Mould for the Mind

From the teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

The body with its organs is none other than the mind. The physical body is the outward manifestation of the mind. The mind is the subtle form of this physical body. The mind contemplating upon the body becomes the body itself and, enmeshed in it, is afflicted by it.

All the bodies have their seat only in the mind. Should the mind be paralyzed, the body will not evince intelligence. Can a garden exist without water? It is the mind which transacts all business and is the highest of the bodies. Mental actions are the real actions. The mind performs actions speedily in the linga sharir and fluctuates thereby.

But, the gross body knows not anything and is inert. Even if this gross body is dissolved, the mind will assume quickly fresh bodies to its liking. This physical body is the mould made by the mind for its own enjoyment, the outpouring of its energy and gaining different experiences of this world through the five avenues or channels of knowledge, the five jnanendriyas, the organs of knowledge or perception.

A body of thoughts

The actions of the mind are indeed actions, not so much those of the body. The body is really one’s thoughts, moods, convictions and emotions objectified and made visible to the naked eye. It is a point worthy to note with care that every cell in the body suffers or grows, receives a life-impulse or a death-impulse from every thought that enters the mind, for one tends to grow into the image of that which one thinks about most.

When the mind is turned to a particular thought and dwells on it, a definite vibration of matter is set up. The more often this vibration is caused, the more it tends to repeat itself to become a habit, to become automatic. The body follows the mind and imitates its changes. If one concentrates one’s thought, the eyes become fixed. Every change in thought makes a vibration in the mental body and this, when transmitted to the physical body, causes activity in the nervous matter of the brain. This activity in the nervous cells causes many electrical and chemical changes in them. It is thought-activity which causes these changes.

Index of the mind

The mind is the subtle form of the physical body. The physical body is the outward manifestation of the mind. When the mind is rough, the body is rough. As a man of rough appearance generally cannot invoke the love and mercy of others, so a rough-minded man cannot invoke the love and mercy from anybody. The mind conspicuously reflects on the face its various states which an intelligent person can easily read. The face is an index of the mind, just as the tongue is an index of the stomach.

The body follows the mind. If the mind thinks of falling from a height, the body prepares itself immediately and shows external signs. Fear, anxiety, grief, cheerfulness, hilarity and anger produce their various impressions on the face. The eyes which represent the windows of the soul bespeak of the condition and state of the mind. There is a telegraphic instrument in the eyes to transmit the messages or thoughts of treachery, fraud, gloom, pure love, devotion, peace, harmony, health, power, strength and beauty.

If one has the faculty to read the eyes of others, one can read the mind at once. One can read the uppermost thought or dominant thought of a person if one is careful to mark the signs in the face, conversation and behaviour. It needs a little pluck, acumen, training, intelligence and experience.

Thoughts, sentiments, modes and emotions produce strong impressions on the face. The face is like an advertisement wherein is advertised what is going on inside the mind. In the face, one can hardly hide one’s thoughts. One may foolishly think that the thoughts are kept secret. Thoughts of passion, greed, jealousy, anger, and revenge at once produce deep impressions on the face. The face is a faithful recorder and a sensitive registering apparatus to register and record the thoughts that are running in the mind. The face is a polished mirror to indicate the nature of the mind and its contents at a particular time. He who thinks that he can hide his thoughts is a dunce of the first order. His position is like that of the ostrich which, when chased by the hunters, hides its head underneath the sand and imagines that it cannot be seen by anyone.

The face is like a gramophone record. Whatever one thinks is at once written on the face. Every vicious thought serves as a chisel or needle to write down the thoughts on one’s countenance. Faces are covered with the scars and wounds which are made by the vicious thoughts of anger, passion and jealousy. From the nature of the scar in the face, one can at once read the state of mind and diagnose the disease of the mind.

Influence between mind and body

The mind is intimately connected with the body. The mind acts upon the body and the body reacts upon the mind. Mind has influence over the body. A pure, healthy mind means a healthy body. Grief weakens the body. In turn, the body influences the mind. If the body is strong and healthy, the mind also becomes healthy and strong. If the body is sick, the mind also becomes sick. Pain in the stomach causes depression in the mind.

Bad thoughts

Bad thoughts are the primary cause of diseases afflicting the body. Whatever one holds in the mind will be produced in the physical body. Any ill-feeling or bitterness towards another person will at once affect the body and produce some kind of disease. Intense passions, long-standing bitter jealousy and corroding anxiety actually destroy the cells of the body and induce diseases of the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, and stomach. Violent fits of hot temper do serious damage to the brain cells, throw poisonous chemicals into the blood, produce general shock and depression and suppress the secretion of gastric juice, bile and other digestive juices in the alimentary canal, drain away energy, vitality, induce premature old age and shorten life.

When the mind is agitated, then this body is also agitated. Wherever the body goes, the mind follows. When both the body and mind are agitated, the prana flows in a wrong direction. Instead of pervading the whole body steadily and equally, it will vibrate at an unequal rate. The food is not digested properly and diseases originate. If the primary cause is removed, then all diseases will disappear. The pains that afflict the physical body are called secondary diseases, while the vasanas and desires that affect the mind are termed mental or primary diseases. If bad thoughts are destroyed, bodily diseases will vanish. Purity of mind means a healthy body. Therefore, one should be careful in one’s thinking and the selection of one’s thoughts. Noble, sublime, loving and kind thoughts should be entertained at all times, and a life of harmony, health and beauty will be enjoyed.

Doctor and patient

It is lamentable to note that many doctors in the world, particularly the allopathic doctors, exaggerate the nature of the disease to their patients. They fill their minds with imaginary fears of all sorts. They do not know the power of suggestions and their influences on the minds of their patients. As greed is ingrained in their minds and the desire to become rich is deep-rooted, they try their level best to extract from their patients as much money as they can.

If they say to their patients, “This disease is nothing. I will cure you within a couple of hours,” who is going to pay them amply? They give wrong suggestions to their patients, “This is a terrible disease. This is an incurable disease. A dangerous poison, a dangerous microbe is lurking in your lungs.” The poor patient spends sleepless nights on account of imaginary fear and wrong suggestions given by the doctor. Every moment he thinks, “I may die at any moment. The doctor has said that my disease is dangerous and incurable.” He drags a cheerless existence. The worry, anxiety and fear destroy millions of red blood-corpuscles daily. Another reason the doctor gives the wrong suggestions is to glorify his skill and dexterity in the profession.

The root of all evils

The erroneous imagination that one is the body is the root of all evils. Through wrong thinking, one identifies with the body. Dehadhyasa, false identification with the body, arises. One is attached to the body and this is abhimana, egoism, from where mamata, mineness, arises. One identifies with one’s wife, children, house, and so on. It is identification or attachment that brings about bondage, misery and pain.

You never wept when millions of Germans died in the war. Why? Because, there was no identification and attachment. But, you weep profusely when your son dies, on account of attachment. The word ‘my’ produces wonderful influences in the mind. Note the difference in effects produced in the mind when you hear the two sentences, “The horse is dead,” and “My horse is dead.”