Western psychologists relate Mind in terms of Consciousness and according to them Mind and Consciousness are used as equivalents to each other. The Mind they refer to has no satisfactory Sanskrit word as the notion is different. When I speak of Mind in our ancient scriptures I am pointing to refer “Inner Conscience” (Antahkarana), which consists of Manas (sensory information receiver and processor), Buddhi (Intellect), Chitta (Memory storage), Ahamkara (Ego). While these four function within the “Outer Instruments” (Bahyakarana) the sensory organs work outward, amazingly both require Consciousness (Chaitanya) to make it felt.
Antahkarana illuminates from the light of Chaitanya just as Moon shines with the help of light from Sun. But on what would Antahkarana sustain? Scriptures say it sustains on the food we take. Once a master taught his disciple a sloka. The disciple was very good in reciting the sloka by memory. The master asked his disciple to go on fast. After a week master asked him to recite, he was able to recite with a little difficulty. Master asked him to continue fasting for another week. Then he asked him to recite the sloka. Now the disciple was not able to recollect the sloka properly. The master pointed out to the disciple that food was required to sustain the Antahkarana even though it is illuminated by Chaitanya.
Antahkarana is by itself a Jada Vastu (inert), only due to Chaitanya it is lively and makes us believe that it is vibrant, powerful, energetic and pulsating. It is a bridge between the physical body and the higher Self. For the physical body to experience the higher Self the bridge has to be in perfect condition that is Anthakarana has to be Crystal Clear.
How to have a Crystal Clear Antahkarana?
We need not think of doing great virtues and practising austerities. If I want my shirt clean all I do is remove the dirt, I do not attempt to make it clean. Similarly, by just letting go all the negative traits Anthakarana gets purified automatically. The negative traits are the Arishadvargas (six inner enemies) called desire, anger, greed, infatuation, pride and jealousy which are to be addressed.
How did these negative traits reside in us did we invite them? Or have they gained access without our permission?
No, they are the results of ignorance about the higher Self. Instead of identifying our self with the physical body or the “Bridge” mind, if we can get identified with our higher Self, which is immortal and bliss itself. I feel to get identified with higher Self, one needs total commitment and sincere enquiry. As one advance in this enquiry with an unbiased mind, the negative traits just like that detach themselves without his knowledge.
So, does it mean that practising positive trait is of no use? No it is not so, the positive trait I practice will help the harmony of the society I live to a larger extent and I can use my physical body and “Bridge” mind as tools for it. I observe that in a garden the gardener not only keep an eye on weeds, but also plant and nurture flower bearing plants so that weeds do not sprout. Similarly, if I feed only the positive thoughts, the negative ones will wither and die. And to overcome attachment, we can attach to the highest so that the lower attachments weaken and fall off.
I agree that sometimes these positive traits can inflate Ego. But when I am struggling to overcome negative traits I need practice positive traits and use them as in the pole vault event at Olympics the pole-vaulter requires the pole to rise above the bar. Though he has to abandon the pole at the right moment to soar over the bar and clear it. I need to use positive traits to fight the negative and ultimately let go both.