Sunday, 7 June 2015

The mind that matters

It is said that most of what we see is like the ‘tip of the iceberg’. In some ways our thoughts and actions are related in a very similar manner.

I am reminded of the story of the churning of the ‘Samundar’ or the ocean by the Devas and Asuras.

Devas (goodness embodiment) and asuras (evil embodiment) churned the ocean of milk to obtain the nectar of immortality.

This churning, as it turned out, was an eventful one. The mount Mandara was used for the churning as a churning rod. The snake Vasuki, who was the king of serpents served as the churning rope. The Asuras wanted to take hold of Vasuki’s head and the Devas, most willingly acceded to this demand.

The snake emitted poisonous fumes during each churn. Devas and Asuras relentlessly churned on. The mount Mandara started sinking and Lord Vishnu took his Koorma avatar (turtle) and held the mountain on his back.

As Devas and Asuras continued, ‘halahala visha’, a deadly poison was coughed up by the king of serpents.

It was now the turn of Lord Shiva, who promptly appeared on the scene and swallowed the poison. Goddess Parvati, in a bid to save her husband, pressed against Lord Shiva’s throat before the poison could enter his body.

The poison stopped at the God’s throat, making his neck blue (Shiva was thereafter known as ‘Neelakanta’ or ‘blue throat’).

The churning produced, among other wonders, the moon or Chandra, a divine flower called parijat and the Amrut or the nectar of immortality.

Every time I read this story I wonder, how metaphorically, it denotes the churning of the body by the mind.

The body, as the churning rod, is churned by the mind that acts as the churning rope. The churning produces many desired and some undesired by-products.

The ‘man’ or the mind and the ‘tan’ or the body forms the ‘Mantan’ or the churning!
The thoughts that emerge in our mind translate into actions performed by the body. If we are aware of the thoughts and in a conscious state acknowledge these thoughts, we will be able to regulate the mind and body to produce desirable action.

While, like the tip of the iceberg, only the action is visible what directs this action is the invisible mind!

I read a very different explanation to the sholka,
Vakratunda Mahakaya Surya Koti Sama Prabha!
 Nirvighnam Kurume DevaSarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada!’

Through the curved forehead, go into your body. This will give you the power equivalent to one crore sun (immense power). Before you begin anything do this, so that you face no obstacles.

This explanation, perhaps means that before you begin any job, take stock of your resources - both the physical and the meta-physical resources. By doing this, you will understand if you are equipped to carry out the given task. The process of taking stock can be termed as the ‘churning’.

Our actions are a mere reflection of our thoughts, churned by the mind!