Monday Musings 44

trees near body of water under dark clouds

Penance of Mind

Penance is not only for our body We practice our mind as well. When do we say it is penance of mind? Lord Krishna explains what are required to exercise our beautiful as well as powerful mind in Bhagavad Gita sloka 17.16. Let us see what they are:
मन: प्रसाद: सौम्यत्वं मौनमात्मविनिग्रह: |
भावसंशुद्धिरित्येतत्तपो मानसमुच्यतेBhagavad Gita 17.16
Transliteration – mana-prasāda saumyatva maunam ātma-vinigraha
bhāva-sanśhuddhir ity etat tapo mānasam uchyate
Translation – Cheerfulness, gracefulness, silence, self-control, purity of intent, these are called penance of the mind.
Shri Krishna lists the qualities that can lead to penance of mind.
  • He begins with prasaadaha, cheerful, joyful attitude towards whatever life offers. It comes from maintaining our balance and composure in troublesome as well as in happy situations. This goes to prove the adage “Happiness is a state of mind”. Being cheerful is in our mind than in the situations we face.
  • Saumyatvam refers to developing a gentleness and gracefulness when dealing with people. It requires us to remain free from negative attitudes towards people that manifest as jealousy, hatred, etc.
  • The next quality is maunam. Literally, maunam mean silence, but here it means silence that comes out of contemplation. Silence also signifies the importance of listening than speaking. Introspecting in silence helps the next trait ie exercising self-control on our words and actions.
  • We cannot stop negative thoughts from arising in our mind, but we can always control how much time and attention we give to such thoughts. Whenever such negative thoughts arise, we should be able to switch to a positive thought immediately. Doing so requires high levels of self-control or aatma vinigrahaha. If we do not learn how to do this, the mind will hold onto a negative thought and get swept away in a mental whirlpool of negativity.
  • bhāva-sanśhuddhir. Training your mind to be cheerful, graceful, introspect and exercise self-control when required will develop ‘purity of intent’. What is ‘purity of intent’?


If you want to succeed, you have to acquire the most fundamental ingredient of success and that is purity of intention. If your intention is pure, you will gain determination and inner strength naturally. ‘Purity of intention’ is not alluding to any notion of nobility or morality. ‘Purity Of Intention’ is simply being true to your cause and that you are honest with yourself.

The first step to attain ‘purity of intent’ is to get the clarity on what you want and be honest about what you want.

Abundant Universe

Here is an interesting story:
An old church was badly in need of repairs. The cost of renovation was estimated at $100,000 but no one showed voluntary interest to donate. At the conclusion of Sunday Mass, the pastor announced to a hall full of members, “I’ve got good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”
“Let us start with good news!” the majority said.
“Well then,” the pastor spoke excitedly, “the good news is that we’ve got the $100k needed to renovate the church!”
The announcement received a thunderous applause.
“Now, the bad news, ladies and gentlemen,” he said, drawing himself closer to the mic. “That money is still in your pockets.”

Whatever required to realize our intent in life are already there in the universe. It’s the purity of intention that brings those resources together. If you are not confused about what you want and your actions align with your intention, you are well on your way to success.
For someone whose intention is pure, who is sincere in his/her endeavor, nothing is a barrier. If you stay true to your real intent, it will help you make better choices. Anytime you have to make a decision, simply examine your intention and you will know which way to move.
எண்ணங்களின் உயர்வு ஏற்றங்களில் நிறைவு   –  ஜெகந்நாதன்
Enhance your thoughts and elevate yourself — Jaganathan

Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.



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