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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

It's all in the mind! : Insights to 'mind' through ancient Indian texts.



I attended a beautiful lecture recently conducted by Shri. Mhaskar Guruji at a Yoga class, Ghantali Mitra Mandal. Every word uttered was intriguing and is stuck with me since. I feel the need to share these words as there is so little that is know of our own culture and even less is the part which we understand. The points mentioned here are taken from ancient Indian texts of Bhagwat Geeta, Dasbodh, Yoga Vashishtha, Narayan Upanishad, Hatha Pradipika, Gherandsamhita, and Patanjali Sutra. I always say one thing, "It's all in your mind." and now these Indian scriptures support a similar concept. Here are the key take aways which I felt were good, must be implemented and spread around by all:

- We should not force the mind to stop the thoughts but train it to function even in numerous thoughts.

- ‎ Who is Krishna? As per texts, "Krishna is the samaveda amongst vedas, Indra amongst God's, mind amongst all the limbs and intuitions in all animals." To derive the meaning, we can say that Krishna is not a human being but any principle which acts as a driving force cam be termed as Krishna.

- ‎ Mind cannot be seen but it impacts everything that can be.

- ‎ Mind does not have a biological structure but has effect on all the biological structures.

- ‎ When a thought enters the mind, try to go beyond the mere matter and give it a principle, a consciousness and understand that matter at a deeper level and the impact it will have on the world.

- ‎Pran (alive body) gives a structural pattern to body whereas mind gives it a functional pattern.

- ‎ Thoughtless mind does not mean zero thoughts, it is a state where thoughts are minimised and can be allowed to come and go without feeling the need to take action on them or to discuss them even if in mind. 

- ‎ Body functions only when it is breathing, without breath there will be no life. This is why controlling the body (controllable) and breath (semi-controllable) gives a subtle control over the mind (not controllable)

- ‎ To condition the mind, thoughts need to be elevated to higher level, which compels the mind to think beyond the usual.

- ‎ When you perform Yogasan, you perform the aasan using your body but you indirectly are training your mind to adjust to certain positions which are not normal, it is mind that realises the position, mind which decides to stay still and it is mind that feels fresh and happy post sadhna.

- ‎ Thoughts which do not let your mind divert will make you more focused.

- ‎ When you put restrictions on children or when someone else restricts you to do something, you feel like doing the task more whereas if you allow children to do whatever they want, they calm down to a certain extent as it takes away the thrill of doing something which is restricted. Mind works the same way.

- ‎ Learn to sense things without using sensory organs, go beyond the matter.

- ‎ Mind is a functional organ.

- ‎ We tell our kids not to go out as monsters will catch them but we never tell them how to face fight and defeat these monsters. We unknowingly train our children to be scared and afraid.

- ‎ When you attach a thought to your mind, it analysis this thought, decides if it is good to be kept or not. However, when your mind starts storing negative thoughts, it results into overthinking and burdens the mind.

- ‎ One must detach from normal things and attach mind to higher things or the things which nourish the mind. 

All this is just a minute part of studies conducted by sages who had no means of measuring, no technological advancement and nor a proper way of storing this information. Just imagine the vast part of information which has been lost over the years as part of translations and knowledge passing through gurukul system for centuries before penning them down. Our saints had more knowledge than we give them credits for. It is said that Bhagwad Gita has the solutions to most of mental issues and other problems faced by mankind. 'Manache Shlok' penned down by Samarth Ramdas Swami is the best way to train and condition your mind and is relevant even today after centuries. Sage Patanjali gave a varied arena of information related to Yoga which are a boon to all yoga practitioners after all these years.

To add a little science to these points, when a mind is burdened with unnecessary thoughts it starts to stress. A stressed mind signals the hypothalamus to release hormones to keep body functioning in the stress. Hypothalamus is the governing authority of your body responsible for hormone release, body temperature, thrist, hunger, sleep, mood, sex, and growth. The stress hormones released work in a similar way to steroids. Now when the body is unnecessarily stressed, the secretion of stress hormone increases in body which does not get utilised completely resulting into fat storage and body function imbalances.

As opposed to this, when you allow negative thoughts to enter your mind and knowingly choose not to act on it and let it pass away. There are no collisions in your mind. The mind retains its original functionality and moreover positive thoughts secrets the happy hormones giving you the feeling of freshness and happiness. 

All of this is being backed up science only recently after years of research, millions of money spent, all of this which has already been written in our scriptures for ages!

It is time we give ourself the credit we deserve and understand the concepts of Indian Philosophies before merely terming them as old fashioned or unreliable. Do not just blindly accept them, read about them, go beyond what your parents or grandparents have told you, find the roots and analyse the logics behind them. We were the smartest people on planet, what happened you guys? Where did we go wrong? It is about time, we bring back the knowledgeable crowd. Be the change we want to see. 

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