Spiritual realization is not that tough to pursue. It only needs proper understanding of the psychic being and the making of it. What is really needed is a thorough knowledge about the process of creation. Unless one knows all the components of a machine, a perfect machine cannot be made. Unless one has total knowledge of the Spirit, spiritual knowledge cannot be perfect. An ill- conceived spiritual knowledge will only be an erosion of time in one’s precious life.
There are too many theories about spirituality and too many jargons are used, thereby complicating the process of understanding spirituality. Pursuing the spiritual path is easy for those who could understand the intricacies of the phenomena involved. Once a proper spiritual life is pursued, the result will be distinctly evident, resulting in eternal happiness and joy. The one who has truly realized the cause of his existence continues to lead a normal life. He cannot be identified and distinguished from the rest. He will continue to exist as one amongst us. Only those who are able to read energy level of others can identify him. He is evidently different from those who project themselves as the realized souls.
This series will simplify the process of realizing the Self within. This series contains both theory and practice. Theory deals with the process of acquiring knowledge and elucidates all about Soul and soul. Technical terms have been avoided as for as possible and all that is necessary to understand spirituality have been explained to the extent that is required to understand them. This series deals with inner psychic organs, māyā, karma, Brahman (Supreme Soul), individual soul, Prakṛti, sensory organs, creation and death, sheaths of body. The origin of worldly experience begins when inner psychic organs set out their interdependence with gross body. Towards the end, this series will be dealing with the practice of uniting self with the Self through proper meditation.
Please begin reading this series by making an affirmation that you will be liberated when you reach the last phrase of the book “I am That”. To achieve the logical end of spiritual life, repeated affirmations are necessary. Affirmations infuse positive influence on your mind and make you the object of affirmation. When you affirm “I am That” you become “That”.
INNER PSYCHIC ORGANS - MIND
Inner psychic organs also known as antaḥkaraṇa comprise of four subtle components that work on the inner subtle plane. What is visible in you body is gross and what is not visible is subtle. They are mind, intellect, consciousness and ego. Each one of them not only functions independently, but also functions in consorting with each other. The inner psychic organs are very powerful components that decide the quality of an individual. They are too subtle in nature, hence difficult, but not impossible to exercise control over them. They work along with external sensory organs and makes a person to function as a human being. For example, your existence has become possible because of the triad mind, body and soul. The perfect balance between these three is an important aspect of your existence and also for realising the Self within.
Mind is one of the amazing instruments of human life. Mind is endowed with the power of creativity and when manifested, the dualities like pain and pleasure are realized. The mind could be pure or impure depending upon external influences. If mind is not properly trained and tamed, it turns out to be a potential source of danger, dangerous than the weapons of war. Therefore, when one decides to pursue the path of spirituality, mind has to be quarantined; as otherwise, it acts according to its likes and dislikes. It develops likes and dislikes from the three attributes or guṇa-s – goodness, passion and darkness or harmonious, mobility and inertia (sattvic, rajasic and tamasic). All the three attributes are always prevalent in all the human beings, but not in equal proportions. The only time when all the three attributes are in equal proportion is pre-creation period. These attributes play an important role by influencing the mind and making the mind susceptible to likes and dislikes.
Mind can be termed as the combination of the next two of the inner psychic organs viz. intellect and consciousness. When the mind is not observing to the happenings before you, it means you are in attentive to what is going on in front of you. The subtle mind, in conjunction with the gross brain make things happen. There are two types of minds. One is the conscious mind and another is subconscious mind. Out of the two, subconscious mind is more powerful, as it acts as a store house of all the impressions of the mind without your knowledge. Even if you wanted to forget an incident, without your knowledge, it gets stored in your subconscious mind. The impressions thus got embedded in the subconscious mind get transferred to the conscious mind and the conflict between the impressions of the subconscious mind and the impressions of the conscious mind take place. Impressions of the conscious mind are of recent origin and the impressions of the subconscious mind are very old, even pertaining to your previous lives.
Let us take an example. A person had abused you long time back. At the time of abuse, though you would not have retarded, the abusive words would have deeply entered into your mind. This entry into the mind is called impression. Impressions are nothing but the traces of thought processes. Some of the thought processes do not get deeply embedded in the mind, whereas certain others go deep into the mind. You are under the impression that you have forgotten about the incident as the impressions got transferred from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind. When the impressions are transferred to your subconscious mind, you forget the incident temporarily. Temporary means any amount of time may be months, years or even births. For sometime, till the impressions get deeply rooted in the subconscious mind, they shunt between the conscious mind and subconscious mind. During these times, you are bound to get quick flashes of those incidents. Once the impressions get deeply rooted into the subconscious mind, they get stored for ever and will manifest in the conscious mind in the most unexpected time. When this happens, this causes the killer instinct in the conscious mind. This killer instinct transforms a good person to a bad person prompting him to indulge in evil activities. Therefore, a quality of a person is determined only by his subconscious mind. When you are entering the spiritual path, all the impressions in the subconscious mind should be eliminated. This can be done only if your ego is dissolved.
Mind, by nature is always attracted to sensory inputs. An idle mind cannot always remain quiet. It is waiting for some sensory inputs to construct a thought process that ultimately manifests as series of actions, either good or bad. Thought processes lead to desire, attachments, etc. When you are not able to fulfil your desire, it transforms into an impression that induces the mind to satiate your unfulfilled desire at any cost. Suppose you do not have necessary money to satiate your desire, the mind will induce you to acquire money at any cost to satiate your desire. This is the point where a good person transforms into a bad person. When you have such a flimsy and fragile mind, you obviously cannot pursue the spiritual path, as spiritual enlightenment takes place only in the mind. Spiritual aspirants have no choice except to keep their mind calm and clean. The best way to keep the mind is to live in the present moment. Mind has got the inherent tendency to think about the past and brood over future. It does not like to stay put in the present.
The Light of the Lord is discovered and realized through a transparent mind. God alone is luminescent and is in the body of all living organisms in subtle form. Realisation of God is a process through which the Self illuminating light of the God is discovered. The Light of the Lord is discovered and realized through a transparent mind. If there are too many impressions in the subconscious mind, it becomes crowded and prevents the luminosity of the Self to be realised in the mind. It is like dark clouds preventing the visibility of the sun. These impressions form a stumbling block for an aspirant to realize the Self illuminating God. By nature, subconscious mind always bangs on the doors of the mind to percolate into the mind to manifest. For example, the subconscious mind holds vengeance as impressions. These impressions of vengeance will be waiting for an opportunity to enter the mind in order to manifest. It manifests in the form of developing an attitude of vengeance that ultimately causes that person to payback either to the same person or to someone else. The impressions of the subconscious mind are too powerful to resist by an ordinary mind. When the thought of vengeance manifests vehemently, it does not have patience to think about the consequences. The mind has dual functions. It not only works on the inputs received from the organs of perception but also from the other three inner psychic organs, intellect, consciousness and ego. The mind functions not merely on the impressions of the objects on a gross level, but also functions on the impressions of the subconscious mind on the subtle level. It is easier to deal with the mind at the gross level than at the subtle level, as the subtle inputs are much more powerful not only in the case of mind, but universally.
Since thoughts are more powerful than actions, one has to control one’s thoughts. If there are too many thoughts in your mind, you obviously become confused, as a result of which you lose your focus and concentration. Your consciousness could be towards your body, mind or soul. When you focus your consciousness on your body you lead a mundane existence with least possibilities for spiritual life. When you begin to fix your consciousness on your mind, your perception of the world begins to transform from gross to subtle. You leave the mundane life and begin to realize the purpose of your existence. This stage takes you to the commencement of your spiritual life. The next stage is where you begin to focus your attention on your soul. Your spiritual life truly begins at the end of annihilation of your subconscious mind. Spiritual journey has to begin and conclude only in the mind. There is no other place where spirituality unfolds, not even in the places of worship. They can at the most lay a strong foundation for a perfect spiritual life. It is important that spiritual life should be built on a very strong foundation. When you progress in spiritual life, there is every possibility for you to slip down more forcefully to mundane life, as you begin to exist with least impressions in your mind. When the mind has huge cleaned up space, thought processes could be waiting to gush in. That is why great importance is stressed on building your spiritual life on a strong footing. There are enough instances to indicate this unfathomable fall.
Your subconscious mind is more powerful than your normal mind. The impressions of the subconscious mind are carried through several births and you are not aware of any of the impressions deposited there. When your mind is cleansed and purified by making it devoid of any thoughts, your subconscious mind begins to percolate into your conscious mind. You have no choice except to allow all the impressions in your subconscious mind to enter into your mind, so that all the impressions of your subconscious mind can be annihilated. Impressions of the subconscious mind cannot be removed in the subconscious mind itself. They have to be annihilated only in the conscious mind, as you have no direct access to your subconscious mind. At this point, you may be facing severe stress in your life as manifestation of subconscious mind could cause pains and miseries. You are now put to the test of endurance. When you are saddled with only miseries and pains you tend to get frustrated and may decide not to pursue the spiritual life seriously. You have to pass this test of the Divine. When all the impressions of the subconscious mind are annihilated, you become absolutely free and become a perfect personality to advance in spirituality. This becomes the first hurdle that you have successfully crossed to reach your logical goal of realising God.
