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Why the mind is so restless?

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 Verse 34

चञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण प्रमाथि बलवद्दृढम्। तस्याहं निग्रहं मन्ये वायोरिव सुदुष्करम्।।6.34।।

चञ्चलम् restless, हि verily, मनः the mind, कृष्ण O Krishna, प्रमाथि turbulent, बलवत् strong, दृढम् unyielding, तस्य of it, अहम् I, निग्रहम् control, मन्ये think, वायोः of the wind, इव as, सुदुष्करम् difficult to do.

Chañchalam—restless; hi— verily; manaḥ—mind; kṛiṣhṇa—Shree Krishna; pramāthi—turbulent; bala-vat—strong; dṛiḍham—obstinate; tasya—its; aham—I; nigraham—control; manye—think; vāyoḥ—of the wind; iva—like; su-duṣhkaram—difficult to perform

6.34 The mind verily is restless, turbulent, strong and unyielding, O Krishna: I deem it as difficult to control it as to control the wind.


The mind constantly changes its objects and so it is ever restless.

Krishna is derived from Krish which means “to scrape”. He scrapes all the sins, evils, and the causes of evil from the hearts of His devotees. Therefore He is called Krishna.

The mind is not only restless but also turbulent or impetuous, strong and obstinate. It produces violent agitation in the body and the senses. The mind is drawn by the objects in all directions. It works always in conjunction with the five senses. It is drawn by them to the five kinds of objects. Therefore it is ever restless. It enjoys the five kinds of sense-objects with the help of these senses and the body. Therefore it makes them subject to external influences. It is even more difficult to control it than to control the wind. The mind is born of Vayutanmatra (wind root-element). That is the reason why it is as restless as the wind.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika Chapter 2 verse 2

छले वाते छलं छित्तं निश्छले निश्छलं भवेत|| योगी सथाणुत्वमाप्नोति ततो वायुं निरोधयेत || २ ||

Chale vāte chalaṃ chittaṃ niśchale niśchalaṃ bhavet|| yoghī sthāṇutvamāpnoti tato vāyuṃ nirodhayet || 2 ||

Chale-if moving; vāte-air, respiration; chalaṃ-unstable, moving; chittaṃ-the mind; niśchale-if stabilized; niśchalaṃ-stable, stopped; bhavet-becomes|| yoghī-the yoga practitionners; sthāṇutvam-motionlessness of the mind; āpnoti-attains; tato-therefore; vāyuṃ-the respiration; nirodhayet-should be restrained. || 2 ||

2.2. If respiration is operative, the mind is also unstable, (so also) if respiration is stabilized, mind also become stable. The yogi attains motionlessness of the mind. Therefore, the respiration should be restrained.

Special Note:

There is also a relationship between function of mind and respiration. Condition of mind has direct and immediate impact on respiration.

This we can experience if we observe our respiration when we are angry. Anger is a mental condition but this mental condition immediately influences the normal flow of respiration and this can be experienced if we attend to respiration during anger. The same is true about very peaceful condition of mind.

Hathayoga believes and establishes the theory that if the conditions of mind can make the respiration fast or slow, then respiration also must influence the mind. It is a well known fact that controlling directly the mind is very difficult but controlling the respiration is comparatively easy. If we can stop the breath or respiration, the functioning of mind will also be resulting into standstill.

This is also suggests that control over mind is an essential condition to attain Samadhi etc. We can find a similarity in between Patanjala Yoga and Hathayoga in this context.

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