Human Mind


While reading a book, I came across this nice analogy of the human mind and how we should train it towards Godhood, just wanted to share the same with my readers:

‘The mind is the mischief-maker; it jumps from doubt to doubt; it puts obstacles in the way (of godliness). It is ever discontented; it runs after a hundred things and away from another hundred. It is like a driver who drives the car with the master in it, wherever his fancy takes him. So take up the task of training it into and obedient servant; it is educable, if only you know how to do it. Place before it things more tasty and it will hanker only for those. Once it realizes the value of the Lord, it will adhere to it. So start now.’

This seems very simple at the first read. But I insist you read each line individually, do not take the meaning of the paragraph as a whole, think about every line; not about its literal meaning but what it conveys (applicable cliché: read between the lines :)) and how that happens in your life. I am sure, it does happen, it happens in mine.

It is said in spirituality, that the mind is the source of all evil and the source of the attachment to this ‘illusionary’ world. The mind is blamed for not letting us free from the material things around us, it is said to be the hindrance on the spiritual path, which requires one to give up the attachment to the worldly items and relations.

I don’t know if I should, but I wish to elaborate on each line in this ‘quote’ as to what I understood it to mean. You may have a very different opinion, but as long as you read and think about it to form an opinion for yourself, my motive to write this post is achieved. 🙂

‘The mind is the mischief maker’ : As I have mentioned earlier, said to be the obstacle in our path to nirvana.

‘It jumps from doubt to doubt’: I find this to be a very common phenomenon. Every-time when we are to take a decision, when we wonder about some plan; our mind is the first to jump to all the negative things that might happen. Imagine, you planning to go for a walk with a friend in the park; a very simple act. You come across a juice seller, your friend suggests a glass of cold healthy carrot juice after a brisk and sweaty walk in the park, you agree to it. During the few steps to the seller, what occurs in your mind?

  1. I wonder if his hands are clean.
  2. What gutter’s water must this guy be using to clean his juicer?
  3. He has been here throughout the evening, his carrots and juicer would be full of dirt blowing in the wind.
  4. Who knows if the carrots he is using are rotten or fresh?
  5. Maybe he already has some water in his juicer so that he does not give me pure juice, but it is diluted instead.
  6. He must have peed during the day, and I bet, he dint wash his hands. Oh Lord, what if he pooped?

I can list another 10 points for sure, but I am sure get the drift :). So this is how we think, we would have thought, of course, that carrot juice has a lot of iron and is good for health especially the eyes, but that’s the initial and temporary thought; the good things are often acknowledged, but that’s how far they go, being acknowledged. So this is how our mind is, jumps from one thought to another, from one doubt to another; showing no stability or ‘faith’; which is essential for spiritual advancement, as highlighted in several of my older posts.

‘It puts obstacles on the way’: Now if you look at this from the aspect of ‘Moksha’ or nirvana being our final goal, we all know it is the mind which stalls us. It is the mind which attaches us to this material and ‘temporary’ world. It is also quite often quoted in spiritual texts that the mind is the main thing which needs to be controlled in order to reach realization.

It is ever discontented; it runs after a hundred things and away from another hundred’: This is also something which all of us already know and realize; our greed, our insatiable hunger for wealth is not new to us. And the most important part of this sentence is not the first line, about our mind being discontented, but rather the rest of it; how our mind is always running towards something and away from some others. Come to think of it, this reminds me of some lines I read elsewhere:

                ‘The Mind is always running behind some self-thought-of goals, which are taken to be necessary for existence. Once they are achieved, the mind takes them for granted and starts running after the next level and bigger assumed goals, which now become absolutely necessary for existence.’

I find this to be very true. When I was in college, I used to think, that if I get a job which pays X amount of money, I shall be very happy and contented (then being the ‘recession’ time). When I was offered a salary which was X + 2000, I was happy, and yet within 6 months, I thought of getting a raise to a decent amount literally every day. That X amount was too less, and yet 6 months ago, that was quite the ‘dream’, when my classmates were sitting idle after graduation. That is how we are. 🙂

It is like a driver who drives the car with the master in it, wherever his fancy takes him’: This is just to highlight how irrational it is to follow the mind, when it is what should follow us. (?) But you get the gist. And the rest is advice on how to achieve the same.

Hope you enjoyed the read. 🙂

Sgagay

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