The Mysteries Of Mind: [12.03] Analysis Of The Gross And The Subtle (3)

Published: 29.05.2006
Updated: 02.07.2015

We often read in the newspapers about men who have knowledge of their past lives. He who possesses such knowledge remains perplexed because he knows the good or bad deeds he had done in the past. It is so because he is not a big to bear the burden of the memories of his past life.

Sometimes we come across those whose 'third eye' has opened. Such men are capable of anticipating what are going to happen in the future, distant or immediate. They is likely to know when they are going to die or what harmful event is going to happen. All the worries of the future begin to hover over their mind, and because they are not capable of standing all these, they become perplexed and restless.

If we accumulate knowledge, which we are not able to carry, it will upset our mental balance. An increased voltage of electricity, if the insulation system is weak, will produce danger. We cannot sustain an increased volume of knowledge if the insulation of the mind is defective. It will undo the recipient. Hence the need for balance. The system according to which knowledge manifests itself determines how much of it can be sustained by the recipient. In the language of the ancient scriptures the knowledge-obscuring agencies increase or decrease according to the increase or decrease in the volume of obstructing karma (antaraya). Only that amount of knowledge can be turned into practice, which is the outcome of a balance between the amount of knowledge and man's capacity to sustain it.

A disciple once asked his preceptor: "What can we achieve with the help of the sense organs?" The preceptor replied, "The achievement depends on the reduction in and eradication of the clouds which obscure knowledge and perception and the karma which obstructs the progress of the soul." Obstructing-karma and antaraya work as an insulating device for the human mind. It will, therefore, be wrong to think of achieving anything only by removing the screen, which obscures knowledge and perception. We can not underestimate the insulating role which antaraya plays in the mental processes. Knowledge and perception work according to the system into which they have been placed, whereas the obstruct i ng -karma is concerned with man's capacity for knowledge. The latter watches how much ignorance and delusion have been reduced in the mind of man. Too much reduction will upset the balance and the mind will crash. The production of atomic weapons is the result of a breakdown in man's mental balance.

Similarly, we should accumulate energy in proportion to the reduction of the delusion, which surrounds us. Delusion decreases in proportion to the development of knowledge and perception and the balance of the mind. The development of a passionless state of mind also takes place in proportion to the balance of mind.

The systems of knowledge, perception, antaraya and delusion are self-sufficient systems and are essential to the composition of the subtle body. The subtle body is divided into four areas:

  1. nama (body-making karma),
  2. gotra (status-determining karma),
  3. ayusya (longevity-determining karma)
  4. vedaniya ( feeling-determining karma).

Nama is the biggest area or compartment. It builds the gross body. The subtle body cannot manifest itself except through the gross body, and, therefore, it must build the latter. The number of the subdepartments of nama karma is very large. One of these is the bodybuilding department. It is a department of creative artists. It builds the cells. It demolishes the defunct cells and replaces them with new ones. It also demolishes the worn-out parts of the body and replaces them with new ones. It is always watchful and active. It determines the structure and functions of the various parts of the body.

The complexion of some bodies is fair whereas that of the others is dark. What determines this complexion? It is determined by the guna sutras (chromosomes). There is a subdepartment of nama karma called varna nama karma ( determinant of complexion). It determines the form and complexion of the body.

The discovery of genes brought about a revolution in the field of biological studies. Traces of all the past actions on the subtle body flow into the genes and manifest through them in the gross body.

  • The Mysteries Of Mind © by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Translated by K.L. Goswami
  • Compiled by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • 2nd Edition, 2002

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Antaraya
  2. Body
  3. Genes
  4. Gotra
  5. Guna
  6. Karma
  7. Nama
  8. Nama Karma
  9. Soul
  10. Varna
  11. Vedaniya
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