What Is Mind

By Bhanu Swami - 8.9 2017

What Is Mind? A Bhagavatam Conception of Mind

2. Story of Puranjana

King Puranjana had unlimited desires for sense enjoyment. Consequently he traveled all over the world to find a place where all his desires could be fulfilled. Unfortunately he found a feeling of insufficiency everywhere. 27.12.

Once, while wandering I this way, he saw on the southern side of the Himalayas, in a place named Bharata Varsa a city that had nine gates all about and was characterized by all auspicious facilities. 27.13

While wandering here and there in that wonderful garden, King Puranjana suddenly came in contact with a very beautiful woman who was walking there without any engagement. She had ten servants with her, and each servant had hundreds of wives accompanying him. 27.20

The woman was protect on all sides by a five hooded snake. She was very beautiful and young, and she appeared very anxious to find a suitable husband. 27.21

Interdependence of soul and intelligence

Being thus entangled in different types of mental concoction and engaged in fruitive activities, King Puranjana came completely under the control of material intelligence and was thus cheated, Indeed, he used to fulfill all the desires of his wife, the Queen. 27.61

In this way, King Puranjana was captivated by his nice wife and was thus cheated. Indeed, he became cheated in this whole existence in the material world. Even against that poor foolish King’s desire, he remained under the control of his wife, just like a pet animal that dances according to the order of its master. 27 62

Soul, body intelligence, mind, subtle senses, desires, gross senses (9gates)

When the Yavanas were taking King Puranjana away to their place, binding him like an animal, the King’s followers became greatly aggrieved. While they lamented, they were forced to go along with him. 28.23

The serpent, who had already been arrested by the soldiers of Yavana Raja and was out of the city, began to follow his master along with the others. As soon as they all left the city, it was immediately dismantled and smashed to dust. 28.24

Therefore, my dear King, the living entity, who has a subtle mental covering, develops all kinds of thoughts and images because of his previous body. Take this from me as certain. There is no possibility of concocting anything mentally without having perceived it in the previous body. 29.65

The mind of the living entity continues to exist in various gross bodies, and according to one’s desires for sense gratification, the mind records different thoughts. In the mind these appear together in different combinations; therefore these images sometimes appear as things never seen or never heard before. 29.68

In Brahma samhita 5.54. it is said karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti bhajam. When a person is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, his stockpile of material desires is minimized. Indeed, the desires no longer fructify in the form of gross bodies. Instead, the stockpile of desires becomes visible on the mental platform by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 4.29.69 purport


The living entity attains a particular type of gross body in accordance with his past activities and mental condition. In this life the mental condition changes in different ways and the same living entity gets another body in the next life according to his desires. The mind, intelligence and false ego are always engaged in an attempt to dominate material nature. According to that subtle astral body, one attains a gross body to enjoy the objects of one’s desires. According to the activities of the present body, one prepares another subtle body and according to the subtle body, one attains another gross body. This is the process of material existence.

Madhya 8 229 purport.

“Whatever state of being one remember when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” The atmosphere of the subtle body at the time of death is created by the activities of the gross body. Thus the gross body acts during one’s lifetime and the subtle body acts at the time of death. The subtle body, which is called linga, the body of desire, is the background for the development of a particular type of gross body, which is either like that o one’s mother or like that of one’s father.

SB 6.1 54

Ahankara or false ego, is transformed into the demigods, the controlling directors of material affairs. As an instrument, the false ego is represented as different senses and sense organs, and as the result of the combination of the demigods and the senses , material objects are produced. SB 3.26.26 purport

Mental activities, or psychological functions of thinking, feeling and willing, are also activities on the platform of ethereal existence. The statement in Bhagavad gita that the mental situation at the time of death is the basis of the next birth is also corroborated in this verse. Mental existence transforms into tangible form as soon as there is an opportunity due to contamination or development of the gross elements from subtle form. SB. 3.26.34 purport

The senses are symbolic representations of the demigods, and their natural inclination is to work under the direction of the Vedic injunctions. As the senses are representatives of the demigods, so the mind is the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The mind’s natural duty is to serve. When that service spirit is engaged in the devotional service to the Personality of Godhead, without any motive, that is far better even than salvation. Bhakti dissolves the subtle body of the living entity without separate effort, just as fire in the stomach digests all that we eat. SB 3.25.32-33

4. Some Conclusions based on Vedic Descriptions

Subtle body has a subtle form with subtle senses to perceive .

