The relation between the moon and the mind has been documented by the sages of ancient times. If the moon has the power to cause low and high tides; then it can surely have a strong effect on everything else in the nature, as well as on our mind. One of the names of Lord Shiva is Chandramouleshwar, which means the one who is the Lord of the moon, the Lord of the mind, who fully comprehends the functioning of the mind in totality. Lord Buddha was born on a full moon day, he attained enlightenment on a full moon and he left his body on a full moon day. Same is true for Guru Nanak Dev ji, born on a full moon day and left the body on a full moon day. It is mysterious but the connection between the moon and the mind is very deep.
New moon signifies darkness of ignorance, darkness of the unconscious mind, while full moon symbolizes inner light, light of knowledge and luminous wisdom. One needs to understand the oscillating nature of the mind and must not allow the waxing and waning mind to affect the intellect. The wise one knows the art of detaching from the mind. The moon is cool, the sun is hot. And our mind should be cool like the moon, so that we can remain calm and equipoised in every situation, always making wise decisions. On the contrary, an ordinary mind is full of impurities and negativities, which makes the mind disturbed and unhappy.
There are two ways to remove impurity (mala) from the mind. One way is by understanding the difference between the body, mind, and ‘I’. Body is as separate from you as the clothes which you are wearing. This is not a theory but reality. When you watch your mind and body as a ‘witness’; you observe its impurities like pride, jealousy, greed etc. When you distance yourself, at that very moment the mind loses its power to rule over you.
The other way to purify the mind is by doing pious, selfless actions. To live with the attitude of servitude without asking for any appreciation or reward. If one says, ‘I will give this amount of money, I will do charity, I will serve old and sick but I expect the entry ticket to heaven’, this is not a selfless service. It is only called selfless service when you do not desire any fruits for your service. Then why are you doing it? To purify the mind. That is why it is said in the scriptures that one should serve human beings and one should serve the master. Why should one serve the master? Because this service gives you the opportunity to be closer to the master, to be in the master’s energy field, and this is going to help you, it will give you more inspiration, more motivation to follow the path. This is how the mala can be removed.
Another obstacle in our mind is called vikshepa; which means an agitated, restless, impulsive mind. Without proper concentration, no mind can be happy or content. To remove vikshepa one needs devotion. Upasana and bhakti (worship and devotion) towards your master or a deity of your choice. This means that you pull back the attachment to the world and bring it to the deity or Guru. Why? This is because the mind has the compulsive need to hook up to something or the other. Mind cannot live alone. It is always looking for another person or an object to attach to. Thus, since your mind wants to ‘hang on’ to something; don’t hang on to the world, which will only give you sorrow. Hang on to the master, or the deity, or the absolute truth. It is not easy to do so, but the attachment will slowly transform into pure love and devotion. And at the final stage of evolution, all the shackles of attachment break away and the mind gets liberated.