We were discussing about how we are the cause for our destruction. We have also seen how the natural beauty in us becomes destroyed all because of our rigidity. By this, I do not mean that we should not be firm. Firm we must be, but let the firmness be born of sensitivity and love. That automatically comes when we do not become carried away by our impulses. There are a whole lot of issues that go to make us respond the way we do. We are unfortunately like a rudderless plane passing through a turbulent patch. Youth is turbulence within and around whereas the rudderless state is the immaturity within.
Have you all heard of the Upanisads? They are a body of teaching given by the Rishis. We need not bother about them right now, if you all understand that this body of teaching is for resolving the problem of immaturity and that would be sufficient for the time being. Well, one Upanisad says, “An ill-informed charioteer with untamed horse, is not going to help the master seated in the chariot reach the destination. Similar is the case with a person who is ill-informed-ignorant with a mind that is undisciplined.” Can we briefly examine this statement to see its validity? Do we not want to become something in life and carve a niche for ourselves irrespective of the discipline and depth? Do we not have goals to achieve? How many of us reach the destination? How many of us break down and give up half the way through the journey? In short, we are not able to make it to the destination. At this point, we generally blame everybody and everything under the sun for this failure, without analyzing or even looking at issues on hand.
The Upanisad says, avijnānavān = ignorant and ayukténa manasā = with an undisciplined mind. Irrespective of what it is, did we set the target or goal with the proper understanding of all issues involved? Did we not take certain things for granted? How deep was our involvement in the goal and the means? Was the means an appropriate and adequate one? Once we look into these issues, we will appreciate, all of us seem to commit major mistakes here. Well, not only do we tend to err in these areas, but there is yet another vital area where all of us become trapped. We cannot take even slight disappointments in life. I mean, we cannot take things the way they present themselves, even if they are all small incidents over which we need not become so much disturbed. Are we not getting into these traps?
We impulsively jump to certain conclusions regarding what we should do right now or what we want to be in life. Thereafter, get into ‘positive thinking’ to push the horse to the hilt, saying after all it is mind over matter. In time, this very thinking and the results that we get or achieve, slowly pave way for the onset of ‘negative thinking.’ Again we are only working for sapping away the remaining energy through this form of thinking. Honestly, both these are not forms of thinking, in the technical sense of the term. I think in one of these discussions we had recently we have defined the term ‘thinking’, have we not? It is systematic placement of thoughts in a logical sequence, enjoying a chain pattern, eliminating varied notions at the outset, culminating in the truth of the thing shining. If this is what thinking is all about, what is it that is positive or negative about seeing the truth? Positive or negative are our conclusions about a thing. So, thinking is a simple and straight means through which we can or should commit ourselves to a course of action to achieve the end.
So, we will have to learn the art of thinking, but not positive or negative thinking. Now, instead of Swamiji talking, will it not be more appropriate for Krsna to do the talking. I am sure you all know who Krsna is? Arjuna was a youth who had in him all the dynamism and courage as well as proficiency at his disposal. Simply put, we can easily say that Arjuna could be the role model for youth. I am just using the word that is quite popular now-a-days, though I do not believe in this ‘role model business,’ as it saps away freshness from life. Therefore, we can easily relate Arjuna to a smart young person, well equipped physically, intellectually and emotionally. Krsna was his teacher. This teacher never told his student what he should or should not do, but just had gone about the job of unfolding the truth. None need tell smart people as to what one should do or not do in life.
Though I plan talking to you, much later about the Bhagavad Geeta, which is the teaching that Lord Krsna gave to Arjuna, there is a temptation to share one verse with you all. The verse is from the sixth chapter and that is in Sanskrit. I shall tell you the meaning of the verse in a very general sense.
uddharét ātmanātmānam nātmānam avasadayét |
atmaiva hyātmano bandhuḥ ātmaiva ripurātmanaḥ ||
May you lift yourself all by yourself, but at no point of time do you look down upon yourself. You are your own best friend and you alone will be your worst enemy too.
Is this not true? We never treat ourselves as a friend, but try enforcing things upon the mind, little bothering about educating it. We pressure the mind into doing things with all sorts of philosophies, and when the mind cannot accomplish the tasks cut out before it, we start looking down upon the mind. Have we made things easy for the mind, by first evaluating its capacities and capabilities, without pushing it to the wall? We seem to take the mind and its capacities for granted do we not? Think! Think!! Think!!!