Modern man has lost his soul in the pursuit of
worldly pleasures. In this world of cut-throat competition and in the rat race
to riches he forgot his true nature which is Self. The nature of self is
Satchidananda - Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and Bliss Absolute. One
needs to meditate on these words to understand the inner meaning and purport.
That is everything about us is relative and impermanent. Only Truth or Soul or
Self or God is Absolute, Infinite and Permanent.
Man is constantly running around all the time
under tremendous pressure. He is not able to cope up with the day to day
problems. As a result there are more heartaches and more heart-brakes. All
because he doesn’t know his true glory; he doesn’t know the real purpose and
meaning of life.
Perhaps, never before man was as uncomfortable
with his mind as he is today. Paradoxically today everyone believes the present
era as the most advanced phase of human civilization and yet, the feeling of
unfulfillment in life or dissatisfaction with oneself was never as high as it
is now. Meditation centres are thriving; people are thirsting for spirituality
and searching for methods to control the mind. Mind has become a big source of
problem. As the problem has arisen they are seeking solution. But the sage of
Vedic India didn’t wait till his mind became a source of great trouble to him.
He just explored it as the scientist of modern era explores the external world.
We can even call him mind-scientist or spiritual-scientist. The same scientific
tempo a modern day scientist employs to discover something of the material
world, the sage of yore employed to investigate the nature of the mind. Through
such an investigation he analyzed the in and outs of the thing called mind, and
devised methods to control and conquer it. The same knowledge has come to us
through the corridor of time. All the methods described in India’s spiritual
literature have this one aim of helping man control his mind. In this small
compendium called ‘Mind and modern problems’ a humble attempt has been made to
analyze the factors responsible for the scattering and dissipation of mental
energy in the present day context. And how to concentrate the mind through a
disciplined life and steady spiritual practices has been dealt with in a lucid
way. Meditation, personality, thought power, will- power, managing the
emotions, stress and the means to overcome it are some of the things that are
touched and some practical hints are given.
It is our sincere hope that the reader finds the book
interesting from the perspective of forming an understanding on the nature of
mind, the need and the method to control it. If this book paves the way for a
more peaceful and fulfilling life even in one individual we consider our effort
has not gone in vain.
The Problems of the Mind: Today we have
bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have
more degrees, but less common sense; more knowledge, less judgment. We have
more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness. We spend too
recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get angry too quickly, stay up
too late, get up too tired, read too little, and pray too seldom. We have
multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too
little and lie too often. We have learned how to make a living, but not a life;
we have added years to life, not life to years. Today we have taller buildings,
but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,
have less; we buy more, enjoy less. We went all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We conquered
outer space, but not inner space. We have split the atom, but not our
prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less. We
learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes, but lower morals. We
build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies, but have
less real communication. We are long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of fast foods but slow
digestion and less nutrition; tall men and short character; steep profits and
shallow relationships. Two incomes, but more divorces; fancier houses, but
We don’t think we are presenting a cynical view
of the world. The reader can go through from the beginning and recheck the
truth of the above statements! If not in our lives, these are the commonly
known happenings of the world around us. Thanks to the newspapers and
electronic media which keep us informed about all these happenings!
In this book we would like to present some of
these modern day problems and their suggested solutions. “Spirituality is not
for the empty belly”- Sri Ramakrishna would say. Here, we may not be empty
bellied, but probably empty minded or empty hearted. Ramakrishna Order does not
try to serve only the spiritual needs of the people, but also their
intellectual, mental and sometimes physical needs.
This is our idea of worship and service to the
Lord. Really, these various dimensions of human personality are not
unintegrated. If one’s physical needs like food, shelter, clothing, warmth,
health and even reasonable comfort are not taken care of, the mind cannot lift
itself from the body and aspire to higher spheres like arts, science, pursuit
of knowledge and religion. And when a man is fed, educated and given a job he
invites new problems like lack of discipline, recklessness, whiling away time
in daydreaming, poor social ability, lack of necessary skills, lack of clarity
in thought, word and deed. Taking things much more to heart than required
creates pressure and stress. Lack of proper upbringing, culture and higher
ideas cause an individual to pursue animal pleasures.
Most educational institutions are focused on
producing top rankers alone. There are a shockingly high number of schools
which do not have playgrounds, or moral science classes or creative teachers.
If a pupil comes to high school, he/she is pressurized from all sides-parents,
teachers and relatives-to achieve a top rank or high percentage in exams.
Competition kills creativity. Young students’ aptitudes are not considered
important. Sports, music, drawing and other such fields are considered to be
only side tracks. One has to compete in schools, in colleges, in universities
and in office. One is not able to think for oneself. No choice is available to
individual to do what he/she would like with his / her life. Everyone wants
leisure, peace and joy but no one knows where to find them in this racing world
of crammed houses, packed buses and jammed minds.
In this book we have tried to provide practical
solutions, some of which may be called ‘tips and tricks’, to the problems of a
busy human being in the world. Our idea is that if he/ she is helped to
overcome such petty obstacles-petty when compared to the great obstacles in
spiritual life-he/she would have time, leisure and mind later on to immerse
himself/herself in other higher pursuits of life.
Minds of Great Men: The Italian
sculptor Agostino d’ Antonio worked diligently on a large piece of marble.
Unable to produce his desired masterpiece, he lamented, “I can do nothing with
it.” Other sculptors also worked this difficult piece of marble, but to no avai1.
Michelangelo discovered the stone and visualized the possibilities in it. His
“I-can-make-it-happen” attitude resulted in one of the world’s masterpieces-
The experts of Spain concluded that Columbus’s
plans to discover a new and shorter route to the West Indies was virtually
impossible. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand ignored the report of the
experts. “I can make it happen,” Columbus persisted. And he did. Everyone knew
the world was flat, but not Columbus. The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria,
along with Columbus and his small band of followers, sailed to “impossible” new
lands and thriving resources. If Columbus had turned back, no one could have
blamed him, considering the constant adversity he endured. Of course, no one
would have remembered him either.
When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb,
they say he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A young
reporter asked him how it felt to have failed so many times. He said, “I never
failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000-step
Even the great Thomas Alva Edison discouraged
his friend, Henry Ford, from pursuing his fledgling idea of a motorcar.
Convinced of the worthlessness of the idea, Edison invited Ford to come and
work for him. Ford remained committed and tirelessly pursued his dream.
Although his first attempt resulted in a vehicle without reverse gear, Henry
Ford knew he could make it happen. And, of course, be did.
The Mind and You
Chapter - 2
Capabilities of Your Mind
Chapter - 3
Traits of Your Mind
Chapter - 4
Your Mind and Your Personality
Chapter - 5
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