How to control the mind?

Acharya Prashant
2 min readFeb 21, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Acharya Prashant (AP): Nobody has ever really said that the mind needs to be controlled or can be controlled. It is only the controlled freaks who talk in this language. The very constitution of the mind is objects and objects by definition are changing all the time. So, what do you mean by controlling the mind? The only thing that can be done is accompany the mind like a lover, wherever it goes, be with it. There is a beautiful line:

Yatra yatra mano yati, tatra tatra samadhyah

Wherever the mind goes, there is my Samadhi. It does not say that I have to bring the mind back to myself. Let the mind go wherever it wants to go. I will be along with it. I will not desert it. I repeat — not like an instructor, a policeman, or a warden, but like a lover. Not even like what you call a witness traditionally in spirituality but simply like a lover. Let the mind go wherever it wants to go. It wants to think, all right, it has all the freedom to think. It wants to imagine, it wants to hope, it wants to be afraid; let it do whatever it wants to do. But be with the mind.

Instead, morality and other kinds of influences and conditioning have taught us to suppress the mind. We have been told that certain things are good and certain things are bad. So, a certain kind of thinking is to be promoted, a certain kind of thinking is not right, bad, bad. So, kill it, suppress it. What we do not realize is whenever we say mind control, the energy that you are using to control the mind is the same energy that is firing the mind. So, in attempting to control the mind, you give more energy to the restlessness of the mind.

The mind has all the right to wander. If the mind is not wandering, believe me, you are dead. If the mind is not wandering, then there is no universe. The universe itself is the movement of the mind. So, the order does not lie in enforcing an external control on the mind. And many of us try to do that, right? Oh, the mind is going here and there. Why am I thinking like this? And then certain guilt arises. Wherever the mind is going, it is going for a reason. Let it go there. Let it go there and very honestly, stay with it. Then you will learn why the mind is speeding in a particular direction.

Watch the full video here.

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