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Importance Of Mental Composure – Chitta Prasadana In Hinduism

Chitta Prasadana in Hinduism is the mental composure. Prasada means serenity, purity or composure and the term citta stands for the mind. Unless the mind has this quality, it cannot become steady. To possess this quality the mind must be free from all those factors which cause disturbances and distractions. So long as they are active in the mind, tranquility cannot be achieved. Hence, Patanjali had discussed the means to promote serenity and purity of mind (prasada).

In Yoga Sutra I.33, Sage Patanjali has recommended four sentiments or mental attitudes (bhavanas) which help to remove the distractions and disturbances. They are: friendliness, compassion, pleasure and equanimity.

One should learn to entertain these attitudes in respect of four kinds of events in our daily life. These are enjoyable, painful, virtuous and vicious.

Whenever and wherever we come across an enjoyable even we should react to it with friendliness. To anyone who is in pain, we should show sympathy and compassion. In this way, we can remain inwardly unaffected by the vicissitudes of life. For that these four attitudes should become a part of one’s very nature.

In the next six sutras (I. 34 – 39), Patanjali has suggested six more ways for purifying the mind and making it full of prasada so that it can become steady with great ease. These six ways are: expulsion and holding of breath, sense activity towards the objects (visayavati), sense activity towards pure knowledge (jyotismati), applying the mind to purified adepts, concentrating the mind on dream experience and contemplation of any object of liking. By following these six ways, the seeker gains the ability to contemplate any object, gross or subtle, because of the purity and composure of his mind.  

  • Path of Blessedness (1973), Swami Chidananda – Divine Life Society Rishikesh
  • Patanjali Yoga Sutras (1994), Swami Prabhavananda – Sri Ramakrishna Chennai Math
  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume III – page 198 - IHRF