The Mother Divine
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By Sadhguru

Isha Foundation

When one makes an attempt to walk the spiritual path, there are many things which come up as obstructions. It is not only about the spiritual path. Whatever one tries to do in their life, spiritual or otherwise, there are many aspects within a human being which can become a stumbling block, and a mode of self-destruction and self-poisoning. Most people always think poison is something that they drink or that gets injected into them when they get bitten by a snake or something. Life can get more poisoned with just one wrong idea or one wrong emotion than with the poisons that people drink.  

Once it happened, the devil decided to go out of business. Because he was going out of business, he thought he would put all the tools of his trade on sale. He displayed all his wares: anger, jealously, hatred, ego, self-love, passion for possessing things – like this he put many things on sale. All these things were sold out; people bought them in plenty. But somebody noticed that he still had a couple of things in his bag which he was not putting for sale.  

They asked the devil, “What is it that you have in the bag that you are not putting out for sale?” The devil said, “These are too expensive. These are really the most effective tools to stop a man from reaching his ultimate nature. They are not for sale. If I put them on sale they will be too expensive.” So people asked, “What are these? You already put everything on display and we thought this is it. What more do you have?” So he said, “Frustration and Depression. These two things I will not put on sale because they are the best tools to destroy people’s longing to reach their fullest potential in their life.”  
Though he did not put them on sale, many people have managed to acquire these tools and keep using them upon themselves and everybody around them. Unfortunately in this world, the more intellectual a person thinks he is, the more everything about him is frustrating and depressing. Once people get into the trap of the logical mind, the accumulated mind, frustration and depression become a natural process.  

In societies where large populations are educated, you will see, depression is one of the biggest problems. There is a deep sense of depression, because intellect is all that you have. And if you dissect your life logically, it is only natural to be frustrated and depressed. Whichever way you look at it, except for handling a few physical realities, the accumulated mind is a stupid process. Once you get entangled in this stupid process, it will not allow you to perceive life the way it is right now. Once you do not perceive life the way it is right now, everything that you do is going to be distorted. Every action that you perform is bound to be all twisted out and a distortion of life.  

It happened once, there was a little village. In this village, they got news that the King is going to visit. They were all excited and at the same time very nervous because they are simple folk. They are afraid they may do something stupid and earn the King’s wrath. So they wanted somebody to represent the village, but they found nobody in their village. They had heard about a wise man in the nearby village. They went there and there they approached Shankaran Pillai who was seventy years of age.  

He was known to be wise and well-versed in all kinds of matters of the world. So they went and begged him, “Please you must represent our village. The King is visiting us. We don’t want to do something stupid. You must come and stand up as a representative for our village during the King’s visit.” Shankaran Pillai said “Okay, that’s no problem. I have seen many kings. I have been in many courts. I know these matters very well. I will come and handle it.” So he came and the King was to arrive the next day. The King’s men came ahead of him to prepare the situation. They knew this was a simple village with simple, stupid people. So they came and told them, “Don’t say something that is not necessary and get into trouble with the King. The King will ask three simple questions, you just answer that. Who is the representative here?” All of them pointed towards Shankaran Pillai. Shankaran Pillai said “I am the representative.”  

So the King’s men trained him. “The King will just ask these three questions. First thing is, when he sees you, he will ask you your age. So, what's your age?” Shankaran Pillai said “Seventy.” “That’s all. Don’t say one word more. Just say seventy, that’s all. Then the next thing is the King will ask how many children you have. How many do you have?” “Six.” “So just say six, that’s all. That will be the second question. Third question is, the King will always ask how have the rains have been this year. How has it been?” “Good.” “Just say good, that’s all. Don’t say one word more. First question seventy, second question six, third question good.”  

Then they went back to the King, and as they were bringing him, they appraised him, “This is a very little village with simple people. They may be too overwhelmed by your presence and do something stupid. Don't get angry, just ask simple questions. You just ask the representative’s age, how many children, and how the rains have been.” The King said “Okay.” For him it was a routine. He just wanted to be done with the exercise. So the King came, and they all bowed down, welcomed him, and the King just forgot these questions and asked, “Who is your representative?” Shankaran Pillai came up. He asked him “How many children do you have?” “Seventy.” The King thought “Oh! This old fellow… seventy children!?” Then he remembered the next question and asked “How old are you?” “Six.” The King said, “Are you crazy? What are you talking? Are you mad? Is everything alright with you?” “Good.”  

