Mind and its working
Puttaparthi, Sai Kulwanth Hall (1996 Special Discourses )
Students! Mind is very peculiar. Mind moves very fast. Mind is highly wavering. Mind is very powerful and strong as well. Man may be here but the Mind can travel thousands of miles in a split second and see things there! That’s why Arjuna pleaded with Sri Krishna to mentor him as to, how to control the Mind which is very strong, powerful, and highly wavering. Mind has two characteristics: One of them is akin to the animal nature and the second one is compassion-filled human nature. It is necessary for us to know about the animal and human natures, in humans! Human beings addicted to vices like lust, infatuation, anger etc., are the ones who fall under the ambit of animal nature. Those who prudently utilize their, intrinsic, God- gifted virtues viz., intellect, equanimity, far sighted approach, and progressive Mindset for National Development, manifest Divinity in their nature and belong to the second type viz., true human nature!
Mind is the root cause for everything in life: Analogy00:01:39
One only punishes the body for the mistakes committed. But there is no fault in the body. All the fault lies with the mind. A person commits a mistake. The government, recognising it as a crime, punishes the person by hanging him. But, was the crime committed by the body or by the mind? The body has not committed the mistake. The body performed the action on being prompted by the mind. So it is the mind that made the body act. Who is bad, is it the one that got it done or the one that did it? It is the instigator, the mind, which is bad. But the mind is not being punished and the body is punished. Is it justified? No. It is the inert body that did the action. The doer is the mind. “Manayeva manushyanaam kaaranam bandha mokshayoho” the mind is the cause for either liberation or attachment. Therefore, one must put one’s mind in the right path. Whatever action happens it is because of the mind and not because of the body. Therefore the mind must be taught and not the body. Hence, every teaching must be mind oriented.
Everything depends on your mind; Purify it00:02:37
For good and bad, our behavior is the main cause. Nothing wrong in education, nothing wrong with the culture, everything depends on the individual. Sacred water appears white and crystal clear, when it is pure. When this pure white water is kept in a red bottle, it appears red in color. Does the mistake lie with water or the bottle? The mistake lies with the bottle. The education system, no doubt is highly sacred, pure, unsullied and selfless. It appears polluted, when it enters the mind full of selfishness and self-interests. Therefore, in the first instance, man should purify his mind. When the mind becomes pure, our looks, behaviour and hearing would also become pure. Human life depends on the mind. Not only human life, the entire universe depends on the mind. Once the mind becomes pure, man becomes good in turn. It’s because of "Manas"- mind, we have the title "Manishi"-human. As is the mind, so is the man. When we say, so and so person is bad, it means his mind is bad. When we say, he is good; it means his mind is good.
Who is Indra?00:00:35
One might conquer Indra, the King of celestial beings, but without conquering one’s senses it is useless. Who is ‘Indra’? Indra is the suzerain of senses. Who is the master of senses? The mind is the master of senses. Therefore, mind is Indra. What is the use of raging a battle against Indra outside when he is present within?
Direct mind towards heart and march towards Divinity00:00:53
Therefore, it brings forth the right combination of mind and the nature. There is no difference between mind and nature. The whole world is nothing but a reflection of mind. “Manomoolam idam jagath” the whole world is because of the mind. When there is no mind there is no world. Hence everything is a form of the mind. Therefore one will not be bothered by the mind when one turns it towards the heart, dwells upon the divine and basks in the divine splendour.
Mind is the reason for liberation or bondage00:02:27
One gets both the results. What is the reason for both the results? It is the mental weakness and lack of courage. One with courage can attain anything and one with weak mind faces failure. Hence it is said, “Manayeva manusyanaam, kaaranam bandhamokshayoho”, mind is the sole cause for either liberation or bondage. When the mind is turned God wards, one is liberated; on the other hand when the mind and the activities are centred on the nature and world, it leads to bondage. There is lock on the door. The key is put in the lock. When it is turned left side it opens the lock and when turned right side the lock is locked. It is the same lock and the same key but the turning makes the difference. Similarly man’s heart is like the lock, the mind is the key. When the key is turned towards God, it leads to detachment, which is liberation. If the key is turned towards the world, it leads to bondage. Therefore, liberation and bondage are aspects pertaining to the mind. Bondage is not got from someplace neither is liberation bought from a shop. It is neither gifted by anyone nor supplied by any company or firm. All these lie in the mind. Therefore, the mind needs to be kept properly. Hence, “Manasu nirmalambe manchiki margambu” Pure mind leads to goodness; “Manasu nirmalambe mahitha shakthi”, Pure mind is the mighty power; “Nirmalambu manase neeradi mutyavu!” Pure mind is the pearl of the great ocean of life.
Nature of Mind compared to Sun and the moon00:03:17
To think that one gained victory without mastering the mind is mere delusion. The mind is like the moon. “Chandrama manasojathaha, chaksho sooryo ajayatha” – Moon reflects the mind and sun is the presiding deity of the eyes. The mind, which is compared to the moon, cannot shine independently. The moon shines at the night. How does it shine? The Sun light falls on the moon causing it to shine. It is essentially the sun shine that one sees in the night as the reflection from the moon. One needs to ponder on this properly. The sun light is very intense and bright. One cannot bear the intensity of the sun light. But the moon light is cool and soothing. Though the light from the moon and the sun is the same, what is the reason for the brightness and intensity of sunlight and coolness of the moon light? The mind is full of desires and is tamasik in nature. Darkness is the characteristic aspect of tamas. It means that when the desires are fulfilled the mind is at peace but becomes restless when the desires are not fulfilled. It is never hot. This is the nature of mind. Nobody can restrain the mind. “Sankalpavikalpatkam manaha” means mind is a conglomeration of good and bad thoughts. It is not possible to stop the thoughts even for a second. Just as the waves move in the ocean incessantly so also thoughts exist and arise in the mind incessantly. He, who understands and arises above the mind with all its thoughts, is truly victorious in this world.
Praise or blame doesn't belong to you00:00:52
People think that others have accused them. If they go on worrying and feeling bad about the accusations whose suffering is that? One must not suffer so. The critique’s words of accusation have gone in to the air. Good words of praise will register in one’s mind. But none of it sticks to the real self nor comes near it. Why does one worry about the things that do not reach the real self? One must refuse to let it affect oneself by saying, “This is not mine.” Man is truly human when he develops such truthful thoughts and eternal principle.
Mind is the basis for everything00:01:57
Man must aspire to become broadminded living in this vast and wide world. Every human being has four states viz., the ‘body’, the ‘mind’, the ‘intellect’ and the fourth one is the ‘atma’ or the soul. What is the essence and duty of this physical body? “Sareeramadhyam khalu dharma sadhakam!”- meaning body is verily the instrument to carry out righteousness. How can this instrument discharge its duty or dharma? A knife is used to cut both a vegetable and a fruit but knife by itself will not proceed to cut the vegetable or the fruit. There must be person to hold the knife and that person cuts the vegetables with a proper plan. Similarly, the physical body too is an instrument and this instrument does not indulge in activities by itself as it is not independent. The physical body works based on the stimulus and strength of the mind. Mind is the very basis for all the activity. Hence, the saying, “Mano moolam midam jagath!”, meaning the world is based on the mind. The world that is constituted by the five elements is also based on the mind.
Turn the key of mind towards God00:01:42
The effect on the mind is very severe. Mind is the main cause for the liberation and bondage. If you use the mind to do pure activities or good activities human becomes pure. Whatever you hear, whatever you speak, whatever you do everything becomes sacred. this is a lock and this is a key. If you keep the key in the lock and turn left side it opens and turn right side it locks. It gets opened and locked with the same key but the difference is in the turning. Likewise, human heart is Lock, Mind is key, Turn God side it is detachment. Turn world side that is attachment. For attachment and detachment mind is only responsible. We should not allow our mind to be filled with worldly thoughts. Consider everything as divine. Everything is Brahman.