Subtle body not subject to gross physical laws of space and time

Subtle body changes according to present experiences and thoughts

Thought forms become more permanent if desires and thoughts are strong.

Attachment to the subtle body of another person can lead to attachments in future bodies

Sinful, selfish or violent acts create disruption in the subtle body.

This determines the gross form in the next birth along with suffering

Acts of punya or generosity maximize the health of the subtle body. This determines the extent of enjoyment in the gross body in next life.

Subtle body is an intermediary between the soul and the gross body, but still material.

The relation between the soul and body is established via false identification, false ego.

The Super Soul guides the consciousness of the soul to fulfil his desires and enjoy in the gross world.

The Super Soul guides the soul to get out of ignorance.

Modern Investigations of Mind

Remote Viewing

Regardless of one’s a priori position, however, an unimpassioned observer cannot help but attest to the following fact. Despite the ambiguities inherent in the type of exploration covered in these programs, the integrated results appear to provide unequivocal evidence of a human capacity to access events remote in space and time, however falteringly, by some cognitive process not yet understood. My years of involvement as a research manager in these programs have left me with the conviction that this fact must be taken into account in any attempt to develop an unbiased picture of the structure of reality.

H.Putoff., Stanford University

Verification of Subtle Energy

Results of three uniquely different experiments are provided, each providing robust correlates of subtle energy events manifesting in the physical band of reality. Taken together, the experiments support the postulate that subtle energy signals not directly observable by physical means do create a transduced signal at the magnetic vector potential field level of the physical realms.

Within the concepts of our standard electrodynamics, the transduction of the subtle energy signals generates electric and magnetic signals that have observable physical effects. The experimental results are also suggestive that human intention when applied to unseen subtle domains is the effective driver of events seen in the physical domain.

Based on a significant amount of experimental evidence emerging from numerous researchers, it appears that the physical domain is interconnected with a subtle energy domain. Although not directly measurable in physical terms, the actions of the subtle energies produce physical activity that is measurable in physical terms. For this to occur, it would seem that a magnetic vector potential of some kind must exist, via which the activity of the subtle energies is transduced into measurable physical events.

Dr. Edward Tiller

Experiments is Psi

The deviations achieved in any given run are practically immeasurable but the results of half a million test runs show an unmistakable signature of an effect the researchers attribute to human consciousness. Detailed mathematical analysis suggests that a minute perturbation of the “elementary binary probability” is involved, as if the mind were ever so slightly nudging the electronic dice in the desired direction.

An even more puzzling result of the experiments is that the effect can be produced even if the experimenter is several thousand miles away from the random device, and perhaps even over significant intervals of time. In the most extreme case an experimenter in Europe on Monday might concentrate on producing the effect, but the actual measurements on the device are, by prior agreement, not carried out until Friday in Princeton.

Speculating on the phenomenon Jahn states, “All forces known to physics, like gravity for example, diminish with distance. And no forces in physics operate freely across time like this. It’s as if consciousness is somehow able to direct its influence directly across space and time, and understanding that certainly poses a challenge for science.”

And Dunne adds: “This is similar to what mystics have claimed through the ages, but now we have scientific evidence.”

Prof Robert Jahn , Princeton University

Experiments with Chi Gong Masters

From December, 1990, to June, 1991, new experiments were performed investigating the effects of external Qi and its effects on:

1. the radioactive decay rate of a radioactive element

2. the ultraviolet absorption of de-ionized water.

The results demonstrated that the external Qi emitted by Dr. Yan Xin (from the United States) could cause an astonishing change in the radioactive decay rate of the radioactive source 241 Am, and it significantly affected de-ionized water and changed its ultraviolet absorption spectrum.

The most extraordinary feature of this experiment was that the external Qi was transmitted from the qigong master in the United States to the laboratory in Beijing — a distance over 10,000 kilometers. These positive results were published in a paper, “The External Qi Experiments from the United States to Beijing (China)” by Yan Xin in Zhongguo Qigong (China Qigong) in Chinese, Vol.1, pp.4-6, 1993.

Reincarnation Research

Stevenson, an M.D. psychiatrist in the University of Virginia School of Medicine, has spent years investigating cases of children in Asia who claim to remember former lives. Only a small percentage of people ever “remember” a former life. But one striking result emerging from Stevenson’s investigation of almost 900 cases is that a violent death in a previous life is more likely to result in such a memory carrying over into a child’s present life.

Analyzing these cases, he found that 35 percent of the children who remember a previous life have birth marks or birth defects seemingly related in some way to the events of that previous life.

What Stevenson now presents with striking photographic evidence is an uncanny correspondence between those birthmarks or birth defects and the fatal wounds of the person whose life and violent death are remembered. One photograph shows birthmarks on the chest of an Indian youth who remembered the life of a man killed by a shotgun fired at close range. The following figure in the article shows the sketch made by an Indian physician who examined the postmortem report of the dead man with Dr. Stevenson. It shows clearly the correspondence between the wounds and the birthmark of the subject.

Another photograph shows the malformed ear of a Turkish boy who also remembered dying of a shotgun blast, in this case to the right side of the head. Acting as much detective as researcher, Stevenson tracked down the hospital records of the victim who had died of severe brain injuries from shot penetrating the skull.

In 18 cases, there were pairs of birthmarks corresponding to entry and exit wounds of gunshots.

The Brain and Primary Reality

The works of Pribram and Bohm combine to theorize that ,”Our brains mathematically construct ‘concrete’ reality by interpreting frequencies from another dimension, a realm of meaningful, patterned primary reality that transcends time and space. The brain is a hologram, interpreting a holographic universe.” (The Holographic Paradigm, by Ken Wilber 1982)

In his book, “The Implicate Order,” Dr. David Bohm says that primary physical laws cannot be discovered by a science that attempts to break the world into parts. He writes of what he calls an “implicate enfolded order” which exists in an unmanifested state, and is the foundation on which all manifest reality rests. This manifest reality is “the explicate unfolded order.”

Dr. Bohm suggests that the holographic view of the universe is the beginning point of understanding the implicate enfolded and the explicate unfolded orders. The hologram concept holds that every piece, however small, is an exact representation of the whole, and can be used to reconstruct the whole.

Gloria Alvino, Human Energy Field

Earth resonance with Human Energy

At the Shanghai Atomic Nuclear Institute of Academia Sinica, it was shown that Qi Gong masters emanate a vital force in the form of a low frequency sound that acts as a low fluctuating carrier wave. Some scientists believe that these waves can be generated by machine or with the human hand. A human being is the greatest generator of the electromagnetic low frequency waves when in a meditative state. When he sends out love he sends 8 Hertz waves. (Qi Gong research with Kirlian photographs, July 28,1995)

It is well documented and established that all evolution on the earth and all living creatures evolve in this 8 Hertz field, known as the Schumann Resonance, and the brain wave of the planet. Somehow this 8 Hertz wave is in tune with our DNA and it is this specific frequency that stimulates the growth of higher consciousness and evolution. Some scientists believe that with more and more electrical devices on the market, electromagnetic pollution could be one factor that masks the natural and beneficial 8 Hertz earth pulse. This masking effect is thought to be one of the causes of poor immune systems and premature aging.

Dr. Agnes Krowick

Mind influences Body

Based on this new perspective, David Thaler published an important revisionist article entitled The Evolution of Genetic Intelligence (Science 264:224,1994). Thaler introduces the significance of the environment, and more importantly, the organism’s perception of its environment, in not only regulating organismal behavior, but also in the rewriting of its genetic code. Heretofore, we believed that the behavior and expression of an organism represented a simple read-out of its existing genetic programs. We must now recognize that biological expression is actively determined by the organism’s perception of its life experiences. Through learning experiences, organisms create receptor “filters” through which they perceive their lives. The positive or negative focus of these receptor filters are directly responsible for the traits expressed by the organism in an effort to maintain its survival.

Dr. Agnes Krowick

Conclusions from Modern Science

Subtle energy is real.

There is a mechansim apart from brain responsible for our perceptions of the world.

It has measureable effects on the gross world.

Subtle energy can be controlled by intention.

The subtle energy in some form can be called mind.

This mind exists beyond our gross conceptions of time and space.

This mind exists with subtle senses.

We can perceive other dimensions or times with this mind.

This mind separates from the gross body at death or by out of body experience.

This mind goes to another body at death.