How our mind works

I was looking at a “What is in my bag” YouTube video. The host was having lots of daily essentials in his bag and interestingly he was having a knife too. He spoke in length about how a knife is helpful in day to day life. Impressed I ordered a small knife for myself.

I received the knife within a short duration and the knife had good built quality. I relished the knife very much. I kept in my bag along with other essentials.

At that time I never realised how obsessed my mind will become with the knife. After this many intriguing things happened. Where ever I went my mind kept analysing as to how I can use the knife in that particular situation. Screwing things, Cutting fruits, repairing household items so on and so forth. It was fascinating to watch my mind work.

One day in traffic a guy cut me off and sped ahead of me. I got furious and my mind kept analysing as to how all I can confront that guy.

”Leave him these guys are like that”,”Stop him or else these guys will kill someone” so on and so forth. Along these lines suddenly the idea about using the knife also came. My mind comprehended me using the knife to hurt the other guys during the confrontation. Surprisingly whenever I passed this particular spot in future the thought kept coming. Also whenever I was annoyed by other drivers it always ended in me imagining a confrontation and using the knife.

Soon my mind’s obsession with a knife became frustrating and fearsome. I was cursing my mind.

I thought if I didn’t stop this I might hurt somebody. Fortunately, the awareness itself helped me in overcoming this thought.

Our mind is such a beautiful creation. When it comes across a beautiful tool it analyses how all it can utilise the tool. When there is a strong emotion attached to it. It starts using the tool more.

Women are seen as a tool

The same thing happens when a man sees a woman. The mind sees a tool and imagines what all it can do with it. This might sound very rude or pervert but unfortunately, that is how our mind works. The tragic thing here is we are seldom aware of it. Every single day we get around 50,000 – 60,000 thoughts and we are seldom aware of it. These pervert thoughts slip in between and we just are not aware.

Due to emotions attached to it, these thoughts occur more often and we form a pattern very early in our life. Once this pattern strengthens it becomes our second nature.

Excuses to pacify our conscious.

As humans, we have mastered the art of lying. Lying reflects an important milestone in cognitive development. The only person we cannot lie to is our consciousness. Whenever we do a wrong thing and if it conflicts with our principles. That is when we start to justify our heinous thoughts by giving reasons. Once this happens you can be rest assured that you are completely in the clutches of your desires. You have become a slave of your mind.

We cannot hide behind any reason socio-cultural, genetic, evolutionary perspective. When our activities result in physical and mental pain to any life form. We must accept our shortcoming and work towards changing our behaviour.

What Bhagavath Gita says about mind

dhyāyatō viṣayān puṁsaḥ saṅgastēṣūpajāyatē| saṅgāt sañjāyatē kāmḥ kāmāt krōdhō:’bhijāyatē||2.62|| krōdhāt bhavati sammōhaḥ sammōhāt smrtivibhramaḥ| smrtibhraṁśāt buddhināśaḥ buddhināśāt praṇaśyati||2.63||

Meaning: When a man thinks of the objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment, desire is born; from desire, anger arises (2.62). From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes (2.63).

Yogi is a person who appreciates beauty without wanting to own it.

If you like a flower you will pluck and keep it with you. But if you love a flower you will water it. Our mind’s obsession to own things and analysing as to how all it can use it is never-ending. Be it a knife or a woman it is same for it. Trying to own everything that we see is the biggest hurdle for our spiritual path. If you start picking flowers how many flowers you can pluck? Instead by watering them and enjoying them without trying to own them is the best thing to do.

Whenever we take a holiday and go to an exotic location, we are happily looking at big mountains, never-ending sea, vast sky and all the big and beautiful things. We are enjoying them because we are not planning to own them. That is why we get peace of mind.

Trying to own things and satisfying our ego is one of the reasons for perverted behaviour. There are lots of other reasons. I felt this reason is least discussed so pointed out that in this blog.

Awareness of our thoughts.

Every now and then we hear about a brutal rape case. I used to think this is bound to happen in a large country like ours. In this forum, too many have shared their experiences. But one case really shook me. Brutal rape of an 11-year-old kid in an apartment by gatekeepers, lift operators and people who brought water from outside. How can so many perverts be in one place? I realised this is not a one-off case but a problem deeply rooted in our psyche. Somethings needs to be done and the best place to start is ourselves. Be the change you want to see.

This is where people who meditate have an edge. First, they will have an awareness about the thoughts and surely courage to confront them and wisdom to see them as a separate entity. Accessing our prefrontal cortex and gaining control over thoughts is the siddhi one can achieve. It is the most useful siddhi a grihastha sadhak can get.

Replacing all our negative thoughts with Japa is another wonderful method to gain control over my mind. Through Japa of lords name, all our negative tendencies can be slowly erased.

Through meditation and mindfulness be aware of thoughts, see them as a separate entity, replace the negative thoughts with Japa.

In Nirvana sathakam

Adi Sankara at the age of 8 was wandering around River Narmada in search of a guru. He meets Govinda Baghavathpada who asked him, “Who are you?” To which Adi Sankar replies with stanza which is known as Nirvana Satakam. The teachings are about non-dualism or Advaita Vedanta.

Although the teachings are about non-dualism, the concept of looking at our mind as a separate entity is very helpful in controlling our thoughts.

We don’t have to see women as Devi, looking at them as just another human with feelings is more than enough. Let them flaunt their hair, wear a beautiful dress, laugh heartily. Let’s leave them alone. This Navarathri let this be every man’s pledge.

Happy Navarathri wishes to one and all.

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Rajesh Kumar Ragothaman

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