There are three stages in the evolution of the mind.
The first stage is being in Maya (illusion) and not knowing it. It means one is so caught up in Maya that one is not even aware of it.
For example, someone has a certain Bhrama (delusion or misconception) in his mind and does not even know that it is a misconception. He thinks that to be true. This is the first stage.
The second stage is, one is caught up in delusion and he knows that it is delusion.
In this stage, the person knows that Maya has enveloped him completely and that he is troubled because of it.
The third stage is that in which one finds oneself completely free of Maya and remains unaffected by it. In the third stage, the person knows that Maya can do nothing to him.
A person has a certain misconception in his mind and he does not even know that it is a misconception. This is the first stage. The second stage is, one is caught up in delusion and he knows it is a delusion. The third stage is that in which one finds oneself completely free of Maya and remains unaffected.
So these are the three stages. The first is that in which a person is miserable due to his own mind. Even if such a person sits quietly, then too all sorts of thoughts come to his mind, like ‘This is fine, that is not fine; I have to do this and that; So-and-so person is like this, like that; What will happen to me or what may not happen’, and so on.
Such thoughts keep coming to the person’s mind from everywhere. He does not find even a moment’s peace. The mind is so occupied with these thoughts that it falls into delusion, and it is not able to even recognize that it is caught up in delusion. This is the first stage.
Okay, for a moment let us keep ourselves aside. We all have seen someone or the other stuck in delusion, isn't that so? You see someone caught in delusion and you think to yourself, ‘Oh, he is so caught up in a delusion that he is not able to see the truth’.
How many of you here have seen this? Raise your hands. (Many raise their hands)
There are some people who have this misconception that the entire world is against them. Firstly the whole world does not even know this person. And no one has the time to even think about this person, still the person feels that the whole world is against him. He thinks that everyone is his enemy and is after his life. Such a delusion is also because of Maya.
Sometimes the opposite of this also happens. A person feels that everyone is looking only at him all the time. He thinks, ‘Oh, everyone is only praising me’.
Such people live in such delusions all their lives, and they die with it too.
Often people are able to recognize the delusions of another person very well but not those of their own. They think their own delusions to be real.
We can recognize when another person is caught up in a delusion, but when we are caught up in a delusion (Maya) ourselves, we are not able to recognize that we are in a delusion.
We get so engrossed in thoughts about other people. We keep thinking, ‘He is like this or she is like that; This is right, that is wrong’, etc. We keep thinking something or the other all the time, and the mind is not at peace even for a moment.
Even in satsang, the mind remains caught up in a whirlpool of thoughts due to Maya.
This is the first stage in which one is miserable and is unaware of being caught up in Maya.
In the second stage, one is aware that all that is happening is nothing but delusion, and it is due to Maya, but they are not able to overcome it.
In the second stage, you are aware that you are in delusion. You see that the judgement that you had for this person and that person have all turned out to be totally wrong. You find that they are not the way you thought them to be.
Whatever impressions you made in your mind about others, you find it all to be wrong. So you are able to know that all of this is delusion. But despite knowing that it is delusion, you are not able to come out of it.
So you are in delusion, and you are aware of it. Now how can you come out of this?
When we are caught up in a delusion and we are not aware of it, then we feel troubled by the people around us. This is the first stage.
When we come to know that this is all the creation of our own mind, then we feel angry with ourselves, and we feel troubled by our own mind. How many people have had this experience? You know that you are miserable because of your own mind and not due to others. This is the second stage
In the first stage, a person is caught up in delusion and is not aware that he is caught up, and so he blames the world rather than his own mind for his circumstances. And because he cannot correct the world, he starts feeling helpless, and angry. And this increases the violent tendencies in him.
A wise ones know that the mind can be influenced by multiple factors. The mind is influenced by the food you eat, by the environment you are in, and by the particular phase of time you may be in. Time also has an effect on the mind.
Those who are at least aware that they are troubled by their own mind are slightly more intelligent than those in the first stage. Such people do not blame the world for their circumstances, or their misery. Instead, they start blaming themselves, and this is where they get stuck. They blame themselves and get caught up in feelings of guilt.
The third stage which is above these two stages, is where one is unaffected by Maya.
In this stage, a person is fully aware that everything that happens is because of Maya or because of the mind, and he does not get entangled into it.
He knows that this is the nature of the mind, and delusion is the nature of Maya. Yet he also knows that he is not the mind, and neither is he the one trapped in delusion (Maya).
So he does not resist or interfere with the nature of the mind, and neither does he get caught in Maya. He lets both of them function the way they do.
Such wise ones know that the mind can be influenced by multiple factors.
A good example of this is the food you eat. There is a saying, ‘Jaisa Ann Waisa Mann’ (which translates as ‘You are what you eat’. Here meaning, what you eat influences your mind and your behaviour).
So the mind is influenced by the food you eat, by the environment you are in, and by the particular phase of time you may be in.
Time also has an effect on the mind. There are instances when your mind is caught up in storms of emotion because of the phase of time that you are in.
So time, food and the environment, are the three factors which influence the mind.
In this way, the wise one understands that Maya is working as per its nature, and so he simply relaxes and reposes in the Self.
This is real knowledge. The mind gets cleansed (from the dirt of illusion) by this knowledge, and is freed from being caught in Maya. The intellect too is purified by this knowledge and separates itself from Maya.
People with such purity of intellect remain unaffected, no matter what actions they may do.
(Click Here to continue reading.)
(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the original talk.)