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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1995
by Swami Krishnananda

17. Stopping the Mind

(Darshan given on August 20th, 1995.)

Visitor: I want to stop the mind.

Swamiji: You are thinking that you will not think. That is also thinking only. Think over it: If you do not think, what do you gain out of that? What is the benefit?

Visitor: Some freedom in the mind.

Swamiji: Suppose there is a problem, and you think in the mind there is no problem because you stop the mind. But still the problem will not go by thinking that it is not there. So while you are trying not to think, you are trying not to be aware of the difficulties of life. Understand? But the difficulties of life will continue when you start thinking. So how will you be benefited by temporarily thinking they are not there? This is the negative side of your attempt, but you require something positive. It is like thinking that you are not hungry. Though you are hungry, you think that you are not hungry.

You do not want the absence of a thing. You want its presence, isn't it? Do you want the absence of a thing or the presence of something? Think over this matter. There is a subtle distinction between the two, and it will depend upon why you are doing anything. You are doing something, but why are you doing it? What is your aim?

Visitor: The aim is for the sake of Truth.

Swamiji: Truth is a qualitative existence, whereas not thinking something is not a consciousness of it. It is a consciousness of the absence of everything, but not necessarily the presence of truth. Absence of a thing is not equal to the presence of something. Truth is a state of consciousness, and in your technique there is no consciousness because you have stopped the mind from thinking.

There is some subtle psychological distinction. When you do not want a thing, it follows at the same time that you want something else. That must be emphasised. You do not want that thing, but you want something else. That wanting something is more important than not wanting something. So you must think deeply what exactly is the position that the mind is occupying.

What do you want except Truth? But what is Truth? Can you find out what Truth is? The word 'truth' has a dictionary meaning, but the dictionary meaning is not Truth. It is something solid, and what is your concept of that solidity which you regard as Truth?

Who is your guide in this world? Who is helping you in this matter?

Visitor: I don't have a Guru.

Swamiji: But you have caught something from somewhere.

Visitor: I have been studying a little bit here and there.

Swamiji: What have you been studying?

Visitor: I have been studying some philosophy and scriptures.

Swamiji: What kind of philosophy have you read?

Visitor: Some Buddhist philosophy, some Bhagavadgita, Yoga Vasishtha.

Swamiji: You have read everything, but what is the conclusion you have arrived at after reading all this?

Visitor: I'm not sure.

Swamiji: Then what is the good of reading? Reading is a way of coming to a final conclusion about things. If you don't come to any conclusion, you will be drifting. You think over this matter.

Another visitor: What are the conflicts of life?

Swamiji: The intellect and the heart clash. The intellect argues in a very philosophical manner, and the heart revolts: “I want something.” Whatever advice I give to you is an intellectually acceptable process, but the heart will say something else. The emotion is something else. That is inner conflict.

Then you have got social conflict. You cannot get on with people outside. You have some clash with people outside: “This person is not okay. That person is troubling me.” So there is a clash between you and society.

Then the third conflict is the whole world is against you. It looks like that. The world is not a friend of yours. It rains heavily, the sun is hot, you catch cold, water can drown you and fire can burn you. No element is very friendly with you. So you are not harmonised with it.

Finally, you have got conflict with God Himself: whether you are getting God or not getting God, how far He is, and whether it is a hopeless case or it is possible, and if any meaning is there. There is turmoil inside.

There are four conflicts. Sometimes all the four come, and then it is a great difficulty. Sometimes one comes. The most troublesome is the inner conflict. After that comes social conflict. Then comes conflict with the elements of nature. Finally there is conflict with God.

If you really trust in the power that operates in the universe, and you know your relationship to it, you will get whatever you want. You have got an incapacity to even think about it, and even if you try you are getting repelled by it. That is why satsanga is necessary. Though it is scratching a rock with a needle and it will take ages to make a dent in it, yet you have done something. Even if you scratch the rock with a needle, something you have done. It cannot be called useless. Even one inch of good that you have done in the right direction will protect you from great fear. You need not do so much good. If even one inch of good you have done for your benefit and God's benefit, the great fear of life will be taken away from you. One inch, every day you do one inch, not much.

Whatever the difficulty is, it has to be solved in two ways. One is, all the means available to a human being should be taken advantage of. It may be medical treatment, it may be rest, it may be diet, etc.; whatever is necessary from this point of view must be done to the best of your ability, and it must be done forever, as long as the difficulty continues. As long as the problem continues in life, this method of treating it should continue. There are some people who are sick and they have to take medicine always. That is one thing.

The other way is to tune yourself with God. That is a greater method than the human method I suggested, though the human method is equally important. It is very important to take your meal every day, but you must have the stomach first before you start eating. The stomach has to be given to you by God only. If the stomach is not there, then what is the good of food? Likewise, one side is the effort that you put forth as it is available to you to the best of your knowledge and capacity, which I have already mentioned. The other is attunement with God. Do you understand what I am saying? According to you, to the extent that you know, what is the meaning of 'attunement with God'? Have you any idea about it?

Visitor: To overcome one's individual will and to surrender to His will.

Swamiji: Very good. You know very well what I'm saying. But you have said it in some words. How will you feel it in your heart?

Visitor: Through prayer.

Swamiji: How will you pray? What is the way?

Visitor: For me it's mainly a feeling of prayer, but it can be also uttered in words.

Swamiji: A feeling of the presence of God is the greatest prayer, which can be expressed in words or can be felt only in the mind. The practice of the presence of God is the greatest prayer, which means to say that you must accept with your deepest feelings that God does exist and His presence is here and now. It is a presence that pervades all things. Therefore, it is in and out. It is the greatest of energy that you can think of, incomparable power, which has the greatest healing capacity. You ask anything from God, and He will give it to you. It is the reservoir of every kind of abundance, and whatever you ask, that shall be given to you. Deeply feel this: I am in the presence of this indomitable, all-pervading power, which is just here in front of me. It is not merely in front of me; it is, because of its all-pervading nature, inseparable from my existence. Therefore, the great power is entering me. As you sit in the open sunlight, the energy of the sun permeates and enters into your body. It has become you. It is not outside you. You are inundated and flooded with that.