August 2011

To restrain the vagrant mind and channel its enormous potential towards a given goal constitutes yoga.Chinmaya

Ordinary sunlight can do nothing to a piece of paper. But the very same light, when converted into a focused beam by passing through a magnifying lens, reduces the paper into ashes instantly. So too with our mind. The art of disciplining the mind is called yoga.

A mind that has learnt to concentrate becomes capable of discovering the deep mysteries of the universe, unavailable for the casual passers-by. Such a disciplined mind, applying itself single-pointedly, cruises towards the chosen goal with utmost ease without any distraction.

Henry Ford is an immortal figure in the annals of the 20th century. The visionary entrepreneur, who introduced the concept of assembly-line technology, became the first industrialist who pioneered the mass production of automobiles. He also introduced the first-ever low priced car, called Model T. he dreamed that every common man should be able to afford a car. True to his dream, around 1.6 crores of such cars were sold in the U.S itself!

Ford’s mass-production techniques led to the manufacture of a Model T car every 24 seconds, almost 10 times faster than the earlier techniques!

Ford’s affordable Model T irrevocably altered American society. As more Americans owned cars, urbanization patterns changed. The United States saw the growth of suburbia, the creation of a national highway system, and a population entranced with the possibility of going anywhere anytime. As the owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. His innovations made him an international celebrity.

On his 75th birthday, Ford was asked the secret of his successful career. His answer was simple:

1. I never over-eat. 2. I never worry too much. 3. Whatever I do, I do my best. 4. I trust in the Lord; hence whatever happens to me, I know, it is for my best.

There is nothing impossible for a disciplined mind.

A youngster given to a loose way of living approached a Mahatma. Complaining that he always remained a failure in all his undertakings despite his sincere efforts, he pleaded for guidance. After some thought, the Mahatma gave him a pot full of holes and asked him to fill it with water. The youngster protested saying that it was impossible to fill such a leaking pot. The saint smiled and said, “My child, how can you expect to achieve anything worthwhile with a mind that is also leaking like this pot?”

With all its worries and anxieties, grievances and regrets, likes and dislikes, hatred and jealousies, lust, greed and anger, the mind leaks every moment. Truly, the pot of our mind has too many holes than we can ever imagine; and sadly, through all these holes, the precious ‘present moment’ is wasted.

The mind trapped in the lower becomes incapable of contemplating upon the Higher.

One day Devadatta came to Buddha, saying, “Master, accept me as your disciple! Grant me initiation!”

Buddha said, “Come tomorrow morning at 4 o’clock. But see that you come all alone. Bring no one with you, for I can initiate only one at a time.”

The next morning, exactly at 4 o’clock, Devadatta entered the cottage of Buddha. The Master looked at him and then said, “Devadatta, I asked you to come alone. You have brought a crowd with you!”

Astonished, Devadatta turned back to see who had followed him.

“The crowd is not behind you, Devadatta, the crowd is within you,” said Buddha. “Rid yourself of the crowd, and then come to me for initiation.”

Devadatta turned his gaze within and, sure enough, there were his wife and his two children. He was thinking of them. His mind was filled with thoughts of name and fame and earthly greatness, of possession and power, of the many good things he had done.

A year elapsed before he could rid himself of the crowd. Then he turned to Buddha saying, “Master, now I have come to you alone. Grant me initiation!”

The vagrant mind stops wandering once it tastes the subtler joys of the Self. May we thus through right knowledge discipline our mind and take up the greatest and the most adventurous voyage in life – going towards the Alone, all alone!

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Posted in: Chintana

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