Soul (Jiva), its Composition & Attributes
God, the universal consciousness along with Souls, the individual consciousness and Matter form an organic whole of the Universe. According to the karma, Jivas get material embodiments as per divine will.
Every thought (मनसा, Mansa), every word (वचना,vachna) and every action (कर्मणा, Karmna), good or bad, just goes down and becomes fine, and is there stored up as Samskaras, the impressions and create Karmic account. These impressions of past Karmas cause tendencies and desires. The fulfilment of desires leads to enjoyment and lack of fulfilment leads to sufferings. The cycle of pleasures & pains goes on and Jiva is caught in cycle of birth and death, to reap the fruits his own actions through enjoyments and sufferings. Hence, we become slave of situations. In case, we take decisions based on qualities of soul viz. Love, peace, Happiness, Knowledge, Power, Purity and Bliss and believe the situations are creation of past karma, negative decision and behaviour shall be avoided as a result karmic account or samskara will not be formed.
Composition of Jiva:
Jiva in bondage is composed of three bodies’ viz. Causal Body (Karan sarira, innermost), Subtle Body (Sukshma sarira or Linga-sarira, middle) and Gross Body (Sthula sarira, outermost). The details are as under:
Attributes of Jiva:
According to Madhva, gradation and the classification each Jiva results from the uniqueness of each Jiva. As a reflection of Brahman every Jiva has in him a modicum of Brahman’s essential features – Sat-Chit-Ananda. But due to their own intrinsic capacities, they share these characteristics in varying degrees only. They all alike have a dependent existence, but their capacity to know vastly varies and their joy much more so. In the state of bondage, the differences in nature of Karma clouding them can easily account for this variation in their intelligence, joy and misery. Madhva classified Jivas in three types viz.
According to Vallabhacharya system, the classification of the Jivas is according to their varying capacities. The main classes are: Maryada, Pusti and Pravahini, and these have distinct goals to attain at the end of their evolution.
According to the Advaita system of Shankaracharya, Jivas are all similar in their nature and realize their identity with non-dual Brahman ultimately. Ignorance is the cause of bondage, and liberation is attained when ignorance is removed irrespective of whether the body is alive or not. There is no necessity of physical body for attainment of liberation. The body will fall only when the prarabdha karma of the current body is exhausted. But Ramanujacharya does not accept that an embodied person can be liberated. For, according to him, the cause of embodiment is Karma.
When jiva is suppressed by ignorance, its Dharmabhuta-jnana is contracted. When Jiva is liberated, he continues to maintain his individuality, his Dharmabhuta-Jnana expands and becomes merged in that of God.
Reference: Bhakti Schools of Vedanta – by Swami Tapasyananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai.
Mind that Matters
As per modern science, brain is the most important part of the human body and functioning of its various parts have been identified. But science of Hinduism has also deeply probed into the mind. Mind is invisible to both the eye and the modern instruments of observations. It is not even made of the brain substances. Though it is an invisible substance, its activities can well be perceived. It is according to Hindu philosophy, a subtle and rarefied material.
Mind is a bundle of thought and Man is the product of the sum total of his thoughts. There is a world as long as there is mind. The world ceases to exist as a separate entity when the mind is annihilated. Thoughts are live vibrations. Each thought is a magnet and pulls in its like. Mind is full of energy. It is the author of all actions. The body is only the instrument. Lack of understanding of the inner structure of human is the cause of woes and suffering in domestic, social and political spheres.
Mind takes the form of the thing thought of. The whole universe has its existence due to the presence of the thought behind it. So, we say that in the mind both the external and the internal worlds are held and conditioned. The mind acts as a medium of communication between soul and matter. Man, who has the right mastery of the mind will have a mind full of peace. The mind has to be calmed and for that all sadhanas have to be performed systematically in the kriya manner and method.
The realization of the spiritual unity everywhere is affected by the cessation of all thoughts, or in other words, the utter annihilation of mind. The human in every one is to die, so that divine shall be revealed. This can be done through meditation, which neither means holding the mind in a negative dreamy state, nor on vague abstractions, but necessitates a continuous flow of thought towards the ideal, without any break and with a harmony between reason and emotion.
