Swami Chinmayananda says in one of his talks “If mind is not under my control, nothing within or outside me is under my control”
In Patanjali Yoga, training the mind & disciplining the mind is the primary goal to enter into Samadhi which is the final goal of Yoga.
According to Vedanta or Upanishads, Chittashuddi (Pure mind) is essential to attain the self-knowledge (Self-realization).
The biographies of all great persons, admired generation after generation, show that it is only those who had the right kind of mind who became great in life, not those who had bigger buildings and longer cars. You may work in whatever profession you like, your greatness in the society, your contribution to the world, all depends upon the quality of your mind.
Hence, for spiritual realization or for material success also it is fundamentally necessary for one to have disciplined mind.
Hinduism – Mind – God Realization
The Ashtanga Yoga (eight limbs of Yoga) of Patanjali are; yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption)
Meditation is the 7th step and all six stages of this yoga are facilitating the 7th stage i.e., Meditation and a successful meditation gives rise to final goal of a spiritual seeker i.e., Samadhi. The last stage is nothing to do with any Sadhana like other 7 stages rather it is the final result of sincere accomplishment of all six preceding stages of Yoga.
The concentration of Mind on one particular thing for long periods without any distraction is generally known as meditation. Patanjali Yoga says meditation is meant for cessation of all thoughts. In the absence of all thoughts (meditative state) it is possible for one to realize/recognize the ‘Self’ or ‘God’ or ‘Truth’. Hence, all the other mechanisms we performed as per the Vedic Culture including religious rituals, worshiping personal deities, Temples etc. support spiritual seeker to cultivate & attract the mind towards Spiritual path. Unless the mind is drawn for spiritual seeking one cannot pass through in any stage of Yoga System.
Therefore, the disciplined and well controlled mind is a prerequisite for spiritual seekers. This kind of mind only will enable us in the pursuit of God realization. Scriptures says that; the mind which cultivate good & noble thoughts is known as ‘Sattvic mind’. The Sattvic mind is essential for a spiritual seeker for progressing in the path. The mind with lot of desires, negative emotions, jealousy, ego etc. is not going to support the seeker in spiritual path. One of the best practices recommended by great Saints & Masters to cultivate this mind is to worship the Lord by chanting & singing holy names of him. This is the secret of Bhakti Yoga, where the purity of mid (Sattvic mind) is attained easily for devotees by variety of ways prescribed in the Hindu Puranas.
Hence, it is a very beautiful system set by the Hindu Scriptures like Vedas, Puranas which can guide the spiritual seeker step by step to final goal of salvation (Mukti).
It is said by a great Saint; “Hinduism is not this external show that we have learned to trade about in our daily lives. Hinduism is a science of perfection. There is in it an answer to every individual, social, national or international problem”
The Upanishads declare in unmistakable terms that in reality, man at the peak of his achievement – is God Himself. He is advised to live his day-to-day experiences in life in such a systematic and scientific way that, hour by hour, he consciously cleanses himself of all the encrustation of imperfections that have gathered to conceal the beauty and divinity of the true Eternal Personality in him. The methods by which an individual can consciously purify and evolve by his self-effort to regain the status of his True Nature is the content of Hinduism.