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Mind grows like the river | The heart of the Yogi | Yaksha Prashnam-10

Do you believe Mind creates your reality?

What sleeps but does not close its eyes?

This is another question that the Yaksha poses before King Yudhishthira. Yudhishthira answered “It is the fish that sleeps but does not close its eyes.” However simplistic the answer to this question may be, it is deeper than it seems. The living entity which includes humans; eats, sleeps, mates, defends and dies. All these actions are equivalent to sleep because it has not understood reality. The living entity enters various platforms of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas during its waking state as well as enters the waking, dreaming and deep sleep state. The living entity, lives and dies, it enters heavens, the lower planets such as the hells and then appears once again on the earthly platform. All these actions are considered to be like sleep because one has not woken up to the Paramatma who operates within the living entity and is ever awake. Since the living entity is oblivious and ignorant of the one who is ever wakeful in the living, entity’s heart, the living entity is compared to an ignorant fish who swims in water and keeps jumping out of the water for a few moments and gets back into water. Fish, is also known to sleep with its eyes open. Hence the ignorant living entity is compared to a fish in water. Similarly, even when a person is in physical sleep, the Atman never sleeps.

What is born but never moves?

This is the next question that the Yaksha poses to Dharma Putra, Yudhishthira. To this Yudhishthira replies “Brahma-Andam” (ब्रह्मांडम the egg of the Universe). The Universe does not move, was Yudhishthira’s answer. We have to understand the deeper philosophy of this answer. The Lord first created the 5 fundamental elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. Then He created the 14 Loka and the Shell that comprised of all these components, known together as the Brahmandam. Then the body of Brahma, the secondary Creator comes into being. The Supreme Lord Vishnu then selects the soul, ideal to take on the role of Sri Brahma and induces it into the newly created body of Sri Brahma. Then Brahma selects the souls to fill the universe from the body of Sri Maha-Vishnu.  Prior to the souls the universe remains immobile because consciousness is yet to be injected into it. The lesson is that unless life is injected into the insentient objects, objects remain immovable. Unless the aspect of Paramatma enters into the Achit, Achit cannot move. Eggs do not move unless the Jiva appears in it and makes it move.

Who does not have a heart?

This was the next question that the Yaksha posed to King Yudhishthira. Yudhishthira replied “It is the stone which does not have a heart.” This answer may appear a little out of place because everyone knows that, obviously, a stone has no heart. The import of this statement is to be understood at a deeper level. A Yogi is normally considered as a person who is stone-hearted, not in a negative sense but in a very positive way. The Yogi has performed many austerities and got his heart and mind under perfect control. He is not affected by profit or loss and by happiness and sorrow. He remains unaffected by the variations of the world. He views everything around him with equanimity and remains unaffected. This is the purport of being stone-hearted in the most positive sense. Stone also represents grit, immovability and steadfastness. Such is the heart of a Yogi who remains steadfast on his path without deviating one bit just like a stone. Sri Ramanujacharya has given a description of the nature of the mind. When the mind is steadfast it is known as “Buddhi” (बुद्धि). If the mind is filled with egotism, it is known as “Ahankara” (अहंकार).  If the mind becomes contemplative it is known as “Chitta”. Atma has two identities according to Vishishta-Advaita.  One is Vishishta Vesha (विशिष्ट वेश) and other is Nishkrishta Vesha (निकृष्ट वेश). In the first case, the Atma is seen in association with the body. In the second case Atma is seen devoid of its association with the body. In the first case, one shall only see sorrow as the residue of this experience. Whoever is trained through Sadhana and Spiritual knowledge can enter Nishkrishta Vesha. In this perspective only Ananda or Contentment, Peace and Spiritual Happiness shall be the residue. Yogis are people who have been trained to see Atma through Nishkrishta Vesha and hence they are Blissful, although they may seem to be stone-hearted (in an extreme positive sense).

What grows at a rapid pace?

This is the next question posed by the Yaksha. Yudhishthira Maharaja answers “The Mind grows at a rapid pace.” This too appears as a strange answer to a strange question. One needs to look at the statements deeply. Who strengthens the mind? It is to be known that only knowledge can make the mind function sanely. Mind is Achit, insentient. 24 components of creation are insentient. 25th component is the Jiva and 26th component is Paramatma. Mind is the 25th component, from this all the way to the 1st component, all belong to the category of Achit.  When the 25th component mixes with the lower components or the senses such as the Jnana Indriyas and Karma Indriyas, there is movement and one leads to the other. Just as a river, when it flows, the adjoining water-bodies slowly trickle and join the main water stream of the river and the river grows in size as it meets up with the ocean at the end. The Ganga Water starts as a trickle from its starting point in the glaciers of Gangotri, but as it reaches mid-stream near Hrishikesha and towards the Ganga Sagar, the flow is almost torrential. Similarly, so long as the Yogi controls his mind, keeping it fixed on the object of Meditation, the mind stands petrified and does not move a bit. The Yogi consciously arrests the mind through will and does not let the mind join with his sense organs. For an ordinary man, the sense organs and mind team up and engage with sense-objects. A particular scene on television where the eyes and the mind meet, will set up a desire. That desire may then turn-up as an action and the mind gets attached to the actions and the result of those actions. Thus the mind starts growing unabatedly like a torrential river.

Control of the Mind is key

Many people are not able to control their senses, because the mind is too weak and keeps oscillating from one thing to the other. The combination of Mind, senses and sense-objects creates havoc.  It is important to perform Abhyasa (अभ्यास practice). If the mind is to be tamed, it is important that mind has to be withdrawn from the senses. It is better to avoid a sense-object rather than being trapped in a quandary after the mind, senses and sense-objects have concurred. If one has diabetes, one is attracted to sweets. First thing is to avoid sweets totally, for this the tongue should never try to taste the sweet. Sweetness becomes an addiction because the mind is untrained. One has to train one’s mind with the malefic effects of sweets by thoroughly engaging the mind and senses on knowledge about the disease called diabetes so that the mind becomes equipped with relevant knowledge. Knowledge is a source of strength for the mind. As one goes on training the mind with the malefic effects of consuming sweets, slowly the mind shall withdraw its association with the tongue. Only under these circumstances that the mind shall garner enough strength to pull away from sweets. If one further trains the mind into higher pursuits, one shall lose total interests in sweets and then a stage will come when even the sight of sweets shall not trigger the desire to taste sweet. Thus the mind is completely arrested.

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