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Real Spirituality Is Attempting To Go Beyond The Mind

Real spirituality means an attempt to go beyond the mind. The scriptures declare that the spiritual experience is beyond the limits of mind and speech. Therefore the question arises as to the relation between spiritual practice and the mind. The fact is we have to go beyond the mind through the mind.

The scriptures also declare: ‘The Atman is to be attained only through the mind.’1 It is somewhat like going beyond the river by swimming across it. If a person is tied to a pole with a rope, one will untie the rope with great difficulty, throw away the rope, and become free. Similarly groping the mind alone we have to go beyond the mind. Spiritual aspiration, knowledge, devotion, spirit of dispassion, and related ideas are within the domain of the mind.

Both the spiritual and the secular life depend upon the mind. It is said that the human being is the mind with a body, not the body with a mind.

In all matters, mind only matters. Our happiness and miseries, our relationship with others, our decisions and determination, all our attitudes and even the thought of God—all these depend upon the mind.

The Yoga Vasistha says:
‘In all kinds of happiness and misery and in all modes of activities, mind is the only doer and enjoyer. Know for certain that man is nothing but mind.’ 
It is further said in the same text: ‘O Rama, mind is everything. If that is treated within, the whole world will be rectified’ (4.4.5).
Depending upon our mental conditions, the world outside appears sometimes pleasant and sometimes unpleasant; sometimes good and sometimes evil; sometimes friendly and sometimes inimical; and sometimes wholesome and sometimes loathsome.

The following are the words of the Brahma Purana:
‘That which makes one happy now can be a source of misery next moment. Something that annoys one can also be pleasing to him. Therefore there is nothing miserable and pleasurable in this world.’
Lord Buddha also said that it is the mind that rules and moves the world and that the good and evil of the world are due to the mind alone.

Swami Yatiswarananda says:
 ‘One may read no end of books. One may listen to no end of lectures. But if one’s mind is not inclined to the spiritual ideal, everything has been in vain. So, in India the spiritual teachers tell us: “you must win the grace of your own mind”. It is not enough if you have the grace of God and the grace of a teacher. We might have been fortunate in receiving many spiritual instructions. But unless we have the grace of our own mind everything comes to nothing.’

Source - The Psychological Aspects of Spiritual Life Swami Nityasthananda – From Prabuddha Bharata Feb 2016