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MIND : ITS USE AND MISUSE

Mind does show her three faces. Sometimes Rajas running wild; sometimes Tamas with dark despair; sometimes with sweet serenity

It was Budha who had declared more than 25 centuries ago, What we think, we become. This philosophy of incomparable India Royal Saint found expression once again, a few centuries later in I think, therefore, I am wisely spoken by Descartes in his Principles de la philosophic. These two meaningful statements representing two distinguished schools of through highlight the importance of Mind in unmistakable terms. The human mind is a powerful instruments with which we can solve most of our problems. It is a suitable instrument that enables us to wage of our problems. It is a suitable instrument that enables us to wage our unique battle against our huge ignorance.

It is our sacred duty to use the mind in a positive way, with the help of positive thinking. We can turn any situation howsoever bad to advantage. It prevents mental and physical inertia. There is no room for pessimism and boredom in positive attitude. It was the great artist Rambrandt who said that man could find more beauty in his own village than could reasonably be enjoyed in one normal life span. Although he had as sad a life as one could imagine yet never made the mistake of indulging in self-pity. It goes to his credit that he faced life as a fighting optimist. The result of positive thinking of this celebrated artist is before us. His paintings are now an inexhaustible source of delight, aesthetic pleasure and inspiration to the lowers of art.

Now let us see what negative thinking does to man. It gives rise to unsocial behaviour patterns. This kind of attitude betrays the absence of any real purpose in and affirmation of life. A person yoked to negative thinking refuses to accept social responsibility. Such a mind develops the habit of talking in terms of Ifs and Buts. Inferiority complex is the main characteristic of such a mind. He is unable to meet the obligations of life, and to my mind a person who cannot be of any use to society is worse than a stone. A state may arrive when such a person will be at the mercy of inner disharmony. Psychiatric help will be the only way out in such a situation. The denial of the fact that man is a social animal is clearly a misuse of mind. Love is the highest law of human life. There are two more ingredients necessary for the correct use of mind, namely knowledge and organisation. Without knowledge there is no starting point and in the absence of organisation, knowledge cannot be lasting. Prejudices and thinking in extreme should be abjured as they run counter to knowledge and organisation. Fear, frustration and egotism are the plants that grow fast in soil of negative thinking which is clearly a misuse of mind. So it is essential to discard our defective thought patterns. If we want to cultivate the correct use of mind, we must not take anything on its face value. The pitfall of being dogmatic should be avoided at all costs because it stunts the mind. Curiosity is one of the main springs of the correct use of mind. All our great achievements and dizzy heights that we have achieved in various spheres of human activity, have been possible due to curiosity. Famous philosopher and populariser of Scientific ideas, load has rightly remarked that without this quality of the human mind, our civilisation as we know it today, would have come to naught.

Mind is the wildest, fastest wanderer as mischievous as a monkey, as cunning as a fox, fickle, whimsical, slippery, oscillating, easy to fall into the net of temptations and allurements. If left uncontrolled, it becomes a source of evil thought, morbid feelings, malicious intentions, sinister motives, sensual desires, pervert ideas, ignoble actions and lands man to doom and destruction.

Happiness, sorrows, realisation,  hallucination, liberation, bondage, depends on one mind. For a person whose mind is under his control, there is no need for a mantra or a tantra. In a small ashram in India a Guru had a few disciples. When pleased with one of the disciples who had devotedly served him for ten years, he said, son, choose anything you like, I will confer it on you. The disciple jumped with joy and asked, Master bless me with a mantra that can fetch me anything I desire. Surprised, the Guru asked him to ask instead for spiritual blessings. When the disciple insisted, the master reluctantly gave him the mantra, on his way back to his house, when the disciple chanted the mantra, the power appeared before him and asked for orders. On the disciples request, the power built a palatial house and filled it with rich food, wine and women. The disciple satisfied with these said that it would suffice. But the power said, anything you desire, I will do, but the moment, you stop giving me work, I will devour you; Frightened the disciple ran back to the master. As per the master advice, the disciple ordered for an iron pole of five thousand feet to be fixed and asked the power to keep moving up and down the pole. The power did so. Human mind is like the power in the story. Tuned properly, the mind can achieve anything and everything. Once it is kept idle, it will not only create problems for one but also literally behour one with its worries. It is said as our desires, so our thoughts; as our thoughts, so our experience. The mind is to be constantly guarded and carefully protected from its own inherent negative tendencies. Cultivation of higher values of life, like forgiveness, compassion, love charity, ahimsa, help in this regard. The mind is a huge catalogue of conception and it uses these to create a philosophy of its own. The brain is only a distribution centre. It is the a power house but not the power. The mind is both mysterious and unique. Sometime man, in ingorance struggles to control the mind but misses it completely because the very struggle sometimes brings conflict, feeds the mind and makes it strong. Swami chanmayananda in his commentag on ashtavakra gita says mind can never control the mind. By rising above the mind intellect alone can the mind controlled without trenscending the mind, the experience of the self is impossible. Some people continue their meditation throughout their lives yet ever remain unhappy, bound as they are with the mind intellect  entanglements. Man tries in the beginning to turn his mind away from sense objects, but sense objects  are everywhere. One should lift oneself above the mind. Both father and child walk into the toy shop, the child is tempted and excited but not the father because he has risen above the level of toys. The sense objects can entrap only a mind, that is seduced with its desires. The quietened mind, after eliminating the desire and ego, becomes the pure intellect namely sudha budhi.

