Mind – Life History

Finally we are about to complete our learning on “Mind – Its Mysteries and Control” by Sri Swami Sivananda in couple of weeks. Hope you had all a pleasant journey in learning about our Mind and unraveled some mysteries.

All the articles about mind are grouped under “Mind” category. I know it’s huge to go through all of them, so I am planning to sub categorize them later some time. In these final weeks we will go through some of the beautiful poems about mind by Sri Swami Sivananda which will summarize and conclude what we learned in last 11 months.

THY LIFE-HISTORY

O Mind; O Maya’s child!
You always want a form
To lean upon;
You have two forms—
Suddha Manas, pure mind,
Asuddha Manas, impure mind.
Time, space and causation
Are thy categories.
You work through
The law of association;
You think, feel and know.
You are Soul-Energy.
You are Mental Sheath.
You are like a mirror;
Brahman is reflected on you.
You are compared to a tree:
Ego is the seed of this tree,
Thoughts are the branches,
Intellect is the first sprout.
You have another three forms
The conscious mind,
The subconscious mind,
And the superconscious mind.
You are made up of
The subtlest form of food.
You are a bundle of habits,
Impressions and Subtle desires.
You are fourfold:
Mind does Sankalpa-Vikalpa,
Intellect determines,
Subconscious mind executes,
Egoism self-arrogates.
Subconscious comes under conscious mind,
Intellect comes under Ego.
It’s all different thought waves.

For those who haven’t read the detailed articles, here it is… 

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Bhakthi Yoga – Path of Love

Bhakti yoga is one of six major branches of yoga, representing the path of self-transcending love or complete devotion to God or the divine. Bhakti yoga is based on the doctrine “Love is God and God is Love”. A practitioner of bhakti yoga regards God as being present in every person or sentient being.

The practices of Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga are not suited to the majority of people in this age, while they have always an irresistible charm for such practices because of their apparent concreteness and promise of speedy rewards. A vast majority of persons have no good physique and robust constitution. They are weaklings. In this age, children beget children. There are baby mothers. Devotion or Bhakti Yoga is, therefore, easy and safe. Any man can repeat the Name of God. Anyone can sing His praise. Without a mother, you cannot have a son. Even so, without one-pointed or single-minded devotion, you cannot have True Knowledge. When Bhakti is fully ripe, Supreme-Knowledge dawns of itself, without much effort on the part of the aspirant.

Any Mantra is very powerful. It purifies the mind. It induces Vairagya (dispassion). It causes thought waves focusing inward. Every Mantra has a Rishi who gave it; a Deity as its informing power; the Bija or seed, a significant word which gives it a special power; a energy of the form of the Mantra, i.e., the vibration-forms set up by its sounds; the Kilaka or the pillar, that which supports and strengthens the Mantra. Kilaka is a sort of plug which conceals the Mantra-Consciousness. By constant and prolonged repetition of the Mantra with right mental attitude and concentration, the Mantra-Consciousness is awakened. There is a spiritual current in all Mantras. A Mantra takes the devotee’s soul first to one centre and then to another and so on, till access is gained to the goal or final region.

Nine Principles of Bhakti Yoga

The ‘Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu’ provides the following as the nine primary activities of bhakti, with the instruction that by following all or just one of these activities perfectly, the aspiring devotee can achieve pure love of God:

  • Sravana. This is the Sanskrit term for listening to poems or stories about God’s virtues and mighty deeds. Sravana bhakti cannot be practiced in isolation. The devotee must hear the stories from a wise teacher and seek the companionship of holy people.
  • Kirtana. This refers to the singing or chanting of God’s praises. Ram Dass has said of this form of bhakti, “When you are in love with God, the very sound of the Name brings great joy.”
  • Smarana. This is remembrance of God at all times, or keeping God in the forefront of one’s consciousness. In Christian terms, smarana is what the French monk Brother Lawrence (1605–1691) meant by “the practice of the presence of God.”
  • Padasevana. This form of bhakti yoga expresses love toward God through service to others, especially the sick.
  • Archana. This refers to the worship of God through such external images as icons or religious pictures or through internal visualizations. The purpose of archana is to purify the heart through the love of God.
  • Vandana. This refers to prayer and prostration (lying face down on the ground with arms outstretched). This form of bhakti yoga is intended to curb self-absorption and self-centeredness.
  • Dasya. In dasya bhakti, the devotee regards him- or herself as God’s slave or servant, carrying out God’s commandments, meditating on the words of God, caring for the sick and the poor, and helping to clean or repair sacred buildings or places.
  • Sakha-bhava. This form of bhakti yoga is a cultivation of friendship-love toward God—to love God as a member of one’s family or dearest friend, and delight in companionship with God.
  • Atma-nivedana. This is the complete self-offering or self-surrender to God.

Unlike some other forms of yoga, however, bhakti yoga does not teach the devotee to completely lose his or her personal identity through absorption into the divine. God is regarded as infinitely greater than the human worshiper, even one at the highest levels of spiritual attainment.

These nine principles of devotional service are described as helping the devotee remain constantly in touch with God. The processes of chating and internal meditation on the aspirant devotee’s chosen deity form (favorite god) are especially popular in most bhakti schools.

Reference

1. Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda
2. http://www.thesecretsofyoga.com/Bhakti_Yoga.html

Power of Thought

Quote

The power of thought is very great. Every thought of yours has a literal value to you in every possible way. Thought creates. You can work wonders with the power of thought. Through the instrumentality of thought, you acquire creative power. The strength of your body, the strength of your mind, your success in life and the pleasures you give to others by your company— all depend on the nature and quality of your thoughts. You must know thought-culture!

Are you Really in this World?

This ever-agitated Mind, having come into existence out of the ineffable Soul, creates the world according to its own thoughts. This legerdemain of the universe springs out of the thoughts of your Mind. It is through the Thought of your Mind that the universe appears to be and it is this Thought that is asked to be given up by you if you wish to soar to the One Reality beyond the universe.

With the growth of a paltry Mind, there will arise the universe; with the extinction of the former, the latter also will disappear. With the annihilation of Thought, all conception of differences between the seer and the seen will vanish and then the Reality of Soul will begin to shine uninterrupted. Then the shadow of all the universe, movable and fixed will be found absorbed in. It in a non-dual state.

With the contemplation of “I”, all the train of ideas of the universe will set in; otherwise, all the universe will vanish as instantaneously as darkness before the sun. Mind and “I” are one. Destroy the “I”, then the mind is destroyed.

Creation of world is an imagination of the mind. This legerdemain of the world is enacted by the mind and the mind alone. What you call world is the mind only. Mind is the world. The mind manifests itself as the external world. This universe is no other than the mind itself. Like a dream generating another dream in it, the mind, having no visible form, will generate non-existent visible. This perishable universe exists only when the mind exists, but disappears with the absence of the latter. If the mind, which is the instrument of knowledge, perception and activity, vanishes, with it disappears this subjective world also. The whole world is a mere notion, mere idea. It exists in name only.

The happiness and misery experienced in this world are caused by the working of the mind. All the hosts of pains and pleasures arise from the mind only. They will perish if the mind perishes through stainless discrimination and spiritual practice. The three worlds are created for the pleasures and pains of the mind. Suspension of the mental activity will cause the three worlds to disappear with their misery. With the destruction of the mind, all the three periods of time vanish into nothing. By controlling the mind, all occult powers are acquired.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

How to Overcome the Thoughts

The mind can very easily think of worldly objects. It is its nature. Thoughts generally flow with ease towards objects. Mental energy will readily flow in that direction. The mental force can easily flow in the old grooves and avenues of mundane thoughts. It finds it extremely difficult to think of Supreme. The difficulty in weaning the mind from objects and fixing it on Supreme is the same as in making the river flow towards Mountain instead of its natural flow towards Sea. It is like rowing against the current of the River. Still, through strenuous efforts and dedication it must be trained to flow towards Supreme much against its will, if you want to free yourself from birth and death. There is no other go if you want to escape from worldly miseries and tribulations.

How to Overcome the Thoughts

Overcome the stains of thoughts or the cloud of thoughts through the power of discrimination and constant efforts and be drowned in the ocean of Supreme bliss with spiritual illumination. When you try to bury your shadow in the earth, it always comes out. Similarly, when you try to overcome the thoughts through, they will come out again and again. Withdraw the mind from the objects. Purify the mind and fix it on the Space of the heart (Infinite Supreme). The mind will be annihilated in course of time.

Do not for a moment contemplate upon the things of the universe. You need not exert yourself too much to rid yourself of this thoughts. With the checking of all thoughts, one’s mind will perish. Having firmly annihilated the external thoughts through the internal one and having destroyed the impure mind through the pure one, rest firmly in your Soul-Knowledge.

