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Methods to purify the mind: Many a time one wonders about why the Self Knowledge is not giving

the permanent happiness and permanent release from misery as it promised to be. This can be explained with the example of coloring or dyeing a white cloth. For the color to stick to the cloth, the cloth must be clean. Similarly, when the mind is pure the knowledge is understood at the level of intellect. The following are the few methods among many to purify the mind. 1. Vrata: Also known as Vows. They play a very important role in the purification of the mind provided when done with the right understanding. In upavasa or fasting on Ekadasi day, one is expected not to eat food and at the same time, turn the mind onto thinking about paramatma. This combination of denial of food physically and making the mind to think of Bhagavan forms the real crux of vrata. 2. Tirtham: Taranti anena iti tirtham- that which helps you to cross the ocean of ignorance and confusion. The greatest tirtha is the company of noble and enlightened. One should go and learn from mahatmas present in the tirthas one is visiting. Usually every tirtham is associated with the stories of Kshetra prasasthi about the various devotees for whose sake the paramatma took a form. 3. Dana: Charity forms a key component in chitta suddhi. To give something away without expecting anything in return is charity or danam. It can be in the form of sharing the wealth, knowledge, time, emotional support, etc. The eka rupa eshwara bhakti (worshipping the idol in the temple) should get gradually transformed into aneka rupa eeshwara bhakti (seeing the creation as divine manifestation of the Lord) as one progresses on the path of spirituality. This understanding forms the foundation of true charity. 4. Ashtamurthibrut: in the upadesa Sara, sri ramana maharshi mentions: Jagata ishadiyayuktasevam ashtmurthibhrt devapujanam. Serving the world with the attitude of serving the lord is the true worship of the Lord of eight-fold form. The eight forms of Lord Shiva stand for space, air, water, fire, earth, sun (representing all luminaries), moon (signifying all planets and satellites), soul (standing for all conscious beings). In everyday life, whatever we are seeing as five elements is nothing but various forms of the beloved God. This helps one in leading a life of higher values. 5. Karma yoga: the definition of work as worship forms the basis of karma yoga. Again in the famous composition Upadesa Sara sri ramana maharshi says: Isvaraarpitamnecchaya krtam Cittasodhakam muktisadhakam Actions done with an attitude of dedication to Lord, without attachment to the result, purify the mind and are a means to liberation. Karma yoga includes ishvaraarpita buddhi and isvara prasada bhavana. This makes one to stay calm in different pleasant and unpleasant situations. 6 Japa: In this sadhana, one constantly repeats the name of the ista devata like Rama or mantra like Om namah shivaya. The word and meaning go together. The jagat is Nama rupatmakam. Whatever name one says, the corresponding form comes to mind. It is like saying the word bench and having a bench come to mind. Similarly, if one thinks about worldly pleasures more and more, they come to the mind and the mind becomes more disturbed. Because of the simple

fact that every worldly object is associated with a changing nature, so by thinking about them, this makes the mind unstable or changing. If the mind repeatedly thinks about the paramatma who is the unchanging entity, the mind becomes stable. Among many, these are the few methods for the purification of the mind.