Be Master of the Mind and Intellect!
Sri Swami Chidananda
This article is a chapter from the book Seek The Beyond.
The most important, holiest, and the greatest of all mantras in the Vedic religion is the Gayatri mantra, Brahma Gayatri mantra, into which a young boy is initiated at the time of being invested with the sacred thread. And the import of the mantra is a prayer for enlightening and illumining the intellect. The last line prays to the Most High exactly for this: “Graciously illumine our intellect.”
Man is body, mind and intellect. The outer physical part is the body. The inner part, the psychological part, is mind and intellect. If the intellect retains its independence–it is not caught, held and overcome by the mind–then the independent intellect is able to function as an observer, as a moderator, as a regulator, as a wise counsellor and as a guide. It becomes a very great helping factor.
But if the intellect loses its independence and is overcome and controlled by the mind with its vagaries–various fancies and imaginations and schemes and cravings–then the intellect gradually becomes deficient in its power to be the helpful inner guiding factor to the individual concerned. For in giving in to the mind the intellect loses its relationship of superiority, and its status becomes one of being manipulated. The mind is no longer an instrument of the intellect. The intellect becomes an instrument in the hands of the clever and deceptive mind.
This is not as it should be, and it is the source of much tribulation and trouble, botheration and vexation to the individual. So we always have to be alert and careful and observe the state of our interior. We should do everything that we can to make the intellect the superior factor, the governing and deciding factor, and not let it be overcome and controlled by the mind. The great Gayatri mantra says, “Illumine our intellect.” That is our best friend.
However, let us suppose that due to its carelessness and not being alert and vigilant, the intellect has somehow played into the hands of the mind. Let us suppose that unfortunately we have failed to recognise that this correct condition of the interior is an indispensable necessity, that it is very important and has to be acquired, retained and maintained. In that situation, is there some solution, some way out?
Emphatically, yes! There is a way out. For, fortunately for us, we have a factor higher and superior to both the mind and the intellect that make up our psyche. And that third factor, which is superior even to the intellect, is a silent witness to both mind and intellect.
It is a witnessing factor that stands apart. And because of its unique position as something apart, unlike the intellect it can retain its integrity, be itself and, therefore, be in a position to govern and guide not only the intellect, but even the mind. If its powers are developed, this third factor becomes the crucial factor, the most important factor.
And this witnessing factor is the Spirit, the breath of God. Herein lies our solution. Identify with this third factor, this important factor, this witnessing spiritual factor. Refuse to be drawn into a state of identification with not only the body, refuse to be drawn into a state of identification with even the mind, with even the intellect, with even the psyche.
“I am higher than the mind, I am higher than the intellect. I can help the intellect to free itself from the mind, if need be.” In this way, we must understand our interior, the life and the power of this higher third factor, which is beyond even the psyche and which is superior to the mind as well as to the intellect. Therein lies the possibility of uplifting ourselves to a state even higher than this unseen inner dimension of our being. Therein lies the key and the solution to be master of the entire situation–which is your rightful role in this entire set-up of the human personality.
Claim your rightful role! Play your rightful role. Assume charge. Be firmly established in this role. Exercise it. Let it play the most important part in your life, in your daily activities. In this lies your real good. In this lies true inner success. May God and Gurudev help us to do this!