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General Category => An Introduction to Vedanta => Analysis of the Mind => Topic started by: Dr. Sadananda on February 17, 2010, 11:37:07 PM

Title: Analysis of Mind: Introduction Part 2
Post by: Dr. Sadananda on February 17, 2010, 11:37:07 PM
Analysis of Mind: Introduction Part 2

Examples, such as removing a thorn by a thorn or removing the poison in the body by controlled medicine, which by itself is harmful for the body are provided to show how deconditioning of the mind can occur with proper sAdhanA or process, which is nothing but a judicious controlled conditioning. If the truth cannot be known by any means, since all means are finite, then it must be a self-revealing and self-existing entity. However, from the Vedanta perspective, even though the truth is self-evident, and self-revealing, a conditioned mind cannot recognize the truth due to its conditioning. Therefore the mind should be processed or prepared to 'absorb' that revelation. A 'Hare-Krishna' devotee remarked, 'brains need to be brain-washed, since they are muddled with wrong concepts, which obstruct the freedom of the mind'. However, the process that cleanses and purifies the mind should be such that it should free the mind rather than recondition it. It should not take the mind from 'iron shackles to gold shackles'. In essence, the process that deconditions the mind should be self-destructive without conditioning the mind again by that very process.

In addition, if the truth is infinite and absolute, the mind that discovers the truth cannot itself be away from the truth, since nothing can be away from the absolute-infinite. That is, the mind itself should be part of the truth, since truth being infinite cannot exclude anything. Finally, the infinite cannot be made of parts (infinite, plus or minus infinite, is still infinite only). Therefore, mind cannot be part of the infinite either. Thus we have a peculiar situation, where the mind needs to discover the truth, and that truth cannot be discovered by any means since it is not an 'object', for discovery, conceptually or otherwise. In addition, since the mind is part of the truth which has no parts, the very realization of the truth should dissolve the notion of separateness of the mind from the truth. Hence the truth is sometime called 'of transcendental nature' implying that is not of the kind with which objective scientists are familiar.

Hence, the realization of the truth involves a delicate process of deconditioning the mind. This is called yoga, and requires a guide, teacher or guru (gu stands of ignorance and ru stands for the one who removes it), as emphasized by Vedanta. It is well accepted that a guide is required to do advanced research in any field of science. It is therefore understandable why Vedanta insists on guidance by a teacher who is well qualified. A teacher must be well established in the truth (brahma niShTha), and also have gone through the mental discipline needed to guide others to proceed on the pathless path. For insurance, Vedanta insists on particular time-tested methodology (called sampradAyam) so that process of deconditioning the mind occurs slowly in steps without getting locked up in the process itself. This is technically called adhyAropa apavAda. adhyAropa is the conditioning of the mind and apavAda involves deconditioning the mind in stages. Conditions or adhyAropa are superimpositions that distract the mind from seeing the truth as the truth. Since a student comes with pre-conceived notions (or a conditioned mind), the teaching involves removal of those notions (deconditioning) in steps. When the mind is pure, the self-evident and self-existing truth gets self-revealed.

Not only the truth is the pathless land, as Krishnamurthi declared, Vedanta goes one step further to indicate that the self-existent, self-conscious and infinite entity is nothing but your own self, where the seeker and the sought, or the subject and the object, merge into one infinite-existent-conscious entity. That is nirvana; that is liberation; that is mokSha; this is the Kingdom of Heaven in one’s own heart. This is what all the religions sing and glorify in various ways and is the absolute freedom from all limitations. It is the infinite eternal happiness for which one is longing, consciously or unconsciously, through various pursuits in life, whether religious or irreligious, whether holy or unholy, knowingly or unknowingly. In essence, the human mind is always seeking freedom from limitations, always wanting and desiring to reach that infinite absolute happiness, without knowing that it cannot be gained by any path or pursuit. If one examines one's mind carefully we find that our wanting mind is not happy in having what it wanted, since 'the want to have more' always remains, however much one has. Thus it rather wants to want than wants to have. That is the reflection of the conditioned state of mind.

The mind wants to be free from wanting and that desire for eternal freedom is intrinsic or inborn with the mind. It cannot but seek that unlimited happiness, though it cannot find it by any seeking. Longing for limitless freedom is inherent in all beings, but expressed more vividly in the human form, where 'conceptual thought' has reached its pinnacle by evolutionary process. Thus there is a fundamental human problem or dichotomy: he cannot but pursue a path to gain absolute inexhaustible happiness or freedom from all limitations, and he can never gain that happiness through any pursuit, since it is a path less land. This is where understanding the mind, its conditioning and how to transcend those conditionings so that the mind is ever free from all conditionings becomes important and this forms the fundamental or essential pursuit of human life.

It is interesting to note that any process of deconditioning the mind itself involves the mind or mental activity. That is, the mind itself conditions the mind, and it is also capable of deconditioning itself. Hence, Vedanta says 'mind is the problem and mind is the solution' (mana eva manushyAnAm kAraNam bandha mokshayoH - amRRitabindu Up). 'How a mind can be both the problem as well as solution to the problem' requires analysis of the problem along with analysis of the mind that creates the problem. We shall examine first the mind from various angles and address the problem of its conditioning and the solution to decondition itself to be free from its problems.