Question 111: The Mind and Actions – what is distinct?

mirage on roadway
The young Rama queries the sage who has told that there is no distinction between Brahman and the mind, no distinction between the agent and action. So what is going on, who is the doer, and how does this relate to the Soul and to the All?


Glossary:
Atma-satta The potency of Atma (the Soul).
Brahm-satta the potency of Brahman
chitta: individual consciousness
mithya:Hin. adj. wrong; deceptive; useless; of false appearance Hin. m., f., pl., San. ind. a mixture of truth and falsehood – that which is apparently real for practical purposes, but is found to be fundamentally unreal when the true Reality is known. The nature of the world is mithya
moksha: liberation, for salvation, and of liberation, liberation from material bondage

Divider

Question 111: Sir, according to you there is no distinction between Brahman and mind or between agent (doer) and action (karma), and since the actions (karma) arise from the agent, the two are integral or identical. How can this be so? The scriptures say that a jiva assumes a body according to his past actions (karma), and acts accordingly; but how can Brahman, jiva and actions (karma) be identical? Kindly explain fully and remove my doubts.

Answer: Ramji, you have raised a good question. Now listen to me intently so that you may attain knowledge. The ideation or modification in Pure Consciousness — Atma — is called the mind (manas). The mind is the seed of all actions and all actions are the product (fruit) of this seed. Just as there is no distinction between flower and fragrance, so there is no distinction between mind and actions (karma). Actions (karma) are produced out of the ideations (sankalpa) arising in the mind. No action is possible in the absence of ideation. The mind is the primeval body of a jiva and the actions (karma) of this mental body bear the results (fruits). The ideation arising in the mind becomes an action, and that is karma. The physical body would be inert and immobile if there were no ideation in the mind. The life of a jiva itself is mind and actions (karma), and no one is an exception to it. The mind is of the nature of action and it is the seed of everything. The mind causes mobility, and the body just obeys. If the mind were not to conceive movement, the body would remain stationary. Thus both mind and actions (karma) are of the nature of ideations. There is no distinction between actions (karma) and mind, the two are identical. Actions of mind, and not of body, fructify, or if the mind were not associated with the body, the body by itself would not do anything. The body in itself is inert, and the mind is sentient. The mind grants consciousness to the body. Hence all scriptures ordain that there is no distinction between mind and karma (actions).

Due to ignorance, however, the ignorant conceive difference between the two. The wise understand them correctly. Just as there is no distinction between ornaments and gold, waves and ocean, and that the waves arise and merge in the ocean, so also both mind and actions (karma) arise together in Atma-satta and merge in it and are identical. When the chitta is still or is free from ideations, actions also vanish. When actions disappear, the chitta becomes still and the individual soul (jiva) is liberated (jivanmukta). It indicates that actions are a form of chitta and chitta is the form of actions — the two are indistinguishable. The mind is just a tendency and the latter is another name for ideation (or modification) which is of the nature of activity. This activity-like ideation leads to various results — good or bad.

 

mirage on roadway

A mirage is a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays bend via refraction to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky. The word comes to English via the French (se) mirer, from the Latin mirari, meaning “to look at, to wonder at”.
“As fog before the Sun, Ignorance melts away before Knowledge.” Knowledge is acquired by uninterrupted inquiry. One should constantly be engaged in Inquiry on the nature of Bramhan: the reality of the I, the transformations that occur to the individual at birth and at death and such matters. As you remove the husk that covers the rice, so too the ignorance that adheres to the mind has to be removed by the frequent application of the abrasive Atmic inquiry. It is only when full knowledge is won that one can get liberated, or, in other words, attain Moksha. After the attainment of the above-said Atmic knowledge, one has to follow the path of Brahman and act according to the New Wisdom.

All doubts that afflict the mind have to be solved by consulting those who know, or the Sadgurus one has the chance to meet. Until one gets firmly fixed in the path that the Guru or Sastra has shown, one has to obey the rules and directions steadfastly and be in their company or be associated with them one way or other. Because one can progress very fast if one keeps close to the Wise Person who has realised the Truth, one must with unrestricted renunciation and sincere earnestness follow the instructions of the Teacher and of the Sastras; this is the real Tapas; this Tapas leads on to the highest stage.

When ignorance and its concomitant delusion disappear, the Atma in every one shines in Its own splendour. All that we see is as a mirage, the super-imposition of something over the Real and the mistaking of that for this. Things have a beginning and an end; they evolve and involve, there is evolution as well as involution. When all is subsumed by involution, or Pralaya, only Moolaprakriti or the Causal Substance endures. Only the unmanifested Cause survives the universal dissolution.

When gold is melted in the crucible, it shines with a strange yellow glory. Where did that light emanate from? From the gold or from the fire? What happened was only the removal of the dross by the fire; the effulgence belonged to the gold itself; it is its very nature. The fire is only an instrument for the removal of the dross. Nothing has been added to the gold by the fire in the crucible!

 

Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaaya Dhimahi
Tanno Hamsha Pracodayaat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”