Mind can make you an animal, human or Divine00:00:47
For a human being to live like a human being, or behave like an animal, or lead a life with divine feelings, it is the mind that steers and is responsible. There is no separate entity like human nature. So also, animal nature is not there separately. So is the case with Divine nature as well. All the three attributes are intrinsic to any human being. When the Mind steers the human being in the path of love and compassion, it is divine nature. If the human being is vulnerable to fall prey to the senses, it amounts to going the demonic way.
As is our association, so is our Mind00:03:57
For both the good and bad qualities, Mind is the root cause. The good quality present in the Mind cannot be felt anywhere else. Likewise, the bad traits sheltered in the Mind cannot be felt anywhere else. It is as good as it can be bad as well. So also, it is as bad as it can be good! We should, therefore, discern the true nature of the Mind. Mind is very pure, but it is vulnerable to become good or bad depending on the environs or the company. Suppose there is a clean newspaper and it is used to wrap jasmine flowers. It acquires the fragrance and aroma of the jasmine flowers. How the newspaper acquired the fragrance of jasmine is because it is used to pack the flowers in in it. Similarly, if the newspaper is used to pack ‘Pakodas’ it will acquire its smell. It means that the newspaper acquired the smell of the material packed in it. Newspaper is the same. Suppose it is used to pack dry fish. It acquires the smell of the dry fish. Newspaper that had no smell, initially, acquired the smell on the material packed/associated with it. In a similar fashion, if the Mind is put to use in the right path, it will become good. What is meant by right path? Inculcating good thoughts, good manners, good company, moral and ethical meets are all the means to steer the Mind towards being ‘good’. Instead, if it is driven in the wrong direction of nurturing bad thoughts, bad behaviour, and bad company etc, it gets into the ‘bad’ mode. Good and bad are not inborn qualities in the Mind. They are induced qualities from its surroundings. If we want to have good Mind, we should move in good company.
Mind and its mysteries00:02:24
Mind is responsible for all the business dealings and activities in the world. A school without a teacher and a temple without a deity are of no use. Similarly, a body without a mind is also useless. Ordinarily people think that the mind is bound by the body and foster it by looking after the needs of the body by various means. Man is getting bound by the body by believing that the body is essential for all the pleasures and comforts. A man with such beliefs cannot achieve any progress in spite of doing service and Sadhana. Mind is not like the blank white paper. Mind is imprinted with the tendencies and experiences of many past births. The fruits of the many actions performed by the body are also imprinted on the mind. Hence, mind can be described as an entity full of thoughts and desires.
Mind and its working00:01:37
Embodiments of the Divine Atma!! The human body made up of the senses and five elements is no different from the mind. The body is the armour adorned by the mind to give expression to its desires and to experience the world. Mind is the basis for all the forms. Just as one cannot imagine the existence of a crop without water so also a body without mind is unimaginable. Only when man understands the principle of mind and conducts himself accordingly, can he aspire to comprehend the essence of mind.
Adugakuve o manasa00:00:36
Adagakuve, o manasa! Adugukoladi adi aduguna padunani, Adagakunna pani adi vadigaa agunani, Adugani Sabarini aadarinchade! Adugaka tanakai madiyu jataayuvu Kadaku netti sadgati kaliginchen!!” O Mind! Do not desire! O mind do not ask!! Continuous asking might get you neglected!! Without your asking it may be granted soon!! Wasn’t Sabari given without her asking!! Didn’t the bird Jataayu who died for Him, Get the ultimate without asking?!
Mind can separate the good from the bad00:01:47
Here is a small example: The water of the ocean is salty. The heat of the Sun converts the ocean water into vapour. When once the salty ocean water is turned into vapour, the water loses its salinity and becomes sweet and forms the clouds. The clouds rain as water drops. The rain water is pure and sweet. The doctors call it ‘distilled water’, that which is devoid of any type of pollutants. The water in the form of cloud is so pure and sweet and these qualities are not present in the ocean water. Similarly out of the ocean called ‘anugraha’, divine blessings, with the sun of ‘grace’ shining on the ocean, sweetness enters into the mind with all the purity. Hence, “Manayeva manushyanaam, kaaranam bandhamokshayoho”- mind is the cause for bondage or liberation! And it is only the mind that is the cause for good and bad. One’s actions are responsible for one’s pleasure and pain. And it is a mistake to blame anyone for one’s actions.
