Q 1: How does the mind differ from the Soul?

A: The mind is a special, limited particularization, or tool, of the
Soul-consciousness. The Soul-consciousness is unlimited and all-pervading. The
mind however, is the form of the collective of desires, and hence, it is inert.
But it appears to be conscious and powerful while the Inner Self/the Soul is
reflected through it. The mind is the experiencer of every condition in the
universe, both objectively and subjectively. The Soul is the Absolute which is
not really affected by any experience of the mind. The mind is mortal, while the
Soul is immortal.

Q 2: If an individual is a Perfect Master, he is capable of functioning on all
planes at the same time. He possesses to a remarkable degree the powers of
clairvoyance and clairaudience. Can he not read the thoughts of the student
before the student has time to utter them, before the student can bring out his
questions, as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa did? Can one who has such powers, even
of thought-reading, be regarded as a Master?

A: Clairvoyance and clairaudience are not always automatic processes. Unless the
Master directs his attention towards someone, he need not necessarily be aware
of the seeker’s mentality and doubts. Imagine a seer or a Perfect Master who is
ever aware of what everybody thinks! A Siddha does see and hear everything in
Samadhi. This everything comes then to mean the Self or Atman or Supreme
Consciousness where the individual thoughts and words cease to exist as such.
Powers like thought-reading do not necessarily connote perfection; and
perfection cannot be vetoed by the absence of these powers. A Perfect Master can
acquire these powers if he so wills; but you cannot force him to.

Q 3: I read your article in “My Magazine”: “Fly from the company of
worldly-minded persons. Those who talk of worldly affairs will pollute you. Your
mind will waver. Run, run, run quickly to solitary places like Rishikesh. You
will be safe in the spiritual path”. May I come to you and lead the life of a
A: Do not be hasty. Think well. Look before you leap. Mere emotion will not do
in the spiritual line. The above instructions are for those who were already
doing some kind of Sadhana. They will have to go in for seclusion for advanced
practices. It will be better for beginners like you to perform Nishkama Karma
Yoga for three years in the world by disinterestedly serving the sick and the
aged persons. Suppose you remain with me as a Sannyasin, have you got the real
strength of heart to face your mother when she weeps bitterly before you with a
broken heart? Will you stick to this line if your father comes and threatens
you? Will you be unaffected in your mind if a young lady tempts you? Will you be
steady if you are affected by a disease? Are you prepared to sacrifice this body
and life in the cause of Truth? Have you understood the glory and importance of
Sannyasa and seclusion? Have you got an idea of the difficulties that Sannyasins
have to face? Are you prepared to go from door to door and live on Bhiksha? How
will you spend the whole day and night when you live in seclusion? Just decide
all these points before you come to me. If you are sure that you are fit for
Sannyasa, you can come here. I will serve you and help you well. I will take
care of your spiritual welfare. I will make you a king of kings. There is
nothing so pleasant as the life of renunciation. It is best suited for quick
Self-realization. Glory to all Sannyasins!

When the mind wanders, repeat some Stotras (Spiritual Verses), hymns, verses
from the Gita and the Upanishads.
– Sri Swami Sivananda


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