What Is Mind?
"He who knows the receptacle (Ayatana) verily becomes the receptacle of his people. Mind is verily the receptacle (of all our knowledge)." (Chhandogya Upanishad, V-i-5)
That which separates you from God is mind. The wall that stands between you and God is mind. Pull the wall down through Om-Chintana or devotion and you will come face to face with God.
The Mind-a Mystery
The vast majority of men know not the existence of the mind and its operations. Even the so-called educated persons know very little of the mind subjectively or of its nature and operations. They have only heard of a mind.
Western psychologists know something.
Western doctors know only a fragment of mind. The afferent nerves bring the sensations from the periphery or extremities of the spinal cord. The sensations then pass to the medulla oblongata at the back of the head, where the fibres decussate. From there, they pass on to the superior frontal gyrus or superior frontal convolution of the brain in the forehead, the supposed seat of the intellect or mind. The mind feels the sensations and sends motor impulses through the afferent nerves to the extremities-hands, legs, etc. It is a brain-function only for them. Mind, according to them, is only an excretion of the brain, like bile from liver. The doctors are still groping in utter darkness. Their minds need drastic flushing for the entry of Hindu philosophical ideas.
It is only the Yogins and those who practise meditation and introspection that know the existence of the mind, its nature, ways and subtle workings. They know also the various methods of subduing the mind.
Mind is one of the Ashta-Prakritis. "Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, reason and egoism-these constitute the eightfold division of My Nature" (Gita, VII-4).
Mind is nothing but Atma-Sakti. It is brain that wants rest (sleep), but not the mind. A Yogi who has controlled the mind never sleeps. He gets pure rest from meditation itself.
How The Mind Originated
Mind is Atma-Sakti. It is through mind that Brahman manifests Himself as the differentiated universe with heterogeneous objects. Brahma thought, "There, indeed, are the worlds; I shall create the protectors of the worlds." He gathered the Purusha (Hiranyagarbha) from out of the waters only and fashioned him. He heated him by the heat of meditation. When he was thus heated, his heart burst out. From the heart, the mind came; from the mind the moon, the presiding deity of the mind. (Heart is the seat of the mind; so, the mind came out when the heart burst out. In Samadhi, the mind goes to its original seat, i.e., heart. In sleep also, it rests in the heart with a veil of ignorance between it and Brahman) (Aitareya Upanishad, 1-3-4).
Cosmic Mind And Individual Mind
Hiranyagarbha, otherwise known as Karya Brahman and Sambhuti, is cosmic mind. He is the sum total (Samashti) of all the minds. The individual mind is connected with the cosmic mind. Cosmic mind, Hiranyagarbha, superconscious mind, infinite mind, universal mind are synonymous terms. Different authors have used different terms. Do not be puzzled. Do not be confused. It is Sabda-bheda only.
Hiranyagarbha is cosmic Prana also. He is the Sutratman (thread-like Self). He represents the electric, cosmic, power-house. The different Jivas represent the different, small bulbs. Electricity from the power-house flows through the insulated copper wires into the bulbs. Similarly, the power from Hiranyagarbha flows into the Jivas.
The mind, being very subtle, is in close apposition or contact with other minds, though the human skull intervenes between them. As mind evolves, you come into conscious relation with the mental currents, with the minds of others- near and distant, living and dead. The individual mind of A, although separated from the mind-substance used by other individuals, B, C, D, E, X, Y, etc., by a thin wall of very finest kind of matter, is really in touch with the other apparently separated minds and with the universal mind of which it forms a part.
If A is a friend of B, A's mind is connected with B's mind. The minds of friends, relatives, brothers of A are attached to A's mind. Several minds are similarly linked to B's mind also. The minds of those who are attached to A's mind are, therefore, connected, in turn, with the minds of those who are hanging on B's mind. In this manner, one mind is in touch with all minds in the whole world. This is the Vibhu theory of mind of Raja Yoga.
Mind In Sankhya Philosophy
In Sankhya philosophy, Mahat is the term used to denote "cosmic mind" or "universal mind." It is the first principle that is derived from Avyakta. It is the first principle that is manifested out of the unmanifested Avyakta. The wheel of the bullock-cart rests on the spokes. The spokes rest on the nave. Even so, the mind rests on Prakriti and Prakriti rests on Brahman.
From Mahat comes Ahankara. From Sattvic Ahankara comes mind; from Rajasic Ahankara comes Prana; from Tamasic Ahankara, Tanmatras; from Tanmatras, gross elements; from gross elements, the gross universe. Mind is no other than Ahankara, the idea of 'I'. It is, indeed, difficult to eschew this idea of 'I'. Mind always attaches itself to something objective (Sthula). It cannot stand by itself. It is only this mind that asserts itself as 'I' in this body.
The idea of 'I' is the seed of the tree of mind. The sprout which first springs up from this seed of Ahankara is Buddhi. From this sprout, the ramifying branches called Sankalpas have their origin.
Linga Sarira And Antavaha Sarira
Mind is the most important Tattva of Linga Sarira. Linga Sarira is the astral body or Sukshma Sarira that is linked to the physical body through physical Prana. It separates itself at death from the physical body and travels to Svarga or heaven. It is this body that does Avagamana (coming and going). This body melts in Videha Mukti (disembodied salvation).
There is a difference between Linga Sarira and Antarvaha Sarira. Linga Sarira is astral body with seventeen Tattvas, viz., five Karma-Indriyas, five Jnana-Indriyas, five Pranas, Mind and Buddhi. Antarvaha Sarira is very pure. It is full of Sattva. It is free from Rajas and Tamas. It is with this body that a Yogi passes from one body to another (Parakaya-Pravesa). Lila, through the grace of Sarasvati, came out of the physical body and travelled to higher worlds with this Antarvaha Sarira. You will find this in the Yogavasishtha. Sri Sankaracharya, Raja Vikramaditya, Hastamalaka and Tirumular had Antarvaha Sarira. With the help of this special kind of pure body, they passed into the bodies of other persons. A Yogi with Antarvaha Sarira has Sat-Sankalpa or Suddha Sankalpa.
Mind Is Subtle Matter
Mind is not a gross thing, visible and tangible. Its existence is nowhere seen. Its magnitude cannot be measured. It does not require a space in which to exist.
Mind and matter are two aspects as subject and object of one and the same all-full Brahman, who is neither and yet includes both. Mind precedes matter. This is Vedantic theory. Matter precedes mind. This is scientific theory.
Mind can be said to be immaterial only in the sense that it has not the characteristics of ponderable matter. It is not, however, immaterial in the sense that Brahman (Pure Spirit) as such is. Mind is the subtle form of matter and hence the prompter of the body. Mind is made up of subtle, Sattvic, Apanchikrita (non-quintuplicated) Tanmatric matter. Mind is all electricity. According to the Chhandogya Upanishad, mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of food.
Mind is material. Mind is subtle matter. This discrimination is made on the principle that the soul is the only source of intelligence; it is self-evident; it shines by its own light. But the organs (mind and senses) derive their principle of activity and life from the soul. By themselves, they are lifeless. Hence the soul is always a subject and never an object. Manas can be an object of the soul. And it is a cardinal principle of Vedanta that that which is an object for a subject is non-intelligent (Jada). Even the principle of self-consciousness (Aham Pratyak-Vishayatva) or Ahankara is non-intelligent; it does not exist by its own light. It is the object of apperception to the soul.
The Mental Body
Just as the physical body is composed of solid, liquid and gaseous matter, so also the mind is made up of subtle matter of various grades of density with different rates of vibration. A Raja Yogi penetrates through different layers of mind by intense Sadhana.
The mental body varies much in different people. It is composed of coarse or finer matter, according to the needs of the more or less unfolded consciousness connected with it. In the educated, it is active and well-defined; in the undeveloped, it is cloudy and ill-defined.
There are several zones or slices in the mental body just as there are various compartments in the brain for particular types of thought. During intense anger, the whole mind is suffused with the black hue of malice and ill-will, which expresses itself in coils of thunderous blackness, from which fiery arrows of anger dart forth, seeking to injure the one for which the anger is felt.
Types Of Mind
Every man has a mental world of his own. Every man entirely differs from another man in mode of thinking, temperament, taste, mentality, physical characteristics, etc. Physically also a man differs from another man, although there might be slight resemblance. Observe carefully the nose, the ears, the lips, the eyes, the eyebrows, the arrangement of teeth, the shoulders, hands, fingers, toes, look, voice, gait, way of talking, etc., of different men. You will find vast differences between any two persons. Even the lines of the palm will differ. No two leaves are alike. Variety is the beauty of creation.
There are various types of mind. The Bengali type of mind is emotional and fit for devotion and art. The Madrasi type of mind is intellectual and clever in Mathematics. The Punjabi type of mind and Maharashtra type of mind are chivalrous. Bengal has produced emotional saints, Lord Gouranga or Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Deva, etc. Madras has produced intellectual philosophers like Sri Sankara and Sri Ramanuja. Punjab has produced Guru Nanak, Guru Govind Singh, etc. The Sadhana and path of Yoga vary according to the type of mind, temperament and capacity. Tastes also differ. The sight of a fish brings excessive joy to a Bengali. The sight of tamarind and chillies excites the glosso-pharyngeal nerve of a Madrasi. The sight of a Palmyra fruit excites the Jaffna Tamil of Ceylon and brings excessive joy. The sight of meat brings a peculiar joy to a meat-eater. Is this not a mystery that an object lies outside and saliva appears in the tongue at the sight of it? Because you have this experience daily in everyday life, you do not attach much importance to it. Mind is very mysterious. So is Maya, too.
Even an infinitely superior mind is yet a mind and of the same mould as any man's.
Size Of The Mental Body
Mind is atomic (Anu) according to the Nyaya School; is all-pervading (Vibhu) according to the Raja Yoga School of Maharshi Patanjali; is of middling size (same size as that of the body) according to the Vedantic School.
Mind has got aura (mental aura or psychic aura). Aura is Tejas, brilliance or halo that emanates from the mind. The aura of those who have developed their minds is extremely effulgent. It can travel long distances and affect in a beneficial manner a large number of persons who come under its influence. The spiritual aura is more powerful than either the psychic or Pranic aura.
Influence Of Strong Mind Over Weak Minds
A strong mind has influence over weak minds. A hypnotist with a strong mind hypnotises a whole bunch or circle of boys of weak minds.
There are those among us who are much more sensitively organised than others. As an organism, their bodies are more finely and more sensitively constructed. These, generally speaking, are people who are always more or less affected by the mentalities of others with whom they come in contact, in whose company they are.
He who has purified his mind becomes a centre of force. All the lesser, impure, weak minds are unconsciously drawn towards the purified, greater mind, because they derive peace, power and strength from the greater, purified mind.
Mark the influence of a highly developed mind over a less developed mind. It is impossible to describe what it is like to be in the presence of a Master or developed adept. To sit in his presence, though he hardly speaks a word, is to feel a thrilling sensation so much as to feel new inspirations touching one mentally. It will be an extraordinary experience.
If you want to drink water at a tap, you will have to bend your body. Even so, a lower mind will have to bend (to be humble) before a developed mind if it longs to imbibe its virtues. The thought itself must be calm and unruffled. Then only you can draw inspirations. In such conditions only benign influences can be thrown down into the lower mind from the higher. In such calm, mental states, you can hold communion with God. Planning, angry and depressed moods-all disturb the mind and act as stumbling blocks to God-realisation.
Mind Is Ever Changing
Mind is nothing but a collection of Samskaras. It is nothing but a bundle of habits. It is nothing but a collection of desires arising from contact with different objects. It is also a collection of feelings aroused by worldly botherations. It is a collection of ideas gathered from different objects. Now, these desires, ideas and feelings constantly change. Some of the old desires and feelings are constantly departing from their storehouse, the mind, and new ones are replacing them.
This constant change does not in any way interfere with the harmony of mental operations. Only some of the old desires, ideas and feelings depart. Those that remain work in healthy co-operation and concord with the new arrivals. The new arrivals are strongly magnetised by the old ones. They both work in harmony and this harmony sustains the identity of the mental existence.
Mind is not only made daily, but always made. Every minute, it changes its colours and shape like a chameleon. It is very Chanchala (wavering) and Asthira (unsteady)-(Gita, VI, 26). Mind is constantly changing. You are gaining new experiences daily. Your beliefs and conscience of 1932 and the faculty which judges right from wrong will change in 1942. The mind evolves through experience. The world is the best teacher or Guru.
