|You are where your mind is !|
Our experience of happiness and distress in life is all a product of our mind. Harboring positive thoughts, such as love, sacrifice, admiration, kindness, generosity, etc, makes us happy. Holding negative thoughts, such as hatred, fear, anxiety, resentment, jealousy, etc, makes us miserable. Thus, our experience of happiness and distress is not dependent upon our external situation, but upon the state of the mind. Even while living in hellish circumstances, a trained mind can make us experience heavenly bliss. On the other hand, even while living amidst heavenly luxuries, an uncontrolled mind can make us experience hellish miseries. Hence effectively, we are where our mind is.
The Puranas relate a story in this regard. There were two brothers, Tavrit and Suvrit. They were walking from their house to the temple, which was two hours away, to attend a discourse on the Shreemad Bhagavatam. On the way, they got caught in a rainstorm. They ran for shelter to the nearest building. Entering it, they realized that it was a sinful place, where people engaged in vulgar dancing and drinking.
The elder brother, Tavrit, was outraged. “How awful!” he said, “Let us get out of this place and reach the temple.”
His younger brother, Suvrit, tried to pacify him. “It is raining heavily outside. What is the harm in remaining here until the rain ceases? They are not forcing us to join them in their sinful activities.”
Tavrit was adamant and walked out of the building in a huff. He got drenched in the rain for one-and-a-half hours, but reached the temple. There he sat and heard Pundit ji’s discourse on the Shreemad Bhagavatam. However, in his mind, he began thinking, “This is so boring. I made a mistake by coming here. My brother must be really enjoying himself with the wine, song and dance.”
Suvrit, on the other hand, was repenting. “This place is so vulgar,” he thought. “I made a mistake by remaining here. I too should have braved the rain, like Tavrit, and I would have gotten to hear the holy message of the Shreemad Bhagavatam instead of having to watch this”
When the rain finally subsided, both got out and began walking in each other’s direction. As soon as they met, lightning fell on them and they died. The Puranas say that Yamdoots, or the servants of Yamraj, the God of death, came to take Tavrit, and Vishnudoots, or the servants of Lord Vishnu came to take Suvrit.
“You seem to have gotten the wrong name,” said Tavrit. “I was sitting in the temple. It was my brother who was at the Inn.”
|An uncontrolled mind can make us experience hellish miseries.|
“We have made no mistake,” replied the Vishnudoots. You were physically at the temple but mentally at the Inn, while Suvrit was physically at the Inn but mentally he was at the temple.” Thus, God gives us the fruits in accordance to where we keep our mind.
Hence, the Panchadashi states:
Mana eva manushyanaam karanam bandha mokshayoha
“Liberation and bondage in maya is decided by the condition of the mind.” If it is attached to the world, it results in bondage, and the soul continues to rotate in the cycle of life and death. But if the mind is attached to God, it results in liberation from the material realm.