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Mind Is Just A Shadow – Annamalai Swami Teachings

Mind is just a shadow. Attempts to catch it and control it are futile. They are just shadows chasing shadows. You can’t control or eliminate a shadow by chasing it or by putting a shadow hand on it. These are just children’s games.

Ram Tirtha once told a story about a small boy who ran down the street, trying to catch up with the head of his shadow. He never managed because no matter how fast he ran, the shadow of his head was always a few feet ahead of him.

His mother, who was watching him and laughing, called out, ‘Put your hand on your head!’

When the boy followed this instruction, the shadow hand caught up with the shadow head. This was enough to satisfy the boy.

This kind of advice may be enough to keep children happy, but it won’t produce satisfactory results in the realm of sadhana and meditation. Don’t chase your shadow thoughts and your shadow mind with mind-control techniques because these techniques are also shadows. Instead, go back to the source of the shadow-mind and stay there. When you abide in that place, you will be happy, and the desire to go chasing after shadow thoughts will no longer be there.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi often told the story of a man who tried to get rid of his shadow by burying it in a pit. This man dug a hole and then stood on the edge of it in such a way that his shadow was cast on the bottom of the hole he had just made. After lining it up in this way, he started throwing soil on the shadow in an attempt to bury it. Of course, no matter how much soil he put in the hole, the shadow still remained on top of it.

Your mind is an insubstantial shadow that will follow you around wherever you go. Attempts to eliminate or control it cannot succeed while there is still a belief that the mind is real, and that it is something that can be controlled by physical or mental activity.