Invitation To Health: 33 ►How Much Time For Mind?

Published: 20.04.2017

Important question

Compared to body mind is more powerful and useful but the question is how much time is devoted to body and how much to mind? Mind is more important than body but do we plan time for it? To provide nutrition to body we eat four-five times, we care for quality of food, and efforts are made to see that it is full of nutritious elements and vitamins. Care is taken that body gets oily substances, carbohydrate, and minerals. According to season, there is change in foodstuff. We want body to be healthy; do not want it to be weak. We do all these efforts for body.

Question is, do we pay attention about consciousness, mind, and vital breaths? Do we ever think whether or not mind is getting proper nutrition? In the want of nutrition, will not the power of mind be distorted or become weak? Will mind not create troubles? Do we ever think about this? Very few people think on this matter.

Mind alone is not life

Human being lives life. Body alone is not life. Life is a union of body, vital breaths and consciousness. If mere body were life then after death, also life should have been there but after death body remains but life does not remain. Vital energy is life in the body. Vital breath also is not independent. The power animating vital breaths is consciousness. When there is union of these three, there is life otherwise not. Absence of any one of these three disturbs entire life system. Today entire attention of human being is stuck to body only. It is natural also that whatever is faced attention is paid to it only. That which is not in the front is not much attended to. Gross is more attended; and subtle is less attended. Body is gross; mind is subtle. Consciousness is still more subtle. On it attention is not at all paid.

Concern is of body alone

In the science of medicine, there is much research on body. Regarding each and every cell of the body there has been minute knowledge. Even today investigations are going on, experiments are being conducted, but on vital energy there has not been sufficient research work. Science functions through instruments. There has been no such instrument, which can control vital energy, and therefore it is beyond the grasp of science. Vital breath is subtle, consciousness is still more subtle, and therefore entire attention is given to the gross, to body. Abundance of foodstuff, plenty of medicines- all these are acquired because body has to remain healthy. Everyone has concern for the body but it is a matter of surprise that no one care for the one who animates the body. Perhaps this is the reason why these days there are too much of diseases and untimely deaths.

Mere body does not work, it ends up soon. It is believed that our heart can function for three hundred years. So much is the capacity of heart. Our bones and our brain are very strong they have the capacity to work for a long period but they soon become inactive because do not care for vital energy. May be, body thinks that human being only cares for me and not for one who makes me move and therefore I should get finished soon. All concerns of today's human are body-centered. He does not care for vital breaths, mind and consciousness. In such a situation, how can the power of vital breaths, mind and consciousness be in order?

Let us peep beyond body

A human being becomes sixty, seventy, eighty years old. He becomes aged but he does not get any time to think or he does not know at all that beyond body there is something else also. We should pay attention to something beyond body. Human being is entangled in 'seen' only the 'seen' creates such delusion and stupor that it becomes impossible to break it and go beyond. It is necessary that we peep beyond body.

Next to body our other power is sense organs. This power of sense organs is power of consciousness. The eyeball, ear, nose etc. are forms that do not have the power of senses. However, the power of consciousness animating the senses by which human being sees, speaks, hears, and smells that power of senses is beyond the body. Beyond that is the power that controls the power of the senses. That is the power of mind. The controller of senses is mind. A thought comes to mind whether sky is clear or storm may come. Immediately eyes go upward and start seeing here and there. A question comes to the mind as to from where voice is coming? Immediately ears become attentive to that side. Like this, whatever comes to mind, it is the function of sense organs to execute that.

Three functions of mind

There are three main functions of mind -feeling of pleasure, feeling of pain, and to stimulate sense organs. To steer the senses is its chief function. Mind does not have the capacity to cognize smell or taste or touch or hear good or bad words. Sensation of these five things depends upon the power of senses, but all the senses work for the mind. They provide raw material to mind. Function of mind is to turn raw material into finished product.