The King said, “This is an insane man. Why is he representing the village?” Shankaran Pillai said, “It is not me who is insane, it is you. I am answering the questions properly. You are asking the wrong questions.”  

The mind is always about the past, about what you have accumulated, it is never about what is now. When I say mind, I am talking about the logical mind, not about the essential intelligence within the being. Where you need accumulated knowledge about the materialistic aspect of life, the mind is fine. But if you employ it to handle your own life, then it is a total mess.
Right now, you are trying to perceive the nature of life with a logical mind. You try as hard as you want, it is not going to happen. You are trying to figure out life with an instrument which can never do that job. It is like your destination is the moon but you are riding a bullock cart. Somebody advises you to take a horse whip and really give it to the bulls to get there. You may kill the bulls but you will not get there. Unless you have an appropriate vehicle, you will not get there; it is as simple as that.  

If you want to perceive the nature of your life, you must be able or willing to look beyond the limitations of the logical mind. Only then can you perceive the nature of life. Otherwise it is going to be one long, endless, fruitless struggle; it can never produce a fruit. It can never get you to a solution. It can only increase the complexity of the problem.  

The logical mind, which is the fundamental instrument through which you are trying to do everything, is only equipped to handle the duality of the existence. But if you as a being become dual, you become a constant struggle. Two things which you divide as separate things, no matter what you do, you cannot put them together.

The logical mind is the one which has divided your perception of the existence into many million pieces, and now it is trying to put it together. It is never going to happen. The more you use the logical mind, the more it builds up a certain level of tension within. If it is constantly strung like this, then one thing is, the very life energy in you will become weak over a period of time; it will lose its intensity and vibrance. All the sadhana is designed towards taking away this tension which is happening because of dividing the two and trying to hold them apart or trying to put them together.

There is a very beautiful incident in the life of Aesop the fable writer. He always just loved to play with children and one day, as he was playing with them with a bow and arrow, a serious looking wise man looked at this and said “What is the purpose of a grown man wasting his life playing with children?” Aesop wanted to convey the message, so he took a bow that was strung, unstrung it and just put it on the floor. This is the purpose. The wise man said “I don’t get your message.” So Aesop said, “If you keep your bow constantly strung, over a period of time it loses its strength and intensity and then it will be a no good bow. If you want to retain the strength and intensity of your bow, you must unstring it sometimes. Only then, it will be ready for use when you want to use it.” So that is all it is; and that is meditation – to unstring yourself.  

Every kind of logic builds a certain tension. Once there is logic, there is room for argument, isn't it? The more logical you become, the more horribly argumentative you become about everything in your life. Meditation is a way of unstringing this. Letting the mind just be there without employing the logical distortion – just being there. If your mind learns just to simply be there, it becomes like a piece of a mirror. The beauty of a mirror is that it has no face of its own. Logic has a face of its own. Have you seen that everybody has their own kind of logic? Why two people can argue endlessly about the same simple issues is simply because everybody’s logic has its own face. But a mirror has no face. You can reflect the whole mountain, or you can contain the sun in the little mirror.  

So, once the mind goes beyond the duality of logic, it becomes like a mirror which can contain the whole existence, the creation and the creator. Fundamentally, all spiritual sadhana is aimed at ironing out the logical mind. Once you become a piece of a mirror, anything can be contained in you because you have no face of your own. Spiritual sadhana does not mean you making yourself into something other than what you are. Spiritual sadhana simply means erasing the false faces that you have created for yourself so that the mind becomes like a simple plain mirror which reflects everything just the way it is, without any distortions.  

Sadhguru, a yogi, is a visionary, humanitarian and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally-renowned speaker, Sadhguru’s wit and piercing logic provoke and widen our perception of life.