MIND:In this chapter are described briefly the nature of the mind, its states and location According to the Hindu scriptures an entity known as the ‘mind’, is derived from the subtle essence of the food consumed; which flourishes as love, hatred, lust, anger, and so on; which is the totality of mentality, intellect, desire, and ego; which, although it has such diverse functions, bears the generic name ‘mind’, which is objectified as the insentient objects cognized by us; which, though itself insentient, appears to be sentient, being associated with Consciousness, just as a piece of red-hot iron appears to be fire; in which the principle of differentiation is inherent; which is transient and is possessed of parts capable of being moulded into any shape like lac, gold, or wax; which is the basis of all root- principles (tattvas); which is located in the Heart like sight in the eye and hearing in the ear; which gives its character to the individual self and which, on thinking of the object already associated with the consciousness reflected on the brain, assumes a thought-form; which is in contact with that object through the five senses operated by the brain, which appropriates such cognizance to itself with the feeling ‘I am cognizant of such and such’, enjoys the object and is finally satisfied. 20 Words of Grace To think whether a certain thing may be eaten is a thought- form of the mind. ‘It is good. It is not good. It can be eaten. It cannot be eaten’; discriminating notions like these constitute the discriminative intellect. Because the mind alone constitutes the root-principle manifesting as the three entities of ego, God, and world, its absorption and dissolution in the Self is the final emancipation known as kaivalya, which is the same as Brahman. The senses, being located externally as aids for the cognition of objects, are exterior; the mind, being internal, is the inner sense. ‘Within, and without’ are relative to the body; they have no significance in the Absolute. For the purpose of showing the whole objective world to be within, and not without, the scriptures have described the cosmos as being shaped like the lotus of the Heart. But that is not other than the Self. Just as the goldsmith’s wax ball, although hiding minute specks of gold, still looks like a simple lump of wax, so too all the individuals merged in dark ignorance (avidya), or the universal veiling (maya), are only aware of nescience in their sleep. In deep sleep the physical and subtle bodies, though entering in the dark veiling, still lie merged in the Self. From ignorance sprang the ego — the subtle body. The mind must be transformed into the Self. Mind is, in reality, only consciousness, because it is pure and transparent by nature: in that pure state, however, it cannot be called mind. The wrong identification of one thing with 1 another is the work of the contaminated mind. That is to say, 1 i.e. The mistaken view that attributes the Reality of the Self to the material world as existing by itself independent of the conscious principle. This is due to the false identification of the Self with the physical body, as a result of which the ignorant person assumes that what is outside and independent of the physical body is also outside and independent of the conscious principle. Self-Enquiry 21 the pure, uncontaminated mind, being absolute Consciousness, on becoming oblivious of its primary nature, is overpowered by the quality of darkness (tamas) and manifests as the physical world. Similarly, over-powered by activity (rajas), it identifies itself with the body and, appearing in the manifested world as ‘I’, mistakes this ego for the reality. Thus, swayed by love and hatred, it performs good and bad actions, and is, as the result, caught up in the cycle of births and deaths. It is the experience of everyone that in deep sleep and in a faint he has no awareness of his own Self or of objectivity. Later the experience ‘I woke up from sleep’, ‘I regained consciousness’, is the distinctive knowledge born of the natural state. This distinctive knowledge is called vijnana. It shines not by itself but by always adhering either to the Self or the non-Self. When it inheres in the Self, it is called true Knowledge; it is awareness of the mental mode in the Self, or perpetual awareness; and when this distinctive knowledge combines with the non-Self, it is called ignorance. The state in which it inheres in the Self and shines as the Self is termed aham spurana or the pulsation of the Self. This is not something apart from the Self; it is a sign of the forthcoming realization of the Self. However this is not the state of Primal Being. The source in which this pulsation is revealed is called prajnana (Consciousness). It is this source that Vedanta proclaims as prajnana ghana. The Vivekachudamani of Sankaracharya describes this Eternal State as follows: ‘In the sheath of intelligence shines eternally Atman, the self-effulgent witness of all. Making that thy Goal, which is quite different from the unreal, enjoy it by experience, through unbroken thought- current as thy own Self.’ The ever luminous Self is one and universal. Notwithstanding the individual’s experience of the three states — waking, dream, and deep sleep — the Self remains pure and changeless. It is not 22 Words of Grace limited by the three bodies: physical, mental and causal; and it transcends the triple relation of seer, sight and seen. The diagram in this page will be found helpful in understanding the changeless state of the Self, transcending the illusory manifestations referred to above. Diagram 1. Flame …. represents the Self. 2. Door …. ” Sleep 3. Doorway …. ” Intellectual principle …. (mahat) as the source of …. the ego (ahankar). 4. Inner wall …. ” Ignorance (avidya). 5. Crystal mirror …. ” Ego 6. Windows …. ” Five Senses 7. Inner chamber …. ” Causal body during sleep 8. Middle chamber …. ” Subtle body in dream state 9. Open court-yard …. ” Physical body in waking state The inner and the middle chambers together with the open court- yard represent the individual. Self-Enquiry 23 The sketch illustrates how the luminous Consciousness of the Self, shining by Itself, functions as the causal body (7) in the inner chamber surrounded by walls of ignorance (avidya) (4) and led by the door of sleep (2), which is moved by the vital forces, due to the lapse of time and according to destiny, through the doorway (3) against the interposed mirror of the ego (5). It passes with the light reflected therefrom into the middle chamber of the dream state (8); later is projected into the open courtyard of wakefulness (9) through the passage of the five senses or windows (6). When the door of sleep (2) is shut by the force of mind (i.e. the vital forces) due to the lapse of time and according to destiny, it retires from the wakeful and dream states into deep sleep and remains merely as itself without the ego-sense. The sketch also illustrates the serene existence of the Self as different from the ego and from the three states of sleep, dream and wakefulness. The individual self resides in the eye during the waking 2 state, in the neck during the dream state, and in the Heart during deep sleep; but the Heart is the chief among these places, and therefore the individual self never entirely leaves the Heart. Although it is specifically said that the neck is the seat of the mind, the brain of the intellect, and the Heart or the whole body of the ego, still the scriptures state conclusively that the 3 Heart is the seat of that totality of the inner senses which is called the mind. The Sages, having investigated all the different versions of the scriptures, briefly stated the whole truth that it is the experience of everyone that the Heart is primarily the seat of the ‘I’. 2 At the back of the neck is the medulla oblongata. 3 Antahkarana, in the original, meaning the mind, intellect and ego collectively.