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The Mysteries Of Mind: [24.01] Mental Health (1)

Published: 20.07.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008
  • The basis of development - the investigation and practice oi truth.
  • Let that which can change and let that which cannot change remain as it is.
  • Cleaning the dirt, which has accumulated in the mind.
  • Transformation of nature.
  • Transformation of human relations.
  • Search for an uninhabited island where there is less expendi­ture and increased accumulation of energy.
  • Causes of the expenditure of energy:
    • Continuous activity.
    • Excessive activity.
    • Evil actions and evil thoughts.
    • Lack of restraint of thoughts and feelings.
  • Let us utilize our energy - dormant energies are useless.
  • Correct direction of the use of energy:
    • Self-knowledge and self-realization.
  • Three sastra of Siddhi (accomplishment):
    • Mastering situations.
    • Arousing of consciousness.
    • The end of torpor (ignorance).
  • The purpose of sadhana.
    • Subduing passions.
    • Purity of consciousness.

Are we healthy? Let us ask ourselves and not others. Let us try to get an answer to this question from ourselves and not from others. If we possess the feeling of equality, we are mentally as well as physically healthy, otherwise not. We often talk about two kinds of health, mental and physical. This, however, is not a happy division. If we are mentally healthy, we will also be physically healthy and vice versa. The mind and the body are two mutually connected entities. The former influences the latter and vice versa. However, the mind's influence on the body is deeper than that of the body on the mind. Mental health is connected with the feeling of equality. Without this feeling the mind cannot be healthy. The principle of equality is also the principle of mental health.

The first principle of mental health is: Know thyself. The mind of him who does not know his self is not a healthy mind. One who does not know his own strength and weakness cannot be men­tally healthy. We are not able to become aware of our strength and capacities because we do not know our self. We do not know our strength because we are weak and we feel a sense of being wretched. We become excited when somebody misbehaves with us because we do not know our weakness. In such cases we overlook our­selves and try to find fault with others. If one has two sons and he prefers only one of them, the other naturally becomes jealous. He forgets that he has not been preferred because of his incapability. The mind of one who does not know his weakness always remains explosive and this sometimes continues for the whole of his life.

Therefore, it is necessary for us to be aware of our strength as well as weakness.

The second principle of mental health is the willingness to admit one's responsibility for whatever he has done. We are not prepared to visualize the consequences of our actions and that is why our mind has no peace. It is dangerous for mental health to avoid responsibility for our actions. It is a wrong mentality, and breeds mental diseases. One needs courage to admit his faults. A weak mind does not have this courage. One should take responsi­bility for the good a well as bad consequences of his actions. There should be no hesitation in this respect. It is the weak who find fault with others. They want to save their own skin. We generally like to be praised for our good actions but are not prepared to be blamed for the bad consequences of our actions. To find fault with others is a sign of weakness.

Devotion to truth is the third principle of mental health. It is very difficult to define truth. Truth is experience of the law governing the universe. Death is a universal law. It has no exception. All the prophets and great men of the world met death. Nobody can be immortal. Everyone who is born must die one day or the other. Immortality is a figment of imagination. Death is, therefore, a truth. In the same way karma (action) and tela (time) are also truths. One who admits the operation of the laws, which govern nature, is a mentally healthy man.

Once a man lost his watch. He tried to search it but in vain. Loss makes the mind of even a wealthy man sad. The man be­comes sad. Sadness is a feeling, which comes only when we do not know truth. We do not know that the path of life is paved with gains as well as losses. If we knew this universal law, we would never be sad.

Tolerance is the fourth principle of mental health. An intol­erant man is always miserable. No mind can be wholesome with­out tolerance. Moreover, the behaviour of an intolerant man is al­ways unpredictable. If an intolerant man is meditating and if the fan is stopped, his mind will be upset and his meditation will break.

All these things happen because we have no tolerance. We not only do not know tolerance, we have not even tried to assess its value. He who commands tolerance is indifferent to losses and gains. Wealth and riches are not lasting. Heat and cold, comfort and pain and convenience and inconvenience do not affect the tol­erant man. They affect those who do not possess the requisite strength to face them. One who possesses tolerance has such strength. Those who have been born and brought up in the midst of difficulties and privations ultimately develop in themselves the spirit of tolerance. On the other hand those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth do not understand the value of toler­ance.

People make promises but do not stick to them for the fol­lowing three reasons:

  1. Fickleness of mind.
  2. Intolerance.
  3. Waywardness of the sense organs.

Generally we are unaware of what are going to be the conse­quences of our desires, and when they take place we become up­set. This is because we do not have tolerance. Hence the need of developing it. Even God will not be able to upset the mind of him who has practised tolerance. On the other hand he who lacks toler­ance will always be unhappy and miserable.

The fifth principle of mental health is that we should present ourselves as we are. We should not put up appearances. Generally people are snobs in their social life and when people see them in their true colours they are put in a quandary. Secretiveness creates ill feelings.

Once a man went to a neighbouring village, to seek a bride for his son. The family, which he visited, had planned to dupe him. They rattled silver coins in the adjacent room. The visitor heard the rattling sound and formed the impression that the family was a rich family. The proposal for the marriage was accepted and the marriage took place. But when the father of the son came to know that he had been deceived, their relations became strained. Both the parties were thus harmed. Those who put up appearances not only deceive others, they deceive themselves also. They create dif­ficulties for all. We try to create false impressions on the minds of others in order to hide our own real state. He who is not handsome tries to appear to be, handsome, but cosmetics can hide the ugli­ness of a face for a short time only. You cannot hide reality for a long time. Only he whose mind is weak tries to hide facts. On the other hand he whose mind is strong and sound will always present himself as he is.

  • The Mysteries Of Mind © by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Translated by K.L. Goswami
  • Compiled by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • 2nd Edition, 2002

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  1. Body
  2. Consciousness
  3. Karma
  4. Meditation
  5. Sadhana
  6. Siddhi
  7. Tolerance
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