Kannada Article by: Tarodi Suresha
English Rendering by: M R Bhashyam
Our minds rule our lives. We tow the line of their drag. That does not mean that it is always right. A mind that is cultured will guide one to a peaceful and serene life; if not to misery. The culture of India that is Bharat, has been designed in such a way that the practices and habits of food, talk, entertainment, business, give and take etc. enable a pure mind to have control over all activities.
Two friends went on a religious sojourn. They came to the holy city of Tirupati after visiting many. A little effort spent in climbing the seven hills brings one to the glorious and majestic divine abode of Lord Venkateshwara. The city of Tirupati at the foot hills is also beautiful. Besides offering oases to the spirit, it also offers many a pleasure to the senses. One of the friends did not want to take the trouble of visiting the temple. He, instead, felt like satiating his tongue in tasty eateries and feasting his eyes with attractive sights and absorbing movies. So, one went to the temple on the hill top and the other on a sight- seeing spree. Both died in due course. To their surprise, the person who had climbed the seven hills for having a glimpse of the Lord, was dragged to hell by the servants of the lord of death. The sentinels of heaven took the other to their kingdom. How can this be fair, is a fair question. An analysis in depth will help one to understand this mystery.
The person who was supposed to be enjoying the city was miserable that he had erred, and was lost in morose for not having gone to have a sight of the lord. His mind was immersed in thoughts about the Lord, His grandeur and divinity. Though the other person had made the effort to climb the hills, his mind was on what his friend was doing. Throughout this tour, he was feeling that he also should have been with his friend enjoying the pleasures. Though the bodies were in the places that they both wanted them to be, their minds were elsewhere. The result was that one went to hell and the other to heaven.0
The outcomes of deeds, bad and good (Paapas and Punyaas), depend upon the mind’s field of graze. “It is only the mind that is responsible for bondage or liberation” so goes a saying of the ones who know. To cleanse the mind, our sages (Jnaanis) have embedded into our lives the sixteen means of purification (Shodasha Samskaaraas). They have moulded our thinking with immortal literature, events from hallowed past (itihaasa) and stories from eternity (puraana), education and training systems under the tutorship of the elevated in Gurukulams. They have built a civilization and culture which reflects this thinking by integrating elevating practices into our daily routines, into our livelihood pursuits, into the festivals that we celebrate, down to what we adorn and wear. When sage Valmiki admired the serene flow of river Sarayu, he compared it with the tranquil mind of one who was absorbed in the infinite (Sanmanushya mano yathaa). This is the boon that one earns when the mind is pure. “Just as a wild elephant gets tamed when trained by tamed elephants, the association with those Jnaanis who are immersed in God, subdues and purifies our mind” the great Shri SriRanga Mahaguru used to remind. The company of Jnaanis has such a sublimating influence that our minds get transformed into instruments which help us savour the bliss of divinity at the root of creation.
Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs
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