Mind – Its Mysteries and Control – Part 1
- Publishers’ Note
- What Is Mind?
- Mind And Body
- Mind, Prana And Kundalini
- Mind And Food
- The Three Avasthas
- The Three Gunas
- The Psychic States
- The Mental Faculties
- The Three Doshas
- Suddha Manas And Asuddha Manas
- Theory Of Perception
- Chitta And Memory
- Thought Creates The World
- Avidya And Ahankara
- The Power Of Thought
- Pleasure And Pain
- Vairagya And Tyaga
- Control Of Indriyas
- Mouna And Introspection
- Evil Vrittis And Their Eradication
- Cultivation Of Virtues
- How To Control The Mind
- Experiences And Obstacles In Meditation
- The Mind Compared
- Essence Of Jnana Yoga
- The Mind In A Jivanmukta
- The Powers Of A Yogi
- Necessity For A Guru
- Hints To Aspirants
- To The Mind
- Psychic Influence
- Annihilation Of Mind
OM1st July 1946Beloved Dheerender!Fear not. The mind is no doubt extremely turbulent. Through repeated attempts you can perfectly subdue it.
You are the master of the mind. By Abhyasa and Vairagya assert your mastery. Feel the power, bliss and splendour that result from perfect self-conquest.
Curb the mind ruthlessly. Annihilate desire. When desire dies mind is your slave. Become desireless and be victorious.
May you rest in your pristine freedom!
O Thou Invisible One! O Adorable One! O Supreme! Thou permeatest and penetratest this vast universe from the unlimited space down to the tiny blade of grass at my feet. Thou art the basis for all these names and forms. Thou art the apple of my eye, the Prema of my heart, the very Life of my life, the very Soul of my soul, the illuminator of my intellect and senses, the sweet Anahata music of my heart, and the substance of my physical, mental and causal frames.
I recognise Thee alone as the mighty Ruler of this universe and the Inner Controller (Antaryamin) of my three bodies. I prostrate again and again before Thee, my Lord! Thou art my sole refuge! I trust Thee alone, O ocean of mercy and love! Elevate, enlighten, guide and protect me. Remove obstacles from my spiritual path. Lift the veil of ignorance, O Thou Jagadguru! I cannot bear any longer even for a second, the miseries of this body, this life and this Samsara. Give Darsana quickly. O Prabho! I am pining. I am melting. Listen, listen to my fervent, Antarika prayer. Do not be cruel, my Lord. Thou art Dinabandhu. Thou art Adhama-Uddharaka. Thou art Patita Pavana (Purifier of the fallen).
Om Santih Santih Santih
To everyone striving for success in life, the invariable stumbling block proves to be the turbulent vagaries of the mind. An undisciplined mind makes a man slave and wrecks his life. Controlling and subduing it is the most vexing of problems to the earnest seeker of happiness. The vital importance of the subject, therefore, prompted H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj to write this comprehensive work “MIND-ITS MYSTERIES AND CONTROL.” It is meant to serve as a valuable guide to all aspirants and it is also of immense help to anyone in any walk of life. Being the outcome of personal experience of the revered author and written with a practical end in view, “MIND-ITS MYSTERIES AND CONTROL” is a treasure worthy to be possessed and studied constantly.
-THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
Happiness has for ever been the prime aim of every human being. All activities of man are directed towards acquiring the maximum happiness in life. But, through the wrong deluded notion that objects will give happiness, man searches for it outside. The result is that in spite of all his lifelong efforts, he gets disappointment only. Vexation and misery alone are to be seen everywhere. The real lasting happiness lies within man. Such happiness or Ananda is the Inner Self, the Antaratman. The very nature of Atman is pure Joy. This is never perceived because the mind is completely externalised. As long as the mind is restlessly wandering about amidst objects, ever fluctuating, excited, agitated and uncontrolled, this true joy cannot be realised and enjoyed. To control the restless mind and perfectly still all thoughts and cravings is the greatest problem of man. If he has subjugated the mind, he is the Emperor of emperors.
For gaining mastery over the mind, you have to know what it is, how it works, how it deceives you at every turn and by what methods it can be subdued. In this book, the subject has been dealt with; and the nature of the mind, the various forms that it assumes, the secret of its inner workings and the way to control it are fully and clearly explained. The previous editions were eagerly read and appreciated by thousands of aspirants who wrote to say how immensely they were helped by the instructions. The lessons and instructions are eminently practical and many helpful ideas and suggestions got during my meditations have been recorded and put down here. Very useful hints on concentration and meditation will be found in the book which, if faithfully followed, will bring success in a short time without fail.
I pray to every aspirant to study constantly the valuable instructions with care and follow the practical hints given in his Sadhana and daily life. It will doubtless enable you to gain control over your passions and cravings and to get established in Yoga. The Bhakta, the student of Vedanta, the Raja Yogin, the Karma Yogin-all will find this book an indispensable guide. The later stages of Yoga Sadhana are common in all the four paths and Dharana and Dhyana are quite impossible without first subduing the mind. All Sadhanas are, therefore, aimed at obtaining mastery over the mind. Hence it is that I have tried to present the ways and means of achieving this through simple, yet well-tried and effective methods. My efforts would be amply fulfilled if even a single earnest aspirant is helped on the spiritual path and attains the Goal.
May the Lord, the Antaryamin, the Supreme Indweller inspire all to attempt mind-control and Yoga! May He bestow success on the sincere aspirants that struggle to master the unruly mind! May you reach the Goal of Life, Immortality, Supreme Knowledge and Bliss!
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.