Articles

The Mind

The Mind
By Swami Rama

I have not come to teach you religion, for that you already have. I have come to teach you something that you do not have, that which is missing. And that’s called a personal philosophy of life, which will support you no matter where you go. So I will tell you something about the mind and what is beyond the mind. I would like to give you both views, eastern and western, and try to explain to you the various aspects of mind and its modifications, so that there is no confusion and you can start working with yourself. We human beings are fully equipped and we can all attain the goal of life here and now. But sloth or laziness is the greatest of all sins. You have to work hard to learn anything. To learn English I had to work hard. Without working hard how can you accomplish anything? You have to know the language first, then you have to know the practice and finally, you have to follow it.

If you want to work with yourself you should start practicing and watch your activities and not be trapped by self-created misery that rises out of sloth. The question is have you decided? Are you determined to work with yourself? How long will it take? Ten minutes a day to work with yourself. In the external world you can get lost easily, but within, there is no chance of getting lost. Why are you afraid? Afraid of whom? Actually, all the fears are within you, are created by you, all the fears are yours. You have never examined them, that is why you are suffering. Therefore, O human being, learn to work with yourself. East and West meet here, and a day will finally come when all of humanity will say with one voice that the mind is the source of all problems and the mind is the source of all pleasures. They have been trying their best to explore something they do not understand. And this is true.

Whenever you sit down and examine your mind there is some image in your mind. Image within is called imagination. And you are brooding on that image and when that image passes, another image comes. Often, this is how we think, “Who does my neighbour think she is? She thinks that she has plenty of money. She thinks that she is better dressed than I am, that she has bigger diamonds than me. Who does she think she is?” All the time you go on thinking this way and waste your time and energy. Thus, the purpose of human life is defeated, because no one teaches you how to use this brief span of life such that life becomes productive, creative and fulfilling. But there is a way. This brief span of life can be utilized, and in this lifetime itself one can attain the purpose of life, one can become self-realized.

Many of us think that the mind cannot be tamed, cannot be polished, cannot be used, cannot be made useful. This is not true. Some of the great men have done it. Many of us want to, but we don’t practice. We have to understand something about the mind. You can easily understand the mind by understanding your thought patterns. A thought comes, then another thought comes, then another, another, another and this keeps on going. If you study your brain wave patterns you will find that there is a space between two thoughts. If you can eliminate this space between thoughts, there will be only one thought.

Cleansing the mind, purifying the mind, means learning to train it, just like training or breaking in a shoe. If you learn to train your attention, you can do wonders in the world. In tropical countries, the temperature often goes above 130 degrees, but you cannot cook your meal with that heat because it is not concentrated. Somewhere else the temperature goes down very low. You cannot run your air conditioners with that. What you need is a concentrated source. Similarly, if you train your mind so as to be able to concentrate well, you can transform your whole personality. Even if you cannot change anything in the world, you can transform your life and you can do wonders in your life. There are simple methods to achieve this. We, who are considered to be teachers, have made things very complicated. If they put it simply, perhaps it will be very simple to understand. Also they drag the students towards themselves. I think the subject should be followed, not the teacher. Teacher means knowledge, knowledge should be followed. The individuality should not be given much importance; the subject should be given much more importance. Yoga science suffers on account of this. One teacher says, “This is the right method.” Another teacher says, “No, only my method is the right one.” The poor student is confused. After some time he finds his mind is robbed, his individuality is robbed, his pocket is robbed.

Things are very simple if you learn to be practical. What does being practical mean? Practical means that anything that you think is genuine, you should reflect that in the way you speak and in your actions as well. That’s called being practical. There was a time such people were called apta in Sanskrit which is written like this a;pt;;. Apta is he who thinks and speaks and acts in the same way. With time apta was changed to aap, the respectful form for ‘you’ in Hindi. For, “How are you?” in Hindi they say, “Aap kaise hai?” Ta has gone. Now there is another Sanskrit word called shresht. Shresht means a great person, a leader. That has become seth or proprietor today. No doubt we are undergoing change all the time, but we should not forget the aim and goal of life.

What is this problem with blood pressure? Who is putting pressure on you? What is this heart attack, who’s attacking your heart? I laugh at you people. I have to drop my body as you will, but at least I am happy and you are not. How can you enjoy under the pressure of fear? All these couples here, you are not enjoying at all, even married life you don’t enjoy. The best of the couples that you are, you are not enjoying. Why? Because you are under the pressure of fear of tomorrow, the future. How can you enjoy? Enjoyment comes when you are free from fear. And you will be free from fears only when you go beyond your mind. As long as you remain within the fields of your conscious and unconscious mind, you can never enjoy life; for the center of life, center of consciousness is beyond, that which is called individual soul.

Please remember, all of the body is in the mind, but all of the mind is not in the body. This is accepted fact. The Upanishads, the final and best part of the Vedas do talk about it, do discuss it, do explain this. Confucius, Buddhists, Zen, Zazen, they all explain it. Everyone found the same problem created by the mind. My mind does not create a problem for you. Your mind doesn’t create a problem for me. Your mind creates a problem for yourself. That’s why the Rig Veda, the most ancient scripture in the library of man, says, tanureva tanno astu bhesajem. O man, you have those qualities, and with the help of those qualities you can cure the diseases created by you.

What is medical science doing today? Every doctor is sick, and the sick are treating the sick and the whole world is a hospital. I’m telling you, this is true. I’m a medical doctor, I’m telling you this. The blind are leading the blind. Where will they go? They will go to perdition. All are experimenting, nothing is conclusive. That experiment which is accepted today, is discarded tomorrow. Nobody should say I am a scientist and my word is final. There is nothing like final so far. Therefore, we should continue making efforts to reduce suffering and make others comfortable. Somebody asked me why do all these hospitals exist? I said for the sake of hospitality! This is true. And even today we cannot extend our hospitality properly. One doctor goes to a patient with a great love and says, come on, cheer up, I will try my best to help you. And another doctor has no time, he gives pills and goes away. There will be a difference in the outcome between the two. Jar, one of the doctors, said that 50% of the diseases are cured by the way the doctor visits and treats the patient.

But I’m going one step further. I tell you that you are your own doctor. The day you understand it, then you will discover something great. There are healing potentials within you. You will come in touch with them when you have stopped becoming negative. Negativity is a very dangerous thing, and most of you are negative. If your husband is a little late coming home to you, stuck somewhere in traffic or in a bar drinking, or somewhere else, you get worried. What do you think? You don’t think positively. You immediately think that he has met with an accident, or he has gone out with another woman. All these negative things you think, nothing positive. So your attitude towards life is totally negative and that’s called self-created suffering. Why is a human being so negative, tell me? Why? There is 70% negativity in a human being, according to psycho-sociological data collected by American society. They are wonderful in collecting data and very truthful.

You are all hankering for approval. You don’t need society’s approval. A wife always looks at her husband’s moods. In the morning he says, “Honey you look nice.” She responds, “You made my day.” It’s bad training from the very beginning. You don’t need to lean on anybody for approval. That’s bad. A day will come when he or she will go away. What will happen to that person who totally leaned on you their whole life? You are making that person miserable. Don’t do that.

Suggestions, suggestions, everybody is blasted by suggestions. You are good, you are bad. Who are you to judge me? How do you know that I am good or bad? And you don’t know yourself? Who is like this? A drunkard. A drunkard who is nude says to another nude person in front of him, “Hey, you’re nude.” He doesn’t realize that he too is nude. In my opinion you should stop being negative and start being positive. This way you will create a dynamic willpower which says, “I can do it, I am going to do it, and I shall do it.” Instead, if you say, “I cannot do it, I am not able to do it,” you are killing human potentials.

I’ll tell you why cancer occurs. Suppose by chance your finger is cut and it starts bleeding. All the cells of your body start rushing toward the damaged part. In a few minutes’ time you’ll find that the bleeding has stopped. Why? Because all the cells rushed to that site of injury. But suppose those cells do not stop rushing, there will be a growth. That is called cancer. You can even prevent such diseases if you understand something that’s called control over your involuntary system. You know I sometimes think that I am so unfortunate that I feel like crying. All that I have done in my life, worked hard from the age of three, nobody wants to learn. People give me money, gifts, this food and that food, but nobody wants to learn. I think that if I have to be born again to teach you, it will be miserable for me, because I will have to work so hard all over again.

The human body has potential to cure its own ailments provided you know about your body. I don’t discuss religion, so don’t be afraid of me. No matter from which religious background you come from, I want to give you something which you need in your daily life. All the great bibles of the world say one and the same thing—be still, be still. For a few minutes in the morning and the evening, every human being should learn to be still. Why, because you will meet God? No, that’s not necessary. You will be healthy. For your mental health it’s important for you to understand quietness, stillness. During that time, those muscles which do not get rest even in sleep get rested. The voluntary system you can control. You can exercise and develop all of your gross muscles, but you don’t have control over your involuntary system, the subtle set of muscles. For that you should learn to compose yourself, you should learn to be quiet, you should learn to be still, you should learn to breathe in a serene way. Scientists have realized that 70-80% of all diseases are psychosomatic diseases. They originate in the mind and are reflected in the body. These diseases are created by our bad thinking, negative thinking, passive thinking, not having control over our emotional life, not organizing our behavior, not understanding how to behave in the external world which is actually a very simple thing. Therefore, it’s important for a human being, modern woman and man, to relax, to learn how to give rest to that part of the system which we normally do not know how to relax. Only 25% of the diseases come from the outside, are infectious or hereditary diseases. It means 75% of the diseases are not cured by so-called medicines.

So you are your own doctor. The school of meditation says that if you meditate for a few days, a few minutes every day, regularly, you will be not sick. This is called preventive cure. You have seen that there is research going on all over the world, research on cancer, stroke, heart disease, this disease and that disease. Prevention is better than cure. Now the endocrine gland system, chain of glands that secrete directly into the blood stream, is hardly known even by the experts. Very little is known about these glands. But who controls the endocrine gland system? Our mind. If the mind is put in a state of rest through meditation, even the endocrine system can be controlled. Our experiments in the Menninger Laboratory demonstrated that the mind can create cancer and mind is capable of dissolving cancer.

Now there is a word in the English language called gentleman. Actually, it has come from our Sanskrit word manas, which in Sanskrit means mind. Who are you? You are a man, gentleman. If you do not understand what manas, mind is, you do not understand anything about yourself. How can we have control over the mind? If you think that the mind is your enemy, either you make that enemy a friend or you can destroy that enemy. You don’t have the power to destroy the mind. You had better establish friendship with your mind. You should learn to have a dialogue with yourself, a creative dialogue with yourself. Sant Tukkaram from Maharashtra did it, manah sarvada bhakta ponthe bhi jayate. “O mind, learn to follow the path of righteousness. Do not mislead me.” As a friend, Tukkaram talked to the mind. You should learn to have a dialogue with your mind. This dialogue will lead you to understanding your mind. You fight the whole day with your mind. You know that battle, that inner battle, was the very cause and source of the Bhagavad Gita. The whole day you’re fighting, from morning till evening. Either you give up, or you fight but never win. Have you heard of the Gita? Yes, Arjuna means what? Arjun karne wala, one who makes efforts, sincere efforts, is called Arjuna. And he who helps you is called Krishna. So there are two characters in the Gita and their dialogue is meant for all.

We have to find out the secret of polishing, taming, or learning to have perfect control over the mind which is the finest of all instruments. But only a small part of the mind can be grabbed. The totality of the mind doesn’t come under our control because a vast part of the mind remains unknown to us. Many Easterners, those who have not studied Western psychology and philosophy, say, “Oh! Western philosophy is nothing, Western psychology is nothing.” They are stupid. Freud says something very definite. Freud says that if the unknown part of mind is known, then you know all of the mind. Adler, James, all these psychologists tried to understand the mind. Whatever they understood, in a scientific way, is remarkable. What I learned from both, the interaction of East and West, is that the unconscious mind is like that iceberg which is hidden beneath the water, not known to us. The tip of the iceberg that is seen floating above the water is called the conscious mind, that which is hidden is called the unconscious mind. When we get closer we find that it is not actually the mind, it’s a vast reservoir.

You say the mind is roaming, let it roam. Why are you bothered? It will never go anywhere. It will come back to you. Let it go, don’t follow the mind. I once asked my Master, “How to practice?” He replied, “Mind tells you to go there, but you don’t go. Tell mind, ‘O mind, if you want to go, you’re free to go. What can I do? But I am not going there.’ ” Fighting with the mind is never considered to be control. Therefore learn to lead the mind, make a certain route for the mind to travel and that is called learning to have control over the mind and it’s modifications.

Now I’ll tell you something about the kinds of problems that arise when you try to know the mind. A friend of mine once told me, “On this trail there is a ghost.” It was at night but I did not believe him and I said, “I don’t care. I’ve not seen it and I’m not curious to see it.” We forgot all about this. After one or two months, I passed that way and it was a dark night. Suddenly I remembered that my friend had said that a ghost lived here. Even though I did not believe, why did I remember? Because anything that comes into my conscious mind finally filters down to the unconscious mind which is vast. The totality of mind should be understood, not only a small part of mind, the conscious mind, that we cultivate in our daily life.

Look here, mind roams around and you do not know what to do next. Many people close their eyes and they do not know what to do next. Mind will naturally run here and there. You always complain that mind runs away. No. If you know the system, mind will not run away. If you are trying to prevent the mind from thinking and say, “Mind, don’t think,” well, it’s the dharma, the intrinsic nature, of mind to think. Mind means a catalogue of thinking, a series of thoughts. So when mind has a particular movement, you should simply learn to guide its movement according to your order. That is called control of mind. Not to think is impossible, but to think according to your plan is called an organized way of thinking.

Mind is a magician, don’t listen to your mind. You should learn to educate your mind gently, and help yourself to one day have command over your mind. You should ask yourself, do you belong to your mind or does the mind belong to you? If mind belongs to you, you should learn to use it rightly. If mind belongs to your neighbor, let the neighbor look after it. If my mind constantly thinks of my neighbor and is jealous of my neighbor, it means my mind belongs to my neighbor and not to me.

People talk much about mind control, it has become a hot business these days. It’s not enough to understand that I have mind and how to control it. Often people say, “I am going to teach you mind control.” Nothing happens. In your life you should try to understand something about your body, your breath and about your mind; then it becomes easy for you to understand. I am presenting both views, the Western and Eastern. I have been living in the United States for almost twenty-five years and before that my whole life was spent in the Himalayas trying to understand life with its values, with currents and cross-currents. What I don’t understand, I will tell you, I’m sorry, I don’t understand this. You can talk for hours and hours, but when you are practical you try to understand your mind. You realize that your mind is a great magician. You have to be patient in dealing with your conscious mind. Now you have to determine that anything that comes into your mind will not disturb you and you will allow it to go away. This way you start introspection and then nothing will affect you. Inspecting within is called introspection. Police arrest the criminal, the judge punishes, but the witness remains unaffected. You witness all the activity going on, you are not affected. With this approach you can go to the higher realms within.

You say mind is powerful, mind is always powerful by its innate nature. But powerful in which way? Towards being creative or towards being destructive? That’s the point. So you will have to train that mind. Your mind and my mind are weak in front of a robber’s mind. When he robs someone, he robs with his full force of will, of one-pointed mind.

A thief, a robber, is a better meditator than a swami. There was a heap of gold behind a thin curtain. A swami and a robber were both asked to sit before it. The robber was concentrating on the gold. Poor swami was not, because he didn’t care for gold; he cared only for God. Why do you want to have awareness, constant awareness? Because you have come to the conclusion that constant awareness will lead you to freedom, that which Buddha calls freedom from all miseries and bondages, a state which is free from all bondages. That’s why constant awareness is needed.

Firm determination is called sankalpa shakti in Sanskrit. “Today I will not move, I will not fidget, because that will bring strain and stress to my body.” Keeping your body relaxed, with your head, neck, and trunk in a straight line, breathe in a serene way and learn to watch your thinking process. Do not identify yourself with the objects of the world, because this way you are forgetting yourself. When any thought comes, you decide, “I am not going to identify with the thought patterns going on in my mind. I will only witness my thoughts. No matter what happens during these moments I will be not disturbed, no matter what happens. Let my preoccupations come forward later. I do not want to be disturbed.” This way you will not identify yourself with the thought patterns, forgetting your true nature. You are in the habit of disturbing yourself. So you remind yourself consciously, I will be not disturbed. This way, you slowly build your sankalpa shakti, determination. Sankalpa shakti is something great. You don’t need an alarm clock, you do not need a watch, your mind will remind you immediately. Gradually expand your sankalpa shakti. If I want to do something, I have a desire to do it, but I cannot do it, and am unable to find the means to do it, there will be no willpower at all. In ancient times, the rishis, the great seers, always used to remember, “I am this, and I am this, and I am this. I can do it, I will do it, and I have to do it, no matter what happens.” That is called willpower. If you want to do something, just do it. Stop thinking about it. Stop doing something else. Just do it, no matter what happens, at all costs. That will create your dynamic will and that dynamic will enables you to create wonders in the world.

Mind cannot be infinite. It has limitations. In one of the Upanishads, the Ishopanishad, it is beautifully stated, anejad ekam manaso javiyo. “A” means no. Where there is no movement, yet runs faster than mind. It’s a description for the atman. It means if atman is everywhere, where can you run? Mind, a great instrument and tool, can create hell and heaven for man, yet cannot run faster than the soul, for the soul is everywhere, mind has its limitations.

Chatushtaya antahakarana. Chatushtaya means four. The mind, antahakarana or inner instrument, is known by understanding four prominent limbs of the mind. As you have four limbs, two legs and two hands, so the inner instrument has four limbs: manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara.

Take the wheel of a bicycle. The wheel rotates because of its spokes. If there are no spokes, the wheel will not ro-tate. Further, the spokes rotate because there is something that does not rotate called the hub. If that hub starts moving, then the spokes would not move. This human life is like a wheel. So this wheel rotates on the basis of the spokes manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara. This body moves because there are these four spokes within you. Now you want to know the nature of your soul? You can easily know with this drawing. In the center there is a hub. If that hub moves then nothing will move. That hub is called your soul, individual soul. What is the nature of your individual soul? It doesn’t move, yet it creates all the movements. If this soul starts moving, all other movement will stop. Our individual soul is beyond all movement. All the movements are because of the mind. In the external world everything is subject to movement. Physics says, we are all moving, everything is moving. But there should be some center where nothing moves. Who is creating all the movements, yet does not move? That is the nature of the soul. Because of the soul everything moves, but soul itself is not subject to movement, because there is no power beyond the soul that can create movement in the soul. I’ll tell you what the relationship between your individual soul and the universal soul is. Your individual soul is like a drop of water, the universal soul is like the ocean. Qualitatively, they are one and the same. Quantitatively they are not. They need union and that’s what we are all aspiring for. Why do we hate each other? It’s because of ignorance. Why do you think that this religion is better than that religion? All the religions are one and the same, fundamentally. They differ only as far as nonessentials are concerned.

We have to understand these four functionings of the mind. Now, I’ll give you a new analogy. A human being is like a busy factory. You businessmen will understand this analogy of a factory within you. In this factory, that which is responsible for importing and exporting is called manas. Shall I do it or not? Whenever you do something, that particular agent comes forward, shall I do it or not? I am getting so much commission, so much profit, shall I do this business or not? The nature of manas is always doubting, always arguing within yourself. That which decides what is good or not good for you is called buddhi. The entire set up is called chitta. Chitta is the storehouse of merits and demerits through which you receive all knowledge. All this power of thinking is coming from chitta. The whole factory is managed by ahamkara or ego. Then ahamkara, the I, says this belongs to me, this does not belong to me. See what is happening. Individual soul said, “Ok, Mr. Aham-kara, you become the manager.” And ahamkara forgetting this, took over and said this factory is mine. That is the problem for all of you. Why are you miserable today? You are miserable because you have forgotten your proprietor and you think you are everything. That which separates you from the whole, that which separates you from the reality, that which separates you from the absolute is called ahamkara. The shortest cut is just to cut your ahamkara. When you learn to surrender your ahamkara, that surrender is the highest of all yogas. You can do it through prayer, through meditation, through contemplation. So far ahamkara is being used only for the external purposes. Surrender, used in a beneficial manner, when ahamkara is made aware of the reality of the soul, then that is called self-surrender.

I told you manas means that which has no capacity to decide. Sankalpa vikalpatmakam manah, one nature; another nature, antarmukhi bahirmukhi, it functions both within and without. Buddhi means that which discriminates, judges and decides; these are three main functions of your buddhi. You can term it in English as intellect. When manas consults the buddhi, buddhi gives a decision. Such a manas never commits mistake. So when you are performing some action, manas will always say, “Shall I do it or not?” Let the mind ask buddhi, that faculty which helps manas to decide. If you analyze your mind, it plays a lot of mischief. You go to commit a theft and manas, mind, will tell you, go on, go ahead. But manas will also tell you, if you commit a mistake, if you are caught, you will go to jail. Then manas will tell you, why not enjoy the privileges from the theft? Manas can only think, shall I do it or not, shall I do it or not? Then there is buddhi. If you commit a theft, you will be caught and go to jail, or, if buddhi is bad, if you commit this theft you will enjoy the results. Immediately the decision will be given by your buddhi. All your decisions and judgements depend on the buddhi. So what do the wise do? They consult their buddhi and with the help of buddhi control their mind, that which is always flickering.

So the moment you realize what is manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara, then you know something about your mind. A yogi knows how to establish coordination between the four different functions of antahakarana. Then there is no problem at all. But if buddhi thinks something different, and manas thinks something different, ahamkara goes off by itself, then there is no coordination at all. As you need coordination of your limbs in the external world to be a normal healthy person, so you need to establish coordination within yourself by understanding manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara. If you learn to establish coordination between the four aspects of antahakarana, there will always be tranquility within. And that tranquility will help you to do right actions, beneficial actions. When you make your mind, all aspects of your mind, directed and make them travel inwards, flow towards your internal states, fathoming all the subtle aspects of life, then you become aware of the source within you, the infinite library within you.

Let us examine the conscious mind. Even if you do not go beyond the conscious mind, even then it would be very beneficial for you. Just sitting still is beneficial for you. The next step is how to deal with the conscious part of mind. First of all you should understand something about the conscious part of mind. The conscious mind is that part of mind which you use in your daily life, during the waking state. When you are awake, you are using that part of mind called the conscious mind. That part of the mind which is educated by you, cultivated by you, by universities, by schools, it’s but a small part of the totality of mind. Therefore, even though that part is trained, guided and cultured, the vast part of mind remains unknown to you. That part of mind which dreams, which sleeps, is not under your control. But even that part of mind which you are using now is not under your control. When you learn to understand this little part of mind called the conscious mind, you will realize that it is the gateway to the city of life and to that vast reservoir of the mind called the unconscious mind.

When I look at you, my optic nerve receives the image, sends it to my brain, then to my conscious mind and finally to my unconscious mind. And it is stored there. Now I may not see you for some time. When I see you again, I recognize you, because that form which I have stored in the unconscious reminds me that I have seen you before. So that reservoir within you, where you store the merits and demerits of your life, is very vast.

It’s interesting to watch the part of mind which you are trying to train and educate and that part of mind which is helping you to do this. Slowly, you will find that your conscious mind is being expanded. And then you can allow all the thoughts to come up from the basement, from the unconscious mind, from the storehouse. But you should not get involved. Let us take an example. You are asked by your physician to go to the market to fetch some medicine for your ailing mother. On the way you stop at a red light. What do you do during that time? You wait for the green light. You do not go on counting the numbers of the cars, which make and what color. You just go on to get the medicine. On the way, you may meet your girlfriend, you may meet a very good friend of yours. What is your duty? Not to be swayed by these attractions, but to go to the drugstore and get the medicine. When you have a one-pointed mind, you may see someone you know very well, but you may not notice him and just keep walking to the drugstore. Because you are one-pointed in your mind and heart, there is only one thing that you have to do. In such a situation, you do not notice anything around you. Gradually, with this one-pointedness of mind, you catch hold of that part of mind which is not normally under your control.

Another point is how to cultivate the totality of the mind and become creative in the world, yet remain aloof and above. Is there any technique by which one can be free though living in the world? If you ask me I’ll say yes. What is the way? If there is a way, it is only by going within, to the center of consciousness, from where consciousness flows on various degrees and grades. If I chew the whole Bible or Gita or any holy book, nothing happens to me. If I recite all the granthas or scriptures, there is no change. In my country, there are people who have learnt all the scriptures by heart. My father used to do the same thing. What is happening today is that practice is missing from our daily life. If we practice a little bit, we will experience. And that experience will become the guide and that guidance will lead us. May you all practice and at least have experience, a glimpse, so that such experience becomes your guide. If you are patient, you can easily learn to scientifically explore that part of the mind which is called the conscious mind. But you don’t know how to control that part of the mind which is the dreaming mind or that which is the sleeping mind. Only a very small part of the mind is being used by you. But when you learn to expand the field of your conscious mind, finally everything comes into consciousness and there is nothing like unconscious mind. Learn to expand yourself.

Now, mind has two chambers: one is unconscious, another is conscious. Conscious means that which is used during the waking state. Are you awake? When you are awake then that part of the mind which you use is called conscious. That part of mind which you do not use, which is used during dreaming and sleeping, you do not know. You see how pathetic a situation a human being is in. We boast about our learning, our wealth and our worldly wisdom. But we do not know. A very rich man suddenly dreamt that he had become a donkey. So the whole night he remained a donkey and was so miserable. In his dream, he told his wife, “I am sorry I got married to you. You are such a beautiful girl but I am a donkey.” He totally forgot that he was a rich man, a husband, father, and respected member of a particular community. And his wife at the same time dreamt that she was a queen and her husband was a donkey. In her dream, she realized that it was a mistake to have married him. In the sleeping state, they slept and shared the same bed but they did not know each other. They were dead to each other. They were not aware of each other, of their children, the things they did and shared. They were not aware of any of that.

So you are using only a small part of the mind. You do not know how to use the dreaming part of mind or the sleeping part of mind. Great sages knew this technique, that’s why they are called great. That which you consider great in the world, name, wealth and all this, yes it’s necessary for you. But they renounced all that just to realize. They devoted all their time, their lives, to know and to have perfect control over that part of mind which was active in dreams and that which was active in sleep. The totality of their mind came under their conscious control. Before we did experiments at the Menninger Foundation in Kansas, no one could ever believe that the system which is called the involuntary system according to Western science, could be brought under voluntary control. But after the experiments, all the scientists began to believe that there is nothing like the involuntary system, that everything can be brought under conscious control. Many of you are confused about one thing. If you are a scientist or physicist, you will not talk about the mind but will talk about the brain. If you are a psychologist or philosopher, you will talk about the mind and not about the brain. But you have both. Brain is like a bulb, mind is like electricity, and the wires, the network of wires is like the nervous system. The nervous system is a channel for the flow of electricity. If the bulb is broken, there is no light even if there is electricity and the wires are intact. Or if the bulb is good, but if there is no supply, then too there is no light. So for proper functioning, there should be perfect coordination between all three.

Freud likens the unconscious mind to a bag. You do not know, you are carrying a bag all the time. It is like your shadow. Wherever you go, your shadow follows and will not leave you. You are always carrying that huge bag with you. Anything that you think goes into that bag. You do not know that part of the mind. You are trying to understand your mind, only a small part of the mind. You don’t know the totality of your mind, both conscious and unconscious. If you know how to train the vast part of mind, the totality of the mind, you can do wonders on the earth. Anybody who has done wonders on this earth, anybody who was considered to be a great man, was great because he knew his mind. You do not have to know the soul because it’s already there. In all conditions, the soul is there. What you have to know is your mind, and that’s why you are called hu-man, your own mind. And the moment you know the mind, you can go beyond the mire of delusion created by your mind.

