Free Press Journal

Harnessing the potential of mind

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The human mind is an enigma. It has enormous potential and is a reservoir of energy. The moot question is as to how we use this enormous energy, asks RAVI VALLURI.

Hisalcoholism became quotidian. Dharmendra (name changed) was making a last ditch effort as he boarded a flight from Jaipur to the Art of Living Ashram at Bangalore. Fortuitously, Gurudev had given him an appointment at 4pm that evening.  Stinking of liquor, reeking of cigarette smell and with an unsteady gait he landed at Bangalore airport.


He needed a physical, mental, spiritual,and emotional and a financial parachute. Only a “Master” can, through grace provide such a life support system. But the monkey mind was conjuring ways to defer the appointment and on the way to the Ashram, Dharmendra had a quick swig and a smoke.

For some time my friend had been trying to seek redemption from the lethal disease of alcoholism. My inventory list was prepared, join a rehab, attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and undertake the Happiness Programme of the Art of Living. This was my road to sobriety.

Guruji,(as all Master’s do) advanced the appointment to 11am; and after one glance asked my friend to get admitted to the Ayurvedic Hospital in the Ashram for a complete detoxification of body, mind and soul to be followed by the Happiness Programme.

In an interesting turn of events the administrator of the hospital also happened to be the neighbor of Dharmendra atlead 2 Jaipur. Such coincidences happen when we feel the presence of the Master and permit the mind to make subtle changes, by surrendering our ego and self to a much superior power.

T Harvekar a psychologist writes, “If we challenge our minds and ourselves and make our container larger, we will watch the universe rush in to fill in the space.” The Guru had scripted a change in the life of Dharmendra, it was for his mind to embrace the opportunity.

But the monkey mind invented an excuse and Dharmendra left the Ayurvedic Hospital and once again indulged in brinkmanship. He could not draw the redlines and flag the issues confronting his mind and succumbed to temptation. This typifies a weak and a fragmented mind.

While the brain is an organ that serves as the centre of the nervous system, the mind is the faculty of consciousness and thoughts. It is an individual’s intellect, memory or the attention span and will, whose potential needs to be enhanced.

Buddha said, “We are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

It is said that vultures feed on the carcass of history. Similarly my friend was not living in the present moment but feeding on the past with no window of opportunity to escape the conundrum.

Buddha further said, “Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future,concentrate the mind on the present moment.” This gentleman’s mind was only fixated on the bottle (his past).

Such individuals are unable to break the patterns and barriers of their comfort zone. Their “Prana” levels are exceedingly low and the pendulum of their mind’s swing to the past. They carry the burden of the past and attempt a course correction without any professional help(Guru) in their imaginary worlds exhibiting false bravado. They unfailingly try to change the behavioral patterns of those close to them essentially to market their point of view. Such minds invariably resort to short cuts in life, trying to please everyone without any success. Ignoring the larger picture, this is a manipulative andselfish mind, which does not trust anyone and is haunted by fear.

The human mind is an enigma. It has enormous potential and is areservoir of energy. The moot question is as to how we use this enormous energy. If we look at the brighter aspects of life, such mental imagery works miraculously. Over a period of time the mind feels blessed, gains in abundance and becomes grateful and thankful. Positive thoughts beget positivity and have a spiraling effect. The jigsaw puzzle of life gets sorted out. This is what Masters refer to as the “Law of Attraction”.

“Law of Attraction” remains an illusion if it is not in conjunction with the “Law of Gratitude”. Both these laws operate in tandem, or else it remains as elusive asMandrake’s magical tricks.

 Reading inspirational literature can help to an extent, but the presence of a Guru in life provides the cutting edge. Humans tend to cling to the coat tails of negativity and the mind is shrouded by darkness. In the process, whatever nature has planned, fails to materialize and we rail at our helplessness. However contrast it with say the mind of aYuvraj Singh who with the blessings and grace of his Guru was able to conquerlife threatening cancer and wielded the willow once again. He possessed a positive attitude and surrounded himself with optimistic people.

“Try to live one wonderful day. Then enjoy another day like it. If you continue, you will turn this into a habit.” writes Remez Sassar.

Through meditation, practicing proper breathing techniques (like SudarshanKriya), yoga and pranayama we can makea360 degree change in our lives.

Meeting Gurujia couple of times transformed Dharmendra’s life. He joined AA and turned sober. Today he is helping alcoholics and nature is blessinsg his efforts. I choose to call this the “Law of Spiraling Effect”.