The world that we see is not outside, it is behind our eyebrows unless we can qualify what we see accurately. Many times, what we see may not be the reality, it is a reflection of what we think we are seeing. Ashtavakra’s explanation is “the rope on the ground is seen as a snake because your mind thinks it is a snake”.
Shut the mind off
Mumbai has hardly any winter. This was Feb thankfully we were not sweating after our bath – as we do now in Apr. Thus, we feel good in whatever winter Mumbai has. As usual, this morning also I was doing my daily morning Sadhana (meditation practice). My daughter – Adviti – had just learned to enjoy a toy that moves, throws light, and plays song alongside. She had this toy with her for over a year. When we tried it a year back, she got frightened with the light, sound, and movement of this toy. However, off late, she accepted the toy, and now she keeps on playing with it. A drawback with this toy is – it does not have a volume control option.
I was meditating and she was dancing around with the noise of the toy. After a while, I felt that I should go and stop the toy so that I can peacefully practice today’s Sadhana. Meditation aside, this thought followed up with others. First, it was a noise for me, music for her. She was unaware – as my wife and parents were too – that the sound was uncomfortable for me. The toy was the world for her, she was enjoying it with her heart and soul dancing around it, giggling, and inviting her mother and grandparents to join her. Generally, you feel elated when your child or grandchild is happy. My wife and parents were also engrossed in Adviti’s joy. At the same time for me, meditation was my world. In the same room, we were in two different worlds.
This happened for a couple of days with me. Somehow, I could keep on continuing my practice without asking for stopping the toy. Within few days, I realized my meditation is my practice, it should not be impacted by external factors. If our mind feels something is a problem we can analyze it with disinterested reasoning or shut the mind off because it creates unnecessary noises behind our eyebrows that we do not even realize.
The summer has set-in in Mumbai, now after the bath, we start sweating. We do not complain, we cannot change it. Every Mumbaikar has a response for summer of Mumbai – “accept it” – either put an AC at home or apply deodorant.
Behind our eyebrows
It happens with all of us. We end up creating our own problems. The mind makes us feel or believe something that may not necessarily be correct. Before assuming something or making a perception a verification can help.
In March, someone accused me of a thing that neither I intended nor I did. In fact, I had no role in what was going on in this gentleman’s mind! The bigger surprise is – “I was not even the actor in what he though Mr X did, but I was the accused!” I was literally a third party, Mr X, the gentleman and I (one who had no active or passive role in actions of Mr X). I tried justifying myself to him. When I realized the mindset of the other person; I stopped defending myself. Since I had just learned a lesson with Advity’s playing with the toy I could relate the learning. I moved on thinking “if your mind is corrupted, you would be responsible for the words, actions, and consequences. How can someone help you until you are open to listening?”
Actually, the thought in Hindi was this – “Agar tumhare dimag me bhusa bhara hai to aag bhi dimag me hi lagegi, koi aur uske liye kya kare?” अगर तुम्हारे दिमाग में भूसा भरा है तो आग भी तुम्हारे दिमाग में ही लगेगी, कोई और उसके लिए क्या करे? It would be great if someone can help me translate this effectively in English.
Everyone lives in his own world. This world is made up of what we live in our minds. What we see is not ahead of our eyes, it is behind our eyebrows.
After writing the blog, I searched if some enlightened master’s comment is available on these thoughts, I found a pertinent one from Sadhguru.