According to the state of his knowledge, man's conscience is built up and changes from time to time with the correction of his views, in the light of further knowledge gained subsequently. Conscience is one's own convictions arrived at either instinctively or by reasoning. The conscience of a child or a savage is entirely different from the conscience of a fully grown civilised man and, even amongst civilised men, knowledge varies so much that their consciences direct different lines of conduct. The conscience of a Sattvic man considerably differs from that of a Rajasic man. The conscience of a Sattvic man is very, very clean and pure.
Fourfold Mind Or Antahkarana Chatushtaya
Antahkarana is a term used by the Vedantins to include mind, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahankara. When used in a broad sense, it means the internal instrument. 'Antah' means internal; 'Karana' means instrument. It is the inner instrument (as distinguished from the term Bahya Karana, outer instrument or the senses or Indriyas) through which you sense, perceive, think and reason out.
Ahankara is derived from Prithvi-Tanmatra. (Tanmatras are Sukshma Bhutas or subtle elements. The five gross elements are derived from the Tanmatras.) Chitta is derived from Jala-Tanmatra; Buddhi from Agni-Tanmatra; mind from Vayu-Tanmatra; heart from Akasa-Tanmatra.
Mind is Chetana (intelligent) when compared with the senses. It is Jada (non-intelligent) when compared with Buddhi. Sankhya Buddhi or Buddhi in Sankhya Philosophy is will and intellect combined. Some put Chitta under mind, Ahankara under Buddhi.
Manas, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahankara are only Vritti-bhedas or functional aspects of the mind. The Manas has all things for its objects and extends through the past, present and future; it is one only, but has various functions. You are a Judge when you exercise your judicial powers in the court. You are a cook when you work in the kitchen. You are a president of an association when you sit in the chair in that capacity. You are the same man, but you function differently and you are called by different names according to those different functions. Similarly, when the mind does Sankalpa-Vikalpa (will-thought and doubt), it is called Mind; when it discriminates and decides, it is Buddhi; when it self-arrogates, it is Ahankara; when it is the storehouse of Samskaras and seat of memory, it is Chitta; also when it does Dharana and Anusandhana.
Who gave coolness to water, warmth to fire, motion to air? These qualities are their very nature. Even so, mind has got its Svabhava of running towards objects, Buddhi of determining, Ahankara of self-assertion and self-identification, Chitta of thinking (Smriti) of those objects which are identified by Ahankara.
When the mind is at work, Buddhi and Ahankara work simultaneously along with the mind. Mind, Buddhi and Ahankara work in healthy co-operation. Mind makes Sankalpa-Vikalpa. It thinks whether a certain thing is good or bad. Buddhi comes for determination. It is Buddhi which discriminates the Vishaya (Nischyatmika, Vyavasayatmika).
The Svarupa of mind is thought only. Mind is Sankalpa-Vikalpatmaka. It is Vyakaranatmaka when it forwards the decisions of Buddhi, the messages from Buddhi, to the organs of action for execution. Mind selects, attends and rejects.
Functions Of Mind
Sensation, thought and volition are the threefold functions of the mind. Cognition, desire, volition are the three mental processes.
Mind has three states, viz., active, passive and neutral. Mind always wants variety and new sensations. It is disgusted with monotony.
Law of Association, Law of Continuity and Law of Relativity are the three principal laws of the mind.
These are the characteristics of the mind, viz., change (Parinama), activity (Cheshta), suppression (Nirodha), ideation in action (Sakti), physical life (Jivana), characterisation (Dharma).
Thinking, planning, feeling, knowing are the various activities that are going on in the mind. Sometimes you plan. Sometimes you feel. Sometimes you try to know. Sometimes you think seriously. Sometimes you will (volition). Volition brings all the mental faculties into play. You must be able to know by introspection what exactly is going on at different times in the mind.
Aspects Of Mind
Conscious mind or objective mind, subconscious mind or subjective mind (Chitta) and superconscious mind are three aspects of the mind. You see, hear and read with the objective mind.
Sensational mind, rational mind and intuitive mind are three aspects of mind according to another classification of Western philosophers.
Heart is the seat of four Tattvas-Prana, Mind, Ahankara and Atman. According to Vedanta, the seat of mind is the heart. Ajna Chakra, which consists of two lotuses and which is tentatively situated in the space between the two eyebrows, is the seat of mind according to the Hatha Yoga School.
Seat Of Mind
Mind has various faculties and centres and operates through corresponding physical centres in the brain. Mind, Buddhi and understanding are in the Linga Sarira; but they operate through corresponding centres in the physical brain. The brain is not mind as the Westerners think. Mind has its seat in the physical brain. It gains experiences of this physical universe through the vibrations of the brain.
A king, though he has complete sway over his whole territory, though the whole kingdom belongs to him, has got special places for his residence. He has got a splendid palace in the capital and another beautiful, palatial building in Mussoorie or Mount Abu for his stay in summer. Even so, the mind, though it is all-pervading throughout the body, has got three places to reside in during the three states-Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti. The seat of mind in deep sleep is heart. In dream, the seat of the mind is neck. In waking state, the seat of the mind is the right eye or Ajna Chakra. Just mark what you do in Alochana (deep thinking). You hold your finger in the chin, turn the neck to the right side, turn the gaze towards the space between the two eyebrows and then begin to think seriously on the problem in hand. This goes to show that the seat of the mind is the Ajna Chakra.
Mind Is Not Atman
In the West, the psychologists make a serious mistake in saying that consciousness is a function and attribute of the mind. It is Chit or Atman only that is Pure Consciousness Itself. Mind borrows its light from time to time from its source-Atman, the Light of lights or the Sun of suns and glitters temporarily like consciousness, like the golden gilt in brass. Mind borrows its light and power from Brahman, the source (Yoni), just as the iron-rod borrows its heat and effulgence from fire. Mind is Jada or non-intelligent, but appears to be intelligent by borrowing light from Brahman, just as water exposed to the sun borrows heat from the sun.
Mind can do only one thing at a time. It is finite (Parichhinna). It is Jada. It is the effect (Karya) of Sattva Guna. It is Vinasi (perishable). It is Chanchala (ever-fluctuating). It is a bundle of ideas, Samskaras, habits, impulses and emotions. It borrows light from the Adhishthana (the underlying substratum), Brahman. You can control the mind. The thinker is different from thought. There is no functioning of the mind in deep sleep. You always say, "My mind", as if mind is one of your instruments just like your walking-stick or umbrella. Therefore, mind is not the self-shining Atman.
Even in cases of delirium or in cases where there is paralysis of the mental functions, where a man loses his memory and other faculties partly or wholly, 'He' remains. The 'I' exists (Aham Asmi). The mind seems to be as much your property and outside of you as the limbs, the dress worn or the building you dwell in. Therefore, mind is different from 'I'.
Mind gropes in darkness. It forgets every moment. It is changing every second. If food is withdrawn for a couple of days, it cannot think properly. There is no functioning of the mind during deep sleep. It is full of impurities, Vasanas and Trishnas (cravings). It gets puzzled during anger. In fear, it trembles. In shock, it sinks. How can you take the mind, then, as the pure Self?
Manas is an organ of sensation and thought. This instrument must be under the control of someone who uses it. The Jiva or human soul is not the director of the mind, because we see that ordinary men cannot control their minds. They are simply swayed hither and thither by petty Raga-Dvesha, emotion and fear. Therefore, there must exist some other Being, who is Director of the mind. Who is that Being? He is the Manasah pati (Lord of mind), Antaryamin, Kutastha Brahman.
Just as you see the tree in front of you, there must be somebody to see and know what is going on in the mind of Jivas. That somebody is Kutastha. Kutastha is Brahman Himself. There is a tumbler in front of you. It cannot see itself. An instrument, eye and a seer are needed. If you say that the tumbler can see itself, then there will be Karmakartritva-bhava-virodha. It is a logical absurdity. Therefore, you have to admit that there is a silent Sakshi of the mind, who is eternal, unchanging, eternal knower, always the knowing subject. He is witnessing the motives and modifications that arise in the minds of Jivas.
Isvara or Saguna Brahman (Personal God) has full consciousness of Nirguna Brahman. That is His Svarupa- Lakshana. At the same time, he has full cosmic consciousness. He knows what is going on in every mind.
Consciousness per se or the Absolute Consciousness is common in all. This pure consciousness is one. It is Kutastha Chaitanya. All the workings of the mind, all modifications that arise in the minds of all are presented to the one common consciousness which is the witness of the mental Vrittis. Even though consciousness is one, when Rama is stung by a scorpion, only Rama feels and not his friend Krishna who is standing near him. Antahkarana or mind is different in every individual. It is Antahkarana that limits a man who is, in reality, identical with the Brahman or Supreme Soul! This identity is realised when the Avarana or veil of ignorance is removed.
The mind is an object of perception for Brahman. Atman directly cognises all the phenomena of the mind, viz., desire, imagination, doubt, belief, disbelief, shame, intelligence, fear, etc. He remains Himself quite unattached and unaffected like the omnipresent ether, like the crystal which reflects different coloured objects, like the sun.
Atman-the Source For The Mind
Manas, which expands through Sankalpas and Vikalpas, is generated with Brahman as its cause. The form which the endless Atman (Supreme Spirit) assumes through Sankalpa is Manas (mind). It first turned its back to discrimination and hence entangled itself in the folds of Vasanas of objects. The underlying substratum, Adhishthana of the mind, the source or basis for mind is Atman or Brahman or Absolute Conscious- ness. The Power of powers who gives power to the mind, the Light of lights who sheds light on the mind, the Seer of seers who witnesses the motives of and movements in the mind, the Support of supports on which the mind rests in sleep is BRAHMAN.
"Om Keneshitam Patati Preshitam Manah-Willed and directed by whom does the mind go towards its desired objects?" (Kenopanishad). To that Power of powers I bow with folded hands. That Power of powers I am (Soham, Sivoham).
That Secondless Supreme Being who resides in the chambers of your hearts as Antaryamin or Inner Ruler or Controller or Sutradhara or Sakshi (silent Witness), Antaratman (Inner Self), who has no beginning, middle or end, who is the source of this world, the Vedas, body, mind, Indriyas and Prana, who is all-pervading, who is unchanging, who is One Homogeneous Essence (Ekarasa), who exists in the past, present and future, who is self-existent (Svayambhu), who is independent (Svatantra) and who is self-luminous (Svayam- jyotis) is God or Atman or Brahman or Purusha or Chaitanya or Bhagavan or Purushottama.
During dream, you are splendid, effulgent light. Where does it come from? From Atman. The light that is present in the dream clearly indicates that Atman is self-luminous (Svayamjyotis, Svaprakasha).
God is Truth. God is Love. God is Light of lights. God is Peace. God is Knowledge. God is the embodiment of Bliss. God is Sat-Chit-Ananda-Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and Bliss Absolute. God is Eternity. God is Immortality. God is Infinity. God is Avinasi, Supreme Vastu. God is All-pervading Essence or Substance. God is the only Sara Vastu. God is Infinite Beauty.
Bhagavan is a synonymous term for God. He who has the six attributes, viz., Jnana (wisdom), Vairagya (dispassion), Yasas (fame), Aisvarya (divine powers), Sri (wealth) and Dharma (righteousness) in their fullest measure is Bhagavan.
According to Vayu Purana, "Omniscience, satisfaction, eternal knowledge, independence, constant presence of power, infinity of power-these six are said to be the aspects (Angas) of the Great Lord."
Sarvajnatva (omniscience, knowledge of all the worlds, their Jivas and their Karmas), Sarvesvaratva (supreme rulership of all, the power of dispensing the fruits of all Jivas), Sarvantaryamitva (inner control of all names and forms and all Indriyas and minds), Sarvakaranatva (causality for the creation, preservation and destruction of all), Sarvaniyantritva (doing everything without failure of Niyama), Sarvakartritva (the doing of all actions), Sarvasaktimatva (omnipotence), Svatantratva (absolute independence) are the eight attributes of God.
"Knowledge, desireless, power of control, purificatory action, truth, forgiveness, endurance, creation, the Knowledge of the Self, and being the substratum of all activities-these ten unchangeable (Avyaya) qualities always live in the Great Source of all Good."
Srishti (creation), Sthiti (preservation), Samhara (destruction), Tirodhana (veiling) and Anugraha (blessing) are the five kinds of action (Panchakrityas) of God.
God is the Niyamaka (ruler), Antaryamin (knower of the heart) and Preraka (prompter) also. He helps the Sadhakas in a variety of ways, viz., through dreams, the Inner Voice, by talking through the mouths of others in daily conversations and advice from friends.
Nitya Sukha (eternal bliss), Parama Santi (supreme peace), Nitya Tripti (eternal satisfaction), infinite happiness, Akhanda Sukha (unbroken joy) can be had only in God. Attain this God-consciousness or Self-realisation or Darshana of God through Ananya Bhakti or Vichara. This is the goal of life. This is your highest duty. All other duties are secondary.
The essence of Indriyas is the mind; the essence of mind is Buddhi; the essence of Buddhi is Ahankara; the essence of Ahankara is Jiva (the individual soul). Brahman or Suddha Chaitanya is the womb or Yoni or Adhishthana or substratum for everything. He is the Sakshi or witness of everything.
Atman is the proprietor of a big firm, this mental factory. Buddhi is the manager. Mind is the head clerk. The head clerk has got two functions to perform. He gets direct orders from the manager and he has to supervise the workmen also. Even so, the mind has got two functions. It has connections with the Buddhi, the manager and Karma-Indriyas, the workers.
Mind is more internal than speech. Buddhi (intellect) is more internal than the mind. Ahankara is more internal than Buddhi. Jiva Chaitanya (Abhasa, reflected intelligence) is more internal than Ahankara. Atman or Kutastha is more internal than the Jiva Chaitanya. There is nothing internal to Atman. It is Paripurna (All-Full).
When, by analysing your own mind, you come face to face with something which is never destroyed, something which is by its own nature eternally pure, perfect, self-luminous and unchanging, you will no longer be miserable, no more unhappy.
One Essence only exists. It is One without a second (Ekameva Advitiyam Brahma). It is Ananta, spotless, ever pure and Paripurna. Meditate upon It without fluctuation of mind and free yourself from all pains with true calmness of mind. Being quite unreal, Ahankara will perish through efforts.
Proof For The Existence Of Mind
What is the nature of the Atman or Brahman? It is Sat-Chit-Ananda. Atman is Vyapaka. Then, what is it that limits the individual soul's vision? It is only mind. This fact proves the existence of an internal instrument, the mind.
In the commentary on the Brihadaranyaka, Sri Sankara gives two proofs of the existence of Manas.
One is that it is Manas which renders all knowledge through senses possible. It is called Sarva Karma Vishaya Yoga. Sense-knowledge is the product of the connection between the mind and the sensory organs. That is why there is no simultaneity of the knowledge of the impressions received through the various sensory organs. People say, "My mind was elsewhere. I did not see that." The impossibility of this simultaneity of knowledge through various sensory organs is an indication of the existence of the mind.
The soul is a constant factor. Between the Atman and the organs of senses, a connecting link is necessary. We have to acknowledge the existence of an internal organ (Mind), through whose attention and non-attention, perception takes place. If we do not admit the internal organ, there would result either perpetual perception or perpetual non-perception-the former when there is a conjunction of Atman, the sense (Indriya) and the object (Vishaya), the three constituting the instruments of perception. If, on the conjunction of these three causes, the effect did not follow, there would take place perpetual non-perception. But, neither is the case. We have, therefore, to acknowledge the existence of an internal organ on whose attention (Avadhana) and non-attention (Anavadhana) perception and non-perception take place. This is the argument for the existence of Antahkarana or mind.
The other proof is the capacity for judgment which we possess. Somebody whom we cannot see touches us; and, we infer the person. Now, mere touch cannot make us aware of this fact. The faculty by which we make such an inference is Manas.
Special Knowledge That Differentiates
Man From Animal
An animal is not able to "know itself." It has only physical consciousness. It has no self-consciousness. An animal feels the discomfort and pain. It is not able to analyse its own mental states. A man not only "knows", but he "knows that he knows." This is either mental consciousness or self-consciousness. The man not only "feels" or "senses" things, but he has words to express his feelings and sensations. He can vividly describe his feelings. He may think of himself as experiencing them. He can separate himself from the sensation of feeling. He is able to think, "I feel; I hear; I see; I smell; I taste; I desire; I act; I enjoy,"
"I know this book." "I know also that I know this book." This is self-consciousness peculiar to human beings only.
In the Police Station, the Chaprasi (peon) strikes ten at the gate. The sound vibrates and passes into the ears of men and animals. The animals also hear ten times the beating. But the man counts them and knows through his Buddhi, "Now it is ten o'clock." He has got this Visesha Jnana (special knowledge); whereas animals have got Samanya Jnana (ordinary knowledge). It is this special knowledge that differentiates a man from an animal. Ahara (food), Nidra (sleep), Bhaya (fear) and Maithuna (copulation) are common to both. Through this Visesha Jnana he knows right from wrong, good from bad, what to do (Kartavya) and what not to do (Akartavya).
The Four Sources Of Knowledge
Inspiration, revelation, insight, intuition, ecstasy, divine sight and Paramananda state are the seven planes of knowledge. There are four sources of knowledge, viz., instinct, reason, intuition and super-intuition or Brahma-Jnana.
When an ant crawls in your right arm, the left arm automatically moves towards the right arm to drive away the ant. The mind does not reason there. When you see a scorpion in front of your leg, you withdraw your leg automatically. This is termed instinctive or automatic movement. As you cross a street, how instinctively you move your body to save yourself from the cars! There is no Vritti in such mechanical movement.
Instinct is found in animals and birds. In birds, the ego does not interfere with the free divine flow and divine play. Hence the work done by them through their instincts is more perfect than that done by human beings. Have you not noticed the excellent work done by birds in their building of wonderful nests?
Reason is higher than instinct and is found only in human beings. It collects facts, generalises, reasons out from cause to effect, from effect to cause (a priori and a posteriori methods of reasoning), from premises to conclusions, from propositions to proofs. It concludes, decides and comes to judgment. It takes you safely to the door of intuition and leaves you there.
Belief, reasoning, knowledge and faith are the four important psychic processes. First you have belief in a doctor. You go to him for diagnosis and treatment. He makes a thorough examination and then prescribes certain medicines. You take them. You reason out: "Such and such is the disease. The doctor has given me Iron and Iodide. Iron will improve my blood. The Iodide will stimulate the lymphatics and absorb the exudation and growth in the liver. So I should take it." Then the disease is cured, by a course of these drugs, in a month. Then you get knowledge of and perfect faith in the efficacy of the medicine and the proficiency of the doctor. Then you recommend to your friends this doctor and his drugs.
Intuition is spiritual Anubhava. Knowledge through functioning of Karana-Sarira is intuition. Sri Aurobindo calls it super-mind or supramental consciousness. There is direct perception of truth (Pratyaksha) or immediate knowledge through Samadhi. You know things by a flash. Professor Bergson preached about intuition in France to make the people understand that there is another higher source of knowledge than intellect. In intuition, there is no reasoning process at all. It is Pratyaksha. Intuition transcends reason, but does not contradict it. Intellect takes a man to the door of intuition and returns back. Intuition is Divyadrishti. It is Jnana-Chakshus. Spiritual flashes and glimpses of truth come through intuition. Inspiration, revelation, spiritual insight come through intuition.
Atma-Jnana is above intuition. It transcends the Karana-Sarira. It is the highest form of Knowledge. It is the only Reality.
Mind And Body
Body, The Mould For Mind's Enjoyment
The body with its organs is no other than the mind. The physical body is the outward manifestation of the mind. Mind is the subtle form of this physical body. The mind contemplating upon the body becomes the body itself and then, enmeshed in it, is afflicted by it. All the bodies have their seat in the mind only. Should the mind be paralysed, then the body will not evince our intelligence. Without water, can a garden exist? It is the mind which transacts all business and is the highest of the bodies. Mental actions are the real actions. The mind performs all actions very speedily in the Linga Sarira and fluctuates thereby. But, the gross body knows not anything and is inert. Even should this gross body be dissolved, the mind will assume fresh bodies to its liking very quickly. This physical body is the mould, as it were, made by the mind for its own enjoyment, for its outpouring of its energy and thereby gaining different experiences of this world through the five avenues or channels of knowledge, the five Jnana-Indriyas (organs of knowledge or perception).
Thoughts Make The Body
The actions of the mind alone are indeed actions; not so much those of the body. The body is really our thoughts, moods, convictions and emotions objectivised, made visible to the naked eyes. It is a point worthy to note with care that every cell in the body suffers or grows, receives a life-impulse or a death-impulse, from every thought that enters the mind, for you tend to grow into the image of that which you think about most.
When the mind is turned to a particular thought and dwells on it, a definite vibration of matter is set up and often more of this vibration is caused, the more does it tend to repeat itself to become a habit, to become automatic. The body follows the mind and imitates its changes. If you concentrate your thought, the eyes become fixed.
Every change in thought makes a vibration in your mental body and this, when transmitted to the physical body, causes activity in the nervous matter of your brain. This activity in the nervous cells causes many electrical and chemical changes in them. It is thought-activity which causes these changes.
Face: An Index Of Mind
Mind is the subtle form of this physical body. The physical body is the outward manifestation of the mind. So when the mind is rough, the body is rough too. As a man of rough appearance generally cannot invoke love and mercy of others, so a rough-minded man cannot invoke love and mercy of anybody. Mind very conspicuously reflects on the face its various states which a man of intelligence can very easily read. Face is an index of the mind, just as the tongue is an index of the stomach.
The body follows the mind. If the mind thinks of falling from a height, the body prepares itself immediately and shows external signs. Fear, anxiety, grief, cheerfulness, hilarity, anger-all produce their various impressions on the face.
The eyes which represent the windows of the soul bespeak of the condition and state of the mind. There is a telegraphic instrument in the eyes to transmit the messages or thoughts of treachery, cunningness, fraud, pure love, compassion, devotion, depression, gloom, hatred, cheerfulness, peace, harmony, health, power, strength and beauty.
If you have the faculty to read the eyes of others, you can read the mind at once. You can read the uppermost thought or dominant thought of a man if you are careful to mark the signs in his face, conversation and behaviour. It needs a little pluck, acumen, training, intelligence and experience.
Your thoughts, sentiments, modes and emotions produce their strong impressions on the face. The face is like an advertisement board wherein is advertised what is going on inside the mind. In face, you can hardly hide your thoughts. You may foolishly think that you have kept up your thoughts in secret. Thoughts of lust, greed, jealousy, anger, revenge, hatred, etc., at once produce their deep impressions on your face. The face is a faithful recorder and a sensitive registering apparatus to register and record all the thoughts that are running in your mind. The face is a polished mirror to indicate the nature of the mind and its contents at a particular time.
He who thinks that he can hide his thoughts is a dunce of the first water. His position is like that of the ostrich which, when chased by the hunters, hides its head underneath the sand and imagines that it cannot be seen by anyone.
Your face is like a gramophone record or plate. Whatever you think is at once written on your face. Every vicious thought serves as a chisel or needle to write down the thoughts on your countenance. Your faces are covered with the scars and wounds which are made by the vicious thoughts of hatred, anger, lust, jealousy, revenge, etc. From the nature of the scar in your face, I can at once read your state of mind. I can at once diagnose your disease of the mind.
Mutual Influence Between Mind And Body
The mind is intimately connected with the body. The mind acts upon the body and the body reacts upon the mind. Mind has influence over the body. A pure, healthy mind means a healthy body. Grief in the mind weakens the body. Body influences the mind also in its turn. If the body is strong and healthy, the mind also becomes healthy and strong. If the body is sick, the mind also becomes sick. A pain in the stomach causes depression in the mind.
Bad Thoughts, The Primary Cause Of Disease
The primary cause of diseases which afflict the body is bad thoughts. Whatever you hold in your mind will be produced in the physical body. Any ill-feeling or bitterness towards another person will at once affect the body and produce some kind of disease in the body. Intense passion, hatred, longstanding bitter jealousy, corroding anxiety, fits of hot temper actually destroy the cells of the body and induce disease of the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen and stomach. Violent fits of hot temper do serious damage to the brain cells, throw poisonous chemical products into the blood, produce general shock and depression and suppress the secretion of gastric juice, bile and other digestive juices in the alimentary canal, drain away your energy, vitality, induce premature old age and shorten life.
When the mind is agitated, then this body also is agitated. Wherever the body goes, the mind follows. When both the body and mind are agitated, the Prana flows in a wrong direction. Instead of pervading the whole body steadily and equally, it will vibrate at an unequal rate (unrhythmically). Then the food is not digested properly. Diseases originate. If the primary cause is removed, then all diseases will disappear.
The pains that afflict the physical body are called secondary diseases, whilst the Vasanas that affect the mind are termed mental or primary diseases. If bad thoughts are destroyed, all bodily diseases will vanish. Purity of mind means healthy body. Therefore, be careful in your thinking, in the selection of your thoughts. Always entertain noble, sublime, loving and kind thoughts. You will have harmony, health and beauty.
A Lamentable Practice
It is lamentable, indeed, to note that most of the doctors in the world, particularly the allopaths, do more harm than good to their patients. They exaggerate the nature of the disease to their patients. They fill their minds with imaginary fears of all sorts. They do not know the power of suggestions and their influences on the minds of their patients. As greed is ingrained in their minds, as the desire to become rich is deep-rooted in their minds, they try their level best to extract from their patients as much money as they can. If they say to their patients, "This disease is nothing. I will make you all right within a couple of hours," who is going to pay them amply? They give wrong suggestions to their patients: "This is a terrible disease. This is an incurable disease. A dangerous poison, a dangerous microbe is lurking in your lungs." The poor patient spends sleepless nights on account of imaginary fear, on account of wrong suggestion given by the doctor. Every moment he thinks: "I may die at any moment. The doctor has said that my disease is dangerous and incurable." He drags a cheerless existence. The worry and anxiety and fear destroy millions of red blood-corpuscles daily. The doctor gives the wrong suggestions to glorify his skill, dexterity in the profession also.
The Root Of All Evils
The erroneous imagination that you are the body is the root of all evils. Through wrong thinking, you identify yourself with the body. Dehadhyasa arises. You are attached to the body. This is Abhimana. Then, Mamata (mineness) arises. You identify yourself with your wife, children, house, etc. It is identification or attachment that brings about bondage, misery and pain. You never wept when millions of Germans died in the war. Why? Because, there was no identification and attachment. But, you weep profusely when your son dies, on account of attachment. The word 'My' produces wonderful influence in the mind. Note the difference in effects produced in the mind when you hear the two sentences: 'Horse is dead' and 'My horse is dead.'
Pain Is In Mind Only
Pain is evident so long as you connect yourself with the mind. There is no pain in sleep. If there is an inflammatory swelling on your back with throbbing pain, you do not experience any pain at night when you are asleep. Only when the mind is connected with the diseased part through nerves and thinking, you begin to experience pain. There is no pain when the mind is disconnected from the body by the administration of chloroform. During moments of great joy, the severe pain entirely ceases, as the mind is taken away from the body, from the seat of the pain. If you can consciously withdraw the mind from the diseased part by concentrating it on God or any other attractive object, you will not experience any pain even when you are wide awake. If you have a powerful will and strong Titiksha (power of endurance), then also you will not experience any pain. By constant thinking of any trouble or disease, you only augment your pain and suffering. Pain is in mind. Atman or spirit is Anandasvarupa (full of bliss).
Conquer The Mind To Control The Body
With the majority of mankind, the mind is greatly under the control of the body. Their minds being very little developed, they live on Annamaya Kosha mostly. Develop the Vijnanamaya Kosha and, through Vijnanamaya Kosha (Buddhi), control the Manomaya Kosha (mind). The Vijnanamaya kosha is developed by abstract thinking and reasoning, by systematic meditation, Brahma-Chintana, study of the Upanishads, Yogavasishtha and Brahma Sutras.
When you have controlled the mind, you have perfect control over the body. The body is only a shadow of the mind. It is the mould prepared by the mind for its expression. The body becomes your slave when you have conquered the mind.
Mind, Prana And Kundalini
Prana-the Outer Coat Of Mind
There are two principal Tattvas in the universe, viz., mind and Prana. Wherever there is Prana, there is mind also. Even in the external movement of breath beyond the nose, the mind is mixed with the external breath. Prana (energy) is the outer overcoat for the mind. Prana digests the food, turns it into chyle and blood and sends it to the brain and mind. The mind is then able to think and do Brahma-Vichara (enquiry into Brahman). The life of the mind is kept up through the vibration of the subtle psychic Prana which gives rise to the formation of thought.
Prana is gross. Mind is subtle. Mind is formed out of the conglomerate Sattvic essence of the five Tanmatras; whereas, Prana is formed out of the sum total of Rajasic essence of the five Tanmatras. That is the reason why mind is more Sukshma than the Prana.
The Pranamaya Kosha (vital sheath) is more subtle than the physical body. It overlaps the Annamaya Kosha (physical sheath) and is more extensive than it. Manomaya Kosha is more subtle than the Pranamaya Kosha and more extensive than the vital sheath. You have to touch the body of another man to have a physical influence over him. Whereas you can stand at a distance and by mere 'passes' you can impart your Prana to him; because, Prana (vital) is more subtle than the body. You can influence a man mentally through thought even though he lives a thousand miles away from you, because mental force is more subtle than Prana.
Inter-Dependence Of Mind And Prana
Prana and mind stand to one another in the relationship of the supporter and the supported. Both these are only like the flower and its odour or a sesamum seed and the oil in it. If either of them is slain, then the other also will cease to exist. If the mind and Prana cease to exist, then thoughts will not arise at all. The destruction of both will confer Moksha on all.
Ekagrata (one-pointedness) and Nirodha (controlled state) are two Avasthas of the mind. Spanda (subtle or Sukshma) and Nirodha are two Avasthas of the Prana. When the mind becomes one-pointed, Spanda Avastha of the Prana comes by itself. If the mind is purified with true Sattva Guna, the Prana will be distributed freely throughout the body. The food will be digested thoroughly.
Mind, Prana And Virya
Mind, Prana and Virya (semen) are under one Sambandha (connection). If you can control any one of these three, the other two are controlled by themselves, quite easily. Hatha Yogins try to control the Prana. Raja Yogins try to control the mind. Jnana Yogins start their Sadhana with Buddhi and will.
Benefits Of Pranayama
By Pranayama (control of Prana or restraint of breath), you can also increase the mental energy and develop thought-control and thought-culture. This will help concentration and meditation. This will make the mind steady. This will remove Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inertia). This will burn the dross in the mind.
By Pranayama, the mind gradually moves from the gross to the subtle. It, therefore, exercises a wholesome check upon sexual irritation. When some evil thought disturbs your mind, at once take to Padmasana or Siddhasana and do Pranayama. The thought will leave you immediately.
The Superiority Of Prana Over Mind
The sight is more internal than speech as the sight generally informs without contradiction. Similarly, the hearing than the sight, as the eye may convey false impressions, e.g., the mother of pearl as silver, but the ear never hears a non-existing sound. Similarly, the ear only exercises its functions with the aid of the mind's attention and, similarly, the mind depends on the Prana or life. Prana is, therefore, Brahman, the Innermost of all.
"Forsooth, mind departed from the body. It returned after a year's absence and enquired of the organs: 'How did you survive my separation?' 'In the same way', replied the organs, 'in which an infant not possessing the power of reflection breathes through the agency of his respiratory organs, speaks through the organ of speech, sees by his eyes, hears by his ears.' Mind resumed its place. Then did mind say unto Prana, 'The quality of containing all, which belonged to me, is due to thee.' The function of mind belongs to Prana; from Prana or life proceed all." (Chhandogya Upanishad, V-xiv-15). This parable illustrates the superiority of life (Prana) over mind and other organs. In reality, there was no dispute of any kind.
Mind And Kundalini
Kundalini, the serpent-like coiled power that lies dormant with 3 coils with the face downwards in the Muladhara Chakra, the basal lotus at the end of the spinal column, is connected with Prana and Prana is connected with the mind.
Even a Vedantin (student of the path of Jnana) can get Jnana-Nishtha (superconscious state) only through the awakening of Kundalini Sakti. No superconscious state or Samadhi is possible without the awakening of this primordial energy, whether it is in Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga or Jnana Yoga.
Kundalini Sakti can only be aroused when the mind is actually free from passions and desires. Sakti-Chalana or Asvani Mudra, Tadana, Pracharana-all help in awakening the Kundalini. Mahabheda helps in taking the Kundalini higher up. When the Kundalini Sakti is awakened, the mind enters, along with Prana and Jiva, the Sushumna and all perceptions are in the mental space (Chidakasa). After Kundalini is awakened, Prana passes upwards through Sushumna or Brahma Nadi within the spinal cord, along with mind and Agni. The Yogin is freed from physical consciousness. You are shut out from the external objective world. As soon as Kundalini is awakened for the first time, a Yogin gets these six kinds of experiences which last for a short time, viz., Ananda (spiritual bliss), Kampana (tremor of various parts of the body), Udbhava (rising above the ground from his Asana), Ghurni (intoxication divine-the body moves in a circle), Nidra (sleep) and Murchha (fainting). After awakening the Kundalini, you will have to take it up to Sahasrara in the top of the head.
When this Kundalini moves from Chakra to Chakra (from centre to centre), layer after layer of the mind opens up. The Yogin experiences different kinds of bliss (Ananda) at each new centre. He gets different experiences also as well as different powers. He gets control over the five elements. He perceives the universe in its subtle or causal form. He gets full knowledge of the types of various kinds of the causal plane. When Kundalini reaches the Sahasrara Chakra, you are in the Chidakasa (knowledge space).
Mind And Food
Sattvasuddhau Dhruva Smritih
Smritilabhe Sarvagrantheenam Vipramokshah."
"When the food is pure, the whole nature becomes pure; when the nature becomes pure, the memory becomes firm; and when a man is in possession of a firm memory, all the ties are severed."
(Chhandogya Upanishad, VII-xxvi-2)
Mind Is Made Of Food
Mind is manufactured out of the food that we take. Subtlest part of food reaches upward to the heart and thence entering the arteries called the 'Hita', and thereby bringing into existence the aggregate of the organs of speech and being changed into the form of the mind, it increases the mind. And thus, the mind, being increased by food, is material and not eternal as held by the Vaiseshikas.
The Upanishadic philosophers believed that the mind depends upon the food for its formation. "The food that we take is transformed in three different ways: the gross or the heaviest part of it becomes the excrement; that of medium density is transformed into flesh and the finest part goes to form the mind." (Chhandogya Upanishad, VI-v-1) "Just as in the churning of curd, its fine particles rise up and are transformed into butter, so when food is consumed, the subtlest part rises up and is transformed into mind." (Chhandogya Upanishad, VI-vi-1 & 2). Later, even in the days of the Bhagavad-Gita, we find that the three different mental temperaments-the Sattvic, the Rajasic and the Tamasic-were supposed to be due to the three different kinds of food what we eat. (Bhagavad-Gita, XVII-8 & 10).
Quality Of Mind Depends Upon Quality Of Food
Food has a direct and intimate connection with the mind and plays a vital part in the make-up of the mind. Sattvic diet calms the mind. Rajasic diet excites the mind. Mark the difference in nature between a tiger which lives on flesh and a cow which lives on grass. Food exercises important influence on the mind. You see it clearly every day. It is very difficult to control the mind after a heavy, sumptuous, indigestible, rice meal. The mind runs, wanders and jumps like a monkey all the time. Alcohol causes tremendous excitement in the mind.
Food plays an important role in meditation. For purposes of meditation, the food must be light, Sattvic and nutritious. The body is Annamaya (made up of food). Bhairavi Chakra is in Annamaya Kosha. Bhairavi Chakra is Maya. Light Sattvic food, such as fruits, milk, etc., takes you to Vishnu Chakra and thence to Nirvikalpa state quite easily.
When the quality of the mind depends upon the quality of the food taken, it is natural to insist in the interest of the highest morality upon a kind of Sattvic regimen of diet for those aspirants who lead a contemplative life and householders who are attempting to lead a spiritual life in the world. It was because Narada had his impurity destroyed that the venerable Sanatkumara pointed out to him the way beyond darkness. The way which leads up beyond darkness, therefore, must be sought for in the purity of food, which involves in its train, the purity of mind.
Different foods produce different effects in different compartments of the brain. Spiced dishes, sour things, black gram, onions, garlic, tea, wine, fish, meat, mustard oil, etc., excite passions and emotions and should, therefore, be avoided. They should be particularly avoided by a Sadhaka. A Jijnasu (spiritual aspirant) should strictly give up meat, fish and alcoholic drinks as these make the mind coarse and produce excitement in the mind. Heavy food brings Tandri (drowsiness) and Alasya (laziness). Tea should be given up. It destroys Virya. Sugar must be taken in moderation. It is better if it is given up.
Food Items Helpful In Meditation
Milk, fruits, almonds, sugar-candy, butter, green oats, Bengal oats (Chenai) soaked in water overnight, bread, etc., are all helpful in meditation. Thed, a kind of Kandamula found in abundance in Brahmapuri, Vasishtha Guha and other parts of the Himalayas, is very Sattvic. It helps meditation. My friend and spiritual brother Swami Purushottamanandaji used to live on that for some days when he was at Vasishtha Guha, fourteen miles from the reputed Rishikesh. Sunthi-Sevana (taking powder of dried ginger) is very good for aspirants. It can be taken along with milk. It refreshes the mind and helps digestion. Yogins take it very often. Triphala water also is taken by Yogins. It removes constipation, cools the system and stops wet-dreams. Myrobalan or Haritaki (Harad of the yellow kind) can be chewed by Yogic practitioners very often. It preserves semen and checks nocturnal discharges. Potatoes boiled without salt or roasted in fire are very good.
A Note Of Caution
Evolution is better than revolution. Do not make sudden changes in anything, particularly in food. Let the change be gradual. The system should accommodate it without any hitch. Natura non facil saltum (nature never moves by leaps).
A Raja Yogin who wants to control the mind must be able to avoid the two extremes, viz., luxury and severe Tamasic Tapas. Too much fasting brings about extreme weakness. You cannot do any Sadhana. You cannot think. You cannot ratiocinate. Take any food that suits you. Do not make much fuss about it. Any food that is readily available and that agrees with your system is harmless.
When Food Can Be Dispensed With
Food is only a mass of energy. Water supplies energy to the body. Air also furnishes energy. You can live without food for very many days, but you cannot live without air even for some minutes. Oxygen is even more important. What is wanted to support the body is energy. If you can supply the energy from any other source, you can dispense with food entirely. Yogins keep up the body without food by drinking nectar. This nectar flows through a hole in the palate. It dribbles and nourishes the body. A Jnani can draw energy directly from his pure, irresistible will and support the body without food. If you know the process of drawing the energy from the cosmic energy or solar energy, you can maintain the body with this energy alone for any length of time and can dispense with food.
The Secret Of Madhukari Bhiksha
The mind is made out of the subtle essence of food. So it is attached to those persons from whom it receives the food. If you live with a friend for a couple of months and take food with him, your mind gets attached to that friend who feeds you. That is the reason why a Sannyasin lives on Madhukari Bhiksha from three to five houses, avoids attachment and travels from village to village. He is not allowed to stay for more than a day in a village during his Parivrajaka (wandering itinerant) life. The mind of a Paramahamsa who thus lives on alms is as clean as the Ganga water and is absolutely free from attachment of any kind. ATTACHMENT BRINGS BONDAGE. Attachment is death. Attachment is the root of all evils.
Mind has got three Avasthas, viz., Jagrat (waking state), Svapna (dreaming state) and Sushupti (deep sleep state).
Jagrat Avastha (waking State)
The individual soul (Jiva) is called awake as long as it is connected with the various external objects by means of the modifications of the mind-which thus constitute limiting adjuncts of the soul-apprehends those external objects and identifies itself with the gross body which is one of those external objects. During waking state, the mind occupies the brain.
Svapna Avastha (dreaming State)
When the mind enters the Hita Nadi, which proceeds from the heart and surrounds the great membrane round the heart, which is as thin as a hair divided into thousand parts and is filled with the minute essence of various colours of white, black, yellow and red, the individual soul or Jiva (ego) experiences the state of dream (Svapna Avastha).
In dream, the senses are thrown off just as you throw off your suit when going to bed. In dream state, the senses are quiet and absorbed in the mind. Mind alone plays during dream. The mind alone operates in a free and unfettered manner. There is no land, no sea, no horse, no elephant in dream; but mind creates everything out of its own body, out of the materials supplied from waking consciousness. The mind itself assumes the various forms of bee, flower, mountain, elephant, horse, river, etc. It is the subject. It is the object as well. The seer and the seen are one.
The objects perceived in dreams are revivals of impressions received in waking state and have an external reality only to the dreamer. When modified by the impressions which the external objects have left, the Jiva sees dreams. Perception takes place through the internal organ called Manas; so it is called "inner perception."
Every man has his own subjective mental world and his own dream-creatures. The dream-creatures of a young lady are her husband and new-born babe. Her mind has two strong mental images, viz., those of her husband and baby. The mental images are strengthened by constant thinking. The dream-creatures of a doctor are his patients, while those of a barrister are his clients.
There is temperamental difference. Some rarely get dreams. A Jnani who has Knowledge of the Self will not have any dream.
The Difference Between Jagrat And Svapna
The difference between the waking and the dreaming states consists in this, that in the waking condition the mind depends on the outward impressions, while in the dreaming state, it creates its own impressions and enjoys them. It uses, of course, the materials of the waking hours.
In Jagrat state, the objects exist independent of the mind. So, every day you see the same objects as soon as you wake up from sleep. But in dreams, the objects of dream exist only so long as there is mind, so long as the dream lasts, because the dream-creatures are manufactured out of mind only. In dream, mind itself creates the dream-creatures out of the materials supplied by waking experiences with some modifications. When mind drops down to waking state, all dream-objects vanish.
Waking State, A Long Dream
You dream that you are a king. You enjoy various kinds of royal pleasures. As soon as you wake up, everything vanishes. But, you do not feel for the loss because you know that the dream-creatures are all false. Similarly, even in the waking consciousness if you are well established in the idea that the world is a false illusion, you will not get any pain. When you know the real Tattva (Brahman), the waking consciousness also will become quite false like a dream. Jagrat state is only a long dream (Dirgha Svapna). The state of waking consciousness does not exist either in dream or sleep. Therefore, it is illusory. Reality always exists in all conditions or states. Wake up and realise, my child!
Manorajya (building castles in the air), recollection of the events and things of dream, recollection of things long past in the waking state are all Svapna-Jagrat (dreaming in the waking state).
Sushupti Avastha (deep Sleep State)
When the mind enters the Puritat Nadi, the state of deep sleep sets in. In Dridha Sushupti (dreamless sleep), you have a cessation of empirical consciousness. There is no play of the mind in this Avastha (state). There is neither Raga nor Dvesha (attraction or repulsion, like or dislike). The mind gets Laya into its cause. Manolaya (involution of the mind) takes place. There is no play of the Indriyas (organs, senses) too.
This state of profound sleep is not a complete non-being or negative, for such a hypothesis conflicts with the later recollections of a happy repose of sleep. The self continues to exist, though it is bereft of all experiences. The consciousness is continuous. You feel you have existed even during sleep as soon as you are awake. You feel that you exist always. Vedantins build their philosophy around this Sushupti Avastha. This stage gives them the clue to the non-dual state (Advaitic state). A careful study of the three states-Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti (waking, dreaming and deep sleep)-is of immense practical use for the clear understanding of the Vedanta.
Says Ajata Satru to Gargya in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (II-i-16): "Where was the spirit whose nature is like knowledge at the time when one profoundly sleeps? When the spirit whose nature is like knowledge thus profoundly slept, then the ether in the midst of the heart, drawing in, together with the knowledge of the senses, slept therein in the ether. When the spirit draws in that (knowledge of the senses), then he sleeps indeed. Thus, life is drawn in, speech is drawn in, the eye is drawn in, the ear is drawn in and the mind is drawn in."
When, on the cessation of the two limiting adjuncts (i.e., the subtle and the gross bodies) and the consequent absence of the modifications due to the adjuncts, the Jiva is in the state of deep sleep, merged in the self as it were, then it is said to be asleep. "When a man sleeps here, then my dear, he becomes united with the Sat; he is gone to his own self. Therefore, they say of him, 'He sleeps (Svapiti), because he is gone to his own (Svamapiti)'." (Chhandogya Upanishad)
Sankara observes that the phenomena of duality caused by the action of the mind are present in the waking and dreaming states only, but absent in deep sleep state. In waking and dreaming states, there is the play of the thoughts (and the simultaneous occurrence of names and forms) and hence the world as well. In dreamless sleep, there are no thoughts; and hence, there is no world too. We taste the nature of absolute bliss in dreamless sleep, where a man is cut off from the distracting world. It is the mind (lower Manas) that creates differences, distinctions, duality and separateness. If this mind is destroyed by increasing the Sattva and Ahangraha Upasana, then you will feel oneness everywhere (Sarvatmabhava). This needs continuous and strenuous efforts on the part of the Sadhakas.
Degree Of Consciousness In The Three States
In sleep, some action or other is always going on in your mental or vital being; things happen there and they govern waking consciousness. For instance, some are very anxious to perfect themselves and make a great effort in this direction during the day. They go to sleep and when they rise the next day, they find no trace of the gains of their previous day's efforts; they have to traverse the same ground once again. This means that the effort, and whatever achievement there was, belonged to the mere superficial or wakeful parts of the being, but there were deeper and dormant parts that were not touched. In sleep, you fell into the grip of these unconscious regions and they opened and swallowed all that you had laboriously built up in your conscious hours.
Be conscious. Be conscious of the night as well as of the day. First, you will have to get consciousness, afterwards control. Such of you as remember your dreams may have had this experience that sometimes, even while dreaming, you knew it was a dream; you knew that it was an experience that did not belong to the material world. Once you know, you can act there in the same way as in the material world. Even in the dreaming state, you can exercise your conscious will and change the whole course of your dream experience. And, as you become more and more conscious, you will begin to have the same control over your being at night as you have during the daytime, perhaps even more. For, at night, you are free from slavery to the mechanism of the body. The control over the processes of the body-consciousness is more difficult, since they are more rigid, less amenable to change than are the mental or the vital processes. At night, the mental and vital parts of your being, especially the vital ones, are very active. During the day, they are under check; the physical consciousness automatically replaces their free play and expression. In sleep, this check is removed and they come out with their natural and free movements.
Sushupti And Advaita Nishtha Distinguished
In sleep, the mind is in a subtle state. The Vrittis have also assumed a subtle state. But, in Advaita (Vedantic) Nishtha, there is no mind. There is no universe. The world sinks down in Brahman (Prapanchopasamam)-(Vide Mandukya Upanishad, II-1).
The Supreme Self In The Three Avasthas
The Supreme Self which has four forms, is inside the bodies of all living beings and is known by the names Visva, Taijasa, Prajna and Turiya. The seat of the Visva is the right eye; within the Manas dwells Taijasa, (Manasyantastu Taijasah -Gaudapada's Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad), while Prajna resides in the ether of the heart. The objects of enjoyment are of three kinds-gross, subtle and bliss itself. Satisfaction is also threefold.
Jagaritasthano Bahishprajnah Saptanga Ekonavimsatimukhah Sthulabhuk Vaisvanarah Prathamah Padah-The first foot of Omkara is Vaisvanara, whose region is the waking state, who has objective consciousness, who has seven limbs1 and nineteen mouths2 and who enjoys gross objects." (Mandukya Upanishad, I-3). The objective mind or conscious mind plays in the waking state.
"Svapnasthano'ntahprajnah Saptanga Ekonavimsatimukhah Praviviktabhuk Taijaso Dvitiyah Padah-The second foot of Omkara is the Taijasa, whose region is dream, who has subjective consciousness, who has seven limbs and nineteen mouths and who enjoys subtle objects." (Mandukya Upanishad, I-4). Taijasa is the reflected Chaitanya or consciousness associated with the dream state. Taijasa is the enjoyer of the subtle world. The subjective mind and false ego play in dreams.
"Yatra Supto Na Kanchana Kamam Kamayate Na Kanchana Svapnam Pasyati Tat Sushuptam Sushuptasthana Ekeebhutah Prajnanaghana Evanandamayo Hyanandabhuk Chetomukhah Prajnastritiyah Padah-The third foot of Omkara is the Prajna, whose region is deep sleep, in whom all melt into one, who is a mass of knowledge, who is full of bliss, who enjoys bliss and who is the door (to the two states of consciousness-waking and dreaming). That is the state of deep sleep wherein the sleeper does not desire anything and does not see any dream." (Mandukya Upanishad, I-5). The mind with the Vasanas rests in deep sleep in Mukhya Prana (chief vital air) in the heart. Mukhya Prana means Brahman. All the Vrittis assume a Sukshma state.
