Welcome to Session 2 of the Layers of the Mind course.
In Ananda Marga we say as a general greeting, “Namaskar”. It means “I salute the Divinity within you with all my mind and all my heart.”
Yogic philosophy teaches that “the mind is composed of five layers, just like the banana flower.” Because the banana flower is closed, you can only see the innermost petals when you’ve removed the outer petals. Similarly with the mind, to understand deeper things we have get to the deeper layers.
We usually utilize only the superficial layers of mind, so we end up using very little of our overall potential. Most people use no more than two percent of their mental capacity. A genius may use ten percent, but not much more. So we have a lot of capacity that we don’t tap into. In the next sessions we’ll look at how we can use all the layers of the mind and develop our capacity to the fullest extent.
The outermost layer of the mind is called the Crude Mind, or Conscious Mind. It’s this most superficial layer of the mind that’s responsible for sensing the world around us. It registers the information from our senses, then provides the instinctual response to that information — either attraction (to pleasurable sensations) or aversion (to painful stimuli). For this reason it’s known as the “layer of desire.”
This layer of the mind is developed naturally through what we call physical clash. That means all types of physical pain: illness or accident, feeling cold, hungry, etc. In yoga this natural means of development is accelerated by following a balanced lifestyle and the principles of morality that we talked about in the last course.
The mind is likened to the driver of a chariot, and the senses to the horses which pull the chariot. It is up to the mind to control the horses (through the reigns) rather than the horses controlling the mind and leading the body (chariot) into trouble. There’s a story that once when a yogi’s arm was cut off, he nonchalantly picked it up and walked calmly away. When approached as to how he could remain so cool in such a situation, he replied “Don’t do what you want, then you may do what you like”, meaning that self-restraint leads to control of the mind and personal fulfillment, regardless of the external circumstances.
“The attainment of one’s inner self is only possible through love for the Infinite… Fill your heart with love of the Infinite, and your soul will be transformed into the Supreme Soul. No worldly happiness is limitless. Dedicate yourself completely to the blissful ocean of the Supreme Soul. Then alone will you realize what happiness really is.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti