The debate about awareness was on in the ashram. The guru was keenly observing the arguments of his disciples. In the end, his disciples asked him to give his views and end the debate. Guru said he will do that tomorrow and everyone dispersed with disappointment.

The next morning, all his disciples were pleasantly surprised to learn that they would ride horses. They were very eager to ride the horses and were waiting for their guru. They also noticed that one horse did not have any saddle. It was a bareback horse. Puzzled but equally excited they waited for their guru.

Guru came soon and asked everyone to climb the horses and he with great difficulty climbed the bareback horse. All the disciples climbed the horse and waited for their guru to lead. For their bewilderment, they saw their guru sitting on the Horse and doing nothing. They had no other option but to wait.

Their excitement kept waning, but the guru had no mercy. Neither the bareback horse moved nor the guru put any effort in moving it. Suddenly, to the relief of disciples, the horse moved slowly but it only strolled and found a patch of grass to graze. Then It moved slowly in search of greener pasture. Disciples thought it will move faster after eating the grass. Nearby they found a greener pasture for the horse to grace, but the guru did not guide the horse towards it. The horse kept on moving in circles and the disciples were already bored to death.

After some time much to the relief of disciples, the horse finally found the greener pasture and moved towards it. It ate well and moved a little faster. It soon found a pack of wild horse and with its newfound energy went towards them. The arrival of a new horse created lots of commotion in the pack of horse and in the confusion the horses started running wildly.

The bare back horse too ran wildly with guru barely holding on to it. The disciples were now terrified and wanted to talk to their guru and clarify what was happening. As the bareback horse was running wildly they were barely able to follow their guru.

After some time the horse started slowing down. It went near a water body and drank water from it. When the disciples thought everything was settling down, they were horrified to see a crocodile moving stealthily towards the horse. Everyone, were stunned. At the last moment, the guru shouted and the horse withdrew from the water.

The guru climbed down from the horse and smiled at his exhausted and puzzled disciples. One senior disciple went near the guru and said we are dumbfounded on what happened and asked him to enlighten them.

The guru smiled with grace and said, you all wanted me to give my views on Awareness and here it is. Looking at his puzzled guru he started explaining the events.

Guru continued, “The horse is our mind and we are the awareness”. The horse in itself will survive it doesn’t need a rider to guide it but is just surviving enough? Our mind like the horse is a well-built machine that is capable of doing marvellous things but with our intervention, it could do much more. The horse and the rider together could achieve things that was not possible before. Like the horse walking in circles in search of food, our mind too sometimes thinks repetitively about few things. We need to intervene in such cases and contemplate what is happening. Like the horse which after its newfound energy galloped towards a wild pack. Our mind too does many things when it is overflowing with energy. Greed, lust, anger and many such emotions are like that. We exist just to obey its orders.

Like the horse when it is tired our mind too never sees the danger around us, we are extremely tired to notice and just give up. In all these cases what is required is us with awareness intervening and doing a small course correction. Guide the horse towards a greener pasture, constrain it sometimes and warn it in times of danger.

Above all, if we are in the auto mode we are just a traveller above the horse going wherever it takes us, what is the fun in it? It is the horse’s journey, not ours. With Awareness, if we intervene only then it is our journey. Even phenomenal victories achieved in auto mode is of no use. It is not ours. Only a life lived with awareness is our’s.

If you are not aware, you are not alive… you merely exist.

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Rajesh Kumar Ragothaman

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