The news of a poor, mentally distraught, famished young man- belonging to the tribal community- being beaten mercilessly to death by a mob who alleged that he had stolen some rice; who took delight in posting selfies, made many of the listeners reel under the shock and horror of human deeds. Finding it difficult to forget the picture of those wide eyes and face which was innocently staring at evil, I ended up calling someone dear to re kindle the fastly dimishing hope within.
Sister had a different take on the issue. ‘What enters our minds and hearts: those thoughts decide whether we become devils or angels,’ she said quietly. ‘So it is important to introduce only the highest, kindest, most beautiful thoughts into our minds.’
I recently read an article by the great SreeNarayana Guru: Spiritual leader, poet par excellence, scholar in multiple languages, humanitarian, radiant soul lamp for want of better words; in which he had elaborated on the same topic. It was an article called , ‘ Daiva Chintanam’. He warned about the omnipresent evil which easily takes over our minds and hearts if our inner selves remain susceptible and vulnerable. He also wrote about choosing intentionally to welcome the beautiful and lovely energy vibrations around to enter our souls. From the pen of a master who wrote such exquisite poetry of deep philosophical meaning in Sanskrit, Malayalam, Tamil; who had translated Upanishads and Tamil spiritual literature alike for the common man, this article on what we jokingly refer as the super natural world, took me by surprise. He clearly mentioned the ‘unseen worlds’which we have to be aware of.
Leaving aside psychological studies of mob, dissipation of responsibility etc, I allowed myself to reflect more on these thoughts.When the mind is full of anger, vengeance, pettiness, hatred, it is truly dark. Who resides within us then? How did that enter? How does one welcome the good? By cultivating kindness, affection, generosity, wisdom, love, service, selflessness…
In a world so very ready to troll and abuse the voice of the outsider, it is almost an act of subversion to bring up children who can think differently: those who can naturally see the ‘oneness’. Children who can think for themselves, and look at the world around with compassion.
Perhaps, each of us can take up the responsibility: to nurture the young souls in our family to grow up that way. But it is a lot of hard work.
Perhaps that starts by giving them good books to read. By introducing them to great, fine, high energy thoughts of those good spirits who lived/live in different parts of this mortal world. Those who had different names, different genders, different skin colours, spoke different languages but spoke the same beautiful truth.
Perhaps it starts by weening them away from the seductive world of objects, never ending greed, relentless marketing and self promotion into a serene, luminous world of thoughts.
Maybe we can do our humble bit to turn them into “human beings” : who , on meeting a hungry, mentally disturbed living being will offer food and clothes with no second thoughts.
A generation which will never seek out an iron rod and a flashy mobile phone to torture an innocent to showcase their ‘coolness’.
(Photos of excerpts from Sree Narayana Guru’s translation of Isavasyopanishad and his immortal Anukampa Dasakam- Ten Shlokas praising compassion)