‘Cheerful mind’ results in happy living. ‘Graceful mind’ avoids negative emotions. ‘Silent mind’ enhances the mental health as well as physical health.
Strengths of Silence
Silence is not merely the absence of sound. You can enjoy silence even with sound. It is a profound state of stillness and tranquility that can be experienced both internally and externally. You will be able to enjoy the power of silence by closing your eyes and enjoying your favourite melodious music. Your silence will become a fallacy if your mind gets distracted to noise around.
External silence refers to the absence of noise in our environment, allowing us to find respite from the constant auditory stimulation that surrounds us. Internal silence, on the other hand, refers to the quieting of the mind and the cessation of incessant thoughts, creating a space of inner calm and clarity.
Usage of ‘mownam’ here represents the need for the focus on ‘Listening Skills’ as well.
There once was a farmer who lost his watch in his barn. He could not afford the loss because the watch had sentimental value for him. After searching high and low among the hay for a long while; he gave up the search but enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn with the promise of a good reward for the person who could find the watch.
Lured by the reward, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up the search, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance. The farmer readily agreed as he somehow wanted to find the watch.
After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed.
The boy smiled and replied, “When everyone else were searching madly all around, I did nothing but sit on the ground and listen. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.”
A peaceful mind can think better than a worked-up mind. Allow moments of silence to your mind every day, and see, how sharply it helps you to set your life the way you expect it to be!
The soul always knows what to do to heal itself.. The challenge is to silence the mind….
Next in the line of the five mental health enhancers suggested by Lord Krishna is Aatma Vinigrahaha. Aatma means self and Vinigrahaha means restrain. What an appropriate order?
Having developed good outlook and positive emotions and developed the habit silent introspection, it is now important to exercise self-restraint to sustain the gracefulness.
Self-restraint is the ability to stop doing or saying something that you want to because you know it is better not to.
Self-restraint is feeling to do but deciding you would not. Self-control is an essential ingredient for achieving success and for living a satisfying, meaningful and moral life.
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
Is self-restraint inherent or developed? I have seen some people taking the excuse that they are poor in self-restraint by nature, and they are seemingly very proud of it. Lord Krishna has not given any exception. He asked everyone aspiring to lead an ideal life to exercise self-restraint.
Although some people inherently have more self-control than others, research has found that effective self-control can be cultivated and strengthened to become a habit and a way of life.
Most powerful technique to develop self-control is also in the same sloka just a step earlier. Silent self-introspection every day will surely help to improve self-control. Introspect on daily basis, appreciate yourself with a kudo wherever you were able to exercise self-control and take a resolve to change wherever you could not exercise self-restraint. You will find the instances of the latter going down in numbers gradually if you practice this seriously and sincerely. Give it a serious try and let me know!
Ravana was a great shiv-bhakt and his kingdom flourished as long as he had his self-restraint. He was doomed and lost the plot the moment he lost his self-control. Duryodhana lost the Kurukshetra war because he lost his sef-control for a moment and he cursed that moment ever after. What is this story? I shall cover in the next blog. Until then, practice daily self-introspection.
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