Only self-power and a full-grown mentality transfigure an individual to establish contact with the source of our inner energy, writes RAVI VALLURI

Aeons ago a neophyte Zen student was an apprentice at a temple of knowledge. Regrettably, his mind was not robust enough and kept tergiversating and vacillating; so much so his mind and soul were not satisfied with “mere” breathing practices and meditation techniques imparted at the monastery. He not only was in the quest to acquire the intricacies of the quintessential truth but also to appropriate the title of having done so in the shortest possible time frame.

Petals of knowledge revealed  

So, it was that in such a state of haughtiness and affectation the Zen student arrived at yet another temple of knowledge where he remarked, rather dramatically that, “The human mind, Sakhya Muni Buddha and other sentient beings, in reality do not exist. The authentic and veracious nature of such apparent phenomena is a state of vacuum. There is no realization, no illusion, no delusion; no sage ever traversed the planet nor do any perspicacious people exist. There is nothing called meritocracy or mediocrity. And the truism is that there is nothing to be transacted. There is nothing to be given or accepted.”

The pontiff of the monastery was silently listening to the outburst but uttered nothing for a while. And then abruptly and quite unexpectedly he whacked the tutee with his prized bamboo pipe. This enraged the strapping tutee no end.

The sagacious Zen Master compassionately inquired of the tutee that if nothing exists, from where did his bout of anger and arrogance emerge? The mentee was momentarily nonplussed and then fell at the feet of the Zen Master, begging for forgiveness. He beseeched the pontiff to admit him into the temple of knowledge.

A hollow and empty mind

The percipient Zen Master agreed to admit the whippersnapper, but with a few stipulations. It was incumbent upon the tutee to remember the cardinal principle of trying to keep the mind hollow and empty; it was paramount that he be brutally honest in analysing his deepest thoughts and lastly, that he attempts to maintain humility at every step.

In order to have a glimpse of the prototypical and exemplary truth it is paramount that one does not to sail in two boats; and the mind should be unalloyed to reach a state of being totally hollow and empty. A sterling seeker will not lay preconditions while attempting to pursue the path of truth.

Some tenets of the Art of Living

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar therefore places a premium on five Ss. The technique as envisaged by the spiritual master encompasses performing Sadhana, Seva, Satsang, maintaining Silence and practising the unique rhythmic breathing technique of Sudarshan Kriya regularly; besides undertaking sublime and vigorous meditation sessions. When a devotee unflinchingly follows these cardinal principles he/she feels such a sense of gratification and contentedness from within that the mind in an unfeigned manner transmutes into becoming hollow and empty and gradually metamorphoses into a mature mind.

Lord Krishna’s flute

There is an interesting parable about Lord Krishna and his flute. It is believed that he used to visit a garden and whisper, “I love you” to all the flora and fauna. In unison, the flora and fauna reciprocated their unalloyed and unadulterated affection towards Lord Krishna.

It so transpired that one day, an animated Lord Krishna approached a bamboo tree in the garden. The Lord broke the cataclysmic news that he would have to snuff out the life of the bamboo plant.

The entire garden was aghast as the news spread; several plants and trees were however secretly joyous that they were spared of the torture.

The bamboo mulled upon the news for a while and then languidly responded, “Lord, you and I have no choice. At the altar of the Master of the Universe, I am willing to sacrifice my life.” Hearing this, Lord Krishna beamed. With surgical precision, he struck the bamboo plant. Soon the bamboo was fashioned into a flute by Lord Krishna himself.

The flora and fauna, all the Gopis and Gopikas were now covetous of the bamboo, that in its new avatar it would always be inseparable, constantly in the hands of Lord Krishna.

The exultant bamboo flute was to become a triumphant possession of Lord Krishna. “What was so noteworthy about you, that you were the chosen one?” was incessant refrain faced by the flute.

“Nothing but my singular capitulation to will of the Master; willing to be an instrument of the Lord,” was the refrain of the flute. The classical epic Mahabharata is populated with numerous valorous characters. But the ace archer Arjuna stands out prominently. Why is that so?  Arjuna is the sakha, the ‘nara’ through whom Narayana revealed the divine celestial song – The Bhagvad Gita.

It was Arjuna’s unflinching devotion to the Lord that makes the character so robust and aerobicized. He faithfully carried out all the commandments of the Lord.

Only inner strength and a mature mind transfigure an individual to establish contact with the source of our inner energy. This is possible through the process of authentic surrender. “A mature mind is one who understands the impossibility of knowing the ultimate, and with this understanding there is a new dimension, the dimension of the being,” said the philosopher Osho.