CHENNAI: It is common to find that a person is concerned more about his body and its health but not about his mind. Though it is the mind with which man engages in the world, he is unmindful of his mind. The epics and the Puranas illustrate through characters how the mind must be harnessed. The human personality is a complex aggregate of the physical body (visible) and the invisible mental faculties. As all human engagements depend on the inner faculty (mind), should one not be more focussed on the mind become mindful of the mind?

In his introductory lecture on the loftier dimensions of the mind, Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha said the mind was manifest in the body but that did not mean that the mind was in the body. The mind gives man the ability to understand, think, feel and will, and is the manifestation of the soul. Every organ in the body functions because of the `I'; so there is a power within that animates and activates the body. The conflicts and problems a person faces are caused by the mind and hence the solution must also be found in the mind.

Arjuna was mentally shattered at the prospect of war after coming to the battlefield for which he had prepared for 13 long years. When Lord Krishna asked, "How has this infatuation overtaken you at this odd hour? It is shunned by noble souls; neither will it bring heaven nor fame to you," Arjuna surrendered to the Lord saying, "With my very being tainted by the vice of faintheartedness and my mind puzzled with regard to duty, I am asking You. Tell me that which is decidedly good; I am Your disciple. Pray instruct me, who have put myself into Your hands." Arjuna's mind then became receptive to Krishna's teaching first and after listening to His exposition his mind attained clarity and he said he would fight (do his duty).

Human life is an interaction between the individual and the world, and between individuals, and it is these interactions, which are the basis of all actions, experience and knowledge. The mind is the basis of all these interactions. Every human action originates in the mind and after the action is performed remains as an impression (memory) even with passage of time. From this it can be seen that the mind is the source of all human engagement with the world and not the body.