When the food is pure, the whole nature becomes pure; when the nature becomes pure, the memory becomes firm; and when a man is in possession of a firm memory, all the ties are severed.
(Chhandogya Upanishad, VIIxxvi-2)
Mind is manufactured out of the food that we take. Subtlest part of food reaches upward to the heart and thence entering the arteries, and thereby bringing into existence the aggregate of the organs of speech and being changed into the form of the mind, it increases the mind.
As per Chhandogya Upanishad, the food that we take is transformed in three different ways: the gross or the heaviest part of it becomes the excrement; that of medium density is transformed into flesh and the finest part goes to form the mind. Just as in the churning of curd, its fine particles rise up and are transformed into butter, so when food is consumed, the subtlest part rises up and is transformed into mind.
QUALITY OF MIND DEPENDS UPON QUALITY OF FOOD
Food has a direct and intimate connection with the mind and plays a vital part in the make-up of the mind. Sattvic diet calms the mind. Rajasic diet excites the mind. Note the difference in nature between a tiger which lives on flesh and a cow which lives on grass. Food exercises important influence on the mind. You see it clearly every day. It is very difficult to control the mind after a heavy, sumptuous, indigestible, meal. The mind runs, wanders and jumps like a monkey all the time. Alcohol causes tremendous excitement in the mind.
Food plays an important role in meditation. For purposes of meditation, the food must be light, Sattvic and nutritious. The body is made up of food. When the quality of the mind depends upon the quality of the food taken, it is natural to insist in the interest of the highest morality upon a kind of Sattvic regimen of diet for those aspirants who lead a contemplative life and householders who are attempting to lead a spiritual life in the world.
WHEN FOOD CAN BE DISPENSED
Food is only a mass of energy. Water supplies energy to the body. Air also furnishes energy. You can live without food for very many days, but you cannot live without air even for some minutes. Oxygen is even more important. What is wanted to support the body is energy. If you can supply the energy from any other source, you can dispense with food entirely. Yogis keep up the body without food by drinking nectar. This nectar flows through a hole in the palate. It dribbles and nourishes the body. A Jnani (Self Realized Person) can draw energy directly from his pure, irresistible will and support the body without food. If you know the process of drawing the energy from the cosmic energy or solar energy, you can maintain the body with this energy alone for any length of time and can dispense with food.
Evolution is better than revolution. Do not make sudden changes in anything, particularly in
food. Let the change be gradual. The system should accommodate it without any hitch. Natura non facil saltum (nature never moves by leaps). Take any food that suits you. Do not make much fuss about it. Any food that is readily available and that agrees with your system is harmless.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda
Karma and birth continue one after another. Here questions arise. Is there no end to this cycle? How can the soul get liberation? As per Saiva philosophy, we should develop positive qualities and attitudes in life. Our action or Karma should be in the way of Supreme whose inherent nature is wisdom and attribute is love. In every birth, we gain experience through karma, and knowledge through experience. In this process the grip of Ego(“I”), which is the source ignorance, get loosened and ultimately we become liberated from it. Also we develop the mind to take pain and pleasure, the fruits of evil and good karmas, alike. Supreme Grace then descends on us. Then our actions will not be motivated by our senses which are prompted by Ego. They become His actions and karma will not follow us to come to experience.
– Saiva Philosophy
MUTUAL INFLUENCE BETWEEN MIND AND BODY
The mind is intimately connected with the body. The mind acts upon the body and the body reacts upon the mind. Mind has influence over the body. A pure, healthy mind means a healthy body. Grief in the mind weakens the body. Body influences the mind also in its turn. If the body is strong and healthy, the mind also becomes healthy and strong. If the body is sick, the mind also becomes sick. A pain in the stomach causes depression in the mind.
THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF DISEASE
The primary cause of diseases which afflict the body is bad thoughts. Whatever you hold in your mind will be produced in the physical body. Any ill-feeling or bitterness towards another person will at once affect the body and produce some kind of disease in the body. Intense passion, hatred, longstanding bitter jealousy, corroding anxiety, fits of hot temper actually destroy the cells of the body and induce disease of the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen and stomach.
When the mind is agitated, then this body also is agitated. Wherever the body goes, the mind follows. When both the body and mind are agitated, the Prana flows in a wrong direction. Instead of pervading the whole body steadily and equally, it will vibrate at an unequal rate (unrhythmically). Then the food is not digested properly. Diseases originate. If the primary cause is removed, then all diseases will disappear.
The pains that afflict the physical body are called secondary diseases, whilst one that affect the mind are termed mental or primary diseases. If bad thoughts are destroyed, all bodily diseases will vanish. Purity of mind means healthy body. Therefore, be careful in your thinking, in the selection of your thoughts. Always entertain noble, sublime, loving and kind thoughts. You will have harmony, health and beauty.
A LAMENTABLE PRACTICE
It is lamentable, indeed, to note that most of the doctors in the world, do more harm than good to their patients. They exaggerate the nature of the disease to their patients. They fill their minds with imaginary fears of all sorts. They do not know the power of suggestions and their influences on the minds of their patients. As greed is ingrained in their minds, as the desire to become rich is deep-rooted in their minds, they try their level best to extract from their patients as much money as they can. If they say to their patients, “This disease is nothing. I will make you all right within a couple of hours,..” who is going to pay them amply? They give wrong suggestions to their patients: “This is a terrible disease. This is an incurable disease. A dangerous poison, a dangerous microbe is lurking in your lungs..”. The poor patient spends sleepless nights on account of imaginary fear, on account of wrong suggestion given by the doctor. Every moment he thinks, I may die at any moment. The doctor has said that my disease is dangerous and incurable. He drags a cheerless existence. The worry and anxiety and fear destroy millions of red blood-corpuscles daily. The doctor gives the wrong suggestions to glorify his skill, dexterity in the profession also.
PAIN IS IN MIND ONLY
Pain is evident so long as you connect yourself with the mind. There is no pain in sleep. If there is an inflammatory swelling on your back with throbbing pain, you do not experience any pain at night when you are asleep. Only when the mind is connected with the diseased part through nerves and thinking, you begin to experience pain. There is no pain when the mind is disconnected from the body by the administration of chloroform. During moments of great joy, the severe pain entirely ceases, as the mind is taken away from the body, from the seat of the pain. If you can consciously withdraw the mind from the diseased part by concentrating it on God or any other attractive object, you will not experience any pain even when you are wide awake. If you have a powerful will and strong power of endurance, then also you will not experience any pain. By constant thinking of any trouble or disease, you only augment your pain and suffering. Pain is only in mind. Soul is full of bliss.
CONQUER THE MIND TO CONTROL THE BODY
With the majority of mankind, the mind is greatly under the control of the body. Their minds being very little developed, they live as food coverings mostly. Develop the Intellect and, through Intellect, control the Mind. The Intellect is developed by abstract thinking and reasoning, by systematic meditation. When you have controlled the mind, you have perfect control over the body. The body is only a shadow of the mind. It is the mould prepared by the mind for its expression. The body becomes your slave when you have conquered the mind.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda
Forget “I” Inside Us, Remember We Are HIM
Mind is the subtle form of this physical body. The physical body is the outward manifestation of the mind. So when the mind is rough, the body is rough too. Mind very conspicuously reflects on the face its various states which a man of intelligence can very easily read. Face is an index of the mind, just as the tongue is an index of the stomach.
The body follows the mind. If the mind thinks of falling from a height, the body prepares itself immediately and shows external signs. Fear, anxiety, grief, cheerfulness, hilarity, anger all produce their various impressions on the face.
The eyes which represent the windows of the soul bespeak of the condition and state of the mind. There is a telegraphic instrument in the eyes to transmit the messages or thoughts of treachery, cunning, fraud, pure love, compassion, devotion, depression, gloom, hatred, cheerfulness, peace, harmony, health, power, strength and beauty.
