Swami Vinayakanandaji

Swami Vinayakanandaji

Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama (India)

Let us know what mind is.  There is no proof of existence of mind except that ‘I have one’.  Such an imperceptible mind we try to objectively infer, discern with our intellect.  It is mind observing mind; one unknown trying to know another unknown.   Mind is not an independent entity; it is an inseparable and integral part of the whole being which is an organized interwoven system of life-principle — a conscious living being.  There are two distinct parts of the human system — the physical and the spiritual.

Observe the phenomenon of sleep.  While entering into sleep, we move from waking-state to dream-state.  Our ‘individual consciousness’ gets withdrawn from the physical body and the external world disappears, body awareness drops off.  The withdrawing consciousness carries the reflections of the waking-state which keep the mind and the senses internally active.  That creates a dream-world within, and makes us enter dream-state.

As the sleep deepens, the ‘individual consciousness’ gets further withdrawn from the subtle-body (mind etc.) too; we enter ‘deep-sleep-state’. The withdrawing consciousness carries with it all the data — the self-identity, the memories, accrued knowledge, tendencies, desires etc., which enter into inactive dormant state and gets deposited in the innermost layer known as the ‘sheath of ignorance’ or as causal-body.  The individual consciousness, having withdrawn from all the three bodies that we possess (the gross, subtle and causal) which corresponds to waking, dreaming and deep-sleep states, now temporarily merges in the Cosmic Consciousness and enjoys absolute Peace and Bliss till the pending Kārmic load, desires etc. forces it to project out again to waking-state.  In the absence of this ‘individual consciousness’ neither the body works nor mind.  The individual consciousness is the Spiritual Being in all living beings; in fact, ‘life’ is an expression of Consciousness (Caitanya) through matter. The Spiritual Being is eternal unchanging Reality, the ocean of Bliss-Peace-Love-Absolute.  Our bodily existence seem to limit the unlimited ocean of Bliss, the Spiritual Being in us. 

The other counterpart is individual’s physical existence comprising of the three bodies. It has various inter-penetrating layers working harmoniously in a perfectly organized way; and they are governed and maintained by Mother Nature as long as life exists in it; nevertheless, they (body, mind etc.) are mere matter pertaining to Nature.  The combination of Spirit and matter projects forth an ego.  It is this ego that identifies with bodily existence and experiences joys and sorrows. One’s identity, individuality and personality belong to this ego.  Waking-ego dissolves when one enters dream-state and the dream-ego appears and interacts with the dream-world.  Dream-ego dissolves when one enters deep-sleep, while the deep-sleep-ego appears.  This daily cycle of waking, dreaming and deep-sleep continues with pains, pleasures etc. till the ‘self-awareness’ shifts from ‘I’ being the ‘ego’ which is the apparent-self to ‘I’ being the ‘individual consciousness’ which is the ‘real-Self’. 

The real-Self, the Spiritual Being is the Divinity in us. And is the Substratum of our existence.  To manifest this hidden Divinity at all levels of our being is spiritual life: our body, thoughts, feelings, actions and life must be divine.  Then alone we will have unbroken joy, everlasting Peace and eternal Freedom from the Nature.

One can know mind concretely and completely only when one transcends one’s own mind.     Mind is merely a layer standing behind the organs of perception (senses).  Behind mind stands the ego which remains one with intellect.  Every experience noticed by mind and touching the heart (emotional being) creates a lasting momentum/tendency which results in attractions and repulsions. To them gets added: (i). the Nature’s promptings especially— self-preservation and preservation of species, and (ii). what the soul inherits from its placements prior to birth.

Thus, we find nine urges: physical urge (food, sleep etc.), biological urge (basically sex drive), social urge (gregarious instinct, aspiration for status and power), emotional urge (to love and be loved), moral urge (to be good and kind), creative urge, intellectual urge, aesthetic urge and spiritual urge.  They are vigorously active powers like the electric or nuclear, which can be utilized in a constructive way or in a destructive way.  Man, therefore, should deal with the urges so as to utilize them to evolve to his own Divine-hood.  There are three natures in humans — animal-hood, human-hood and divine-hood.  Man should destroy his animal-hood, transcend the human-hood and manifest the divine-hood.  The plan of Nature is human evolution to reach absolute perfection, and not merely their survival.  Nature expects evolution; human problems will never end till the individual Soul evolves to its divine-hood and thereby attains absolute Perfection and reaches everlasting freedom from the entire Nature.  Spirituality aims at release from the hold of mind and from the grip of situations.  There is nothing purposeless in this universe.  Suffering is necessary pre-condition of evolution.  During the period of happiness instead of evolution, there will be stagnation. 

Nature plays an important role.  The entire being of man except the individual Consciousness (Caitanya) is an inseparable part of Nature, governed and maintained by Her.  Production of food, hunger, digestion, absorption, throwing away the waste, carrying the nutrition and oxygen to every cell in the body, making every organ of body function — all done by Mother Nature.  Nature brings life into existence, maintains it, She determines birth, growth, death, joys and sorrows of life; but all in a way that the soul ultimately evolves to the state of Absolute Perfection.  The joys and pleasures, the pains, tension etc. have a definite purpose to serve. They are a part of the defense mechanism in our system.  They are like waves in still waters caused by wind, and the waves rise to make the water still again.

Nature constantly radiates beauty, peace, love, perfection, purity and divinity.  If we remain ever in tune with Mother Nature, then all these factors manifest in us and make us not only to experience them in our own being but to radiate it to reach and influence others.

Swami Vivekananda says:

“Each soul is potentially divine.  The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal.  Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy — by one, or more, or all of these — and be free.”            

 I offer my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the organisers for hosting this Mental Health Symposium.       


Workshop Schedule

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