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YOGA OF MIND – 12. Mind and Character

Different persons have different characters. Some derive pleasure in doing good to others, always think of good to the others and the world. Some think always ill of others and derive pleasure in thinking so, i.e. sadistic. The same object gives pleasure to one and pain to other. One speaks the truth and the other nothing but untruth. One finds peace in being kind and the other being cruel. What is the cause of the diversity? The religious persons merely dispose the question by saying that it is all his “Karma”. The naturalists say that it is his nature. Psychologists will say that it is according to the physical make up of one’s body. Let us see what the experts on the study of mind opine. 


   Take the case of the mother who bathes her child in hot water thinking it is very beneficial to it; When on one day the child is given bath in cold water, the child does not accept it. It may develop fever etc., because it has been driven into its mind that hot water bath only is beneficial to it and any other water is harmful. Similarly, a child who is used to bathing in cold water will react adversely if bathed in hot water. A mother who feeds the child with the thought he should become a great warrior in future will become a warrior when he is grown up or will be a rogue.

    Likewise, a child broughtup by his mother in a calm atmosphere, inculcating in him from the beginning qualities like patience, justice, honesty and other calm aspects, will not be able to bear even a small clash. He may turnout to be a coward when he grows up. A child born and brought up in a family of drunkards will be a great drunkard and any amount of corrective steps taken to mend his ways will bear no fruit because the “samskara” of drink has deeply got embedded in the sub-conscious mind of the child, right from its childhood. A child brought up in jealously will be jealous throughout its life. A child who steals things from its childhood will be a thief when he grows up. He will not accept the fact that stealing is a sinful act. Thus the cradle habits follow one, right up to his grave i.e. womb to tomb.

     It is a fact that when a man is born he is ushered with the “karma” (effect of Actions- Reaction theory) of previous births. But this alone does not decide the fate of a man. The effects of karma are those that go beyond one’s wish or desire, partly the good or bad effects in one’s life is due to the influences that surround him – Like parents wish during childhood, friends and teachers influence during his period of study. These also form main events which ultimately shape the character of man. 

     If two children of the same family are treated by their parents differently i.e. they have a soft corner for one child and bestow extra love and affection, the other child develops jealously in course of time. As it grows into manhood it will be an embodiment of jealously. 

   Take for instance a child who accidently falls into a pond. The parents of the child keep on telling the child that it is dangerous to get into lakes or ponds and prevent it from going near it, the child when it grows up into a full grown man will be scared of ponds and lakes. Thus the cause for many experiences good or bad is the one acquired during the childhood. These experiences deeply influences the sub-conscious mind and remain embedded as “samskaras” or deep rooted experiences in their sub-conscious mind. If such persons try to act against the “samskaras” or experiences they meet with misery. In short, a person who is afraid of getting into water, when he ventures to get in, he may meet with drowning or get affected by illness. If a habitual drunkard tries to stop drinking, he may develop various kinds of illness as a consequence of his action!

       Does it then lead to the conclusion that some bad influences, acquired by one during his childhood cannot be set right? Should he be a slave to that habit till his death? The spiritualists affirm that such bad influences can be erased from one’s sub-conscious mind and new beneficial influences can be implanted instead. We will explain later in this book the required exercises to accomplish this act.

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