Yogi Bhajan Lecture: Control of the Mind
I would like to talk to you about something, if you have a mind to listen to it. I know that all of you, whether you are young or old, will go through every phase of life. With all the energy you have there will be certain things which happen to you. Can you guide your life like a guiding star, self-propelled? I know that each human being who is alive wants to have control. Some of us are very ambitious, we want to control the whole world, some want to control the family and the surroundings, but very few might be here who want to control their own mind. And without the control of your own mind, your life will never be complete.
Let me tell you something very simple: you actually have nothing to offer to yourself without your own discipline; and not experiencing your own mind and your own discipline and your own wisdom within you, your life is as hollow, shallow and empty as you can name it.
If you can control your feelings and your own emotions by your mind under the guidance of your intelligence, you have walked on the path of reality. And if walking this path can take you to a destination where you can understand your own consciousness with your own mind, and that your intelligence follows the consciousness, you have reached what is called in simple English, God. That is the total challenge.
There are some people who are so upset with me, you can't believe them. “Sir, can we go to dinner tonight?”
I said, “Yeah, good idea, though I am on a diet, I can't eat but let us go.”
“Not with all the people, can we go with just one, two people?”
I said, “What do you mean one, two people? What is one, two people?”
“I can't handle a group.”
“Well your body is a group--arms, fingers, heart, legs, this thing is there, that thing is there. What is this ‘not a group’? You are a living group. So if you cannot handle your own group, what is a group?”
“No, no, no real thing is one-to-one.”
You know what one-to-one is? One-to-one is a very rare state in which consciousness only intermerges with the consciousness. Otherwise, everything in this world we live through is exploring—nobody knows anybody, nobody's ever known anybody. As you cannot know God, you cannot know another human being. All you can do is explore. But there is one way in that exploration where you can totally win. That is called surrender. Unfortunately, in America, it is very difficult to surrender, because it is a sign of defeat. ‘How can I give up my ego? Why should I listen to anybody?’
Where We Become One
When you take copper and nickel and put it together, you get white brass out of it. Then you burn the white brass and you can never split copper and nickel out of it again. It becomes one—that is called one-to-one basis. You all want one-to-one basis but you are not willing to go through the heat of it. You know how crooked you are; you want to control each other on one-to-one basis. I control you, you control me, God knows who controls who. That is not one-to-one. One-to-one means, when neither you exist nor I exist, the one exists. When two elements meet together, a third element is formed that is called the one element. Two always make one—that's a law of nature, that's a law of God. Man and woman meet to produce a child—that's the law of one. You and I meet to create one.
One is a very special science on which the entire Sikh walk of life is based. It starts with, Ek Ong Kar - the One Creator of this creation. But how to reach that one? By amalgamating the self when you and I meet, into one. Then the One, the unknown One will live. Neither you nor I will live. And it is the most conscious act of life.
Some of you want to be rich, some want to be poor, some want to be free, some want to enjoy life as you want to—there are a lot of inspirations in you. This will all come to you in proportion—as much as you put in, that much you may have. But the whole Universe will come to you, when you'll become one, or learn the procedure to become one, with anybody or everybody, anywhere or anytime. And there's one principle to it: we all have one thing common—we all have different minds, we all have different bodies, but we have one soul—we’re a part of one soul. If we can see the soul in each other and relate to it, find it, understand it, respect it, then that oneness will be forever.
Bring Gratitude In
You have to learn to respect other creations bad and good. I'm not sitting in judgment and I am not asking to judge anybody. You can see a prostitute and bow and thank God that you are not a prostitute; you can see a noble woman and bow and be in gratitude, and thank God that at least you have seen somebody who is noble, and you have acknowledged it. So each place give you only one chance and that is to thank. You do not have a chance not to thank. When you get up in the morning, and you open your eyes and you breathe consciously, if you have not thanked yet, you have lost the greatest opportunity of the right to live.
At night when you are dead tired and you do not know what to do and you have put your head on the pillow and you are gone, if you have not thanked for that day, you have lost the opportunity to enjoy the night. Each state of mind we enter, we enter with gratitude and that is God. That is experiencing God alive. That is knowing God now. God within you is in you and within your gratitude, and in that gratitude you grow as saintly as you could.
You are one group of people who are supposed to be walking towards your own soul, about your own spirit consciously. That's why I am not reminding you of the body, I'm not giving you a lecture on how to be healthy. You can be as healthy as Samson; and you may have the mind of anybody you can name. But if you don’t have the light of soul shining around you, you shall be confused. You shall clash with each other, with your environments, with your neighborhood. You shall not follow discipline because you are handicapped and you have weakness, because the strength behind you is the spirit of you. If you do not let that spirit play, you will not have the power to go. The world today needs peace, it needs harmony, it needs tranquility. We can all work for it and give it only if we have peace within ourselves.
The Give and Take
You cannot give to anybody if you don't have. You cannot give anybody satisfaction if you don't have it. Suppose this glass has nothing in it—it can't give anything. All it can give me is it's glasshood; but if this glass has water in it, then this glass can give itself to me with water which I can take. You all want to take everything. Remember this law: you cannot take, until you give. If you do not know how to give, you will never be in a position to take.
If you do not make some space and do not empty something, where can you put the other thing? The problem is you all get drowned because you take and take and take and you have no place to go. You don't have the capacity to take. First create the capacity to take, then take. The law of the capacity to take is to first give, because the law of the vacuum is that there's no vacuum; when you create a vacuum, things will come in.
And how many of you can honestly calculate yourself that you are just dragging? And that is what your pain of life is, you are not free. You want to ride the whole Universe; you want to control everybody and you don't have control of your own mind. That's the painful state.
Keep your mind and your faculty of mind together, and don’t make excuses under middle age crisis, old age crisis, early age crisis. When you want crises, you have them, it doesn't matter under what age, time, space and circumstances you are. You have the right to create harmony and you have the right to create crisis, nobody creates them for you. You create them, you will live with them, and you will bury yourself with them.
The Discipline of Sadhana
If we get up in the morning, we do Sadhana. We don't do Sadhana to please anybody, we do Sadhana to please ourselves. We work on ourselves in the morning. We want to know ourselves, we prepare ourselves and that is the way to go.
Life has a simple rule: you want to live it or you want to mess it. If you mess the life you will miss the principle of life. I know you all want to be loved, you all want to love, you want to have somebody to love you. But the question is, do you have the capacity, do you deserve, do you know what love is? Or you are chasing your own mental thought, mental state. Fantasy is a kind of practical joke. One morning you get up and you feel very passionate, you want to do everything. The next morning you get up, but you don't want to get up. Now who wants to be with you? Mr. Yoyo.
The problem we are going through right now is that each one wants the support without knowing what support means. The whole world may give you support, but if your own mind shall not support you, you will not be in a position to do anything in life. And mind cannot be controlled. Your own mind cannot be controlled and guided and give you the support until it is brought to a discipline. That word which brings mind to a discipline to support you is called mantra. Man-tra: to bring discipline to the mind. That's why we do Japa. Japa creates the heat—that is called Tapa. In Tapa that heat burns the Karma. Out of the Karma grows the kindness and it becomes Dharma. Out of that grows the compassion and that is called Siddhi; that's called power. From that comes the word sadhu: one who has controlled himself through all aspects of life. And that is what we call Sadhana, which you do not normally want to do.
How many of you are doing regular Sadhana, may I know? Raise your hands. Cheat on it, it doesn't matter. You lie anyway so just show better hands—give a big number, come on. All right, and those who do their Sadhana partially? And those who want to do Sadhana and love to do it, but sleep through that time? (Laughs)
There is one way to get out and that is to grow, and grow consciously, and that is one chance we all have. We have one chance to grow consciously and take the guidance.
© 1987 The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
This lecture is available on DVD, in two parts. The second part includes the meditation he taught that day.