Jnana Yoga – Path of Wisdom – Part 2

The capacity of the mind to think exists, because it is enlightened by the Brahman (Supreme Soul) or Soul shining within and it is by that the mind is capable of activity. Those who have realized the Self say that the mind is pervaded by Brahman. “He who dwells in the mind, is within the mind, whom the mind does not know, whose body is the mind, who from within rules the mind is thy Self, the Inner Ruler, immortal.” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, III-vii-20) “That which one cannot think with the mind, but that by which they (wise sages) say the mind is made to think, know that alone to be Brahman” (Kena Upanishad, 5). Mind is a mere beggar. It borrows its light and intelligence from the Inner Ruler, the Soul that is self-effulgent. Just as a piece of iron moves in front of a magnet, so also, this mind moves in front of the Inner Ruler. It plays, thinks, feels and imagines before the Divine Presence, just as a prime minister plays and works before the presence of the king. The mind shines in its borrowed feathers. It appears like pure consciousness.

How can the mind which gropes in darkness, which changes in every minute, which has a birth from Mahat (Cosmic Mind) and also death (dissolution) in Prakriti (Nature) be termed as pure consciousness? The thoughts are various and changing. Now good thoughts manifest. Five minutes later, vicious thoughts appear. The mind is very fickle and changing. It cannot, therefore, be the changeless Soul or unchanging, rock-seated Brahman.

INERT AND CONSCIOUSNESS

Mind, Intellect, Senses and all other things are inert and lifeless. That thing which has no knowledge of itself and of other things also is called Jada or Inert or Lifeless. Brahman only is Conscious-Energy or Pure Consciousness is self-luminous and illuminates everything. It illuminates the mind, intellect and all senses internally; and externally the sun, the moon, the stars, lightning, fire, etc.

BRAHMAN IS CONSCIOUSNESS

Who sees the defects in the sun whether it shines brightly or whether it is obscured by clouds? It is the eye. Who sees the defects in the eye whether it is a cataract or Timira or not? It is the Intellect. Who sees the defects in the Intellect whether there is confusion or clarity in it? Who illumines the Intellect? It is Aham (Infinite ‘I’). This Aham is the Soul or Brahman, illuminator of everything. Who illuminates in dreams? There is no other light there. The mind is not self-luminous. It is inert. It is Brahman who illuminates the objects in the dream.

Suppose there is a blazing light at night. You stand at a distance. Something stands between you and the light as an obstruction and you cannot see the light. But you can clearly see the objects that are illuminated by the light. Though you cannot see the light directly, you clearly conclude that there must be a big light through the perception of the objects. So also, there must be a self-luminous illuminator behind this Nature. That illuminator, the Light of lights is the Adhishthana(support) for this illusory world.
If you sit down and realize that you only think by virtue of the one Life and that the mind, animated by the one Life into the act of thinking, is a part of the whole which is God, then you will argue that your mind is out of existence as a separate entity and the result is that mind and body physically (so to speak) disappear and the only thing that remains is Being Existence which is not explicable in words.

BRAHMAN IS WITNESS

Like, dislike, pleasure and pain, are the deeds of the mind only. Soul is Witness (perceiver) and unattached. Like a crystal which, though tinged with the seven colors is yet unaffected by them, Soul too is not affected by the actions of the mind. The very idea of creation suggests that there must be a creator. The very idea of matter suggests that there must be a spirit. The very idea of changing phenomenon suggests that there must be an unchanging noumenon. The very idea of a changing mind suggests that there must be an unchanging Witness and controller for the mind. He is Kutastha Brahman that clearly understands everything and is a silent witness of the embodied Soul and his activities. You are able to see the objects only. But the Witness or Kutastha Brahman sees the mind, its modifications, the embodied Soul or reflected consciousness and the various objects of the universe.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda