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How To Save The Mind From Restlessness? – Hinduism Answers

Scriptures in Hinduism prescribe the remedy for saving the mind from restlessness, assuming the basic aim of human mind is attention, focus, or concentration. The mind cannot be stabilized without controlling the senses. The mind tends to tread the path it has learned through repeated habits. Unless we consciously take a different route in a given situation, our behaviour will normally follow our propensity. Where there are many strong desires, the mind is in constant turmoil. When we learn to train our senses and master our desires, fewer and fewer of these desires arise. When the senses are trained, they will participate harmoniously in the supreme stilling of the mind.

At first, one ought not to abruptly force the organs of action to withdraw directly from the sense world, which is more difficult than understanding one’s organs of knowledge. We should transform our senses into faithful servants instead of slave-masters. Passions cannot be destroyed abruptly but can be minimised or harnessed through purification. The positive always overcomes the negative. This is the way to control.

When a river, for example, has gained momentum, it is hard to stop or even to divert it. Only two types of people don’t struggle: those who have completely surrendered to their senses and those who have conquered the lower mind; all others have struggles as they have inadequate knowledge of the methods and unsuccessful attempts at the control of the mind.

Without controlling the senses, it is not possible to attain the state of steadiness in wisdom. In order to gain proper self-knowledge, impurities in both the body and the mind should be cleaned and this requires a course of elaborate discipline in physical, mental, moral, and intellectual culture. The turbulent senses forcibly lead astray the mind of even a person, who struggles to control it.

Patanjali prescribes various techniques to overcome restlessness. Some of the important ones are, removal of worldly interactions, minimising mental disturbances through the purification and control of the senses.