Purification of Mind – A Story

Last week, I promised to tell a story on Purification of  Mind. The source of this story is Vedas / Upanishads. Read the story below:
An ascetic anxious to know the Truth sat in meditation (Tapas). After several years of austere Tapas, Devendra appeared before him. The ascetic felt disturbed and asked Devendra  what was the purpose of his appearance before him.
Devendra: I’m pleased with your Tapas
Ascetic: So What?
Devendra: I have decided to grant you a boon
Ascetic: What for? I haven’t asked for any
Devendra: Your Tapas has earned you the merit and it can’t go waste- it has to yield some fruit
Ascetic: Can you explain in detail
Now Devendra read out a list of Fruits versus efforts put in through Tapas:
Devendra: You have done Tapas for ‘X’ number years and it  will fetch you a place in Indra Loka; if you continue for 2X number of years, you would earn a place in Brahma Loka……….

Devendra went on with his list.

Ascetic: What will happen after that?
Devendra: After enjoying the benefit of your Tapas, you will be thrown back to earth again, once the merit gets exhausted
Ascetic: Tell me the differences in status of people in Indra Loka and Brahma Loka?
Devendra: Of course, yes, there are differences. There are superior and inferior Gods in each Loka according to the status earned by their merit (of Austerities or Tapas)
Ascetic: So, there is a class system even among Gods and they are differentiated by their powers and capacities! Further, you have also said that the positions given are only temporary. Then what is the big deal? These positions are as temporary as those on this earth. I would rather remain an Earthling instead of enjoying a slightly better life in the Heavens for a brief period only to be thrown back to earth.

Having decided against taking any boon, he continued to do his Tapas.

As the story goes, the energy of his Tapas had to work somewhere. It started to work on purifying his Mind(ANTAH KARANA SHUDHI). And the purified Mind gave him the intelligence (‘viveka’) to differentiate between what is permanent and what is temporary and finally led to his enlightenment.

For those of you who are sceptical about Energy of Tapas purifying the Mind  etc, here is my interpretation of this story. In the modern parlance, Tapas is like pursuing a project/ mission for common good  with a lot of passion. The passion can be either misdirected for personal gains or directed for only common good. In the former case, the Mind remains restless, agitated and impure. But in the second case, the mission accomplishment will lead to tremendous sense of satisfaction, peace and purification of the Mind. This has to be experimented to be believed. Even a simple act of Giving/Donating without expectations results in ‘feel good’ factor . Haven’t we experienced the Joy of Giving?

Published in: on September 30, 2012 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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