Mind Over Body
"THE MASTER PLAYER"
The New Year - 2015 ought to ring in new ventures, fresh beginnings and memorable journeys. Every year, what appears to be a simple change of calendar, proves to be a new phase in life. It provides us an important occasion and an opportunity to take stock of things - to look back, to steer forward and most importantly to introspect and to look within.
Delving deep into ourselves is necessary to know that we can create a space for well being- not just for ourselves but also for our loved ones. Extendedly we can project well being and positivity into our surroundings as well. But when we say we have to know ourselves, the question arises, what is the process of knowing this ‘self’?
Without complicating the issue of ‘the self’ (which may actually appear baffling) let us begin with what appears to be obvious. We can say that we have a mind and the mind fills our head with thoughts. These thoughts are usually not in our control. More often than not the mind is doing its job of thinking while we just serve it like slaves by following it into the directions it pulls us thorough its whims and fancies.
We have observed that if our mind thinks positively, we feel good energy and enthusiasm for life. But if it thinks negatively, we lose our hopes and feel depressed and life appears meaningless. To say the least, the master player in the field of our life is no one else but our own mind. Some of us learn this quickly and become wise enough to understand this trick of the universe. We are then able to watch over this 'master player'. And by the sheer process of watching, we gain control over this player.
However, becoming a witness, a ‘Drishta’, is not an easy thing. The sages, the saints and the yogis had to do enormous austerities in order to gain insight into the secrets of the mind. By understanding the secrets they could also gain control over the mind.
For us ordinary beings the difficulty lies in the fact that it is only with the mind that we can work on the mind. In other words, the tool with which we can work and the object on which we want to work on- both are one and the same. Mind can be controlled by the mind itself. Same idea is presented very comprehensively in the 5th verse of the sixth chapter of The Bhagavad Gita :
Uddhared Aatmanaatmanam naatmanam avasadayet I
Atmaiva hyatmano bandhu aatmaiva ripuratmanah II
The Gita says that the individual has to lift up his/her self with the help of the Mind/Self itself. [The word Atma in this verse is interpreted as ‘mind’ and ‘self’]. The individual should not allow the Self/Mind to go into depression. [Because] this same Mind/Self can be our friend and it can also be our worst enemy.
This verse indicates that we have a ‘Higher’ mind which connects us to a higher ‘Self’ and a lower mind which pulls us haphazardly into all directions where our senses are attached. In fact, this verse is a good answer to our initial query about what to do with our mind. According to these lines, we should connect with the ‘Higher’ mind that helps us to rise and disconnect with the lower mind that binds us only to the sense objects.
I believe, Krishna is telling Arjuna to not fall deep into depression by negative thinking but to rise and fight the battle of life with a positive mindset. Let us follow the footsteps of Arjuna to take stock of our present situation in life. For this, we must take time out to look into our mind on a regular basis; in other words, we must sit and meditate a little.