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The Culture of Consciousness in Ayurveda

‘Consciousness’ is the individual counterpart, the seat of the intelligence that sprouts from conscience. Conscience is the organ of virtue and knowledge. The thinking process of consciousness embodies the mind, intellect, and ego. Your mind can imagine, think, attend to, aim, feel, and generate willingness. Your mind's continual swaying affects its inner sheaths, intelligence, ego, consciousness, and self. Mind is mercurial by nature, elusive, and hard to grasp. Your mind is a storehouse of imprints and desires, which create excitement and emotional impressions. If the treads are favorable, they make good imprints; if unfavorable, they lead to aversion. Your beliefs generate the fluctuations, modifications, and modulations of consciousness. Therefore, if your mind is not disciplined and purified, it becomes involved with the objects and situations experienced, creating sorrow and unhappiness.

In the world of ‘Ayurveda’, where ‘Yoga’ and ‘Meditation’ are considered essential, the treatise on ‘Yoga’ commences by explaining the functioning of your mind. It would be best if you learned to discipline your mind. Intelligence, ego, and consciousness may be restrained, subdued, and diffused to draw yourself toward the core of your being and get absorbed in the soul. The culture of consciousness entails cultivation, observation, and progressive refinement of consciousness employing yogic disciplines. Practicing a disciplined code of yogic conduct and observing instructions for ethical action handed down by lineage, traditions, and spiritual masters are essential for the disciplinary routine. Ethical principles, translated from methodology into deeds, constitute the practice of yogic disciplines.

‘Practice’ and ‘renunciation’ are the two essential assets of the culture of consciousness.

Practice ('Abhyasa') is a wholehearted, unwavering, constant, and attentive search into a selected subject, tracked against all odds in the face of repeated failures, for an indefinitely longer tenure. It builds confidence and refinement in cultivating consciousness with firm resolve, application, attention, and devotion to create a stable foundation for training your mind, intelligence, ego, and consciousness. Renunciation ('Vairagya') is the art of learning to be free from craving for worldly pleasures and desires and paradisiacal eminence. On the doorway to renunciation, you must learn to renounce objects and ideas which disturb and hinder your daily yogic practices. Ideally, you must cultivate non-attachment to the fruits of your labor or action and develop the ability to set yourself free. Renunciation is discriminative discernment. It is the act of giving up all sensuous delights and abstention from worldly appetites and helps you to discriminate between the real and the unreal.

A bird cannot fly with one wing. In the same way, we need the two wings of 'practice' and 'renunciation' to soar up to the zenith of soul realization. If 'practice' (‘abhyasa’) and 'renunciation' or 'non-attachment' (‘vairagya’) is assiduously observed and welcomed with open arms in your lifestyle practices, restraint of the mind becomes possible much more quickly and effectively. Then, you can also explore what is beyond your mind and taste the nectar of immortality, excellent health, and soul realization. The intensity of practice and renunciation transforms the uncultured, scattered consciousness into a cultured consciousness, able to focus on the states of awareness. With the correct methodologies, you can develop philosophical curiosity, analyze with sensitivity, and learn to grasp material objects' ideas and purposes from the proper perspective. Then, you can meditate on the ideas to fully understand the subtle aspects of the matter. After that, you can move on to experiencing spiritual elation or the pure bliss of meditation, finally sighting the 'Self.'