Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Tattvabodha - Part 4

Notes on Tattvabodha
Dr. Vishnu Bapat

Dr. Bapat (72) was the co-founder of an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Industry and served as its Managing Director for 26 years until retirement. He is associated with several professional and spiritual bodies. He is now fully engaged in the study and practice of Vedanta.




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5. Eligibility for self-enquiry (cont)

अधिकारी - Four-fold qualification (cont)

5. The Six Sadhanas

शमादिसाधनसम्पत्तिः का ?
शमो दमो उपरतिस्तितीक्षा श्र्द्धा समाधानं चेति ।।

शमः – control of mind (shama);  दमः – control of senses (dama); उपरतिु - withdrawal of the mind (uparati); तितीक्षा– forbearance (titkshA); श्रद्धा - faith (shraddhA); समाधानम् – absorption of the mind (samAdhAnam) –and (cha) इति thus (iti)

What is the inner wealth starting with Shama? They are the control on the mind, control of senses, and withdrawal of the mind, endurance, faith and absorption of the mind.

शमादिसाधनसम्पत्तिः का - What is the inner wealth consisting of control of the mind etc. This is called दैवीप्रक्रति in Gita 16: 01-03.
Six powerful disciplines prescribed for self management are: Shama, (restraining the mind) dama (sense control) uparama, Titiksha, Shraddha (faith) and samadhanam (concentration).


6. Control of Mind

शमः कः? मनोनिग्रहः
शमः -
Shama कः - what is this मनः निग्रहः - control of mind.
What is Shama? It is control or mastery over the mind. Then the mind becomes tranquil.
The control over the mind is called Manonigraha. The mind is a continuous flow of thought. We get several thoughts in our mind, some of them are good and many of them are bad. The totality of all the thoughts makes us disturbed and restless. It changes our moods from elation to depression; from sublime to ridiculous. One who has such a mind looses focus on work because one more thought appears. So he cannot undertake any serious sadhana like enquiry into the self. We may have control over people, situations and objects but we fail to control over own mind. This is what Arjuna says in Gita chapter 6:13,

चञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण प्रमाथि बलवद्‌दृढम् । तस्याहं निग्रहं मन्ये वायोरिव सुदुष्करम् ॥६:३४॥
Krishna! The mind is unsteady, turbulent, tenacious and powerful. Therefore I consider it as difficult to control as the wind.
Acharya Shankara gives two modules to control the mind. One is to exercise our will power to control and mind and second is to control the sense organs which obey the orders of the mind.


7. Control of sense organs

दमः कः? चक्षुरादिबाह्येन्द्रियनिग्रहः
दमः – Dama कः – What is this चक्षुरादि – eyes etc बाह्येन्द्रिय –निग्रहः – control of external senses

What is Dama? It is control or mastery over the external sense organs such as eyes. Then the sense organs obey the command of the mind and become tranquil.

चक्षुरादि बाह्येन्द्रिय निग्रहः – Control of the External organs like the eyes. There are five external organs called पंच ज्ञानेन्द्रिय or five sense organs. These are organs of ear, skin, eyes, tongue and nose, श्रोत्रं त्वक् चक्षु: रसना घ्राणम् इति पंच ज्ञानेन्द्रियाणि. The senses are extrovert by nature. They are compared to wild horses. They continuously run towards the sense objects for entertainment. The eyes want to see pleasant things; ego-browsing etc. The ears die to hear self praise, music, gossip and news. The nose cannot wait to enjoy the smell. And finally the skin wants pleasure of softness, carnal pleasures. All these make the mind an abject slave to the sense organs. If the mind is restrained and in command the sense organs obey us. Mind should be the master but not a slave. The senses lead the mind astray like a strong leashed dog under the care of a weak person. But it is sometimes possible that we may not be able restrain the sense organs but still can keep the sense organs under leash. For example, one may fail to control his temper and become angry but he may refrain from using harsh words or beating the other person. Saint Kabirdas says: if he mind does not obey, let it be; at least hold the senses. मन चले तो जाने दो, तन को मत छोडो The process of training the senses is compared to taming of the horses. It is called Dama. One must train the senses not to run amok in the material world in spite of provocation. For this, violent methods like self-punishment and flogging should be avoided. A constant vigil and confession, learning from mistakes and surrender to God are the sadhanas.

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