THE FIVE FACTORS
There are five factors that influence the mind: place, time, food, past impressions, associations and actions.
• Every place you are in has a different impact on the mind. Even in your house you can see that you feel differently in different rooms. A place where there has been singing, chanting and meditation has a different influence on the mind. Suppose you like a particular place; you may find that a little later it will not be the same.
• Time is also a factor. Different times of the day and year have different influences on the mind.
• Different types of food that you eat influence your mind for several days.
• Past impressions – karma – have different impacts on the mind. Awareness, alertness, knowledge and meditation help erase past impressions.
• Associations and actions, or the people and events you are associated with- also influence your mind. In certain company your mind behaves in one way and with others your mind behaves in a different way. Though these five factors influence your life and your mind, know that the Self is much more powerful. As you grow in knowledge, you will influence them all.
January 6, 2000
Desire, action and awareness of the Self are all manifestations of the same energy that is you. Among these three one dominates at any one time. When you have many desires, you are not aware of the Self.
When desire dominates, Self-awareness will be at its lowest and that is why philosophers all around the world have advocated renunciation and dropping desires. When desire dominates, stress and sorrow result. When action dominates, restlessness and disease are the result. When awareness dominates, happiness dawns. When your desires and actions are sincerely directed to the Divine or welfare of society, then consciousness is automatically elevated, and Self-knowledge is sure to be attained.
March 25, 1999
An example inspires and brings confidence in the application of knowledge, and the visible sign of it is an undying smile. The Self knows neither sorrow nor death, yet in it flow all relative events.
It is easy to be detached when you are not in love. Being in utter love and yet undisturbed, caring yet not worried, persistent yet not perturbed – all are the obvious signs of the Self shining through.
Bangalore Ashram, India
November 11, 1999
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