The Power of Memory

Do you know that your life is affected by your memory you carry inside you?
Are you aware that all diseases and disorders are related to your past memory?

Memory means the ideas, thoughts, imagination, visualisation which you have collected and which are still alive inside your system. It is the fifth modification of the mind according to the 6th Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. I remembered my first initiation into understanding memory happened in July 2009 when I was attending my first Inner Awakening program, a 21-day yoga and spiritual retreat conducted by a living enlightened master, Paramahamsa Nithayananda (fondly known as Swamiji). He said that memory is such a powerful thing, more powerful than the first 4 modifications of the mind – which are right knowledge, wrong knowledge, imagination and sleep! With the right knowledge, it can give us suffering or joy only if we act upon it. With wrong knowledge, only our response to it can create joy or pain. With imagination, only the support we give to imagination can create joy or pain. With sleep, only when we cherish sleep, we will have joy or pain. But with memory, we don’t even need to do anything because it is independent of us and it pops up by itself and puts us into joy or suffering, anguish or peace. The scariest part about memory is it can lead one to anything on its own for no reason. In short, memories are like uninvited guests in our inner space.

Swamiji also gave three basic concepts of memory: 1) Table Memory relates to the daily details we access for every day functioning or the things that you are interested like your name. 2) Cupboard Memory refers to memory we need to think and access for e.g. bank balance or bank account number. 3) Archive Memory refers to those memory you cannot access with normal techniques like those memory below 3 year-old.

Memory is called the pain body. This pain body goes and creates disturbances in our body-mind system. For example, Parkinson disease is related to excessive forcing of information into Table Memory which you don’t want in daily functioning. My late father in-law suffered from this disease because his job involved a lot of memorisation of data even though he did not enjoy it. Another common disease is eczema which is related to suppression of emotions and renouncing that part of memory. The problem is we don’t even have the right idea about our past. We remember our past only after editing it by connecting only the past incidents where we had suffering and think that the whole past life was suffering. This is called a ‘Pain shaft’ which is wrong memory. The same thing applies to joyful memories. We edit, cut, paste all the joyful incidents and memories and see our whole life as joy. We don’t look at the past as it happened and we never comprehend reality as it is, hence the complete memory is not within our control.

The key to liberate ourselves from memory is to complete with the past. The amazing result of completion of the past is that it will not lead you to any more suffering, it will only lead you to joy. Another benefit is the moment the memory of the past is complete, you will have the knowledge of your future. This is the powerful Science of Completion as revived by Swamiji! All our miscomprehension, wrong idea about the past is responsible for the wrong idea about the future. For someone who has difficulty planning for their future, be very clear, it means he or she does not have a clear vision about the past. See, any incident that happened in the past adds some understanding, juice and awareness to your Being. If you are aware of all your memories, that knowledge is added to your Being as wisdom and it continues to guide you in the future. But when you forget those incidents, when memory loss happens due to selective memory, the knowledge born out of that experience will not express itself in the future.

There is one powerful technique that Swamiji gave me which helped me to reclaim my freedom as a conscious Being. Just by making a strong declaration that “I am not going to remember anything by force! I am only going to have fun in life”. I say “No” to society which forces me to store unwanted memories and I only remember the sweet memories and living with my Table Memory. He reminded us that Man minus Forced Memory is GOD. By living your Table Memory, you are unclutched and living enlightenment.

In essence, complete with the past memory and you will simply know the future. Then you are ready for the awakening of your possibilities and extraordinary powers in muscle memory and bio memory! Namaste 😀

  • Source – 108 truths of the Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda.