot want Him, really. It is impossible.

You say that God is everywhere, but what does that mean? Who is saying that God is everywhere? Can you prove that God is everywhere? When you cannot prove it, why are you saying it? Can you prove that God exists? That also you cannot prove. Is it because your heart is permitting it, or because Swamiji is saying so and, therefore, you think it must be so? Does the heart accept that God exists? Even if it is accepted, do you know what kind of God it is and where He is? How far is He from you? Is it possible to accept it? The heart will rebel. It will say, “Don’t ask such questions.”

Your idea of God must be very clear. Where is God sitting? Where are these gods – Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, the Devatas? You go on crying every day, “Can I get them, can I see them?”

Muslims know where their God is, and so do Christians. They have got some conviction, and that conviction drives them to activity. We have no conviction, so we will not be driven to anything. We have many gods, whereas they have one God. They have one aim; we have got many aims. We know so many things, whereas they know one thing: “This is the only thing for us.”

A cat and a jackal met together in the jungle, and the jackal asked the cat, “You are a small fry sitting here. If the hunter attacks, what will you do?”

“Oh, I will jump to the top of the tree,” said the cat.

“This is all you know? Hopeless! Only one vidya, jump to the top of the tree? I am acquainted with hundreds of tricks. Nobody can attack me,” said the jackal. As he was saying that, the hunter’s dogs crowded from all sides. The cat jumped up the tree while the jackal was thinking, “Which method will I adopt?” He was thinking of this method, that method. By that time, the dogs attacked him.

So instead of going on experimenting that this meditation is good, japa is good, jnana is good, take to one thing, and it will take you. Any river will take you to the ocean. You need not go to some other river to reach the ocean. The only thing is, you should not curse yourself that you have done a mistake. If it is not all right, rectify it yourself or go to a place where everything is all right. Satisfaction inside is the source of health and any kind of achievement. An unsatisfied person will get nothing. “Under any circumstance, this is okay. I have chosen this course and I am fully satisfied. I have here everything that I want.” That is one way of looking at it. The other way is, “Here I cannot get anything. Everything is useless.” It depends on how you look at it.

At the cinema, you are at a distance from the screen and it looks very beautiful. But if you go near the screen and put your nose to the screen, then you will not see anything there. All the beauty goes away merely because you change the position, so it is a question of position only. You are seeing things from a wrong position so everything looks hopeless; if you see from the right position, it is good.

Everything is artificial. Our joys are artificial. Therefore, do some self-investigation, some analysis of yourself. There is neither good nor bad anywhere, neither beautiful nor ugly. The mind makes it so; therefore, train your mind properly.