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A Clear-Cut Difference

From: "K. Deva"
Subject: A Clear-Cut Difference
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2011 22:35:15 -0700


              == A CLEAR-CUT DIFFERENCE ==

Our AM ideology provides perfect analysis and explanations in all the
directions. As margiis we should be familiar with all His teachings
for both our own growth and development as well as to clear the matter
with others.

Here is one matter that is commonly misunderstood. For us however, we
should know the clear-cut difference.

                       A'TMA' VS MIND

All margis know that the a'tma' is the witnessing entity of the mind. As a
witnessing entity, its activity involves just that-- witnessing what is
done by the mind. That means the a'tma' watches all those actions, good or
bad, done by the mind. The a'tma' sees those things but it does not get
affected in any way.

However the opposite is the case with the mind. The mind gets completely
affected by all its various activities and actions.

Baba says, "Mana eva manus'ya'n'a'm' ka'ran'am' bandhamoks'ayoh...  Mind
alone is the cause of the bondage and liberation of human beings." (AV-1,

Hence the mind is the cause of its own bondage, and mind is the cause of its
liberation. When the mind is affected, the mind acquires samskaras.

So the mind changes -- it elevates and descends, expands and contracts -- on
the basis of the actions which it performs.


Of course the a'tma' and mind are attached. But the a'tma' never gets
affected by its environment. It does not get changed in any way. Because
the A'tma' is just a witnessing entity. And that unit a'tma' is also
witnessed by Parama Purus'a.

So 'witnessing entity' -- the word itself -- means that a'tman does not do
anything. It just witnesses. But because it is living together with mind,
for that reason it looks as if it is getting affected. But it is not.

For example, if you are standing next to a site where some negative work
just as a robbery, is going on. Those who are sitting distant, they may
think from their distant vantage point, that you are also involved. But you
did not do anything. You are just a passive onlooker.

This is the very situation we find with a'tman. And Baba gives some
examples of how it is working.

Baba tells that the a'tma' is like a stage light on a stage. If there is a
drama being performed on the stage, the stage light witnesses it. And if
there is nothing happening on the stage, the stage light witnesses that.
Similarly, when mind is in action doing something, then a'tma' sees that.
And if mind is inert, doing nothing, then a'tma' sees that too.

Another example is "upahat". This is a Samskrta term. Here it is explained
by Baba that the a'tma' is like a mirror. If you put a red flower next to
the mirror, then it looks like the mirror got affected. As, the mirror
turns completely red. But it is not actually red. If you remove the flower,
then the color is gone from the mirror.

Similarly is the case, with a'tma'n. Many sinners are there, virtuous
persons are there, great persons are there, bad persons are there. All
sorts of positive and negative people exist in the world. But in all the
cases, no matter who they are, their a'tma' is the same--blemishless.
Because it is only the unit mind, not the soul, that gets affected by human
action. The mind gets tied up in negative things and positive things,
according to the nature of the action.

Where mind is merged into Parama Purusa, then there is no sinner and no
virtuous. That is one particular sloka, given by Baba.

                 MIND IS WHAT GETS CHANGED

So the main thing is, that mind is the entity which gets affected. The mind
is what gets brought up and down-- which gets elevated or degenerated,
according to the nature of one's thought and action.

In that spirit, the mind is the entity that does sadhana. It is mind which
ideates, 'I am Brahma, I am Brahma'. And when mind becomes pure, then it
becomes one with a'tma'. So the mind gets transformed.

Whereas, A'tma' is always the same. It never changes.

The entire process of spiritual progress on the path toward Him- that
process is experienced and undergone by the mind. If today the mind is
dirty, tomorrow it will be cleaned. And ultimately when various minds merge
in Brahma then they become the same.

But until the unit mind is not cleaned, it remains distorted. This is due
to samskara. And one has to suffer one's samskara. Or by the grace of a
great Entity, these can be exhausted. Or, when one does sadhana and Guru's
grace comes, then one is constantly involved in thinking of Him. And then
ultimately mind becomes one with Him. In this way, the whole process of
purification and moving towards the Cosmic Hub happens with the mind.
A'tma' just watches. It cannot be affected.

