By winning the mind, I can win over the world.
I am a soul, an energy that is made up of 3 subtle organs or faculties – mind, intellect and sankaras (memory). However, as we know, the soul is energy and by that definition it is not divided into 3 separate energies but rather manifests itself in these 3 forms. It is the mind or the screen where thoughts are generated, it is the intellect that evaluates the thoughts and once the action is performed, it is stored in the form of sanskars in the memory bank.
So when I think about it, given everything starts with a thought, it is fair to say that I am but the thoughts I create. They originate from the past sanskars or through what our sense organs pick up from the external environment. So then we can have either positive or negative thoughts. The mind which, as we said before is just a screen, does not care about the difference but the intellect does. It evaluates these thoughts to determine if these are pure feelings or negative emotions.
So now winning over the mind, the generator of thoughts, means that it listens to the intellect willingly and generates only those types of thoughts that the intellect has determined to be good ones. This will happen when the intellect very politely trains the mind by rejecting consistently any thoughts that are of the waste or ordinary kind. Examples of these thoughts are, what someone else is doing, did he notice me or not, why did she insult me etc. To do this requires a tremendous amount of will power or strength. Unfortunately after so many births, having done this for so long, the intellect’s strength is depleted or as we say, it is at this point pretty burnt out. This strength needs to be replenished.
This will come, just as with the body, with the right balance of diet and exercise. Feeding the intellect gossip or other waste/ordinary thoughts is like feeding it junk food. This is a taste we have acquired over the last few births and it is unfortunately addictive! It is like feeding the body food that is high in sugar or caffeine which is certainly instant energy but very, very short lived. In fact it makes the body lethargic quickly and eventually makes us obese.
The real diet to replenish the mind, as is the case with the body, is through food that is not as tasty as potato chips but once we get used to it, it quickly becomes a lifestyle and equally as addictive as the junk diet. We will find ourselves feeling stronger, happier with energy that lasts longer and when combined with exercise, we build muscle rather than fat.
The diet for the soul or the intellect is Godly knowledge and the cardio is churning that knowledge. God is described as limitless or ocean of knowledge and churning that ocean for jewels keeps the mind fit and strengthens that muscle. And just as in the case of a cardio workout that burns fat, churning knowledge burns the waste in the mind. Elevated thoughts then lead to elevated actions, which, in turn create elevated sanskars.
Why Godly knowledge? God is also a soul, a perfect soul, who is unadulterated by the cycle of birth and death. His knowledge is always in tact, perfect. He gives this to us Himself in the form of the elevated versions. So really, the elevated versions are the only tangible form of God and the manual to how a perfect intellect operates – what to do in different situations, how to strike a balance in the face of opposite emotions etc. This is knowledge we too had at the beginning of the cycle but have since forgotten. So now we remind ourselves again by looking at how the only soul that remains unaffected by the cycle does it.
This manual, if we make the basis of our lifestyle, will not only guarantee happiness and satisfaction today but also build that muscle, that sanskar or memory bank from which we draw knowledge for the rest of the cycle. This is the only opportunity in the entire cycle to pick the mind of God, to re-record within ourselves the right way to think, be.
So really the mind is won over by the intellect and we are defined by how strong or weak our intellect is. If we can give the intellect the right nutrition and exercise so it is strong enough to train the mind and win it over, we’ve in fact won over ourselves or become masters of our world.
This is also I believe what we mean by Baap saman or equal to God- when my intellect mirrors His.