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Unmani In Hinduism – Transformation And Purification Process Of Mind

Unmani is the transformation and purification process of mind in Hinduism. The term is described by Adi Shankaracharya in the yoga taravali (27) as the process wherein avidya (ignorance) is completely overcome and purity, undisturbed calm, and enlightenment is attained. This state is called jivanmukti, sahaja or turiya. It has been the goal of all spiritual and religious endeavors, praised by all schools of philosophy in India, whether orthodox or otherwise.

Various features of unmani and the behavior of the person in that state have been described in traditional texts. In Ishavasya Upanishad (7), it is described as a state of freedom from moha (infatuation) and shoka (sorrow).

In Chandogya Upanishad (VII.1.43), a person in such a state is called atmavi (man of self knowledge) and is said to be forever free from sorrow.

In the Avadhuta Upanishad (6) it is said, “just as the sun evaporates and swallows all fluids and fire consumes all objects yet both of them remain untainted by them, similarly, a yogi remains unaffected in the wake of experiences of daily life.

In the Bhagavad Gita, someone who has achieved this state is called a sthitaprajna (man of stable intellect), and his state of equipoise and peace is called the brahmi state or nirvana, which remains forever undisturbed (II.71-72). The medieval saint poets, especially those dedicated to the formless aspect of the Godhead such as Kabir, have described this experience as a part of the state of Samadhi wherein all outer experiences fade away and the mind is turned inward.