According to yogic philosophy human being in his journey to self awakening passes through the stages of evolution and involution. In the first stage one becomes completely identified with the external world. In the second stage one turns inwards in which he rediscovers the subtle experiences and subtle aspects of his being and finally comes to realise himself as pure consciousness. A mind either runs after the world or away from it, both reflect the weakness of the mind. A mind that does from it, both reflect the weakness of the mind. A mind that does not enjoy objectivity and tends to project its own conceptions on men and matters becomes mechanical and thus unhappy. When the mind is turned outward, as it usually done, the mind becomes the subject and the whole outerworld becomes the object. When such a mind is turned inwards, it divide itself into both the subject and the object. Most of the people are ignorant about mind. It is this ignorance which makes the mind a jungle full of poisonous weeds of tension, anxiety, Worry, fears and phobias. Mind is the cause of three states of experience waking, dream and deep sleep. In waking state of experience waking, dream and deep sleep. In waking state there is disharmony and confusion of through. In dream state, the stored up memories of waking state are projected. In deep sleep state there is peace and happiness because of continuous single through I do not Know.

Whether one lives in heaven or hell, in the house or moves to the forest, the mind will continue to haunt. sometimes change of surroundings, even a forest, the mind will continue to haunt. Sometimes change of surroundings, even a forest, can increase the thought of the mind. In Amrta-Bindopanishad, the mind had indeed been described as two-fold, the pure and the impures, the impure as affected with desire and the pure as devoid of desire. One colouredness is the quality of milk of cows of various colours. The wise man looks upon the knowledge of the Brahman as on milk, and on the people with various garbs as on the cows. Vijnava abides hidden in being after being, even as butter does in milk. Hence should churning be constantly made in the mind by every being with the churning- stick of the mind

In the Tejo-Bindopanished, it is mentioned, The mind alone is the universe. The mind alone is the great foe. The mind alone is worldly existence. The mind alone is the great misery. The mind alone is duration of time. The mind alone is impurity. The mind alone is desire. The mind alone is Jiva. The mind alone is Chitta. The guardians of the cardinal points, the Vasus, the Rudras, and the Adityas are the products of mind.

There appear many impediments, situations and difficulties in yogic way of life. Impediments and difficulties are of various types producing misery or Dukhas. In the Sankhaya Sutras, Kapila mentions Dukhas of three types : Adhiyatmika or that caused within ourselves in the body by illness and unhealthy living and in the mind by evil desires, anger, greed, folly, pride and envy. Adhibantika or that caused by other living beings such as thieves, beats, terrorists and evil minded persons. Adhidasvika as the misery brought about by natural phenomenon such as extreme temperature, floods, storms, tempests, earthquakes etc. as obstacles in yogic way of life.

We are all born with good impressions and tendencies brought from previous lives and we also acquire new ones in present life. While good tendencies help but evil tendencies obstruct our yogic progress. Yogic life is like stream and should move towards the ocean of sat-chit-Ananda or Infinite-Existence sometimes the yogic current does not move at all, sometimes it moves for a time and stops and sometimes it moves along wrong directions. The task in our yogic life is to make the current move steadily in the right direction till the aim is achieved. But in actual life there is no such things as movements in a straight line. There appear many ups and downs, breaks or stops, This has been experienced by many yoga aspirants.

Patanjali gives number of conditions which serve as distractors of mind and consequently make the successful practice of yoga impossible.

Vyadhi-styana-sannsaya-pramada

lasyavirati-bhranti-darsanala

badhabhumikatvanavasthitatvani

chitta-vaksepas te ntarayah.

Disease, languor, doubt, carelessness, laziness, worldly-mindedness, delusion, non-achievement of a stage, instability these cause of distraction of the mind and they are the obstacles.

This distracted condition of the mind is called viksepa. There are two general characteristics which we are likely to find in the large majority of people. First is the lack of purpose. They drift through life being carried along on its currents in a helpless manner. There is no directly force within them which can modify their circumstances and give a certain direction to their life. Even when they decide to pursue any particular objective, they are easily thrown off the track by any obstacles. They lack concentration of purpose. There are some exceptional people who have strong will and have the capacity to pursue  their aim till they achieve success. such people generally rise from the lowest rank and become great scientists, inventors, and leader. Now the yogi has neither any ambitions nor the pursuit of of any worldly aim still he needs concentration of purpose. The pursuit of yogic ideals requires more concentration of purpose because difficulties in his path are greater and his sphere of work is invisible and objective is unknown.

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