--> Skip to main content

Teachings On Attention From Hindu Religion

A collection of teachings on attention from Hindu religion. Source - The Vedanta Kesari Magazine November 2021 editorial.

Whatever be the ideal, one factor that determines success is the power of our attention.

Attention is a faculty of mind which like a searchlight reveals whatever it is focused upon. Our mind takes the shape of the object that is in the field of our attention and thus experiences it. Attention is called concentration when it is focused continuously on an idea or a thing for a stretch of time. Ordinarily, our attention is repeatedly captured by our vishaya samskaras (interests) and the body, and tossed around. The challenge is to disengage attention from such distractions and focus it on the task at hand.

By doing whatever we do with full attention, we gradually gain the strength to accomplish our worldly tasks with just a small part our attention, and keep the rest focused on God.

While going through the different experiences and challenges of samsara, and striving to perfectly discharge his duties, a sadhaka should keep his attention focused on God.

Swami Brahmananda’s advice to sadhakas was: “Keep at least three-fourths of your mind in God. It is enough if you give one-fourth to service.” Discharging our duties thus, our mind becomes pure and then the world instead of being an obstacle, becomes the ‘house of God’ and every least thing in it reminds us of God.

Swami Vivekananda exhorted us to “pay as much attention to the means as to the end.” It will do us good if we begin by paying attention to the importance of ‘attention’ itself. Let us, just as a mother checks on her child, once in a while check where our attention is flowing.