An interesting and important “riddle” in these unprecedented times. Want to try solving it?

“If you feed me right things, I will become your best friend. If you feed me wrong things, I will become your worst enemy. But, whatever you feed me, I will always be with you even when you are fast asleep. I am your constant companion. Who am I?”

I am…

The Manas (the mind).

uddhare:d a:thman a::thma:nam
na:thma:nam avasa:daye:th |

a:thmaiva hya:thmano: bandhuhu
a:thmaiva ripur a:thmanaha ||

– Bhagavad Githa, Chapter 6, Slo:ka 5

So, what is the best food to “feed” my manas with?

Manas is the king of all senses that feeds on experiences from its objects, the sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin). If you feed it with experiences that complete and enrich you, then it becomes your best friend. Otherwise, you will have the worst enemy with you throughout your life! It’s scary, isn’t it? Indeed, we must be quite cautious of what we are feeding our manas

Feed it with right wisdom of yourself (and the innumerable souls like you), the mysterious nature and the Supreme soul. There is nothing supreme than the knowledge of these three realities. Any other knowledge is ultimately a subset of it. 

It is this solid foundation of knowledge (prajna) that makes your manas a best friend to you. It is this cleansing of manas with right knowledge (a:tma viso:dhanam) that makes you immune to any kind of ‘virus’ (internal or external). It is only then that your activities become flawless (aligned to dharma). 

What does it mean to cleanse the manas with right wisdom?

Let’s say you have eaten a tasty snack, or secured a top rank, or won an award, or served a hungry child, or donated a fund for covid-19 relief.

If your mind thinks that the experience is a result of your own efforts and starts feeling proud of the achievement forgetting the role of “invisible” supreme soul in the entire framework, then your mind needs cleansing. If you do not take part in any such activity and are lazy, being unresponsive to the surroundings, your mind needs cleansing again.

Your mind must be able to “see” the aspects of the three realities everywhere and differentiate them clearly while understanding the inseparable nature of the three. Until the mind has the wisdom to do this, it will succumb to incorrect interpretations of the situations and puts you in trouble, sooner or later.

In order to enable yourself to learn and own such eternal wisdom, the most revered sage Sri Ve:da Vya:sa offered a beautiful mantra describing the form of Lord Narayana as Hayagri:va (the personified form of immaculate knowledge).

O:m namo: bhagavate: dharma:ya a:tma viso:dhana:ya namaha

So, chant this mantra to help feed the true nature of the three eternal realities to your mind. Any activity that does not incorporate or connect itself to this knowledge becomes “gossip” and can only be of temporary “entertainment”. If you are involved in such gossip, try avoiding it and begin sipping of wisdom that is eternal. Choose “Godsip” over Gossip! By doing so, you will secure a best friend ‘manas’ for your life! 

From the address of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
18th April 2020, Prajna Teachers Course