YOUR FOREMOST DUTY – CONCENTRATION
September 13, 2013 Comments Off on YOUR FOREMOST DUTY – CONCENTRATION
Sri Sankara writes that a man’s duty consists in the control of the senses and the concentration of the mind. As long as one’s thoughts are not thoroughly destroyed, through persistent practice, a man should ever be concentrating his mind on one truth at a time. Through such unremitting practice, one-pointedness will accrue and instantly all the hosts of thoughts will vanish. Concentration is opposed to sensuous desires, bliss to flurry and worry, sustained thinking to perplexity, applied thinking to sloth, and torpor and rapture to ill-will.
You are born to concentrate the mind on God after collecting the mental rays that are dissipated on various objects. This is your foremost duty, but you forget it on account of delusion for family, money, power, position, name and fame. Concentration of the mind on God after purification can give you real happiness and knowledge. You are born for this purpose only. Fix the mind on Atman, the all-pervading. pure intelligence and self-luminous effulgence. Stand firm in Brahman, then you will become established in Brahman.
Attention plays a great part in concentration. It is the basis of will. The force with which anything strikes the mind is generally in proportion to the degree of attention bestowed on it. Attention on any object may be either subjective (internal) or objective (external). Practise concentrating your attention on unpleasant tasks, upon uninteresting objects and ideas. Then many mental weaknesses will vanish and the mind will become stronger and stronger.
Do a thing that the mind does not want to do. Do not do a thing that the mind wants to do. Don’t fulfil your desires; don’t hope; don’t expect. Destroy vicious desires through virtuous desires and then destroy the virtuous desires also, through one strong desire for liberation. Practice of pranayama destroys rajas (activity) and tamas (dullness) and makes the mind steady and one-pointed. – Swami Sivananda