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Can I still my mind by living in solitude?

mind and solitude

The Mind can start a worldly life even in the jungle

It is good that everyone is sitting here in my presence and so their minds remain here. If they were to go somewhere else, to other religious functions or discourses, they may be physically present there but their minds will be involved in thinking about their home. How can you call them humans when their minds leave their own abode and go somewhere else?

What is the mind like now? Does it jump around? It is staying still for now, is it not? Is it not better if it sits still like this? Yes, will you not have happiness that comes from reigning over three worlds (triloka)?

Questioner: Yes, that will definitely happen.

Dadashri: And it (the mind) should not be absent. If it becomes absent, then that is the end of it! It will make ‘us’ absent if it becomes absent. That is why we should say ‘be present’.

What should you keep your mind on? Look if you do not keep it on the temple, it will run away to a garden. If you do not keep it on the flower garden, it will run off into the gutters (sexual thoughts)! Such is the nature of the mind. Attachment (mamta– my-ness) towards all the worldly things is not the hindrance; it is one’s attachment to his home (family) that hinders him. He gets tired of the attachment to his children, the wife and father, and so he runs off to the Himalayas (and becomes a hermit). He thinks he will find God if he finds solitude. He does find solitude there, but then what happens? There, he builds himself a hut. Does he not need a hut to live in? That is a necessity and so there is no problem with necessities. The problem is with unnecessary things. So there is no problem if he builds a hut. Then he sits down to do some rituals (sadhana). Then he plants tulsi (a holy plant of the basil family regarded sacred and noted for its medicinal properties) outside his hut. Then someone comes along and tells him that it will look beautiful if he were to plant a rose next to it. So he asks, ‘Will I be able to find a rose plant?’ and the man tells him, ‘Yes, I will get it for you’. So then he plants a rose bush and then does his sadhna. After a while the tulsi plant and the rose bush grow big and he feels happy. He would use two tulsi leaves for his early morning drink. One day a rat destroys the tulsi plant. So the man becomes perplexed and wonders what happened. A passerby tells him, ‘It must be the rat that ruined the plant.' He asks the passerby, 'So then what can I do about it?' The passerby tells him, 'Get a cat and raise it.' You fool! You abandoned (renounced) four ‘bells’ at home and now you are collecting new ones here! A ‘bell’ of tulsi, a ‘bell’ of rose and a ‘bell’ of a cat! That is why ‘we’ tell everyone, ‘do not look for solitude’. This is because the mind will ‘ring’ all kinds of ‘bells’ in solitude. Remain where there is a crowd. Solitude is necessary only some times. When you use the restroom (toilet) do you have to sit in it forever? That is how it is with solitude. There is solitude for as long as there is some peace.

Questioner: But how can one get rid of the mind?

Dadashri: You cannot get rid of it. Instead of going to a solitary place, it is better to be in a crowd. If there is collector in a crowded train and your foot falls on his foot, he will keep saying, ‘Please, please’. This happens because of crowding. Where (else) will such humility arise? It arises in a crowd. All qualities arise in a crowd. Even pick pocketing will occur in a crowd; this quality too will occur in a crowd. At the moment everything is in the process of developing.

Everything is developing at the moment. There are factories that purify pig-iron from which they make large jewelleries. Those jewelleries have small spurs on them. To remove these spurs, they throw the jewellery in a ‘tumbling barrel’ and turn on the power. The electricity will drive the motors grrrrrr and the barrel will turn! As it turns the jewellery collides and the spurs break off. This is how the nature’s tumbling barrel is turning. It will break off all the ‘spurs’ and everything will come out nice and smooth. Everything will become first class (quality)!

People are always dwelling in bad thoughts. It is good that the English came and shook us up and changed our way of thinking. That made us into a developed lot. Nothing worthwhile could come out of the previous generation. Now good things will come out of the current lot. Now you will find some people who will help inspire development; that is very good.

The biggest question is where to adjust the mind to, is it not? If you take the mind to the Himalayas, what will it adjust to? Does the mind ever enjoy solitude in a solitary place? Does the mind behave even in a solitary place? (On the contrary) It will wander off in even more directions. Once it escapes crowdedness, it will become unruly, ‘let me have this and let me have that’; once it escapes whatever bondage there is, it will take off towards ‘sound of imagination’ (vikalp). This is how a chain of imagination arises.

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