“The Mind of man is not an independent entity. It has neither specific shape nor form. It is not self-supporting but struts about invisibly on the two crutches of the aspects of the Ego that are ‘I’ and ‘Mine’. 


“Where then does the Mind derive its immense power from? Elementary, Dr Watson, the Mind is a projection of the life-energy or the soul which has, as its Source and Origin, the Omnipotent Primordial State. The Mind is a scheming pretender that veils its own evolution and shines on borrowed feathers and blows its own trumpet. This plotter needs to be unmasked and exposed, if it is not to obstruct the natural journey of the Consciousness in the direction of Perfection. As a preliminary step of our exercise we should seek to know more about the doings of the Mind. The scripture Yoga Vaasishta provides invaluable help to seekers in this regard.


“Sage Vasishta gives nine metaphors to enable us to understand the Mind prior to devising ways and means to discipline it. Shall we see the comparisons?


(1)  Mind is a poison-tree that is deep-rooted in the ground which is the physical body. Expectations are the branches of this tree; fancies, its glittering leaves; desires, its buds; and worries, its flowers. Birth and Death and Misery are its bitter fruits. Only with the axe of Self-Inquiry (Atma-vicharam) would you be able to cut down this tree, root-and-branch.


(2)   Mind is a wild elephant roaming at will on the  slopes of the senses. Hatred and Jealousy are its inflamed eyes. Attachment and Anger are its two tusks with which it roots out the shade-yielding saplings that are satvic qualities.The tusker does yearn to taste the lotus-honey of divine qualities but because of impatience, it tramples down the very flowers. Intellect sharpened by Self-Inquiry is the only implement that can control and discipline this rogue-elephant.


(3)   Mind is a crow that is constantly foraging about for the base pleasures of the senses. Harsh speech and evil deed are the two segments of its beak, selfishness is its squinted vision, and adverse imprints are its feathers. The steady beat of Self-Inquiry alone will drive away this inauspicious bird.


(4)   Mind is a goblin. With its consort that is worldly desires it is perched on the tree-branch of Ignorance. Your Master’s Teaching is the efficacious mantram to exorcise this goblin.


(5)   Mind is a serpent. Worry constitutes its venom with which it has felled countless bodies, abstracting the life-energy from which it has been  slithering from birth to birth. The tongs of Self-Inquiry alone would extract the fangs of this reptile.


(6)   Mind is a vulture inhabiting the graveyard that is the physical body, subject to disease and death. If through Self-Inquiry you are able to ensure internal and environmental purity, this bird would flee.


(7)   Mind is a dark cloud wafted about by the winds of Imprints. Expectations  are the myriad flashes of lightning, and Misery is the downpour. If desire for world-objects is removed by Self-Inquiry this cloud would be dispelled.


(8)   Mind is a net woven out of the ropes of Thoughts and Desires working to form the knots of Deed-imprints. By renouncing Attachment, this net will be cut to pieces; and thereafter it can be reduced to ashes in the fire of Self-Inquiry.


(9)   Mind is a python lying in wait with open jaws for the deluded soul to come its way. If you arm yourself with the flaming torch of Self-Inquiry betimes and proceed on your journey, this python will not be able to harm you in any manner.


“After listing these nine metaphors, Sage Vasishta concludes the day’s lesson with the following words: ‘O Rama, you are a warrior. If an arrow is aimed at you, are you not trained to shoot a counter-missile to tackle the dart? In the same manner, whenever a wrong thought arises in your mind, counter it with right thought. If you develop non-attachment (vairagya) to the point of considering even heavenly pleasures (swarga-bhogam) as trifling (ducha), then your mind would remain in your control and unbroken Bliss would come to be actualised by you.’


  “You have heard me speak on Yoga Vaasishta for a number of days now. Will you check up whether changes have come about in your mode of thinking and outlook? Are there some indications at least that friction with your environment is getting reduced? If so, consolidate the gains and take the appropriate resolve to live in peace and happiness by doing all you can and must to fulfil the purpose of life…”


(Excerpt from Sage TGN’s Lecture)

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