Analogy of a dog to explain about the mind00:04:36
There lived a rich and prosperous householder whose heart was filled with love and compassion for others. One day while the rich man was having lunch a hungry dog came by. Looking at the hungry dog, he went inside and brought some rice for it. The dog ate and left for the day and returned the next day. This ritual of feeding the dog at lunch time went for several years. He got fed up and vexed with the dog as it persisted. He started to think of plans to get rid of the dog. The dog persisted in spite of getting beaten up. He wanted to drive away the dog but knew not what to do. If we alter the practice which brought the dog to the doorstep, then the dog would go away. The dog kept coming as it was being fed by him and would stop coming if he stopped giving it food. Likewise from many life cycles our “mind”, which is comparable to a dog, hungry for the worldly desires has been entering the house of the “Atma”, the householder. We have been practicing the feeding of the dog, namely the “mind”, with the worldly tendencies and desires. Hence, it is unable to leave us. The mind is quite to some extent, when you go about in the market or when attending your duties. But when you sit for mediation the mind becomes extra active and runs hither and tither. So instead of undertaking this kind of meditation with a wavering mind, it is better to undertake other types of work. One need not get discouraged on this. The mind has become fickle as we have been feeding it with the worldly tendencies. But if we under take different type of routine then the mind will get strengthened.
Analogy of electric wire to explain mind00:04:31
In our organisations, whether one preaches it or not, seva and “Sadhana” or self practice should co-exist. Individual “Sadhana” can be compared to the negative pole. The collective service may be compared to the positive pole. With the conjunction of the positive and negative poles, we will be able to gain worldly success and prosperity. There is the electric wire running from this end to that. But the light is not illumined in the corner. But the current flows through the wire even in that corner and that is revealed in the illumination of the bulb installed at that place. Therefore, the mind which can be compared to negative pole must be developed into a powerful bulb. The electric wire has a plastic wrapping over the copper wire inside. But when we join one plastic wire to another the current does not flow. When we join one copper wire with another then the current begins to flow. Similarly the current of “Divinity” is present in every individual. Our body may be compared to a plastic wire. Nothing comes out when one plastic wire comes into contact with another. The mind, which is like the copper wire inside the plastic wire, comes into contact with another mind, then the current flows in the form of ‘Divinity’. In the beginning along with the copper wire the plastic cover may also go. The plastic cover is external whereas the copper wire is within and that is the mind. Thus we serve with the body and with the mind we should try to approach and gain the love of others. Today we sit for meditation with the body that is like the plastic wire. It is not enough if only the body sits in meditation; it is the mind that must connect. Certain types of training are necessary for the mind.
Mind is the cause for use or misuse00:02:00
Every material in this world should be properly used. There is this knife here. One can use the knife to cut the vegetables, cook and eat them to satiate one self. With the same knife one can cut fruits and eat and enjoy the sweetness. With the same knife one can prove the loss of humanness and exhibit the demonic side by cutting the throat of another. For this knife is not the cause; it is the human mind that is responsible for the results. As is the mind so is the destiny; as is the destiny so is the position and as is the position so is the possession. But today man desires for wealth and possessions without realising his true position. To realise his true position man needs to transform his destiny. In order to change his destiny he should properly mend his mind. In Vedantic parlance it is quoted as “As is the thought, so is the manifestation! (Yad bhavam tad bhavathi)!!” One’s behaviour is dictated by one’s thoughts and feelings.
Mind is a conglomeration of thoughts00:01:00
One must accumulate good thoughts and intentions in the mind. We have discussed earlier that the mind has no shape.The form of the mind is simply the conglomeration of one’s thoughts and desires. Hence one must steer clear of bad intentions and bad thoughts and if one does encounter bad thoughts one must get rid of them by developing good intentions and good thoughts.
Swami on the importance of mind, matter and awareness00:05:00
In the humanity today this equality is the ‘integrated awareness’ or ‘pragnya’. This ‘integrated awareness’ or ‘pragnya’ is a synonym of ‘Atma’ or the ‘self’. But man cannot live, even for a moment, without ‘integrated awareness’ or ‘pragnya’. It is this awareness that gives a kind of vibration to the life force in man. Embodiments of the Divine!! In man divinity expresses itself in three ways; one in the form of matter, second in the form of the mind, the third as awareness or ‘pragnya’. As Swami has said earlier, human life is the amalgamation of all the three forms. Radiation, vibration and materialisation are noticed. This is called matter, the force and the conscience. From where does one get the conscience? One thinks that there is an increase in the awareness and increase in intelligence. The intelligence is of the outer world but not of the inner world. There is another realm beyond the knowledge and no one is making an effort to realise it. One is always using the word knowledge; what is happening because of this knowledge? One is unable to realise the energy and it becomes allergy. There is the power of the self, ‘atmic shakthi’, beyond knowledge. It is not possible to neither to know nor to describe it. So in the spiritual path, it is said that the true self is beyond the mind and the words. One cannot understand it through experiments; one can only experience it. One has sugar in one’s palm and is able to see it clearly; then one mixes it in water. The sugar that one could see and hold in one’s palm when mixed with water cannot be held nor can it be seen. Can one deny the presence of sugar? There is the sugar, but when can one tell it so? The moment one tastes the water, one able to realise the presence of the sugar!! The sugar that one mixed with hand is no more graspable; the sugar that one saw with the eyes is no longer visible. But one realises the presence of sugar through taste- that is ‘experience’!! There is air all around us. One cannot exist without air. Is the air visible? Can one grasp it? Can one deny the presence of air as one cannot see or hold it? No! There is air!! Likewise, divinity is present everywhere and is all pervading. One is not pursuing to realise this divinity in all earnestness. With sincerity and steadfastness one can achieve anything. Hence the saying- “Sradhdhawaan labhate gyanam!!” –the earnest one acquires wisdom!! An earnest man can make a small fire into a big flame. A man without sincerity extinguishes even a very big flame. It is one’s sincerity that is responsible for either one’s development or downfall. One should strive to investigate to know that one doesn’t know with utmost sincerity.
Mind is the cause for sorrow or joy00:02:32
All the types of sadhanas that we perform today are meant to control our mind. There are certain subtle, very secret truths hidden in the mind. As long as all my attention is concentrated on my work, I do not know what is happening to me, hands are just moving on my body, I am not totally aware of that. But, on the other hand, if you feel that there is some scratching sensation here, well you get that scratching sensation immediately. Once your mind is diverted onto that particular thing, you get that particular feeling. All the pains, all the sorrows, and everything comes only through our mind. From where does this mind come? Who is this mind? When we just examine that way, it consists of only thoughts. From where do these thoughts come? From where do these thoughts come? You say that you do not want sorrow, you want only joy. The end of one is the beginning of another. Joy and sorrow are always together. It is impossible for anyone to separate them. You can't see joy alone separately as a separate entity. If your sorrow ends, then you say that there is joy. Therefore, you should not bother yourself about either the sorrow or the joy but go to the origin from which this sorrow and joy emanate.
Man essentially means Mind00:01:30
Man essentially means mind, but we are only taking note of the physical form of man. This is a great mistake. As he has a mind 'Manas' he has been called 'Manishi' or man. If you see that the world is not the way that it ought to be, what is the reason for it? 'Man' means 'mind'. Mind is the conglomeration of the thoughts. The thoughts essentially refer to the type of action you carry on. If your conduct is good your mind would be good. If your mind is good Man will be good. If you say that the world is not all right today it means man's conduct is not quite all right. Our conduct should be divine, sacred.
