The mind is a very interesting subject to study about. It suffers a very large influence over our emotions and actions. In a way we are being maneuverer by our mind. But the inquiry is how much we are cognizant of it? How much we are cognizant of our own behaviors and emotions and the causes for these? What is this mind which actually has generated thus much of command over us? Most importantly, why it has taken so much of command over us?
What is the mind?
The nature of the brain and the nature of its components have been stirring up the minds of people for a long time. Various elucidations have been made and then far to see it. Moving further from the philosophical discussions mind is now also the theatrical role of the scientific subject area to come up or explore the correlation between intellect and the physical structure. It is really hard to get across a definite conclusion over mind, its nature, constituents and functions.
A long tradition of inquiries in philosophies, faith, psychology and cognitive science has sought to develop and understanding of what a mind is and what its distinguishing attributes are. Different currents of knowledge define or explain the idea in different ways based on its nature, characteristics and uses. According to many of the hard core neuroscientists mind is the locution of the action of the brain cells. According to psychologists it is the sum total of all the cognitive functions that are carried out by the wakeful mind. According to yoga lore, mind is aggregate of thoughts. Thoughts are of two categories – manifest mind and un-manifest mind. Manifest mind is cognizable as wakeful and dream states and un-manifest is dormant as in deep sleep. Out thinking apparatus is the mind.
East and West ideology:
The way mind is being strained to look at or to explore in the west differs from the dogma of the east. The whole literature on the subject in the west gives diverse point of views conflicting with each other. Often the point of difference centers round the relation between mind and body. Whereas in the East, Indian philosophers identify the mind as something distinct from the Atman or the self and it has associated with the intelligence. Since it is subtle in nature, it is not gross matter.
Manas therefore being material is described as that which governs the sense organs. The ten indriyas, the five senses of action and five senses of knowledge work under the control of menus, the central or internal sense organ. These are dependent on manas for their functioning.
In the west we find an emphasis on physical comfort. When the weather is too warm the westerner suffers without something to chill him and when it is too cold, he is miserable without warmth from artificial heat. But the masters of India teach a different philosophy. They say that sensitivity to heat and cold, pleasure and pain, accrues from the delusive suggestions of the senses and man’s habit of catering to sensations. The great ones do not suggest the man discipline himself to the point of doing injury to his system rather, they advise that when cold or heat is affected one should free himself mentally from the sensation at the same time seeking a remedy for the condition.
We are mind dependent:
Aside from the textual knowledge, what matters is our experiences. We frequently conceive of ourselves, analyse ourselves, in a sense try to distinguish ourselves. Sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are sad. Sometimes we lack in confidence and sometimes we are high on it. This whole activity of our emotions is governed by our own mind. Most of the time we are under the influence of our own psyche. We conduct as our mind wish us to do. But what is the rationality we are being slavish to it?
One important thing here to note is that the mind is a different entity from us, we are not mind and mind is not we. In that case we must be something different from our psyche. As seen and taught by Indian masters, we are pure awareness. Consciousness is our original identity and calmness is our basic nature. As we forgot this very fact of our being, we are unable to moderate our emotions. As a result varieties of problems are now being fronted by the society.
For example: the skin’s surface does not feel touch sensation, they are experienced in the brain. One cannot taste, touch, smell, hear, or see except through the mind. We seem to experience taste on the tongue, but it is actually the brain that registers flavour. Likewise, when some part of the body suffers, the annoyance is really in the mind, not in the body function. We hold two instruments of perceiving pain: the nerves and the grey matter of the mind. But we perceive only if the mind allows a link between them. Unless the mind says there is pain, there is no pain. This is the marvellous discovery of India’s great masters.
From this attitude of slavish response to mind the troubles start. We become emotionally upset. As a consequence of disturbance we become unable to balance or stabilize our mind. We fail to bring the control back over the mind. This dependency over mind makes us to become really hyper-reactive to every situation being confronted. These unhealthy reactions affect badly our physical, mental, emotional and societal wellness. So it is very important to sustain and improve our health by being in a state of equanimity.
Yoga: science of transcending the mind
Yoga plays a very important role here. It teaches the systematic steps to take mastery over the mind and to direct it in a proper way and become released. The practice of yoga enables an individual to move towards betterment of his health by making him self-disciplined.
The aim of yoga is to help an individual to get liberation, the ultimate end of life. This is possible only when the mind is under control. Thus the core study of yoga philosophy is to make the systematic way to transcend the mind. It suggests different ways to master your mind and then to surpass it. It prepares you to interpret the realness of spirit. It avails you to see who you are? It is a science of self-realization.
Yogic techniques teach you how can disconnect yourself mentally from the world. Learning to disconnect oneself mentally from the disturbance of sensations brings peace of mind. Slavish response to the various sensations of the body disturbs between mind and soul. With the commotion of the soul man loses his true nature which is calmness.
Thus, adopting yoga as lifestyle has become a necessity today. The world is acting at such a great speed that it has forgotten its own nature. The universe is very engaged in earning rather that learning. In this era of earning, moving a step ahead, people are eager to earn time too. Nobody has captured command over time, but people foolishly wish to capture mastery over it. This urge of earning is keeping an individual away from himself. This urge gives no time to mind to get relaxed.
Yield time to yourself. Spend some quality time with yourself. Talk to yourself and think of yourself. The time and expectation has nothing to do without you. Having an expectation is not a defective or wrong thing but paying them a proper direction is important. And what is that proper direction? What is right and what is wrong? These doubts are answered by yoga. Yoga teaches you how you can tranquilize your mind without disturbing your schedule. It teaches you, how to turn a maximum in minimum time. Practicing yoga does not mean only performing asana but it means practicing a culture to direct the mind.
Introspect yourself and settle on which track you are. Which route you want to fall out, peaceful or fearful? You wish to be controlled by the mind or being the controller of the mind? You want dependency or independence over time? Suggestions are mine choice is yours.