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Nature of Bondage and Liberation: A Story About Meditation ;)

Once a Sanga (spiritual gathering/group) of ascetics was travelling from one village to another and they came across a flooding river and on the bank of the river, they met a young beautiful woman, who prostrated before them and asked for the help to cross the river. The Guru of the Sanga said that we are celibates and we avoid all possible contacts with women. And they started crossing the river.

Flooding River

As they reached halfway across the flooding river the Guru turned around to see if the lady hadn’t seduced any of his disciples to stay back with her or to hold her hand in crossing the river. To his surprise he found one of his young disciples lifted her in his arms and was crossing the river. The force of the stream was too strong and noisy, so he had no option but to allow that to last for as long as it takes to cross the river. On reaching the other side the disciple put the lady down with respect and touched her feet and said: “Thank you, mother, for allowing me to serve you.” and the Guru didn’t say a word in front of the young woman, he felt so upset and disgusted.

After walking a few miles they reached a forest where Guru expressed is anger for carrying the woman in his arms. To which the disciple replied ” I beg you a pardon sire. You have taught me “Manaiva manushyanaam karanam bandha-mokshayo” which you said means that “the mind alone is the reason behind bondage and liberation“. Though I held her in my arm I didn’t allow her to dwell on my mind and as soon as we reached the other side I left her at the bank with the same respect I would have for my own mother then sire why are you still carrying her in your mind? And why are you so upset? Please enlighten me of my mistake.”. On hearing that the Guru hugged his disciple with tears in eyes and then touched his feet and said you’re truly enlightened.

Mind is like a perfectly flawless crystal

You see friends mind is like a perfectly clear mirror on which all things are reflected and when it stops clinging to objects then nothing distorts it or defiles it or leaves any residual imprint on it. In Yoga, the mind is said to be intrinsically pure, like a perfectly flawless crystal which stands at the junction of the inner and outer worlds and the mind reflects both. Pure consciousness (Chaitanya) uses the mind as an instrument to explore the vast varieties of worlds of energy and matter and then uses it to see its own reflection when the mind is interiorised. The one who has arrested the modifications of the mind (chitta vritti nirrodha) is established firmly in the pure consciousness and scriptures say despite all he does he really does nothing and work doesn’t bind him “kurvann eveha karmāṇi jijīviṣet śataṁ samāḥ, evaṁ tvayi nānyatheto’sti na karma lipyate nare” which means “Doing verily works in this world one should wish to live a hundred years. Thus working in this way and not otherwise; action cleaves not to a man” [1]

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Footnotes:

[1] Isha Upanishad Verse 2

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