Guiding Light by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The mind is like water

Your body is like a hard shell. And your spirit, the inner self is like water. You are like the water inside. The nature of water cools and flows. But when the inside, which is like water, burns with jealousy, anger, frustration and all the fires you put inside, then the water boils and its refreshing nature is gone.

So how do you cool the water? Imagine a pot and underneath are all those hot sticks. To cool the water, you need to remove these sticks. All emotions are linked to people, objects and events. Clinging to objects, people or relationships hinders freedom, liberation. You yearn for a greater joy which is not there, which will not be there. I will have more joy if I have a better companion or if I have a lot of money or if I have a lot of freedom.

Money hallucinates you that you have better freedom. Your mind tells you that with more money we could have more freedom; could travel anywhere; do what you want; these illusory ideas come to mind. And when that idea comes to mind, it binds you. When you feel tied up you feel very stiff and there is no freedom. The moment you become soft and non-resistant on the inside, the stiffness decreases, the sense of being bonded leaves you, and everything in between, including wealth, comfort, and prosperity, follows.

So remove all that firewood and the water will get cooler. Because “cool” is the nature of water. When all these other negative stresses, the burning sticks will be removed, the water will have all of its natural qualities – humility and naturalness – just like the nature of flowing water. Never think deep down that there is negativity, grief, anger or jealousy.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna speaks of all good qualities. And then He adds that they are already in you. Just like in an atom, the nucleus is positive and negativity is peripheral. Your nature is calm and cool. If that was not your nature, you would never feel at home there.

When you meditate, you move away from the influence of the mind and enter the self. The mantra of knowledge is: in this world there is no other. The mantra of love is – there is no one who is not mine. When the mind is free from all impressions and concepts, you are released. When you know that everything changes – all the relationships, the people, the body, the feelings – all of a sudden the spirit, which clings to misery, comes back to you. The return of mine to me, gives you contentment and release from misery. A blooming, a centering, a subtle solid force comes from within. So if the fame comes, the money comes, it doesn’t touch you. He comes or does not come; it doesn’t matter to you.

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Posted on: Monday, December 27, 2021, 7:00 a.m. IST

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