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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 39-40

Mind: The Source of Wellness and Illness

Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, 19, Eknath Bhavan, Gavipuram Circle, K. G. Nagar, Bengaluru - 560 019, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission25-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance14-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication21-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. H R Nagendra
Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, 19, Eknath Bhavan, Gavipuram Circle, K. G. Nagar, Bengaluru - 560 019, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5633.277013

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How to cite this article:
Nagendra H R. Mind: The Source of Wellness and Illness. Int J Yoga - Philosop Psychol Parapsychol 2020;8:39-40

How to cite this URL:
Nagendra H R. Mind: The Source of Wellness and Illness. Int J Yoga - Philosop Psychol Parapsychol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2024 Mar 1];8:39-40. Available from: https://www.ijoyppp.org/text.asp?2020/8/2/39/277013

All of us desire a good health and well-being. This is even more sought during this current COVID pandemic. While the mind–body evolution had been always a puzzle, there are some useful insights that we can draw from ancient wisdom. According to the classical yoga text, Yoga Vasishta, the world evolves from the primordial cause, Consciousness. Consciousness is all pervasive, beyond space and time as enunciated by Goswami.[1] Patanjali states consciousness as beyond the mind called svarupa.[2] From this svarupa of pure consciousness called Purusha emerges the five KoshasAnnamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya, and Anandamaya koshas. The fully evolved state of consciousness is called as Samsara or Jagat (the world) and is made of Citta or mind according to Yoga Vasishta.[3]

jāyatee mana eeveeha mana eeva vivardhatee |

samyagdarśana dṛñöyā tu mana eeva hi mucyate ||

(Upashama Prakaranam, Canto 5, Verse 11)

Whatever is born and evolved is nothing but the mind.[4] Patanjali defines mind as a conglomeration of thoughts called Citta vrittis. Moreover, the five modifications of the mind are Pramana (the right knowledge), Viparyaya (wrong knowledge), Vikalpa (distracted), Nidraa (sleep), and Smriti (memory). With this background information, let us now analyze the mind as the cause for wellness and illness.

The unmanifest and nondual state of mind called Avyakta is the causal state form where the manifest stages of mind emerge. Much before consciousness grossifies itself to Annamaya kosha as its final evolute; mind starts its manifestation of duality in Vijnanamaya kosha, the sheath of Wisdom. This state of mind with fullest knowledge of all creation having almost no Ajnana is a state of perfect health.

As presented in an earlier Editorial,[5] the next is the Manomaya kosha featured by Ajnana (ignorance) manifesting in the form of Viparyaya or wrong knowledge which can percolate at the level of Prana going in wrong directions. Pranamaya kosha further grossifies to Annamaya Kosha, and pranic wrong directional flows can bring similar imbalances in the physical body, including cellular and neuronal levels. Then, it can percolate to immune system causing diabetes or cancer and even to gene level, resulting in genetic challenges. These diseases in the form of noncommunicable diseases are considered as a big challenge to the Modern medical world.

Yet, another way by which Ajnana manifests in the Manomaya kosha is Vikalpa, in the form of excessive uncontrollable speed of mind and distractions. This may lead to neuroticism, epileptic attacks, etc., at the brain level as well as hypertension, Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD), etc., at the physical level. This uncontrollable speed of mind, as depicted in the following verses of Bhagavat Gita, can result in the form of violent emotions.

dhyāyato viñayānpuàsaù saìgasteñūpajāyate |

saìgātsaïjāyate kāmaù kāmātkrodho'bhijāyate || B. G. 2-62||

krodhādbhavati sammohaù sammohātsmṛtivibhramaù |

smṛtibhraàçād buddhināço buddhināçātpraëaçyati || B.G. 2-63||

These emotions can emerge as strong sensual attractions and repulsions, leading to wrong habits such as consumption of unhealthy food, smoking, and even psychedelic drugs. These ill habits cause digestive disorders, respiratory problems, and many other NCDs, ultimately shattering the whole life.

The next in sequence is Nidraa (sleep), which is the manifestation of tamas, may cause depression, mental retardations, etc. This further percolates to the Smriti or memory level causing loss of memory, and discrimination, taking us to animal level and even to coma and death. [Table 1] summarizes the expressions of mind in different koshas and further illustrates how by right approach mind can be a cause for wellness and if not managed properly can lead to be a source of illness.
Table 1: Expression of mind in different koshas

Click here to view

Hence, according to Patanjali, mind is the basic fabric of the whole creation. Creation of matter is also by mind. Svarupa is pure consciousness called as Ishvara beyond all changes. Mind is known as Prakriti or nature and Purusha the consciousness. Purusha is featured by infinite knowledge, power, bliss, and freedom. However, Prakriti is at several levels – causal, subtle, and grosser levels – and is powered by the Purusha. The whole objective of Yoga is to purify ourselves by gaining mastery over the mind. Thereby, we manifest more and more of consciousness – bliss, power, knowledge, and freedom. We can move from afflicted to unafflicted state of mind freeing ourselves from slavery, bondage, misery, stresses, to blissful, energetic, dynamic, knowledgeable, more and more efficient stages of life, to ultimately become totally free to merge with Svarupa or Ishvara called as Kaivalya. From creation to the very source of creation, from Prakriti to Purusha.

  References Top

Goswami A. The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World. New York: Penguin; 1995.  Back to cited text no. 1
Taimini IK. The Science of Yoga. Madras, India: The Theosophical Publishing House; 1986.  Back to cited text no. 2
Jnanananda B. The Essence of Yogavāsistha. 1st ed. Pondicherry: Samata Books; 1982.  Back to cited text no. 3
Murthy KV. Musings on Yogavaasishta – Part V The Calm Down; 2016. Available from: http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/downloads/yogavasishta_v.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 28].  Back to cited text no. 4
Nagendra HR. Seeing the truth: Yoga for health and harmony. Int J Yoga-Philosop Psychol Parapsychol 2019;7:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Table 1]


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