Genesis of Thoughts:
The mind constitutes the subtle body in every creature and does not die with the death of the body, but goes on along with the soul into another physical body & take re-birth to work and gather further experience through the medium of a subsequent body more suited to its purpose.
In subsequent birth, every child brings with it impressions from past lives in the form of tendencies, which can be classified partly as moral and good ones and others as evil or immoral. The latter are the kleshas (afflictions, poisons) which ought to be modified and sublimated. The problem that one has to face is how to change an undesirable trait of character or how to cultivate a good habit in place of a bad one.
These tendencies create constant impulses in mind to trigger thoughts and in turn actions which may be negative or positive. The negative thoughts cause Kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (attachment), mada (over pride), matsara (jealousy), swartha (selfishness), adamber (hypocrisy), anyaaya (injustice), ahankara (false ego) etc. The positive thoughts cause truthfulness, self-control, purity, dominance over the senses, simplicity, devotion, service, generosity, equality, tranquility etc.
Impulses repeated from an idea. Ideas repeated become an act. Actions repeated become character and character repeated molds the very creator of habit. A word is a vehicle for the thought to express itself. A noble and God like character is not of accident or a chance, but is the natural results of continued effort in right thinking.
These negative thoughts and feelings close up the channels of the body and mar the life forces in their flow. If the mind is not properly trained, the gross body will suffer from innumerable diseases. These are devils which crush the mind and injure the body. Poison and secreting cells are developed by them. The free circulation of blood is disturbed.
World of Mind:
Though the mind seems to exist in the body or the world, in the real sense, the body and world exist in the mind. The real universe is the occasion of the reaction of the mind and the mind is a mixture of actions and reactions. We generally note that it breaks into two and one half of it stands alongside as the witness, while the ‘other half’ goes on functioning. We have to master the lower mind with the higher mind. To conquer the mind is to conquer the world, since the mind and world are but the observe and reverse of the one and the same thing.
Attributes of Mind:
Mind is like sea which is sometimes turbulent, sometimes calm and sometimes silent. Sometimes, it experiences tsunami. Ripples in the sea are like thoughts in mind. When no ripple, no thought.
The mind is collective essence of the five elements (prathivi, jal, vayu, akasha and agni – solid, liquid, gas, space and energy) and compound of three attributes - tamasic (lethargy, dullness), rajasic (activity) and sattvic (rhythm). Mind is the receptacle of senses & factory of thoughts. The three states, instinct, reason and superconscious, (i.e., the unconscious, conscious and superconscious states), belong to one and the same mind. A man works the predominance of one guna alone at a time. When one guna is in play, the other two are at rest. It is thus a man is sometimes found to be dull, sometimes active and sometimes well-balanced. The tamasic nature in man is to be combated and conquered by a rajasic nature and this, in turn by a sattvic nature. And this sattvic guna also is to be dissolved and transcended by us to be ever in perfect unity with the universal consciousness. It is of the highest importance to make the mind lose itself in the infinite.
Functions of Mind:
Mind has four functions – thinking or knowing (Manas), likes or dislikes based on past memories (Chitta), discrimination & decision-making (buddhi, intellect) and I-ness to control other functions (Ahamkara). A man’s will-power is his power to deliberately wish and decide how to act. Passion are strong feelings of likes and dislikes, which rush like an unexpected flood and excite men and women to certain actions, making them to lose control of mind and body. Passions arise from lust, desire, hope and delight in things out of hatred, disgust, fear and anger. Passions are blind. Through will force, the mind and senses can be curbed.
Heaven & Hell in Mind:
The strength of the body depends on that of the mind, whose strength, in turn, depends on that of the spirit (Atman). Happiness proceeds from neither woman nor wealth, but from mind. Later the soul is the enjoyer.
Anger, envy, jealousy, malice, worry etc., should not find lodgment in the mind. These are devils which crush the mind and injure the body. Poison and secreting cells are developed by them. The free circulation of blood of the body and mar the life forces in their flow. On the contrary, love, the divine treasure in one and all of us, finds no obstructing reactions anywhere and it expands our little life by remolding the human in each and fashioning every one of us into a child of light (the light of sacchidananda).
