An awakened mind, like a monarch, commands and becomes intrepid, capable of audacious decisions, writes Ravi Valluri
Humans invariably prefer to traverse the well-chartered, beaten path. Few are blessed with febrile minds such as those of Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Abdul Kalam or say Steve Jobs. They opted to take the road less travelled. It is the nature of the mind to plump for a safety valve.
We do not realise that the mind gets elevated, stirred and electrified by challenges; and we get stuck in quotidian patterns and prefer security rather than tax and test.
Consequently, we rebuff a mind that explores the vast vista that could expand its consciousness. Once we sanction and empower the mind to enlarge its horizons, our alertness and awareness increase manifold to range over uninhabited territories.
People may be confronted with multiple choices even while choosing the meticulous, conventional path. Taking the road less travelled does not seem to be the holy grail of the middling individuals. Why is it so? This is essentially because humans fail to break the artificial boundaries drawn in the mind.
An awakened mind, like a monarch, commands and becomes intrepid, capable of audacious decisions.
Can we ever think of spending a holiday in Antarctica during winters, or to be in Goa with our dear ones while the monsoon horsewhips and lashes the western coast? Can the captain of any cricketing team defy conventional cricketing wisdom and decide to bat first on a seaming pitch with a cloud cover, despite possessing three fast bowlers in the arsenal.
These choices would be termed by the vast multitudes as hare-brained, injudicious even temerarious. Over a period, so jejune and of such fixed a mindset have we become, that we are unable to break the glass ceiling of our comfort zone.
Only a robust mind can attempt to be revisionist, reformist and revolutionary. Such an individual is a harbinger of change. Then is born Adi Shankara, Confucius, Buddha, the Prophet or Jesus. As they think divergently and reveal to humanity and the world alternative paradigms.
A scion of the Raghu Raja royal family, hailing from Thrissur in Kerala, is the very quintessence of this category, who rewrote history and the epitaph of existing moorings. He was egalitarian in his thought process and thereby attracted to the Marxian ideology, much to chagrin of his family. Naturally, he was treated as a pariah. He gave up the opulence of the family to sport red.
This offshoot and descendant had a chance encounter (was it pre-ordained? Destiny?) with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Kerala. He had a glimpse of the Master at a Satsang (something which he had- on more than one occasion-ridiculed as a Marxist). This was an exhilarating experience where in efficacious thoughts subsumed his mind and soon he had delved deep into the Art of Living philosophy. Today, he is rechristened as Swami Sadyojathah.
Indeed, it has been a prodigious and exceptional journey from former scion to swami. Today, he is an Advanced Meditation Course teacher; his mind and soul having found tranquillity as he reposed faith in the Guru.
I had a fortuitous meeting with the swami (awestruck by his fluorescent and gleaming persona) at the Goa International Airport where he carried a spartan hand bag but was brim-full of knowledge, wisdom, serenity and smiles. His blessings as he proceeded for security check enveloped my mind with positivity and thoughtfulness. On the flight, I was to compare my wavering mind with the tranquil and robust mind of Swami ji. I had miles to go.
Meanwhile, in another corner of the world, former classmates, now linked via WhatsApp were wrangling and jockeying for their second reunion. Reunion number one had been a staggering triumph where they had bonded like glue.
There were several places on the platter to choose from; Jim Corbet Park, Goa, Kaziranga, Darjeeling, Dubai, the list was seemingly endless. Everyone had a choice, and it was finally decided that voting on WhatsApp could be the only acceptable way out. Like true democrats they decided to abide by the majoritarian decision however draconian or desultory it may have been. Or one could even term it as the herd mentality. A different viewpoint was dissent!
Truth be told, at a subterranean level the minds of the former mates had got accustomed to the opulence of fortified five-star luxury which was generously provided by one among them. They seemed unwilling to experiment with something fresh. Every choice was dovetailed with the indulgence, magnificence and splendour of the place of stay rather than the place of visit.
Thus, the students who had learnt the managerial techniques of Michael Porter, competitive advantages and SWOT analysis as tutees, today became victims of policy paralysis. Policy paralysis because clinging to their comfort zone and thus depriving themselves of venturing into unchartered havens and frontiers. Certainty and comfort provided them with confidence. Soundness and not stolidity were fast becoming the trademarks of their minds.
A few were trained in yoga and some in meditation techniques. But yoga was merely arching the body to shed flab and rather than seeking union with the divine consciousness. Reunion with the cosmic reality was never to trigger their imagination.
The nature of the mind is to waver as is the nature of water to flow. Only a true seeker or Sadhak can arrest the tendency of this wavering nature through practice (abhyaasa) and dispassion (vairagya). It is not through mere physical practice of yoga or meditation that humans can achieve this knowledge (gyana). Only through authentic practice of dispassion, foregoing pleasure and carousing can the human mind stop wavering and zero in on something truly sublime.
Therein lies the path to achieve union and reunion with the eternal truth and cosmic bliss.