Teachings of Swami Brahmananda

Within the palace of seven gates there dwells a  king with whom a poor man begs an audience. The  king’s minister grants his request, and leads him  through the gates to the royal presence. At each gate  there stands a nicely dressed officer. And each time,  the poor man asks the minister, if that is the king.  The minister answers, ‘No!’ each time, until they  have passed the seventh gate, and the king stands  before them in all his splendor and beauty.

Then  no question is asked. The man recognizes his king.  So it is with the guru. Like the king’s minister, he leads the disciple through the different stages of spiritual unfoldment, until he leaves him with the Lord.  But know this! There is no greater guru than your  own mind. When the mind has been purified by  prayer and contemplation it will direct you from  within.

Even in your daily duties, this inner guru  will guide you and will continue to help you until  the goal is reached. Have intense love for God and  the mind will remain always tranquil and pure.

The easiest way to purity and steady the mind is  to retire into solitude, control all cravings, and engage oneself in contemplation and meditation. The  more you occupy the mind with holy thoughts, the  greater will  be your spiritual unfoldmcnt.  Just as a  cow yields much milk when it is well fed, so when  the mind is fed spiritual food, it will yield greater  tranquillity. Spiritual food consists of meditation,  prayer, contemplation and japa.

Another way to steady the mind is to let it wander, but to keep a steady watch over its wanderings.  After a while the mind itself becomes tired and  comes back to find peace in God.  If you watch your  mind, your mind wall in turn watch over you.   It is good to risc early in the morning. The time  best suited for contemplation is when night passes  into day, and when day passes into night.  It is then  that the Sushumna (the central nerve within the  spinal column) becomes active, and one breathes  through both nostrils. As a general rule, we breathe  through only one nostril at a time. This causes restlessness of the mind. Spiritual aspirants should observe when they are breathing through both nostrils. The Sushumna is active then and those times are the  most helpful to contemplation, and we should take  advantage of them.   Free your mind from cravings and attachments.  Practice spiritual disciplines, and your mind will be  come pure and steady. If a man does not struggle hard to realize God, he remains steeped in ignorance. Therefore struggle, struggle, and God will be revealed. Accept all struggles boldly. Welcome them, for through them you shall surely find peace.