As we engage in daily routine activities and get entangled with worldly matters, our mind experiences a variety of different emotions. As we navigate through the day, our thoughts take us for a rollercoaster ride, sometimes uplifting us and making us feel despondent at other times. Hence, we are unable to retain the equipoise of our mind. That is why we realize the need for mind management. One of the most effective ways controlling the mind is by engaging in a daily spiritual practice that focuses on elevating the consciousness, which then helps us throughout the day.
Let us consider a compelling story. Tavrit and Suvrit were two brothers who got out from their home to listen to the Bhagavat Katha taking place at the Temple. On the way, they got caught in a terrible storm. To take shelter, they ran into the only building nearby. But having entered it, they found it to be a brothel. Ladies of the night were entertaining clients with dance. Tavrit was aghast, “Ha! What a house of sin! We need to get out of here as quickly as possible.” Suvrit pacified him, “My dear brother, it is raining outside. Let us wait until the rain stops. “Ha! Your mind is tempted and that is why you say such things,” said Tavrit and he stomped out. He braved the rain to reach the Temple and sat down to listen to the discourse on the Shreemad Bhagavat Mahapuran. But slowly he started getting bored and was thinking, “How terrible this is? I made a wrong decision—my brother must be enjoying life there in the brothel.” On the other hand, Suvrit started regretting, “Why did I not follow my brother? I was not made of salt or sugar that the little bit of rain would have melted me.” So, although, he was physically in the brothel, his mind was in the Bhagavat Katha. His elder brother, sitting in the Temple was meditating on the brothel.
When the rain subsided, they both got out and began walking towards each other. The moment they met, they were hit by lightning and both suffered a spot death. The Yamdoots (representative of the god of death) came to get Tavrit. He said, “You seem to have made a mistake, I was in the Temple and my brother was in the brothel.” The Yamdoots said, “There is no mistake. Although physically you were in the Temple, your mind was in a place of sin.”
So, in the spiritual realm, the mind is of paramount importance and veritably—we are where our mind is. On the other hand, in the material realm, the external etiquette and show have values. Hence, we polish our behavior with “Thank you,” “I am sorry,” etc. But, while the world looks outside, God looks within. Hence, in this spiritual journey, we need to purify ourselves from inside. The Western philosopher, John Milton, put it so well when he said, “The mind is a place of its own and in itself can make heaven out of hell and hell out of heaven.” So, life transformation requires the purification of the mind and our scriptures guide us in accomplishing that. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna instructs Arjun, “Your mind is in the three gunas (the three modes of material nature) — sattva, rajas and tamas.” On the other hand, I am ‘trigunateet,’ — transcendental to the three modes. When you attach your mind to Me, that mind will start getting purified.” So, we need to establish a daily practice by which we can attach the mind to the Supreme.
Consider the example of milk and water. If you pour milk into the water, it mixes with the water and is unable to retain its undiluted identity. However, if for some time you keep the milk apart from the water, you can transform it into yogurt, and then churn the yogurt to extract butter. That butter can then challenge the water — “Mr. Water, I will sit on your head and float, you can do nothing to me.” Thus, by staying apart from the water and enhancing its power that milk become immiscible. In this metaphor, like the milk is our mind, whereas, like the water is the world.
As we go through our worldly duties, despite the best of intentions to uplift our thoughts very often the worldly distractions come in the way. Hence, the scriptures have said to daily take out some time for sadhana in isolation, where we block out the entire world and have one focus—how to establish this mind in the Supreme. That sadhana, or spiritual practice in isolation will then help us throughout the day. If we do our spiritual practice for one hour, we will then find that our consciousness is flying high for the rest of the time.
So, let us always remember to strive to purify our mind by attaching it to all-pure—God, by establishing a daily routine of sadhana in isolation. Even the Bible says, “When thou prayest, enter thy closet and lock thy door.” On 15th day of the Life Transformation Challenge, let us discuss how to attach this mind to God.
Day-14 Life Transformation Challenge: What will you think about if you are stuck in adverse situation to make it favorable?