Four major segments of the mind and how they function
- Category: First steps
There are 4 major segments of the mind. If you understand them and if you understand how they function, you will be experiencing them. That will be very helpful.
1. Viññāṇa (Pāli) or Vijñāna (Sanskrit)
is translated as "consciousness," "life force," "mind," or "discernment."
Its job is to cognize. All the 6 senses that we have: the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body and the mind have their corresponding 6 separate vinnanas, eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness and the mind consciousness.
For example, when the sound comes in contact with the ear, the ear consciousness will arise.
When a shape, a form, a color or a light comes in contact with the eye, the eye consciousness will arise.
When taste comes in contact with the tongue, the tongue consciousness will arise.
When smell comes in contact with the nose, the nose consciousness will arise.
When something tangible comes in contact with the body, the body consciousness will arise.
Similarly when a thought or an emotion comes in contact with the mind, the mind consciousness will arise.
These are the six types of consciousness, and their job is to cognize, something has happened.
Immediately after this another part of the mind will raise its head.
is translated as “perception”
It's job is to recognize.
When for example a sound comes in contact with the ear the first part (vinnana) will say, something has happened at the ear sense, that's all. And the second part of the mind (sanna) will try to recognize what has happened.
If these are words, then it will ask what words? Are these the words of abuse or the words of praise?
It will recognize using all the experience of the past, all the conditioning of the past, and all the memory of the past. Not only it will recognize, it will give evaluation to it.
If it hears the words of abuse, then it will recognize “ooooh very bad”, if it hears the words of praise, then it will recognize “aaaaa wonderful”.
As soon as this second segment (sanna) has done it's job third segment of the mind starts working.
is translated as either „feeling” or “sensation”
This part of the mind is experiencing sensations of the body.
As soon as the evaluation is given (from the sanna part), and the evaluation is that these are the words of praise, you will notice that there is a flow of very subtle and pleasant vibrations throughout the body. And there will be a flow of pleasant vibrations, because the evaluation is that these are very good words.
If evaluation is given that the words are of abuse, you will find that there is a flow of very unpleasant vibrations thought the body.
So the third part of the mind experiences the sensations on the body: pleasant or unpleasant.
Immediately after this, the fourth part of the mind raises it's head.
4. Saṅkhāra (Pāli) or Saṃskāra(Sanskrit)
it's job is to react
It is actually the motivation of the mind, the reaction of the mind and actually it is something that is heap of action.
The first part of the mind (cognizing) is not the action, it will not give any fruit.
The second part of the mind (recognizing) is not the action, it will not give any fruit.
The third part of the mind (feeling) is not the action, it will not give any fruit.
The fourth part for the mind (sankhara), the reaction, this is an action, this gives fruit.
If you, for example, keep on repeating words of praise (pleasant sensations), this part of the mind will keep on repeating reaction I want it, I want more. Crawing, clinging, crawing, clinging. Continously crawing, clinging.
If these are the words of abuse, or other unpleasant sensations, this part of the mind will be reacting, aversion, I don't like it, I want to get rid of it. Aversion, Aversion, Aversion...
continuous, continuous, continuous, continuous,
Sankhara is the evolution of the mind, which results in mental action, and this gives fruit.
The kind of the fruit it will give, depends on many things like, How deep is your Sankhara, how strong is the seed, and what is it’s quality.
There are 3 types of Sankharas:
First one is like a line drawn on the water. As you draw so it gets eliminated.
Second one is like a line drawn on the beach sand. Morning you draw a line, by evening water will eliminate.
The third one is like a line drawn on the rock. Deep line. It takes years to get it eradicated. This third one is very dangerous and this one man people keep repeating.
If you keep repeating anger, hatred, passion, fear, worry, anxiety, depression, all these defilement's, if you keep on repeating, repeating, repeating, it goes deeper, deeper, deeper, and it gives deeper results. And it will give much more misery to you.
Whole day you have been generating Sankhara, after Sankhara.
Every time something is happening deep inside, some sensation, you react. Every moment you are doing that.
When before going to sleep, if you try to remember how many Sankharas you generated in the day, you can't remember, countless Sankharas.
You will remember just 1 or 2, which had very deep impression on you.
If by the end of the month you try to remember this deep Sankharas, and how many Sankharas you generated, again you will remember only 1 or 2 which were very deep for the whole month.
At the end of the year also, you will just remember 1 or 2. Which were very deep for the whole year.
Similarly at the end of life, whether you like it or not, some Sankhara, which are very deep, will come on the surface.
At the time of death, that moment, the mind moment, is carrying this type of Sankhara, the next mind, is a child of this mind. The first mind of the next life is a child of the last mind of this life. Like father, like son, it will carry all the qualities, good or bad with it.
If this last mind if full of pebbles and stones. The next mind, that means the first mind of next life is full of pebbles and stones. Misery, nothing but misery.
On the other hand, if this last mind of this life, is full of light, the next mind is automatically full of light. It is a part of the last mind.
Last mind is very important. That means one is to learn how to die. Die smilingly.
And this is what Vipassana teaches you. To die consciously and smilingly.
The art of dying.
And the art of dying will be only perfect when you learn art of living.
If you keep on crying for your whole life, then you wonder at the time of death, why you can't smile, of course, this is impossible.
So, you are to learn how to smile the whole life. The Art of living will turn into art of dying.
Everything that happens outside, creates sensation inside.
The first part will know something is happening, the second part will start giving evaluation, and this evaluation will turn into sensation (pleasant or unpleasant).
If you train your mind not to get affected by this sensations pleasant or unpleasant, not to react to this sensations pleasant or unpleasant, then you are changing your habbit pattern of your mind at the deepest level.
Even if you react, the Sankhara wont be that deep, because you won't be repeating it again and again.
You will come to senses.