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Lost And Found

By Super Admin

Ramana would repeatedly point out that the mind's natural state is of silence. It is only because of this that such strenuous effort is being made by everyone to control the mind when it is wayward or turbulent. Such effort for a quiet mind can be compared to medication to get rid of a headache. Because health is natural and ill health is not, even a mild ailment such as a headache is something we want to get rid of straightaway. Similarly, since silence is natural, looking for ways and means of attaining it is inescapable.

The loss of our natural state of a restful mind and our happiness in discovering it again is illustrated by Ramana through stories which highlight the point. The first is the case of a woman wearing a necklace but imagining that she has lost it. Initially she searches in obvious places where she could have kept it. Then she searches every nook and corner of the house. Thereafter she proceeds to various friends and relatives and anxiously enquires whether she has left the necklace in their house when she had visited them. Finally a friend points out to her that she is wearing the very necklace, which she had been frantically looking for. She had 'created her own anxiety about the loss, and happiness at finding it'. One is unaware of the truth of one's inherent peaceful nature. Hence, means must be found to achieve the silent mind.

Another illustration referred to by Ramana is the case of ten foolish men who were to cross a river in spate. All of them had crossed to the other shore safely. However, to check up, they started counting. Each one counted the others leaving himself out and said 'I count only nine; sure enough we have lost one, who can that be?' So, they all agreed that one was lost but could not find out who it was and concluded that the 'missing' man was drowned. One of them burst into tears and the rest followed suit. Seeing the ten men weeping on the riverbank, a sympathetic passerby enquired for the cause. On hearing the story he counted and found that all the ten were before him, and could guess what had happened. In order to bring home the fact to each one that no one was lost, he said. Each of you count for yourself, but one after the other serially - one, two --- while I will give you a blow that all of you may be sure that you are included in the count and included only once. The tenth 'missing' man will be found'. Even at the very thought of finding their lost comrade, the ten men were very happy and excited. The passerby gave a blow to each of the ten in turn. 'Ten' said the last man as he got the last blow in his turn. Then, they looked at each other and shouted 'We are now ten'. They thanked the passerby heartily. Having stated this story, Ramana would point out that the tenth man was always there and was never lost. When the tenth man was properly counted, he was not a new man. Their grief was due to their ignorance and mistake in counting. Their joy was nonetheless real because they had found the 'lost', tenth man. Peace of mind has to be striven for because we are ignorant of the truth in our present state, that peace is our very substratum.

There is yet another illustration given by Ramana to underscore the same point. A man goes to sleep, in the old hall at Sri Ramanasramam. He dreams he has gone on a world tour, traveling in different countries and crossing continents. After many years of strenuous travels, he returns to India, reaches. Tiruvannamalai, enters Sri Ramanasramam and walks into the hall. Just at that moment, he wakes up and finds he has not moved an inch, but has been sleeping where he lay down. He has not returned after great effort but had always been in the hall. Similarly, having lost the awareness of the mind's inherent peace one has to find it again by appropriate effort.

Story first published: Wednesday, January 31, 2007, 9:25 [IST]
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