"The search after Truth is the one thing by which the shape of human life should be determined.

Genuine desire itself opens the road to fulfilment."    

Sri Anandamayi Ma

Spiritual-Teaching.org

From the Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi  

"Self Enquiry - Vichara Sangraham"

D: How is breath-control the means for mind-control?


M: There is no doubt that breath-control is the means for mind-control, because the mind, like breath, is a part of air, because the nature of mobility is common to both, because the place of origin is the same for both, and because when one of them is controlled the other gets controlled. Self-Enquiry Verse 25

During the years between 1900-1902 when Sri Ramana Maharshi was living on the sacred hill of Arunachala in the Virupaksha cave,

a devotee came to him almost nightly after his work in town to learn the method of Bhagavan's teaching. Even though he was receiving direct instructions over this long time, he finally beseeched Bhagavan with a most urgent request.


The answers given by Bhagavan were hand written, due to his being in silence at the time. The exact dialog of questions and answers are found within the Ashram publication Vichara Sangraham:


D: Although I have listened to the explanation of the characteristics of enquiry in such great detail, my mind has not gained even a little peace. What is the reason for this?


M: The reason is the absence of strength or one-pointedness of the mind.

D: What is the reason for the absence of mental strength?

M: The means that make one qualified for enquiry are meditation, yoga, etc. One should gain proficiency in these through graded practice, and thus secure a stream of mental modes that is natural and helpful. When the mind that has in this manner become ripe, listens to the present enquiry, it will at once realize its true nature which is the Self, and remain in perfect peace, without deviating from that state. To a mind which has not become ripe, immediate realization and peace are hard to gain through listening to enquiry. Yet, if one practices the means for mind- control for some time, peace of mind can be obtained eventually.


D: Of the means for mind-control, which is the most important? M: Breath-control is the means for mind-control.


D: How is breath to be controlled?


M: Breath can be controlled either by absolute retention of breath (kevala-kumbhaka) or by

regulation of breath (pranayama).


D: What is absolute retention of breath?


M: It is making the vital air stay firmly in the heart even without exhalation and inhalation. This is achieved through meditation on the vital principle, etc.


D: What is regulation of breath?


M: It is making the vital air stay firmly in the heart through exhalation, inhalation, and retention according to the instructions given in the yoga texts.


D: How is breath-control the means for mind-control?


M: There is no doubt that breath-control is the means for mind-control, because the mind, like breath, is a part of air, because the nature of mobility is common to both, because the place of origin is the same for both, and because when one of them is controlled the other gets controlled. *

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* Verses 19-25

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