1. The seven limbs are: (i) Heaven (is His head), (ii) Sun (is His eye), (iii) Wind (is His breath), (iv) Akasa (is His waist), (v) Water (is His pelvis), (vi) Fire (is His mouth) and (vii) Earth (is His feet).
2. The nineteen mouths are: Five Jnana-Indriyas, five karma-Indriyas, five Pranas and four Antahkaranas (Manas, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahankara).
The Three Gunas
Gunas And Vrittis
The mind has three Gunas, viz., Sattva (light, bliss, goodness), Rajas (passion, motion) and Tamas (inertia, darkness). There are three Vrittis in the mind corresponding to the three Gunas. Santa Vritti (peace) comes out of Sattva Guna, Ghora Vritti from Rajo Guna and Mudha Vritti from Tamo Guna. Equilibrium or balance is Santa Vritti; anger is Ghora Vritti; laziness (Alasya), carelessness (Pramada) and drowsiness (Tandri) are Mudha Vrittis.
Characteristics Of Sattva Guna
Sattva Guna is purity. It is Prakasa (illumination, light). Sattva Guna is a force favourable for the attainment of Moksha. Daivi Sampat-virtues such as fearlessness, purity of heart, etc.,-will confer liberation on you. The effect of Sattva Guna is Brahmavichara (enquiry or search for Truth; differentiation between Sat and Asat, what is real and what is unreal.)
A Sattvic mind is always steady. It finds delight internally. It may stick to one place indefinitely. It keeps friendship with persons for a long, long time. It can read the Gita or the Yogavasishtha any number of days. It can live on Dal-roti for years together without any grumbling.
During Sattvic moments, when there is preponderance of pure Sattva in the mind, you are in touch with the Divine Source owing to the cleanness of the mind-mirror. You will get inspiration. You will compose beautiful poetry, etc. Preserve those inspired writings. Jot them down in your notebook.
Sattvapatti is a state of mind wherein the mind is full of Sattva or purity. There is purity of thought (Bhava-Samsuddhi) and purity of heart (Sattva-Samsuddhi). It is the fourth Jnana-Bhumika or fourth stage of Jnana.
Characteristics Of Rajo Guna
Rajo Guna is a hostile force to pull you down into Samsara. Asuri Sampat-vices like Dambha, Darpa, Krodha, etc.-will drag you down into hell. A mind endowed with Sattva Guna will make a man still and inactive, while a mind with Rajo Guna will make him restless. It will not allow him to sit idle and will force him to work.
The Rajasic mind always wants new sensations and variety. It likes certain persons, objects and places now and, after some time, it becomes disgusted with them and wants new persons for company, new vegetables to eat, new books to read and new places to see (finds pleasure in sightseeing).
The mind of Rajasic type wants always company and talk. These are the two defects which distract the mind much. Avoid company. Live alone. Observe Mouna. You will get peace of mind. Most of the pain comes from bad company. Be careful in the selection of your companions. You will rarely find a good, sincere friend. Never take a friend into your close confidence without testing him for a long time. There is no company or talk in Brahman who is Asanga and Asabda.
The Rajasic mind has a tendency to look into the defects of others. It also remembers the bad deeds or wrongs done by others and forgets easily their good acts. These two tendencies intensify hatred and cause frequent disturbance in the mind.
A mind which is devoid of Sattva Guna will not be good enough to consider others' happiness as its own and will, therefore, be ever reeling. Again, as this mind has not the complacency to rejoice at another's virtues, there is no internal contentment. Then, as it does not consider others' sufferings as its own, there arises in it no compassion for them.
It is the Rajasic mind that splits, separates, divides and deceptively shows plurality (Nanatva). The sun is one. The moon is one. Akasa is one. The idea behind languages is one. The feeling of sincerity is one. There is no inside or outside. Husband and wife become one in heart. Intimate friends are one in heart. Matter is one. Energy is one. Sattvic mind is one. It unifies. Cosmic Mahat is one. Karma (law of cause and effect) is one. Dharma is one. Religion is one. Truth is one. Brahman is one. Ekameva Advitiyam Brahma (Brahman is one without a second).
Intense Rajas takes Sattvic turn. Dacoit Ratnakar became the sage Valmiki. Jagai and Madhai, who were intensely Rajasic and who pelted stones at Lord Gouranga, became his first disciples.
Importance Of Sattva Guna
The real peace of mind does not come from outside. It is produced in the same mind when the mind is controlled and its thoughts are checked. You must put forth great efforts to check the passions and desires. Then alone will your aptitude for activity be subdued and you will be at rest and your thoughts will be stilled. Develop, therefore, Sattva Guna by Japa, Vichara, Satsanga, meditation, light Sattvic food, Tapas and Svadhyaya.
An ordinary worldly-minded man can hardly hear the inner voice of Atman. He cannot get pure thoughts or Vichara (enquiry into Self) also. Every Sattvic (pure) thought emanates from Sattvic Buddhi (pure intellect). In the case of worldlings, all thoughts proceed from the mind only. He who does Nishkama Karma Yoga (selfless service) and has purity of the mind, begins to entertain thoughts of God and meditation. Generally, the mind raises various sorts of curious, fantastic thoughts. It deludes all. It may pretend to do Vichara also. But, when it comes to actual practice, it will do nothing. If there is a serious determination in you to concentrate and, if you put it into actual practice for months steadily and, if the longing for Darshana of God or Self-realisation becomes keen and acute, then alone think that all these kinds of thoughts proceed from your Sattvic Buddhi only.
All Sadhanas aim at the development of Sattva Guna and the attainment of pure, irresistible Will. This will bring about Avidya Nivritti (removal of ignorance) and Paramananda-Prapti (Sat-Chit-Ananda state). Increase of Sattva Guna and pure, strong, determined Will pave a long way in achieving God-realisation.
In the world also, there are persons with a few Sattvic virtues such as patience, generosity, forgiveness, etc. But, a spiritual aspirant tries to develop the mind as a whole, to acquire all Sattvic virtues.
The Psychic States
Sit in silence in a solitary room and watch the various mental phenomena, mental states, moods, impulses, emotions, sentiments, whims, fancies that occur in the mind. It will be of absorbing interest to study the subtle states of the inner psychic world.
There are two powerful instincts in the human beings and animals too. They are the instinct of self-preservation and the instinct of reproduction. Hunger is a manifestation of the self-preserving instinct. Lust is a manifestation of reproductive instinct. An instinct is an involuntary prompting to action.
The Jiva or the individual soul with egoism wants power, name and fame. This is for self-aggrandisement. Exploitation is greed. It is the act of using for selfish purposes. Domineering is to command haughtily. The Jiva wants to exercise power over others. This is Jiva-Bhavana. The rootcause for industries, business, commerce, etc., is greed and self-preservation. If you want to have constant Brahma-Bhavana, you will have to give up exploitation and domineering.
There is another third instinct, viz., the herding instinct (the instinct for company). Woman take delight in the company of men. Men take delight in the company of women. The rootcause for this is reproductive instinct. Another reason is that a weak man gains strength in the company of a strong man. But, a man who wants to realise God should shun ruthlessly company-particularly, the company of women and worldly-minded persons. He should live alone. Then he will become very powerful and strong. He will develop a strong individuality. One will find difficulty in the beginning in the practice of living alone. Fear will come in. You will have to overcome all difficulties, one by one, if you want to attain immortality (Amritatva). The reward is very great: Brahmavit Paramapnoti (A Knower of Brahman gets the Highest); Amritamasnute (He drinks the nectar of immortality).
An impulse is a sudden propelling force. There are three kinds of impulses, viz., impulses of thought, impulses of speech and impulses of action. Mouna (silence) checks the impulse of speech. Meditation checks the impulse of wrong thinking and wrong action.
There are two important impulses. They are the sex-impulse and the impulse of speech. There is an intimate relation between impulse and imagination. Imagination induces the impulse. Impulses must be controlled by reason and will and meditation on God.
An emotion is a combination of thought and desire. Every idea is charged with emotion. Emotions are desires which are penetrated by the thought element. In other words, emotion is desire mingled with thought. The vibrations of emotions will arouse corresponding excitement in purely mental matter and all the man's thoughts will be disturbed and distorted.
There is emotion-desire. There is emotion-feeling also. If the desire element is predominant, it is emotion-desire. If the pleasure element is predominant, it is emotion-feeling.
Raga and Dvesha (love and hatred) are the two important emotions of the mind and all the different emotions can be classified under these two headings. Wonder is a compound emotion. It is admiration and fear combined. Reverence is a compound emotion. It is awe and respect combined. Amarsha is a compound emotion. It is anger and jealousy combined. As soon as the man is pulled down to a lower level, the anger of the inferior man who was jealous vanishes.
Pleasure is a particular kind of emotion in the mind. The mind expands during pleasure. Coolness prevails in the mind. What takes place of the mind when pleasure feeling arises is not exactly understood by the western psychologists. It is incapable of being understood also by ordinary persons. Only a Yogi or a Jnani knows this psychic phenomenon. During pain, the mind contracts. Considerable heat is produced in the mind.
Many of the physical desires and emotions in man are akin to those of the lower animals. Anger and sex-impulse in man are the brutal instincts. In the undeveloped man, these desires and emotions which belong to the lower nature (Aparaprakriti) predominate and overpower the higher nature (Paraprakriti).
It is a symptom of weakness to have emotions in the mind. They should be controlled by the intellect and the will.
How To Control Emotions And Impulses
When emotions and impulses trouble you much, be indifferent (Udasina). Say to yourself: "Who am I? I am not the mind. I am Atman (all-pervading Spirit, Suddha Sat-Chit-Ananda. How can emotions affect me? I am Nirlipta (unattached). I am a Sakshi (witness) of these emotions. Nothing can disturb me." When you repeat these suggestions of Vichara, the emotions will die by themselves. This Jnana method of controlling emotions is easier than the Yogic method of driving the emotions and struggling with the mind (Yogas-chittavritti-nirodhah).
Religious sentiment, moral sentiment, aesthetic sentiment (or sentiment for the sublime and the beautiful) are the three important sentiments of the mind. Feeling and sentiments are illusory. They are not in Atman. They are deceptions created by the mind.
Mood is a mental state. The Sanskrit term is Bhava. This term also does not express the true significance of the word 'mood'. We say, "Mr. Naidu or Mr. Atkinson is a moody gentleman." This means he becomes a slave of the mood quickly. We also say, "That gentleman is in 'good mood' or 'happy mood.' " "I can approach him now for a short interview or talk" or "He is in a very 'angry mood.' I should not see him now."
The English people, during the course of their conversation, use the term 'mood' in a broad sense. They say: "He is in a talking mood"; "He is in a silent mood"; "He is in a mood of hatred"; "He is in a mood of love"; "He is in a mood of selfishness"; "He is in a mood of jealousy"; "He is in a mood of separateness"; "He is in a mood of unity." In the light of Vedanta, these are all Vrittis (thoughts or emotions) only. Dr. Bhagavan Das, the reputed author of "Science of Emotions" classifies these under emotions only.
The Two Kinds Of Moods And Their Effects
In Vedanta, there are only two kinds of moods, viz., Harsha (joy, exultation or exhilaration) and Soka (grief or depression). In the mind, these two kinds of moods prevail. Now there is joy. Five minutes later, there is depression. These currents alternate. They belong to the Shad-Urmis (six waves). They are two waves that affect the mind-ocean.
People of gloomy moods attract to them gloomy things and gloomy thoughts from others and from the Akasic records in the physical ether. Persons with hope, confidence and cheerful spirits attract thoughts of similar nature from others. They are always successful in their attempts.
People with negative moods of depression, anger, hatred do positive injury to others. They infect others and raise these destructive Vrittis in others. They are culpable. They do great damage in the thought-world. People with happy and cheerful moods are a blessing to society. They bring happiness to others.
Just as a young, beautiful lady covers her face and does not like to come out to mix with others in society when she has a nasty festering sore on her cheeks or nose, so also you should not come in public and mix with your friends and other people when you have a mood of depression, a mood of hatred or jealousy. For, you will infect others with these moods. You are a menace to society.
How To Control Negative Moods
Sadhakas should try to eradicate depression by prayer, meditation, counter-thoughts of joy, chanting of Om, Vichara and singing divine songs. Never give room for gloomy depression. Repeat Om with Bhava. Repeat "I am Ananda-maya," "My Svarupa is Ananda." Depression will vanish. There are various causes for this depression. Cloudy day, association with evil persons, indigestion, influence by astral spirits, revival of old Samskaras of depression-all these induce depression.
