Brilliant Mind & Eureka Moments

Upon watching the Mathew Brown’s movie, The Man Who Knew Infinity, I pondered on how important it is to have a clear mind for a creative brain. By the way, it’s a biopic on Srinivasa Ramanujan and his friendship with British mathematician G.H. Hardy. A man of intuition with little to no formal education, Ramanujan, was a phenomenal and celebrated mathematician much ahead of his time.

What interested me is his answer to the mathematician G.H. Hardy to how he derived at a new equation? He said it came to him in his dreams.

He failed to systematically prove his work. He was unable to provide any logical account and admitted that they were the thought of God and hence did not require any proof. That epiphany which caused me to think of how many such intuitive moments had come to my aid but could never confess openly the work of my unconscious thoughts. Each one of us everyday experiences these flash moments but how many of us are aware and could successfully apply those to our lives. No doubt, he was wired differently from the others during his time.

‘Intuition’, which made me think and am sure you would agree that some of our best decisions were not the result of our reasoning but that of a hunch. Though uncomfortable but still the truth ;). When our wisdom and intellect fails, intuition is the light we follow, that gut-feeling which defies all logic but works when executed. Does that mean we should reject all analytical reasoning to embrace that inner voice? Not necessarily, everything needs to be balanced. Can’t we integrate them with our other tools available to make the best possible decision?

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Let us take a look at the history, shall we? Every grand discovery had an aha moment, brilliant ideas surfaced when it was least expected.  If those eureka moments were to be true then why did we stop at only idolising the individual but never ventured into their world, their mind. We celebrated the body which housed magnificent mind but couldn’t gather information on how they tuned into the secrets of the universe.

It always had been the work of an attentive and inquisitive mind. Our next questions should have been in the direction of the source, the place where these ideas are born. The only reasoning might be that they were too ahead of their times.

I strongly believe that any breakthrough to be made should already be there waiting to be discovered. The more connected we are to the thought/idea the better we stand a chance to discover it. Bhagavad Gita beautifully explains this phenomenon, it says a sudden appearance of a thing does not mean it wasn’t there already. It was there you weren’t observing, now that you observed it appeared. Nothing here is ever created new, it is always discovered. [B.G. 2,28]

Avyaktadini bhutani vyakta-madhyani bharata
Avyakta-nidhanany eva tatra ka paridevana

Then, why only a few discover great things? Are we born different? Do we all not have the same qualitative brain make-up?

Ideas come to minds that are lucid. How can anything reflect on a troubled mind? Even if it did, the chaotic mind wouldn’t see it. However, if our minds start believing and literally living in any idea then history records that the idea had turned from a mere thought to a real experience. Examples are many, from Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler 🙂

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Image:the web

Love Yourself

Whenever our environment gives fewer data, we let our subjective self-interpret it and respond to clear the ambivalence.

Some of us, when met with ambiguity, may turn to anger or sadness. For example, when you meet with uncertainty, and say you believe it is hugely important to please everybody around then the amount of stress that you would undergo is fairly proportional.

Unfortunately, if social support is the only thing we are clinging to then we do not have enough choices to depend on. And the bizarre thing is that we avoid social contact and turn a loner when stressed, don’t we?

Besides, we feel stressed when we are compelled to saying “YES” when we really want to say “NO”. This is something that we come across more often than not. Maybe I feel this had played a huge role in not wanting to continue in an undivided family which was very popular in Indian subcontinent at one time. Thanks to stress, we now have the nuclear family, pun intended.

From experience, I know how hard it is to say NO to a friend or to a family member. It is next to impossible to saying NO to your superior or someone in authority. But we all know how the frustration gets build up and sometimes translates into indirect aggressionThen why can’t we say ‘No’? Because reciprocity and guilt weigh us down.

The need to comply and to stay part of social groups kick in high cortisol levels. This is huge because this leads to prolonged stress. Yet, learning to say NO when appropriate is important to our well-being. In the long run, people will respect you for that.

Decline gracefully. Be kind to yourself and you will radiate the same. If judging others is incorrect, judging self is equally wrong.

Image: the web

As the Mind, So the Man..

Mana eva manuṣyāṇāṁ kāraṇaṁ bandha-mokṣayoḥ
Bandhāya viṣayāsaṅgo muktyai nirviṣayaṁ manaḥ //

“For the man, a mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.”

The Mind is the cause for Liberation or Bondage…It is our Mind. 

How thought-provoking is this?

Who can we blame now for our problems? We had been blaming everyone and everything around for causing us problems. But the Seers ask us to observe our MIND for the bondage or liberation is in our own mind.

Who can help elevate us from its delusions?

Uddhared atmanatmanam natmanam avasadayet
Atmaiva hy atmano bandhur atmaiva ripur atmanah //
Bhagavad Gita 6.5

One must elevate himself with the help of his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind alone is the friend of the self, and it alone is the foe of the self.

