This posting is part II of mind series. Mind receives information from our sense organs and gives information to organs of actions like hand, legs etc. It is like two way traffic. The input received by mind is modified and evaluated based on reasoning and the decision of the mind is conveyed through the organs of action. Let us take an example. Somebody is yelling at you. Your mind is patiently observing and evaluating the situation. The velocity of the yell increases. Your mind will wait till a point of time. Beyond the level of tolerance it communicates its decision through your sensory organ say mouth which makes you to yell back. If it does not find improvement, it directs your organ of action, in this case hands to hit the yeller. At every stage mind evaluates the situation through the inputs it receives. The verdict of the mind may not be the same in everybody. If the mind is well tuned in a person, it may not give command to retort. The mind of a yogi will not respond to this situation at all. Rearing mind and child is one and the same. The child learns from what it observes. If you quarrel in the presence of a child, it will learn the art of quarrelling. In the same way mind also gets impressions from the sensory organs and acts. Like a child mind is to be carefully nurtured.
The ashtanga yoga which we have discussed earlier is connected to the mind only. Every anga or part or limb ultimately leads to controlling the mind. To tame the mind you have to first tame your sense organs. Withdrawing the mind from the sense organs is meditation. The inputs into the mind should not be allowed. There are several ways of cutting off these inputs. For example, if you move away to a secluded place, there is not much of work for the sense organs, though your mind will continue to work. It is not right to go to forest just for controlling your mind. One has to learn to control the mind amidst day to day activities. Another dreadful enemy of mind is ego. When ego is destroyed, you do not gain experience. When you do not have experience you do not get impressions in the mind. Ego as such is not bad, but identifying ego with “I” is bad. If you realise ego as your atman, then ego is not bad; as a matter of fact it is good. When mind is controlled, your thoughts are also controlled as they are interdependent. Becoming thoughtless is the penultimate stage to self realisation. At this stage, your mind in co-ordination with your body is getting ready to realise self illuminating atman inside. Becoming thoughtless will not lead to a blank mind. Mind cannot become blank. If it is blank how will you recognize the illuminating atman inside? There is also a famous saying that an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. So mind always needs something or other to ponder about. That something should be atman. Let us learn how to control our mind.