Mind cannot act independently without the soul within. All the three types of bodies are built around the soul. Soul is the cause for a person’s existence. Only the soul is self-illuminating. A soul can experience without the help of mind, but mind cannot function without the soul within. This is known as experience of the soul. This is experienced during deep trance. During deep trance, bāhyakaraṇa and antaḥkaraṇa become inefficacious. Further experience of the Self is possible only when the traces of ego are temporarily annihilated. (Permanent annihilation leads to death and consequent Liberation). In other words, when a person stays away from māyā, he realizes the Self within. This is how, effective meditation is to be practiced.
Since mind is not self-illuminating (only Brahman is Self-illuminating; Brahman also means the soul within), it cannot even recognize itself and also the objective world. Brahman is Self-illuminating and It can know itself and also the objective world (māyā). A comparison can be made to sun and moon. Moon does not shine on its own; it shines due to the light of the sun. Similarly, mind cannot shine on its own; it shines due to the light of the Self within. There are four components in subtle body – mind, intellect, ego and citta. Mind builds up perceptions. Intellect evaluates those perceptions built up by the mind. Ego acts on the perceptions evaluated by the intellect. Citta concludes those actions. (Sometimes, mind and citta are considered as the same). If mind alone is active, we end up only in confusions, as there will be only perceptions and no action and conclusion for the thought processes of the mind.
The Self within does not change. Body ages, but the Self does not age with the body. Mind is active only due to the Light of the Self within. If Self is not there in a body, then that body is dead. When the Self leaves the body, it causes death. Self is always pure. By purifying antaḥkaraṇa, ever illuminating Self becomes visible and this is known as Self-realization.
Mind is able to understand everything by connecting the objects and the seer. Patañjali says, “cittam sarva artham”, which means mind is everything. Though mind stuff is everything, it derives its power only from the Self within. Patañjali speaks extensively about the mind, as only through mind, realization is possible. As long as mind is flooded with thought processes, it is not fit even to meditate. Without meditation, realization is just not possible.
Though mind is full of vāsanā-s, it still exists for the sake of the Self. What is vāsanā-s? They are impressions of anything remaining unconsciously in the mind, knowledge derived from memory. Why the mind should have vāsanā-s? Because, it works for the Self within. Thus, antaḥkaraṇa which is the subtle body, enters into the causal body, where the Self is seated, unperturbed. When vāsanā-s prevails, they pollute the mind, making it impossible to realize the Self within. Vāsanā-s function like veils around the Self. Unless these veils are removed, realization of the Self is not possible. Therefore, it is important to stay away from desires and attachment, which cause impressions in the mind.
A yogi understands the difference between the Self and the mind. When this difference is properly understood, illusion of realizing the mind as the Self is destroyed. The Self can be realized only in the mind, but mind is not the Self. Mind exists only because of the Self. This, a yogi clearly understands that mind is not the Self; such thought disappears permanently from him. Thus, his mind is free from confusions.
As the mind is devoid of thought processes, it moves towards the Self. When every material thing is blocked, naturally the mind goes towards the Self, as Self is its master, without which the mind cannot function. At this stage, mind crosses innate ignorance, ignorance due to māyā and ignorance due to vāsanā-s (āṇava mala, māyiya mala and kārma mala; mala means impurities). Bondage of every individual is only due to these types of mala-s. Now the mind is purged of all these types of impurities and thus it becomes pure, ready to realize the Self within. Impurities cause obstruction in the mind from realising the Self within. Now the yogi is ready for kaivalya.
Karma is all powerful. Law of Karma is Law of the Lord. There is no way to escape from the karmic impressions, except to experience. Even for a yogi, some thoughts may crop up here and there. Even during the time of pains, a yogi stays only with the Self. While doing so, he does not feel the pains, though he experiences them. His knowledge helps him here.
Even these pains are lessons for a yogi. He considers these experiences as part of his self-purification. He practices yoga and reduce the effect of his karmic impressions. The impact of karma can be reduced through quality meditation.
(IV: 18 – 28)