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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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Raja Yoga 

Mind its Nature

Mind is an instrument of experience. 
The body and the mind is an instrument that the soul uses in the material universe to experience it and to function in it efficiently. This instrument is limited and limits the capacity of the soul to express its divine qualities. The soul has to initially develop this instrument, thereafter refine it, purify it so as to be able to express itself through it to its best capacity. After this it has to learn to extricate itself out of both the body and the mind and find its eternal freedom. Mind by nature is very active and restless. In Indian tradition it is compared to that of a monkey who has been bitten by a scorpion and fed with a good amount of liquor and on top of it a devil has taken possession of him. It is a very powerful instrument. We say, ‘Man jeeta jag jeeta'. One who has conquered his mind will conquer the world. Mind has two aspects. It has consciousness that acts as the subjective observer and experiencer. This consciousness is what we refer to as our ‘I'. This consciousness is called ego consciousness. This consciousness is limited and identifies itself with all the activities of the mind and the body. This consciousness in the mind is like a lamp whose light is less. The soul's consciousness on the other hand is limitless like the light of the sun. The other aspect of the mind is its energy content which takes different forms as thoughts, desires, emotions, willing, feeling etc. 

Mind is a mixture of thoughts, desires, emotions and sanskaras.
Thought is the subtlest of all energies and is a creative energy. It is the building material of life. It has shape, size, color and form. Thought creates all aspects of our life. All events and circumstances are a product of our thinking. Therefore, thought culture is an important aspect of yoga. The first thing in thought culture is to eradicate all unnecessary thoughts, worries, anxieties, tensions and stress. Through asana, pranayama and relaxation exercises we achieve this. This is like a gardener weeding out all unnecessary weeds. Next we learn to create positive thoughts and strengthen them by repetition. Mantra chanting and positive affirmations are very useful in this respect. Since thought is a creative energy concentrating them and intensifying them is important to be able to create what we want. Finally we learn by deep prolonged meditation how to bring the mind to a thought less state and then remain in this state for sometime. In this state the consciousness in the mind which was so far aware only of the activities of the mind and was identifying with those activities and was finding 


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