Why clean the mind if Consciousness is beyond body, mind, and gunas?

QUESTION: If Consciousness is independent of body, mind or 3 gunas, then why work on purification?


The Upanishads declare that Brahman or consciousness is the ultimate reality. Our true nature is Brahman – eternal, infinite, free from limitations. However, we fail to realize this due to ignorance caused by the impurities of the mind.

The mind is constantly disturbed by rajas (restlessness) and tamas (inertia). This causes it to swing between extremes – at times overly active jumping from one thought to another, at other times dull, clouded and unclear. A mind dominated by rajas and tamas cannot comprehend the subtle truths of Advaita Vedanta. It is too distracted, agitated and lacks the subtlety to discern the oneness of Atman and Brahman.

Therefore, purification of mind is essential. A sattvic (pure, tranquil) mind is necessary to realize the identity of Atman (“I”) and Brahman (the total). When rajas and tamas are subdued, the mind becomes calm, focused and sharp. The turbulences settle down and the veils of ignorance are removed.

In this purified state, the mind becomes like a clean mirror capable of accurately reflecting Brahman. The knowledge imparted by the Guru is clearly grasped without distortion. One is then able to discern the true meaning of mahavakyas like “Tat Tvam Asi” – “You are That”. The oneness of the individual self and final reality becomes evident.

Thus, mental purification leads to sattva guna predominating. This removes the obstacles blocking the vision of oneness. A serene, subtle and sensitive mind alone can properly reflect on the teachings, practice self-inquiry and realize the non-dual, undifferentiated Brahman. This is why mental purification is emphasized in Vedanta before trying to capture the expansive vision of oneness.


Reality is vast, deep and multifaceted. A small mind in this vast reality attempts to fit something so vast, in its small framework. Then, as means of coping and resuming its illusory sense of control — it convinces itself, “I've got it!”.

This is seen even with the highest IQ's, such as within neuroscience, proclaiming, “This grey brain matter, gives birth to consciousness”. Showing a high IQ isn't enough. A pure/clean mind doesn't suffice either. There are many pure minded beings throughout history who reject consciousness as the final reality, and aim for higher lokas (worlds such as heaven).

One also needs humility by acknowledging “I can't see my own blind-spots and thus need help from a guru”. A desire to continuously self-reflect (analyze one's experience). Nurture emotional maturity. Ask the Lord for help.

Look at how many things are needed to capture the multifaceted nature of reality.

While the mind is impure, it's too obsessed with its own notions, which are projected onto reality. It similarly projects onto Consciousness, then proclaims, “I am consciousness, beyond the mind”.

At the same time, it's important to understand, the mind can never and will never be completely pure. Mind is mithya (fluctuating and limited in it's capacity). There's no such thing as perfection at level of mind. Consciousness (Brahman) alone is perfect; that which is ever full, complete and eternal.

Failing to acknowledge this, the other extreme is to spend whole life in purification. 

Therefore, a relatively pure mind is required. Or just enough to allow the scriptural teaching to do their intended magic — without having a need to reject what doesn't sound good, and only accept what sounds good.


  1. Hello can u plz explain the text below from osho saying that brahman is behind all worldly activiities and i am that brahman meaning “I am the doer”
    This is the text :
    “Brahman is the nucleus of all worldly
    l am this brahman…
    This is a very revolutionary statement: …al
    Worldly activities… This means that the thief, the man
    who is blinded by lust, the greedy person who is
    sitting on a pile of money like a snake – all this worldly
    activity arises from the
    The sutra says something even more amazing: /
    am this brahman. So | am the one who is stealing
    through the thief, I am the greed in the greedy person
    and the lust in the lecher. This sutra is amazing! This is
    the realization of a true, religious consciousness.
    But the people whom you call religious say, “You
    are a thief, you
    will go to hell”
    They don’t realize
    they are sending themselves to hell! If they had any
    understanding of what they are saying, they would
    not be so interested in
    condemning. But your saints
    and monks tell you that you are a sinner, and that you
    will go to hell. It does not occur to them that this
    means they are the sinners and that they will go to
    hell. Only when this understanding happens is
    religiousness born in a person: “Whatsoever happens
    in this vworld, I am a participant in it because I am part
    of this world. If a Ravana has happened,I am the evil in
    him. It is inevitable because I am a participant in this
    world. If there is a war going on in Vietnam, I am
    for it i am the one who is being killed in that war and I am the one who is killing,..”
    This is the text above explained by osho telling that since brahman is the doer and i am brahman then i am doer responsible for all worldy actions etc…
    Can u explain Please how in advaita they say I am not the doer ego while osho says if i am brahman then I am the doer ..thank u

