Pic.: Pushpa Mistry Kamath
Just a few days ago, in one of THE DAWN CLUB functions, I heard our dear teacher, and my friend, Swami Brahmavidananda (we still call him fondly Ram Mohan sir) saying this. He was imparting a crisp message to all our outgoing students. “My dear young friends, if you remember these three simple mantras in life, you can handle any situation in life:
I immediately said in my mind – ‘Amen’!
Now, let’s mull over what sir had said…
The first mantra – THINK CLEARLY:
When the mind is not cluttered, we are able to think clearly. Any situation in life can be handled well only if we are able to think clearly… never magnifying the situations or undermining them… Never driven by our prejudices or by public opinions… What people may say…? What if this happens or that happens…? What if things go wrong…? Will I make a fool of myself…? Will I be hounded…? Will people remain trustworthy…? I shouldn’t have done that… I shouldn’t have helped him… I do not have what it takes… I can never mach up to him… If alone I had a good family support… If alone I had self-confidence in me/… If alone I had means to complete my education…
Yes, so long as the mind is cluttered with these thoughts of regrets or anxiety… so long as it is stuck in their trap, it is unable to think clearly…. It is difficult for us to handle situations in life well…
The second mantra - FEEL DEEPLY:
Being sensitive and being sentimental are as different as chalk and coal. The former comes from a supple mind and a caring heart. All caring begins first with self-care. If we are able to care for our own well-being first, if we are able to feel loved enough in life… then alone we are able to truly care for others, empathize with them... reach out to them. Others’ problems are not our problems… The moment we are too preoccupied with solving others’ problems or trying to change the world, our trouble would begin.
So, by the second mantra – ‘Feel Deeply’ – what I understand is that when we have a sensitive mind and a caring heart, we only become stronger, wiser and richer. On the other hand, when we have a sentimental mind and a heart which has not cared for itself, it is difficult to handle situations in life well…
The third mantra – ACT DECISIVELY:
It is our ability to think clearly and feel deeply – yes, when combined together – would enable us to act decisively.
To me, it is summarized in Lord Krishna’s advice to the troubled Arjuna… What an appropriate setting – the battle ground!
To me, it is, also, summarized in the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life… His mind has become weak, it is cluttered, and the heart has lost its strength. He is frightened, he is in pain… He knows what is coming… the humiliation and torture, pain and agony… So, he goes to Gethsemane Garden, falls on his knees, and prays, all alone, the greatest prayer of His life – "Father, do away this cup (test) from me; but, if it is Thy wish, Thy will be done.”
When the prayer is done, the mind is clear… the heart has rested… Jesus is ready to face the situation… The ‘cup’… The ‘test’.
So, I am saying ‘Amen’, all over again.