16. Mind Magic

One day one gentleman was in a sorrowful mood. His friend asked, ‘why are you sad?’
‘Oh! Last week my grandfather died and he left me a share of fifty thousand rupees’
‘I can understand your grief for him, but he is pretty old and it is, in fact, a relief for him.’

‘Three days ago, my uncle died and he left me a share of one lakh.’

‘Oh that’s nice! One who is born is destined to die, please control yourself!’

‘Yesterday, my aunt died. She left me share of 2 lakhs of rupees.’

The friend felt a little jealous of him, but hiding his feelings, said ‘oh! Three deaths within a week are unbearable. I understand, but think of the sudden wealth you acquired....’

‘But I don’t have any more relatives to leave me their share of property.


Now tell me, where is the happiness? In the money he got or in his mind? He got within a week, with no effort of his own, three and a half lakhs, but still he is not happy. His mind doesn’t allow him to be happy.

Krishna knew this mentality of human beings. So he proclaimed.

Uddaredtatmanaatmanam atmana ma va sadayet
Atmaiva atmano bandhu atmaiva ripuraltmana.

One should help himself. He should not bring about his own downfall. One who controls his mind is his own friend and who can’t is his own enemy.

The mind plays a lot of mischief. The real happiness is not in the objects outside, but it is in our own mind it is a mistaken identity it is called reflective happiness. If the happiness lies in the object, it should cause happiness to everybody, everywhere at every time. But it is not so. If somebody loves ice-cream, someone else may not be able to stand the look of it. For that matter, the same person does not react to the same thing in the same way always.

A wife complains, ‘I can’t understand my husband.’

‘Why, what happened?’

‘Monday, I prepared brinjal curry. He said it was excellent and ate the whole lot. Tuesday I prepared brinjal, he said it was good Wednesday I prepared brinjal, he said it was OK. Thursday I prepared brinjal, he grumbled but still ate, Friday, I prepared it he was very angry and shouted at me, Saturday, i.e., today when I prepared it, he was so wild that he threw the curry on my face and left the dining table without eating it.’

It needs no explanation. What is excellent at one point of time turns out to be a thing of irritation at another point?

Dog logic - Most of the saints generally give this example to define our attitude. A dog once got a bone. It had to bite it hard since it was hard. Blood started oozing out. The dog did not know that it was oozing out of its mouth. It assumed that it was coming out of the bone. This is called dog logic. So we read our feelings into the object and understand it through our feelings. We don’t see a thing as it is. For instance, if we are shown a rose, we don’t see it as a rose. We compare it with Kashmir rose. That reminds us of the snow in Kashmir but we are also scared of the terrorists there. That makes us hate the communal riots and the burnt blasts. So instead of admiring a ‘rose’ we are reminded of ‘red lava vomited by a volcano’ (the destruction)

Psychological suffering - we should treat Sukha as prasad and Dukha as Mahaprasadam. We can’t remove physical suffering, but that is only 10%. Suppose we get headache, the physical pain is 10% but we get many doubts? ‘Why don’t others get it?’
‘Why should I always face it? It is mere headache or can it be brain tumor? Can I live to see my daughter’s marriage?’ etc. This 90% of worrying is called psychological suffering.

Swami Sukhabodhananda teaches us to look at things as they are. ‘My boss is angry with me because he is angry with me because he is angry with me... That’s all! Don’t read reasons into it. Don’t add ‘My boss is angry with me. For that matter he is always angry with me. He never shouts at Naresh. Last time also he shouted at me before others. He hates me. He will stop my promotion - so on and so forth.’ That is all your imagination, nothing more.

So we should realize that the problem or happiness is not in the person or object outside, but it is in our mind which has an upper hand over us.

Brooding nature - Somebody attacks us for some reason at some point of time, but we brood over it so much that it has spread all over our mind. It becomes such an obsession that after some time we may forget the real cause of unhappiness, but we still hate that person with all our might. Swami Sukhabodhanand has a simple solution for it. He asks us to name a picture we hate to see. When we name it, he tells us to see it umpteen numbers of times. We can’t stand the suggestion, but we are doing the same thing, we are reviewing our unpleasant thing infinite number of times. We are polluting our mind. How does a house look if the dustbin which should be hidden in the corner of the house is made the centre of attraction? How will the mind be if we are bringing a dirty thought to the centre instead of driving it to a corner?

So it takes us back to the sloka. We are our own enemies, we are own friends. If we control our emotions, feelings, attractions we can lead a happy life. If we are a prey to our hunger, jealousy, lust, hatred, pride, greed etc we land ourselves in a pit.

Arjuna is a close friend of Krishna. Krishna is his friend, philosopher and guide. Krishna himself proclaimed. ‘Istosime drudhamuti’ But when Arjuna said, ‘I am not able to control my mind, my lord’ Krishna did not assure him, ‘Oh my friend, why fear when I am here! I will remove your problems in a jiffy!’ He only said ‘uddaret atma atmanam’ Help yourself. You come out of your problem by your own efforts. Why is it so? It is because we have to satiate our own hunger. We have to see with our own eyes. If we are carrying a heavy weight, somebody can come to our rescue, but if we are suffering from fever, can some body can medicine for our sake? Of course not. Somebody can only guide us to the right path, but we have to walk on the path all by ourselves. In various slokas we learn that we have to seek knowledge, we have to drive out our ajnana, and we have to change our attitude. We have to practice etc. So it is all in our hands. Life is what we look at it.

Life is game, play it
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a dance, dance it
Life is an adventure, face it

If life is a problem, solve it.

There is not a single soul who has no problem. Some people worry ‘I have no problem’. All that we have to do is to change our mind. Then life becomes a fulfillment. The difficulties which crop up out of problems make us more creative; make us more compositions have come out of the worst situations.

Treat problem as an event:
The suffering comes when we take sides. For instance, Krishna was playing flute happily in the crucial match between Hindus and Muslims. When asked how can be happy, He said, I don’t belong to any side. I am just enjoying the game’ so we should let these problems pass through our life and treat them not as problems but as events. To do so, we have to change our state, our internal state of mind.

Help yourself, change your mind.
Be open to suffering and success.