If you have the faculty to read the eyes of others, you can read the mind at once. You can read the uppermost thought or dominant thought of a man if you are careful to mark the signs in his face, conversation and behavior. It needs a little pluck, acumen, training, intelligence and experience.
Your thoughts, sentiments, modes and emotions produce their strong impressions on the face. The face is like an advertisement board wherein is advertised what is going on inside the mind. In face, you can hardly hide your thoughts. You may foolishly think that you have kept up your thoughts in secret. Thoughts of lust, greed, jealousy, anger, revenge, hatred, etc., at once produce their deep impressions on your face. The face is a faithful recorder and a sensitive registering apparatus to register and record all the thoughts that are running in your mind. The face is a polished mirror to indicate the nature of the mind and its contents at a particular time.
Your face is like a gramophone record or plate. Whatever you think is at once written on your face. Every vicious thought serves as a chisel or needle to write down the thoughts on your countenance. Your faces are covered with the scars and wounds which are made by the vicious thoughts of hatred, anger, lust, jealousy, revenge, etc. From the nature of the scar in your face, one can read your state of mind.
Seat of Mind
The seat of mind in deep sleep is heart. In dream, the seat of the mind is neck. In waking state, the seat of the mind is the between the eyes slightly right. Just mark what you do in deep thinking. You hold your finger in the chin, turn the neck to the right side, turn the gaze towards the space between the two eyebrows and then begin to think seriously on the problem in hand. This goes to show that the seat of the mind.
MIND-ITS MYSTERIES AND CONTROL By SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
We have seen the basics of Soul and Mind in my earlier articles. Finally we will explore our Body.
Within our physical domain, we have an extended body, a personal body, and an energetic body. Our extended body is the environment, containing the never-ending supply of energy and information that is available to we. Every sound, sensation, sight, flavor, and aroma we ingest from the environment influences our body and mind. Although our senses may tell we otherwise, there is no distinct boundary between our personal and extended bodies, which are in constant and dynamic exchange. Each breath that we inhale and exhale is a reminder of the continuous conversation taking place between our physical body and our environment.
This recognition requires we to take responsibility for what is happening in our environment. As a human, we should be an environmentalist because we need to recognize that the rivers flowing through the valleys and those flowing through our veins are intimately related. The breath of an old-growth forest and our most recent breath are inextricably intertwined. The quality of the soil in which our food is raised is directly connected to the health of our tissues and organs. Our environment is our extended body. We are inseparably interwoven with our ecosystem.
Of course, we do have a personal body that consists of the molecules that temporarily comprise our cells, tissues, and organs. We say temporarily because although it appears that our body is solid and constant, it actually is continuously transforming. Scientific studies using radioisotope tracings convincingly show that 98 percent of the ten trillion quadrillion (1028) atoms in our body are replaced annually. our stomach lining re-creates itself about every five days, our skin is made anew every month, and our liver cells turn over every six weeks.
Although our body appears to be fixed and stable, it is continually metamorphosing. The vast majority of the cells in our body are derived from the food we eat. Hence physical body is called “the covering made of food.” To create and maintain a healthy body, yogis pay attention to the food they consume, minimizing the toxicity they ingest while maximizing the nourishment they receive.
The third layer of the physical body is called “the sheath made of vital energy.” There is a difference between the cells of a corpse and the cells of a vibrant living being. This organizing principle that breathes life into biochemicals is called Prana. There are five seats of prana in the body, localized in the head, throat, heart, stomach, and pelvis. These centers of movement govern the flow of life force throughout the body. When prana is moving freely throughout the cells and tissues, vitality and creativity are abundant. Yogic breathing exercises, known Pranayama techniques, are designed to awaken and purify the vital energy layer of the body.
From tomorrow we will explore about the Mind and Body influence.
A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D.