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Am I the mind?
We are souls and we have intelligence, minds, and bodies. All have to be identified properly and looked after appropriately, writes AJIT KUMAR BISHNOI
Certainly not. Unfortunately, most people are dictated by their minds. This shortcoming is not limited to adults; even children do so. Ask a child whether he would like to eat a certain fruit which is very good for health. The child’s answer could be, “My mind is not willing.” Rarely does a person identify himself or herself as a soul; the mind has replaced the soul with whom we identify ourselves. And this mind, by the way, gives us the maximum trouble.
Another common mistake is to consider the body, the mind and the intelligence as one homogeneous mass, whereas the body is gross matter and the mind and the intelligence are subtle matters. Yes, the mind and the intelligence are functioning of the brain but they are different from the body as soul is separate from the body. The mind and intelligence have special places in our lives, and we should look at them as faculties given to us. If we can do that, we are better placed than others, who are not so wise. And we should do so by dealing with these separately and properly.
Beginning with the body, Lord Krishna has guided us in the Gita, “Sufferings of one whose eating and recreation are appropriate; of one who strives appropriately in activities; of one who sleeps and stays awake as required are less.”(6.17) How should we ideally eat? Again the answer is in the Gita. “Tasty, having appropriate amount of oil, not having too much liquid/water, delicious foods enhance/promote life span, vitality; give strength health, joy; and are conducive to cheerfulness. (17.8)
The first requirement for the mind is that it must be connected with God. Only then it can have peace. (2.66) Also one will be able to exercise some control over it, which is crucial for a happy life. Lord Krishna has guided about how to control the mind. The Lord states, “The mind can be brought under control by practice and detachment from sense objects.” (6.35) This detachment is possible by patient intelligence. (6.25) Wherever the unsteady and flickering mind goes, it should be brought under control of self. (6.26)
Now let us understand how we can make the best use of the faculty of intelligence. It should know both attachment and relinquishment; what is worth doing and what is not; what is to be feared and what is not to be feared; and what is bondage and what is liberation. (18.30) Only then a person is really wise.
Though the health of each faculty has to be looked after separately, the health of one affects the other too. Therefore, we have to take the holistic approach, ie look after the health of all as best as we can.
In order of importance, intelligence comes first, ie after the soul. Unless the intelligence is spiritual, ie is cognisant of the spirit, it will be unable to control the mind, which is fickle; one which pulls forcefully; is strong; and is obstinate. (6.34) Then comes the mind. Both intelligence and mind are subtle, whereas the body is gross matter. Therefore, they make greater impression and are more important than the body. The mind also controls the pituitary gland, which is a small organ at the base of the brain that produces hormones that influence growth. The mind is also considered the leader of the five senses, ie eyes, nose, tongue, skin, and ears. In short, mind is more precious than the body, though body is also important because it is the vehicle on which the soul depends for carrying out its activities. When the mind is affected, the body takes a beating.
Summing up, we must realise that we are souls and we have intelligence, minds, and bodies. All have to be identified properly and looked after appropriately. Only then can human beings lead satisfactory lives.
Bishnoi is a spiritual writer and can be reached at email@example.com
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