Spiritual Topic: God's Creation > Mind and its Modifications

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Who are we?

We are Souls and not bodies, not mind, not thoughts. Mind is the instrument; Consciousness (Soul) is the power; Body is the vehicle. Soul provides energy to Mind to operate; and Mind controls the Breath and Body. It is that simple!

Mind

Kal Niranjan decided to be present within every human being in the form of Mind so as to prevent them from knowing the real identity of Param Purush (God). Mind is the finest and most powerful instrument that we possess. Mind means a catalogue of thinking, a series of thoughts. It is an obstacle for the ignorant, and a means for the wise. It is the cause of both bondage and liberation.  It is the mind that is in direct control of the thoughts, senses, breath, and body (including all diseases).

Mind contains vast amount of information in conscious, un-conscious, and sub-conscious minds; but there is nothing in mind which we have not heard, seen, thought of, or imagined previously (in previous births or within this birth). In other words, mind depends totally on its previous experiences, and imagines future experiences based on that; it has nothing new or original. It means that mind does have its boundary. It cannot go beyond its limit; but there is something beyond the mind. 

Mind stands between ourselves and ultimate truth (God); All the spiritual practices, techniques, religions are actually means to train the mind so that we can have control over mind and its modifications, and then can go beyond the mind. Mind is like a boat which we can use to go beyond the mind. 

 4 Phases of Mind (4 Levels of Consciousness)

States of Consciousness Levels of Consciousness Levels of Reality Awareness
Waking Conscious Gross It is the normal state when we wakeup. Jagan Avastha. It is in eyes.
Dreaming Unconscious Subtle Directed towards the endless stream of images and impressions of the Unconscious. Here mind resides in very fine nadi of throat.
Deep Sleep Subconscious Causal Can focus on the formless form of the potential, latent, inactive thought pattern (Samkaras). Here one can reduce the effect of samskaras and Yoga Nidra can help here. Here mind rests in Heart and is in Ignorance.
Turiya Turiya Absoule Reality It cannot be sub-divided. It is Truth itself. This scategorye is not available to normal people.

There is no content in the mind when we are in deep sleep state. If there is some content, then either it is awaking or dreaming state. When we argue with someone, even though we stick to your own philosophy, the opponent affects our unconscious mind because the unconscious receives even that which is beyond agreement of your conscious mind.

Thoughts
We are thinking beings. Thoughts are the very building blocks of physical experience because all our actions are controlled by our thoughts. Everything that humans have done or created came from mental realm first. e.g A building? First someone had to conceive of the idea of a building, then someone had to want a building, then they had to figure out the details of how it would be, then the details of how it would be constructed; and then finally a physical building is constructed.

All thoughts have some origin. Our thinking patterns are based upon our previous karmas. All thoughts reside in latent form (Samkaras) in sub-conscious mind; from where they are transferred to un-conscious mind; and then finally came to conscious mind. The thoughts in un-conscious and sub-conscious are not under our control; we get aware of a thought only when it is available in conscious mind.

Emotions

The play of Intellect on Desire gives birth to Emotion; it is the child of both, and shows some of the characteristics of its father, Intellect, as well as of its mother, Desire. In the developed condition Emotion seems so different from Desire that their  fundamental identity is somewhat veiled; but we can see this identity either by tracing the development of a desire into an emotion, or by studying both side by side, and finding that both have the same characteristics.

Virtually all our actions are controlled by our thoughts. And all our thoughts are controlled by our emotions. One emotion can disturb our whole being – we lose power of discrimination, and our entire behavior – mind, action, and speech – becomes abnormal. Though emotion is a great power, it needs to be directed willfully; otherwise it disturbs the mind. Our emotional body is like a fish in the lake of life. If the lake is in turmoil, it is impossible for the fish to remain calm and quiet. Similarly, if the mind is in constant turmoil, the emotions can never rest, and one can never use them correctly. The mind and emotions are very close, yet they are different in their functions. 

Emotion is, we have seen, the motive power in man: it stimulates thought; it impels to action; it is as steam to the engine; without it man would be inert, passive. But there are many who are the continual prey of their emotions; who are hurried hither and thither by emotions, as a rudderless ship by stormy winds upon the ocean; who are tossed high and dragged low by surges of joyous and painful feelings; who alternate between exaltation and despair. Such a person is swayed, subju­gated by emotions, continually harassed by their conflict.

One of the things most apt to be over­looked by the emotional person is the way in which emotion fills his surrounding atmosphere with its vibrations, and thereby biasses the intelligence; everything is seen through this atmosphere, and is coloured and distorted by it, so that things do not reach the intelligence in their true form and colour, but arrive twisted and dis­coloured. Our aura surrounds us, and should be a pellucid medium through which all in the outer world should reach us in its own form and colour; but when the aura is vibrating with emotion it cannot act as such a medium, and all is refracted that passes into it, and reaches us quite other than it is. If a person is under water and a stick is put near him in the air, and he tries to touch it, his hand will be wrongly directed, for he will put his hand to the place at which he sees the stick, and as the rays coming from it are refracted on entering the water, the stick will be, for him, displaced. Similarly when an impression from the outer world reaches us through an aura over-charged with emotion, its proportions are distorted, and its position misjudged; hence the data supplied to the intelligence are erroneous, and the judgment founded upon them will therefore necessarily be wrong, however accurately the intelligence may work.

7 Negative Emotional Streams: Desire, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride, Jealously, Ego are the 7 negative emotions. Please refer to "5 Vikar" article for more details.

4 Primitive Foundations: Food, Sleep, Sex, Self-preservation are the 4 primitive foundations. Please refer to "4 Primitive Foundations" article for more details

How Mind Works

First of all Mind gets its power from the Soul and then it controls the senses, breath, and body. Mind has 4 functions: Manas, Chitta, Ahamkara, and Bhudhi. These 4 functions work together as a mind is also referred as Antekaran/Hirda. Maya/Illusion resides within Mind. It is explained as follows:

Manas/Maat (Importer/Exporter): It is sensory, processing, thinking mind. It instructs 10 indriyas (5 sense organs, and 5 action organs). It is the lower mind, through which the mind interacts with the external world and takes in sensory impressions and data. Manas has habit of putting questions and doubts (Sankalap, Vekalap or say Wll-do and Doubt) but it is not supposed to be the key decision maker in the factory. That is the job of Buddhi. If Buddhi is clouded, then Manas has a habit of continuing to question, seeking good instruction. Then it often listens to whoever is speaking the loudest in the factory, which is the wants, wishes, desires, attractions, and aversions stored in the memory bank of Chitta.

A good way to cultivate the witnessing of Manas is to be mindful of actions and speech, as well as your senses of smelling, tasting, seeing, touching, and hearing.

Chitta/Surat (Storehouse): It is the storehouse of all knowledge storage place of the countless latent impressions, memory of meits-demerits, through which we receive knowledge, Intuitive library, Desire, Awareness. In the absence of a clear Buddhi, the competing voices of Chitta often drive Manas to take actions in the world that are really not so useful.

A good way to cultivate the witnessing of Chitta is to simply be aware of the streams of thoughts, emotions, images, and impressions that arise in front of Manas (on which Manas may or may not act). Notice how the stream of thoughts comes from somewhere, and then recedes back into that same place. This place is Chitta.

Ahamkara/Maan ("I-maker" or Ego): Ahamkara is the sense of "I-am-ness," the individual Ego, which feels it to be a distinct, separate entity. It provides identity to our functioning, but Ahamkara also creates our feelings of separation, pain, and alienation as well. The purpose of the ego is to hold and retain your body, to retain your individuality. But unfortunately ego gets involved with other things, and tries to get involved with others' individuality as well.

A good way to cultivate the witnessing of Ahamkara is to be aware of the fact that rising thoughts and emotions are often colored with either attraction or aversion. Instead of saying “I need this. Say It needs this”.

Buddhi/Bhud (Intellect/Discriminator): It knows 3 things: How to Judge, Discriminate, and Decide. It is higher aspect of mind, the door-way to inner wisdom. Most of the time buddhi is clouded and therefore it cannot function as it should be. From buddhi knowledge comes and from knowledge comes God. If it functions clearly, Manas will accept its guidance. In the factory of life, we want Buddhi to be making the choices for the factory. Otherwise, Manas gets its instructions from the habit patterns stored in Chitta that are colored by Ahamkara, the Ego. Often, Buddhi is clouded over by all of the coloring and impressions in the Chitta.

Always, Lower Mind (Maan and Ahamkara) are trouble makers and therefore for successful Spiritual and Materialistic life one should take the LowerMind to HigherMind (Bhud, Chitta). In other words, train Manas towards Bhud a Ahamkara towards Chita.

Basically, these are the 4 functions of the same thing. If Mind Think then it is called Manas. If it Desires for something then it is called Chitta. If it Decides then it is called Bhud. If it associate with I'ness then it is called Ahamkara. [e.g You are a Judge when you exercise your judicial powers in the court. You are a cook when you work in the kitchen. You are a president of an association when you sit in the chair in that capacity. You are the same man, but you function differently and you are called by different names according to those different functions]