In order to understand the definition of Mind, it will be helpful to read AadhiParaaShakti. Mind is a manifestation of Shakti or Energy and assumes a form of force. In May of 2008 when I met Amma at His Holy Abode - Arul Koodam and performed Paadha Pooja, Amma transcended into Arul Nilai (Divine State) and said, "Manam, Uyir, Aanma anaithhum Ondru. Orey Sakthi!" . Meaning, "Mind, Life, and Soul is One and the Same Energy". I realized that this statement had a deep meaning and a powerful message for spiritual progress. Amma didn't (and doesn't) give elaborate lectures or explanations. But the moment He looks at a person, the divine sight excites the inner energy states of the person being looked at to a level that explanations and meaning of what Amma said in few words begins to appear from within. This is a very powerful phenomenon. This is how Amma is able to give dharshan to so many people everyday.

Imagine if Amma has to talk elaborately with everyone, how many people can meet and talk with Amma per day? Amma delivers guidance and instructions in few words, but imparts energy astrally to the receiver so that he/she can understand the full meaning of what was said. That's why man-made language is not an issue for Amma to communicate with anyone. The problem is with the receiver. The ability to receive the essence of what Amma is conveying is dependent on the functional strength of the receiver's mind. The ability of mind is projected as attitude, belief and faith. Any combination of these can block the mind from receiving the true substance of Amma's communication. Another time, Amma mentioned "Naan Mounathhil Saadhikirathu Jaasthi." Meaning, "I accomplish more in Mouna (Silence)".

As everything matter and anti-matter, animate and inanimate are all different aspects of One Supreme Universal Energy, the difference is in the level of grossness, subtleness, and direct connection to Consciousness. Eyes, Ears, and other physical organs (instruments) are gross matter and have lower direct connection to Consciousness. The information such as light, sound, (shape and color of an object are just reflection of light) received by our eyes and ears are stored in our brain. But realize the fact that although we may be hearing a number of different sound in a given time, say while in a meeting or conversation with someone else, we "hear" only those sound that we intend to. This is the function of "Manas" the faculty of Mind energy that only receives what we are focused on and sends to the brain for storage. Similarly as we drive the car, we see so many scenes, but the 'hearing' faculty of 'Manas' - 'Mind' only receives what is necessary for our driving and sends to the brain for processing.

It is thus very obvious that although numerous cosmic energy manifested in different forms are around us we see, and hear only very few, i.e. what we can and intend to receive. This selective receiving is one of the functions of 'Mind'. Another function is 'Generation of Thoughts'. Thoughts are forceful projection of Mind Stuff. The Great Yogi of 1950's Swami Paramahansa Yogananda coined the word Thoughtrons (to compare the motion and activities of thoughts with that of protons and electrons). Mind or Manas is thus the leading Indriya of which the sense organs (instruments) are merely receivers. Without attention of Manas or Mind, the five Indriyas (Senses) are incapable of performing their respective functions. Mind's function is said to be Sankalpa and Vikalpa, meaning 'thought' and 'anti-thought' or 'selection' and 'rejection' of the material provided by five indriyas (senses).

At our birth, our mind is well connected to the Soul (Aanma) as there are no modifications to mind stuff due to external objects. As we grow, our mind gets stronger affinity to all objects sensed by our five Indriyas (sense organs) and so its projection of thought is shaped by these modifications of mind. As this affinity gets stronger, its connection to the Soul (Aanma) is gradually removed. Since our Soul - Aanma is an image or replica of Supreme Soul, it has the same unbound potency as its Creator. As long as the mind energy stays in connection with the Soul, it can tap into Its potency which gives the solution to all problems and has all the Knowledge - Jnaana and Wisdom. But as we grow older this connection is gradually severed due to mind's affinity to wordly matters and thus we loose our inherent intelligence and capabilities that are unbound. To set back its connectivity, the mind must be purified, i.e. reset it back to its original state. The impurities such as anger, hate, jealousy, bias, fear, etc,. must be gotten rid off our mind.

Obviously, our knowledge is limited only to what our five senses (Indriyas) with the help of sixth instrument - Mind can perceive, store and retrieve. The intelligence is limited to the Mind's ability to project its thoughts around these gathered information with power. To go beyond our physical limitations of these sense instruments, we must nurture our mind as instrument for enabling it to perceive the extra-ordinary. This is the goal of Tantra. The word Tantra is a combination of two words, 'Tan' and 'Tra'. In Sanskrit 'Tanyoti' means "Expansion" and 'Trayoti' means "Liberation". The first syllables of these two words put together is Tantra meaning Liberation by Expansion. Thus all Tantra rituals and practices such as Saadhana (Practice) and Yagna / Velvi / Poojas were devised by Tantrics to help us expand our mind to perceive Creative Energy out of our normal realm.

So! Where is this Mind? Is it in our head? or heart? Yogis and Rishis have realized that mind is not in one location in our body. It is all in and around us. It is a subtle form of the Supreme Universal Energy that is in all parts of the body and extends outwards to a 2 to 3 inches outside around our body. Mind and matter are two different aspects of the same One Self. When an object such as reflected light of a rock affects the sensory instrument of eye attended to by the corresponding function of mind - manas, a modification of mind stuff occurs which is an exact replica of the external object rock. This is called Vritti So by worship and Japa or Meditation of Mantras the mind is actually shaped into the form of worship and goes through a purification process. This is Ishta Devataa. A Saadhaka (Spiritual Practitioner) fills his/her mind through continued practice with the Object of Worship, achieves perfection in purifying the mind. This is one of the main reason why Siddhas and Rishis devised Idol worship. "Nee Kallai thaan kumbidukirai Makane! Kallil Theivam Illai. Aanaalum Kallil nee vaithirukkum Nammbikkaikku thaan unakku arul kodukkirane!" - Amma's Oracle. Amma said about Idol worship, "You are only praying to a stone. God is not in stone, but in your staunch belief that God is in it. It is for that belief that I shower My blessings". So, all that matters for a Saadhaka is to have strength of mind in whatever he/she believes in.

Mind is tempered in two ways - Samskaaras and Vritti; Samskaara is the vaasanaas carried forward from previous lives. Vritti is impact or impression left on the mind by the material objects perceived through five indriyas (senses) and all information gathered since our childhood. If our upbringing since childhood is to temper our mind and make us who we are today, why is that a policeman's son becomes a thief? No matter how our childhood upbringing conditions our mind, unless we take conscious action to suppress the effect of Samskaaras, we will still be influenced by our karmic actions of past lives. For Spiritual progress, it is very important that our thoughts are purified. That is Yama and Niyama, which are first two steps of Ashtaanga Yoga (Ashta - Eight; Angaa - Steps or Folds). Thus goes the famous saying, "It is all in your mind"

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