After last weeks talk “The Workings of the Mind” I received a number of questions asking me for more detail about the nature of the mind and also about emotions and how they affect us.  So this is in response to those questions.

I gave a number of quotes from the Vedas and will post those quotes here:

“The atma/self is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This atomic atma is floating in the five kinds of air (prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, samāna and udāna), is situated within the heart, and spreads its influence all over the body of the embodied living entities. When the atma is purified from the contamination of the five kinds of material air, its spiritual influence is exhibited.”   – Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.1.9

“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. Bhagavad-gītā 18.61

The mind, which is subject to change, and the perceiver, which is not, are in proximity but are of distinct and different characters. When the mind is directed externally and acts mechanically toward objects there is either pleasure or pain. When at the appropriate time, however, an individual begins inquiry into the very nature of the link between the perceiver and the perception, the mind is disconnected from external objects and there arises the understanding of the perceiver itself.   Yoga-sūtra 3.35

…in a dangerous situation an ordinary person cries, becomes fearful and laments, although such useless emotions do not change the situation. – Bhagavat Puraṇa 11.29.21

Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

So after last week’s talk I got quite a number of questions in, and I’ve sort of chosen the ones that I think include some of the others, that are representative.

So in the first one: “Namaste Acharya das, I have a question about the mind that I’ve been wanting to ask. The soul is found in the heart, right? surrounded by the mind, the intelligence, and the false ego. So is the mind found in the heart? And if the mind is material, is it a lump of matter? And does it follow that the intelligence and the false ego, also being material, are lumps of matter? Thank you.”

So actually, there’s quite a lot in here. One of the difficulties in speaking on the subject of the mind, is that it’s actually really involved, and it’s really a deep subject. And the challenge is, of course, not to make it overly complicated, to try and keep it as simple as possible. So tonight, when I speak about some of the things that may be a little bit more technical, if you want to put it that way, we’ll sort of try to resolve things with a very simple summary, or something that the common person, anybody, can sort of relate to.

So in trying to answer this question, I just wanted to point out an incredibly awesome Bhagavad-gita verse that hopefully, if we’ve got it together, we’ll be able to throw it up on the screen for you as I read it out. It’s from the 18th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, the 61st verse or sloka, and it describes that the Supreme Soul, or:

“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of material energy”

So just drawing your attention to the highlighted words here, which is yantra. So this term yantra literally means like a mechanism, a machine, which is—It’s a really, really interesting idea: that what has been prop—not proposed—what has been taught is that one should actually come to learn how to conceive of things in this fashion, and understand that there is a real, distinct, and incredibly important distinction between the person, the eternal spiritual being, and the material body, both gross and subtle.

Whenever I mention this, I always have these flashbacks to this amazing experience I had in the prison program that we run. There was this older guy from the Islands. He was an Islander, and he’d spent most of his life in prison. He was a really interesting character, pretty simple and straightforward sort of person, and he was 70 plus already, but quite energetic. And he had spent, I think, over 45 years of his life in prison, and that’s just like, Oh my God! You’ve spent almost all your life in and out of prison; and now, of course, on a pretty serious charge, and in there for a long time.

And he really liked the chanting; and he had difficulty coming to grips, sometimes, with some of the ideas that we’d talk about, but it was sort of like it was okay, he was along for the ride, and he was cool. Everything was cool with him.

And we produced a documentary with this—we were working on a documentary with a friend from Hawaii who is a documentary maker, and so we were able to organise, and do some interviews of people who were attending the program, just to get their feedback. And when we asked him, what benefit did he get from the chanting? And he was like completely at a loss. He was like a deer in the headlights; and he’s kind of like—and he starts stroking his throat, and he goes, “Well, hhhmm, like well, now that I’m singing a lot it’s really helping my voice,” (laughs) and it was—he was—felt obviously so uncomfortable in front of the camera, not knowing what to say or whatever. So I sort of prompted him a little bit. I said, “What’s the most important thing that you think you might have discovered from attending this program?” Then he was on it in a heartbeat. He’s all animated and excited. He goes, “You know what? You know, the body—the body is a machine. It’s like a car. It’s like your vehicle, and you, you, you are the driver of the car. And one day that car is going to be like really, really old, and it can’t run anymore, and you’re going to get out of the car. And then you just walk away, ‘cos you’re different than the car.”

