Question: "No Mind" Concept on the Bhakti Path
Some weeks ago you were writing about the state of no thoughts. Perhaps you were referring to what in Buddhism is called the state of "no mind." First I will try to describe what the state of "no mind" really is in the experience of the silent traditions. Then I would like to have a look at its meaning for those who are following the way of devotion.
As I understood by reading books of spiritual teachers like Eckhart Tolle and through my own experience by practicing silent meditation and japa as well, state of no-mind is a state of awakness and awarness. Actually it is the natural state of the spiritual being beyond and between thoughts and emotions. The inner wisdom deeply to know that I AM. Somebody who lives in that state of no-mind is always in touch with the divine origin of thoughts and emotions. He or she has realized that all the thougts are coming from the divine ground, from God Himself.
Now, what does that mean for those who are following the path of bhakti? The state of no-mind is attained when one's mind is not resting outside in the world of phenomenon but when one's mind is kept in the heart, in the soul. If one's attention is concentrated on that conscious witness of thougts and emotions, this is called soul-consciousness, the platfrom where real bhakti begins. Generally I think we have to be very careful of judging other ways and traditions. Often we only have a conceptual understanding of them and not the experince beyond the words like onenss, impersonal consciousness, no mind, and so on.
Answer: Mind Fixed in Trance Upon Lord Sri Krishna
Everyone is already thinking "I am." The problem is that "I am" is being directed towards matter instead of spirit. Instead of thinking "I am spirit-soul", they are misdirecting their "I am" towards the material body and considering themselves to be white or black, male or female, etc--so many false designations.
While the concept of "no mind" may be attractive to a mind that is too much disturbed by the material energy, it is still a thought conceived of with an active mind. The Vedas describe the state of no mind as Brahman realization. It is a stage of perfection that can be achieved only after undergoing great penances and austerities. The same Vedic wisdom also describes that in spite of all the difficulties one must undergo to achieve "no mind", it is only a temporary state in which one cannot permanently remain, that one must eventually return to the realm of material thoughts. Therefore the Vedic wisdom recommends a higher state of perfection known as Bhagavan realization in which the mind is fully surcharged and actively absorbed 24/7 in thoughts on the absolute plane. Once achieving Bhagavan realization one is guaranteed never to come again to the distressful plane of material thoughts.
So for those on the path of bhakti the concept of "no mind" means the ultimate perfection, the Bhagavan realization stage. On this perfectional stage the mind is 100% absorbed in remembering the transcendental name, fame, form, pastimes, entourage, paraphernalia of that stupendously amazing and sweet personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, who is described as follows in choice poetry by Lord Brahma:
aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti
paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciraṁ jaganti
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself, the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane."
In the Bible God says, "Judgment is mine." So we can avoid judgmentalism by accepting without arguments the judgments of the Supreme Lord. Instead of concocting our own judgments we should simply try to understand the judgment of the Supreme Authority. Then we will gain perfect knowledge. We have seen that some people come along wanting to pass negative judgments on others, that they are being judgmental. This is hypocrisy. If it is wrong to judge, how can one pass judgment on others that they are being judgmental? Our accusing finger comes right back and points at us.