Question 119: The instability of the mind

sunrise Young Rama asks Sri Vasishtha about the instability of the mind. The sage guides him to contemplation, which brings the mind to rest. When the mind is at rest, we have interior and exterior peace.


anatma: unreal; opposite of Atma
anatma: different from the soul
anatma: not the spirit soul

moksha: liberation, for salvation, and of liberation, liberation from material bondage

sankalpa – mental conclusions, intentions

vairagya: detachment

vasana: tendencies or desires

vichar Hin. vichara San. m. deliberation, thought, reflection, pondering; discrimination, examination, self-enquiry: ‘Who am I?’


Question 119: Sir, How is the instability of mind removed?

Answer: Ramji, instability is the nature of mind. Quiescence of the vacillating or ideational power of mind due to which the universe is manifested, is moksha (liberation). When ideations or modifications arise in the mind, owing to its instability, the universe with its multiplicity of objects is manifested, and sufferings arise. When the ideation is stopped after continued effort, pleasures and comforts of all kinds are attained. The instability of the mind is due to non-contemplation and it vanishes with contemplation (vichar). The state in-between real and unreal, and sentient and insentient is called mind. When the mind is directed to the gross, Atma is forgotten and the unreal body is wrongly conceived as the Real Self or Atma. But when with endeavour, the mind is engaged in contemplation and discrimination, then gradually there is absence of feeling of the unreal body (anatma), and the instability of the mind vanishes. What remains thereafter is realised as Atma. As is the (firm) endeavour, so is the experience.

Abandon doubts, and engage your mind in the spiritual endeavour. Mind is destroyed by mind (contemplation), and there is no other remedy.

Ramji, when your mind is driven towards the world, check it with the force of detachment (vairagya) and engage it in spiritual endeavour. When your mind indulges in desires and tendencies (vasana), or when it ideates, check the ideation with the power of of your Atma. In short, abandon your desires so that your ignorance is destroyed, whereafter you will enjoy undisturbed peace. The joys and sorrows arising due to the being or non-being of the universe, or due to favourable or unfavourable objects, are the result of the ignorance in the mind. The universe and its objects are like a mirage that is not real. Give up dependence on them because these have not been created. Their manifestation is due to the ideation (sankalpa) of the mind. Your true nature is of perennial peace that is always established in itself.



The name of the Lord is as the effulgence of the Rising Sun, which scatters the darkness of delusion; It is as luminous, as universal, as sacred.
Of the span of human life, one half is wasted in sleep; the other is frittered away in satisfying stupid desires, in the inanity of old age, the helpless ignorance of childhood and boyhood, in misery, travail, and illness. You can devote to some worthwhile activity. Beware of misusing even these for the silly pursuit of sensual pleasure. Use at least these precious years for the contemplation of the glory of the Lord, for fixing your mind on His Lotus Feet ever more firmly, and for thus transporting yourself across the vast ocean of Birth and Death.

Therefore, practise at all times and under all conditions the remembrance, with love and devotion, of the Name of the Lord. That name is a thunderbolt which will pulverise mountains of sin. It is the unfailing cure for the dread disease of sheer worldliness. Surely that name will endow you with Peace!

The name of the Lord is as the effulgence of the Rising Sun, which scatters the darkness of delusion; It is as luminous, as universal, as sacred. Do not misuse that sacred Name even for a second. Do not let pass even a second, without bringing that Name to mind. Remember, the sweetness of that Name when repeated by Prahlada overpowered the hearts of the demons who heard him; the children of the demons repeated the Name along with Prahlada, and led by him, they began to sing and dance with joy arming themselves with axes to defend their leader!

The Name of the Lord that can transform the demonic character and purify it into nectar is verily the heaven of peace for all, for the world. To repeat that Name without break, to love that Form and that Name with intensity, that is what deserves to be called Devotion. Devotion means the highest, purest Love (prema), directed towards the Lord. Any one can attain this devotion. The door showing the path of devotion is open to all. The only passport needed is the desire for liberation, for Moksha. That desire entitles Man to his heritage.


Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaya Dheemahi
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as the Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”