Develop equal mindedness!
Equal mindedness has been emphasized in great religious scriptures of the world. It is normal for a human being to exult when he succeeds and to get dejected when he fails. But we should neither exult nor grieve over events or happenings. Man today suffer from various diseases both mental and physical due to his inability to maintain equal mindedness in the face of success or failure. In the good olden days, there used to be a wall clock with a pendulum attached at the bottom. When the main spring is wound by a key, the pendulum starts oscillating from one end to end marking the time. The wall clock is so designed that with each movement of the pendulum, the pointer moves through a second. The oscillations of the pendulum can be compared to the events of human life. Yes, the pendulum never ceases to move once the key is wound. One end of the pendulum marks success and the other end marks failure. The pendulum can not remain in the extreme end of success always nor it will remain ever in failure. The weight of the pendulum forces it to move from one end to other end and enable the wall clock to indicate the time.
In the case of human beings, the winding of the key can be compared to the pull of desires on the mind. The flow of thoughts to one end to other end can be compared to the movement of the pendulum from one end to other. As long as there are desires, there will be alternating experience of joy and sorrow. To remain in equal mindedness is to remain in the 'center' without any oscillations or agitations of the mind. In the case of a wall clock, if you stop winding the key which is connected to the main spring, then the pendulum will remain in the center. In the case of human beings, if he subdues his desires, then he can remain at peace. I would like to give some examples from the ancient epic "Ramayana". Many of the readers may be aware of the story of Ramayana. When King Dasaratha become old, he thought of coronating his eldest son Rama. All preparations were completed for the coronation ceremony. Just few hours before the coronation to take place, certain bizarre events took place which prevented the event to fructify. Rama's step mother Kaikeyi, the youngest queen of Dasaratha extracted a promise from the King and she reserved the promise to some future date. Though Kaikeyi was very fond of Rama, due to the machinations of fate and ill advice of her maid, she changed her stance. She wanted her son Baratha to be coronated instead of Rama and Rama be sent to the forest for fourteen years. No sane person will demand such things. Dasaratha was ruined utterly. He had deep affection for Rama and he could not stomach the demands of Kaikeyi. But fate has other plans.
In the early morning Rama had the ceremonial bath prior to coronation. He got the blessings of his mother Kausalya. He wanted to get the blessings of his father Dasaratha. He heard that the King is in the palace of Kaikeyi. He went there and he was quite astonished to find the situation there. Dasaratha was lying on the floor groaning Rama, Rama. He was in utter shock. But the younger queen Kaikeyi summoned Rama to her presence and told him that as per the wish of the king, Rama has to leave for forest for fourteen years. Rama never questioned the command. He simply prostrated before the King who was lying on the floor. Rama is an example of perfection. He maintained absolute equanimity. He neither exulted at the prospect of becoming a king nor sad over the sudden turn of events. He preserved the inner peace. He was ready to go to the forest after getting the blessings of his mother. This is a supreme example of equal mindedness. Other mortals would have reacted differently to the above situation. Even if there is a loss of few rupees we fret and fume. But Rama preserved his poise. This is how we have to maintain our peace. We should neither react to pleasure nor to the pain we undergo. We can always remain in Bliss if we are indifferent to the events of the outer world!