The second and third functions of mind are experience of pleasure and pain. Those who are non-attentive creatures, whose mind is not developed, they will have very feeble experience of pleasure and pain. Those who have developed mind in them experience of pleasure or pain will be intense. All these are functions of mind. The question is that when mind helps in experiences of pleasure and pain, helps in stimulating the senses then why ignore mind in respect of its nutrition?

Nutrition, non-nutrition and bad nutrition

In the science of nutrition three words are in currency— nutrition, non-nutrition and bad nutrition. Not to get food, its absence, this is the situation of non-nutrition. If the food received is harmful, bad, then this is the situation of bad nutrition. Getting right type of food is nutrition. For mind, also all the three things hold good. People do not know how to provide nutrition to mind. They do not provide nutrition to mind or give bad nutrition and that is why mind makes them fool around. The plays of mind are strange. This whole world is a playground of mind. This world is a play of mind. Before these plays biggest games of the world are pale. How many plays mind is exhibiting! Human being entangled in these plays wants to defeat one another.

Play of mind

It was a case of olden times. One scholar went to a king. He was learned but poor. It is true that where there is wisdom there is no wealth and where there is wealth there is no wisdom. Wise person is not wealthy and wealthy is not wise. The scholar saluted the king. The king said, "Oh learned scholar! I have heard that your ancestor Augusta muni exhausted entire water of sea in one handful drink. If you can drink water of three jars I shall give you desired wealth." The scholar was smart. He said, "You have stated the correct thing. I have also heard that your ancestor Ramachandraji constructed a stone bridge on sea and crossed it over. If you can make one pebble float on sea water, then I shall drink water of three jars." The king became silent.

This is the play of mind. To defeat each other, to downplay, to take undue advantage- by these acts mind does not get nutrition, rather gets bad nutrition. By this, the legs of human being start staggering. Had there been this belief that mind should also get nutrition just like body then such plays of mind would not have been witnessed.

Bad nutrition of mind

In Ayurveda, three guas (traits) are discussed. They are sattva, rajas and tamas. As and when mind gets larger quantity of rajogua and tamogua then it becomes victim of bad nutrition. When mind gets this poisonous food, its consequence is increase of ego. What can be the use of ego in consciousness? Consciousness is pure knowledge. Where there is knowledge how can ego be there? Where there is knowledge there is no ego and where there is ego there is no knowledge. When mind gets bad nutrition, ego is awakened in human being. If someone is said to be big or dignified whether from the point of view of wealth or power or knowledge and if ego is not awakened in him then this will be regarded as the tenth wonder of the world. All these are intimately related with ego. The moment wealth is acquired ego increases. Immediately after getting power human being walks taking airs. After getting knowledge he will regard himself to be great intellectual and to others as little knowing or foolish. His ego will start touching the sky. This is bad nutrition of mind.

Good nutrition of mind

The royal pomp and show of rajogua is synonym of ego. The main cause of human down fall is ego. It takes to hell, and it is trans-worldly thing. We may leave it. Even in present life ego leads to down fall. History is replete with such events. Whenever the ruling folk came under the grip of ego then it suffered down fall. If learned people came under the sweep of ego they fell down. Wealthy people also got destroyed under the sway of ego.

Modesty is the greatest virtue of life. It is a good food for mind. It is an excellent vitamin for mind. The tendency to denigrate others, the feeling to usurp the property of others, the feeling of aggression—all these are bad nutrition of mind. It appears that today's human being makes mind to eat a lot but all of it is working for bad nutrition of mind.

Just as the good nutrition of body is not done by taking one thing, likewise mind also needs good nutrition of many virtuous tendencies.   Body needs things with vitamins, minerals, salt etc. likewise mind also for its nutrition needs many things.

Double foolishness

The entire 'savadya yoga' (sinful associations) or eighteen types of indulgence in sins—all this is bad nutrition of mind. Mind is not hungry; it is getting food; it is living, but brain is not functioning properly. All the organs of body are not functioning properly because the poor mind is getting bad food. When it gets bad food then it will exhibit its play, will torment. Today how many people are suffering from mental torments! Its reason is that human being is giving bad nutrition to mind. How can he escape from mental torture? If there has to be escape from mental tortures and tensions then mind will have to be given good nutrition. When mind is not given balance food then why to complain that there are so many worries, mind is not well? Some people say mind is not in order, makes us dance to its tunes, passions are troubling. But they do not think that what are we doing for the mind? Why are we blaming it? When we ourselves are giving bad nutrition to mind then why are we afraid of its inevitable consequences? This is double foolishness. The consequence of action has to be borne. The Lord said, "Biiyamandavsa balaya". This is double foolishness of the fool. One act of foolishness was committed earlier, and now foolishness is done to conceal it.

What is nutrition?

The matter of good nutrition of mind is very important. It gets nutrition, and does not get bad nutrition. Whenever thought of sinful propensity comes it has to be ousted.

Question is what is the nutrition of mind? In the language of Ayurveda, the nutrition of mind is sattvagua. That person who has more of sattvagua, his mind will be healthy. More of rajogua and tamogua is bad nutrition of mind. In the context of Jain philosophy, the bad nutrition of mind are feelings of—kṛṣṇa leśyā(black mentality), nīla leśyā(blue mentality), and kapota leśyā(pigeon mentality). Feelings of Tejo leśyā (lustrous mentality), padma leśyā(lotus mentality) and śukla leśyā(white mentality) are good nutrition of mind. (Each leśyāhas its own psychic colour and set of emotions. In Uttarādhyayana sūtra detailed account is available) All these last three nourish mind and consciousness. Our effort should be that the emotions pertaining to these last three praise worthy leśyās stated above, are more and the emotions of the first three leśyās do not come at all. By such an attempt mind will continue to get good nutrition.

Sattvagua: sattvasāra

In Ayurveda, the person having sattvagua is called sattvasāra (having the essence of sattva=pious). Its identification mark is that he will not be arrogant, will be filled with devotional feelings. Second thing is that his memory will be very strong. Third thing is that he will be filled with gratefulness. From these three qualities of devotional feelings, memory and gratefulness the sattvasāra can be identified. All these three nourish mind, are good nutrition for mind. Arrogance, forgetfulness and ungratefulness make mind powerless, are bad nutrition for mind.

To remember the help of benevolent person, to experience it, is gratefulness. The fourth preceptor of Terāpantha Acharya Srimajjayacharya was very highly learned and meditative Acharya. He had studied with Muni Hemarajaji. After rising to the position of Ācārya he wrote the following to express his gratefulness to the teacher:

"Mein to bindu samāna ho, tum kinho sindhu samāna"

Oh! Revered Muni I was just like a drop of water. You made me like an ocean. These were the expressions of a great knower of Agamas. He is writing this for a Muni. This is gratefulness.

Ponder-able question

By gratefulness mind gets good nutrition. Modesty, perseverance, fearlessness, politeness, simplicity—these qualities develop by giving good nutrition to mind. Those in whom these are developed they are sattvasāra.

Let everyone think, how much time he is devoting to body and what is he doing for mind? To serve body alone, to ignore mind, is a mentality like after making one multimillionaire turning him out of the home. Is this not happening today? Let individual think and plan time properly so that body and mind both may remain healthy. A person giving proper nutrition to both alone can make life happy, peaceful and blissful.

Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
HN4U Digital Edition: Ratna & Amit Kumar Jain

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Agamas
  3. Ayurveda
  4. Body
  5. Brain
  6. Consciousness
  7. Fearlessness
  8. Guṇas
  9. Jain Philosophy
  10. Leśyā
  11. Muni
  12. Nīla
  13. Rajas
  14. Sattva
  15. Sattvaguṇa
  16. Science
  17. Sūtra
  18. Tamas
  19. Terāpantha
  20. Uttarādhyayana
  21. Uttarādhyayana Sūtra
  22. Ācārya
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