JUMPS LIKE A TENNIS BALL
When you play tennis, the ball goes very high in the sky and the next second, it comes down to the ground. Even so, the mind jumps high to the divine glory, dwells on Sattvic divine virtues for a very short time in the beginning of meditation in neophytes and, at once falls down into its old rotten grooves, nasty ruts, foul avenues, and stinking channels and dwells on useless, abominable thoughts. The developing soul, the new flame shudders and quivers at the sight of these shocking thoughts. It does not matter; you need not worry. Just as you raise the ball again to the sky by a good, fresh-cut or twist or gentle beating, so also, you will have to raise the mind again with effort to the heights of divine glory and divine consciousness.
OSCILLATES LIKE A PENDULUM
In a clock, the pendulum moves to the right and thence to the left. When the children play on a swing, the swing moves high to one side and at once rises high to the other side. Even so, in the case of aspirants who are not established or well settled in deep meditation, their minds also resemble the pendulum or the swing. They sometimes think of Karma Yoga, enter the world and do actions; while, at other times, they run to the Himalayas for leading a contemplative life. There is struggle inside whether to take up Karma Yoga or Dhyana (meditation) Yoga. You must decide it once for all and be firm in practicing Karma Yoga or in shutting yourself up in a room or cave for some years in the practice of meditation. To run for work into the world for six months and then again into the forest for six months for meditation is no good. Decide one way or the other. Cut asunder the Gordian knot. Work till you get purity of mind. Then meditate till you realize. This is the wisest course.
DROPS DOWN LIKE A TENNIS BALL
If you allow a tennis ball to drop from the highest stair-case, it will not stop at any of the middle steps in the stair-case. It will come down to the ground floor at once. Even so, if you do not take the proper precautions, if you mix with the worldly-minded persons, you will get a quick downfall like the tennis-ball. The mind that you elevated by spiritual practices in six or eight years will become tainted with various sorts of impurities. Beware, therefore, O aspirants!
Mind is compared to a SMALL VESSEL which contains small articles, because mind also contains subtle desire, cravings, impressions, thought waves, ideas, characteristics, etc. Mind is compared to a public resting place, because the thoughts such as lust, greed, anger, pride, hypocrisy, egoism, etc., take their rest in the mind. Mind is resting place for those thought waves. Mind is compared to a PUBLIC ROAD. In a public road, anybody can walk. All sorts of people are moving in a public road. Similarly, all sorts of thoughts are moving in this mind.
Mind is compared to a DEER, because it is unsteady. It is compared to a MONKEY, because it jumps from one object to another. It is compared to a BIRD, because it flies like a bird. It is compared to the WIND, because it is impetuous, like the wind. Mind is compared to a Ghost, because it behaves like a devil. Mind is compared to a CHILD, because it needs caning.
Mind is compared to an ENGINE, because it works when the food-fuel is supplied. Mind is compared to a GARDEN. There are beautiful flowers in a garden. You can cultivate several kinds of flowers in a garden. Even so, you can cultivate the flowers of peace, equal vision, contentment, etc., in the garden of mind.
Mind is compared to a TEMPLE. When the mind is purified, when the evil thoughts such as lust, greed, etc., are destroyed, the Lord takes His seat in the mind and so it becomes the temple of the Lord. Mind is also compared to a FLOWER, because it is offered to the Lord by the devotee. Mind is compared to REINS according to Upanishads. He who holds the mind-reins tight can reach the abode of Bliss.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda