What is mind? That which separates you from God is mind. The wall that stands between you and God is mind. Pull that wall down through meditation and you will come face to face with God. Mind is a mystery. The vast majority of people know not the existence of the mind and its operations. What actually is mind? It is extroverted consciousness which creates a false ‘I’, identifying it with material objects. Mind creates an endless chain of permutations and combinations and thereby wastes our energies. The more we depend on what the mind drives us to do, the more we get fooled by it. In fact we may spend our life trying to please mind, but this brat becomes even more energetic and dissatisfied as we grow old.
Mind is the cause of happiness and despair in our life. Man is his own enemy or friend depending on how he engages his mind. When in control, it is the mind which brings brightness and fascination and is responsible for the creation and evolution of our society and it is also the mind, when set free, that brings darkness and despair, and destroys and affects the internal and external environments of a human being.
Even after so many philosophical ponderings, brain researches and advances in the field of neuroscience, the concept of mind still remains obscure, controversial and impossible to define. It is ironic that something we claim to possess and is crucial to use is so hard to explain. Obviously mind cannot be an object of itself. Or can it? If we should one day understand the chemical and electrical processes in the brain completely, would this explain mind? Would this account for all our faculties including intelligence, consciousness, emotion, and volition? Actually, the attempt to define mind seems superfluous, even though it is so fundamental to us. So, the explicit verbalization of an intuitive understanding of mind is fairly difficult, because it requires us to transform the subjective first-person experience into an objective third-person description.
Mind is the subtle form of matter and hence the prompter of the body. Mind is not gross, visible or tangible thing. It has not the characteristics of matter. Its existence is nowhere seen. Its magnitude cannot be measured. It does not require a space in which to exist. Mind is all energy. Mind and matter are two aspects as subject and object of one and the same spirit, which is neither and yet includes both. Soul is the only source of consciousness; it is self-effulgent; it shines by its own light. But the organs (mind, body and senses) derive their principle of and activity and life from the soul. By themselves, they are lifeless. Hence the soul is always a subject and never an object. Mind is object of the soul.
It is unfortunate that we keep running around in search of peace and happiness without realizing that the source is within us. We are searching for happiness everywhere but within. It is like searching for something outside the house, but which is inside the house. In our self lies the wealth of everything. It is our Life Force, which can give us the peace and satisfaction we are searching for. This is why wisdom is always regarded more important than knowledge. That is Spiritual Masters delivered man from ignorance by giving Knowledge.
To control the mind, there is a spiritual technique, which is one and the same for everyone, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, and that is the Spiritual Knowledge. Unless and until we understand both theoretically and practically, what that ‘Knowledge’ is, and practice it, we can never control this unsteady mind. Scriptures talk about two kinds of Knowledge – the Hinayana and Mahayana, or the Lower Knowledge (apara) and Higher Knowledge (para). All knowledge of the universes, whether microcosmic or macrocosmic, comes under the heading of ‘apara’ or intellectual knowledge, including our scriptures, mantras or sacred teachings. Anything that can be experienced through the senses comes under ‘apara’, the lower Knowledge. But there is something which is non-material, which is beyond the senses; which is not physical but pure Conscious Energy. Experiencing or realizing ‘para’ and meditating on it is the true meditation.
The ‘para’ is the essence of the Vedas, Quran, Bible and all other Scriptures. This is the experience, the sacred truth which the Spiritual Masters have inspired men to realize and imparted to the aspirants since time immemorial. Lord Krishna, while initiating Arjuna into this meditation, says that it is the king of all and is secret (concealed), holy, and the best. It is directly experienced, easy to practice, eternal, blissful, and is in accordance with Dharma. This true meditation, the ‘primordial meditation’, is the cause of creation. He then finally says that whenever this True Path is lost, He reincarnates to reveal it again.
‘No mind’ is the solution, because mind, being mind, is the obstacle. “Man is destined to be perfect.” Concentrated mind is ‘no mind’.
Our mind is usually engaged with something in the past or preoccupied with the future. Meditation is breaking away from both the past and the future and just being in the present. It is being here and now, as against everything else in this world. We need some continuity to keep ourselves connected with the present, and for that Breath is the greatest present gifted to us by God. Meditation helps us to live in the present.