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The Characteristics of the Spiritual Mind

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(freely rendered from ‘The Story of Ikṣvāku’ of the Laghu Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha, 6.13)


Rāma, the fifteen year old prince of Ayodhya in North India, who lived many thousands of year ago, asked the wise Vasiṣṭha: If the egoistic mind has been freed from its illusionary form and maintains its real state, by what characteristic does it distinguish itself?


Vasiṣṭha replied: Listen attentively to the characteristics of a fickle mind which has as such has been destroyed while yet its (spiritual) form survives: however many desires, illusions and other bad things come to such a person’s mind, they will not upset him, because he is firmly aware of his real inner self (which is immortal and never is polluted) – just as little as a leaf of a lotus is disturbed by a drop of water.

From his face will always kindly radiate the good qualities of benevolence and many other good traits. He will think of no more of whatever sins nor practice them; the never ending habits of his mind which always constantly hunt a person will become less and less and keep him no longer in their grip. He will overcome anger, and the tendency of his mind towards personal desires will disappear; all the bad impulses of passion will subside.


All illusions he might have had will flee away from him and find another place where they feel at home. His five sense organs only perform their functions. He will get no pain that stand him in the way, and also his worldly pleasures will not increase.

Because he is content inside and suffers no pains, his mind will become stable with whomever or wherever he is. He will look on all beings as equals. A perfect harmony and beauty will prevail in him, and everyone will like him. The illusions of worldly existence will never affect such wise persons who suffer no pains, whatever surprises the illusions of the world may bring him. Nor will he ever oscillate with their never ceasing changes when they present themselves or are destroyed, or indulge in generating myriads of pleasures and pains.


Pity those people of the world who use their mind for low purposes and who do not long for and attain that highest principle of life – which can only be recognized through the view of spiritual knowledge and in which accidents are unknown.


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