When you get a talking mood, practise at once 'Mouna' (silence). This is an antidote to the talking mood. When you are in a mood of hatred, develop the opposite virtue of love. This mood will pass off quickly. When you are in the mood of selfishness, begin to do selfless work. When you are in the mood of separateness, try to mix with others through service, love, kindness and Kshama. When you are in the mood of laziness, do at once some kind of active work, drawing water, gardening, running, brisk walk or biking, etc.
A Jivanmukta is absolutely free from all moods. He has controlled all moods completely. He has become a master of all these moods. In Atman, there are no moods. It is pure consciousness. Identify with Atman. You can destroy all moods very easily.
The Meditative Mood
But, there is one good mood in those who practise meditation. It is termed the "meditative mood." Those who practise concentration and meditation feel this kind of mood. When this mood manifests, you must immediately give up reading, writing, talking, etc. You must immediately sit on the usual Asana (posture) and begin to meditate. Meditation will come by itself without effort. This mood is very favourable for contemplation. Watch for this kind of mood. If light disturbs you, close the windows or put on a curtain along the window. Dark room is favourable for the beginners in meditation.
Whims And Fancies
A whim corresponds to the term 'Taranga' in Sanskrit. Taranga means a wave. When a sudden change arises in the mind, it is a whim. Whims are Tarangas that arise in the mind. They rise up and break quickly. They drag you hither and thither. They upset you.
Everybody has his own whims. Very often you say, "He is a whimsical man," when anyone is swayed by whims. Whim is also termed caprice. Eccentricity is an exaggerated form of whim. Whim tosses a man hither and thither, if he yields to it. Whimsical actions bring on misery. It is through whim that mind tempts and deceives men. Mind cheats through whims. Whims should be checked by reason.
Do not do actions through whims. Action must be done through Viveka and wisdom. Destroy whims as soon as they arise, through Vichara. Always enquire whether the proposed action will bring you pleasure and spiritual gain or not. Be on the alert.
The word 'whim' always goes with the term fancy. We say, "whims and fancies." A fancy is a phase of the intellectual faculty of a lighter and less impressive cast than the imagination of the active play of this lighter faculty. Fancy is a new and pleasing thought or conception due to this faculty. Fancy is a form of imagination. It helps a poet, but not an aspirant. It is a hindrance in meditation. It builds castles in the air. Check it by Vichara and Viveka.
Just as waves and ripples rise on the surface of the ocean, whims, various caprices, fancies and wrong determinations also arise on the surface of the mind-ocean. The whims represent the ripples. You need not be afraid of these. They come and pass off quickly. You must be careful about the strong waves, wrong determinations. The strong thoughts must be eradicated by strong Vichara and proper reasoning.
Prakriti never creates a vacuum in the mind. If one anxiety or worry is over, another anxiety immediately manifests. Mind can never become vacant. It has got infinite preoccupations.
Carefully mark the ways of the mind. It tempts, exaggerates, magnifies, infatuates, unnecessarily alarms through vain imagination, vain fear, vain worries and vain forebodings. It tries its level best to divert you from concentration on your Lakshya.
It took me many years to understand thoroughly the subtle workings of the mind. Mind works havoc through its power of imagination. Imaginary fears of various sorts, exaggeration, concoction, mental dramatisation, building castles in the air, are all due to this power of imagination. Even a perfect, healthy man has some imaginary disease or other due to the power of imagination of the mind. Much energy is wasted on account of imaginary fears.
When his mind is fully occupied with the affairs of the war, the soldier does not feel any serious injury as a gunshot wound in the leg. He is not aware of the loss of a large quantity of blood also. He is filled with enthusiasm. He is not conscious of his body-so to say-for the time being. When the excitement is over, when he sees some blood-spots on his clothing or when some of his friends points out to him the wound in the leg, he gets the consciousness. Then he is alarmed a bit. The power of imagination plays havoc now. He gets a collapse now. The power of imagination always exaggerates.
A man may have a little weakness. When he becomes your enemy, you at once exaggerate and magnify his weakness and Dosha. You even superimpose on this or concoct many more weaknesses and Doshas. This is due to evil imagination on your part.
Whenever the mind of two friends are strained by ill-feelings, these minds begin to exaggerate and concoct things. Fault-finding increases. It is very difficult to get at the truth of the statements of these two broken friends with broken friendship. Their utterances are always coloured by their inner feelings. The power of imagination does havoc now. Maya plays havoc through the mind and its power of imagination.
Mind tempts and deceives. Think of one as a good friend of yours and there the thing is created as a reality. Think of him as your foe and then also the mind perfects the thought into an actuality. He who knows the working of the mind and has controlled it by practice is really happy.
I shall explain to you the nature of "mental dramatisation." Mark the ways of the mind. During conversation with your friends, the mind sometimes imagines in vain that it has hurt the feelings of your friend. It spends much of its energy in unnecessary feeling. You think: "How can I see him tomorrow morning? He may be displeased with me." Next morning when you meet him, nothing happens. Your friend starts a pleasant conversation and smiles. You are surprised. To your great astonishment, the subject of talk takes quite a different turn altogether. A family-man imagines when a severe epidemic of plague ravages: "What shall I do if my wife develops plague and dies now? I have got six children." This is his vain imagination. Nothing happens. Sometimes, when the train moves slowly on the Pamban Bridge over the sea near Ramesvaram, the mind imagines, "If the bridge gives way now, what will become of me? I shall be smashed to pieces." A touch of fear creeps in. There are thousand and one ways of mental dramatisation like these. The power of imagination plays a vital part in mental dramatisation.
When your mind is deeply concentrated, period of two hours passes like five minutes. If the mind is distracted and wandering, half an hour hangs on as two hours. This is everybody's experience. In dream also, many events that represent a period of fifty years take place within ten minutes. Through the play of the mind, a Kalpa is considered by it as a moment and vice versa. Time is but a mode of the mind. It is Kala Sakti. It is also illusory like the objects.
Through the trick of the mind, one furlong at times appears to be a great distance and three miles at other times appear to be a very short distance. You ought to have noted this in your daily life.
Marichi Chaitanya, M.A., Ph.D., a Brahmachari of Rumania and myself sat for dinner in the Kailasa Kutia, Svarga Ashram, on the bank of the Ganga. A dish of potato soup was served. Marichi, who has no idea of Indian preparations, took it for a soup of meat. The colour and appearance of the potato soup was exactly the same as that of meat-soup. This is a case of "mental projection." Marichi projected the idea of meat from his own Samskara within the mind into the potato-soup. Mental projections are all false.
Kalpana in the mind means mental creation or imagination. This is the real Yogamaya. You will have to destroy these various Kalpanas. This is the aim of all the spiritual Sadhanas. Then you will be established in Nirvikalpa state of bliss. Pure Nivritti is needed to attain this after you have got Chitta-Suddhi through Nishkama-Karma Yoga.
Temperament And How It Can Be Modified
There are secretions from endocrine glands which are ductless viz., Thyroid, Thymus, Parotid, Pineal, Suprarenal, etc. These secretions are directly absorbed into the blood. They play a vital part in constituting the temperament of every individual. The temperament of a man can be greatly modified by environments, education and experience. It can hardly be changed in toto. That is the reason why the Gita says: "Sadrisam Cheshtate Svasyah Prakriter-Jnanavanapi-Even the man of knowledge behaves in conformity with nature" (Gita, III-33).
The Mental Faculties
The Power Of The Human Mind
If you closely study the action of mind upon mind, of mind over matter, of mind over the human body, you will find that each man is a power in himself. You will have to develop the potential faculties by self-restraint and mastery over the passions. When mind is so much powerful, what to speak anything of the glory of Atman, who is the storehouse of everything, who is the infinite, inexhaustible central magazine of power, knowledge and bliss from whom the little mind borrows its light and power!
Illustrations Of The Power Of Mind
Whenever any fire-accident or any other kind of accident occurs, how agile and nimble you are! Do you not exhibit wonderful powers? You jump over a huge wall, save many children, run amidst fire boldly and carry things. All psychic faculties, memory, imagination, will, etc., are at play. Chivalry, intrepidity, undaunted spirit, mercy and various other noble virtues are exhibited by you. Wherefrom did you draw these faculties and powers? From this, you can conclude that you are, in reality, all-powerful. There is a big, magnanimous magazine of power inside. Go to the source by meditation and tap it. You will get everything. Rely on the Self within.
If you get a telegram at 12 a.m. on a hot day in summer, which informs you that your father is seriously ailing in your native village which is twenty miles distant, at once you leave even your food and begin to gallop. Though you yourself are not in good health at that time, you do not mind anything as you are very anxious to see your loving father. You even run the whole distance and reach the place within a couple of hours. Then you begin to wonder, "What! I was myself very sick. The day was very hot. I have covered a distance of twenty miles within two hours. What a marvel it is!" This clearly shows that you are, in reality, all-powerful. The mind possesses various kinds of powers and faculties. They lie dormant. You will have to awaken them.
The Six Important Powers Of Mind
There are three Saktis (powers, potencies) in the mind, viz., Ichha Sakti (Will), Kriya Sakti (Action) and Jnana Sakti (Knowledge). A desire arises in the mind. This is Ichha Sakti. The mind exerts to have this desire gratified. This is Kriya Sakti. It plans, schemes and finds out methods, etc., for the achievement of the desired object. This is Jnana Sakti.
Vedana-Sakti (power of perception), Smarana-Sakti or Smriti-Sakti (power of memory), Bhavana-Sakti (Power of imagination), Manisha-Sakti (power of judgment), Ichha-Sakti or Sankalpa-Sakti (will or volition) and Dharana-Sakti (power to hold) are the six important powers of the mind.
Vedana-Sakti is power of cognition or sensation or power of perception and knowing through Indriyas or senses (Indriya-Jnana or sense-knowledge).
The Smriti-Sakti does three things. It grasps. It holds. It brings to memory whenever a thing is needed. Though the power of grasping is done by the Vedana-Sakti of the mind (power of perception or cognition), the Smriti-Sakti also participates in the act of grasping.
Suppose you hear the sound of a bell in the temple. The memory Sakti grasps it. Then it retains it through Dharana. When you hear again the sound of the temple bell, it at once reminds you, "This is the temple bell. This is not the hostel bell."
In Dhyana, the mind grasps and takes possession of its perceptions or judgments. It makes the content of the idea its own. It strengthens the Samskaras so that a voluntary recall is rendered easy.
You have never seen an elephant riding a cycle. When a man, who has actually seen it, gives you a description, your mind forms a mental picture at once. This is done by the Bhavana-Sakti (power of imagination) of the mind.
Power of comparing and contrasting, drawing inferences, discussion, conclusion, all belong to Manisha-Sakti of the mind. The Manisha-Sakti (power of judgment) has got two subdivisions, viz., Nirnaya (ascertainment) and Tarka (logical reasoning).
A is mortal. B is mortal. C is mortal. Again, all men are mortal. Mr. Choudhary is a man. Therefore, Choudhary is mortal. These sorts of drawing conclusions through inductive and deductive logic with major and minor premises and middle term or through the five parts of syllogistic reasoning of Gautama Rishi's Indian Logic (Nyaya) are done by Manisha-Sakti of the mind with the help of Nirnaya and Tarka.
Tarka has got two other subdivisions, viz., Anumana (inference) and Paramarsa (discussion). When you see a river in full flood in the morning, you infer that there ought to have been rain during previous night. When you see smoke on the hills, you infer that there ought to be fire also on the hill. This is due to Anumana.
Will is Atma-Sakti. It is the dynamic aspect of Brahman. Will is Brahman in motion. In Vedanta, will plays a very conspicuous part.
Much has been said about the power of imagination in the West-that it is the most tremendous power in the human mind and that in a conflict between the will and the imagination, the imagination would invariably win the day.
Some people say that the will is greater than imagination. In the East, amongst the Vedantins, will is regarded as a greater faculty than imagination. What would the imagination do without the impelling power of the will to execute with dynamic power the desires, wishes and ideals?
There is correlation, co-ordination and co-operation between the different principles in the mind. Therefore, who can say which is great or small, important or unimportant when each depends upon the other for its power? It cannot be truly said that the one is greater than the other, for their independence and power are derived from one another.
