By Upendra Mishra
We live in our mind. No exception. Whether we are in our comfortable abode or in the forest, in a happy or sad state, in a hellish space or at a beautiful vacation spot, we still live in our mind—constantly thinking about the past or the future.
Vedic sages had realized this long time ago and had coined a phrase “Ritam Bhara Pragya,” meaning a mind or an intellect full of natural laws that govern the universe effortlessly. In simple words: an intellect or mind that is full of purity and devoid of fights, conflicts, struggle, race, superiority, inferiority, sadness, happiness or anything. This is the state where everything is synchronized perfectly. All we need to do is look within and live our life from inside that is governed by “Ritam Bhara Pragya” or purity.
Just like a giant tree sprouts from a tiny seed or a roaring river springs from a single drop of water somewhere in the mountain, we start our journey the same way. By looking within, we get all answers to every question we might have and all the strength we need to start the wonderful voyage of our life. Peace and strength lie within. Buddha had rightly said: “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” That is true of the strength as well.
When we don’t live from within, we start to manipulate everything around us and seek certain desired results. From mythical to present times, most of us have failed to control desired results because final outcomes or the means of attaining them often end up being different than originally planned as we human beings cannot control external factors that affect everything we do. The only thing we can control (if we really want to and we must work hard on it) is within us: our own behavior, our own thoughts, our actions, our reactions, our feelings and our inner values.
When we do anything based on Ritam Bhara Pragya or our core values and inner self and purity, we achieve everything effortlessly. Otherwise, we might get to our final destination eventually but only after too much struggle and sometimes through undesirable means.
But how do we know that we are on the right track?
The answer is simple: When everything we do is effortless, goes smoothly, gives us joy and peace, causes no stress, and does not hurt anyone. When we struggle all the time for everything, loose peace of mind, have no time to enjoy little things we already have, and we never have time for ourselves, our family and our friends, we are on the wrong track. When we shed the shackles of our ego and sprint out of our self-created delusional world, we get back on the right track.
When we stop lying to ourselves, we get back on the right track. When we say good bye to the self-image we have created based on views of others, we get back on the right track. When we get on the right track, we know for sure we are on the right track because our life assumes a magical dimension where we find joy in little and simple things and we stop chasing that elusive pot of gold at the end of rainbow that was never there. In short, we become real, true to ourselves and we start living and experiencing everything around us.
“The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma has become one of my favorite books. I keep going back to it. “There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self,” he says. Sharma adds: “Truly enlightened people never seek to be like others. Rather, they seek to be superior to their former selves. Don’t race against others. Race against yourself.”
But it is easier said than done. How to do it?
“When you master your mind, you master your life. Mental mastery starts with being able to control every thought that you think,” says Sharma. “When you control your thoughts you control your mind. When you control your mind, you control your life.” Sharma’s concept was echoed a couple of thousands of years ago in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:
“You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
The surest way to start controlling your thoughts is staying miles away from gossipers and trivial talkers. No matter how harmless you think gossips and trivial talks are, they will sow the seed of poison in your mind and you will never be able to take charge of your thoughts.
Furthermore, in order to experience deep happiness, we should be prepared to put off short-term pleasure for the sake of long-term fulfillment, says Sharma. Probably that is why people who take short-cuts or are extremely reactive, seeking instant pleasures neither achieve their major goals nor live in daily happiness.
Only when we start living our lives with the triple virtues of the strength of character, mental toughness and conviction of courage and all three at the same time and right now and at present, a beautiful journey unfolds whose beauty and peacefulness we could have never imagined.
(Mr. Mishra is managing partner of the Waltham, MA-based integrated inbound marketing and PR firm The Mishra Group. He writes about his three passions: marketing, scriptures and gardening.)