यतो यतो निश्चलति मनश्चञ्चलमस्थिरम् ।
ततस्ततो नियम्यैतदात्मन्येव वशं नयेत् ॥ २६ ॥
yato yato niścalati
manaś cañcalam asthiram
tatas tato niyamyaitad
ātmany eva vaśaṁ nayet
From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.
बन्धुरात्मात्मनस्तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जित: ।
अनात्मनस्तु शत्रुत्वे वर्तेतात्मैव शत्रुवत् ॥ ६ ॥
bandhur ātmātmanas tasya
anātmanas tu śatrutve
For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.
It all boils down to focus.
The quality of your life is determined by what you focus on. The mind is the toughest to control, and the whole objective of meditation is to stop the wandering and focus.
Today is Nirjala Ekādashi. Not a drop of water or food from sunrise today till sunrise the next day. For some, it seems very difficult. For others, it isn’t very different from a normal day. I have been observing vrata on Ekādashi from many years now, and Nirjala as well. So I am ok with it.
Such continued vrata leads to focus. One learns to divert the mind from hunger and thirst, to thoughts and action. This has been my personal experience – I find myself more energetic on such days, which is surprising considering that I can’t normally tolerate hunger given my fixed meal timings…
Focus is even more difficult considering the numerous distractions that come along with modern life. There are two exercises in the Sādhanā series that attempt to address these distractions – you can find them here and here. Try them out. But I also strongly suggest the method of vrata to dramatically improve your focus. Start slow, possibly with fruits and water only, and then try the one with just water, and finally, nirjala.
It may just change your life:)
See you tomorrow!