Wisdom from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is one of the Official Blogs of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Visit to read question and answers by Sri Sri here.
How to Reduce the Wavering of the Mind
The nature of the mind is to waver, similar to how the nature of water is to flow. Now how do you reduce this wavering nature of the mind? It is through spiritual practices (abhyaasa) and dispassion (vairagya).
What is Dispassion?
Sometimes, when you are disturbed, you say, “I don’t want anything. Enough is enough!” This is one kind of dispassion, which you experience when you are disturbed. It is called Smashana (cemetery) Vairagya.
The second kind of dispassion is when you say with awareness, “I don’t want anything. I have had enough (contentment)! Everything in the world changes; nothing is permanent. I don’t mind if I have or don’t have something.”
This is the second type of dispassion, and is called Gyana (knowledge) Vairagya.
We need to have Gyana Vairagya and not Smashana Vairagya. The mind always moves towards pleasure. If we have knowledge and dispassion, then all the pleasures will come to us. It is also said that the pleasure that comes out of Abhyaasa (spiritual practice) is the highest.
Everyone has to experience at least one of the two types of dispassion. So it is better to say, “I have had enough,” out of awareness and contentment. That is the higher kind of dispassion!
Is Dispassion a Happening?
Dispassion is not a happening; I would say dispassion is what you invoke in yourself. When you widen your awareness, when you see everything is going to disappear and death is imminent, we are all going to die and everything is changing – when this knowledge comes, then dispassion is spontaneous.
Dispassion is the only way to make the mind stop chattering. Just realize that everything is a dream. It will all soon come to an end. The chattering of the mind is always with regard to a subject, a topic, or with a want. Worries and wants are responsible for the chattering of the mind. Drop your worries and your wants – that is what is called vairagya.
Dispassion and Contentment
Just be contented in your mind. You must keep evaluating yourself from time to time. Ask yourself, is what I am doing benefitting others? Even if something brings pain in the short run, but is beneficial to everyone in the long run, then that is the right thing to do. This is the test.
Before doing any work, you must ask yourself, “Am I only focusing on the small things or am I thinking from a larger perspective?” This is essential.