Five States of the Human Mind
It’s all in the Mind. We interact with the Universe with our Thoughts. Even when we are asleep, our Mind is operating – the continuous flow of Thoughts lead to two states of Minds, Peace or Chaos. In Yoga, the human Mind is known as “Markata”. Yoga classifies the Mind into five states, according to Nyaya Bhasya:
1) Kshipta (Restless Wandering) It is a state of mind where the mind is like a pendulum. It is unable to reach to a conclusion. The attention is constantly shifting or fluctuating. Mind is not steady. One experiences this state of mind because of collision of thoughts. In this condition, one should try to avoid several chains of thoughts in the mind and wait for the matter to come on the surface on its own. It is the lowest state of the mind to be in.
2) Mudha (Infatuated, Forgetful) One goes through this condition when one is extremely angry or is experiencing series of emotions. It’s a kind of distraction that takes birth because of attachment, hatred or greediness. The flow of energy in the mind is blocked. The mind is dull and forgetful. One has to work on de-cluttering and rebooting oneself. Know your mind.
3) Vikshipta (Distracted Mind) In this state, the mind is distracted, and one is dealing with a compromised sense of self. The mind is experiencing parallel and conflicting chain of thoughts. The Vikshipta mind can be easily influenced and manipulated. A person faces self-doubt, agony and fear in this state where the internal and external worlds are constantly clashing. One needs to take essential steps to purify this state of mind. Introspection and knowledge of self are two sole factors that help the mind in the cleansing process.
4) Ekagra (Focus, Knowledge) Ekagra means that the mind has achieved one-pointed concentration and the person is fully present in the moment, unaffected by any external factors. In this state of mind, one can connect with their higher spiritual self, as the mind is deeply focused and is able to choose the peaceful path. In this condition, one has thorough knowledge of reality and has control over the mind and its’ string of thoughts. The mind is peaceful and full of energy. It is on its desired spiritual path.
5) Niruddha (Final Epiphany) The Niruddha mind is in complete stillness and goes through series of epiphanies. One learns to rise above the self and becomes spiritually intelligent. It is the most desired state of mind.It is calm and still. Thoughts are just like watching passers-by from the gallery. The breath is in control and the mind is on its journey to explore its magnificence. This state of mind is generally achieved through meditation and deep contemplation. To achieve the Niruddha state of mind, one must master the ability to control the flow of thoughts and overcome all the obstacles. Awareness of the state of mind can help to lead your way out of chaos. It’s in the stillness that you can feel your mind and knowing that you are completely alive through self-knowledge.
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