Is The Mind A Spiritual Or Physical Entity?
Mind is a part of our internal functioning mechanism where thoughts arise.
Just like the other senses, the human mind has its own function. The function of mind is to think. It is neither good nor bad. It is made up of knots or tubers. When external and inner circumstances arise, the tuber in the mind erupts and sprouts. The ‘sprouting’ of a tuber is the beginning of a thought and these thoughts come and go. So, our job is to let the mind think without getting engrossed in the thoughts.
Mind is in its own nature, it is we who do not understand the science of the mind and therefore try to push it away. Once we know its nature, role and keys to deal with it, we shall be better equipped to work with it!
So is mind a physical entity?
The mind is completely physical just like a machine.
The nature of mind is constantly wavering. We find it difficult when the mind wavers too much. The moment it starts doing anything, it is in a hurry to complete it and jump onto the next thing. The reason for people’s current state is this – a very restless and contradictory nature of the mind. One thought will arise saying, ‘I will do this’, and within a moment, we notice that the mind has changed; it now says, ‘I don’t want to do it anymore’.
Yet, mind is necessary to take us to the path of liberation. Therefore, it should be allowed to blossom.
Lord Krishna has said in the Gita that mind is the cause for man’s bondage and mind is the very cause for man’s freedom too.
Mind is like a ‘boat’ in the ‘ocean of life’; you can cross the ocean of life and reach the shore through this boat. The whole world is swimming in the ocean of life. They swim a little but they sink, again they come up, swim and sink; and that is why they get tired. It is the boat that will take you to Liberation; but this boat can also make you wander around in the worldly life.
When does this boat help in taking you towards Liberation?… when you know how to navigate this boat.
Suppose mind is going in the wrong direction. Now, if you know how to turn that mind onto the right way, the mind will move in the right direction with the same speed. So, if you meet an Enlightened being who can bestow upon you the real knowledge of the Self – if you were to look for such a person and you find him; he will set the compass in the direction of liberation, after which your mind, like a boat, will flow in the set direction. Once the Gnani Purush bestows upon you the divine vision, which gives you awareness of the Self, you begin to recognize the tubers of the mind, and each tuber starts dissolving as you continue to see it with the given divine vision.
Thus, to conclude, although the mind is a physical entity, it is a necessary instrument on the path of spirituality to attain liberation. But just as you need a vessel to contain and confine water, you need Gnan (real knowledge of the Self) to confine the mind. There is no need for restraint of mind, nor any need to control the mind when one has Gnan! The only need is to find the Gnani Purush (enlightened being), who can give it the right direction!!!
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