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The Many Phases of the Mind

by Swami Sivananda

I. FOURFOLD ANTAHKARANA

When the mind does Sankalpa-vikalpa, it is called mind. When it discriminates and decides it is called Buddhi or intellect. When it self-arrogates it is Ahamkara, egoism. When it remembers and recollects it is Chitta.

II. STRATA OF MIND

Conscious mind is the objective mind. It thinks of objects. Subconscious mind is Chitta. It is the storehouse of impressions. Superconscious mind is the cosmic mind.

III. THE THREE AVASTHAS

In the waking state (Jagrat) the Mind experiences the external objects. In dream, mind itself creates the dream-creatures out of the material supplied by waking experiences. In deep sleep the mind rests in causal body or Avidya. In Turiya-avastha the mind is absorbed in Brahman or the Absolute. There is Nirvikalpa Samadhi or superconscious state.

IV. THE THREE FORMS OF MIND

The Sattvic mind is calm and harmonious, it intuits, meditates, renounces, enquires and moves towards the Atman.

The Rajasic mind is passionate. It wants power, possessions and dominion. It wants to rule over others. The Tamasic mind is heedless. It sleeps, it is full of inertia and darkness. When the Yogi attains Samadhi he rises from the stream of the Gunas and the limitations of the body and mind.

V. THE SATTVIC GUNA

When Sattva is increased a peculiar feeling of coolness, calmness, contentment and luminosity are experienced by the aspirant. When Sattva Guna works in the mental sheath, there is a wonderful calmness. The tossing of the mind stops and concentration develops. When the Sattva Guna powerfully vibrates in the Vijnanamaya sheath of intellect, there is understanding of complex problems. The three Gunas constitute your individuality. They cover your mental, moral, intellectual and spiritual life.


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