And it was just like, I was so incredibly happy to hear him speak with such enthusiasm and conviction, because he had actually got it. He had come to realize that, in his own life; and that’s just like incredibly transformative. Your life really changes when you’ve—have this kind of understanding.

So what is the nature, then, of this machine? And where are you located? So, I’ll read in another verse (and hopefully we’ll be able to put it up.) It’s from the Mundaka Upanishad, and it states that,

“The atma, or the self, is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This atomic atma is floating in the five kinds of air (prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, samāna and udāna), and is situated within the heart, and spreads its influence all over the body of the embodied living entities. When the atma is purified from the contamination of the five kinds of material air, its spiritual influence is exhibited.”

So, in this verse it talks about some of the more esoteric aspects of yogic teaching, how there are five types of air circulating in the body, and these airs are responsible for different functions of the bodily organism, and it is through these subtle airs that are circulating that the atma, or the self, the soul, spreads consciousness and its influence throughout the body.

So the most astonishing thing is, that regardless of whether the body is that of a humpback blue—or a blue whale, or whether it’s an amoeba, it’s the same atomic spiritual being that is the conscious entity, and the consciousness is spread throughout that particular body through these airs which circulate within the body.

Now, it is stated—when they say that the living being is situated within the heart, they’re not speaking about it being necessarily inside that muscle that’s beating in your chest. What they’re speaking about is a region of the body. And it is described that because of the presence of this being, who is situated in this area, that that consciousness is spread throughout the body.

But what’s sort of interesting is, if you ask the question of someone, “Where exactly are you located within this body?” what is your experience? You get a pretty common response. And what I’d like to do is just share with you a video clip here (and hopefully we’ve got it all together, it’ll run okay.) And this was from a documentary that some friends did in the UK with, interviewing people in the street. You may have seen it on the series I did In Search of Me, which is a really—the most fundamental and important components to self-discovery, discovering who you are. So in this, they go out on the street, and they ask people basic question, “Who are you really?” and everybody refers, of course, immediately, to the body as being the self, “I’m this nationality,” or whatever. But when they’re probed further, “But if you take away all the labels, who are you in essence?” and every single person in the documentary comes back with, “Look, I don’t really have a clue. I don’t know who I am.” So then there was this follow-up question where they’re asking, “So where are you located in the body?” So, take a look at this clip:

 

Interviewer: If I were to ask you to point to yourself, where are you? Where is your self?

Cap man gives a bemused look.

Natalie points to her head.

Old man points to his head.

Interviewer: Your head. Your brain? Or your head?

Old man: In Spain we call it coco, the cerebral—the brain.

Interviewer: Point to yourself, your essence. Where is your self?

Sunglass girl: Myself?

Man: Where is myself?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Man: Wherever my head is, generally. That’s kind of, I don’t know, that’s where I am, as such.

Interviewer: Your head, like your head here?

Man: Yeah. If my head is saying I’m something, and I’m there, and then I don’t have to literally be there, but I am there in my head, like a state of mind as such, maybe.

Interviewer: State of mind.

Indian man: Point to my finger, would be here. (points to his head)

Interviewer: Your mind?

Indian man: My mind.

Capped man: Where I am? So now I’m confused because I don’t know who I am, how I gonna know where I am?

Interviewer: Point with your finger where would—

Lady points to eyes: In there. Your eyes.

Interviewer: Your eyes?

Lady:  Yeah yeah.

Interviewer: If you’re your eyes…

Lady: I am my eyes.

Interviewer:  …and you lose your eyes…

Lady: Yeah, then I suppose you’d think, wouldn’t you? You’d still be there, but it might—I might feel I’m alone. But you do get a feeling of like something inside, yeah…

So, you can see that almost everybody identified the part of the body where they were located as being the head, or the brain, or somewhere in this area of the body. And it’s pretty natural for people to assume this, because when you consider it, four of the five, what were called “knowledge acquiring senses” are located in the head. So the knowledge acquiring senses were the ears, the nose for smelling, the tongue for tasting, the eyes for seeing, and then of course the skin, which is responsible for sensation or touch. So because four or five, four out of five of the sense organs are located within the area of the head, there is this kind of pretty intense focus. We see things, we hear things, we taste and smell things through this part of the body, so there is this assumption that things are located there.

But if you notice the woman in the last part of the clip, she thought that she was her eyes, because that’s how you relate to the world and everything; and then when the interviewer asked her, “But what happenned if you lost your sight, you became blind, would you still be there?” And that kind of like shocked her, and she laughed a little bit nervously, and said, “Yeah, I guess you would be, but…” and she had that sense that somewhere you’re going to be located in there, “but it’s like you are in the dark and alone.” She had a pretty strong vision of that reality.

And if we consider that ourself, just by closing our eyes, and what if this was your world, then really where do you feel that you would be located? So, majority of people end up with the assumption that it is the brain, that is the centre of all perception. And there is an element of truth to this.

It’s actually described that there are six senses, the five that I’ve mentioned, and the mind was considered the sixth and highest sense amongst these senses. And it’s because the information that we take in is all being taken in through these sense organs, and it is being fed to the brain. And the brain is actually like the interface between the gross material body and the mind.

But in this next clip I’ll show you, which is from the same interview series, there is a scientist, a neurologist, a doctor and scientist, who disagrees with the idea that the brain and the mind are the same thing, or that the mind is a function of the brain. He talks about how it’s so easy, from a medical point of view, or a scientific point of view, to understand how one acquires knowledge or sensory experience, how things enter; but he comes to this conclusion, that it does not explain, this process doesn’t explain how there is a gaze looking out. Take a look at the clip.

“A lot of people think they know how perception takes place. Take visual perception for example. They imagine that it’s very straightforward, that light comes from objects, it enters our eyes, it goes down the visual pathways and tickles up the occipital cortex of the back of the head, and that’s the sum total of vision, apart from other bits of the brain being tickled up as well. The trouble with that causal chain of events, it explains how the light gets in but doesn’t explain then how there is a gaze that looks out. Well some people indeed, not only think that personality and consciousness is produced by the brain, they think it’s identical with brain activity, but there are many reasons for questioning that. So I think we’ve got to think again about the relationship between ourselves, our brains and our bodies; and we won’t even start that process of rethinking until we set aside ideas that suggest that we already know the answer, that we already know that we are our brains, or we are our bodies.”

So, this is people who seriously study. I mean I read another account by a leading neurologist, also in the UK, who said he began having these experiences—because he did a lot of operations on the brain of people. And in some operations, or in many of the brain operations, they require the patient to remain conscious, so they use local anaesthetics, quite powerful local anaesthetics, and they do brain surgery, and there’s like a cloth dividing off the person’s head, and they’re on the other side of it operating. And all the while they’re talking to the patient, or often talking to the patient, and getting them to respond to things, because that sort of tells them how well they’re doing with the surgery, or whether they’re damaged something.

And he said that he noticed that sometimes he would have responses from people that are meant to be stimulated or generated from a certain part of the brain. It’s already been identified that that’s the portion of the brain that has this particular function, and that has just been removed, and yet that function is continuing, this speaking about something that is meant to be generated from this part of the brain. And he said, after a number of these experiences he came to conclude that the mind and the brain are two separate things. So this was also an understanding, that the brain and the body, these are the interface for the mind where perception is taking place. And of course, this doctor brought up that important point, what is the nature of this perception, the idea of perception and perceiver?

So I’m going to read you a third verse from the Yoga Sutra, and it will be very helpful. So it says

“The mind which is subject to change and the perceiver which is not, are in proximity but of distinct and different characters.”

So we’ll just pause there for a moment. This is really important point, that one of the natures of that which is spiritual is that it’s not constantly changing. It is a constant principle, whereas change is the nature of that which is material. And so you have the mind, which is subject to change, and then you have the perceiver who is not, who is a constant principle. I mean we’ve dealt with this before: When one goes from infancy, to childhood, to being a youth, a teenager, and then to being mature adult, and then middle age, and then old age, the body is going through so many changes. It is changing completely, but yet the person who is experiencing everything remains that constant individual. So,

“When the mind is directed externally and acts mechanically toward objects there is either pleasure or pain. When at the appropriate time, however, an individual begins inquiry into the very nature of the link between the perceiver and the perception, the mind is disconnected from external objects and there arises the understanding of the perceiver itself.”

So many people have not really thought—we don’t really think about perception. We just take a whole bunch of stuff for granted, and how things occur, and what goes on. We just don’t think about the distinction between myself, my mind, my mind and my body, they are things that belong to me.

So perception and perceiver: The mind in many ways is sometimes compared to being like a movie screen. This is not a perfect example. It has a limited application. When you go into a movie house, and then you—a film is shown. It’s projected off a movie screen, and then you’re sitting there watching it, and the light enters your eyeball, as we saw in that clip, it hits the optical, the photosensitive cells in the back of the eye. That sets off electrical impulse that goes to the visual cortex of the brain and sets off these electrical impulses. And it’s kind of like okay, but where’s the picture? Where is the actual picture? And who’s watching that picture? If that’s going on in the brain, obviously the brain can’t be watching it. But we have this experience that—

Like now I’m sitting here watching the people with me in this room. I’m looking at this camera here. I’m seeing these things. And if we actually analyse how that’s going on, it’s really very interesting. The information that is coming in through the senses is projected onto the mind, and there is a perceiver who is watching it. But we’ve also learned that, because of the proximity of the living being, the perceiver, to the mind or with the mind, they’re in the same proximity, the consciousness of the living being is lent to the mind. And the mind now takes on an almost independent characteristic, where it receives information and appears to know what’s going on and appears to act even independently. You end up sometimes struggling with your mind. But the mind is a certain type of material energy.

So one of the things that you had mentioned in the question, “Is the mind like a lump of matter?” And of course, I would ask you the question, “Would you consider air, if I got air and trapped it in a container, like in a glass jar or something, would you refer to that air as a lump of matter?” And of course, the answer is, no, you wouldn’t. But at the same time, you do recognize that it is in there, there is this distinct gaseous substance in there.

So the more subtle that the material energy becomes, the more we have to shift a little bit of our thinking about it. And so the mind is a subtle form of material energy.

So, it’s just like your body: your body, for instance, contains the element (as they refer to it in the Vedas) of the earth. Just like you have earth, water, fire, air, ether, there’s the five principal material elements. The body contains the earth element, but it is not like a lump of the dirt that you would dig up from the ground and refer to as earth also. It’s being presented, or it is presenting, in a different kind of way. And because of the proximity of the soul, it is manifesting symptoms of life. And in a similar manner, the very subtle energy of the mind, which is a distinct type of material energy, in the proximity and under the influence of the living being it takes on certain characteristics and performs certain functions.

The three things that you mentioned, yes, they are all distinct material—types of material energy, or material elements. You have the mind, then you have the intelligence. The intelligence is a material energy, but it’s considered more subtle. It is higher and more powerful than the mind. This intelligence, or buddhi, is this faculty that we have that—ii’s like you can (—as—and I—my daughter’s gonna tease me)—you can hit the pause button, when you’re raging, when something’s getting out of control in your life, you can go, “Look, no, I’m—” stop, and I can walk away from it, and I can calm down, I can think about it, and I can decide how I’m going to react, how I’m going to deal with something. You have that capacity, even when the mind is completely raging and is practically out of control, you can bring it suddenly under control if you wish to; and that’s with the use of this higher faculty. This higher faculty gives us a very strong sense of self, that I exist. It’s that—that faculty is found very strongly in the intelligence, and it allows me to exercise control over the mind.

But then you’ve got this fourth—third rather, subtle material energy, and it is called the ahankara in Sanskrit, and in English it’s often translated as the false ego. A little problem with this word ego: because this is a word that Freud used. It’s an original Greek terminology. And Freud used a little bit differently. The Greeks used it in a far more philosophical, and almost spiritual way. He was referring to this deeper identity that we have. And, yeah, he recognized that it can be, if I can use the term, it’s probably not the right term, but corrupted. But this tendency that’s founded on, “I am…” and then fill in the blank. So when people say, “I am male,” “I am female,” “I am tall,” “I am short,” “I’m a Kiwi, “I’m Chinese,” “I’m Russian,” “I’m Indian,” “I am not very smart,” “I’m quite intelligent,” “I don’t have many skills,” “I’m really good at this,” “I’m hungry,” “I’m—” any of the adjectives that are attached to the I am, are considered to originate from the false ego, the false conception of the self; where, any time that I’m referring to myself as being anything other than this eternal spiritual being, which is my real identity, then that’s considered the influence of this false ego.

So, yes, they are all subtle energies.

There is a fourth thing that we often don’t include it, unless we’re going into much deeper discussions. It’s called the citta. The citta is (that’s spelt c-i-t-t-a), the citta is the contaminated consciousness. The soul itself has pure transcendental consciousness, but once it is filtered through this false ego that is covering it, now the consciousness becomes contaminated or this—we are manifesting material consciousness.

And so the living being, the eternal soul, situated in the region of the heart, is covered by these four things.

If you ask, “So, are those four things also connected, or physically located in the region of the heart?” The answer is, “Not necessarily”; because what they are doing is referring to this manifestation of the atma, the consciousness or awareness, and that is happening all over the body. And so it is not necessarily that these energies, these subtle energies are located necessarily in the region of the heart but they do cover the consciousness of the soul itself.

So I hope that wasn’t too much for everybody. It’s a deep subject, and we are actually only scratching the surface. The way the yogis dealt with these subjects is just totally amazing. It’s totally astonishing. And how they exercised this incredible ability to use their body and mind as a laboratory, where they did experiments, and there was these intense observations, and shutting down and controlling the senses, shutting down the mind, bringing it into a singular focus, so that in this stillness there was the ability to gradually perceive my own self separate from these things.

So it’s a very deep subject, and unlike material science, which is looking at pretty much gross and subtle matter, what we’re speaking about here is the subject of consciousness, that really science doesn’t really deal with, and doesn’t like to or want to deal with, because it’s sort of like, what is consciousness? Where does it arise? etc etc.

It’s only going to be through a purification and transformation of consciousness that one will come to see these things clearly, because we’re talking about the effects of material covering, the lenses, or the filters covering the soul, which give rise to all the perception that we have in this world.

Hope that’s not too much.

Second question was, “Please may I ask a question?” Yes, you may! “Would you kindly speak about emotions? Are these born from material desires, or past experiences, good and bad? I was asked a question recently framed like this: “I understand material desires flow into the mind, but what about emotions? Do they dwell in the mind also? Emotions feel like a more heartfelt response to the world. So are my emotions coming from me, the spirit soul?”

So that’s quite an interesting question. If we look at the definition of emotions, just so that we’re on the same page and speaking about the same thing, emotion is, in the dictionary, defined as, “A strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationship with others.” But there is this—another definition in some of the older dictionaries, that I think is far more relevant, and the definition is this; “Emotions are a conscious mental reaction, such as anger or fear, subjectively experienced as strong feeling, usually directed towards a specific object, and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioural changes in the body.”

So, I mean, the question has been asked, well I sort of deal with my mind and everything, and I understand that, but emotions seem to be far deeper than the mind because, they—it says, “it’s like a more heartfelt response to the world.” Well one of the characteristics of emotional—or emotions, is that they produce psychological and physiological responses. It is occurring within the mind.

It’s just like if you go to a movie, you’re in a movie theatre, perhaps, where it’s more easy to be absorbed, and there’s some really intense stuff going on, whether it’s to do with violence, whether it’s to do with sex, whether it’s to do with some heartbreak or an intense love or something—something really intense going on, and people are sitting there watching. And this is all taking place within the mind. But then you have responses. Like sometimes something scary happens, and you hear people scream, “Aaah!”; or somebody takes a swing with something, and people kind of duck; or there’s some really intensely scary thing happening, and people start having all these physical reactions where they grab the person next to them, or they start holding themself and really showing all of these physiological responses. People break out in sweats. People’s hearts beat fast.

I mean I can always remember this thing I read where some guy was watching a particularly scary movie, and he died of a heart attack in the movie house. It’s kind of like, come on, you’re just sitting in a chair. Nothing’s happening to you, not really. Nothing’s really happening to you. You’re just sitting in a chair. But because you’ve become so absorbed in what’s just light reflecting off a screen, you are so much identifying with what’s going on there.

And the people that have created movies have learned, they’ve really studied the art of psychological manipulation in the writing of screenplays and the presentation of things, the way movies are directed, to make it so that people get really involved. And it’s like you’ve shut off the whole frontal part of the lobe of the brain, which is the part that sort of makes it so you can rationally discern things. That’s all shut off, and you’re just back there completely surrendered to whatever’s being shown to you, and you’ve been enticed to identify with the characters there, and you’re having physiological responses. And it’s just like the most astonishing and amazing thing.

So this is taking place within the mind. Just because the emotion that you feel is particularly powerful and causes physiological responses, like change in a heartbeat, or having butterflies in the stomach, or knotted up stomach, and then you’re kicking into fight or flight mode and everything, it doesn’t mean that just because the response is powerful that it is not in the mind, it’s somewhere deeper. No. This is occurring within the mind.

You had said that, in the question—or this person had said to you, “I understand material desires flow into the mind.” That’s actually not correct. It is the mind that generates desires, and the desires, if anything, flow from the mind. Now we may not be very conscious or aware of how our mind is processing things, and what’s going on, but it is from the mind that all desires manifest.

So in the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna, speaking to Arjuna, describes this process by which certain types of emotions arise; and He says that, by contemplating the objects of the senses, looking at things and meditating upon them, desiring them, or checking it out, I mean it—just like the one of the techniques that was developed in the 50s with sales, was to encourage people to handle the merchandise, (but if you break it you pay for it, but please do handle it.) They want people to get involved with the merchandise. And now they have in stores—like a favourite one is, in the donut places they’re always having the stream of the smell of donuts coming out of the store. You see it in in in fast food places, there is a conscious attempt to spread these aromas around, because they immediately set off this recognition that you have in the mind.

So then by contemplating the objects of the senses, thinking about it one develops attachment. So then when one continues contemplating, that attachment grows to the point—it says “from attachment comes lust.” Lust, or kama, is not just referring to sexual desire, as it’s often used, but to this idea of this intense self-centeredness: “I want it! I want it!” this growing desire.

And then it says, “from lust comes anger.” There is a chain that will, when a person has intense desires for things, and either they get it, and it doesn’t fulfill them; or they can’t get it and they’re frustrated, both things produce an angry nature that begins to well up in the heart. And then that anger manifests when a person becomes displeased with something. This—that response is something that is coming from them, their life choices, and how they’re dealing with things. And of course, from anger comes loss of intelligence, and it says, one falls into a hellish situation.

So this is how things work. And it’s really important to understand and appreciate it, that it’s not like desires just pop into my mind from somewhere. They have originated from your mind. Somebody might have said something. You may have been manipulated by social media, or media in general, or by friends, or observations. That desire comes from that process of contemplating the sense objects, and then they flow forth from the mind and influence our decision-making and our actions.

So that person has also then asked, “So do emotions dwell in the mind?” And the answer is yes. And even though they may feel like, as this person said, to be more of a heartfelt response—this is evident in death, when somebody that’s very close to us dies or—I was just saw something on the news: a woman that had a baby, and she was in a covid ward and then couldn’t see her child, who was born prematurely. And it was a number of days before she was cleared to be able to be with her child, and her first visit to the nursery, and she’s just weeping and weeping, so overjoyed to see this little person that she felt so much love for.

So whether it’s birth, whether it’s death, whether it’s so-called falling in love or whatever, just because an emotion is very heartfelt and strong, we shouldn’t think that it’s not coming from the mind. This is where it actually arises from.

But we need to understand that all of these emotional responses are considered, in the yoga system, to be founded on ignorance (people are not going to be very happy about that one!), avidya, or ignorance; because they are based always upon the idea that this body is me, and these people I am connected to through the relationship of the bodies, that I don’t even actually see them, the eternal spiritual being. I identify the body as the person, and I develop attachments and relationships that cause pain, and happiness, and fear, and anger, and all these different experiences. There is an interesting part of a verse in the Bhagavata Purana that speaks to this, and it says:

“…in a dangerous situation an ordinary person cries, becomes fearful and laments, although such useless emotions do not change the situation.”

So somebody’s probably going to go, “Oh my God, that’s so callous,” and no, it’s not callous. It’s incredibly compassionate. The yogis, they are heartbroken watching people go through all of these things in what they call their life, all based upon sensory perception, and temporary situations, and temporary relationships. But the eternal soul is just lost in this sea of suffering, sometimes okay, sometimes not okay. And it just goes on, and on, and on, all based upon that which is temporary, which is unfulfilling, that is actually not connected to the actual soul, the essence of the soul itself.

And so, understanding the nature of the mind, the way it works, and the fact that it can exercise enormous control over us, and in such state or situation is considered our enemy, that’s really important. And so we are encouraged to bridle the mind, to bring it under control, to exercise influence and direction for the mind, decide what it is that we’re going to think about, decide how it is we’re going to relate to people, how we’re going to relate to this world, what we are going to consider important, to direct our life in a compassionate and loving and caring way is really dignified, but to be constantly victimized by one’s emotions and one’s mind is not dignified. That is considered very sad and unfortunate.

So that’s about—I think I’ve covered a lot of the other things that I was asked, also, within what we talked about. I hope that has been helpful for people. This is something that you can’t just hear once and then that’s it, you got it, it’s all okay. We’re talking about states of being conditioned, materially conditioned. And the process of meditation, the process of a spiritual practice is for the purpose of becoming free from that conditioning, and being able to experience the reality of my true spiritual being, and to awaken my natural and eternal tendencies to seek happiness and fulfillment, with the awakening of love, and that love being expressed through loving service.

So I’d like to invite you to join me, and we will chant. The mantra that I will sing is Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. This is a very, very ancient mantra that is recorded in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and it was used tens of thousands of years—actually since the beginning of time itself. And I may also do Aum Hari Aum. We’ll do Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya Aum Hari Aum but then I may also do the just the Aum Hari Aum mantra.

56:00 – 1:12:00 Kirtan

Thank you so very much for joining us, and as always if you have questions send them in via Facebook or  [email protected] and we will catch up with you again next week. Haribol

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