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Philosophy of the Mind

by Swami Sivananda

B
hoomirapo analo vayuh kham mano buddhirevacha, Ahamkara itiyam me bhinna prakritirashtadha. According to Sankhya cosmology, mind is the fourth principle that has emanated from the self-asserting principle Ahamkara or egoism or Asmita. Prakriti or Avyakta (matter in an unmanifested state) is styled as 'Ashtangi' or eightfold Prakriti (Prakritirashtadha). Mind is one of the eight limbs or Ashtanga. Mind is itself a word whose meaning is extremely vague, one incapable of being clearly defined except in terms of some questionable and speculative hypothesis. No one can point to a mind and say: That is what I mean the word mind shall denote. Mind consists of a bundle of faculties, as the faculties of cognition or perception, volition or will, imagination, judgment, reason, understanding, memory etc. Character concerns the affective or conative organism of the mind. Knowledge concerns the cognitive organism. There are different channels of communication through which the cognitive and conative faculties are directed. There is only one mind which has diverse names according to the plane on which it functions, viz., the subjective mind, the objective mind, the universal mind (cosmic consciousness), or the superconscious mind, the subconscious mind, the instinctive mind, the spiritual mind. The Vishaya or function of the mind is cognition (Sankalpa-Vikalpa or will, thought, doubt).

The 'doubting mind'is collective aggregate of all Jnana-Indriyas or organs of sensation or perception. Mind is below Will and above Prana or energy or matter. Mind is a relative manifestation of the Absolute. Mind is positive to Energy and Matter, but negative to Will, which is again positive to mind, but negative to Atman. Mind when purified becomes your real Guru. You will hear the voice of silence. You will get answers for your unsolvable problems. A pure mind is no longer subtle matter but the Brahman itself. The original home for the mind is Omkara in the Sahasrara or thousand-petalled lotus. Mind has become impure by your own desires. How the pure Brahman has become the impure Jiva is a life problem that has baffled all human efforts for a clear, correct and satisfactory solution. This is a question which has no answer. This is the mystic side of nature. You cannot solve celestial, divine problems that belong to supramental planes, with the finite intellect of the physical plane. Develop intuition. Acquire transcendental wisdom. Look within through cosmic consciousness. Then you will get a real solution.

Through the searchlight of the concentrated mind, you will have to behold the treasures of the Soul or Atman. Just as rays permeate solid bones or blocks of wood, the concentrated mental rays of a focussed mind will pass through the different forms of matter and reveal their real nature.

During cosmic consciousness, you are aware of the oneness of life. You will find that there is no such thing as dead matter, but that all is alive, vibrating and intelligent. You will see the universe as all-Atman, which is the essence or background of this sense universe, of this world of Dvandvas or opposites, of this world of mere conceptions or ideas, of this world of names and forms.

In Svarga or paradise or heaven, you are in the 'thought world'. You feel or experience no pain. Why? Because you get whatever you think or imagine. Your desires are immediately gratified. Your thought matter instantaneously materialises, crystallises and precipitates before you. You are satisfied. But this is not real.

The science of Raja Yoga or mental Yoga deals with the methods of controlling the ever oscillating mind under the command of the will, which is in the centre of Atman. Manoyama is superior to Pranayama; but the Adhikaris or qualified persons for practice of Manoyama should be very intelligent with bold understanding and tremendous will. Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana facing east or north. Make Trataka or Dharana on Trikuti, the space between the two eyebrows with closed eyes. Control the force of thought by meditation on Pranava or Om and its meaning. Practise regularly from 1 1/2 to 2 or 3 hours daily. You will become a Yogi and an Atma Jnani soon.


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