At the time of conception, a soul enters the fetus along with karmic account and impressions of the subconscious mind. Ego, intellect, consciousness are only products of mind. Your karmic account also manifests only in the mind, as cause for any action is decided in the mind. When the mind is associated with sensory organs, it means that the mind looks externally. When the mind looks externally, you are bound by ego that causes thoughts in your mind. If the mind is withdrawn from external objects, you are disconnecting your mind from sensory objects and turning it to look within. Looking within is nothing but withdrawing your sensory perceptions. This is the stage where you do not want to see, listen, or smell. You plug your sense organs, thereby disconnecting yourself from any sensory influence on the mind. When you are associated with your sensory organs, you are bound by time and space. When you are contemplating to realise the Self within, you have to transcend time and space, as God is beyond time and space. Knowledge acquired about time and space is about perishables, as all objects are subject to decay. What you see today do not remain the same tomorrow, as all objects undergo changes towards their ultimate destruction. God alone is beyond modification and is eternal. When you turn your mind to look within, there is no seer and the seen. The duality of seer and the seen is now obliterated to become one with God within. You become That.
The Self always refers to God, the Supreme, the Brahman. Universe appears only after the emergence of the mind. Mind has to be there to perceive the universe. Everything is contained in the Self and accordingly both universe and mind are also contained in the Self alone. Therefore, either mind or universe cannot exist as something different from the Self. The theory that everything exists in the Self goes to prove that Self is beyond limits. The Self therefore, stands transcended beyond time and space limitations. That is why Self is said to be omnipresent. When you make efforts to know the Self that is beyond time and space and beyond growth and decay, you have to be on the same plane as that of the Self. For example, only rivers can confluence with ocean and not mountains. The concept of confluence is between the objects of the same category. When the Self is beyond limitations, you can realize Him only if you are able to cross the limitations. Your mind is your limiting factor. Therefore, you have to transcend your mind. Your mind is a place of knowledge. The knowledge acquired by the mind is only relative in nature. With the aid of your mind you can say this is big and that is small. Materialistic comparisons can easily be drawn with the help of your mind. But this does not mean that you are seeing the eternity. Eternity is so vast and huge and cannot be comprehended by ordinary human mind. To experience the eternity, you have to go past the mind by abandoning all its limiting factors. You cannot transcend the mind, if it is dark, like sun becoming invisible because of dark clouds. You also cannot transcend a mind that is too crowded with thoughts of both conscious mind and subconscious mind. Mind is the storehouse of innumerable thoughts created only by you. Apart from you, none can infuse thoughts in your mind. You become a thinker, induced by ego. Ego is the root cause of all your thoughts. Ego always infuses the sense of “I” ness in you. If you are able to win over your ego, the intensity of “I” ness gets reduced leading to lesser thoughts. You have to cease to become a knower if you want to realise the Self. If there is a knower, there has to be an object of knowing and the process of knowing. All the three, knower, known and the knowledge have to merge to become one single entity. At the end of it, you realize the Self.
Mind cannot be controlled automatically and there has to be serious and sincere attempt to subjugate your mind. It has to be controlled consciously. If mind becomes agitated, its agitation percolates into the entire body system and causes serious erosion on your level of energy by affecting your inhalation and exhalation. Your normal breathing becomes rapid breathing. When you breathe rapidly, you can never focus your attention. Yoga and meditation teach you the ways to control your breath.
Your mind is your known subtle body. The type of food that you consume influences the mind as the finest part of food you consume makes your mind. When you really want to pursue spiritual path, you have to have perfect control on the type of food. Spicy, hot and salty food should be avoided as far as possible. Purification of mind is not a process by itself. There is no process to purify your mind. When the influences of the mind are countervailed by reciting mantras, practicing austerities, observing rituals, charity, remaining in the company of holy people, listening to spiritual discourses, etc. the mind begins its purification process. The repetition of mantras is the ideal choice to begin the cleansing process. You can develop positive thoughts to countervail the effects of other thought processes. Meditation is another way to calm your mind. You should not begin your spiritual journey by commencing with meditation. Meditation does not lay a strong foundation for spirituality. Before you commence your spiritual journey you have to have a strong spiritual foundation. The mind at the end of this state is further purified by meditation. Ultimately you dissolve your mind in the ocean of the Supreme Self. By always staying connected with the Supreme, you also become pure by attaining perfection like Him. You realize that you are That.
(to be continued)