मन: प्रसाद: सौम्यत्वं मौनमात्मविनिग्रह: |
भावसंशुद्धिरित्येतत्तपो मानसमुच्यते || 16||
manaḥ-prasādaḥ saumyatvaṁ maunam ātma-vinigrahaḥ
bhāva-sanśhuddhir ity etat tapo mānasam uchyate
manaḥ-prasādaḥ—serenity of thought; saumyatvam—gentleness; maunam—silence; ātma-vinigrahaḥ—self-control; bhāva-sanśhuddhiḥ—purity of purpose; iti—thus; etat—these; tapaḥ—austerity; mānasam—of the mind; uchyate—are declared as
Serenity of mind, gentleness, silence, self-control, and purity of heart— these constitute the austerity of the mind.
Manah prasadah: The mind should be clear, calm, and light. If Tamoguna dominates, it is dull, heavy, and morose. If Rajoguna dominates, it is troubled, distracted and unbalanced. So the seeker has to cultivate Sattvaguna, and keep the mind in that calm screne state. The aim should be to prevent the disturbing elements, dark passions (impure Samskaras) from taking root in the mind. This can be achieved by unfailing devotion and clear knowledge which leads to dispassion. Serenity of mind implies internal purity. This practice consciously undertaken and kept up continuously is what is called austerity of the mind.
Saumyatvam: Face is the index of the mind. The fleeting thoughts and passions of mind cast shadows in the face. Anger, hatred, lust, fear, greed all these darken and twist the countenance into worried states, most unpleasant for others to see. When the mind is serene and peaceful, the face is bright and delightful. The seekers should examine themselves how far they could keep up the cheerfulness of spirit, and produce an impression of joy and love. It should be clearly noted that a gloomy and forbidding face is not a mark of spiritual advancement. On the other hand, we find the Mahatmas beaming with joy, cheerful and humourous, radiating that indefinable joy and knowledge all around.
Maunam: Silence is of two kinds – 1. restraining external sounds; 2. stillness of the inner organ (mind). Here silence of the mind is mentioned. The first is of great importance as a means to achieve the second. Of course, mere stopping the external organ is useless when the mind is distracted by hundreds of worldly thoughts. In that case, external silence comes under “Midhyachara”. The aim is to acquire perfect stillness of mind, and detachment from the objective world. Therefore the Lord speaks of Mouna as the austerity of mind and not of the body. So one should understand that internal silence is the aim and restraint of speech is a means to that end.
Atmavinigrahah: Here the word ‘atma’ means the mind and senses. Restraining the mind from running after worldly pleasures is Tapas in the highest sense of the word. The word ‘vinigrahah‘ implies that the mind should be fully controlled, so that there cannot be any trace of attachment to objects. So also, ‘bhavasamsuddhi‘ implies perfect purity of thought and feeling. Not a speck of dirt should there be in the mind. Such mental purity reflects ‘Atma’ clearly, as the sun is clearly reflected in a calm lake of pure water.
Question: What is the austerity of mind?
Answer: Serenity, delightful countenance, stillness of mind (stilled in meditation on Paramatma) constitute austerity of mind.