Dharana-Sakti (power to hold) is really a part of memory or Smarana-Sakti. In common parlance, we say, "Mr. Ramakrishna is a man of good Dharana in Vedanta." Here it means that Mr. Ramakrishna has got fixed and steady ideas in Vedanta. He cannot be changed by anybody. He is not of a wavering nature. He sticks to Vedanta alone. Nobody can shake him.
Apperception is the mind's perception of itself as a conscious agent. The principle of apperception is just like a mail clerk of consciousness receiving, sorting out, correlating, arranging, pigeon-holing, associating and sending out messages.
How To Unfold The Latent Powers Of Mind
There are many higher mental faculties latent in man. Mind is a magazine of power. The unfoldment of these latent, psychic powers is possible through proper Sadhana. The Sadhana should be systematic, constant and intense. The student also must have reached the proper stage of development. There must be genuine Sraddha also. Then only sanguine success is possible.
The Three Doshas
Milk is agreeable to some and disagreeable to others. There is nothing wrong with the milk itself. Surely, there is something wrong with the mind. Doubtless, there is a defect in the mind. The view of a child when it sees its mother is that she is its supporter, nourisher and giver of all comforts. The husband of the woman regards her as an object of enjoyment. A tiger, when it sees the same woman, regards her as its prey. The object, woman, remains the same. The viewpoint differs in these three cases owing to the Dosha of the mind.
Dosha means fault or defect. Mala (impurity), Vikshepa (tossing), Avarana (veil of ignorance) are the threefold defects of the mind.
The mind is tossed about among objects of love and hatred like a light feather in a stormy wind. It ever whirls far and wide in vain among sensual objects away from the association with the wise, like a strolling city dog; but, no results accrue therefrom. This baneful mind whirls at the sight of its much-coveted immense wealth. This ferocious dog of mind, following its mate of desire, ever preys upon poor, ignorant worldlings as on carcasses. It will flit in a moment from Howrah to Paris and from Colombo to Berlin. Not resting on any object firmly, it is characterised by an excessive fluctuating power. It will fluctuate and be confused, will flit away from an object and then return to it, will rejoice in vain and be intoxicated with Ahankara. A mind becomes a prey to fear through its fluctuation.
The mind should be rendered fit for salvation, fit to approach its Adhishthana (substratum), its father, Brahman. Remove the three Doshas.
Mala (such as Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya) is removed by doing Nishkama Karma. Mala means sin also.
Vikshepa is removed by Upasana, Trataka, Pranayama and Raja Yoga.
Avarana is removed by Jnana, study of Vedantic literature, Nididhyasana and Abheda-Chintana after duly understanding the right significance of the Mahavakya, "Tat Tvam Asi."
Without hankering after paltry, terrestrial, things and causing your mind to fluctuate thereby, may you be immovable as a rock! Those who have no lower impulses drive away rebirths to a great distance from them.
Study the nature of the mind. Analyse the mind carefully. Get rid of the three Doshas of the mind, viz., Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana. Purify the mind. Steady the mind. Fix the mind on God or Brahman. Get the mind dissolved in God by constant and intense thinking. Practise the Sadhana of Manonasa. Rise above the deceptions and temptations of the mind. This is your duty. You are born for this only; all other duties are self-created and self-imposed owing to Avidya or ignorance.
Suddha Manas And Asuddha Manas
Through the discriminating mind, the lower mind is powerfully mastered by the wise.
"Uddharet-atmana-atmanam-Let him raise the self by the Self." (Gita, VI-5)
The Two Kinds Of Mind
Suddha Manas or Sattvic mind (pure mind) and Asuddha (impure) Manas or the instinctive mind or desire-mind as it is called are the two kinds of mind according to Upanishadic teaching. There is the lower mind filled with passion. There is the higher mind filled with Sattva (purity). There are two minds. You will have to make it into one-Sattvic mind only-if you want to meditate. It is through the higher or Sattvic mind that you will have to control the lower or instinctive mind of passions and emotions.
There are two kinds of Buddhi also-Vyavaharic Buddhi and pure Buddhi. There are two kinds of Aham or Ahankara, viz., Suddha Aham which identifies with Brahman (Sat-Chit-Ananda) and Asuddha Aham which identifies with the body. There are two kinds of Sankalpa (resolve, conation), viz., Suddha Sankalpa (thoughts of God) and Asuddha Sankalpa (thoughts of body and the world).
The Asuddha Manas which creates Asuddha Sankalpa, the Vyavaharic Buddhi and Asuddha Ahankara-all these three form a vicious circle. These three work in co-operation. The seed of the mind is Ahankara. Mind is merely a bundle of thoughts. Of all thoughts, the 'I' thought is the root thought. It is the first thought also that emanated from the mind. Therefore, mind is only the thought 'I'. Buddhi is the basis of Ahankara. It is Buddhi that forces you to identify yourself with the physical body. It is Buddhi that creates difference (Bheda) and Nana Bhava (the idea of many in the world).
Characteristics Of The Sattvic Mind
A Sattvic mind like solitude, silence, simple living, high thinking, study of spiritual books, philosophical discussions, concentration of mind and company of Sadhus, Mahatmas and Sannyasins. A stainless mind can be judged through speech, face and eyes. Through these expressions, the opinion can be formed whether a person has stainless mind. Higher desires, noble aspirations, lofty ideals, true religious feeling, mercy, sympathy, pure unselfish love, devotion, Vichara (Atmic enquiry), inspiration, genius-all come from the higher, pure Sattvic mind. Suddha Manas (pure mind) is Brahman itself. It is an embodiment of purity itself.
Characteristics Of The Rajasic Mind
A Rajasic mind likes crowded cities, much talking, luxurious life, low thinking, the company of women, study of romantic novels, eating dainty dishes and selfish works. Instinctive mind is the lower, impure Kama Manas with desires, passions and appetities. The vast majority of persons have this instinctive mind only. Even the so-called civilised and educated persons live on the plane of the instinctive mind. Their senses are very sharp and acute and they run after more refined things for their sense-gratification. They identify themselves with the physical body and the senses. They have no idea of the subtle Atman which is entirely distinct from the body and the Indriyas. Their 'I' is the physical, gross body only though they know that there is a mind.
Sensual enjoyment brings on diseases and destroys the power of discrimination (Viveka). It makes the mind Malina (impure). Therefore, shun Vishayabhoga (sensual enjoyment). Try to realise the Self within wherein lies eternal bliss and immortality.
Sattvic Mind Needed For Atma-Vichara
A sharp, subtle, one-pointed, Sattvic (pure) mind is needed for Atma-Vichara (enquiry into Atman or the Supreme Spirit) and study of Upanishads. A gross mind or practical (Vyavaharic) Buddhi with selfishness and lust is absolutely unfit for Vichara and philosophical ratiocination. Selfishness clouds understanding. Selfishness is the bane of life. The mind of a worldling is ever ready to absorb sexual thoughts. It cannot imbibe subtle, philosophical ideas. It is callous and cannot vibrate properly to take in philosophical ideas. You can drive a nail in clay, but not in a stone. The mind has to be purified by Nishkama Karma, Japa, Pranayama and other spiritual Sadhanas.
Mind is compared to a mirror. If the mirror is dirty, you cannot see your face clearly. Similarly, if the mind-mirror is dirty (full of Mala, impurities-Kama, Krodha, Lobha, etc.), you cannot see God clearly; you cannot see the Self clearly. The light of Brahman cannot shine efficiently. Clean it up with effort daily, through spiritual Sadhana, meditation, strenuous Nishkama Karma Yoga, devotion, etc. You will realise God.
"Manasaiva-anudrashtavyam" is the utterance of the Srutis. Brahman is to be seen by the mind. Here 'mind' means the Suddha Manas (pure mind). Brahman can be seen by a mind which is equipped with the four means of salvation; which is rendered subtle and pure by the practice of Sama, Dama, Yama and Niyama; which is furnished with the sacred instructions of a qualified Guru and which does Sravana (hearing), Manana (reflection) and Nididhyasana (constant musing). Should the pure mind concentrate itself for some time through a study of Jnana Sastras, association with the wise and an uninterrupted practice of meditation, then in such persons developing Jnana, a divine vision will dawn in which there will be a direct cognition of the one Reality.
Slay The Impure Mind
The enemy of Atman is the impure mind, which is replete with excessive delusion and a host of thoughts. This mischievous and powerful imp of lower mind is the generator of all pains and all fears and the destroyer of all noble, spiritual wealth. Your real enemy is this impure mind only which is full of delusion, Trishnas, Vasanas and host of other impurities. Lest this enemy of mind should spoil you in diverse ways through the "enjoyments" of the many "pleasures" in this world, slay it in the hope of getting eternal bliss and spiritual illumination. Destroy the lower Asuddha (impure) Manas through the higher Suddha Manas. Destroy your instinctive mind through discrimination and help of your higher, Sattvic mind. Then and then alone will you get eternal, infinite peace and bliss of Atman. Then alone will you become a Jivanmukta.
Sattvic minds and Rajasic minds move in diametrically opposite directions. Sattvic mind unifies. Instinctive mind separates and divides. Voice from the instinctive mind will mislead you. Purify the mind and hear the voice of conscience (Sattvic mind). You will have to develop the Sattvic part of the mind by annihilating the lower, impure, instinctive mind. If the lower mind is done away with through the higher mind alone, then only will you have eternal happiness and peace. Then alone will you attain Moksha, supreme knowledge and perennial bliss. Slay this mind through constant Vichara and meditation on Om and rest in your own Svarupa, Sat-Chit-Ananda state.
How To Purify The Mind
As one iron shapes another iron, the pure mind of a person which makes efforts in the virtuous path should correct and mould his impure mind. Mind is unfailingly rendered pure through true, virtuous and pure actions and constant Satsanga (association with the wise). Speaking the truth and practice of Daya (pure compassion) are very great purifiers of mind. All lofty aspirations, all-embracing tendencies and pity-all go a long way in increasing the Sattvic material of the mind. The higher Manas is developed.
Sacrifice, gift, compassion, study of the Vedas and speaking the truth: these five are purifying. The sixth is penance well-practised. The last one is highly purifying. Pilgrimage to sacred places is also purifying. You come in contact with holy persons there. You can have good Satsanga.
Charity, Japa, Nishkama Karma, Yajna, Agnihotra, Brahmacharya, Sandhya, Tirtha-Yatra, Dama, Sama, Yama, Niyama, Svadhyaya, Tapas, Vrata, service of saints-all tend to purify the mind. There will be, doubtless, unalloyed bliss in the mind thus purified.
A Mantra purifies the mind. Mere repetition of a Mantra, parrot-like, has very little effect. It has some benefit. It must be repeated with Bhava (feeling). Then it produces wonderful effects. The Mantra, unless inspired with the powerful will-force of one's own mind, cannot produce much effect.
Study of philosophical works, right thinking, exercise of good and noble emotions, prayers and beneficent endeavours and, above all, regular and strenuous meditation are the means to improve the mind. These will bring about the rapid evolution of the mind. When the mind is purified, a hole is formed in the centre through which purity, light and knowledge flow from Brahman.
A goldsmith converts 10 carat gold into 15 carat gold by adding acids and burning it several times in the crucible. Even so, you will have to purify your sensuous mind through concentration and reflection on the words of your spiritual preceptor and the Upanishadic sentences, meditation, Japa or silent repetition of the Name of the Lord, etc.
It takes a long time to purify Harital (yellow oxide of arsenic orpiment). It has to be soaked in cow's urine for seven days, in lime water for ten days and in milk for seven days. Then it has to be burnt out hundred and eight times before a Bhasma or proper oxide (ash) is obtained. Even so, it takes a long time to effect Chitta-Suddhi, purity of mind. Severe Tapascharya (austerity) is needed.
As a result of purification of the mind, it becomes more sensitive, gets easily disturbed by a sound or shock and feels any pressure acutely. An aspirant must be sensitive and yet have the body and nerves completely under his control. The greater the sensitiveness becomes, the more difficult is the task; there are many noises which pass unheeded by an ordinary person, but which are torture to one who is very sensitive. You must do your best to get over this oversensitiveness.
Initiation Of Pure Mind Leads To Quiescence
Purification is the first part of Yoga. When purification is over, the natural tendency of the mind is to go towards liberation, Moksha. If only a disciple whose mind is cleansed of all its impurities, is initiated into the sacred mysteries by a Guru, then his mind will get complete quiescence. He will enter into a Nirvikalpa state. The Nirvikalpa state is termed Asamvedana.