Exclusive to Vedic Management Center by U. Mahesh Prabhu
Counseling is about clearing negative patterns from one mind with the help of another mind. Therefore, it’s important that the mind that is in charge of the clearing, i.e. the mind of the counselor, remains clear and calm throughout the counseling process.
Although intangible, the Mind is a quintessential part of our life. Everything we do, things we don’t seek do as well as the things we intend to do, are allowing to our minds.
According to the Vedic Rishis, brain and mind are not the same. The brain is tangible, like computer’s hardware, whereas mind is the operating system which controls not just the brain but, through it, other aspects of our life.
Amid all the great accomplishments of modern scientists, it may be surprising to know that we are yet to understand the functioning of the brain, which they also call as a mind.
Owing to its crucial significance, the Rishis of the Vedas gave significant importance to understanding, controlling as well as balancing the mind. The objective of scores of Vedic texts from Vedas and Upanishads to Mahabharata and Ramayana until various Shastras and Sutras is to, first, understand one’s mind and, then, to live a life of bliss.
Although Vedic texts lay significant emphasis on the mind they also make it explicitly clear that we are not the mind. According to various Rishis, “Those who think themselves as mind suffer pain.”
In Bhagavad Gita Krishna says “Mind is the cause for the bondage as well as the liberation of a person.”
According to Vedic Rishi (Sage) Sushruta, “If the mind is happy the body is healthy if the mind isn’t happy it’ll be a matter of time before the body begins to infest with diseases.”
In Yoga Vashistha, Rishi Vashistha says to then Prince of Ayodhya and Scion of Ikshwaku – Rama “For a troubled mind the world is a hopeless place whereas for a mind that is at peace the world is a place of great possibilities.” Therefore, “a leader without a peaceful mind will never be able to sustain neither his power nor peace in his realm. It takes a leader with a sage spirit to lead his people to happiness and prosperity.”
So, what do these Rishis actually mean when they mention “You are not the mind” or “…being controlled by the mind”? This question, although very crucial a great many people don’t even think about it.
Consider these circumstances:
- You see a person drawing a better salary than you. You don’t like it and, over that, you begin to loathing that person.
- You see someone doing better in your life and instead of appreciating him, you start feeling jealous.
- You love a person and when that person doesn’t reciprocate your feelings you begin to hate that person.
- You are unable to appreciate things you already have in life and you desire things you may want and you start feeling abject frustration.
- Nothing wrong has happened in your life and yet you feel horrible and become grumpy.
- You never question the validity of your desire and purse it with all you’ve got with no sense of clarity. When you fail you feel bad. When you succeed your “happiness” is short-lived.
- You are angered without any rhyme or reason.
These are certain conditions which point to the fact that you are controlled by your mind and not otherwise. So, what is the idea of being in control of your mind?
- Once you’ve desired something, instead of blindly following on them you halt and ask if that which you desire is what you really want. You will analyze the ramifications of pursuing those desires. You don’t rush, take your time think it through, then decide before acting on it.
- You do not feel excessively angry, frustrated, irritated. Every time you have those irrational feelings you will halt, breathe and think of reasons causing those feelings. You will take a break instead of acting on your emotions.
- When you are in trouble. You won’t waste time brooding, cursing or hurling allegations. Instead, you’ll focus your energy on, first, calming your mind and, then, do everything in your power to get out of the rut.
- You are not disturbed by the opinions of others. While you will appreciate comments and suggestions, you’d know when not to listen. You will be indifferent to people’s appreciation or criticism.
- Even under extreme testing circumstances you are able to think clearly and never act impulsively.
- You don’t worry too much about what has happened or be concerned about the future.
True, the aforementioned facets are too good to be true. And, a great many people may wonder if this is actually possible. Particularly, a way to be so at all times.
The mind is fickle. It is always a monkey. And when you let that monkey mind go on a free reign you more certainly can imagine the adverse consequences emanating from it. But yes, Vedic Rishis presented a very pragmatic approach to managing the mind. The first step is to understand by knowing the mind.
There are a few important concepts of mind found in various Vedic Texts which are of great importance to those who intend to master their mind instead of being its slave. They are:
- Manoyoga – State of the mind
- Manokalmasha – Impurities of the mind
- Manoshakthi – Power of the mind
- Manobala – Strength of the mind
- Manodaurbalya – Weakness of the mind
- Manovyaadhi – Ailments of the mind
- Manovairi – Enemy of the mind, inimical thoughts
- Manomitram – Friend of the mind
There are three states of mind Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. When the mind is at peace and is able to think clearly without any sense of confusion it is the mind that has the quality of Sattva or simply Satvic. This is the state of mind every intelligent person desires.
If the mind has many confusions and lacks clarity it’s the mind in a state of Rajas, or Rajasic. Such a mind desires to get rid of its confusion and have clarity and become Sattvic.
If the mind is always agitated, blames others for one’s pains, suffers and makes other suffer through its agitation and create a state of chaos around it, then such mind is in a state of Rajas or Rajasic.
If the mind is in a state of Rajasic or Tamasic it’s important to bring it to a state of Satvic is the objective of Manoyoga.
Manoyoga as an idea is an integral part of greater Yogic traditions including Astanga Yoga compiled by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras and professed by Vashishtha in Yoga Vasistha.
The mind becomes Rajasic or Tamasic owing to distractions of mind. Distractions of the mind are those which have little or no utility in achieving the mental equilibrium or objectives being pursued by an individual through his mind. These distractions of minds are defined as Manokalmasha.
When a mind has no idea about its own self, the reason for its irrational emotions, then it is to be understood as Manokalmasha. The functional reason for most of the mental problems is the absence of adequate information about the mind itself.
Knowledge and wisdom are, therefore, the single most cure for all ailments of the mind and also the strength of the mind when they are known. Knowledge and wisdom upon knowing which the mind is liberated of fears are known as Manoshakti or Power of the mind.
Power and Strength are two different things. They are never the same. Power is your potential, strength is your reality. If you have the power in you and are not exerting it rightly with just strength it’s certain that you won’t be able to achieve anything significant. When knowledge and wisdom are imbibed is then put to work through external organs in a way as to retain the balance of the mind it is regarded as Manobala – or strength of the mind.
There are things which a mind is capable of doing and yet it fails to do so. It’s owing to fears of various hues and colors and resulting negative emotions including lust, anger, greed, infatuation, ego, and envy. These things make mind loiter and engage in things that are often counterproductive. They also add to mental imbalances and are termed as Manodaurbalya – or the weaknesses of the mind.
When the weakness of the mind becomes a routine or a habit, it becomes an ailment or Manovyaadhi. Such weaknesses attract thoughts and people who often cause a detrimental effect on one’s life – making life from bad to worse. Such inimical thoughts and people are termed as Manovairi – or the enemy of the mind.
Thoughts which crushes the detrimental thoughts within the mind and delivers us from people who can have detrimental effects on our lives are verily the friend of the mind – or Manomitram.
In simple term Vedic Leadership Counseling is about attaining a Sattvic state of mind whose intent is to alleviate the impurities of the mind (Manokalmasha), increase the power of the mind (Manoshakti) and the strength of the mind (Manobala) in a way that no weakness of the mind (Manodaurbalya) remains, curing ailments of the mind (Manovyadhi) and distancing from the enemy of the mind (Manovairi) while identifying and retaining friends of the mind (Manomitram).