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Mind, Thoughts and Human Nature
|by Mandar Karanjkar|
Mind of a human being is the driving force behind all of his actions. This mind controls the wills and the wishes of the person. All the noble things that happen under this sun are an outcome of this mind and at the same time each and every sin being committed, is committed under the influence of the mind. Many researchers have worked a lot to find out how mind works. Indian mystics and philosophers also, have contemplated much on this mind. The key fact is that, knowing the working of mind as it is described in Indian mystics, much within a human can be changed. So, here I will like to discuss some very striking insights about Thoughts, Mind and how they work.
What is a thought? In general, thought can be of two types-
1. General Thought
2. Influential Thought
General thought has hardly any influence on human life. The whole human life is governed by the influential thought. Indian mystics have dealt very wonderfully with this concept of influential thought. There are two ways in general which describe relation between mind, thought and human nature-
1. The way of Mystic Tilopa
Tilopa has been one of the contemplative mystics. In his Master piece, known as The Song of Mahamudra, Tilopa says that mind is like the sky and thoughts are like the clouds. Thoughts simply come and go but space is not at all affected by them. If white cloud comes, space appears white and if dark cloud comes, it appears dark; but in the reality, space has no colour of its own. This is the darkness or ignorance about the nature of mind and that’s why, we attach ourselves with thoughts. To know that mind is nothing but colourless and form less space and thoughts come and go without even touching it is the true understanding of the nature of the mind.
So, according to Tilopa, mind should be untouched by the thoughts. They should come and go; but mind must not identify itself with any of these thoughts.
This is the way used by almost all the other mystics. Even, Zen sect has its prime focus on this Thoughtlessness state. This way simply stops all the thoughts. It has been said that thoughts are like waves in a pond. They distort the rays of light coming in. In the same way, thoughts are the waves in our perception. They alter the way things are received. So, main focus of this way lies on completely stopping the thoughts, which will lead us to a clear vision of world as it is in reality. In other words, to attain a thoughtlessness state.This thoughtlessness makes the mind as still as a pond, whose bottom can be seen very easily, without any distortion.
3. No-Mind State
No Mind state is very similar to the way of Tilopa. In this state, you just drop your mind. In other words, you pay no heed to your mind. If a baby falls down while playing, it cries only when someone is looking at it. If no one is there, it simply gets up and starts playing again. We should treat mind the same way. We should not at all pay any heed to what goes on in mind. As a result, the process of thought formation will stop automatically, because when no one is noticing, mind, just like a baby, stops producing thoughts.
All of these ways, though they appear quite different at surface, work on the same principle- Keep a safe distance. My opinion is that, we should have mind like a knife in the pocket. We are not at all slave of it. We will not be used by it; on the other hand, we can use it for self protection whenever needed. If humans are able to deal with their thoughts without being attached to them, I think all the problems that stand in front of society today, will drop down.
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