                   A'TMA' INSPIRES THE MIND

In Ananda Marga Philosophy in a Nutshell-3, Question and Answer chapter,
Baba tells that a'tma' gives the inspiration to get peace.

Baba says, "A'tman can only provide inspiration or prerana; that is the
only action it can perform..." (APH-3, p.196)

The a'tma' always inspires the mind to do good works. If one's samskara is
not negative then one can listen to the call of the soul. And the mind
takes action on the basis of that inspiration. Otherwise, if one's
samskaras are too negative then their mind cannot hear the inspiration of
the a'tman. Means the mind fails to take action for its spiritual

Baba has given the example of the magnet attracting the iron. But if that
iron is dirty, covered with mud. Then the magnet may not be able to attract
it. Similarly, so much inspiration is coming from Parama Purusa via the
a'tma', but there are many who cannot pay heed. Due to this, such people's
mind does not get any inspiration to move ahead.


Here is another example of the unchanging eternal a'tma' or soul and the
changing, restless mind.

In Ananda Marga there is no such thing as "crude soul". Only "crude mind".
Because the soul cannot be crude. It is always the same, pure and

Now, one can say, "According to his samskara, samskara is attached with
that soul". But it does not mean that the particular soul gets changed or
affected by dint of that connection. It is just like, gold which is lying
in a pool of mud. The gold is completely pure. Nothing happened inside the
gold. But because mud touched the gold, that's why simple people think that
the gold became muddy, or blemished because of the mud. But inside nothing

However in the case of milk, if milk is touched by mud. Then the milk will
get infiltrated by the mud. So that is a different thing. Because it is
susceptible. But gold is not susceptible. Same way, a'tma' is not
susceptible. It is just witnessing.

So some things are susceptible to infiltration. And others not. And a'tma'
is that sort of thing. It remains pure, as it is.


So this is the situation. A'tma' gives inspiration to mind for engaging in
higher pursuits and attaining infinite peace. Those who have good samskaras
hear that call. And by that way their mind gets opportunity to change and
progress. And all the while the a'tma' watches, an unchanged eternal witness.

A'tma' is blemishless and unchanging in nature; whereas the mind which takes
action and is constantly affected by its own actions.

Hence there is clear-cut difference between a'tma' and mind. But one,
possibly two persons have their own confusion about this. All that is
explained in the notes below.

                       BABA'S BLESSING

Baba says, "I have told you that you are never alone in this world-- the
Entity that guides the stars guides you also." (AV-3, p.63)


Note 1: There are many terms which have been dogmatically created, due to
lack of understanding as to the impervious nature of a'tma'. Terms such as
maha'tma', dura'tma', papa'tma', etc. But this is not the way. Because
a'tma' cannot be affected by virtue, vice, or sin.

Baba says, "We sometimes use the words maha'tma' [great-souled], dura'tma'
[wicked], pa'pa'tma' [sinful], pun'ya'tma' [virtuous] and so forth. However
the a'tma' [soul] can never be great or wicked, nor can it be sinful or
virtuous." (SC-2)

Baba used to make jokes, that maha'tma' is not a good term. 'Mahan' means
'great', plus a'tma, equals maha'tma'. But the point is that a'tma cannot
become great. The a'tma of an ant, and the a'tma of a human being, the
a'tma of great souls and the a'tma of sinners. All a'tmas are the same.
Distortion came in their mind only. Some entities are elevated, some are
not. Some are sinners, some are virtuous. All these are qualities of mind.

Note 2: Of course throughout Baba's grand ideology He provides
crystal-clear explanations of all these topics related to a'tma' and soul
etc. One excellent section in particular is 'Life, Death, and Samskara'
chapter & others from Idea and Ideology Book and then many chapters from AM
Elementary Philosophy also address these things. And if anyone knows other
good references then they should also tell.


For those who would like to learn about the objectivated mind, kindly
refer to this letter:

                  Honey is Eye-Medicine

Baba says, "Floral nectar can be collected from lotus and is very good for
all kinds of eye diseases, including retinal detachment...To extract the
honey, you have to employ the same method as doctors use to extract blood.
This is because many ants and insects feed on the honey. A syringe can
extract it without getting clogged up." (PNS-16, p. 33-34)

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