Mind can achieve anything00:02:55
Real Sadhana consists of turning our mind according to our will. We get all types of joy by turning our mind the way that we want. The same thing has been told that man is bound or freed only by the mind. This mind itself is the very form of Vishnu. The entire world is immanent in the mind. Sometime back, long back, I had been to the Himalayas. We have been to Badrinath, Kedaranath and various other places. How stupendous are the Himalayas! After you come back, if you reflect for a minute, you can get back the huge Himalayas in your mind. Your mind and heart are so small, but still it can fit the huge Himalayas. The entire world is in your own mind. Do not consider mind as a small thing. Mind is a very form of Vishnu. Vishnu refers to all-pervasiveness. We experience difficulties and problems because we are mistaking such an all pervasive mind to be narrow and we want to control it. You should recognize the truth that you live in the mind, the mind is not in you. The entire mind is spread all over the world. The mind is in the world and world is in the mind. Do not separate them from each other. If you are selfish, your mind becomes very small. The moment you are selfish, whatever divinity you have, it becomes very small in you. You are going to ask for something, beg for something. Do not become a beggar. You are Master. Transform yourself into a master.
Friendship with Mind00:01:18
All potentialities are the reflections of mental feelings. We should have friendship with our mind. Once you develop friendship with your mind, you will be successful. According to Indian culture, it is only when you have true friendship, you can really experience God. Listening, singing, chanting, service, salutation, worship, servitude, friendship, self-surrender. It is the friendship that leads to self-surrender. Without friendship, you cannot reach the state of self-surrender. If you say that, it is only verbal or vocal declaration but nothing effective in terms of action.
What prize man should aspire for00:00:50
All the prizes that we receive are not prizes in the true sense. One with mathi or mind faces so many problems. Bahu mathi or many-mindedness or a diversified mind will have greater troubles. We should not have a wavering nature or bahu mathi. We should have the true state of mind or nija mathi. Nija mathi or the true mind, is the sukthi, the true message that arises from the human heart.
Do not be a slave to your Mind00:00:48
We should control our mind and make the mind our slave. If you are a slave to your mind, with all your strength you will still be weak. Therefore the mind should be your slave. The power and the strength of the mind is not noticed anywhere in this world. In the mind, great features and traits find their origin.
Power of Mind00:01:52
In fact, there have been tremendous beautiful sentiments in every man. This mighty strength is not noticed in anybody. It is the mind, a combination of thoughts which is very powerful. The one who can win over the mind can win the rest of the world. There is no other greater power than that of the mind. Mind is the primal cause responsible for bondage and liberation. Man is not able to control his mind today. Therefore, he is not able to be the recipient of the bliss for which he has to strive. If you control your mind, you can be successful in any of the tasks and you can become reputed. Students! Boys and girls! Achieve that state of the mind which is pure. If you control your mind, you will be able to accomplish anything.
Do not pollute your mind; Purify it00:01:28
We have the body and with this body we do many acts but this is not that important. We should purify our mind. In fact every man has a mind but no purity. Everywhere there is pollution. Nothing is pure today. We come across air pollution, food pollution, noise pollution and water pollution. We should see that our mind is not polluted by bad thoughts. The mind should not be negative but should always be positive. You may be a great man with all achievements but with a negative mind you will not be victorious. Turn your mind into a positive one. Your mind should be blissful all the time. This sort of bliss should be shared with many. That is true human quality.
Turn your mind towards God00:02:18
So today we should fill our hearts with love. What sort of love? Love is One. We find many types of 'love' in this world. That is not true love at all. It is worldly love. Physical love. It is just temporary. But the spiritual love is one that originates out of the human heart. That is the love we have to develop. All others are negatives. That which comes out of the heart is positive. You worship, you do japa, you meditate - all these are negatives. You go on moving the beads of the rosary, but the mind goes to the market. What is the use of such meditation? Your mind should be fixed in japa, the repetition of the Lord's name. Fixing the mind on God’s name is real prayer. Prayer does not mean allowing the mind to waver. Mind is responsible for bondage and liberation. We have to divert our mind towards God. This is the lock, this is the key, put the key in the lock, turn to the left, it opens. Turn to the right, it gets locked. Same lock, same key - the difference is in the turning. Human heart is the lock. Mind is the key. Turn towards God for liberation, turn towards the world for bondage. Our mind is directed towards the world, we are not directing our mind towards God. We take just the world to be important and struggle for the physical, ephemeral, world.
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