The Evolution of the Human Mind to Divinity
Human life is an ideological flow from animality to divinity. The human mind has very special traits. It is malleable, soft and pliable. It can move. It is capable of change. The very nature of mind is change. When consciousness remains in complete stillness without any movement, it is no longer mind but Purusha, consciousness. When consciousness contains the quality and characteristic of movement, it becomes mind. When Prakrti uses her three gunas to bind the consciousness of Purusha, first, she binds with sattvaguna and there comes awareness of Self, self-awareness, "I know that I exist." Then she uses rajas guna, the quality of movement. Sattva has the quality of knowing. Rajas has activity, doing, the quality of movement. Then there is both awareness and the feeling of doership. Then tamas comes and solidifies everything. The three gunas combine to form a malleable substance called mind.
Mind has ahamtattva, mahatattva and citta. As the three gunas dominate, they bring different aspects of mind. Due to the binding of the gunas, mind has the fundamental principle of movement. Without the binding of the gunas causing this fundamental movement within consciousness, Purusha would be unbound and completely free. There would be no movement at all. When mind's movements engage more and more in the object world, then tamas guna dominates the mind more and more. With tamas guna, mind gets stuck in ideas and beliefs. Tamas is static principle. Mind gets stuck in pursuit of survival, pursuit of food, clothing, and shelter in relationship with the material world. Purusha, bound in the movements of mind, associated with material world and physical body engages in observing the physical body's needs and desires and becomes completely absorbed in those. Consciousness grows more objectified and crude. Now Purusha is spending all his time getting food, shelter, clothing and procreating.
Then, as mind grows in magnitude, the Purusha gets a little shot of sattvaguna. Mind expands and frees the consciousness, Purusha, somewhat from the burden of material survival. When one meditates, one gets a little shot of sattvaguna, an inoculation. This inoculation causes the influence of tamas upon the mind to lessen. Rajas increases and sattva increases. Then as mind continues to grow in magnitude, rajas also lessens. The rajasic restlessness of the mind quiets. Mind is dominated by the feeling of "I-ness," by the feeling of "me." As sattva grows and dominates, the mind no longer wants to dwell simply on the survival of the body but it adores lofty principles, abstracts ideas, spiritual waves and flows of energy. The waves of the light from the supreme entity and the waves of bliss of the divine being begin to permeate the perceptual field and mind identifies with this.
Because it is malleable, mind takes the shape of whatever it ideates upon. When it is engrossed always in the material world, it takes that shape. It is so busy taking the shape of the material world that it has no time for recognizing its own nature. However, due to the introspective process of Brahma sadhana, the mind grows in magnitude. By reflecting on its own nature and growing in scope, the mind becomes self-aware. It gets a little separation. The practices of awareness, vipassana and so on are very good for this, to bring the mind from immersing in the object universe, from complete absorption with citta to a separation where one can see, "I am not all these thoughts and feelings or the tummy ache. I am not these. These are things I am witnessing."
Mind comes to the basic feeling of doership and then it comes to the feeling, "I exist." With the freeing of mind as it grows in magnitude, the living beings can become truly themselves. They can truly come to know the one Self that does not change, whose nature is sattvic, not depending on projection or feeling a doership but is in its very experience of "I-ness," selfhood. The one omnipresent cosmic Self is inseparable from your own Self and from the Self of every being.
Q. Vipassana practice is like a witness-ship?
A. This type of awareness practice is to separate the self from the object world, to separate the sense of consciousness that immerses in mind from citta and bring it back to the ahamtattva and finally to the mahatattva. This type of awareness practice is beneficial for separating mind from immersion in citta. When you watch a movie or read a book and you are so absorbed, you forget you are reading a book or watching a movie, you are just living the experience of the plot. You are so absorbed that you forget who you are. You think you are the character in the movie. When you become self-aware you say, "Oh, I am not that character. It is just a movie. I am myself" This separates awareness and you remember that it is just a movie and you are separate. That quality of separation requires a certain awareness. When you lose that awareness, you become completely absorbed. Now, it may be pleasurable to be absorbed from time to time in the movie and even in the movie of your existence, but sometimes it gets a little unpleasant. It is best to find the separation, the distance between. To do this, one applies guru mantra and madhuvidya.
Awareness practice can do this but madhuvidya has an advantage over awareness practice. Awareness practice makes you aware, "Ah, I am watching a movie." It gives you that much, "I am watching the movie. I know it is a movie and I am not the movie." That much you get but when you do madhuvidya, not only do you say, "Ah, I am not the movie," but you remind yourself what the movie really is. All is Brahma. Madhuvidya gives you two benefits. One is to separate as in the awareness practice of vipassana but the other is to remind yourself of the true nature of the reality. Even when you do not directly witness this, you train the mind in proper thinking. Then, because the mind has a proper orientation, when the experience itself comes, it sits very nicely in the mind and is no shock at all. You already know. Then it becomes the experience, not just the thought, "All is Brahma. All is Brahma. There is nothing outside of Brahma."
Q. It is not so hard when things are going well but things are not going so well and I feel anger or something and can step back a little, but …
A. When you are really in the movie and it is getting very exciting, it is very hard to separate. You engage, invest your emotions and even when you separate, you want to be involved. The same is true in this movie of your life and so, when the passions run high and the action is strong and it is very compelling, then you want to do it. Then, something bad happens and it gets very hard and you think, "Oh, why am I so wrapped up in this?" It is a knotty problem because on the one hand, you like it very much, and on the other hand, it can be very unpleasant. That is why the Buddha said that human life is ultimately suffering because even pleasant things lead to pain and suffering. Therefore, one must find the true nature of the Self. It is the only true freedom. When one sees the Self, it does not mean one cannot enjoy a favorite movie or book. It means one knows the nature of reality.