You know we are made up of both matter and spirit. Our body is made up of carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, etc., and spirit is made up of pure energy; love, compassion, magnetism – this is all nature of energy. In ancient times they called it using two words: prakriti that is nature, and then purusha, which means the energy; two things, consciousness and matter. But then, one step further you go then they said, ‘There is no two, this is all one.’ Energy and matter are not two different things. Mind and body are not two different things, they are all one.
But consciousness works in four ways; there are four functions of one consciousness: like one person, when he goes to the office he is an officer, when he goes to the market he is a buyer or a seller, and the same person, when he is in the classroom he is a student. Right? And at home he is a father or a husband or a son or something. He plays different roles. Similarly, this one consciousness, it plays four important roles.
One of the very sacred mantras in the ancient times is called the Gayatri Mantra, it says, ‘Let this intellect be inspired by something which is beyond the intellect – the Divinity.’ That means let pure thoughts come, proper judgment come through my intellect, let intuition develop in me, so that
One of the roles is mind. Are you all here? Listening? If you are here but your mind is elsewhere, you can’t listen. Your ears are open, but if your mind is elsewhere, you can’t listen. Are you looking at me? If you are here, your mind is elsewhere, even if your eyes are looking at me, you are not looking at me. So mind is that aspect of consciousness through which the senses perceives and experiences. This is in all living creatures.
Even in a cockroach, the mind is also in the antenna. They have the long antenna through which they sense. They can feel from that. As I said earlier, the mind is not inside the body, the body is inside the mind. Like the flame is all around the wick. Isn’t it? The body is like the wick of a candle, mind is like the flame. Sometimes through Kirlian and other photography you can even see the aura. So mind is all around the body and inside the body. Yet mind is the perception, through the ears, through the eyes, through touch, through smell; then we call that mind.
And then the same consciousness, after grasping this, it labels it – this is good, this is not good, it is beautiful, it is ugly, this is right, this is wrong. This is intellect – a very important function of consciousness.
One is perception and another is understanding - that is intellect: judging, discriminating, understanding.
Are you saying ‘Yes’ now? That is intellect. Are you saying, ‘No, I don’t agree’?
Doesn’t matter, you can say, ‘I don’t agree’, but if you know that you are saying that, that is intellect and it is the second most important function.
Human beings have the most advanced intellect. This is a gift.
One of the very sacred mantras in the ancient times is called the Gayatri Mantra, it says, ‘Let this intellect be inspired by something which is beyond the intellect – the Divinity.’ That is the prayer, ‘Let my intellect be inspired by the Divine.’ That means let pure thoughts come, proper judgment come through my intellect, let intuition develop in me, so that anything I do becomes perfect.
It is the intellect that becomes a block; it is the intellect that creates doubt; that gives you wrong ideas, and covers the intuition.
Suppose you have a good intuition and you say you want to meet some person in Sweden, and you say, ‘Okay I am going to meet that person.’
You have a good intention but the intellect comes and says, ‘No, it may not be possible. We will not be able to do it.’ So your intellect clouds the intuition and puts its mind. And then that is when we make mistakes.
You think this person is not good, or that person is good. All this judgment need not be what the reality is, if the intellect is disconnected from the intuition or inner consciousness. That is called Chitta, the consciousness.
So, mind, intellect, and then comes memory. Our mind is stuck in memories most of the time. Anything nice you see, you remember something what you have seen in the past. Anything ugly you see, you remember something ugly in the past. So mind getting locked into memory, or if your memory dominates, this is what happens. Memory is important. This is the third function.
Then is ego – I Am, the fourth function.
These are four different functions of one consciousness. But yet it is beyond all these four. That is why it is called Mahat; which means ‘The Great’. So if you could transcend the ego, then that something in you which is not changing, which is everywhere but nowhere; you experience that and you become Mahat. You become Mahatma.
Have you heard of Mahatma Gandhi? Mahatma is a title given to Gandhi by the people.
Every saint is called Mahatma, means he has transcended the ego. He has gone from mind, intellect, memory, ego, and one step beyond that, the Mahat; means, he feels at home with everybody. That is enlightenment – when you feel absolutely at home with everyone; there is no other for you. You become like a child again and live in the moment. Nothing hurts you; everything is part of you, magnanimity and total peace. You don’t only say the body is mine but that ‘I’ is everywhere. This is only an expression.
