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Chapter 3: Five Modifications of Mind

How to become masters? And how to put mind in its right place where you can use it, where if you don’t want to use it you can put it aside and remain silent? So the whole mechanism of the mind will have to be understood. Now we should enter the sutra.

The first sutra:

The modifications of the mind are five. They can be either a source of misery or of non-misery.

The first thing to be understood: that mind is not something different from the body, remember. Mind is part of the body. It is body, but deeply subtle; a state of body, but very delicate, very refined. You cannot catch it, but through the body you can influence it. If you take a drug, if you take LSD or marijuana or something else.or alcohol, suddenly the mind is affected. The alcohol goes into the body, not into the mind, but the mind is affected. Mind is the subtlest part of the body.

The reverse is also true: influence the mind and the body is affected. That happens in hypnosis. A person who cannot walk, who says that he has a paralysis, can walk under hypnosis. You don’t have paralysis, but if under hypnosis it is said, “Now your body is paralyzed, you cannot walk,” you cannot walk. A paralyzed man can walk under hypnosis. What is happening? Hypnosis goes into the mind, the suggestion goes into the mind then the body follows.

First thing to be understood: mind and body are not two. This is one of the deepest discoveries of Patanjali. Now modern science recognizes it, it is very recent in the West. Now they say body-and-mind - to talk in this dichotomy is not right. Now they say it is “psychosoma,” it is mind-body. These two terms are just two functions of one phenomenon. One pole is mind, the other pole is body, so you can work from either and change the other.

The body has five organs of activity, five indriyas, five instruments of activity. The mind has five modifications, five modes of function. Mind and body are one. Body is divided into five functions, mind is also divided into five functions. We will go into each function in detail.

The second thing about this sutra is:

They can be either a source of misery or of non-misery.

These five modifications of the mind, this totality of the mind, can lead you into deep anguish, in dukkha, in misery. Or if you rightly use this mind, its functioning, it can lead you into non-misery.

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