“All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind” – Khalil Gibran
The cart procession at the coastal town of Jaggannath Puri can be scary for the weak hearted. As the gigantic carts rattle along the Grand Road, hundreds of men and women, young and old, pull them, while thousands others try to get close to the rope, to hold it at least for a second. The massive wheels of the cart move with a crackling sound while hundreds of men on the cart play round drums in a rhythmic meter. It’s an imposing sight that heralds the arrival of the Lord of the Universe.
For those who prefer to watch the parade from the side roads, it’s a challenge. As the cart comes closer, many push towards the edge of the road, seeking shelter of the pavement. But these are already filled to the brim; over 1.2 million people attend the annual two kilometre procession. There are others who bravely fight the surging crowd to get closer to the rope.
Both these types of people get hurt in the frenzy. Those rushing towards the edges face a stampede; it’s a false sense of shelter of the pavement that grips the minds of those who seek to escape the gushing crowd. And those who push and fight the crowd, to join in the pulling, get beaten. Many hurt their feet; some soil their clothes or see them torn.
What’s the safest position? Just stay where you are; gently bend and move sideways. Let the pandemonium pass. If you overcome the fear of crowd, and resist the urge to escape, you’d find a place for yourself right in the middle of the chaos. You’d remain peaceful even as people around you panic or scream in passion.
That’s how a spiritual practitioner tackles the mind. The flood of desires shall pass soon. Don’t panic, don’t fret or fume. Gently manoeuvre the situation; pray, transcend, call a friend, or simply pause and just breathe. The tidal waves of desires are here to stay. When one passes, another is round the corner. Don’t waste time fighting them. Learn to live with them, without surrendering to the yearnings. Let’s not give the mind and its myriad madness any more importance than what it deserves.
To be continued…