Purity of mind is an essential need in spiritual life. It is stressed in all the four yogas: the way of work as worship, the way of devotion, the way of contemplation, and the way of knowledge.
Purity of mind indicates a mind that has become one with divinity. In that state of divine absorption the mind ceases to be the mind: it becomes one with God. Says Sri Ramakrishna: “God is realized as soon as the mind becomes free from attachment. Whatever appears in the Pure Mind is the voice of God. That which is Pure Mind is also Pure Buddhi; that, again, is Pure Atman, because there is nothing pure but God.”
God is thus the greatest purifier. The spontaneity and ease with which divine thoughts arise in the mind indicate how pure the mind really is. The more we think of God, the more we grow in purity.
Our thoughts are responsible for our actions. Our mental condition determines our character and the quality of our life. The Bhagavad Gita teaches that a controlled mind acts as our friend and helps us to live a moral and spiritual life. An uncontrolled mind, on the other hand, is our enemy and acts against our interests.
Says Sri Ramakrishna: “Bondage and liberation are of the mind alone. The mind will take the colour you dye it with. It is like white clothes just returned from the laundry. If you dip them in red dye, they will be red. If you dip them in blue or green, they will be blue or green. They will take only the colour you dip them in, whatever it may be....If you are in bad company, then you will talk and think like your companions. On the other hand, when you are in the company of devotees, you will think and talk only of God.”