Our day-to-day language is lamentably brimful of words such as coronavirus, Covid-19, microorganism, pandemic, quarantine, lockdown, O2 (oxygen), Remdesivir, ventilator, masks, social distancing, co-morbidity, lack of motivation, depression, desultory behavior among others and people generally enveloped by darkness.
As swathes of lands are swamped by the noxious virus, humanity desperately looks towards virologists and to be vaccinated to extricate them from the cesspool of ill health as only cold statistics confront us.
Humanity braces these antipathetic and Sisyphean times and looks for luminosity to overcome this tenebrous situation. And we pray to our Gods for succor, dive into faith and look for solutions in science in desperation seeking divine intercession and scientific palliative.
As the virulent microorganism wades through the lives of humans worldwide, large sections seem to have thrown the gauntlet and are lacking in motivation to extricate them from this cesspool gripped by the octopus of depression and anxiety.
When we become victims of this twin debilitating mental problems our prana/ chi /energy levels get enfeebled. And in such a state the motivational levels diminish.
Now motivation can be defined as the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours. This trait involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behaviour.
In normal usage, the term “motivation” is frequently used to describe why a person does something or does not undertake an activity. For instance while during the period of lockdown, a person can either be imprisoned or caged by negative emotions or transfigure isolation into contemplation.
Contemplation is primarily inspection of the human mind. This scanning of the mind enables humans to decode how to invigorate ourselves to actuate our consciousness to scale the summit by upending the pyramid by breaking false glass ceilings.
Aeons ago during the times of Buddha
A king had several elephants, but one elephant was very powerful and brawny, exceedingly obedient, sensible and skillful in everything especially his fighting skills. In different wars the elephant was sent on the battlefield and the tusker used to return only after ensuring victory for the king. Therefore, he became the most loved mastodon of the king. Time flew by and there came a time when the mammoth started getting old. Now the elephant was not able to perform as in earlier times. Therefore, now the king did not even send his prized possession to the battlefield but it still remained as a part of the king’s team and retinue.
One day the elephant went to a lake to quench its thirst, but unfortunately the animal’s feet got stuck in the mud there and the pachyderm kept on sinking. The mammoth tusker attempted a lot, but it could not extricate itself from the mud. People came to know from the sound of elephant’s screams that the animal was in dire straits.
The news of the elephant trapped also reached the king. All the people of the kingdom including the king gathered around the elephant and made valiant efforts to disencumber it out. But alas, despite attempting for a long time, there appeared to be no solution in sight for the assemblage.
At that very time, Gautama Buddha was passing by. Gautam Buddha the Sakhya Muni stopped and inspected the site of the incident and then suggested to the king that battle drums should be played around the lake.
The listeners were amazed at the bizarre suggestion of Gautama Buddha as to how the trapped elephant would come out by playing the battle drums. But they could not say anything to the enlightened one and commenced playing the drums. As soon as the drums of war started ringing, there was a change in the gestures, behaviour and determination of the troubled elephant.
At first, the elephant slowly stood up and then gradually used its force and intelligence and before long, came out of the mud on his own, shocking everyone. Gautama Buddha merely smiled and uttered softly, “there was no lack of physical ability in the elephant, but only the need to infuse enthusiasm, motivation and will within the animal had disappeared. In order to maintain enthusiasm in life, it is necessary that humans maintain purposeful thinking and do not let despair dominate their minds and thoughts.
In today’s desperate and rough times, we all need to enthuse ourselves and people around us with hope and enthusiasm by playing, if need be, the battle drums. These drums will metamorphose our thought process so that we relive abundance of jollity, health and happiness once again.
The drums of the mind can be invigorated and raise our motivational levels through yoga, pranayama, breathing exercises like Sudarshan Kriya meditation, service to the society and appreciating the nature of impermanence. “Nothing stays forever. Good as well as bad times go away. Be happy,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.