ACCORDING to Patanjali, the oldest psychiatrist of the world, our normal mind is indeed an abnormal mind. It is often dull and confused, at times active and diffused, rarely steady. Citta which is the yogic term, for what we call mind is not one static entity. It is the sum total of all our changeful states of mind.
At a very low level, when inert and stupid such citta is not even thought fit for a serious study. Such a mind when active but distracted, does not also arrive at a level that generates right understanding. Minds of persons who are occasionally very steady, but at other times distracted, such types of minds too, are not possessed of that tranquility which leads to the fullest living.
In fact, it is only when the mind stabilizes itself on an object, for a long time, that a real insight begins to grow. The seeker wedded to material values and material attachments, and in possession of material things, cannot really enjoy the benevolent urge for a fuller life. Such an urge for a fuller life provides us an incline-figuratively speaking-so that any one can easily roll down the incline, towards the spiritual goal. Very little effort becomes necessary, to reach a spiritual goal, so long as one keeps the incline intact.
All that Yoga technology can do, is really remove the obstacles, that come in the way of a natural incline, available with us through our urge for a fuller life. The preliminary techniques of Yoga generate a higher level of consciousness by strengthening one-pointedness. As soon as the bonds of material attachment loosen, rise of a higher level of consciousness is possible. The teacher is a guide here.
In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali we have reference to several levels of consciousness, beginning with the Prathama Kalpika. The individual who has been sifting the right from the wrong, the real from the unreal, has already acquired that type of urge for spiritual knowledge, which make him get drawn to spiritual matters. He would most naturally listen to a spiritual conversation, or read spiritual literature or feel happy to be in a spiritual environment. Such an inclination will not be available to one who has not embarked upon discriminative thinking, and who believes in the supremacy of matter. It is said by Vyasa somewhat like this in this connection; just as the presence of a seed is inferred from the sprouting of the vegetation in the rainy season, so too from the very expression of joy at the mention of the path of liberation, it is inferred that there is rooted in the listener, the seed of previously acquired discriminative understanding. His reflection about his self comes about most naturally. The discriminative seeker constantly asks himself "Who am I?" "What is my real destiny?"
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