The Mind - An Introduction By Swami Sukhabodhananda

The mind - an introduction by swami sukhabodhananda

When the eternal spark of Divinity, called the soul or atma, gets identified with the body, we say that the Ego is formed. This Ego creates an identity which limits an expansive consciousness to a narrow world view of labels and ideologies. From an unlimited, ever-blissful state of awareness, it becomes a limited product of its interactions with the mind-body field. We are all transcendental, beyond religion, race, creed, ideology, yet we limit ourselves to these.


In understanding the human condition, therefore, it is necessary to understand the mechanism through which we are conditioned to exist. This mechanism is the mind. We all use this term a lot. What does it mean? What in essence, is the mind? The ordinary mind lives in lies and lies create illusion. The mind, which needs illusion, is a mind, which needs dreams of the future for its fulfilment. Such a mind loves dreaming and hence, dreams continuously.


Life goes on moving from no dreams to dreams and hopes the future will be the saviour, and in the process, the present is a living hell.For living life in the now, first one has to observe, what pulls such a mind to the future, what are its psychological grooves, and what patterns trap one. Such a mind is suffocating one and one has to see it wisely and free it. Seeing it is action and such an action is a movement of freedom. The mind lives in hope, and finds life hopeless. The hope of the future drags one into anxiety and chaos. One lives life in self-deception that the future will be the saviour, and thus the truth of the moment is never lived.


One needs to understand the functioning of such a mind.


Traditional Western interpretations of the mind talks of it as something independent of the physical brain. It further distinguishes the difference between the mind and the body as two separate entities with little influence of the one over the other. However, these conventional views are rapidly changing. Increasingly, most scientists are beginning to realize that the mind and body are a single unit, naming it as a psycho-somatic system. Today, scientists such as Carl Jung state there are 4 functions of mind: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition.


These present conclusions of modern science are very much reflections of Vedic, and indeed yogic, understanding which also speaks of the mind as having four functioning qualities: buddhi, manas, ahankara and chitta. This understanding considers the entire body and mind as a single psycho-somatic unit.


Buddhi is what we call intellect today. It requires a certain amount of memory and past experiences on which to base its functioning. It is that quality of the mind which enables it to connect the dots of various data points in order to form a thought guided by reason and logic. This is the aspect of the mind that is most emphasized in our education systems today.



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