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Mind - Studies in its structure

by Swami Sivananda

I. WHAT IS MIND?

Now then an exposition of the mind, its nature and control. Mind is Atma Sakti. Mind is Maya. Mind is born of Prakriti. It is through mind that Brahman manifests Himself as the universe with heterogeneous objects. Mind is inert. It cannot by itself illumine the objects. It borrows its light from Atman or the Self. The body with its organs is no other than the mind.

II. MIND AS THE UNIVERSE

All the visible objects do not really exist. The mind alone shines as the cause of all the manifold created objects.

This universe is no other than the mind itself. The Self-light of Para Brahman alone is appearing as the mind or this Universe. Mind alone is the Universe.

III. MIND AS SANKALPA

The form of the mind is Sankalpa alone. The expansion of the mind alone is Sankalpa (thought, imagination). Wherever there is Sankalpa (thought) there does the mind exist. Sankalpa, through its power of differentiation generates this Universe. The Sankalpas and Vasanas which you generate enmesh you as in a net. Man is subject to bondage through his own Sankalpas and Vasanas, like a silkworm in its cocoon. If the mind turns its back upon discrimination, it entangles itself in the folds of Vasanas, or desires.

IV. STOREHOUSE OF IMPRESSIONS

Mind is a collection of Samskaras or impressions. The mind goes into modifications according to the latent impressions of the past. These impressions are called Samskaras. Mind is a bundle of Vasanas, Sankalpas and likes and dislikes. If you free yourself, from these, the mind dwindles into an airy nothing. Mind is nothing but a bundle of habits, desires and cravings. The mind which is the conditioning vesture of the soul is a storehouse of impressions. It is attached to the pleasure of senses and is tossed about by three Gunas, and hence is liable to disturbance in the form of lust, anger, etc. The true nature of the mind is Vasanas or subtle desires.

V. STUFF OF THE MIND

Mind is atomic according to the Nyaya School. Mind is all-pervading according to the Raja Yoga School. It is of middling size, same size as that of the body according to the Vedantic School. Mind is made up of subtle Sattvic matters. It is formed out of the subtlest portion of food. Mind is termed the sixth sense.


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