Mind is our best friend and worst enemy as well. Normally, we are under the control of mind. If we want to realise ourselves, we have to keep mind under our control. Our mind plays a vital role during meditation. Therefore let us understand what mind is and the ways and means to bring it under our control. We will have a comprehensive study about mind through a series of postings, this being the first. Mind is known as knowledge, intellectual ability, the seat of faculty and reasoning and formation of opinion. These are the dictionary meanings of mind. Mind can create and destroy depending upon its tuning. Mind functions on two grounds. One is on the basis of actual and actual experience. This means that mind functions on the basis signals received from sensory organs. Second is on the basis of visualization. This means not connected to sensory organs. For example we can say our dream state. Though we do not see anything physically, still mind recognizes our dreams. Therefore we can say mind works on the basis of impressions. Impressions can be external like seeing through our eyes or internal like dreaming. Its external impressions can be controlled by human efforts and its internal impressions cannot be controlled by human efforts. Impressions of mind can be through any sensory organs, not necessarily eyes. It can be through eyes, ears, mouth, skin and nose. The worst products of mind are anger, greed, addiction etc. The mind is always alert, analyzes, evaluates and takes a final decision on the inputs received through sensory organs. Its final decision is transformed into action. The resultant action may be good or bad. Depending upon the end result of your actions, you are called good or bad. If ever alert and powerful mind can be conquered by us and the end product of the mind can be determined by us.
Otherwise only mind decides the end product. Mind is given the utmost importance in yoga sutras. This is because manifestation happens only through mind. We have already seen that mind and thought are independent and interdependent. It is difficult to say whether your mind produces your thoughts or your thoughts influence your mind. As we are unable to find an answer, we call them as interdependent. Both mind and thought are invisible. Mind can think only about the past and the present. It can only visualize the future. Mind is so powerful that it can even remember the vasanas or impressions of our past lives also. But this does not happen with everybody. Only by yogic practice, such super human qualities can be achieved. The mind is called the sixth sense, which does not exist in other living beings except humans. Mind is responsible for our karmas as well. Unless we learn to control our mind, our so called journey to divinity becomes irrelevant. Meditation is a process through which mind can be controlled. Mind is mostly overworked as it has to attend to all the sensory organs. Even in our dream state mind is active. Only in the stage of deep sleep mind takes rest. When you are overworked, you become exhausted. In the same way when your mind is overworked it refuses to function or malfunctions resulting in anger and depression. When it is over worked it refuses to listen to you. This is the position when mind is controlling you.