See, on television, you watch a channel, or you are watching BBC. Though you are watching BBC in that little box, is BBC in that box only? No, the BBC channel, that vibration, that wavelength, is all over the room, it is everywhere. Even if you switch off the television, still BBC waves are there all over. But the television makes it manifested and expresses it very well.
Similarly, our bodies are just television boxes. Are you with me?
Your body is a television set. Your consciousness is that wavelength. So, it is like, you are BBC, she is CNN, and that person is FOX, and the other is Entertainment Channel. Each one of you has your own frequency, but that does not mean that we are stuck only here. This is just a receiving set or transmitting set. But the waves are all over. Are you getting what I am saying? So our consciousness is all over.
As I said yesterday, there is pure science and there is applied science. We need to have both. They complement each other. Pure science is knowing this one consciousness - ‘I am that’, and relaxing, reposing - that is meditation and that is yoga. Reuniting with your Self is Yoga. It is not uniting with something which is not you. It is just curling back in to your Self - reuniting. Completing the circle is yoga.
You were all yogis as children. Every child is a yogi. We did all the yoga postures, we lived in the present moment and our mind was fresh and alive as a child. We felt so connected and at home, so full of love. And then somewhere down the line, we started going outward, outward, and outward.
In one of the Upanishads, the Rishi says, ‘God made a big blunder by making the senses go only outward. Our senses only go outward. But once in a while, there are some brave people who turn the senses inward and find the real truth.’ And that is yoga, he says.
And that is so true! Our mind is made to go outward. But sometimes you need to turn it inside.
Liberation means feeling, ‘I am done! I have done what I needed to do. Finished!’ Total satisfaction; total freedom; there is nothing more to be done, nothing to be compelled to do. ‘I have achieved what I
Now more and more people are learning and become more intelligent. They know how to turn inward and find peace inside and not out there.
So every child is a yogi and we are born yogis. Somewhere we have lost that innocence. To get back to that, we do all these exercises, meditation, to find that simplicity again and that innocence that we are.
Now, there are so many ways to achieve that, so many ways. I will not go into details now.
What would affect a beginner, of course, is environment – it is good to be in a better, peaceful environment. And it is better to watch out on food as well, food also has an influence on the mind.
Ayurveda is a great science which says what type of food suits what type of people. What is your Vata, Pitta and Kapha and what type of food is good for you. There is a whole science about it.
The Jain tradition has also done a lot of research on food. But it is endless. If you go into detail, then you can’t do anything but only care for your food. So, I would say, we shouldn’t do it in extreme. We should be very balanced. On one hand there are people who don’t care about what they eat, and they simply stuff everything into their belly and suffer. On the other end, there are people who pick and choose all the time, all the time picking, ‘Oh this is sugar, I can’t eat this and I can’t eat that,’ and day and night they are only worried about their food. That is also not good because your body has infinite flexibility and adaptability. So if you think that some food is never good for you and you never eat that, then that is how your body will function. It will lose its flexibility.
Similarly, if you use a lot of supplements all the time that is also no good! Supplements are good to use sometimes. You know, people bring me so many supplements. If you see my box, there are so many supplements, but I am a bad user of supplements. I don’t use it every day. Sometime I take this and sometimes I take that supplement.
People say, enzymes are good, minerals are good. Yes, they are good but I feel that we should not take too many supplements. Supplements are necessary because today the way food is being grown has become very different. It is not the way food was originally grown.
I have read somewhere that today the bananas only have one twelfth of the nutrition it had in the early 19th century. So even though all these vegetables and fruits are grown more and appear very big, the nutritional content is very low. They are not organic, because soil is being depleted.
See the new seed of wheat that we all eat does not have as much folic acid as it used to have in the old wheat. In India, a doctor in Punjab had done research. He checked some of the old wheat, the original wheat and he said that it has so much folic acid. And today, people are suffering from heart problems and all these other problems because they don’t have enough folic acid in the food they eat. So supplements are necessary. But again, clinging on to it, worrying about it too much is not good. Our brain, our system can generate many things on its own.
So food has an impact, but your consciousness is even more powerful than food.