We make our heaven or hell on earth by our petty desires and demands and what we do here makes or mars our hereafter. The mind that pursues the steps of its own whims, fancies and caprices is caught in its own cocoon of desires.
Vacuum cleaning of Mind:
Mastering the mind:
The person who has the right mastery of the mind, will have a mind full of peace.
Reference: Voice of Babaji – by V T Neelakantan, S A A Ramaiah, Babaji Nagaraj
Love is a feeling of strong and positive emotional and mental states. Love is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral, apathy). Love-hate is for creation, maintenance and destruction of this world. Love also has a profound effect on our mental and physical state. A ‘broken heart' or a failed relationship can have disastrous effects; bereavement disrupts human physiology and might even precipitate death. Love can be impersonal (for object, principle, goal etc.) and interpersonal (between human beings).
Among living organisms, the natural love and attraction is the root of reproduction, growth and multiplication. In unicellular organisms, reproduction is asexual wherein the two strands of DNA repel and duplicates; wherein Hate-Love relationship is involved. In multicellular organisms, mostly sexual reproduction takes place due strong attraction between male and female. So, love creates and is responsible for organic growth and multiplications. Dopamine, oxytocin and Serotonin are neurochemicals which help in making love.
Love-Hate also exists in non-living and inorganic matter. The matter is made of minute particles – molecules, atoms, electron, proton, neutron and so on at micro level and Galaxies, stars, planets, moon etc. at macro level. Scientifically, the very basis of their existence and continuously held together are electro-magnetic attraction among these microscopic particles and gravitational force or attraction among galaxies and planetary systems.
Learn to love. Love one. Love all. Love your enemy as much as you could love your friend. Love the mute animals as if they are human. No barriers of family tie, no caste or communal considerations, no territorial boundary should obstruct the even flow of your universal love. No despising of the sinner, no consciousness of superiority towards those who are less advanced, no hatred of the vicious. Love all and lovingly lead them on.
Forms of Love:
Love has different forms, gradations of intensity and facets. Love may be for food, for relationships, for wealth, for particular profession, for wine & narcotics, for opposite sex, for plants & animals, for humanity, for almighty and so on. Magnetic attraction or love may manifest mildly to very intensely. Sometimes, one becomes very possessive for a particular person or thing. Love may germinate due selfish motive or selflessness, though very-very rarely. When selfish love turns into universal love then one sees divinity in all.
In Greek language, nine forms of love have classified - Eros (passionate love), Pragma (enduring love), Ludus (playful love), Agape (universal love), Philia (deep friendship), Philautia (self-love), Storge (familial love) and Mania (obsessive love).
In Hinduism, divine love or Bhakti is deeply probed and is one of the four means of salvation or liberation from the cycle of re-births. Various forms of love are explained based on selfish motives and selfless pure love.
1. Sattvika Love - It is done to attain the almighty. It originates from intellect or Buddhi. When the person doing sattvika love desires Moksha, it is Sagun bhakti. When he loses all the desires of fruit, it becomes Nirgun or Nishkam love. It is pure love for the almighty.
2. Rajasika Love – It is done to attain worldly comforts.
3. Tamsika Love – It is done for attaining special powers (siddhis).
4. Sakamya Love or Gauna Love – It is devotion with desire for material gains.
Gradations of Love:
Sri Vallabhacharya has explained the different stages of love. Love has ten evolutionary stages of growth –
Love in Hinduism:
In the Chaitanya school, about twenty characteristics are enumerated as expressions of the unique Divine sentiment of Maha-Bhava in both its phases as love in union and love in separation such as intense longing, inability to bear separation, readiness to bear even intense pain in the interest of the beloved, loss of the sense of time, power to influence one’s environment with the intensity of one’s feeling, loss of sense of self even in normal consciousness, loss of all fear of death and welcoming it as the means for elemental union with Sri Krishna, supra-normal behaviour that looks like ‘Divine Madness’ and so on. The Maha-Bhava is said to have manifested only in Gopikaa and in some divine incarnations like Sri Chaitanya and Sri Ramakrishna.