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The concept of no mind, a mind free from thoughts and the mind overcrowded with thoughts, needs to be looked into. The situation is that the mind is loaded with cart loads of thoughts and there seems to be no shortage of fresh inputs. It seems to be an ever widening entry door. 'Can one get rid of this burden of thoughts?" is a million dollar question. Here too Ramana has emphasised repeatedly, it is not only possible, but it is a must. For one thing, though the thoughts are numerous, they are essentially parasitic.
They have no capacity to stand on their own legs. It is the thinker who gives life to them by
paying them attention. In the absence of such attention, thoughts which have not been paid attention to will die a natural death. Therefore one has to look to the thinker to understand the mind. The thinker is the subject and about the subject there is precious little knowledge. To get to know the subject one has to begin at the beginning. Here again Ramana is the guide.
Look at the daily miracle of deep sleep. For it contains many secrets. What are the deep sleep secrets? The thinker and therefore thoughts do not exist. Therefore there is 'No Mind". But is there peace, is there repose? It is because it is there that everybody returns to it everyday. A poser remains, 'Can this be consciously repeated, while waking?" It can be, and will be provided one understands the mind.
From this situation of no mind, and no thought, immediately on waking, the mind, thinker and his thoughts are back in great force. Therefore one can say that the mind originated from this source into which the mind had merged in deep sleep. If one needs to consciously experience the silent mind that is vibrant and peaceful, one must use this bridge, this link, the waking mind itself and use the mind"s power to get back to the source. Once the mind is able to freely move-in and move-out, the conscious nature of the experience flowing from it termed as 'waking sleep" could be discovered.
The 'U" turn – Return to the source
For tracing the mind back to its source, the mind"s total potential has to be focused. Presently it is distracted by many thoughts. Therefore it lacks the necessary thrust to get back. For this Ramana gives the weapon of self- enquiry, 'Who am 'I"?" Through enquiry the mind would stay focused on its centre as this question would silence thoughts. Once it is so focused, then the further enquiry as to where from this I-thought has arisen must be posed. This would naturally merge the mind into its source.
To be continued
About the author
This article is written by Sri.A.R.Natarajan, the founder of the Ramana Maharshi Centre For Learning, Bangalore.