Be Aware of your Food,
Be Aware of your Thoughts,
Be Aware of your Words,
Be Aware of your Deeds,
Be Aware of your Self,
Become One with Awareness…
“உடம்பார் அழியில் உயிரார் அழிவர்
திடம்பட மெய்ஞானம் சேரவும் மாட்டார்
உடம்பை வளர்க்கும் உபாயம் அறிந்தே
உடம்பை வளர்த்தேன் உயிர் வளர்த்தேனே.”
When the health of the human body deteriorates, the Soul departs. There by I also lose the vehicle provided by the Lord to learn and reach the Supreme Truth. So I learned the art of preserving the body and there by preserving the Soul too.
Do Good and Introspect
Do always virtuous actions. Watch the mind and see what it is doing. These two methods are quite sufficient to control the mind. Awaken your spiritual Impressions by company of wise humans, chanting, etc. Protect them. Develop them. Nourish them. Inquiry, Practice will all pave a long way in the control of the mind and the attainment of Liberation.
Introspect. Have an inner life always. Let a portion of the mind and hands do their work mechanically. An acrobat girl, while exhibiting her performances, has her attention riveted on the water-pot she bears on her head although all the time she is dancing to various tunes. So does truly pious man attend to all his business concerns, but has his mind’s eye fixed upon the blissful feet of the Lord. This is Karma-Yoga (Action) and Jnana-Yoga (Knowledge) combined. This will lead to integral development. This is balance. This is synthetic Yoga which is better than one-sided development.
A serpent is very fond of music. Mind also is like a serpent. It likes melodious tunes very much. It can be entrapped very easily by sweet sounds. Fix the mind on the sweet Anahata sounds that emanate from the heart by closing the ears. It can be controlled quite easily by this method. This is Laya-Yoga. Music exercises a tremendous, soothing influence on a ruffled mind. In America, doctors use music in curing many diseases, particularly of nervous origin. Music elevates the mind also.
Prayer, which is one of the nine forms of worship causes Bhava-Samadhi (union with God through Bhava or feeling). It is prevalent throughout India. It corresponds to the singing of hymns by Christians. In this Kali-Yuga or Iron Age, Prayer is an easy way to God-realization. Sing the Name of Lord constantly. Praise constantly His qualities. You will have vision of Lord. Those who can sing well should retire to a solitary place and sing heartily with pure feelings. In course of time, they will enter into Bhava-Samadhi. There is no doubt about it.
Always Think of God
CONSTANTLY THINK OF GOD. YOU CAN VERY EASILY CONTROL THE MIND. Even if you think of your favorite Lord only once, even if you once form a mental image, the pureness will increase a bit. If you think a crore of times, your mind will be filled with a large quantity of Sattva (pure). Constant thinking of God thins out the mind and destroys the subtle desires and thoughts.
When you fix your mind on Lord in the lotus of your heart, your attention is fixed on the figure of Lord. When the attention is fixed, the spiritual current is started. When you meditate, the flow of the current becomes steady and when the meditation gets very deep and intense, ‘Union’ (Samadhi) takes place. You become one with the Lord. There is complete restraint of the modifications of the mind.
Practice of Pranayama
To bring about control of mind, two things are essential, viz., control of Prana and renunciation of association. By the latter is meant dissociation, not with the world, but only with the longing after or the attraction towards the objects of the world.
Pranayama or control of breath checks the velocity of the mind and reduces the quantity of thinking. It removes the dross (impurities) in the form of Rajas and Tamas from the mind. For control of the mind, retention of breath is indispensable. You will have to practice this daily. You will have to practice inhalation, retention and exhalation of breath regularly and rhythmically. Then the mind will become One. The period of retention of breath will increase by systematic practice, with regulated diet and proper dietetic discipline (light, nutritious food). This is the Hatha yogic method. The practice of must be done under the guidance of a Guru who is a developed Yogi.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda
Time was when I despised the body: But then I saw the God within. The Body I realized is the Lords’s temple And so I began conserving it with care infinite.
– Siddhar Thirumoolar
Evolution is better than revolution. Do not make sudden changes in anything, particularly in food. Let the change be gradual. The system should accommodate it without any hitch. Natura non facil saltum – Nature never moves by leaps.
When the food is pure, the whole nature becomes pure; when the nature becomes pure, the memory becomes firm; and when a man is in possession of a firm memory, all the ties are severed.
(Chhandogya Upanishad, VIIxxvi-2)
Mind is manufactured out of the food that we take. Subtlest part of food reaches upward to the heart and thence entering the arteries, and thereby bringing into existence the aggregate of the organs of speech and being changed into the form of the mind, it increases the mind.
As per Chhandogya Upanishad, the food that we take is transformed in three different ways: the gross or the heaviest part of it becomes the excrement; that of medium density is transformed into flesh and the finest part goes to form the mind. Just as in the churning of curd, its fine particles rise up and are transformed into butter, so when food is consumed, the subtlest part rises up and is transformed into mind.
QUALITY OF MIND DEPENDS UPON QUALITY OF FOOD
Food has a direct and intimate connection with the mind and plays a vital part in the make-up of the mind. Sattvic diet calms the mind. Rajasic diet excites the mind. Note the difference in nature between a tiger which lives on flesh and a cow which lives on grass. Food exercises important influence on the mind. You see it clearly every day. It is very difficult to control the mind after a heavy, sumptuous, indigestible, meal. The mind runs, wanders and jumps like a monkey all the time. Alcohol causes tremendous excitement in the mind.
Food plays an important role in meditation. For purposes of meditation, the food must be light, Sattvic and nutritious. The body is made up of food. When the quality of the mind depends upon the quality of the food taken, it is natural to insist in the interest of the highest morality upon a kind of Sattvic regimen of diet for those aspirants who lead a contemplative life and householders who are attempting to lead a spiritual life in the world.
WHEN FOOD CAN BE DISPENSED
Food is only a mass of energy. Water supplies energy to the body. Air also furnishes energy. You can live without food for very many days, but you cannot live without air even for some minutes. Oxygen is even more important. What is wanted to support the body is energy. If you can supply the energy from any other source, you can dispense with food entirely. Yogis keep up the body without food by drinking nectar. This nectar flows through a hole in the palate. It dribbles and nourishes the body. A Jnani (Self Realized Person) can draw energy directly from his pure, irresistible will and support the body without food. If you know the process of drawing the energy from the cosmic energy or solar energy, you can maintain the body with this energy alone for any length of time and can dispense with food.
Evolution is better than revolution. Do not make sudden changes in anything, particularly in
food. Let the change be gradual. The system should accommodate it without any hitch. Natura non facil saltum (nature never moves by leaps). Take any food that suits you. Do not make much fuss about it. Any food that is readily available and that agrees with your system is harmless.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda