How does the mind operate?

how mind works?

Mind can be either the source of bondage or the source of freedom

The mind can be either the source of bondage or the source of freedom. Mind is a gateway to enter into this world; it can also become the exit. The mind can lead you to hell; the mind can lead you also to heaven. So, it depends on how the mind is used. The right use of the mind becomes meditation, wrong use of the mind becomes madness.

Everyone has a mind. The immense possibilities and capacities are inherent in it. Mind is neither the enemy nor the friend. You can make it a friend or an enemy. It depends on you because you are the one who is hidden behind the mind. If you can make the mind your instrument and your slave, then the mind becomes the way of liberation, a path to realize your true potential.

If the mind becomes master, then it will lead you to ultimate anguish and darkness. If you become a slave to mind you cannot control your mind, you cannot give order to it, neither you can stop it. A slave will always stay in misery, the liberation is when you become the master of your mind.  You want to do something mind always starts troubling you. You want to sleep, but your mind keeps on thinking and you can’t even stop its thinking. The mind never listens to you and you will be helpless.

Gaining mastery over mind is yoga

Gaining mastery over the mind is yoga. All the techniques, methods, and paths of yoga, are focused deeply only on one fundamental problem: how to use the mind?

Patanjali Yoga Sutra is a hand book for mind.

Patanjali Yoga Sutra’s will give us a deeper understanding of the mind. It answers almost all the questions regarding the mind. What is the mind? How does it operate? In what modes it operates? What are the types of modifications of mind? How to use the mind and go beyond it? Human is gifted with the mind which is used to do humongous things in the world. The main important question is how to use it as a slave or an instrument.

You cant control your mind just like your hands or legs…

You possess the mind just like leg, hands, eyes. You can control all the activities of your bodily organs, but you are unable to control the activities of the mind. If you lose control over your body, then the madness explodes outside. The ultimate aim of yoga is not just to stay healthy but the bigger goal is to control your mind just like other body parts.

Is mind different from body?

Do you think that your mind is something different than your body? If you have that perception please change it. Because mind and body are not separate, they are just one piece.  Mind is the deeper part of your body or subtle part of your body, body is the outer part of the mind or the grossest part of your mind. It has been termed as ‘psychosomatic. Body and mind are connected deeply and they are just like two faces of the same coin.

Five modes of functioning of mind

The body has five sense organs of activities. The body is divided into five functions, it operates through these five functions. Similarly, the mind has five modes of function, or the mind is also divided into five functions. Correctly using the mind and its five modifications or functions can lead you to non-misery.

First mode is Pramana – The right knowledge

The first modification is praman, the right knowledge or wisdom. It is the mind’s capacity for the right knowledge.  Patanjali says that the mind has a capacity and if that capacity is directed rightly, then whatsoever is known is true; it is self-evidently true. We are not aware of it because we never used it rightly, this capacity of mind remained unused. A focused mind with all its energy towards anything would reveal the right knowledge.

The second mode of mind is Viparyaya – The wrong knowledge

The second modification is Viparyaya, the wrong knowledge. It is the mind’s capacity for wrong knowledge or false revelations. When the mind starts operating through viparyaya, you start seeing things that don’t exist. Ex. Hallucination, mirage, delusion. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs or intoxication, the mind will start seeing perverted things, the balance between mind and body will be lost. The mind would be operating from the center of viparyaya or wrong knowledge or center of perversion.

With meditation, the yoga mind starts operating from the right knowledge center i.e., praman, the center of wisdom. With intoxication, the mind starts operating from the wrong knowledge center i.e., viparyaya, the center of perversion. Both the functioning of the mind is just exactly opposite to each other. A meditative mind or focused mind never loses balance, in fact, it gains more balance between mind and body.

An intoxicated person operated through the center of perversion, a Meditative person operates through the center of wisdom… then what about the rest of us? Most of the people’s minds would be operating between Praman and Viparyaya. That’s the center where the confusion arises.

To get rid of the confusion either mind has to operate through Praman where you get the clarity or Viparyaya where perverted realities start appearing and then you lose your confusion. But the problem is with intoxication you might forget the confusion momentarily but they reappear when you come to consciousness. During intoxication for few hours, there won’t be any misery but it re-emerges later.

Meditation helps you to put in the light of the right knowledge. Then wherever you move, then wherever your focus moves, whatsoever are known is true.

Mind is a logical instrument

If the mind operates through Praman center, you simply know it but you may not be able to prove it. For instance, Love, Pain all these cant be proved but you will simply know it. Only when Praman center functions or right knowledge functions. When there is no need to prove, the mind is not needed, because the mind is a logical instrument.

You need the mind every moment to think and find out what is wrong and what is right. Every moment there are choices and alternatives. You must choose. Only when praman functions, when right knowledge functions, you can drop the mind, because now choosing has no meaning. You move choicelessly. Whatsoever is right will be revealed to you.

Whatever I do goes wrong why?

There are people, they feel very unfortunate because whatsoever they do goes wrong. And they try not to do wrong again, but that’s not going to help because the center has to be changed. Their minds function in the wrong way. They may think that they are doing good, but they will do bad. With all their good wishes, they cannot help; they are helpless because their center of wrong knowledge is functioning predominantly.  

The third mode of mind is – Imagination

Patanjali says imagination is the third mode of mind. The mind has the faculty to imagine. It is good, it is beautiful. All that is beautiful has come through imagination. Paintings, art, dance, music, everything that is beautiful has come through the imagination.

But also everything that is ugly, has come through the imagination. Hitler, Mao, Mussolini, they have all come through imagination. Imagination can give you poetry and painting and art, and imagination can give you madness also. We can use this mode of mind for meditation. Imaginative meditations start with imagination, but slowly imagination becomes subtler and subtler. And then imagination has to be dropped ultimately to stand face to face with the truth.  

Through Imagination even impossible becomes possible

Through imagination even the impossible is possible. If you think you are beautiful, if you imagine you are beautiful, a certain beauty will start happening to your body.

Emile Coue a French psychologistImaginative therapy

Emile Coue a French psychologist helped millions of people just through imagination to be cured of many, many diseases. His formula was very simple. He will say that” Just you start feeling that you are okay. Just go on repeating inside the mind, I am getting better and better. Every day I am getting better.”

In the night while you fall asleep, go on thinking you are healthy, and you are getting healthier every moment, and by the morning you will be the healthiest person in the world.

Go on with your imagination

Go on imagining.” And he helped millions of people. Even incurable diseases were cured. It looked like a miracle; it is nothing. It is just a basic law: your mind follows imagination. Now psychologists say that if you say to children that” You are duffers, dull,” they become dull. You force them to be dull. You give their imagination the suggestion that they are dull. This imagination can function either as a hell or as heaven. You can use it to go completely insane.

Fourth mode of mind is Sleep

The fourth mode of operation of the mind is Sleep. In sleep, the conscious activity of the mind has stopped. The mind will not be functioning. Sleep means totally contentless and empty state without any activity and movement in the mind. The mind has completely been absorbed, relaxed. This sleep is beautiful; it is life-giving. And this sleep if you use it rightly, can become samadhi. Samadhi and sleep are not much different. The only difference is that in samadhi you are aware of you are sleep. Everything else will be the same. An agitated and excited mind cannot fall into a deeper sleep. It keeps creating dreams. Sometimes only a few minutes of sleep then the dream starts.  

Fifth mode of mind is Memory

The fifth mode of operation of the mind is Memory. That too can be used, misused. If memory is misused, it creates confusion. Really, you may remember something, but you cannot be accurate whether it happened that way or not. Your memory is not reliable.

Why do we have poor memory?

Many things will add upon the memory; imagination may enter into it. Many things may be deleted from it, you may do alter many things in it. Finally after all these your memory very refined and changed thing. It is not real. All things were ugly, all that was sad, all that was painful you drop it; whichever is beautiful you continue. All that was a support to the ego you remember, and all that was not support you drop it, you forget it.

Right memory will give you the impetus how to be free from all lives. And if memory is right, then you can go even to your past lives.

Have you observed all these five modes of operation of mind? Share your opinion.

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