A sattvic mind needed for Self-enquiry (Atma-Vichara)
by Swami Sivananda
by Swami Sivananda
A sharp, subtle, one-pointed, Sattvic (pure) mind is needed for Atma-Vichara (enquiry into Atman or the Supreme Spirit) and study of Upanishads. A gross mind or practical (Vyavaharic-worldly) Buddhi with selfishness and lust is absolutely unfit for Vichara and philosophical ratiocination. Selfishness clouds understanding. Selfishness is the bane of life. The mind of a worldling is ever ready to absorb sexual thoughts. It cannot imbibe subtle, philosophical ideas. It is callous and cannot vibrate properly to take in philosophical ideas. You can drive a nail in clay, but not in a stone. The mind has to be purified by Nishkama Karma, Japa, Pranayama and other spiritual Sadhanas.
Mind is compared to a mirror. If the mirror is dirty, you cannot see your face clearly. Similarly, if the mind-mirror is dirty (full of Mala, impurities- Kama (desire), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), etc.), you cannot see God clearly; you cannot see the Self clearly. The light of Brahman cannot shine efficiently. Clean it up with effort daily, through spiritual Sadhana, meditation, strenuous Nishkama Karma Yoga (selfless action), devotion, etc. You will realise God.
"Manasaiva-anudrashtavyam" is the utterance of the Srutis (sacred texts). Brahman is to be seen by the mind. Here 'mind' means the Suddha Manas (pure mind).
Brahman can be seen by a mind which is equipped with the four means of salvation; which is rendered subtle and pure by the practice of Sama, Dama, Yama and Niyama; which is furnished with the sacred instructions of a qualified Guru and which does Sravana (hearing), Manana (reflection) and Nididhyasana (constant meditation). Should the pure mind concentrate itself for some time through a study of Jnana Sastras, Satsang (association with the wise) and an uninterrupted practice of meditation, then in such persons developing Jnana, a divine vision will dawn in which there will be a direct cognition of the one Reality.
Slay the Impure Mind
The enemy of Atman is the impure mind, which is replete with excessive delusion and a host of thoughts. This mischievous and powerful imp of lower mind is the generator of all pains and all fears and the destroyer of all noble, spiritual wealth. Your real enemy is this impure mind only which is full of delusion, Trishnas (cravings), Vasanas (subtle desires) and host of other impurities. Lest this enemy of mind should spoil you in diverse ways through the "enjoyments" of the many "pleasures" in this world, slay it in the hope of getting eternal bliss and spiritual illumination. Destroy the lower Asuddha (impure) Manas through the higher Suddha Manas. Destroy your instinctive mind through discrimination and help of your higher, Sattvic mind. Then and then alone will you get eternal, infinite peace and bliss of Atman. Then alone will you become a Jivanmukta.
read all essay here: Two kinds of mind