What is Mind?
Mind is not only daily made, but hourly made. It’s ever changing,in every minute it changes its colour and shape like a chameleon. It is very unsteady (Chanchalam and Asthiram). The mind has a peculiar habit of externalization from time immemorial. The constant Utterance and remembrance of Holy Names of God as Hari Om, Narayana, Rama, Siva, etc., purifies the mind-stuff and helps to make the mind introspective It is also illusory like the objects and inanimate things. When your mind is deeply concentrated, a period of two hours appears like five minutes. If the mind is distracted and wandering, half an hour appears as 3 hours. This is everybody’s experience. In dream also many events that last for fifty years take place within ten minutes. Through the play of the mind, a Kalpa (One Era) is considered by it as a moment and vice versa. Perception through the finite mind or cognition of experience takes place gradually and serially and not simultaneously. Simultaneous knowledge can only be had in Nirvikalpa Samadhi where past and future merge in the present. A Yogi only will have simultaneous knowledge. A man of the world with a finite mind can have knowledge in succession only. Though several objects may come in contact simultaneously with the different sense-organs, yet the mind acts like a gate keeper who can admit only one person at a time in the gate. The mind can send only one kind of sensation at a time into the mental factory inside for the manufacture of a percept and concept. Imaginary fears of various sorts, exaggeration, concoction, mental dramatization, building castles in the air, are all clue to the power of imagination. Even a perfect, healthy man has some imaginary disease or other due to the power of imagination of the mind. A man may have a little weakness or Dosha (fault). When he becomes your enemy you at once exaggerate and magnify his weakness and Dosha. You even superimpose or concoct many more weaknesses and Doshas. This is due to the power of Imagination. Much energy is wasted on account of imaginary fears. Belief, reasoning, knowledge and faith are four important psychic processes. First you have belief in a doctor. You go to him for diagnosis and treatment. He examines you and then prescribes certain medicines. You take them. You reason out: “This is the disease. The doctor has given me Iron and Iodide. Iron will improve my blood. The Iodide will stimulate the lympathis and absorb the exudation and growth in the liver.” Then the disease is cured by a course of these drugs for a month. Then you get knowledge and perfect faith in the medicine and the doctor. Then you recommend to your friend this doctor and drugs: “Dr. John is a clever man. He is an expert. Barkley’s tonic is a very good blood tonic.” The mind assumes the shape of any object it intently thinks upon. If it thinks of an apple it assumes the shape of an Apple. If it thinks of Lord Krishna with flute in hand, it assumes the shape of Lord Krishna. You must train the mind properly and give it proper Sattvic food for assimilation. Have a Sattvic background of thought or mental image. If you tasted Blueberries for a month, ‘mental adhesion’ to Blueberries comes in the mind. If you are in the company of Saints and Yogis, if you read books on Yoga, Vedanta, etc., a similar mental adhesion takes place in the mind for attaining God-consciousness. Mere mental adhesion will not help you much. Burning Vairagya ( Dettachment), burning Mumukshutva, capacity for spiritual Sadhana, intense and constant application and meditation are needed. Then only Self-realization is possible. The wandering habit of the mind manifests itself in various ways. You will have to be on the alert always to check this wandering habit of the mind. A householder’s mind wanders to cinema, theatre, circus, etc. A Sadhu’s mind wanders to Benares, Vrindavan and God. Many Sadhus never stick to one place during Sadhana. The wandering habit of the mind must be controlled by making it stick to one place, one method of Sadhana( Yoga practice), one Guru( Master) and one form of Yoga. A rolling stone gathers no moss. When you take up a book for study you must finish it before you take up another. When you take up any work, you must devote your wholehearted attention towards the work on hand and finish it before you take up another work. “One thing at a time and that done well is a very good rule as many can tell.” This is Yogi’s way of doing. If all the thoughts are eliminated, then there remains nothing which can be called the mind. So thoughts are the mind. Again there is no such thing as the world independent of and apart from thoughts. The whole world is the result of the thoughts.The mind is generally attracted by materialistic things, beauty, intelligence, varied colors and pleasant sounds. Do not be deceived by these superficial things. Inquire within. What is the background for all these things?
Culturing your Thoughts
The mind is a like a spoiled little child who never sits quietly at one place. It is like a jumping monkey. It must be disciplined daily. Then it will gradually come under your control. It is only by the practical training of your mind that you can prevent bad thoughts and actions from arising and can prevent bad thoughts and actions that have arisen from recurrence. It is only by the practical training of your mind that you can encourage good thoughts and actions to arise and can maintain good thoughts and actions when they have arisen. When you sit for meditation thoughts of your friends and work, memory of conversation that took place in the previous evening with your friends and relatives will disturb your mind and cause distraction. You will have to withdraw the mind again and again, cautiously from these external worldly thoughts and fix it again and again in your focus. You will have to disregard and ignore the worldly thoughts. Be indifferent. Be an observer. Do not welcome these thoughts. Do not identify yourself with these thoughts, ideas. Say within yourself: “I do not want these thoughts. I have nothing to do with these thoughts.” They will vanish gradually. In the beginning all sorts of evil thoughts will arise in your mind as soon as you sit for meditation. Why does this happen during meditation when you attempt to entertain pure thoughts? Aspirants leave their spiritual practices of meditation on account of this. If you try to drive a monkey it attempts to pounce on you with vengeance. Even so the old vicious Samskaras and old evil thoughts try to attack you with vengeance and redoubled force only at the time when you try to raise good, divine thoughts. Your enemy endeavors to resist you vehemently when you try to eject him out of your house. There is a law of resistance in nature. The old evil thoughts assert and say “O man! Do not be cruel. You have allowed us to stay in your mental factory from time immemorial. We have every right to abide here. We have helped you up to this time in all your evil actions. Why do you want to oust us from our dwelling place? We will not vacate our abode.” Do not be discouraged. Go on with your practice of meditation regularly. These evil thoughts will be thinned out. Eventually they will all perish. You will be able to enter into deep meditation only if you lead a moral life. When you have led the moral life, you may further try to build up discrimination and the other steps in your mind. You can cultivate the mind in concentration and can finally devote yourself to meditation. The more you lead the moral life, the more you meditate, the greater likelihood will then be for you to enter into Samadhi which can liberate you from the round of births and deaths and can confer on you eternal Bliss and Immortality. Read the next blog “Controlling the Mind” related with this topic…… Om Tat Sat !!!