When you are firmly established in the idea that the world is unreal, through names and forms , thoughts will slowly vanish. Always remember Supreme Soul alone is real. World is unreal. Human Soul is identical with Supreme. You will gain immense strength and peace of mind.

The State of Thoughtlessness

With the extinction of the base thought, there is the extinction of Ignorance and its effect, mind. Thought is pain. Thoughtlessness is all bliss.

When your thoughts, which are now dispersed, shall be collected together and you will remain in a state of repose, then the eternally happy Soul will shine forth as the reflection of the sun is seen in a clear surface of water. Peace is not in money, woman or eating. When the mind becomes desire-less and thoughtless, Soul shines and sheds forth eternal bliss and peace. Why do you search in vain for happiness in objects outside? Search within for bliss in the subjective, True-Conscious-Blissful Eternal Soul.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Thoughts are Infinite…

There is the spiritual life in God. This is what relates us to the Infinite. You get everything in Supreme Soul, as He is Self-contained and Omnipresent. All your wants and desires are satisfied there. There is then the physical life. This it is that connects us with the universe around us. The thought-life connects the one with the other. It is this that plays between the two.

We have the power within us to open or close ourselves to the divine inflow exactly as we choose. This we have through the power of mind, through the operation of thought. If you are Rajasic (Passionate), you are far from God. You have shut yourself up from God. If you are Sattvic (Pure), you open yourself to the divine inflow.

The sacred River takes its origin in Mountains and runs perennially towards Sea. Similarly, thought-currents take their origin from the bed of Impressions in the mind, wherein are imbedded the latent subtle desires, and flow incessantly towards the objects both in waking state and dream. Even a railway engine is sent to the engine-shed for rest when the wheels become over-hot. But, this mysterious engine of mind goes on thinking without a moment’s rest. The expansion of this mind alone is union of thoughts; and, union of thoughts, through its power of differentiation, generates this universe.

A person without Self Knowledge has fickle minds with a great deal of fluctuation and myriads of thoughts. Their minds ever vacillate through thoughts. But, a person with complete Self Knowledge will be free from thoughts. They will be ever resting in their Soul Knowledge (Self Knowledge) which gives the highest satisfaction and Supreme Peace.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

How to Acquire Good Impressions?

Try to acquire some good spiritual Impressions in this birth at least, if you are not able to devote all your time in spiritual pursuit. Do some kind of meditation for a short time at least daily, say for half an hour in the morning or evening. Have a meditation room. By doing so, you will acquire some spiritual Impressions which will be a valuable spiritual asset for a new, good life.

You will have a very good birth. You will be placed in suitable environments in the next birth for unfolding the Divinity that is lurking in your heart, for practice of Yoga. Even by a little systematic spiritual practice, you can change your mentality, your old vicious Impressions. You can cut short several future births. By practice for three years, you can free yourself from the clutches of births and deaths. Why not now in this very birth? Why don’t you cut short the cycle of unnecessary births and consequent miseries? How long do you want to be a slave of the world, a slave of passions and Senses? Wake up now. Rouse the self by the Self.

New, healthy Impressions can be implanted by new, healthy suggestions. Suppose your brain is a plank in which are driven nails which represent the ideas, habits and instincts which determine your actions. If you find that there exists in you a bad idea, a bad habit, a bad instinct, a bad nail, as it were, in the plank of your mind, you should take another, viz., a good idea, habit or instinct, place it on the top of the bad one and give a hard tap with a hammer. In other words, you should make a healthy, useful suggestion. The new nail will be driven in perhaps a fraction of an inch while the old one will come out to the same extent. At each fresh blow with the hammer, that is to say, at each fresh suggestion, the one will be driven in a little further and the other will be driven out just that much until, after a certain number of blows, the old habits will be completely replaced by the new habits, new ideas. It demands, doubtless, strenuous efforts. It needs constant repetition of the new, healthy suggestions. Habit is second nature. But, pure, irresistible, determined will is bound to succeed eventually.

End of Impressions Leads to Moksha/Nirvana

The physical body may die. But, the thoughts and Impressions of actions, enjoyments and thinking follow you after death till you attain Moksha. In different births, you create different kinds of Impressions. It is the end of the Impressions, it is the death of the causal body that leads to the final Moksha. It leads to the attainment of Self Realization. You will be getting fresh births so long as there are Impressions. You will have to take birth again and again till all the Impressions are obliterated or fried up by the acquisition of Self Knowledge. When the Impressions are wiped out, Self Knowledge shines by itself in its own glory.

 
Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda