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Sunday, 21 April 2013

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Mind travels vast distances

The mind is like an ever flowing stream or an ocean.There are momentary mental events such as happiness, irritation, fantasies and boredom in the waves that rise and fall.

The waves can subside to reveal the stillness of the sea.It is possible to calm the turbulence of our mind.The only way to do this lies within the mind.

Once there was a senior Bhikkhu named Sangharakkitha in Savatthi, during the period of Gautama Buddha. His sister gave birth to a son. She named her son as Sangharakkitha after her beloved brother, and was known Sangharakkhita Bhagineyya.

In due course, Sangharakkitha Bhagineyya too entered the Bhikkhu order. He was residing in a village monastery. A devotee offered him two sets of robes. So, he offered one to Bhikkhu Sangharakkhita.

However, he refused to accept it. The young Bhikkhu, the nephew, was disheartened and upset. His mind was drifting all over and a thought sprang up to leave the order. His mind wandered.

A train of thoughts crossed his mind. He thought that after leaving the order, he would sell the robe. With that money, he would buy a she-goat, that would help him to earn more money. Then he would marry. His mind was running riot.

They would be blessed with a son. Then they would visit Ven. Sangharakkhita with the child. He was thinking of entrusting the child to his wife and driving the cart. Sangharakkhita Bhagineyya was thinking that due to the negligence of his wife, the child might fall, and the cart wheels would crush the child to death. To punish his wife, he would strike her with the goading stick.

All these were his imaginations. While thinking, he was fanning his uncle Ven. Sangharakkhita. He absent-mindedly, stuck the Bhikkhu's head with the palmyrah fan, thinking that he was striking his wife.

The senior Bhikkhu Sangharakkhita, knew the thoughts of his nephew and said, “As you were unable to beat your wife, why are you beating me.”

Young Bhikkhu Sangharakkhita was surprised and embarrassed to hear the words of his uncle. He was so upset that he fled. However, he was brought to the Buddha.

The Buddha was told that the junior Bhikkhu struck Ven. Sangarakkhita and ran away. The Blessed One explained how the mind reacts to the Bhikkhus.

“The mind has the ability to think of an object even though it might be far away. That is the nature of the mind. What you have to do is to strive hard for liberation from the bondage of passion, ill will and ignorance.”

To prove it, the Buddha recited the following stanza to the Bhikkhus.

Durangamam Ekacaram,
Asariram Guhasayam
Ye Littam Sannamessanti
Mokkhanti Marabandhana.
Dhammapada – Litta Vagge – Verse – 5 – 37

(Those who restrain their “bodiless mind”, which roams afar all alone and which resorts to a cave, are capable of releasing the mind from the bond of Mara)

The mind is capable of travelling vast distances. It may go up and down; North or South, East or West or in any direction. It can travel to the present, past as well as to the future. The mind, roams all alone.

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