22. From the Mind to the Over-Mind
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 26 (1993)
From the Mind to the Over-Mind
Can life be redeemed merely by performing Japa?
Only when the mind is subdued, can man become sublime. THE mind proclaims its astonishing uniqueness to the world by its capacity to express feelings, recognise forms, appreciate the beauty of colour, enjoy different smells, as well as its power of thought. As the world is permeated by these qualities of the mind, these five qualities are allpervasive. The mind is highly powerful. Once the powers of the mind are understood, the nature of the whole world can be comprehended. When you taste a single drop of sea-water, you know the taste of all the water in the ocean. The drop and the ocean are the same. Likewise, the mind is the world and the world is the mind. In this vast world, there are today more than 500 crores of human beings. There may be differences among them in name and form and in their food and recreation habits. But when you view them from the physical point of view, all human beings are one. In every human body, there are four forms, which can be understood through proper Tathva (enquiry). In this enquiry into truth, Tath refers to Paramatma (the Omni-Self). The Omni-Self is infinite and immeasurable.
To understand the infinite Paramatma you have to pursue one of the innumerable paths. Vedantha laid stress on nine of these paths- Shravanam (listening), Keerthanam (singing the glories of God), Vishnuh nama smaranam (remembering the names of the Lord), Vandhanam (offering salutations), Archanam (ritual worship), Padhasevanam (Service to the Lotus feet of the Lord), Dhasyam (service), Sakhyam (friendship) and Atma-Nivedanam (total surrender). All these nine paths of devotion have been prescribed to enable man to experience their varied novelty.
Constituents of physical and subtle bodies
To begin with, there is the physical body. It is visible to the eye. The body is made up of twenty five constituents: five Karmendhriyas (organs of action), five Jnanedhriyas (sense organs), pancha-pranas (five life-breaths), pancha Thanmathras (five sensory faculties). In addition, there are four inner instruments: the mind, the will, the ego, and the Anthahkarana (Inner Motivator). All these total twenty four. When these are associated with the Life-Force, you have altogether 25 constituents. As these twenty five constituents have emanated from the cosmos, the embodied being is called Vishva. The physical body is cosmic in form. It is not something that is individualistic. The human state is a manifestation of the collective. The second body is Suukshma dheham (the subtle one). This is made up of seventeen constituents: the five sensory faculties, the five senses and the five vital airs. Together with the mind and the intellect, they make up seventeen constituents. As these constituents have the quality of Thejas (luminescence), the subtle body is called Thaijasa. The results of man's good and bad actions are experienced by this subtle body. All the pleasant and unpleasant happiness in the world are experienced by the subtle body. This body is also Yathana (experiential) body because it is a prey to various experiences.
States of awareness and forgetfulness
The third is the Karana shareera (causal body). It is made up of only two constituents: Chittha (will power) and Prajna (Constant Integrated Awareness). Because of its association with Prajna, this body is called Prajnanam or Prajna. The fourth one is Mahakarana (the Over-Mind). This is self-luminous and effulgent in its original form. This is called "Uniki," (a Being that is self-knowing). Because of its capacity for self-knowledge, it is also called "Eruka" (Awareness). As against Awareness, there is its opposite, forgetfulness. The physical, subtle and. causal bodies belong to the latter (of forgetfulness). The three states of Jagrath (waking), Svapna (dream) and Sushupthi (deep sleep) also belong to the state of forgetfulness (or non-awareness of the true Self). Hence, the true form is Awareness. Awareness is the subtle base. Forgetfulness is gross. But in both the subtle Awareness and the gross Forgetfulness there is a Divinity that is present equally. This is described in metaphysics in a different way. The Jeevatma is present always in all the three states of Consciousness and in Awareness as well as Forgetfulness as the Inner Being.
Matter and energy are inter-related
In every padhartha (object) in the world, the Parartha (transcendental) is immanent. The padhartha is perceptible. The parartha is present in it as energy. Although padhartha (matter) and Parartha (Energy) appear to us as two different entities, their unity constitutes the Divine principle immanent in the cosmos. Energy is the subtle base, matter is its gross expression. They are inextricably inter-related. The Geetha has described this relationship as the one between Kshethra (the Field) and Kshethrajna (the Knower of the Field). The whole of Nature is Kshethra. The Kshethrajna is the One who pervades the whole of Nature and animates it. Without the Kshethrajna (the Knower), the Kshethra cannot exist. Without the Kshethra, the Kshethrajna cannot be perceived. In the Bhagavath Geetha, Krishna declares: “Know me also as the Knower in the kshethra. " In this context, it should be realised that it is by the power of the mind that creation, sustenance and dissolution take place in the cosmos. This truth is expressed in the Brahma Suthra as: "Thath Jalan." "From That everything is born, is sustained by it and merges in it." Thath (That) is also called Akshara Purusha (the indestructible Supreme person).
Kshara and Akshara contain the secret of life
Akshara in common parlance means that which is indestructible. Kshara means that which is liable to change. The secret of life is contained in the terms Kshara and Akshara. The body is subject to decay. The Atma (Self) is indestructible. The word Akshara contains both the indestructible and the perishable. "A" refers to the Atma, which is indestructible. Kshara is the perishable body. Akshara represents the unified form of the perishable body and the imperishable Self. "A" also signifies that which is Anantham (Infinite) and Amritham (Immortal). Kshara is that which is impermanent and unreal. From the Akshara emerges the effulgent Divine, which is a combination of both Paramatma (the Omni-Self) and Prakrithi (Nature). The Divine is immanent in Nature. The One is present in both. This was what Prahladha proclaimed when he told his father, Hiranyakashipu, '"Do not have any doubts that He (God) is here and not there" Prakrithi is not inert. It is by the union of Nature and the Divine that humanness acquires its effulgence. Here is a match-box in my hand. The match-box does not bum my hand. I keep it in this towel. The towel is not burnt. We know that there are match-sticks in the box. When you strike the match-stick, a flame bursts forth. This flame will cause a burn if we hold it in our hand. It can set fire to a towel. Where does the fire lie? In the match stick or the coating outside the match-box? It is in both. But only when the match-stick and the outer coating are brought together does the flame emerge. Likewise, there is divinity in the mind and in the heart. But only when the mind and the heart unite does the radiance of Divinity shine. When the match-stick is dipped in water, you cannot produce fire by striking it, because the fireproducing element in it loses its power. Likewise, when the mind is immersed in the waters of sensuous desires, it loses its power to radiate the Divine effulgence. When will it recover this power? When it is rid of its dampness by going through the drying process of Vairagya (detachment). It is only when this detachment grows in one that he can experience the bliss of oneness with the Divine.
Be aware of your true essence
As long as man. is immersed in sensuous pursuits, he cannot experience the effulgence of his true nature. When man cultivates detachment by realizing the transience of sensory pleasures, then he begins to be aware of his true essence. All forms of ritualistic worship are of no use because they are rooted in duality. Man has to outgrow this state and realise his oneness with the Divine.
Man is continually seeking to have a vision of the Divine. But he fails to realise that the Divine is present everywhere in the cosmos. Failure to see the Divine in the visible universe is a mark of ignorance. Everything in the phenomenal universe is pervaded by God. When you see Nature, you see only its worldly aspect. When you mind is centred on God, you see the Divine in everything. The fault lies, therefore, in your dhrishti (outlook) and not in srishti (creation). Transform your perspective.
Therefore, from the outset, you have to view everything as a manifestation of the Divine. The difficulty in recognising the truth about the Divine was expressed by the Saint Surdas when he said, "Oh, Krishna! How can I recognise you? You are subtler than the atom and vaster than the vastest. You are present in the eighty-four lakhs of species in the universe, permeating everything in the cosmos, from a blade of grass to the vastest thing in creation. How can I recognise your infinite form?" The great ones experienced God in this infinite form, recognising that the Divine was present even in the wicked and the evil-minded.
Waves are essentially the same as the ocean
The infinite number of human beings in the world are like the waves of the ocean. The waves may differ in form. But however innumerably the waves, each of them is essentially the same as the ocean. From the ocean of Sath-Chith-Anandha (Being-Awareness-Bliss), endless waves of human beings arise. Each of them has the attributes of Sath-Chith-Anandha, the Divine. You may be a drop in the ocean of Sath-Chith-Anandha. But the difference is only in quantity (size) and not in quality. The divinity present in man and the divinity in God are one and the same, just as bulbs may vary but the current that makes them shine is the same. The differences in luminosity are related to the wattage of the bulbs and not to the current that flows in them. This applies equally to the differences among human beings. When a person is filled with narrow feelings, he appears inferior to one who is more broadminded and good-hearted. A man may consider himself ignorant, foolish or stupid. But this is utterly wrong. He is, in fact, not ignorant or foolish. He is intelligent, well-intentioned and wise. All that he needs is a change in attitude to experience these inherent capacities. You have to make the divine effulgence in your heart shine.
Broaden your mind and your vision
People often recommend that one should enlarge his heart. But enlargement of the heart will compel you to go to a cardiologist! What you have to do is to broaden your mind, your vision. The heart, meaning not the physical heart but the spiritual heart, is inherently broad. It is one with cosmic consciousness. There is no need to broaden it. Only a broad mind is needed to recognise the vastness of the spiritual heart. Narrow-mindedness should go. Narrow ideas of "me" and "mine" should be totally given up in all forms. On the contrary, starting from the "I", you should go on expanding your consciousness to embrace your family, your village, your nation and the entire world. Then your divinity will shine forth in all its brilliance. This is described as having the vision of one's own true universal Self. This is called the Maha-purushathva (Infinite Divine). You have to become this Infinite Divine. You are Divine even now. But this is only a temporary phase as a result of your devotion. What you should aim at is the Infinite Divine that is" unchanging. This divinity is within you. You do not need to acquire it from outside, from anyone else. It is inherent in you. Strive to realise it. When can you realise it? When you have got rid of the consciousness of the waking, dream and deep sleep states, then you can recognise the Mahakarana state (the state of the Super Causal Consciousness). You have to transcend the gross, the subtle and the causal bodies and realise the Super Causal body. By this process you proceed from the Super-mind, the Higher Mind and the Illuminated Mind to the Divine, which is called the Over-Mind. This is the state beyond the mind; it is called Amanaska(where the mind is absent). It has also been described as the state of Vidheha (where the body consciousness is absent). The mind is associated with the body. The world is associated with the mind. And the world is bound up with pleasure and pain. All these are sources more of bondage than of Bliss. Bliss can be experienced only through the Over-Mind.
Four kinds of offerings to reach the Over-Mind
How is one to reach the Over-Mind? Vedantha prescribed the offering of four things as the means' Pathram, Pushpam, Phalam, Thoyam (a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water). The Lord is not secured by offerings of wealth or by flaunting one's power or position. The proper significance of the four kinds of offerings mentioned in the scripture should be understood. Out of the selfish desire to secure Krishna entirely for herself, Sathyabhama made an offering of Krishna to sage Naradha and tried to buy Him back by offering all her wealth and jewels to be weighed against Krishna. But all of them did not equal Krishna's weight. Then Rukmini was brought and she taught a wise lesson to Sathyabhama regarding the power of devotion. Something, however small, has to be offered to the Lord to secure his grace. This is evident frown the experiences of Dhraupadhi and Kuchela. This is also the rationale for the Bharatheeya practice of taking some flower or fruit as offering to the Lord when one visits a temple. In reality, the mere name of the Lord is equivalent to the form of the Lord. When Rukmini invoked the name of Krishna, that was enough to balance the two sides of the scales, in one of which Krishna was seated. Narada said that something more should be offered to lift the scale in which the offering was being made to him. Rukmini then placed a thulasi leaf above the jewels and prayed: “If it is true that an offering of a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water by a devotee will win the favour of the Lord, Oh Krishna, submit yourself to this thulasi leaf." The scale in which the thulasi leaf was placed, uttering the name of Krishna, went down immediately.
The body, the heart, the mind and the tears of joy
What is the inner significance of the reference to the four kinds of offerings? Pathram refers not to some kind of leaf which is subject to withering. Your body is the leaf that has to be offered. Pushpam refers to the flower of your heart. Phalam refers to the fruit of your mind. And Thoyam signifies the tears of joy flowing from the devotee's eyes. These are to be offered to God. When one offers these things to the Lord, he enters the state of the Over-Mind. This devotion, moreover, should not be a part-time exercise. It should be present all the time, through weal or woe, pleasure or pain. "Sathatham Yoginah," declares the Geetha. The yogis are in constant communion with God. To be yogis in the morning, bhogis (lovers of food) at noon and rogis (victims of disease) in the evening are the ways of men today. The true devotee is immersed in the Lord all the time and performs all actions as offerings to the Lord. Any action you do, as a teacher or a student or an employee, when you do it in the name of the Lord, it becomes a pious offering. This is the easiest way to sublimate the mind. When you consider your body as gift from God, you will not do. any sinful act. When you consider your wealth as a gift from God you will not misuse it. You will make the right use of it. Likewise, when you regard all your talents as endowed by God, you will use them in the service of the Divine.
The four-fold programme on ceiling of desires
In the Sathya Sai Organization, a fourfold programme of ceiling on desires has been laid down. This enjoins on everyone not to waste food, money, time and energy. Avoiding waste of these four forms of gifts from God is spiritual sadhana. It is the means to Self-realisation. Spirituality consists in forgetting worldly concerns and immersing oneself in God. This means sanctifying every action in life, whether it be talking or walking or anything else. Reading and writing are also forms of meditation, because they call for concentration. Everything in life can become a form of meditation.
Avoid doing anything in a hurry. It is not difficult to attain the state of the Over-Mind if one has the determination to realise it. Crores of rupees are being spent on exploring space. But very little effort is made to explore the heart within one's self. When everyone tries to act according to the dictates of his conscience, he will realise the sublime consciousness within him. There are two basic elements in man, the head and the heart. When these two are put to right use, the hands will act in the right way.
Bhakthi and Jnana are like the pair of bullocks for the cart; both have to pull in unison. Each must keep pace with the other and help to drag weight quicker. Jnana has to help the increase of Bhakthi; Bhakthi has to contribute to the growth of Jnana'
– Sathya Sai Baba