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How does Your Mind Influence You?
Our Actions Reflect Our Mental States
The face, it is said, is the index of the mind. If a person is angry, his anger is immediately expressed on his face. Similarly, other mental states are reflected by the actions of the gross body. In other words, the activities of the gross body are expressions of the mental condition. The mind's activities are thinking, feeling and willing. The willing portion of the mind is manifest by the activities of the body. The conclusion is that by the activities of the body and senses, we can understand the condition of the mind.The condition of the mind is affected by past activities in the past body. When the mind is jomed with a particular sense, the mind immediately becomes manifest through that sense. For instance, when the mind's anger is expressed through the tongue, the tongue utters maledictions. When the mind's anger is expressed through the hand, there is fighting. And when it is expressed through the leg, there is kicking. Thus there are many ways in which the subtle activities of the mind are expressed through the various senses. The mind of a person in Krishna consciousness also acts in a similar way. When the mind is experiencing the ecstasy of Krishna consciousness in a kirtan, automatically the tongue chants Hare Krishna, the hands rise in ecstasy, and the legs dance gracefully.
Dreams From Previous Experiences
In dreams we sometimes see things that we have never experienced in the present body.
• Sometimes in dreams we think that we are flying in the sky, although we have no experience of flying in this life. This means that in some previous life, either as a demigod or as an astronaut, we flew in the sky. That impression is there in the stockpile of the mind, and it suddenly expresses itself. It is like fermentation taking place in the depths of water, which sometimes manifests itself in bubbles on the water's surface.
• Sometimes we dream of coming to a place we have never known or experienced in this lifetime, but this is proof that in a past life we experienced going to that place. The impression is kept within the mind and it sometimes becomes manifest either in a dream or in a thought.
The conclusion is that the mind is the storehouse of various thoughts and experiences undergone during our past lives. Thus there is a chain of continuation from one life to another, from previous lives to this life, and from this life to future lives.
The Mind is the Index of Our Past Lives
Precocious children provide testimony for this; from early childhood itself, without any training, some children are seen to be extraordinarily talented in poetry or science. This means that they had cultivated that aptitude in their previous life. If a person is a devotee of the Lord, he has cultivated devotional service in his previous life. Similarly, if one's mind is criminal, he was a criminal in his last life. In the same way, according to the mind, we can understand what will happen in a future life.
The activities of the living entity in the body of a dog like mating, eating abominable things may be experienced in the mind of a different body, namely human body; therefore those activities appear never to have been heard or seen. The mind continues, although the body changes. Even in this life-span we can sometimes experience dreams of our childhood. Although such incidents now appear strange, it is to be understood that they are recorded in the mind. Because of this, they become visible in dreams. The transmigration of the soul is caused by the subtle body, which is the storehouse of all kinds of material desires.
Unless one is fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness, material desires will come and go. That is the nature of the mind -thinking, feeling and willing. Sensual images are recorded in the mind in chronological order, and they become manifest one after another; therefore the living entity has to accept one body after another. The mind plans material enjoyment, and the gross body serves as the instrument to realize such desires and plans. The mind is the platform onto which all desires come and go. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura therefore sings:
guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete kariyd aikya,ara na kariha mane asa
Narottama das Thakura advises everyone to stick to the principle of carrying out the orders of the spiritual master. One should not desire anything else. If the regulative principles ordered by the spiritual master are followed rigidly, the mind will gradually be trained to desire nothing but the service of Krishna. Such training is the perfection of life.
Is A Child Innocent?
When a living entity is within the womb, his gross body, the ten sense organs and the mind are not fully developed. At such a time the objects of the senses do not disturb him. In a dream a young man may experience the presence of a young woman because at that time the senses are active. Because of undeveloped senses, a child or boy will not see a young woman in his dreams in a lusty way. The senses are active in youth even when one dreams, and although there may be no young woman present, the senses may act and there may be a seminal discharge (nocturnal emission). The activities of the subtle and gross bodies depend on how developed conditions are. The example of the moon is very appropriate. On a dark-moon night, the full shining moon is still present, but it appears not to be present due to conditions. Similarly, the senses of the living entity are there even in childhood, but they do not become active as long as the gross body and the subtle body are not developed. Lust is present in a child in a dormant seed form. Just as a seed if given time will grow into a tree and bear flowers and fruits, similarly, over a period of time, as the child grows into a youth, the lust within him will start manifesting itself. Therefore a child may appear to be innocent, but this does not mean that he is a liberated soul. Everything is held in reservation, and everything will become manifest in due course of time. Therefore it is wrong to say that a child is as good as a liberated soul.
The caterpillar transports itself from one leaf to another by capturing the next leaf before giving up the present one. Similarly, according to his previous work, the living entity must capture another body before giving up the one he has. This is because the mind is the reservoir of all kinds of desires.A living entity too much absorbed in material activity becomes very much attracted to the material body. Even at the point of death, he thinks of his present body and the relatives connected to it. Thus he remains fully absorbed in the bodily conception of life, so much so that even at the point of death he abhors leaving his present body. Sometimes it is found that a person on the verge of death remains in a coma for many days before giving up the body. This is common among so-called leaders and politicians who think that without their presence the entire country and all society will be in chaos. This is called Maya. Political leaders do not like to leave their political posts, and they either have to be shot by an enemy or obliged to leave by the arrival of death. By superior arrangement a living entity is offered another body, but because of his attraction to the present body, he does not like to transfer himself to another body. Thus he is forced to accept another body by the laws of nature.