We can conquer our pernicious desires with the help of Vedic psychology, which is far superior to the empirical theories of modern psychology, says SWAMI MUKUNDANANDA in his new book, ‘The Science of Mind Management’. OSWALD PEREIRA reviews his book

Here’s some bad news ― and some good news, too. The bad news is that with new technologies that have brought in so many attractive products and widespread economic development, our wants and desires have increased manifold. 

Our desires are difficult to satiate with the result that we are submerged in negativity, leading to restlessness and anger. There is good news, too, for all of us who wish to get out of these entanglements and control our desires. And that comes through the science of mind management.

The irony is that this good news was around even 5,000 years ago, but few among us were aware about it. Instead, when we were troubled by our anger and desires, we sought the help of psychologists and psychiatrists and poured over scores of self-help books. However, modern psychology or self-help books really don’t have the answers, but the science of mind management has.

“Our mind is the single-most important factor that determines the quality of our life. Successfully controlled, it becomes our best ally, but if allowed to run wild, it steals our inner peace and undermines all our productive endeavours,” says Swami Mukundananda in his book, The Science of Mind Management.

Quoting the Bhagavad Gita, he says:

uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ nātmānam avasādayet

ātmaiva hyātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ (Bhagavad Gita 6.5)

“Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the greatest assistant of the self, and also its vilest enemy.”

The US-based Swami Mukundananda, an alumnus of both IIT and IIM, who is a disciple of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj, and the founder of J K Yog, says, the science of the mind was perfectly explained 5,000 years ago in our ancient Vedic scriptures. “This science, which we can call Vedic psychology, describes the mind’s working so clearly that, in contrast, the empirical theories of modern psychology pale into insignificance.”

These Vedic scriptures had identified lust, anger, greed, envy and illusion, which assail our mind as our biggest foes, much more dangerous than our external enemies. 

Vedic psychology goes deep into the working of the mind and traces the origin of mental afflictions in a systematic, scientific, and logical manner, while teaching us techniques to purify the mind. It offers solutions to problems of everyday life, simply by improving our thought processes. According to the Vedas, “The mind is the cause of bondage and the mind is the cause of liberation.”

Sage Tulsidas states:

eka vyādhi vaśha nara marahiñ, ye asādhi bahu vyādhi

pīṛahin santata jīva kahuñ, so kimi lahai samādhi (Ramayan)

“Even one physical ailment is enough to incapacitate us. Then think of the plight of the soul afflicted by numerous mental ailments. Is there a means for relief?”

Swami Mukundananda points out that anger, envy, greed, desire, among other weaknesses mentioned in the Vedic scriptures as mānas rog  or mental illnesses, afflict all of us as long as we are in the world of maya.

Desires are insatiable

Although anger and greed are severe afflictions of the mind, yet, the Vedas term them both marginal, for more perilous than even these is another disease ― desire. Elaborating, he says, “To want, long, or hope for something is kāmanā  or desire. It is fundamentally of five kinds ― the desire to see, the desire to hear, the desire to smell, the desire to taste, and the desire to touch. Together, these are called kām (lust), and referred to by one word, ‘desire’.”

Swami Mukundananda explains at length: “Desire is universally singled out in all the Vedic scriptures as the worst mental affliction. We may wonder why it is considered such a big culprit. In anger, people destroy life and property. In greed, they waste their whole life accumulating meaningless goods and posts they could easily live without. But in desire, they only hanker for gratification and indulgence. So, isn’t desire relatively innocuous in comparison to anger and greed?”

He answers: “No, it is not, for desire is the mother of anger and greed. Therefore, anger comes not on its own, but from the obstruction of desire. Thus, like anger, greed is also the child of desire.”

“If desire is the cause of all problems, let us see what is it that gives rise to desire? The cause of desire is attachment. The full link is now clear. If we harbour attachment, it will lead to desire; from desire, will arise anger and greed,” he says. 

“If we can eliminate attachment, there will be no scope for desire, and all subsequent afflictions will automatically cease,” he adds.

Oswald Pereira

In his book, The Science of Mind Management, written in simple, crisp language, Swami Mukundananda, charts out a course for the readers to master their mind. He skilfully and appropriately uses real life accounts, humorous anecdotes and stories from the Vedic scriptures to help guide readers in their conquest of the mind. 

Oswald Pereira, a senior journalist, has also written eight books, including The Newsroom Mafia, Chaddi Buddies, The Krishna-Christ Connexion, How to Create Miracles in Our Daily Life and Crime Patrol: The Most Thrilling Stories. Oswald is a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and practises Kriya Yoga.

More Stories by Oswald Pereira

(Featured image courtesy: ancient-origins.net)