Question 29: When the mind is at rest

Question 29: When the mind is at restWhen the mind is at rest – quiescence – we have the capacity to experience who we truly are. When the mind is at rest, we might say ‘neti, neti‘(not this, not this) to all that phenomena that threatens to impinge upon us from the exterior. When the mind is at rest, and the time is ripe, that which is may emerge and reveal our true selves.

ATMABHAVA: Spirituality
ATMABHIMANA: Attachment to the Atma; Spiritual yearning
ATMA BRAHMASMI: One who is ever immersed in the contemplation of the true reality.
ATMA-CHINTHANA: Meditation on the Atma
ATMADARSHANA: Seeing everyone as Atma
ATMA-DHARMA: Dharma based on Atma—consciousness; Divine Atma
ATMA-JNANA: Self-awareness
ATMA-JNANI: The Knower of the Self
ATMA-JYOTI: The light of the Atma which the sages proclaim exists in everyone.
ATMANANDA: Bliss to the soul
ATMA-NIVEDANAM: Total surrender to God
ATMANUBHAVA: Atmic bliss
ATMA-SAKSHATKAARA: Self-Realisation through the revelation of the Atma. Direct Perception of The Self.
ATMA-SAMYAMA: Control of the senses, detachment from the outer sensory world, withdrawal of the mind from the outer world.
ATMA-SANYASA: One who is filled with the principles of Vedantic thought
ATMA-SHAKTHI: Spiritual power; The power of the Self, from which the Life-Force originates, and it makes use of this power to carry out its activities.
ATMA-STHITHI: The very characteristic of the Atma, which is non-activity
ATMA-SUDDHI: Self-Purification; Purity of Self
ATMASWARUPA: The embodiment of the Atma
ATMA-THATHWA: Reality of the spirit
ATMATHRPTHI: Genuine joy, versus
ALPATHRPTHI: Paltry satisfaction
ATMA VICHARA: Inquiry into the nature of Atma
ATMA-VIDYA: The knowledge that the Atma is the basis of all beings. The realisation of the reality of the Atma or the soul as one’s reality. The science of self-control.
ATMAVISVAASA: Self-Confidence

Question 29: Sir, how is the mind brought to the state of quiescence?

Answer : Ramji, the mind is brought to that state in three ways :
(i) dispassion (vairagya),
(ii) contemplation (vichar) and
(iii) practice (abhyas).

When a jiva is firmly established in these three, his spiritual strength is enhanced, his mind becomes non-ideational, i.e. it resolves back in itself, and he attains the quiescent Atmic state.

Question 30: Sir, how is interest in vairagya (dispassion), abhyas (practice) and vichar (contemplation) developed in a jiva?

Answer: Ramji, these virtues develop in a seeker who has either inherited from his previous births good qualities like worship (japa), penance and fasting (tapa) and contentment (santosh), or who concentrates on the words of saints and scriptures. Being fit for gyan (knowledge; knowledge of Atma; the highest realisation;), such a seeker attains Atma. He, who has in this manner, realised the spiritual state, always enjoys peace and tranquillity. Misery results from body-ego. When body-ego vanishes, a jiva attains the supreme bliss, all his bonds are destroyed, and he is liberated.

Man is fundamentally Atma, but he has the encasement of a body, hasn’t he? From one point of view, man is not distinct from the body, is he? In spite of this, however, man feels that he is not this body, that his reality is distinct from it, that he is not the baby he was or the old man he is, that he is neither male nor female, and that he persists through babyhood, boyhood, middle age and old age, masculinity and femininity and all the other stages and changes. So too, the Cosmos and all creation are but the billion bodies of God. He is all this and in all this, but He is changeless and eternal. Nature is amenable to change. The Atma too can contract or expand, blossom or fade, shine or be befogged. Bad deeds will diminish its splendour by clouding its brilliance. Its innate and genuine truth and wisdom may be hidden by evil thoughts and deeds. Those acts and practices that can disclose the native splendour and glory of the Atman are termed ‘good’.

The Atma is ‘unbound’ at first, but later it is seen as limited and restricted. Through good deeds and activities, it resumes its vastness and boundlessness.


Question 29: When the mind is at rest