Yoga and Mind Management – Part II

National Institutes of Health’s (NIH)1 MedlinePlus says – ‘ Today, we accept that there is a powerful mind-body connection through which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect our health.’ (http://goo.gl/wiLUaB)

The “Mind” decides when I should be happy or sad. We would have always thought that not having something is the primary cause of sadness. However it is not true, having something does not necessarily make you happy :-). It is actually the “Mind’s” reaction towards what we have and do not have that gets expressed physically(oe emotionally) as being ‘happy’ or ‘sad’. Now that is complicated and utterly confusing. Let’s delve a little bit into details to slightly understand this.

I am not sure if I can define Mind in a single word or sentence; it is not physical for sure, and does not have a form. The mind can be loosely differentiated as conscious, unconscious and subconscious. The conscious mind has it inputs from our five senses – vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Amongst the five senses vision can be said to be most powerful, after all we can things close by and very far away(the stars!), our hearing comes next and is limited to a couple of metres, next ‘smell’ which can be detected only much closer, taste even closer and finally touch. The conscious mind can fall asleep, which is why when sleeping we are at peace – no inputs 😉 So we can kind of say that the communication from outside to inside happens through the conscious mind.

The subconscious mind is something like the Random Access Memory (RAM) of the computer, keeps our recent memories and also is in touch with the unconscious mind to dig up information. The unconscious mind is a storehouse of everything(all inputs from the five senses are stored continuously!!!). Un-edited data from a time —- I am not sure. If you ask me, is it from birth? well not necessarily, before that. So from when, I really do not know, I think we have not acquired the skills to find that. It is like the hard disk, I can do a security erase/ wipe disk and believe that data cannot be recovered. I do not know, there may be technology that can retrieve the data!!! Scary stuff!!!

Hence Mind is an important element. What has been thought in the Mind is always more powerful and could have a different purpose, than actions that have been performed as a part of the thought. How is that possible, well let’s look at a hypothetical scenario? A man who was a diabetic patient was supposed to have an amputation – ‘The right leg, from two inches below the knee.’ The operation was scheduled for the coming Monday, and he was to be admitted on Monday morning. On Sunday night a burglary happened at the patient’s house. There was a tussle during which the burglar struck the man with a knife, and the man’s right leg got severed, exactly from two inches below the knee!!! The man did not sustain any other injury and the burglar was caught. Question :

  • Should the burglar be arrested and charged?
  • Shouldn’t the man pardon the burglar, after all he saved a lot of money as the operation was no longer required and no money or valuable was lost. 🙂 ?

However morally and as per law, the burglar should be charged with man-slaughter and appropriate punishments meted out. Why, well the burglar’s intention was to harm the man!!! It means that there is a moral code of conduct that everyone is expected to follow. In sanskrit it is termed as “Dharma”2 and loosely means to keep, to maintain or hold. Something like upholding the law. The only difference is that the exact meaning of ‘Dharma’ is situationally different. Example : Amassing wealth; There is nothing wrong about it. After all to take care of the needs of the family and for the society to sustain and flourish, wealth is required. So the desire to have wealth is fine, but not greed for wealth!!! So it is important for the individual to have the right means(or righteous means) to acquire wealth, the right moderation in the use of the acquired wealth and the right intentions. This is a very basic understanding of Dharma with regard to wealth.

Okay then back to Mind Management, so now we understand that the mind is not easy to control or rather I have no control over my mind!!! One’s intelligence is governed by egotism, instead of being the other way round. Hence there is neither peace nor happiness in one’s mind. Govern your mind, lest it govern you.

I was hoping to conclude this topic here, however it looks like it is going to take couple of more paragraphs, hence will stop for now. As indicated in the first part, these writings are my understanding and interpretation of Sri. Girishji’s talk on Mind Management. The original talk was in Malayalam, hence with my limited understanding I had to do a lot of additional reading to understand certain areas. I consider myself lucky to have been able to listen to this talk, an din the process rake my own thoughts. I would like to add that I have taken the liberty to add some additional stuff (after some extensive reading) to clarify few areas for the benefit of everyone and self. And as I always believe the force has always been with me and will be….(courtesy Star Wars)

1 The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a biomedical research facility primarily located in Bethesda, Maryland. An agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. (https://goo.gl/v6rzUc)

2 Dharma ([dʱəɾmə]; Sanskrit: धर्म dharma, Pali: धम्म dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in the Indian religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.There is no single word translation for dharma in western languages.   (https://goo.gl/i4qrBT)

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