Nusa Dua, Bali
This universe is so beautiful. There are so many types of flowers, fruits, trees, animals, human beings; such variety has been created so that you can be happy. But the human mind is such that it does not allow you to be happy. Even in the best of places, the mind goes on with the memory of something that happened in the past; this is what is so amazing.
The mind is the biggest mystery. Your own mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. The mind is responsible for our happiness as well as misery. When the mind is in the present moment, everything appears to be beautiful. However, when the mind is a mess; even in the best of places, it can find a thousand reasons to be miserable.
Change your whole attitude
from, ‘What I can take from
the world; how much
pleasure I can get’, to, ‘How
much more can I contribute
to the world; how much I
can be of use to the world.’
Do you see the difference?
There are five modulations of the mind:
First, the mind wants proof for everything. How can you get proof for everything? Impossible! Second, the mind does not understand things the way they actually are, but thinks something else. You thought something; a little later found out it was not actually like that; a little later, concepts break down. This is called Viparyaya.
Third, the mind has its own imagination; when nothing of the sort actually exists.
Fourth, the mind falls asleep. If it is not thinking of anything, then it falls asleep.
Fifth, the mind is stuck in the memory of the past, or worried about the future.
These five modulations prevent one from being alive in the present moment and enjoying it.
Yoga brings the shift; it helps you to sail over the modulations of the mind. How is this possible?
First, is to know that you are going to leave everything here and go. You are not going to take anything with you when you leave this world. The cause of misery is holding onto things; mine, mine, mine!
I want to share an incident, which I have talked about many times.
Once I was in Canada, an elderly lady, in her sixties, came knocking at the house where I was staying. She came at around 11.30 pm or 12 am, and she insisted that she see me right away. When I came down to meet her, she gave me a cheque for $100 for the schools children’s project. I asked her what the hurry was; she could have given it to me the next day. She replied, ‘Gurudev, I can trust anyone, but not my mind.’
She lived an hour away, and returned to give me the cheque after going almost three-quarter of the way. She said, ‘When this thought came to my mind, I thought I have to do it right away because tomorrow my mind might change. I may not want to give anything at all tomorrow. Or it may reduce to just $10.’
Then, she told me a story, in the middle of the night.
Once, there was a businessman who was drowning in the river. He called out to a fisherman in a boat. He told the fisherman, ‘Please save me somehow, if you save me, I will give you my entire wealth.’ The fisherman took him in his boat without saying anything.
As soon as he got into the boat, the businessman said ‘Look, I can’t give you my entire wealth, but I will give you half of it. I don’t want anything, but my wife and kids will not let me give the entire sum; I have to leave something for them too.’
The fisherman just smiled, he did not say anything.
As the boat was reaching the shore, the businessman again said, ‘Look, if I give you half, what will I do? I have given the other half to my wife and kids. I can give you a quarter, maybe’.
Then as the boat came nearer to the shore, the sum kept reducing further. As soon as they came to the shore, the businessman gave the fisherman $5.
The fisherman said, ‘What, you are worth only $5?’
The businessman said, ‘How much does it take to bring me from there to here? It costs only $3; I have given you more than it’s worth.’
The mind changes! When you want to do a good thing, you should do it immediately, otherwise the mind changes.
We postpone doing good things, but we do anything bad right away.
If we postpone expressing our anger by one week or even one day or two days, then you won’t even need to express it. You want to call someone and yell at them, you just need to postpone it by two hours. Then the intensity goes down.
That is what the lady said, ‘This is the reason I came right away. I don’t hesitate to spend so much on myself, my jewelry, my food and my pleasure; but when I have to do something good, then the hesitation comes.’ That should not happen!
It is only what we share, that goes with us from this planet. The mind has a very important role to play in bondage and freedom.
In the Bhagavad-Gita, it is said that there are three doors to hell. The first door is anger. How to control anger? Postpone expressing it. The second door to hell is greed. The third door is being obsessive; lust. The mind is obsessed with lust and doesn’t care for others; that creates huge problems.
If we postpone expressing
our anger by one week or
even one or two days, then
you won’t even need to
express it. You want to call
someone and yell at them,
you just need to postpone it
by two hours. Then the
intensity goes down.
What are the doors to heaven?
The door to heaven is a broad mind that digests everything from the past, a mind that is broad enough to digest mistakes made by others. Not keeping it in our minds and chewing on it. This is called Vairagya or dispassion. Digesting the past; however it was.
Being like an elephant. Do you know elephants eat the leaves, the bark, the fruit; they eat absolutely anything from coconut leaves to bamboo to bananas. The banana is so soft, the bamboo is so hard, yet they eat and digest it all.
Similarly, in life, there are many pleasant things and unpleasant things, good people, bad people. (In my life, there are no bad people. There are only good people, who sometimes behave badly.) Thus, whatever has happened, happened, digest it all. Digesting the past brings happiness and relief in the present.
We should become strong, like an elephant; digest everything; the soft fruit and the hard bark, i.e., digest everything of the past and move on. That is called dispassion.
What happiness will dispassion not bring you? All types of happiness come to you in dispassion.
People can have two types of attitudes:
One, where we are all the time thinking, ‘What about me’, or ‘What is the use of this for me!’ Two, where we are thinking, ‘How I can be useful to the world’.
So, change the whole attitude from, ‘What I can take from the world; how much pleasure I can get’, to, ‘How much more can I contribute to the world; how much I can be of use to the world.’ Do you see the difference?
It is from being self-centered to selflessness. So, when we take the second stance, our own worries will simply disappear and abundance will flow.