There are five ways of effecting destruction of the mind. Two are Yogic methods. Three ways concern Jnana Yoga (Path of Knowledge or Wisdom). (i) When a thought arises, drive it out. Say unto yourself, Neti, Neti – not this thought, not this thought. I do not want this thought. (ii) Substitute a counter-idea, love for hatred, courage for fear, etc. (iii) Have attitude of Soul. All thoughts will die. (iv) Be a witness of the mind. Be indifferent. (v) Make the inquiry, “Who am I?” constantly. All thoughts will die. For a man of Self-Inquiry, the mind dwindles into an airy nothing. This is easier and more effective than the Neti, Neti or substitution method.
Thoughts, desire, like, dislike, egoism and mind are the six bricks of the mansion of Embodied Soul. They are the six links of the chain which constitutes the personality. Destruction of one brick or one link brings about the destruction of the whole edifice or whole chain.
Therefore, cut off daily the branches of thoughts from this dire tree of Mind and ultimately destroy the tree of mind at its root completely. The cutting off the branches is only secondary. The eradication of the tree by removal of I is the primary thing. Therefore, if through virtuous actions you destroy the idea of I which forms the very root of the tree of mind, then it will not spring up again.
Power, possessions, money and knowledge strengthen the misconception, i.e., the idea of I. They thicken the mind also. They should be given up in order to thin out the I and the mind. It is through Vairagya (Dispassion) and Tyaga (Giving Up, Charity) that you will have to thin out the mind. Then the mind becomes thread-like through the thinning process.
The mind can be controlled either through the control of Prana (Hatha Yogic method) or the arrest of the fluctuation of the mind (Raja-Yogic method of Maharshi Patanjali). Control of mind leads to stoppage of breath and control of breath leads to stoppage of mind, because Prana and mind are beneath one connection. During meditation, the breathing becomes very slow. Those who practice meditation may be aware of this fact. This goes to show that when the mind is concentrated, Prana stops by itself without any effort.
Pranayama cannot bring about annihilation of the mind. The thought waves are quietened only temporarily. Constant and pure thought of Supreme Soul in our heart would bring about the natural Kumbhaka and absorption of the mind in the heart, the ultimate state and the state which the sages long for. Absorption of the mind in itself is Eternal Bliss (Salvation). Through direct perception of Soul, the mind will be destroyed and will generate infinite Bliss. In such a perception, the seer, sight and the seen become one.
Absorption and Annihilation of Mind
Manolaya is a temporary absorption of the mind in the object of meditation. When you meditate on the form of God, the mind becomes absorbed in the form of God temporarily. Manolaya takes place during sleep. The mind gets involved into its cause, the major Ignorance. Manolaya is not sufficient for attainment of Wisdom. In Manolaya, the mind is prone to revive. Manolaya cannot save you from bondage. Manolaya cannot give you Mukti (Liberation). It is only annihilation of the lower mind that can give you liberation. In annihilation of mind, the mind revives not and is dead. Annihilation of mind is brought about by knowledge and wisdom of Soul.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda