(A Vedanta’s Perspective) - Raja Subramaniyan

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Contents Part I – Introduction to Mind Part II – Understanding Mind Part III – Analyzing Mind Part IV – Controlling Mind Part V – Using Mind

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Part I – Introduction to Mind
Contents Lesson 1: An overview of Mind Lesson 2: What is Mind? Lesson 3: What is Thought? Lesson 4: Components of Mind Lesson 5: Functioning of Mind Lesson 6: Summary

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Lesson 1: An overview of Mind
A natural robot, more commonly known as a human being, is an extraordinary machine. It has five input devises, namely ears, skin, eyes, tasting tongue and nose. The real world outside is perceived through these five input devises and the data so captured is converted as thoughts and sent to the mind. Mind process these thoughts using the brain and issue instructions to the three primary action organs namely, hands, legs and talking tongue to perform desired actions. All the physical parts of the body including the brain are similar to the computer hardware. Mind is the software which makes this natural robot to function. Although the software is dependent on the hardware for functioning, it is different from the hardware. Similarly, mind is different from brain. If the human body is compared to an airplane, the brain is the cockpit and mind is the pilot. Neither the pilot nor the plane can fly without each other. But pilot is superior to the airplane. Mind is superior to brain.
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Lesson 2: What is Mind? Mind is a set of thoughts. Mind is similar to a software program consisting of a set of instructions. Thoughts make up the mind. There is no mind without thoughts. Mind is the controller of the five sense organs and three primary action organs. Information received from the sense organs is processed and appropriate actions are executed through the action organs. Mind determines our personality. Just as the physical appearances of people differ widely, the quality of mind also varies person to person. However, both the hardware and software function in the very same way among all human beings. For example, a heart surgeon does not have to enquire about the race, nationality, religion and such factors of the patient before doing an open heart surgery. Similarly, if we know how one mind works, we will know how everyone’s mind works. While the physical body is made up of matter, mind is made up of energy. Just as the heat from the stove can be felt at a distance, the mind can travel outside the brain/ physical body.
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Lesson 3: What is Thought? Thought is a picture of an object in the external world and the related concepts. A rose is an object in the external world. We have a picture of rose in our mind and this picture is the thought. A thought could also be a concept which is an abstract idea like justice, beautiful etc. Such thoughts are also pictures. Think of a dog. A picture of a real dog comes up in your mind. Think of ‘beautiful’. You have an idea of what beautiful means. That idea is also a picture which gets concrete form only when associated with an object, say ‘beautiful rose’ Just as the digital image of an object is stored in a jpeg file format in the computer, the images of events, objects, persons are stored as thoughts in the mind. Thought is energy. Just as electricity is generated from atomic reaction, thoughts are created based on the inputs received from the five sense organs. Thoughts are invisible. But when a thought is active it creates an electrical signal between the neurons in the brain. Brain does not create thoughts.
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Lesson 4: Components of Mind Mind is a bundle of thoughts. Thoughts are grouped into four components as listed below:a) Mind consists of all wavering thoughts (Example: To watch the cricket match OR study for the exam? Mind oscillates between two alternatives) b) Intelligence consists of all decisive thoughts (Example: Watch cricket. Get up early in the morning to study. Intelligence is always firm) c) Memory is the storehouse of all past thoughts (Example: Last time when you saw a movie before the exam, you failed. Memory stores and recalls the thoughts as and when required) d) Ego consists of I, my and mine type of thoughts (Example: I was debating whether to study or watch cricket. I decided to watch cricket although I remembered I failed last time. Ego merely claims the ownership of all actions) The word Mind is used to refer both the whole and the first component and we should take appropriate meaning depending on the context.
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Lesson 5: Functioning of Mind Mind starts functioning even before we wake up in the morning. During deep sleep the mind stops functioning completely. Initial thoughts are incoherent and called as dream. When mind activates the sense organs and the action organs we are awake. During waking period mind gives standard instructions to the sense/action organs to perform routine tasks and it dwells in the past or plans the future actions. It is like driving the car without consciously thinking about when to change the gear or apply brake. When something happens out of the routine, mind comes to the present. For example, a motorbike hit the car. The sense organs report the situation to the mind and the mind ponders on what to do next, intelligence makes a decision after considering the pros and cons recalled by the memory. Mind gives instructions to the action organs accordingly. Mind gets bored with routine work as it does not want to spend time on thinking about the past and future. Therefore, it always looks for new challenges and thrills by engaging in some sort of sense pleasures.
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Lesson 6: Summary Mind is an independent entity and determines our personality. In general, people do not understand how the mind functions. Therefore, their personality changes according to the environment. They do not control what sort of person they would like to become. Our happiness is the cumulative effect of two factors. One is the external world consisting for objects, people and events. The second factor is how our mind perceives and responds to the external environment. It is not possible for us to completely control the external environment. For example we can prepare for the exam well but do not have any control on what sort of questions come in the exam. The world will continue to present such obstacles in our life and thereby determine our happiness. However, we need not be under the mercy of the world. We can take charge by controlling the second factor, namely our mind. If we do that effectively no matter what happens in the external world we can always be happy. Therefore, it is important to understand the mind and control it to make the best use of our mind.
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Part II: Understanding Mind

Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Source of Thoughts Knowledge, Intelligence and Wisdom Thoughts and Actions Visible and Invisible Organs Sense Organs and Sense Objects Preferences (Likes and Dislikes) Origin and growth of personality

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Lesson 1: Source of Thoughts A video camera uses a mike and lens to capture sound and light from the external environment and stores them as pictures in the memory card. Similarly, our mind uses our five sense organs and collects five dimensional pictures of the universe and stores them in our memory. Without the lens and mike there is no picture. Similarly, without the five sense organs there are no thoughts. If a person is born deaf, dumb, blind and without the touch sensation, he will not have any thoughts in his mind. Thus, our five sense organs are the only source of our thoughts. Using the information received through our five sense organs, ‘new’ thoughts can be created in our mind. We see a bird and an elephant. We can have a third thought ‘flying elephant’ which is wholly created in our mind. Even such thoughts owe their origin to the five sense organs since they are merely a modified version of the data received through the sense organs. A chef may cook many different dishes. But it should be noted that all his ‘creations’ are mere modifications of various ingredients provided to him. It is impossible for the chef to create even a morsel of food that is not a modified version of the ingredients taken from the external world. Similarly, it is not possible for a mind to create a new thought. All thoughts are mere modifications of the data received through our five sense organs. When we use our sense organs and collect data from the world – such as reading these lines – thoughts corresponding to the data, arise in our mind. During other times our thoughts correspond to the data collected in the past. Even dreams are modified versions of the data received through the five sense organs. Thus our five sense organs are the only source of all our thoughts. There can be no other thoughts and there can be no exception to this rule. Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) is an invention of creative but ignorant western psychologists. Just as we can feel the heat, we can feel the thoughts through touch sensation. Without knowing this fact, Clairvoyance, Telepathy, Intuition, Precognition and such are termed as ESP. What is known as ESP is the ability of our skin to sense the thoughts. Therefore the E (Extra) should be dropped from ESP. Thoughts are energy and therefore they are essentially physical in nature. Intense thoughts of others can be felt through touch sensation. At times we get a feeling of someone looking at us even though we cannot see them. This is made possible by the fact that our skins can sense thoughts. We can read others thoughts if they are very intense. However it should be noted that the ability of our skin to sense thoughts is very rudimentary. It is more like playing Dumb Charades, where one person tries to communicate a word without talking. Sensing others thoughts through touch sensation can be used only as a pastime activity and not for any serious communication. For example, we cannot use this ability to learn any new subject from the teacher. Therefore, we have to ignore this insignificant ability of our touch sensation to read the thoughts of others in the context of receiving new thoughts. Whether we include or exclude this ability of our skin, the fact remains that all our thoughts originates only from the information received through our five sense organs and in no other way. 11 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 2: Knowledge, Intelligence and Wisdom Thoughts are pictures of the external world collected through our sense organs. Just as we store the books in a library with an index, we classify the data received and store them in our memory. Classified and indexed thoughts constitute knowledge. Knowledge depends on the following factors: - Quantity of inputs received (Example: Reading books is better than not reading.) - Quality of inputs received (Example: Reading non-fiction is better than reading fiction.) - Ability to store and recall from memory - Ability to analyze and derive logical conclusions from the inputs received through sense organs Mind is responsible for receiving the data from the sense organs, analyzing the information and storing the resultant knowledge in the memory. Memory is the storehouse of all knowledge. Intelligence is the ability to use the knowledge. A person may be highly knowledgeable but he may not be able to use his knowledge when it is required. An intelligent person is one who puts the available knowledge to the best use. For example a knowledgeable person may know the different routes to reach a particular destination. But if he is not intelligent he will be caught in traffic jam for hours and not think of taking an alternate road. An intelligent person may not have the knowledge of different routes but he may use his mobile phone to get the required information and take the right decisions and reach the destination faster. Intelligence is a separate function of the mind. Intelligence directs the mind to get more quality data through the sense organs and ensures that the required knowledge is stored in the memory with many different indexes enabling faster recollection. Intelligence is the key to success not mere knowledge. Problem solving skills of a person is directly related to his level of intelligence. An intelligent person sets and progressively refines the goal of life so that he reaches new heights in life. He will be able solve problems/crises that arise in his personal life as well as help others, if required. Wisdom is the ability of a person to see the big picture. A wise person need not be intelligent but his understanding of the given situation is superior. An intelligent person may be better in solving a problem. But a wise man is better equipped to avoid problems in the first place. Knowledge divides and wisdom unites. A knowledgeable person with mere intelligence will try to use his knowledge only for personal gain, whereas if he is wise he will share the knowledge with everyone. An intelligent person may contribute to the economic development but a wise person will contribute to the welfare of the society. An intelligent person without wisdom will be ever searching and struggling to be on top. A wise person is a master in the given field of operation who remains on the top effortlessly. Intelligence may lead to more knowledge to start with. But it should culminate in wisdom at the earliest. 12 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 3: Thoughts and Actions All our actions are initiated by our thoughts. It is not possible for us to do any action without the active direction of corresponding thoughts. We may or may not be aware of such thoughts. A building is built with thoughts in the mind of an architect before it is built on the ground. Before writing a letter the word existed as thoughts in the mind of the author. We are aware that thought is the driving force for all such planned actions. Mind sends detailed and appropriate instructions to all the parts of the body to perform many actions without our knowledge. For example, an activity like bathing or swimming will involve the coordinated effort of our muscles and thoughts drive such actions as well. This can be demonstrated by EEG. Breathing, digesting food and such involuntary actions are under the control of our physiological system and do not depend on our thoughts. The internal clock within the computer runs on a battery and therefore the time is kept correctly even during the period when the computer is turned off. Similarly, our physiological system takes care of these vital functions even when mind is completely turned off during deep sleep. The EEG taken while sleeping shows that mind does not work during deep sleep. Other than these involuntary actions, all our actions are results of our thoughts. What we study, how we work and the way we communicate etc depend on our thoughts. It is not possible for us to do any action without thoughts and there is no exception to this rule. It is not possible to give a comprehensive and complete answer to the question ‘what did you do yesterday?’ We do millions of actions in a day. EEG will show that our mind is active throughout the waking period executing many different actions. Due to ignorance we claim only few of these actions as ‘my actions’. We make two mistakes due to this ignorance. Firstly, we are not aware that our Ego is also a thought. Therefore, it is not possible for the ‘me’ to do any action. All the actions are done by our mind and our Ego does not have any role in this respect. Secondly, we assume that there can be few mind-less or thought-less actions. There are none. Slip of tongue, absent-minded action and such abnormal actions are also prompted by thoughts. Forgetting that we ate is not fasting. Similarly, not paying attention while driving a car does not mean our hands and legs are driving. It is our mind which drives the car using our body. The body cannot do any action without the active support of the mind. Thoughts are flowing from the mind on what to write, when we type at a speed of 90 words per minute. In addition, mind also sends separate instructions to each finger on where to hit the keyboard. The mind works at an enormous speed to execute this action. The fingers merely move as directed by the mind. A computer shows facts and figures on the monitor or prints them on a printer. Prior to such tasks the information is compiled in software in the form as 0s and 1s. Thus, the software has complete and full control on the hardware. Similarly, all the actions of this natural robot – our body – are fully controlled by our mind. Therefore, all our actions can be referred as manifested thoughts. 13 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 4: Visible and Invisible Organs. We have five sense organs (ear, skin, eye, tasting tongue and nose) and three primary action organs (hands, legs and talking tongue). Within each of these we have an invisible organ. For example, we have an invisible ear operating from our ears. The invisible ear is responsible for hearing. The visible ears are part of the physical body and they merely provide a place for the invisible ear to function. The relationship between the visible and invisible organs can be explained with an example: A sales clerk is sitting behind an enclosed sales counter and when a customer offers cash in the counter, she delivers a ticket. Although the customer cannot see the sales clerk, he is aware of her presence since the ticket is delivered to him. The sales counter without the sales person cannot do any transaction. If there is a delay in ticket delivery the counter is not responsible. The invisible part of the organs can be compared to the sales clerk and the visible part of the organs can be compared to the sales counter. Presence of the invisible organs is not recognized by western science. But we can logically verify their existence by examining the following life experiences. If our eye is a physical equipment it should be possible for a machine to test our eye and print out a prescription for the spectacles. But the eye doctor largely depends on our testimony on what we can see and what we cannot see. This is because the seeing is done by the invisible eye and not the physical eye. Although the hands appear similar, the hand writing of people differs. The internal hand is responsible for all actions including writing. If an artificial hand replaces a person’s real hand, the hand writing does not change because the very same invisible hand is now functioning through the artificial hand. People who lost their legs often feel that their legs are still intact. This is known as Phantoms leg or invisible leg. Thus the presence of invisible organs is established based on our real life experience. Invisible Organs are independent (ie separate from both the Mind and the Body) The ink is independent of the pen. Similarly, the invisible organs are independent of the visible organs. For example, if we eat a particular type of food, the tasting tongue develops a taste for that food. If that item is cooked little differently, the tongue recognizes the difference and refuses to eat it. In addition, it demands that it is given food that it likes rather than the food that is good for the health of the body. The ink is also independent of the writer. Similarly, the invisible organs are independent of the mind. The attraction between the opposite sexes is in built in the touch sensation. As long as there is restraint on the body to move closely with the opposite sex, the mind will be able to control it. But when there is an opportunity for a couple to touch and kiss each other, the touch sensation takes over. It demands closer relationships and the mind will be totally powerless to prevent sexual intercourse. Thus it is proved that invisible organs are independent of both the mind and the body. The mind uses the services of the invisible sense organs to collect information from the external world and it controls the movement of our body through invisible action organs. In this process the invisible organs develop a personal taste but the physical body remains neutral. Whatever food we eat, hunger disappears. 14 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 5: Sense Organs and Sense Objects The universe may be a vast space consisting of many stars and planets. But for each individual it is limited to what he hears, touches, sees, smells and tastes. It is impossible for the universe to be larger than what is known to man. The world of a particular person who travels widely is much bigger than the world of an old lady who has never crossed the boundaries of her village. It is meaningless to ask what the real size of the universe is, since the answer is limited to the comprehending power of an individual. Therefore the entire creation can be called by the phrase ‘sense objects’. Even a black hole falls under this definition even though it is not available for perception through any of our five sense organs. This is so because we are aware of the existence of the black hole based on the data received through our five senses. Thus, for an individual nothing other than sense objects exist. Sense Organs have an exclusive field of operation. It is not possible for any one of the five sense organs to confirm or deny the experience of the any of the other. Hearing is done only by ear. It is not possible to verify what is heard through eye. If we lose one of the five sense organs then one particular dimension of the universe disappears to us. A video camera without microphone cannot record sound using the lens. Sense Objects (including living beings) are innocent and they do not have the power to attract us. Out of the numerous sense objects that are available, each person is exposed to a certain subset of sense objects. This subset constitutes his universe. Out of this subset he gets to experience a much smaller number of sense objects. For example, our choice to shop is limited to what is available in our shopping mall. When we visit the shopping mall we will frequent only few shops within the mall and there will be many shops which do not exist in our world. The cosmetics shop does not have power to attract anyone. Those who like cosmetics will go there because of their liking and not because the shop is pulling them. Sense objects do not dictate how we live our lives. We decide to use a certain subset of sense objects based on our preferences. No one in the world is attractive. If we find someone attractive it means our invisible eye likes what it sees. The power to attract others is not an inherent quality in anyone. Just as an ice cream does not have power to attract anyone, no one has the power to attract the opposite sex. When we see an ice cream shop on a hot summer day we enter that shop not because the ice cream sent us an invitation but because our sense organs demanded sense pleasure and navigated the legs into the shop. Similarly, even when someone says a hello in a sweet voice, the sweetness in the voice is the work of our ears. Among our five sense organs the touch sensation and tasting tongue are special. While other sense organs can experience the sense objects without possessing them, it is an essential precondition that we come into close contact with what we taste and what we touch. That is the reason we miss sex and food and not the smell, sight and sound. We do not have to compete with anyone to hear a song or see a picture. But what we eat has to be exclusively owned by us. So these two organs are very powerful. Our sense organs censor the world and feed us with the picture of the world according to their preferences. 15 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 6: Preferences (Likes and Dislikes) We are born with our preferences. A two month old baby clearly indicates the type of food it likes and the music of its choice. Likes and dislikes of the child cannot be cultivated or shaped by the parents. For example, if a child is born with a liking of coffee, it will surely pick up this habit whether or not it is provided by the parents. If the family has the habit of drinking coffee, the child will pick up the habit sooner. Even if none of the members of the family drink coffee, it will take a while for the child to pick up the habit. But surely it will. Our preferences can be cultivated or developed by our self effort. By consciously switching over from coffee to tea, we can modify our likes and dislikes. Our sense organs develop a taste to what we are accustomed for a long time. The longer we are accustomed to a particular sense object the stronger our like for that object. It is very difficult to change such strong preferences. Our preferences determine our world. Our universe is limited to what we can perceive using our five senses. However, out of what is available to us, we choose a smaller subset of the universe based on our likes and dislikes. If we do not like sports we skip the two pages that cover sports in the news paper. The total number of pages in a newspaper is only two for a youngster who is interested only in sports. Animals live by instincts. They like what is good for them and dislike what is bad for them. Unfortunately this is not true for man. What we like is normally not good for us. This is so because our sense organs are independent of our body and mind. Sense organs determine our preferences. For example only man eats to satisfy the craving of his tongue rather than satisfying hunger. There are no animals in the wild that are fat because they do not eat unless they are hungry. Man disregards his health and yields to sense pleasures. Over eating is the result of not respecting the need of the body. Similarly, we may not like to read books that will help us become more intelligent. Instead we like to read some film magazines. Thus our likes and dislikes are a big obstacle to what is good for us. Fortunately, the demand of our sense organs can never be completely fulfilled. One has to work more and more to satisfy the insatiable hunger of the sense organs. In order to be more competitive in our work we are forced to develop our knowledge and intelligence. Thus, as a by-product of our effort in yielding to the pressure of the sense organs, we become more intelligent. An intelligent person starts questioning the likes and dislikes and wonders whether they are good or bad for our body and mind. Sense Organs pull the mind towards Sense Objects and the Intelligence start exercising its power to restrain the mind. Mind oscillates in the tug of war between the Sense Organs and the Intelligence. During the initial stages Sense Organs mostly win the battle. That is the reason most youth are running behind sense pleasures with total disregard for their studies. However, as we do more action, our intelligence become stronger and we start our journey towards what is good for us. One does not get to read lessons such as this unless their intelligence is strong enough to withstand the pressure of the sense organs. Then we do what is good for us. Whatever we do for a length of time will become our preference. Therefore, our sense organs will be slowly trained to like what is good for us. 16 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 7: Origin and growth of personality Our personality entirely depends on our mind and we are born with our mind.Therefore, our personality is largely determined at birth. But as the mind continuously changes throughout our lifetime we have a dynamic personality. It is not possible to positively ascertain how a person will behave in certain situation based on the personality type. Therefore, classification of people into various personality types is only indicative and not determinative. All our actions are results of our thoughts. All our thoughts are shaped by the data that we receive through sense organs. Sense organs collect data according to our preferences. Preferences are nothing but thoughts. Therefore, every one of us lives in a private world created by our thoughts. In the movie Truman Show, the hero lives in a totally controlled environment. Our lives are not very different. Each one of us is shaping our world according to our thoughts. Like Truman, we also live in an artificially created world and not in the real world. Since every one of us is born with a certain type of personality. There are so many views and opinions on anything and everything the truth is determined by majority. Elephants do not become mice if majority of the people say so. But unfortunately since we do not have any other way to determine the truth we go by popular view rather than scientific investigation. For example, we declare someone as Miss Universe. Even among the judges of the event few do not agree with the declaration. Nevertheless, we accept the winner as the most beautiful girl in the universe. We refuse to accept the possibility that a few cannot tolerate her looks and may vote her to be the ugliest girl in the universe. The fact that the beauty lies on eyes of the seer alone and NEVER on the object will not enter our mind because we prefer to go with the majority and not question the obvious. Therefore, we live like a Truman giving reality to falsehood. Our knowledge is the key to the reality. Like Truman we must start questioning everything. Else we will live as prisoners of our own private world. Fortunately, our actions make us more intelligent and inquisitive. As we accumulate more knowledge, we have a chance to liberate ourselves from the selfmade prison. Thoughts lead to action. Action shapes our thoughts. Knowledge provides us an opportunity to break this cycle. We cannot control what thoughts come to our mind. But we have a freedom to act according to our knowledge and not according to our preferences. As long as the mind is under the control of sense organs, sense pleasures will be our goal in life and we will be running behind sense objects. However when we have enough intelligence, we will have the ability to question our behavior. We will be able to apply a filter and check whether the action is good or bad instead of merely whether we like or dislike. When we start doing our actions according to what is good rather than what we like, our personality will start changing for the better. Our personality determines how successful we are in our life. As long as we live in our limited private world our personality will be stunted. We will be searching for solutions in the world. As and when we get enough knowledge to analyze the functioning of our own mind, we will start controlling the future by shaping our personality. Since our world is limited to what we perceive through our five sense organs we will embark on a sure and easier way of transforming our world a better place to live. 17 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Part III: Analyzing Mind

1. 2. 3. 4. Uniqueness of human mind What are Emotions? What is desire? Understanding Emotions Summary


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Lesson 1: Uniqueness of human mind Human beings are distinctly different from robots and other living beings. All the normal functions of the Mind, Intelligence and Memory are common to both robots and living beings. The distinctive feature that differentiates human beings from the rest is Ego, which is present only in human beings. A chess playing robot will observe the move of the opponent, consider different possible moves, debate on the best course of action, recall the past playing pattern of the opponent and then make its move. In addition to these thoughts, a human player has to deal with his moods, feelings and emotions such as anxiety over winning the prize money or dejection over making a wrong move. This is due to his Ego. Animals are driven by instincts. They do not have any choice in action. When hungry they will eat. When it is the mating season they will fight for a mate. Only human beings have free will to choose between various options. Whether they are hungry or not, they may decide to eat or abstain from eating. If they choose to eat they have a choice on what to eat, how to eat and how much to eat. Free will is an exclusive prerogative of human beings. Willing is an ability to act freely without any external constraints. Robots and other living beings do not have self-awareness. They do not have egoistic thoughts such as ‘this is mine’ or ‘I am doing an action’. Thoughts of a robot are lifeless. Unless programmed, robots do not even defend themselves. Animals are superior to robots in this respect but they also lack selfawareness. They exist as a species and not as an individual. Whether they are alone or live in a group they exist without having a thought ‘I exist’ in their mind. Self-awareness is the foundation for the Ego. Unlike robots all living beings are self-programmed to act towards fulfilling three basic desires, namely, 1. To survive and reproduce 2. To seek pleasure and avoid pain 3. To know and explore (so as to increase their capability to achieve the above two desires) While these three basic desires govern the actions of other living beings in the form of instincts, human beings have the freedom and freewill to pursue these desires. Although all human beings work to fulfill these desires, they do it out of their choice. They have a choice to hurt or kill themselves. Robots and other living beings do not have any emotions. Only human beings are capable of having emotions. The apparent emotions among other living beings are instinct driven. They do not have a choice in their behavior. On the death of a cruel husband, the wife may celebrate the fortune that she inherited or put up a show as if she is mourning. She has a choice. Unlike other living beings, human beings have self-awareness and free will. These two factors give rise to emotions. Since these two factors are absent in robots and other living beings, they do not have any emotions. When chased by a tiger, a deer will run for its life. A man will also do the same. However, after escaping from the tiger, the deer will return to its routine life soon. But a man will be haunted by varied emotions such as happiness (escape from the tiger), anxiety (what if it comes back), guilty (for not bringing the gun), worry (what would have happened if he had died) and fear (of imminent death). 19 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 2: What are Emotions? Emotions and feelings are built up thoughts. There can be no emotions without thoughts. All thoughts need not become emotions. If a thought is compared to a footstep then the emotion is the path created by many footsteps. A single thought cannot become an emotion. However, it can trigger an emotion. When we read a news headline, ‘youth commits suicide’, there are no emotions in the mind. Only when we read the details of his love story, thought by thought an emotion is built in our mind. Alfred Hitchcock says that if all of a sudden a bomb explodes audiences will be shocked for couple of minutes. Instead, if the audiences are informed that a time bomb will go up in fifteen minutes and alternating scenes between the ticking clock and the activities of the various innocent characters are shown, then there will be suspense, anxiety, thrill, sadness or happiness lasting for hours in the minds of the viewers. If a thought can be compared to a brick, then the emotion is the building. If we build our emotions consciously, then we will have a fortress for which we will be the master. Instead, if thoughts are built in our mind without our awareness then it will become a prison and we will be bound by it. Thoughts lead to actions. Emotions lead to action with involvement. A terrorist is willing to give up his life because he is emotionally involved in the action. A worker does not perform his best at work because his heart is elsewhere. Thus thoughts are essential for action but emotions are optional. Thoughts are dry. Emotions are juicy. Thoughts create electrical activity in brain. When thoughts are built up they trigger the secretion of hormones from one or more glands and we become emotional. Depending on the type of emotion different glands are activated. For example, adrenaline is secreted when we are scared. Thoughts do not affect our physical body but emotions do. The threshold level for thoughts to become emotions varies with age. During adolescence the glands are highly active and therefore less number of thoughts is enough to trigger an emotion. As we grow old we become more mature. This means more thoughts are required to bring about emotions in our mind. For example, old people do not laugh for a silly joke while youngsters giggle for nothing. Thoughts are permanent. Emotions are momentary. We cannot keep laughing or crying continuously. Mind is the seat of emotions and Intelligence deals with concepts and ideas. Thoughts appear to reside in the head while emotions appear to reside in heart. Mind uses cortex of the brain for handling thoughts. When thoughts become emotions, they trickle down to the middle brain. By activating various hormones, emotions directly affect our physical health. Shocking news might cause heart-attack. Similar to the fluctuation of the voltage, the composition of mind changes depending on the events that happen in a day. These changes are called mood. We may not always be able to identify the reason for our depression or mood elevations. But they are directly related to our environment. If mind is compared to water, the plastic cover that holds water is the brain. Changes in the brain may affect the functioning of the mind. Disease and damage to brain may severely restrict the free functioning of the mind. Through the use of drugs it is possible to change the mood of the person. Feelings are caused by the inputs received from sense organs. When the inputs are processed they become emotions. 20 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 3: What is a desire? When we see a rose in the neighbor’s garden, a thought-rose is created in our mind. Our mind might be conditioned to believe that the rose is beautiful. So another thought ‘Oh! It is beautiful’ is created. At this point, the ego may say ‘I want this rose’. This is desire. Desire is a thought created by our ego. All living beings have three basic desires. They are (a) desire to survive and reproduce, (b) desire to seek pleasure and avoid pain and (c) desire to know and explore. Since other living beings do not have ego they act instinctively to fulfill these three desires. But in man these desires exist as thoughts. Since man has freewill he has a choice to act towards fulfilling these desires. Desire to survive and reproduce is the most important desire among the three. Therefore, food and sex are considered as basic necessities in life. Two demanding sense organs, namely, tasting tongue and touch sensation are associated with these two sense objects. As a result, there is a constant demand for food, clothing, shelter, medicine, insurance, health care, hospitals, medicines and longevity research and such which are rooted in the desire for survival. Similarly, demand for sex, companionship, family, friends and relatives at the micro level and demand for good government, society, community and such at the macro level are rooted in the desire to reproduce and the survival of the species. When this basic desire is fulfilled the second desire of indulging in sensory pleasures (and avoidance of pain) takes over. Sex and food are no longer seen as means for reproduction and survival. They are seen as source of enjoyment. No other living being indulge in food and sex for entertainment. Man does not stop with restaurants, pubs and clubs. He wants to wear designer clothes and expensive jewellery, travel around the globe in style, see movies, go for music and dance performances and watch sports and games. This desire has propelled the stone-age-world to become what it is today. One needs money, wealth, power, position, name, fame, awards and rewards to fulfill these desires. So the second desire of seeking sensory pleasure and avoidance of pain can be rephrased as desire for money. The last and final desire is gaining the required knowledge and skills for earning money. All living beings have the curiosity to explore the environment and gain knowledge which will directly help them to achieve their first two desires. In case of human beings, money has become the intermediary. Demand for newspapers, magazines, libraries, educational institutions and training centers arise out of this third desire. However since money has become the purpose of this desire, there are many who are not fit to gain qualifications from universities, explore the possibility of earning money by gaining knowledge and skill in the areas of sports, arts, media, social service, religion and politics. These three desires are the driving force for all actions of all human beings. There is no action without a desire and all the desires of a living being are modified versions of these three basic desires. It is important to note that NONE of these three desires can be completely fulfilled. Man wants to be immortal. No amount of money is enough. Research reveals that the known is a miniscule of the unknown in all fields of knowledge. Therefore, man is continuously working to fulfill his never ending desires. Desires are mere thoughts. No external force is dictating that we should act upon our desires. We should use our intelligence and free will to decide where to draw the line. As long as we keep working to fulfill our desires we cannot avoid suffering the impact of negative emotions. 21 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 4: Understanding Emotions Emotions can be classified as positive and negative based on how they help or hinder us in achieving our three basic desires. Love, compassion and kindness are examples of positive emotions which lead us towards healthy mind and body. Anger, frustration and fear are examples of negative emotions which lead us to mental suffering and physical illness. No one wants to suffer. But everyone suffers. Emotions are classified as conscious and unconscious based on whether we are aware of the process of building up of the emotions or not. We are not scared if we are watching a thief jumping over our compound wall and trying to break into the house. We raise an alarm and he will run away. On the other hand if we are woken up when the thief is already in our bedroom, we may not be able to deal with the shock. Conscious emotions will be positive emotions and unconscious emotions will be mostly negative. Emotions are illogical only if they are unconscious. Advertisements enter our mind as thoughts and they mature into emotional binding with the product. We will not be able to explain why we want to buy a particular brand. If we are fully aware of the process by which an emotion is built, then we will be in full control of all our emotions. We can build positive emotions and avoid negative emotions. Building emotions: Sense organs perceive the world and create thoughts in our mind. Thoughts become desires as the Ego thinks it is insufficient and seeks fulfillment. Desires lead us to act. Our actions are seen as a means to bridge the gap between the insufficient present and fulfilled future. The fulfillment never arrives and we are continuously in action chasing our dreams. Man has daily targets, periodical milestones, long term goals and objective of life. All these are desires and he struggles to bridge the psychological gap between insufficiency and fulfillment. This struggle causes all emotions. There will be anxiety (about the future) and stress (about the present). Minor provocation will bring irritation. He will become short-tempered. He will fear anything/ anyone who is potentially an obstacle to the fulfillment of his desires. If he is powerful, the obstacle will create anger. Any shortfall/ shortcoming will result in displeasure. If his colleague or neighbor is ahead of him, he will develop jealousy and animosity. There will be a tendency to take revenge against those who cause obstruction. Failure without reason will lead to frustration/ shame/ disappointment. If the failure is due to insufficient self-effort, he will have a feeling guilt. Even if the effort is successful, often the result is perceived to be insufficient and therefore there will be a sense of disappointment and disillusionment. After getting, what he wants there will be fear of losing it. If what is gained is lost, there will be grief. The efforts do not end when the desires are fulfilled. There will be more action towards protection/ maintenance/ sustenance of the objects of desire. One will feel insecure about growth and maintaining the current status, since old age is fast approaching. Life will progressively become intolerable. The rat race drains out the energy and health of most people leaving them miserable. The happiness one gets on accomplishment of a target, the secured feeling one gets on achieving a milestone and the peace of mind one attains on reaching the ultimate goal are the occasional incentives man gets for his continuous struggle. These incentives do not last long. Soon after reaching a destination the horizon moves away. As long as we are ignorant of this process we will be prisoners of our emotions. Only by gaining the knowledge of this process, can we build positive emotions and make life joyful. 22 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 5: Summary Organic Chemistry is a branch of science which deals with the process of creating a chemical compound by bringing together the required elements under certain conditions. The process of building emotions from a bundle of thoughts is also a science similar to organic chemistry. There are no exceptions either in Organic Chemistry or in building emotions. The rules in organic chemistry are valid for all places at all times. Similarly, emotions are built identically among all human beings at all times. The primary ingredient for a thought to become an emotion is desire. Depending on the strength of the desire the emotions will also be strong or weak. If we deeply desire to get something, we will be very happy when the desire is fulfilled. If the desire is not fulfilled, our sorrow will also be equally more. But if we understand the process in which our emotions are built, we can use our emotions to our advantage. We can avoid negative emotions from haunting our mind. Couple of emotions are discussed here. If we merely observe how thoughts are created one by one, we will know the process for the rest. Knowing the fact that thoughts create emotions is in itself a big step. Jealousy: This emotion will arise in my mind if someone known to me gets a little more than what I have of what I consider valuable. All these three conditions are essential for these thoughts to become jealousy in my mind. If I am not a singer, I will not be jealous of a person who sings better than me. If I am a singer, then I will be jealous of my classmate who sings better than me but I will not be jealous of M.S.Subbulakshmi. A businessman will not be jealous of his competitor if he is ten times bigger than him. He will be jealous only if the competitor who makes marginally more than him. If these three conditions are met then it is impossible to avoid jealousy. If we do not understand this process, our jealousy will drive us to act against our own interest. If we are aware of the reason why we are jealous, it is easier to dismiss it and not act on it. I will still smile and be friendly with my class-mate although I am jealous of her. Jealousy will not have the strength to push me into inappropriate actions. I will be peaceful even if there is jealousy in my mind since I now understand that as long as the above three conditions are met, it is impossible for anyone to avoid jealousy. Love: The feeling of oneness is love. If you like the music that I like, then I will start liking you. It is not possible to love a stranger about whom we do not have any information. The more we see, listen or talk with any person the chance of finding oneness with that person is more and therefore the probability of falling in love is also very high. We generally see what we want to see and ignore what we do not like. That’s why it is said love is blind. The loved one will start appearing more beautiful. If we are not aware of this process of falling in love, we will assume it is a divine love and be willing to give our life for the sake of love. There is no such thing as divine love. There is only one love, the feeling of oneness. It is possible to find the commonality with anyone and therefore one can fall in love with anyone/ everyone. Understanding how thoughts are created and how they turn into emotions will help us to determine the type of emotions that we want to have. We will not be affected by negative emotions. Since the external world can no longer influence the status of our mind, we will be in a better position to control the thoughts and use the full potential of the mind to deal with all types of situations. 23 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Part IV: Controlling Mind Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Nature of Mind Mind Control – Why? Mind Control – Who? Mind Control – How? Mind Control – Tools Mind Control – Summary

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Lesson 1: Nature of the mind The display screen in a video camera can display either the objects seen through the camera lens or the edited version of the past recordings. It cannot display anything else. It will go blank when switched off. Similarly, we will either have thoughts corresponding to the sense objects perceived through the sense organs or modified version of the thoughts from our memory. In deep sleep, the mind is totally blank. When we wake up in the morning, thoughts come one after another depending on their importance. Mostly, the pending task about which we were thinking prior to sleeping will be our first thought. Inputs from the sense organs take precedence over stored thoughts. For example, if someone wakes us up and inform some interesting news, it will take a while for the previous day’s thoughts to reenter our mind. Thoughts always occur one by one in our mind. It is not possible to entertain more than one thought at any given point in time. If there are ten articles on the table they can get converted as thought-objects one by one only. As we indulge in more action the speed at which the thoughts come to our mind increases. However busy one may be, the thoughts occur in mind one at a time. The universal answer to the question ‘What are you thinking NOW?’ is ‘Nothing’. Even though thoughts occupy our mind continuously they occur one by one with a distinct gap in between. In general we do not notice this gap. When we hear this question, the previous thought is gone. The next thought is yet to come. Therefore, we say ‘nothing’ indirectly referring to the gap between two thoughts. The mind cannot be silent without any thoughts for more than few minutes. Thoughts return soon after our answering ‘nothing’ and we catch hold of one of that thought and claim ‘I am thinking about this now’. We can only talk about the past thoughts. It is not possible to predict the next thought. The second thought will have some connection with the first thought. But what that thought will be is completely unpredictable. Thoughts come to us. We do not think. Therefore, it is not possible for anyone to claim ‘I am thinking’. Whatever thoughts come to our mind, the ego catches hold of it and claims ‘I was thinking about this’. Since ego cannot think, it cannot stop the flow of thoughts as well. Deliberate thinking means selecting a topic (which comes to our mind) and trying to think about it with a particular aim in mind. Aimless thinking happens automatically when the mind is free. What thought comes next, is not in our control whether the thinking is deliberate or otherwise. The connection between one thought and the next thought will have some logic. In aimless thinking, thoughts will continue to wander on different but related subjects. In deliberate thinking it may revolve around a particular topic but it might stray into unrelated areas and might become aimless thinking. When we realize the deviation, the thoughts might return to the chosen topic for a brief period but soon it will start wandering again. The importance of the topic determines the length of the ‘brief period’. It is not possible to keep thinking about a particular object unless our sense organs perceive that object continuously. What is out of sight is out of mind too. We do not have any direct control over our thoughts. It is not possible to order our mind not to think about a particular object. We cannot decide to forget. We can neither stop the flow of thoughts nor direct the flow of thoughts in a particular path.

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Lesson 2: Mind Control – Why? Before we attempt to control the mind we need to understand why we want to control the mind. We would like to concentrate on the chosen job and not get distracted. Secondly, we would like to avoid bad, evil or negative thoughts so that we do not get hurt or hurt others, and help us focus on positive thoughts leading to our well being. Thirdly, we may want to direct the mind to perform super natural tasks and achieve greater material success in life. There are no other reasons. Thoughts come to us and we do not think. Therefore, it appears that we cannot control thoughts at all. If we see an obscene poster, bad thoughts are bound to come in our mind. If we read a pornographic book lustful thoughts will occupy our mind. It is difficult if not impossible to control the mind AFTER it receives the inputs through the sense organs. Therefore, the only way that we can control our mind is by censoring the inputs. We must totally avoid reading, seeing, listening, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling those objects that will remind us about the thoughts that we want to avoid. We must live in an environment that facilitates nice and pleasant thoughts. This is the only way to control our thoughts. After watching a late night movie, it is not possible to study for an exam the next morning. Thoughts about the movie will distract the attention and it will not be possible to concentrate. It is of no use telling the mind to concentrate if it is already full of thoughts about the movie. If we really want to concentrate on studying for the exam, we should totally shut ourselves in a room and study all the time without giving a chance to any of our sense organs to gather inputs that are not related to our studies. We do not have to teach a student to concentrate when he is watching a world cup match on television. Similarly, we do not have to tell our mind to concentrate if we are interested in the subject that we are reading. If we are not interested we will not be able to concentrate. If we are involved in an argument with our neighbor, our mind will not be peaceful. Thoughts pertaining to the duel will continue to haunt us for a long time. It is impossible to control our mind and demand that the mind should stop thinking about the fight. It is like shaking the water bottle and expecting the water to remain still. It will take a while for the mind to settle down. If we want to be peaceful we should not have argued in the first place. If we argue, there is no way we can avoid a disturbed mind. We can certainly speed up the process of recovery if we seek forgiveness. It will be difficult or impossible to forget about the fight by going to a movie. The mind will continue to be disturbed and may not allow us to watch the movie peacefully. Drinks, party and such will temporarily distract our attention away from our anger but it will return soon. Time is a natural healer. It is not possible for us to keep thinking about a particular subject for a length of time. So, through the passage of time, the mind will slowly become peaceful just as the water settles down in the water bottle after a while. Controlling the mind for performing supernatural tasks will involve extraordinary practice of meditation. There are people who can completely stop the flow of thoughts and make the mind still for an extended period of time. This stage is called Samadhi. Those who can reach Samadhi effortlessly can further train their mind to perform miracles. In order to gain such abilities one must live in isolation away from the civilization and practice meditation for many years. In addition, guidance from an able teacher who has studied and practiced Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is an absolute necessity. 26 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 3: Mind Control - Who? It is the nature of a mirror to reflect the object placed in front. Similarly, it is the nature of the mind to create a thought picture of an object it is exposed to. We are exposed to many different sense objects and we would like the mind to think about only a certain sub-set of sense objects (for example thoughts relating to exam) and avoid thinking about the rest. Or we would like to be peaceful without any thoughts (about the past or future) in the mind. Who can exercise such control? Sense Objects: The world does not have the power to control our mind. But due to ignorance we assume that the sense objects can control our mind. A sports magazine or a film magazine appears to be more attractive than a text book. Books are made up of inanimate paper. How can they dictate what our mind should think? Unfortunately, they seem to have such power. As a result if we happen to see a photograph of a film star on the magazine cover our mind refuses to concentrate on the text book that we are holding in the hand. As long as we remain ignorant, our mind will be in the control of sense objects and it will not be in our control. We need to take responsibility for our thoughts. Sense Organs: Even if we understand that the sense objects do not have the power to control our mind, we wrongly identify ourselves with our sense organs and claim ‘I want to eat burger and not curd rice’. Any food will satisfy our hunger and it is our tasting tongue that demands a particular sense object. Since our invisible sense organs are independent of our body and mind they demand what they like without any concern of our wellbeing. As we do not understand that the sense organs are independent, we yield to their pressure. It is like allowing our neighbor to dictate what we should do. As long as we do not realize that sense organs are mere tools that we own, our mind will be under their control. Mind: Mind is helpless in controlling itself since its duty is to reflect the sense objects presented to it. Mind is the controller of our organs. However, most of us are under the control of our sense organs. Although we know that we do not have enough time to prepare for the exam, our mind allows the legs to go into a pub. Since mind does not have its own preference – just as a mirror that does not have preference on what to reflect – it goes about fulfilling the demands of our invisible sense organs. Memory: Repeated exposure to a specific set of sense objects creates imprints in our memory. We start liking some of them and dislike some. In addition, the memory stores the wrong knowledge that sense objects are capable of giving happiness to us. Therefore, memory supports the demand of the sense organs and drives the mind towards sense pleasures in line with the imprints in our memory. Ego: ‘I want to control my mind’. What is the meaning of the word ‘I’ in this sentence? It actually represents our Ego. Sitting in a cross legged posture and stating to oneself ‘now I will stop the flow of thoughts’ is similar to a corrupt politician getting appointed as a the chairman of the enquiry committee. Ego is a mere I thought. It can never control the mind. In the process of driving away other thoughts it will come up with a new thought ‘Now I am not thinking’ and then quietly move on to think about the very topic one wishes to forget. It will keep creating noise in the mind by shouting ‘Keep quiet. I told you not to think. Next time you think of that, I will punish you…beware’. Thus we will end up with a more disturbed mind when we attempt to control the disturbing thoughts in our mind.

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Intelligence: There is a constant struggle between mind and intelligence. While the mind oscillates between likes and dislikes, the intelligence knows what is good for us. Setting the alarm clock to 5 am is the work of the intelligence. But when the clock rings, the mind quietly directs the hand to shut it down without waking up the intelligence. As a result, we end up sleeping more and miss our work. In order to increase the power of intelligence, it needs to gain more knowledge and conviction on what is right. In addition, the intelligence should also know the limitations of the sense objects in meeting our ultimate goal in life. As and when intelligence gains such knowledge, the mind will not hesitate to obey. Who controls our mind? As long as we are ignorant on this subject, our mind is controlled by our environment. If everything goes according to our expectations we feel happy. Else we suffer. We are not in control of our mind. The environment controls our mind through our sense organs. Although intelligence knows what is right, mind starts overpowering it and directs it to find out ways and means to justify its actions. For example, the intelligence knows it is wrong to accept bribe. But it will start listing down reasons to prove that bribe is part of the system and it cannot be avoided. Thus, intelligence merely supports the actions of mind. This is the situation in which most people are living. The current control structure is: Sense Objects -> Sense Organs -> Mind supported by Intelligence. We need to make our intelligence the master. Intelligence should have complete control over the mind and the mind in turn should have complete control over the sense organs. This is the right way of living to get liberation from the control of the environment. We can decide how we want to perceive every situation that we encounter and thereby create the thought-world according to our wish. It is not possible to correct the environment. However much we try we will surely fail. People normally work all through their productive age trying to correct the environment so that they can live happily. Since Sense Objects determine the status of the mind, people are trying to correct the world. When they repeatedly fail they may realize their mistake and then explore the possibilities of correcting the mind. The correct control structure is: Intelligence -> Mind -> Sense Organs feeding on the Sense Objects. We need to empower the intelligence with the right knowledge so that it can start controlling the mind.

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Lesson 4: Mind Control - How? Intelligence should control the mind which in turn should control the sense organs. But currently, Sense Organs are controlling the mind. People identify themselves with the sense organs and demand, “I want this sense pleasure”. What we really want is to be happy. But we wrongly equate happiness with sense pleasures. Sense pleasure refers to the pleasant feeling one gets while indulging in a sense object. If one likes to drink coffee, he gets a nice feeling while drinking it. This nice feeling is nothing but a thought which has transformed into feeling due to repeated exposure to coffee. The tasting tongue merely reports the taste. The taste of the coffee is stored in the memory as a thought. As one drinks coffee more frequently this taste gets reinforced and the tasting tongue gets used to that particular taste. Just as our dog gets used to a particular type of food and demands the same, our invisible tasting tongue demands coffee at coffee time. If coffee is not provided the thought ‘I need coffee’ haunts the mind. This thought will transform into anger if coffee is delayed. If good coffee is given at the right time, then the coffee-tastethought becomes a pleasant feeling. We assume that this pleasant feeling is happiness. Sense Pleasure comes from external sense objects. Happiness comes from within us. Sense Pleasure is limited both by time, object and quantum. Happiness is unlimited. Sense Pleasure belongs to the sense organs. Happiness belongs to us. Once we gain clarity on the above then we will not attach importance to sense pleasures and run behind sense objects. This knowledge is essential for gaining control over the mind. As longs we think that our happiness lies in sense pleasures, we will continue to be slaves of our environment. Once we gain this understanding we can start using the various tools that are available to control our minds effectively. It is not easy to gain this knowledge because our sense organs will not let us study. If our mind debates whether to read this lesson again for better understanding or watch a television serial, the sense organs will win the debate. Therefore, we keep postponing the process of gaining the knowledge. As we gain some knowledge we need to bring in certain discipline in our routine so that we progress towards gaining the ultimate knowledge on this subject. Thoughts become words and words become action. It is difficult to control the thoughts without adequate knowledge. But we can certainly have complete control over our actions. If we allocate and follow a strict schedule for studying the lessons on Mind, then progressively this action will become a habit and the sense organs will lose the power to protest. As we start enjoying the lessons, sense organs will start liking the experience of studying. Then we gain the required knowledge. To support our effort to control our actions, we should control our words too. We should talk about the chosen subject and avoid talking about say films and sports. It is easy to hold an ice cube. Holding water is a little more difficult task. Holding steam is even more difficult. Similarly, one should first try and control actions. Then control speech and finally attempt to control the mind. The famous three wise monkey dolls of Gandhi contain the essence of mind control. 29 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 5: Mind Control – Tools Mind control essentially means releasing the mind from the grip of the sense organs and making it function strictly under the guidance of our intelligence. In order to achieve this objective we have many tools. Abstinence: Imposing self-restriction to exposure to specific sense organs is a good way to begin mind control. Not eating our favorite food, denial of mattress or footwear and not visiting entertainment houses like pubs, theaters etc for a specific period are example of this tool. Obedience: Compelling ourselves to do actions which are good such as waking up early in the morning, exercising, doing social service and such will act as a positive tool in making our mind obedient to our intelligence. Maintaining punctuality, preparation of a to-do-list for the day, being systematic, adherence to a fixed time-table, organizing, planning and cleanliness will lead to effective mind control. Yogasanas: By controlling our physical body the mind can be controlled indirectly. Mind is normally busy with activities that relate to earning money or running behind the sense objects. This tendency of the mind is curtailed by Yogasanas. Yogasana involves bending the body in different postures and staying in that posture for a specific period of time. Although initially thoughts will continue to oscillate, as we practice yogasana it will slowly learn to be still. Pranayayama: Inside our physical body, we have a physiological body comprising of pranas. Pranas are responsible for breathing, digesting and such vital functions. By controlling the breathing it is possible to control the mind more effectively. If we do breathing exercises, the mind will get trained to stay in the present and not wander in the future or past. Meditation: Using the mind to control the mind is the direct way of controlling the mind. Meditation involves repetition of a particular mantra. Normally we have no control on what thoughts will occur in our mind next. When we attempt repetition of a mantra we will know not only the next thought but also the tenth or hundredth thought. Repetition of the mantra can be done aloud in the initial stages and then softly. In the third stage the mantra can be repeated within our mind. Knowledge: This is the most important and most fundamental tool. Firstly it is essential to know correcting the mind is more important than correcting the world. Secondly, we should learn that there is no happiness in the sense objects. This knowledge comes mostly by experience unless the student is shrewd enough to learn it from a teacher. As long as we think that we are getting happiness from the world we will not be able to control our mind. Few attempt meditation and such tools for the purpose of improving their performance in the external world. This will have opposite effect and lead to a more disturbed mind. Another mistake committed by people in general is to think ‘if happiness is not in the external world, it should be within’ and try hard to find it through meditation and such tools. Unless we gain self-knowledge, we will not know the source of happiness. When we gain this third and final level of knowledge, we will achieve the purpose of mind control. Except for the first two tools, the rest of the mind control tools require the guidance of expert teachers. 30 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 6: Mind Control - Summary Oscillating between the alternatives and exploring the various possibilities are very essential functions of our mind. This essentially involves thinking about the past and future. If we do this consciously it is fine. But the problem is, this happens unconsciously. Therefore, thinking about the past is termed as ‘worry’ and thinking about the future is termed as ‘anxiety’. People normally resort to Mind Control techniques for avoiding worries and anxieties. We need to get the basic understanding that we do need the indecisive thoughts of our mind to support the decisive thoughts of our intelligence. Without considering the various alternatives we can’t take the right decision. In addition, we should also know that there is no such thing as ‘right decision’ since we can never be sure of the future. When we enjoy the sense pleasures of the world, we plant the seed for suffering. It is like a cutting tool which holds the nut in one arm and cracks it with the other arm. Similarly, enjoying binds us to the sense objects and we get hit when the situation changes for worse. Just as fish gets hooked we get hooked to sense objects leading to suffering. It is no use trying to control the mind when the suffering starts. By getting hooked, we have already consented to oscillation of the mind and therefore it cannot be controlled. This does not mean that we should renounce the world and withdraw into a forest. Mind will be totally under our control if it is not exposed to sense pleasures for an extended period of time. We can easily reach the state of Samadhi, if we get used to living alone for ten or twenty years. Keeping the mind peaceful through such means defeat the purpose. We are endowed with this wonderful instrument called mind and we need to make the best use of it by enjoying the pleasures of the world and not by withdrawing away from it. Therefore, the key is to gain the knowledge on how to use our mind to enjoy the sense pleasures without risking the possibility of suffering. Mere mind control, without this knowledge, will not help us achieve this goal.

31 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Part V: Using Mind


Lesson 1: You and your mind Lesson 2: Me and My possessions Lesson 3: We and our consciousness Lesson 4: World and our thoughts Lesson 5: Mind and its use

32 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 1: You and your mind Mind is a wonderful tool that enables us to perceive this world. We have gained complete knowledge on the working of not only our mind but also the minds of the entire human race. There is nothing more to learn about Mind. Yet, it appears that something is missing because we are not clear about the meaning of the word ‘I’ in the statement ‘I know my mind’. Finding the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’ is difficult but not impossible. Before attempting to gain self-knowledge (answer to the question ‘Who am I?’) we need to be absolutely clear that I am not my mind. Suppose we gain self-knowledge, we can easily figure out that mind is different from us. But it is not easy to gain self-knowledge. Therefore, we need to do a self-introspection on are we the mind or not. If we conclude ‘I am my mind’, then we have gained wrong self-knowledge! If we conclude ‘I am not my mind’, then we are ready to gain the right self-knowledge. Let us go step by step. Step 1: Say this aloud- ‘I am not my mind’! (The word ‘mind’ in this statement includes all the four components of the mind, namely mind, intelligence, memory and ego.) Step 2: Eliminate the obvious Your invisible eyes scanned that statement and reported it to the mind. Using the memory, the mind recognized the statement. Then it debated whether to say the statement aloud or not. Intelligence made a decision. Then the mind instructed the invisible talking tongue to say ‘I am not my mind’. If we hear this sentence in a loud speaker, we will not wonder how an inert and inanimate object like a loudspeaker can talk. We know that someone (a human being) is making this statement and the mike is merely amplifying the speech through the loudspeaker. We need similar conviction that our body is an inert and inanimate object and it is merely amplifying the speech made by our mind. Thus we are clear that the statement ‘I am not my mind’ is NOT made by any of the following: Mike, loudspeaker, mouth, red color tongue, invisible talking tongue. By eliminating all these options we conclude that our mind is saying ‘I am not my mind’. Step 3: Break up the mind Out of the four components Intelligence, Memory and Ego cannot do any actions because they do not have any control either over the sense organs or over the action organs. Therefore, the remaining component, mind alone is capable of making the statement ‘I am not my mind’. Intelligence and memory have helped the mind to make this statement. Ego assumes that it is making the statement! Step 4: Analyze the Ego Since the statement ‘I am not my mind’, includes words like ‘I’ and ‘my’, it is an ego thought. A thought is different from the actual object. Just as a thought-pot is different from the actual pot, the thought-I is different from the actual I. Thus, the statement ‘I am not my mind’ is true although it said by the mind. I am not any of the four components of my mind. I am something other than the mind. 33 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 2: Me and My possessions If someone says ‘I am a dog’ instead of saying ‘I have a dog’ we laugh. But we make this mistake often. We do not know the difference between what we have and who we are. For example, if someone asks, ‘Who are you?’ we respond by saying our name. We HAVE a name and we ARE NOT the name! Following is the list of possessions that we have and we need to be clear that we are different from them. 1. Physical body (‘Male’ and ‘Female’ are classifications based on the body) 2. Physiological Layer consisting of five pranas.(Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udhana and Samana) 3. Five invisible Sense Organs (Ear, Skin, Eye, Tasting Tongue and Nose) 4. Five invisible Action Organs (Speaking tongue, hands, legs, reproductive and digestive organs) 5. Mind, Intelligence, Memory and Ego. 6. Professional Qualifications like Doctor, Engineer. 7. Roles that we play like father/son/brother/husband or mother/daughter/sister/wife etc. 8. Social status like Landlord, Rich, Aristocrat 9. Positions like President, Manager. 10. Classifications based on citizenship or race and such. If we observe keenly, we will know that all our possessions are subjected to change and we are changeless. Just as we observe changes in our physical body, we can also observe the changes in the mind. ‘I was angry in the morning then I cooled down’ – Such statements cannot be made if we are also changing. Since I can observe the changes in my mind, I am different from my mind. During deep sleep, mind is totally absent. When we wakeup, we are aware that we had a peaceful sleep. We do not have to deduce that we slept well. We know. The constant chattering of the mind slowly comes down prior to falling asleep. Then the thoughts will become incoherent. Finally, all thoughts will completely cease. At that point of time we cannot claim, ‘I am sleeping now’. This is so because the instrument to make that statement, namely our mind, is completely unavailable to us. When the mind starts working we become aware of our environment. This is different from the awareness that we slept peacefully. We do not depend on our mind to know that we slept well. To know our environment we need the support of our mind but to know the presence or absence of mind we do not need anything. In a scientific experiment a person was asked to count the numbers aloud. As he was counting he was given a tranquilizer. As he was saying 27, 28, 29 he fainted. After five minutes when he regained consciousness he said 30 and then asked ‘what happened to me’. The mind cannot work without consciousness and it stores the information during the unconscious stage as well. That is the reason why he could say 30 on regaining consciousness. In addition, he was aware that his mind was not working (how long he will not know, because to know the length of time one needs mind) for some time. He is aware that he was not conscious continuously. That is the reason he stopped counting after 30 and enquired ‘what happened?’ We are aware of the mind whether it is conscious or not. This proves the fact that we are different from our mind. If we are the mind, we would have continued to count 31, 32 without wondering ‘what happened to me’! 34 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 3: We and our consciousness Western scientists believe (without any proof) that the consciousness has evolved out of inert matter. This is illogical. Only a potter can make a pot and it is childishness to believe that the pot became a potter or pot created a potter. If we do not know the answer to a question, it is better to say ‘I do not know’ rather than holding on to the wrong answer and claiming it to be the right answer. Two stones will not be aware of the fact that they are touching each other because they are inert objects and lack consciousness. Only living beings have consciousness. In other words, inert objects with consciousness are grouped as living beings. All living beings including single cell organs, plants, insects, birds and animals have consciousness which is not different from the consciousness of human beings. The difference among the living beings is limited to the number of sense organs that they have. Some have only touch sensation; some have capacity to smell in addition to touch sensation. Similarly, in the ladder of evolution, more evolved living beings have all the five sense organs. But consciousness is same. Consciousness is a noun. Conscious is a verb. Living organisms are conscious of the environment unlike the inert objects. When our finger touches an ice cube, we are sure that the ice cube does not feel anything because it is an inert object. Our finger also does not have the ability to feel the coldness of the ice since it is also an inert object like the ice cube. Only our mind feels the coldness. Our finger merely reports the touch sensation. A person in coma cannot feel the coldness of the ice cube. If someone places an ice cube in our hand while we are in deep sleep, we will not feel the coldness until we wakeup. Pain is present only in our mind. A soldier does not feel the pain of the gunshot, until his mind becomes free from the battle. As long as he is actively involved in the fight, his mind does not have the time to feel the pain. If we are idling, even a pin prick will cause us acute pain. Mind is conscious of its environment and it makes the physical body alive. However, consciousness is independent of the mind. We are conscious of the presence and absence of the mind. Consciousness is not a part, product or property of our physical body or our mind. It is an independent principle like electricity. A bulb burns and gives out light because of the presence of electricity. Electricity is not a part, product or property of the bulb. Electricity is an independent principle which depends on electrical gadgets only for doing various actions and NOT for its existence. Similarly, consciousness does not depend on our body or mind for its existence. Consciousness enables our mind and body to be conscious. Our mind slips into an unconscious state during deep sleep and coma. However, the consciousness is present all the time without any change. There is no difference in the consciousness although we are conscious of many different objects. The consciousness of one living being is not different from the consciousness of another in anyway. The number of sense organs vary, the knowledge and capacity to remember varies. But there is no change or variation in the underlying consciousness. Consciousness is not one of our possessions. We are the consciousness. Therefore it is wrong to say, ‘I have consciousness’. We need to learn to say ‘I am the consciousness’. 35 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 4: World and our thoughts Thoughts are the building blocks of our world. The physical universe is converted as thoughts and we live in our thought-world. Thought world is more important than the physical world. If we build the thought-world correctly, we can live joyfully. It is not possible to change the world and ensure everything happens in line with our expectations. But we have complete control on how we build our thought-world. Right knowledge helps us to build the thought-world in the right way. A tourist from Canada visits the temple town Madurai and he is quite impressed with the city. He tells his neighbor that Madurai is the best place in the world. When his neighbor visits Madurai, he had a horrible experience and goes back with an impression that Madurai is the worst place on the face of earth. Which version of Madurai is the truth? Neither. Madurai does not exist in the physical world. It exists ONLY in the minds of the people. The map that shows boundaries of the city is merely an expression of our thought. Just because many people say Madurai exists, it does not become the truth. On the earth a certain portion of the land mass is named as Madurai for our convenience and it is purely our creation. Therefore, we have a choice to perceive the thought-city the way we want. External circumstances and events do not have the power to control the way we want to build our thought-world. For example, there are many who fail in the school final exam. The event is identical to all those who fail. But some of them are not affected much, while a few of them commit suicide. This is because people build the thought-world differently. Lord Krishna asked Yudhistra and Duriyodhana to go around the world and make an assessment. Yudhishtra found the world to be perfect with people doing their duty. Whereas Duriyodhana found the world full of people who were deceitful and who were willing to cut each other’s throat for gaining more wealth. We build our thought-world according to our preferences and knowledge. We start living life without understanding how our mind works. Therefore, we are not able to handle the problems in life. When we are young we have few thoughts to deal with and we are generally happy. But most of us start our professional life and family without learning about the mind. As a result, before we become physically old, we become mentally tired facing the ‘problems’ of the world. For a boy who plays a shooting game in a computer, it is fun to shoot multiple monsters appearing on the screen. His expertise is the result of the training he had in the initial levels of the game. If we skip the initial levels and start playing the game from the advanced level we are bound to lose. Thoughts cannot hurt us because they are our thoughts. But if we are hurt it is only because of our thoughts! Physically anyone can hurt us. But mentally no one can make us suffer. If we suffer, it is because we have not learnt how to handle our own thoughts. There can be no other reason. The world does not have the power to hurt us because it does not exist in reality. It exists ONLY in our minds as proved by science. As depicted in the movie Matrix, we are living in a thought world. It is possible to make this world a fun place if we so choose. It is our choice. 36 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

Lesson 5: Mind and its Use. Everyone would like to increase their memory power, gain more knowledge, sharpen their intelligence and improve their decision making ability. Trying to make the mind more efficient is good. However, most of us do not attempt to use the mind to find out what we would like to achieve by using the mind. It is like driving fast without having any idea of our destination. Everyone is busy doing something and does not have time to think why they are busy. We need to use our mind to find out the purpose of life. Everyone knows that good education will lead to a good career which in turn will bring in money, power, position, property, name, fame, awards and rewards. Once people begin this material pursuit, it becomes a rat race and they do not get time to wonder why they are running the race. Everyone wants to be happy all the time and no one wants to suffer even briefly. This is the goal of all the living beings. Only human beings are capable of achieving this goal. However, most people make the mistake of assuming that earning more money will enable them to reach this goal. As they earn more money, happiness continues to elude them and they become more tensed in life. They do not grasp following two facts until it is too late in life. Fact 1: Perfection in performance is impossible. There is always scope for improvement. Fact 2: Results are never enough. There will always be unfulfilled needs. This does not mean that we do not need money. Money provides comforts in life. The more money we have the more comfortable we will be. However, money cannot take us to our real goal of being happy all the time. Money and happiness are unrelated. It is better to be comfortable whether we are happy or not. Therefore we need to earn more money and increase our standard of living. We need to use our mind to find out the source of happiness so that we are happy in addition to being comfortable. Fortunately, all we have to do to find the source of happiness is to study and gain self-knowledge. We do not have to do anything after gaining self-knowledge. Consistent and systematic study of Vedanta for a length of time under the guidance of a personal guru is the only way to gain self-knowledge. In the process of gaining self-knowledge, one will also learn everything about God, Creation, the reason for suffering and the means to gain liberation. Life will be joyful, after we complete the study. Thus, we need to use our mind to work for material comforts AND for gaining self-knowledge. While working for material comforts is never ending, studying for self-knowledge will take a year or two. Success in life solely depends on how effectively we use our mind to achieve these two goals. All of us inherently know what is wrong and we should never do such wrong actions for earning money. Until we gain self-knowledge there will always be a feeling that we miss something. This feeling of insufficiency is driving people to work in the external world. But fulfillment can come only through the study of Vedanta. Once the study is completed the world will be a theme park and our life will be a picnic. Our comforts will be limited to our ability to spend money but we will have unlimited happiness. 37 joyfulliving@gmail.com 07/07/2011

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