Be A Monk

Chetan Prabhakar
We can face even the darkest period of our lives calmly, hopefully, and generate happiness even in the midst of the greatest difficulties and challenges, only if we start seeing good in the bad and bad in the good. Mind is everything and keeping mental health and hygiene is important for our minds, as a healthy mind can help us sail through every thick and thin of our life calmly and happily. Only requirement is, we need to train our mind to see the good in every situation and that is called a state of equanimity.
Nowadays, a lot of people are suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression because times have become so uncertain. Most of us might be going through rough patches of our lives with one or the other unknown and uncalled for problems. In the current circumstances, we are unaware of how to handle these situations because we have always been taught to have success and good things in our life to be happy and most of the time we do, but what if we have to face unknown circumstances and crises as we have faced during COVID 19.
Life is certainly not only about the best; it is also about the worst. Best and worst co-exist. We cannot avoid the bad and if we learn to welcome the bad as we welcome the good, we can reduce our suffering to a larger extent. Without the bad, there cannot be good, as lotus only blooms in the mud. So, as mud is important for the lotus to blossom, similarly bad is important for the best. Imagine, if you can be happy in your worst or darkest times, how happy can you be in the good times? Just imagine!
Happiness is a mindset. We can be happy and blissful in our darkest times if we know how to keep our mind healthy in order to feed it with positivity, hopefulness and happiness. A father asks his son, do you know inside all of us there are two wolves who are always at battle with each other? The boy enquires with surprise, “Who are they?” and the father replies, “One is evil; it is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, inferiority and ego. The other is good; it is joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, empathy, compassion and truth.” The son enquires, “Which wolf wins?” The father replies, “The one you feed the most.”
We have always been taught that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Is this correct? I met a sports teacher who was looking quite healthy with a perfectly lean body but he said, till the time I play, I am happy and fine, but as soon as I stop playing, I have a lot of thoughts, tension and stress. So, the realization is that a healthy body may not be an abode of a healthy mind, but, a healthy mind can keep anything and everything else healthy. The actor Sushant Singh Rajput is also an example of someone who was lean and physically fit but committed suicide due to turmoil in the mind.
It does not mean that we do not have to take care of our bodies. Body is also very important and you need to take care of it as well, however, in addition, you also have to take care of your mind. You have to find the right balance. It is also important to note that it is the body’s nature to deteriorate and become weak with time whereas, if taken care of, the mind grows healthy and strong.
The body and the mind are two separate entities of our being and they both need separate care, attention and exercise. As movement is good for the body similarly, stillness is good for the mind. Therefore, for holistic health, we are required to take care of both the body and the mind.
Our minds are always busy with thoughts, some belong to the future and some to the past, and hence, we are never in the present. Once a day, just try to meditate, bring your mind to the present, and try to silence the continuous chatter going on and on in the mind, which disturbs the mind and makes us confused and deluded. When our minds are silent, we can hear the quietest sound including the sound of silence and that is the real silence, and it is always internal and that silence makes us calm, composed and peaceful which are the very basis for true happiness.
If you do not keep your mind disciplined, fit and healthy, you become its servant and if you work with it, you become its master. Please note, the mind is a very good servant but a very bad master. As a master, the mind creates fears, anxiety, stress, hopelessness, unhappiness, greed, resentment, depression, etc whereas if you become its master, you can feed it with love, hope, joy, positivity, empathy, happiness, fearlessness, etc. You need to master your mind to have a wonderful life and taking care of your mind nourishes and satisfies the soul. If you do not satisfy your soul, you cannot find peace and happiness even in the midst of material and natural abundance and if your soul is satisfied, you can be your best even in the darkest days of your life.
The endeavour of this article is to help you understand that mastering the mind is important to live a life of equanimity, true happiness and eternal bliss. Mastering the mind and reaching a stage of equanimity is the main endeavour of Monks, that is why,just ‘Be A Monk’.Verse 6.46 of the Bhagavad Gita stipulates that ‘A Yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker, therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a Yogi’
(The author is an Advocate & a Life Coach)