Whenever a physical action is undertaken, it is very clear and implied that there is an objective before it. In fact what is an action? An action is a process during which, you begin from a point and reach the end point called the outcome or objective. It is like a line which necessarily connects two given points. So an action is itself designed with a view to produce an outcome. If the action is pursued to completion, the outcome will necessarily follow. Sometimes there can be factors that intercept the process of action. Then you may think about those factors, which are likely to intercept and try to safeguard against them.
That is part of the action. To that extent everything is okay. Now, what is this further expectation? While doing an action, do you have to keep on saying, “By this action, I expect such and such outcome; by this action, I expect that outcome” like a mantra? Suppose I keep on the fire a pot with five litres of water. If the flame is kept up, the water is bound to get heated and start boiling. I only have to make sure that the water is not allowed to steam unnecessarily. Apart from keeping the water on fire and making sure that the flame is on, what is the further expectation to boil?
A child is born. You feed the child, clothe him and allow him to sleep. Can you feed him at one stretch for two days, three days or one month? Every time as the child asks for food, you start feeding. Every time it is only a one-time feeding and everyday it becomes three or four times, and the day passes. And then the next day comes. But mind you, you only feed the child once at a time. Apart from feeding the child and looking after, what further action is necessary? Suppose you have expectations, but you do not nourish the child with nutrients, then do you think your expectations will fruition? So, understand that to foster undue expectations is to constrict the mind and make it weak.
Any form of desire is wrong. We cannot work on desires. We can only work on needs and necessities. There is a famous proverb that says, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. So, is invention following desire or following necessity? Whatever necessity or need you have, if you act upon it, it is perfectly alright. In addition to that, any kind of a desire, which grows into greed and possessiveness, any kind of expectation, which goes on becoming unreal, will only constrict the mind. It will make the mind narrow. Tell me now: Is a narrow mind more effective or a mind that is broad and full-fold?
So, if you want to have a healthy mind, a full-fold mind, a mind that can apply itself, what should you do? Should you keep on desiring? Expectation is not the way. Desire is not the way. Always have an assessment of what is to be done. Try to also arrive at the best means of attainment. And once you are decided on the means, start it, proceed with it and end with the attainment. If and when there is a failure, the causes of failure have to be gone into and safeguards ensured.
Unless you sit in a place and start thinking about your mind – how it becomes healthy and free, and how its application becomes strong and wholesome – this problem of yours will not leave you. In other words, you have to be thoughtful, you have to be introspective, and you have to be evaluative.
Mind you, your body is only an instrument for activity. What wills the body is the mind and what directs the mind is the intelligence. And the mind and intelligence receive their strength as well as inspiration from something still subtler called the Soul, which carries enormous, infinite potential. Our mind and intelligence together should form an effective tool in recognizing and drawing upon the infinitely resourceful Soul.
So, sit in a place and be with your mantra. This is a process, an absolute means, whereby you can commune with your Soul of infinite dimension. Let that indwelling Supreme Presence illumine and inspire your mind and your intelligence during the wakeful state, the sleep state and also the dream state. With regard to the memories of the past, the concerns of the present and the plans for the future, have a proper evaluation. Be therefore, righteously instilled and motivated. Let there be no unnecessary brooding, worries or haste. On the other hand, become poised, and be able to apply the mind with all its health and wholesomeness.
Once you understand this philosophy, you will appreciate that the nature of the mind’s criss-cross expectations is but a hindrance. And desire of any kind is a constriction. The trees do not have desires. So many animals also live in this world – they too do not have desires. They have been thriving beautifully in their own manner.
In the context of human life because of lack of understanding and viveka, our mind becomes vitiated by adverse traits. The intelligence is blocking itself from receiving the right illumination. It is unable to give guidance to the mind. It is failing to inspire the mind. Therefore there is a muddle. This is an enigma. This is a problem. Introspection, thoughtfulness, right evaluation and assessment are the only ways to be out of it. Spirituality is a constant effort to enrich, empower and enlighten the mind and the intelligence so that they will be very much integrated and will be inspiring and leading all activities in a very sublime and effective manner.
Author: Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha