Thursday, September 01, 2005

UNDERSTANDING MIND

In Buddhism, the most intertesting thing I find was understanding the mind. I have realised that Buddhism is essentially a mind religion. I remember a story told to me by a monk :

Once upon a time in ancient India in the land of Uruvella (modern Bodhgaya) there were two monks; one old another young. Once they were visiting a monastery on the other side of the river Niranjara. They came across a young beautiful girl, bejeweled and in fine clothes. She requested them to help her in crossing the river. Being the summer season the river was shallow and the water was waist deep. The young monk lifted the girl on her shoulders and crossed the river. The girl thanked him and went away. The old monk became disturbed. He kept murmuring and showing his annoyance. Walking, they came to a point the old monk could hold no longer. “ Why did you touch her? We monks are not supposed to touch women. There was no need to carry her”, the old monk scolded. The young monk remained calm and replied, “I left her at the bank of the river, why are you still carrying her?”.

Reading some Buddhist texts I learnt that we use our mind as 'goods carrier'. We carry all sorts of goods on them. Most of the goods that we carry are nothing but junks, not worth carrying. They are our petrified thoughts, ideologies, beliefs and conditionings that has been constantly fed to us from our milieu that we live in. These goods greatly affect our nature of mind. If the thoughts that we carry are negative in nature they will lead us to negative action. Likewise if they are positive our action will be positive. We are constantly assaulted with barrage of different thoughts.

India has a tradition of philosophers that have pondered over the nature of mind. They discovered many meditation technique of knowing the nature of mind. They discovered that the mind have two positions one that looks out and another that looks in. Most of the times our mind looks out. We see the material world outside. We have not been conditioned or trained to look inside. The very idea of looking inside makes us uncomfortable and we don’t know how to do it.

Looking inside we discover the inner nature of mind. We learn about the composition of mind. If we analyze the negative compositions of our mind, we discover: Anger, Greed, Jealousy, Spite, Cruelty, Fear, Anxiety, Ego, Ill-Will, Hatred, Suspicion, Distrust, Violence, Deceit, Weakness etc. Likewise the positive compositions are: Compassion, Empathy, Love, Trust, Kindness, Non-Violence, Courage, Will power, Creativity, etc.

The positive and negative qualities are very much there. The idea is not to condemn the negative one and feel good about the positive one but just to understand that they exist. With the knowledge that these qualities exist or doesn’t exist will come understanding. Understanding the nature of mind is the first step towards having a controlled mind. A controlled mind is the gateway to a successful, happy and contented life.

The masters of Buddhism through the ages have discovered the techniques , meditational methods to control the mind. They are the real gems in evolution of human mind. My discovery continues. More in next blog.

4 comments:

glomgold said...

I enjoyed the Buddhist parable. I have tried searching inward in an effort to understand my mind. I feel it will be a lifelong process.

sumo said...

I know you wrote that for my benefit, I certainly could take a page from that book. I will try to see George Bush in a different light...it will be an uphill climb. I too feel it will be a lifelong process, and that's why it's known as trying.

sandy sinha said...

I wrote the stuff on understang the mind purely for myself. Since the human mind as well as the life is same everywhere irrespective of race, culture, language, country etc. you might have found your own interpretation of the blog.That is the true test of an immortal or strong thougt. It is, I think not about agreeing or disagreeing with a particular thoughts or philosophy, but finding the thoughts or philosophy that gets constantly fed into our mind in a way that it takes us towards the goal that we want to achieve. It is about choosing your software.

Bye
and take care.

sumo said...

That is how I took it. It made me see something of myself that I should take to heart more strongly. Even though I really knew it wasn't meant strictly for me...I felt it spoke to me...that is what I was trying to impart...a sort of thank you for it. I think we all need to be humbled and reminded at times...we tend to forget.