While I was in Rishikesh India, Swami Hamsananda made the introduction for me to Swami Svarupananda–one of Sivananda’s students who has made a study of pranayama.
Prana is the subtle spiritual energy that we breathe in and circulate in our bodies with each breath we take, Mastery of prana leads to mastery of the mind. Mastery of prana and mind together leads to liberation.
Swarupananda is a traditional teacher, asking me questions that graciously brought me into a humbling clarity of the limits of my own knowledge and understanding with simple, and sincere questions like “What is the mind?”
How would you answer this question?
Hindu philosophers have passed down reflections on “What is the mind,” along with other questions about consciousness, one’s body, one’s senses, perceptions and actions, spirituality, the universe, life and life purpose, to name a few. For Swarupananda and me that day, the question “What is the Mind” led to wonderful discussions about levels of consciousness, and how memory takes the form of conscious, subconscious, unconscious and superconscious memories–all of these the Vedas call ‘chitta,’ which translates as ‘mind-stuff.’
If these kinds of conversations interest you, Divine Life Society has made many of Sivananda’s teachings available free of charge via the internet. His book on The Mind is available for free download.