The Act in the Mind

Once I heard a beautiful story. It went like this:
There was a monk who had a disciple and both of them were celibates. One day as they were walking along, they came across a river. A beautiful, charming young lady stood at the river bank and said, "O good people, I am wearing a costly dress which will get wet and spoiled if I wade through this river. Can you please help me get to the other side without me having to wet my dress?"
The monk stepped forward and without a word, picked her up. He carried her on his arms as he waded through the river and put her safely on the other bank of the river. She offered her thankful salutations and went her way. The disciple who was observing this all along had all sorts of doubts troubling him. He thought, "Here is my master who professes to have taken the vow of celibacy and yet, at the slightest opportunity, he picked the woman up without any hesitation. Should I continue to follow him? Is he the right teacher?"

As the two of them walked many miles to the next town, it was almost sunset when they decided to rest. The monk noticed that his young disciple was very troubled and agitated. He asked him what the matter was. The young disciple expressed his thoughts to which the monk laughed and replied, "Oh! I left that woman at the river bank. But I see that you have been carrying her all along the whole day. You must be tired having to carry so much luggage. Now, put her aside and go to sleep."
The moral of the story is, it is not so much in the act as it is in what the act does to your mind. The monk had absolute control over himself and therefore wasnt affected by touching the lady. The young disciple on the other hand didnt even touch the lady but seemed so affected by witnessing the act. Train the mind to leave things as they are without getting entangled and it will be in peace. That is the object of all sadhana.

Swami often tells the story of the courtesan and the brahmin who were neighbors living opposite each other and how the courtesan went to heaven and the brahmin went to hell after death since each was thinking of the acts of the other.
In fact, today I heard a discourse given by Swami for Guru Purnima '87. There was a beautiful punchline by Swami - "There should be renunciation in action, not renunciation from action."

The mind absorbed in Bliss

Karma sanyasa talks of not letting the mind delve on the fruits of the action, not of not doing any action at all.
Its the mind which matters....


Amit said…
This is an awesome abstraction of stories to convey the spirit in it. Thank you!
Gaurav said…
Awesome put up. It will atleast help me to earn some peace ...Thanks Anna
Venu said…
@Gaurav - peace is another 'act in the mind' :)

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