It is we who have to decide whether to cling on to our past thoughts and let ourselves degenerate or to raise ourselves.

Who can change your thoughts? Only YOU. You only have the capacity to withdraw or engage your mind. It is an instrument which takes your ideas and turns them into realities. Don’t engage it in dangerous decadent thoughts. Choose your thoughts wisely and it will pay you well in the future.

Who Am I? Who Are You?

Aham atma gudakesa sarva-bhutasaya-sthitah

Aham adis ca madhyam ca bhutanam anta eva ca //

                                                                               Bhagavad Gita 10.20

I am the Self, O Guḍākeśa, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.

According to Bhagavad Gita, the one who asserts itself as ‘I’ in every Body is a part of One Cosmic Being, Atman.

It is our choice to think of SELF as either a conditioned Finite Being or an Infinite One. Whatever we choose will pave way for our experience here, bitter or better.

What surprises me the most is the fact that how easily we identify ourselves with our body, profession, societal status, family name, caste, religion, you name it but to the Real ‘I’.

Could I be the Atman that the Scriptures and Seers speak of?

If you ask yourself this question, which already for some, may sound bizarre yet if you continue to entertain this thought, you will realize that we are all connected. What makes us think we are different from others is our Individual behaviour. And they spring from different beliefs and thoughts. If not for our choice of thoughts we could easily identify our self to be ONE in many bodies.

Regardless of gender, religion or status, for a human being, it is the intangible assets that shape reality. The friends we keep and the thoughts we harbour will together define our personality. Otherwise, deep down we all are the same.

Although thoughts define us, we are independent of thoughts because we create them. Examine your thoughts closely, you can entertain or curtail a thought that arises in your mind. Think of it, you have the capacity to build a thought, to make it as complex as you wish and your body will respond to it.

We entertain all kinds of thoughts, can we not build this one? Growth should happen in all spheres, physical, emotional and spiritual. If building this thought can bring growth emotionally and spiritually then why not?

So, it is never too late to observe our thoughts and make a conscious effort to build new ones until we believe in them.

Image: http://www.rapeutation.com/prisonersanjose.1f.gif

Power Of Happiness

Let me tell you a story that my Guruji once shared, a story of a fisherman and a businessman. While narrating the story, he said it was a classic story to remember.

To remember that happiness is not a possession but is a habit to be cultivated.
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We can stay happy if we are content with life.

So, Enjoy the story 🙂

A businessman was walking down a beach trying to clear his head. He saw a fisherman lying on the beach doing nothing. The fisherman looked happy and was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun. He noticed the fisherman’s boat had few large fishes in it and was curious at what made him happy.

He decided to find out why this fisherman was resting instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.

“You should be working rather than lying on the beach!” said the businessman

“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the fisherman said as he unloaded fishes into a basket.

“But… What do you do with the rest of your time?” asked the businessman

The fisherman looked up and smiled. “I spend all the rest of my time sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset”

“You aren’t going to catch many fish that way.” “you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” said the businessman.

“What would I do then?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”

“What would I do then?” asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.

“What would I do then?” repeated the fisherman

“You could become a rich businessman like me.” said the businessman

Once again the fisherman asked, “And then What would I do”

The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You could then enjoy your life peacefully.” “You can spend all the rest of your time sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”

—                                                                                                                Story: unknown source

Everybody takes away something from this story. My take away from the fable was that Happiness is not in Doing Everything Fun but in Noticing Happiness in Everything We Do. 

Anything that we consider fun to do is never the same, isn’t it? It changes as we grow. so, what we thought was fun as a kid is not fun anymore. Have you noticed that being a part of something fun does not guarantee happiness? For example, if you love ice creams, just the thought of having your favourite flavour can make you happy but tell me, do you still feel the same intensity of happiness after the first two scoops of your favourite ice cream?

Our mind does not stay put on the ice cream for long. It wanders from the ice cream to something else and with that it take the happiness too. We all understand from our experiences that happiness cannot be derived from external conditions but is a state that depends on inner conditions. If we can make peace with our inner self then we can stay happy in whatever we’re doing.

YAD BHAVAM TAD BHAVATI
YAD BHAVAM TAD BHAVATI

The characters of the above story had different perspectives on happiness. The businessman was postponing happiness until his retirement and was miserable. The fisherman, on the other hand, believed in finding happiness in every moment.

Happiness in the PRESENT
Happiness in the PRESENT

In short, there are no excuses for staying unhappy rather we can cultivate the habit of noticing happiness in things we do. Trust me, if we look for it, we will find that in every damn thing that we do. We just aren’t looking, that is our only roadblock to happiness. Because we cannot always expect life to throw only fun and exciting things at us 😉