Monkey Mind

Taming the beast within

Patanjali says you have something permanent within you and that is called “The Monkey Mind.” It is compared to a monkey drunk with the wine of desire, stung by the scorpion of jealousy, and possessed with the demon of pride. Lust, greed, jealousy, anger, ego, tensions, reactions, grudges, depression, stress, and strain are the symptoms of this mind. We suffer from these because we gave all the powers to the mind and made it our master. We are happy when the mind is cheerful. We are depressed when the mind is gloomy. We are at the mercy of the mind that waxes and wanes. We consider ourselves nothing but mind.


Mind is what you make it with your thoughts yet it is actually matter. It has no power of its own as your thoughts create your mind. Every thought, emotion, or word produces a strong vibration in every cell of the body and leaves a strong impression there. If you entertain healthy thoughts, you can keep good health. If you hold on to sickly thoughts in the mind, you can never expect good health, beauty, and harmony. If the mind is healthy, the body will be healthy. Remember that the body is a product of the mind. If you hold on to vigorous thoughts, your body too will be vigorous. Thoughts of love, peace, contentment, purity, perfection, and divinity will make you, and others around you, perfect and divine. Otherwise, we will be the victim of mental and heart diseases.


The human mind functions within a certain field. Your mind works only within the boundaries of the field of whatever you have previously heard, seen, thought of, or imagined. Maharishi Patanjali says that you can cross that field by training your mind, and all its faculties, so that you can go beyond. According to Maharishi Patanjali, the mind (Chitta) is made up of three faculties – Manas (Mind & Memory), Buddhi (Intellect), and Ahamkara (Ego). Manas are the recording faculty, which receives impressions gathered by the senses from the outside world.

Buddhi is the discriminative faculty, which classifies these impressions and reacts to them. Ahamkara is the ego-sense, which claims these impressions as its own and stores them up as individual knowledge. For example, your teacher tells you to do Kapalbhati Pranayama. She also reminds you that always start with slow speed. Your mind listens to that and your intellect confirms in the same manner. But after some time, your ego starts reacting. It notices that the teacher is doing much faster and why can’t I do it the same way? Hence, ego becomes the spoiler and it always needs to be controlled and trained.


That monkey mind always gets in your way and creates barriers for you. One day it helps you to understand something, and then the next day, you undo the same thing. One moment you think you have known something; after half an hour, the same mind will say you have not known anything. Sometimes, you think you are going toward insanity; sometimes, you think you are doing very well. That monkey mind comes between you and realization. There is no attempt, however, to control the mind; the idea is to go beyond it through meditation. Meditation is where thoughts get dissolved naturally, enhancing your concentration power, memory power, will power, right thinking, and fitness power, automatically. Meditation is neither a mental exercise nor a practice. It is a direct and natural process beyond mind itself.


Who's in control, You or the Monkey?

The mind is always full of all types of thoughts. It continues like this from birth to death because there is no switch to turn it off. Meditation helps in controlling the mind. By doing regular meditation, it is possible to put a switch on the mind and turn it off when it is not needed. In fact, it teaches us how to manage the mind just by witnessing it through neutral energy. It is not interfering with the intricacies and doings of mind. Just remain a non-doer and directly watch the thoughts neutrally, without any judgment, analyses, participation, visualization, imagination, contemplation, suppression, repression, condemnation, or concentration. To watch is our true nature. It is a natural, non-doing state. No effort is required to watch. We all have full potential to look within, as we all are blessed with the ‘Third Eye’. It is not forcing the mind to be quiet; it is to find the quiet that is there already.

Adopt any comfortable sitting position… Close the eyes… Relax your body part by part mentally… Be still… Withdraw the mind from the outside world… Direct the mind within oneself towards breathing… Breathe slowly, deeply, and regularly… If thoughts come into your mind from time to time, just go on watching those thoughts …. Do not identify with them… Do not get friendly with them…Do not argue with them… They will go away…Keep a distance from the thoughts… Feel that thoughts are yours but you are not the thought… Just like your shadow is yours but you are not the shadow… just keep deleting all the undesirable thoughts… Do not let those thoughts come back to you… (It is like watching a film. If we do not like the film, we do not remember the story.

As soon as we come out of the cinema hall, we forget the story because we don’t need it)… If we do not, it means that we are carrying an extra burden in our mind and that makes our mind weak and diseased, mentally, as well as physically… Give your conscious mind a rest…. There is a state of mind where you have no thought…Only consciousness remains… If you can experience this state, you can experience strength, power, creativity, courage, confidence, decisiveness, and happiness … This is Pure Existence.

CONCLUSION With more and more meditations, monkey mind starts learning to be silent. Once it knows, that by being silent it becomes powerful, energetic, and positive – and then the mind is a good servant of immense power in the hands of silence. Then the being is the master and master can use the mind whenever it is needed and can switch it off whenever it is not needed.

Om Shanti

Article by Dr Rita Khanna
Dr. Rita Khanna’s YogaShaastra Studio (An Exclusive Yoga & Naturopathy Therapy Studio)
Ph: 040-65173344, 09849772485


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