As The Mind Turns Inward, Desires Deplete
To the extent the mind gets established in the inmost Self, to that extent it gives up desires for external objects. With the complete extinction of desires, Self-realization becomes unobstructed.
Points for Introspection:
Our senses are always directed towards the external world. As the senses perceive the varieties of the external world, mind gets attracted to the objects. Desires crop up in the mind to possess the objects and to enjoy the pleasures born out of the sensory interactions.
Man’s desires are many – to accumulate wealth, to live in luxury and comfort, to have fame or recognition, to be an object of love and respect from others, to gain good values and virtues, and so on. He thinks that achieving the objects of desire, the mind will be happy. He lacks introspection and remains ignorant of the fact that happiness obtained from these external gains are short-lived.
Rarely one understands that permanent unbroken happiness does not come from external possessions and attainments, but lies within – in one’s own Self.
Interacting with the external objects, the mind suffers a great deal of agitation caused by desires. As the mind starts dwelling on objects and indulges in their thoughts, strong delusional clinging grows deeper and deeper and gives rise to strong desire to possess the objects. Mostly what is desired cannot be fulfilled immediately, and to fulfill the desires, at times a lot of struggle is involved. Whenever intense desire is hindered or there is no scope to fulfill it, there arise in the mind intolerance and anger. Sometimes, disappointment and frustration crop up too. All these disturb the mind.
The Self is revealed only in a calm and tranquil mind. Disturbance due to desires clouds the mind and obstructs the revelation of the Self. As long as the mind remains disturbed, Self cannot be realized. When all desires fall off, the Self reveals itself in its own glory and radiance. For a seeker of Self-realization, it is indispensable that desires are removed from the mind completely. In the absence of agitation caused by desires, realization of the Self become unobstructed.
Now, how to remove the desires from the mind?
This shloka says, a seeker’s mind should start looking within, withdrawing it from external objects. The mind should repeatedly practice dwelling in the thought of Ātmā, the Self. Gradually as his mind gets established in the inmost Self (मन: प्रत्यक् अवस्थितम्), desires for external objects start falling off. As the mind turns inward, it experiences restfulness, delight and contentment in its own bosom, the Self, as a result of which desires for external objects die naturally.
In order to have uninterrupted experience of the Self, more than struggling to reject external desires, a seeker should persistently and lovingly dwell on the Self by constantly listening, reading, thinking, reflecting and contemplating on the Self. That is the only way.
Chanting of this shloka inspires us to turn the mind inward repeatedly. As the mind gets into a habit of turning inward, the love to turn inwards and dwell on the Self keeps growing. A feeling of desire-less-ness dawns; a great yearning for unobstructed realization of the Self grips the mind.
यथा यथा (yathā yathā) = to the extent; प्रत्यक् अवस्थितम् (pratyak avasthitam) = established in the inmost self; मनः (manaḥ) = mind; तथा तथा (tathā tathā) = to that extent; मुञ्चति (muñcati) = leaves; बाह्यवासनाम् (bāhya-vāsanām) = desires for external objects; निःशेषमोक्षे सति (niḥśeṣa-mokṣe sati) = with the complete elimination / freedom from; वासनानां (vāsanānāṃ) = of desires; आत्मानुभूतिः (ātmānubhūtiḥ) = realization of the Self; प्रतिबन्धशून्या (pratibandhaśūnyā) = unobstructed.
मन: यथा यथा प्रत्यक् अवस्थितं, तथा तथा बाह्यवासनाम् मुञ्चति । वासनानां निःशेषमोक्षे सति आत्मानुभूति: प्रतिबन्धशून्या (भवति) ।
manaḥ yathā yathā pratyak avasthitaṃ, tathā tathā bāhya-vāsanām muñcati. vāsanānāṃ niḥśeṣa-mokṣe sati ātmānubhūtiḥ pratibandha-śūnyā (bhavati).
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