Discipline is defined as training or control, aimed at producing obedience to rules and regulations as also the controlled, ordered behaviour resulting from such training. Discipline relates mainly to one's mind which controls the working senses, namely, hands, legs, speech, etc. Training and control of the mind is vital for achieving any kind of success in one's life. lt is said that a person with a controlled mind can achieve almost anything as has been witnessed in the lives of great men.
However, for most of us, our minds are hardly under our control. As a matter of fact, we are almost totally under the control of our minds. No wonder, there is so much suffering all round with anxieties, fears, etc dominating the psyche of an average person. Lord Krishna confirms this in the Bhagavad-Geeta, "Mind is the greatest enemy of one who has failed to control it" (6.6).
Let us examine why we need to discipline our minds. Everyone has a goal in life or should have one. Is it possible to achieve such a goal or any worthwhile goal without having to follow strict discipline ? ln this material world, one is inevitably faced with many challenges. Is it possible to meet them without strict discipline of one's mind, which also entails toleration. We meet many failures in our lives in spite of our best efforts. Can we raise ourselves up without a strong mind ? Is there an easier alternative ? Many of us are tempted to feel sorry for ourselves and seek sympathy from others which does not help our cause. A strong-minded person makes an effort to lift himself up.
Then there are many temptations. Only a disciplined person can resist temptations which are harmful. Many a times we are forced to work with or deal with persons whom we don't like. Only a person who is disciplined can manage successfully in such situations, as he does not let his emotions rule him. One always needs to remind oneself that whatever opinion one may have about oneself, one is bound to be ignorant about many things and one needs to get directions from others. Only a controlled person can do that.
A disciplined person accepts that he is only a small cog in a giant wheel and he must cooperate with others and work with them. An uncontrolled mind forces one to think otherwise, that is, he is the centre of universe and everyone should fall in line. Such persons, always swimming against the current, are mostly struggling. Anger, greed and lust, all related to one's mind, are one’s worst enemies. Lord Krishna declares in the Bhagavad Geeta : “There are three gates leading to hell - lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul" (16.21).
Discipline is a great quality for one to possess. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-Geeta : "One whose mind is controlled and who strives by appropriate means, is assured of success" (6.36). How can one achieve such a discipline ? Lord Krishna says : “He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate most material pains by practicing this discipline” ( 6.17). Discipline is best achieved by a humble attitude, will to learn and a serving mentality. Too much of enjoying propensity, pride in being very knowledgeable and controlling tendency spoils it.