How do you approach that part of mind which is not known to you? First of all, you should try to work with the known part of mind. Suppose you catch hold of my finger. What will happen? My whole body will be motivated to protect this small part of it. And unless you release my finger, I’ll do my best to release it from you. So too, you can approach the unknown part of mind by grabbing hold of that which is known.

The first point is to know how to be here and now. Second point is that when I dream, I don’t have control over my dreams. Even if I want to dream according to my choice, sweet dreams, as you call them, I have no control. If you wish me sweet dreams, I’ll say please don’t wish me something bad. I don’t want to waste my time in dreaming. You have no conscious control over your dreams, over that part of mind which dreams. You have no control over that part of mind which sleeps. The vast part of mind remains buried, remains unknown. Only a small part of mind is being cultivated by you and you are puffed up with pride that, “I have a Ph.D., a D.Litt., I have education, I have money, I have a car, I have all this.” What is my point of view? Human beings are members of a fools’ paradise. I go around the world and I see many, many intellectuals. But I find none of them practical and I cry. I don’t say that you should accept whatever I tell you. I’m just making you aware that a vast part of the mind remains unknown to you. Now there is a third point. That which you consider peace, happiness, and bliss, where does it live? Where does it exist? If it was anywhere in the world, Americans would have found it first. They have even gone to the moon. Where is it? If mind is within, peace should be in the mind, or known by the mind, or known by understanding the mind. What is mind? Now let me tell you something. All of the body is in the mind, but all of the mind is not in the body. How will you know that part of mind which is not in the body? Therefore, to know mind is very important, not to know God because He is already there. You don’t have to know Him. Body is already there, you don’t have to know much about it. But you have to know the mind. So what the scriptures say, mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayo. By understanding the mind you can be free from all bondage.

With these simple ideas, you can be free from so-called stress. Even in the battlefield, I’ve asked my students to make experiments and let me know. Those who were dead were dead, but those who survived wrote to me. You can compose yourself even on the battlefield. What is the principle of karate and kung fu? Attention, just attention. You don’t divert your mind elsewhere, just one-pointed mind. By making your mind one-pointed and inward, and going to the source of light and life which is the fountainhead of life within you, the center of consciousness, you experience a great joy. Then you can enjoy the world, you can enjoy all the things of the world. But if you don’t have the capacity when you rush with all your desire to enjoy something, you soon get exhausted, you don’t have the energy. You want to enjoy, but you don’t have the energy, you don’t have the capacity. You have desire, but no capacity. Therefore have a desire to enjoy and expand your capacity by learning the simple laws of holistic living.

It becomes easy for one to follow a path if that path has got milestones, so that you know how far you have come and how far you have to go. If from the very beginning you systematically study, follow this path, then it is not difficult. I think I should give you a small schedule. If you know how to sit and spend one month, ten minutes a day for a month, you will come to know many things about yourself. When you sit, the body starts moving. These movements are disturbances. After a few days you will not find gross muscle movements or body movements, but then subtle muscle twitching will create problems. When the body does not shake, does not move, is not twisted from this side or that, when muscles do not throb, small muscles do not twitch, then the body settles into stillness. That stillness gives you great joy. The joy of physical stillness is quite unusual, that joy is not found elsewhere. That joy is entirely different from anything you have experienced so far.

Can you attain that state of mind, that state of wisdom here and now? I say yes, you can do it. I have witnessed a few, not many, but definitely they have done it, and you can do it too. Don’t leave your home in the morning unless you do some exercises and then some breathing, and then meditation. Ten or fifteen minutes is enough. Don’t follow the Hindu way, Buddhist way or Christian way. Don’t get involved in that. Tell yourself, “I am practicing meditation for getting freedom from stress. Because of my ignorance, because of bad food, bad relationships, I am creating stress for myself. I have to be free from stress. And for that I am making effort, for that I am practicing meditation.” Soon you will find that you are experiencing joy, that you are free.



This website is devoted to sharing the teachings
of Swami Rama of the Himalayas

Comments