Related Questions

Why is my mind unable to focus on religious activities? How can I keep it focused?


When counting money

Questioner: My question is that why does our mind not remain still and focused even when we are constantly doing japas and the rosary?

Dadashri: But does uneasiness (vyagrata) occur? Uneasiness is greater than ekagrata (focus), so which kind is better, greater or lesser? One or the other will take place; either uneasiness (vyagrata) or ekagrata– focused stillness.

Questioner: Ekagrata is better, is it not?

Dadashri: Who creates the nuisance in that?

Questioner: The mind; it is through the mind that ekagrata does not remain. I ponder and think over this very deeply but even then it changes.

Dadashri: Yes but the mind must have aged now or is it still young?

Questioner: It is the same.

Dadashri: No. What good is it listening to something that has become old? Let it complain or shout as much as it wants to. ‘You’ (the Self) are separate and the mind is separate. Are you two not separate?

Questioner: The mind should not be separate.

Dadashri: Then should it be one? Does the mind stay still when you are worshipping God or does it wander?

Questioner: It does wander around. Give me a ‘key’ so that it remains still forever.

Dadashri: It is not the fault of the mind; the fault is yours. The mind is not like that; the poor mind is very good. If the mind wanders around and does not allow you to be at peace; the fault lies within you. When you go to the bank, say you have to withdraw ten thousand rupees; does your mind behave at that time or not?  Does it remain focused?

Questioner: Yes it does.

Dadashri: So alas! Then, money is dear to you and not God. If God were equally dear to you, then your mind would remain on Him without fail. Since money is dearer to you, it remains focused without fail. Therefore the mind does not have the habit of wandering. You are the awkward one, the mind is very nice. If it is involved in money, it will count every penny. If your son were to walk in the room, you would not even look up in case you make a mistake in counting. So your mind is good. The mistake is yours for having greater fondness for money and not God. The mind will become still in whatever one has fondness. Does the mind remain very precise while counting money or not?

Questioner: Yes, it does remain focused.

Dadashri: Look how wise he is! If his wife were to come calling for him, he will say, ‘Not now, come later!’ This is so he does not make any mistakes when counting.  He is very particular there.

Questioner: The mind will indeed remain focused when counting money, will it not?

Dadashri: Now you tell me, it (mind) remains focused there but not during worship. So why the difference? Hey, one maintains focus even when buying vegetables but not in worship, what is the reason? It is because it (worship) is mandatory; one has no choice but to do it. People do it out of fear that if they don’t, then something bad will happen. Should you not have just as much desire for God as you do for money? So why don’t you have it?

Questioner: So what is the solution for that?

Dadashri: Come here (to the Gnani’s satsang) in order to acquire desire for God; I will show you the way. But you have not had a desire for God. There is desire for money. Otherwise it is indeed possible to keep the mind focused. The mind has all the power and energies; it is not broken. ‘Our’ nature is what has become ruined.       

The mistake is one of fondness. You are influenced by societal values and behave accordingly. People claim there is happiness in money and so you believed this. You did not listen to God. God has said, ‘there is no happiness in living in accordance with societal dictates. By living according to the dictates of a Gnani Purush there is Liberation.’ People believe there is happiness in money and sex, and if you believe the same, then you are not listening to God. God has said for you to walk according to what the Gnani says. Remain in the happiness defined by the Gnani.

Questioner: We should act according to what the Gnani tells us.

Dadashri: Yes, the Gnani has attained moksha himself, and he will put you only on the path to moksha.

Reference: Book Name: Aptavani 10 (P) (Page #73 – Paragraph #7 to #9, Page #74 & #75, Page #76  – Paragraph #1 & #2)

Complaints of the mind during religious activities…

Questioner: The mind does not stay focused during any religious activity, what should we do about that?

Dadashri: Your mind wanders around during religious activities?

Questioner: Yes

Dadashri: The Muslims put their fingers in their ears like this and then they pray by prolonged shouting (bangh). At that time the mind is completely stopped. This way of praying is very good for the Muslims, but not for the Hindus. Those Hindus, whose minds do not remain steady, should say the Navkar Mantra out loud and those whose minds remain still should do it silently.

Questioner: How can the mind remain still during worship rituals?

Dadashri: You have to do japa (to speak softly or repeat a sacred formula or prayer) or something like that in order to still the mind. You cannot make it still merely through focused meditation (ekagrata). The mind cannot be made still otherwise.

Questioner: But it does not remain focused.

Dadashri: Then tell God, ‘I am placing you above me and so I am making you responsible. Now I will have enmity towards you!’ Can you not say that?

Questioner: How can we say that to a revered Enlightened being?

Dadashri: But, if you don’t say this, who will help you do so?

Questioner: During worship, sometimes I can maintain focus and sometimes I cannot. Is it possible to center the mind into an idol of a deity?

Dadashri: What benefit do you gain?

Questioner: I can do darshan of the Lord in the idol.

Dadashri: Yes, once there is inner peace and stillness, one can have darshan of the Lord but not otherwise.

Observe the mind while doing the rosary.

Questioner: The mind wanders when I recite God’s name, when doing the rosary.

Dadashri: You should recite the name of the God you know. What I am asking is that can you be friends with someone you have never seen or met before?

Questioner: No                                   

Dadashri: Then how can you also meet God? It is the God within you that is listening to your prayers. Whether you recite the name of Lord Krishna, Lord Mahavir or Lord Rama; it is the God within you that is listening. No one on the outside is going to come here to listen to you. The God within you will listen. So why don’t you talk directly to the God within you? What is his name? You can talk to him by saying, ‘Dear Shuddhatma Bhagwan…’ Why give ‘brokerage fees’ to those on the outside and take a cut in your share? And in the end, ultimately they will send everything back here only (to the Lord within). That is because it is called indirect worship (paroksha bhakti). Indirect means they (the Gods on the outside) will not accept it for themselves. They will send it to whomever it belongs to.  Therefore worship the God within you.

Do not sit to do the rosary. Sit to watch and observe your mind. Then it will not wander. Observe what the mind is doing and where it wanders. Doing this will give higher reward than doing the rosary; it will give you a greater reward. Do you understand?  Otherwise come to ‘us’; take a ‘packet of medicine’ from us. If the mind wanders, you have to take a ‘packet of medicine’ from the Gnani Purush.  

Reference: Book Name: Aptavani 10 (P) (Page #67 – Entire Page, Page#68 – Entire Page, Page #69 – Paragraph #1 to #2)

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