The mind principle

MAN must rise beyond the animal and master his monkey mind. This is the most important item in saadhana. This technique was elaborated in the ancient Vedhic texts and practised by the sages; neglect of the study and practice of the Upanishadhs (Vedhic philosophy) and the Geetha has resulted in the crisis we suffer today.

So, attempts should be made to revive our ancient culture, which was so practical, so applicable to our everyday problems and so beneficial. Now, there are many details about the mind that have to be remembered and many misconceptions that have to be ignored. What exactly are we doing with our minds? In how many different ways are we harmed by the activities of the mind? How does that mind itself get modified and transformed? One has to study these and free oneself from the sovereignty of the mind. One should endeavour, on the other hand, to establish one’s sovereignty over the mind. Then alone is this life worth while. Else, it is a colossal waste. Grasp this maaya and in an instant, the postulate of mind is seen as illusion. You can know the ‘I’ principle. When this “I” is not cognised, how can you answer the query, “Who are you?” You are not the name or label fixed on your material body — Yellappa, Raamappa, Mallappa, or Lakshmanappa. You are not the bodies which your parents named so. Your genuine name is different. You declare, ‘This is my leg, my head, my stomach;” but who is this ‘I’ that possesses these? Discover who this ‘I’ is; understand that the ‘I’ is not the body. When this is realised as a true fact, it follows that ‘I’ is not the sense, nor the mind. So, the ‘I’ is the resident of this body, whose residence gives all these their validity and value. That is to say, ‘I’ is the breath.

Illusion is the effect of the mind

So long as breath resides, there is no death. So long as there is current flowing, the bulb illumines. When the current does not flow there is no light. You attach importance to the coming and going of the light in the bulb; you do not observe that the current is ever flowing. The connection is broken, that is all. The body is a bulb; when the current flows through it, the parts inside it are activated and function effectively. The breath is the current; the breath is ‘I’. The Vedhas rely on three categories: Direct, Indirect, Inferential; but, there is a fourth also: Shabdha, the Sound, the authenticity of the Sound. The breath is inhaled, retained and exhaled as the sound: Soham Soham, Soham. This means: I am Brahman, I am Brahman.’ So, you are not a jeeva (individual soul)or a deha (body), you are Brahman — the Universal, Eternal, Unchanging. The illusion you are now hugging that you, with this reality of Brahman as your core and substance, are only this particular body bearing this particular name — this is what is referred to as Maayaa (worldly illusion). That is the effect of the mind. The mind has no special individuality; it has no innate, inherent capability. All its powers of mischief are activated and multiplied by man himself. It is agitated by the winds of delusion that blow on it.

Now, here is a piece of cloth, though it is just an assortment of yarn. Some yarns are in this direction and some are in the other direction, and so the cloth was created. If we pull out the yarns one by one, there will remain nothing of the cloth. So too, the desires of man are the warp and the woof that has woven this new thing called ‘mind’. Remove desire; the mind disappears and is no more.

*Editor’s Note. The date of the discourse is October 1967, the exact date is not known.