How I Turned My Mind From a Cruel Master to a Great Servant —The Story of Rajiv Prasad
My name is Rajiv Prasad, and I am working as a Faculty in Behavioral Sciences in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. I have been on the spiritual path ever since my childhood. Initially, my interest in spirituality took the form of reading stories from Indian mythology, especially the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Shrimad Bhagavatam, etc. Later on, I began to study the human mind, especially the human search for happiness. For my PhD thesis in Management Studies I researched how people experience happiness in the workplace, and how it influences individuals and teams.
I have been meditating for the last 12 years. I used to be an insomniac prone to excessive anxieties related to both my career and my health. I had been suffering from chronic dysentery and related liver problems for many years before that.
Initially, when I started to meditate, I could not go very deep in my meditation due to my racy mind which refused to stop in spite of my sincere attempts to make it calm. It was like a wild horse. I used to experience it as an ongoing commentary in my head. My mind had an opinion about anything and everything in this world, including my meditation experiences. And I used to self-identify with my restless mind — I used to think that I was that madness.
Gradually, as my awareness deepened, I learned to detach myself from this ongoing commentary in my head. I gave it a name — the Commentator. This helped me to become aware the moment this voice in the head would go off. This helped me to gradually tone it down. Today I think only if I need to think. If not, then my mind is generally quiet. Sometimes, when I lose awareness for a while, the voice in the head may start again, but I am able to become aware sooner than later, which puts a stop to that inner chatter.
After I became consciously aware of this voice in my head, I started to pay attention to its main concerns, its hurts, its grievances, its insecurities, etc. Gradually, I realized that this crazy guy in my head was not just one person. Instead, there were many ‘people’ in the deeper layers of my unconscious mind, who took turns to surface in my head based upon the different situations. I started to observe each one of them to understand them better. Gradually, I started to recognize many of these ‘people’ in the people around me. I can now connect with others with more empathy, as I can understand the human condition of helplessness before the tyranny of the mind. Most of us have not taken the time and effort to undo its madness and convert it into an efficient tool that it is meant to be. As they say, mind is a great servant, but a very poor master.
As my mind became calmer, the problem of insomnia got reduced. Many of my health issues had been a result of an overheated system caused by too much work and insufficient rest. Lack of sufficient sleep was only adding to this problem. As I started to sleep better, and with increasing calmness of my mind, I found myself in better control of my emotions during my day-to-day interaction with other people. I became much more aware of my inner ‘buttons’ — this prevented me from reacting impulsively to different situations. I was now able to handle triggering situations peacefully and with much more clarity.
I started to get immense insights about anything that I chose to contemplate on. Since I teach an MBA course on Management of Self for Happiness, and I also have a deep interest in astrology, mythology and homeopathy, naturally most of these insights have been in these areas.
I have realized that God (the Absolute) really wants to teach us, to offer valuable lessons, and is always available to us. The only relevant issue is: Are we willing and available to learn? I have also realized that the Divine is always available once we get access to It. It is not judgmental. It doesn't become angry just because we have behaved immaturely or have not listened to the insights that It provided us with on the previous day. It waits patiently and lovingly for us to connect with It once again. It teaches us once again, repeatedly, lovingly, till we get the message, and it becomes a part of our soul's learning. I now realize that I have a true friend for life. And that friend is Me only, my true ‘Self,' the real ‘Me.’