The Art of Minding One’s Mind

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Points to Ponder: April 4, 2018

Our inner world consists of the mind, intellect and sanskars. Sanskars are tendencies, nature, habit, personality of the soul. While the original sanskars of the soul are knowledge, purity, peace, love, happiness, bliss and power, there are other sanskars that the soul acquires. Any Karma that the soul performs repeatedly becomes its sanskar. A karma could be a thought, word, or act. Any thought , word or act that I repeat becomes my sanskar. I may repeat it under the influence of a person or situation but nevertheless it becomes my sanskar which then is independent of the person or situation. For example, someone speaks loudly to you and you also raise you voice in his presence. If the situation and consequently the action of raising one’s voice continues for sometime, then even if the person leaves from my life, it has now become my sanskar to talk loudly. Since I, the soul have performed a long journey, I have acquired several sanskars on this journey.

The mind sees through the filter of its sanskars. Any information that comes to me through the eyes, ears, memory, situation etc is perceived by the mind through the sanskars.The soul also responds in accordance with its sanskars. This is why five different people in the same situation respond differently. Our response depends on our perception of the situation which depends not on the situation but on my sanskar. We have all heard of the expression “Habits die hard” and our habits in the form of subtle impressions or sanskars color our perception and response.

All this while, our intellect is not in the picture. Our intellect can overpower our sanskar and can hold sway over the mind. If I hold an important information in my intellect and revise it frequently, it can help me override my sanskar and think, speak or act differently. And if I can repeat this for many times, I can form a new sanskar in accordance with the new information. As in the previous example, if I repeatedly feed my intellect with the information that talking loudly wastes my energy and also is not soothing to the others’ ears and I reinforce this information and also tell myself repeatedly that I can speak softly and politely, I can overpower my habit of speaking loudly.

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