    1. Hi John

      Hello can u plz explain the text below from osho saying that brahman is behind all worldly activiities and i am that brahman meaning “I am the doer”

      To understand this fully, and not partially, need to go through the methodology step by step: https://www.yesvedanta.com/tattva-bodha-discourses/

      Secondly, “meaning I am the doer”: If “I” is referring to body-mind, then that statement is true. If “I” is referring to brahman, then that statement is false. That’s why teacher is needed, to resolve constant paradoxes, such as “I am engaged in this world fully, yet I do absolutely nothing”…

      Or Bhagavad Gita, CH4.20: “He (or she) does not do anything even though fully engaged
      in action.”

      Or Bhagavad Gita, CH3.22: “For me, there is nothing to be done. Yet, I remain engaged in action.” EXPLANATION: For me (brahman), there is nothing to be done. Yet, I (brahman with jiva upadhi) remain engaged in action.

      Of course now, one will ask “What is jiva upadhi?”. That’s why the course above is available for you.

      Can u explain Please how in advaita they say I am not the doer ego while osho says if i am brahman then I am the doer

      Vedanta tradition doesn’t accept OSHO (Rajneesh). His spiritual teachings mixed things up from various standpoints. Hence instead of asking “What did OSHO mean by saying”, a better question is, “What does Bhagavad Gita, or Upanishads mean when it says ____”. That way you’re going STRAIGHT to the source, rather then quoting one man.

  2. Dear Andre,

    Can you please correct any errors in my understanding.

    Seems to me that in the INERT UPADI enlivened by SELF, lifetime after lifetime, due to egoic ignorance, a mistaken NOTION appears in the *MIND that it is a separate self due to mis-identifications with body-mind-sense complex clouding its eyes. (body a bundle of likes/dislikes and good/bad samskaras/vasanas and mind “a bundle of thoughts”, duality-based and vice/virtues-based)

    When *MIND is cleaned by INNER purification of all mis-identifications with body-mind complex, the SELF-reflection (RC) is clearly seen (in RM) and now it is SELF-evident that ALL is ONE SELF journeying from one lifetime to next in different upadi’s constructed by ripened karma experiencing and automatically evolving from a rock upadi to a plant upadi to a animal upadi to a human form upadi and now in this lifetime and the next maybe, finally deeply contented and done with body-mind-sense experiences, looking inward seeking “who am i?” thus commencing the deliberate journey of letting go mis-identifications to finally SELF-realize the wholeness I AM!

    So looks like impurities/mis-identifications are a superimposition on RC seen in RM?

    Thank you! Nice content in your site. i am enjoying this final stretch as there is nothing more to do after a long period of inner purification!

    1. Thank you S for formulating your well thought through inquiry. You are blessing me with an opportunity to answer…

      ….mistaken NOTION appears in the MIND…

      It’s not anyone’s fault for mixing up “I” with upadhi. That’s just how the setup is. Avarana-shakti (veiling power) at level of forms, serves to create a beautiful world of variety. That same avarana-shakti at level of you and I, creates ignorance about many things. Not only what our nature is…. but language, basic math, walking. That’s why we have to learn the simplest things upon birth.

      Most invest a lifetime in removing ignorance relative to updahi. Remove ignorance of science-upadhi, math-upadhi, relationship-upadhi, food-upadhi. We have entire TV series just around food. So person spends entire life removing upadhi related to food and culture.

      Others spend a lifetime improving their body-upadhi. Others are interested in modifying their mind-upadhi.

      So there’s nothing wrong or right about upadhi-modification. In fact, you need to care for your body by giving it healthy food. And similarly, the mind needs to be fed healthy thoughts. Otherwise, majority of it’s processing power goes into it’s self-created stories. “I’m not good enough. People are like this. Etc”.

      So first step is to develop a relatively healthy I-sense or Ahamkara (what you call RC). If person is walking with low self-esteem, afraid to talk to people, holding grudges, attaching opinions onto everything… how will it ever come to accept “I am the whole”!

      Therefore, what you call “impurities”, that needs to be addressed by refining your responses, reframing hurtful thoughts towards the world. Becoming more objective (factual), and less opinionated (subjective).

      Having said that, I’d like to address this:

      So looks like impurities/mis-identifications are a superimposition on RC seen in RM?

      Impurities (or personal opinions not based on facts) are superimposition on your mind (RM), given to you as an instrument capable of thinking, emoting and figuring things out.

      And the mind (RM) is superimposition on Atma, I.

      Psychology deals with ridding of the Impurities superimposition.

      While Vedanta helps you see that your mind (which psychology was cleaning-up), is also a superimposition.

      However to recognize your mind is a superimposition, you need a healthy psychology. That’s why 95%+ of Vedanta is really just purifying the mind. With a mature mind, the other 5% is easy to figure out.

      As for RC, it doesn’t have right context in your statement above. See this video to see proper context for using “Reflected Consciousness”: https://www.yesvedanta.com/drg-drsya-viveka/lecture-6/

      Also let us remember, purification of mind continues until last breath. A wise person doesn’t claim “I’m liberated”. God alone has the last say whether one is reborn or remains as Brahman after dropping the body. So we remain a humble devotee to the Lord until the end.

      Comments, observations?

  3. Dear Andre,

    Thank you for your beautiful response.

    In hindsight, I see 20/20 that NOT HAVING the foundational “CORRECT” knowledge UPFRONT as to who we TRULY ARE (I AM not the body or the mind. aham brahmasmi) and what our lifetimes of journey in a variety of body-mind upadi is about (SELF-realization) is the ROOT CAUSE of the body-mind-upadi creating, perceiving and compounding/worsening problems (and karma) in the world one lifetime after another all done in darkness of IGNORANCE.

    FOUNDATIONAL Knowledge of Ayurveda and Vedanta is the education that is necessary in today’s world but even I was not aware of its existence and/or what it was about until recently, in divine time my eyes were opened to its existence as i stumbled upon it, as per divine will and divine play and divine plan.

    The worldly-minded take a business “bandaid” approach to those who turn to them to resolve problems – so we have psychiatrists, psychologists, legal pros, scientists, youtubers, twitters, instagramers, and the like helping sustain IGNORANCE at the ROOT of the problems in the today’s world. It makes for good business.

    I too was immersed in darkness of ignorance for a long long time. Suddenly I was awakened to LOVE. Since then, an INNER journey unfolded organically guiding me with tools of INTROSPECTION and the light of transcendental teaching “God is LOVE. Live in LOVE” that helped me see and let go mis-identifications of mind first (vices, virtues) and then clearly see mis-identifications with body (likes/dislikes, good/bad samskaras/tendencies/vasanas in BASIC NATURE). This lead to a state of near renunciation – even though I am still in a family setting, This led me to almost a subsided state and existence like in deep sleep but in waking dream (a subsiding)………and I didnt understand what this state is that I was witnessing without knowing that I AM WITNESS…..it is likely the reaching of the 95% state you refer to. Vedanta came in view in divine time to reveal the 5% remainder.

    My memory is poor and Vedanta is so memory intensive because of its reliance on technical terms. But I can easily feel the truth that is the essence of it. I will now do a systematic study to gain and establish in the remnant 5% without which I am feeling the truth I AM and then slipping into doubt am i?

    I will start the self-study of your Tattwa Bodha and Drg Drish videos. I find your teaching style easy on my brain and I prefer the english language as well. I am not sue how much I can retain with my poor memory but I hope the essence / the truth will impress upon my mind.

    I am so happy that there are those like you lighting up this world with correct knowledge and I found you through microsoft AI “CO-PILOT when i asked it a question what is atma tattwa swasa tattwa and omkara tattwa” and it mentioned tattwa bodha in the answer with a link to your discourse 21!!!!

    Thank YOU for the work you do to ILLUMINE this world with light of knowledge! Yes, your upadi is configured and equipped to be a good Vedanta teacher!


    1. I wish you a successful study S of TBodha and Drk Drsya. There are tech terms indeed, however I think their English equivalent (given in Tattva Bodha), are equally suffice.

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