By Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai
Rakesh Jhaveri, also known as Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, is a spiritual leader, scholar of Jainism, author and orator from India. He is a follower of the nineteenth century spiritual teacher Shrimad Rajchandra.
Each of us lives in a world of our own. In one house, if there are seven people, there are seven worlds. The world is our mind’s construction and projection. The son’s world is not like that of the father’s. This is because everyone’s projections are different. If seven vessels cannot stay together without colliding with each other, how can seven worlds exist together without any clashes or trespassing? The father interferes in the son’s life, and this creates distress.
Under a tree are seated six people – a carpenter, a painter, a poet, a bereaved lover, a lover who has found his beloved, and an ascetic. If they have the same opinion about the tree then it can be said that they are living in the same world, but if they have varied notions about the same tree, then surely, they are living in different worlds. The carpenter sitting under the tree does not see the leaves or the flowers; his mind is busy calculating how many chairs and tables can be made from the tree. The painter does not look at its usefulness but sees only the combination of different colours, the shades of green in the leaves. The poet sees only poetry in the tree; for him, the name and form soon disappear into the world of poetry. The bereaved lover sees one lonely tree! The lover who has found his beloved sees the tree as dancing, ready to share its fullness and wealth of fruits. We project our world from within and cast our opinions in all directions. The ascetic however, sees the tree, as it is, for his mind projects nothing on the tree.
The western psychologists have made many discoveries related to the mind’s projections. They would ask patients what they saw in the formations created by the ink on blotting papers. Depending on the patient’s reply, they would tell what is in their subconscious. On the same used blotting paper, some would see a terrifying woman, some would see a beautiful flower and some others would see God! As the mind, so would be the projection. One person’s interpretation would therefore be different from another.
In the same way, people see different forms when looking at the clouds in the sky. What is there is not seen. You see only that what your mind projects. You have not seen the world as it is; you are only seeing the mind’s projection on the screen of the outer world. As long as this mind’s projector is in action, you cannot see the truth. You alone spread the veil of delusion on the material world, have expectations from it, and when they are not fulfilled, you experience pain.
Make the Mind Inactive
As long as the mind is active, the projection continues. And this projection is so powerful that it appears real. Until you awaken and see this as a projection, you have no hesitation in accepting it as reality. The one seeing snake in a rope truly experiences the power of projection. Whatever happens upon seeing a snake happens on seeing the rope. There is fear, palpitation, perspiration, running away; such is the strength of a mere imaginary projection!
In the projector of the mind, you play the film of your assumptions, definitions, and desires; which gets projected on the outer world of objects, people, and circumstances. You do not see things as they are for your sentiments associated with them get projected on them. You first decide and create expectations and then see the object, so you cannot see anything without a bias and cannot become free from the bondage. For this, you must stop the mind from projecting. You will have to stop its activities. You will have to break its speed. You can manifest the equanimous state only if you dissolve the mind.
A young man asked a Zen monk Lin-Chi: “Please be gracious and guide me how I should cultivate my mind, so I can get peace?” Hearing this, Lin-Chi laughed. As long as you do anything with the mind, you shall not experience peace. You can experience peace only when you dissolve the mind. Cultivating the mind is the stage of thinking and dissolving the mind is the stage of meditation. If you make the mind good, it will project good things and if you make it bad, it will project bad things. But the projection will continue. If you do not nurture the mind, soon you will attain truth and experience profound silence. Only by renouncing all assumptions and definitions can the truth be attained.
Freedom from Assumptions
The moment you sit in the sun, the mind says it is bothersome. At that time, tell the mind: “Keep quiet, let me experience a bit of sunlight”. If the mind says its enjoying the heat of the sun; then too ask the mind to keep quiet. Up until now you have had the experience of the mind alone. You have never experienced the sun. It would be completely different if you can encounter the sun straight. But if the mind interferes, you cannot know the sun as it is.
The heat of the sun is good or bad is very individual. These definitions also keep changing. In eastern countries, white tone of the skin is rare and hence there is a desire to have fair looks. In the west, having fair skin is common, so the value for white skin is not as much, while tanned skin is appreciated more. People expose themselves to sunlight in beaches to get tanned.
All these definitions are of the mind. It is all a play of the mind. And so the mind alone will have to be dissolved. By dissolving the mind, you attain equanimous state. You remain detached from the world.
It is necessary to understand the meaning of detachment. Detachment does not mean escapism, despair or dislike for objects, but detachment means to just know without making any choice. It is neither attraction nor repulsion from objects, but it is to remain unaffected by all. It is choicelessness.
Mind creates dualities. A part of the mind says become angry, the other says anger is poison, it is painful – suppress it. Detachment is to not choose any of the options given by the mind but to stay apart and keep witnessing the play of the mind. As long as there is a choice, there is no detachment. Detachment will begin to manifest if you can stay apart, watch the drama of the mind and not make any choices.
The Enlightened Ones say that the mind always creates separation. Mind lives in dualities alone. If you make a choice from this duality, you will continue to stay with the mind, and what you do not choose will continue to exist, it will not cease to be. It will patiently wait for you to get tired of the choice you have made and change your choice.
Attraction and Repulsion
You fall in love with a woman and the duality arises in your mind. A part of your mind says: “She is very beautiful, she should be mine”. The other part says that you are inviting trouble. Staying with the mind, you choose one of its options. You get attached to the woman. And even have her. There was attraction as long as she was away. Having acquired, the spell breaks and there arises repulsion. The body you were attracted to, now you cannot bear her body odour. The feel of her hands that felt soft now appears like a noose.
A western thinker Oscar Wilde has written that there are two unfortunate things in human life. One is, not getting what he likes and the second, getting what he likes. The game of the mind is such that at first it wants and then having acquired that, it says what’s worthy in this? The attraction changes into repulsion and repulsion into attraction. You choose one thing and the mind is pulled towards another. When we do not make choices, duality eventually disappears, and the supreme peace is attained.