Is there any human being in this world who has not committed any mistake? He cannot be an ordinary man who has not committed any mistake; he will be ranked with God.
Mistakes are of two types: one which is done deliberately and the other one done in ignorance. Fear or carelessness may also cause a mistake, but that also can be grouped with either of they two types.
Once a mistake is committed, its consequence is destined to be faced, which may be physical or mental or both. Facing it is troublesome, and may block the way to progress.
Mistakes impart every time some knowledge to us. The knowledge is gratified the most when the repetition of mistakes ceases.
Mistakes may be committed by confusion at times; there may be a confusion that a mistake has been committed. It also happens that we commit mistake and impose its responsibility on others. We only try to prove others responsible for the mistake done by ourselves.
When any one comes to know that nobody is prepared to accept the responsibility for the mistakes committed by him, his way of thinking, even his way of life, changes.The story of Valmiki is so very popular. Before he was recognized as the first poet, he had been leading the life of a robber. Robbery and killing was his daily routine.
One day he was asked by the man being robbed. ‘Sir, are all your family members going to share the demerit in consequence of the crime you are comitting one after the other? Are you not committing all this for their welfare? Then, are they prepared to share the demerits also?
Surprised at this, Valmiki looked at his face and fastened him to the trunk of a tree. ‘You will not think of running away; let me come back with an answer from my family members to the questions you have thrown forth,’ he said before moving towards his house.
Valimki told all that to his family members who told him, ‘We do not know what you do. Of course the livelihood of the family members is your responsibility. Why should we share the demerits you earn? It is for you to face the consequence of those demerits?’
The response made Valmiki enlightened. He gave up all the sinful activities, looting, robbery, killing. He expiated and started learning. His creative writing made him a great poet and a great sage.
It is always high time when a new venture can be taken up or the illegal jobs in hand can be given up. His life sees the morning when one expiates with his pure inner sense and makes firm determination not to repeat the mistakes.
Being busy with meritorious activities brings an infinite satisfaction for the mind; it brings such an ecstasy which can be experienced only by the one busy with meritorious activities. One may remain free, of course, by way of keeping himself busy in his activities.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Winston Chruchill used to be busy with work eighteen hours a day.
Has worry ever taken you in its grip? someone asked Pandit Nehru.
I am so busy that I do not find time for coming in the grip of worry’, he replied.
Care makes the mind lethargic. If the body will be busy then the mind will also be busy. When the body is not busy the mind will also not be busy. Empty mind is a Devil’s workshop. The variety of thoughts being generated in the empty mind will go on destroying the peace of mind.
There are some rules regarding labour. You may go on doing labour, but it may bring bad results, instead good ones at times. The things earned by constant efforts. continue to disturb our peace of mind. Then there is no justification of earning such a thing. There is a maxim:
‘Gold is hundred times more intoxicant than the thorn-apple, because the thorn-apple brings intoxication after it is swallowed while gold does so simply after it is achieved.
Everybody knows how busy is the man in earning gold, during this age of materialism. The story of the king Parikshit has a reference to one of the fourteen places where Kali-yuga has its dwelling. Of these places one is gold.
The names of the fourteen places are: unchastity, meat, wine, anger, traitorism. backbiting, wickedness, sexuality, stupidity, fraud, selfishness, gold, passion and whoredom. Of these fourteen things, gold also l the abode of Kali-yuga. Its bad effect and misfortune may be known from the following story.
Once four friends were on the way to their house across a jungle. On route they came to meet an ascetic. He advised them. ‘please, do not take this route, on the way you will find a fierce snake whose bite will spare none of you.”
But the four did not pay any attention to the warning and kept their move on. Not much away from there they saw two big bags lying in a secluded place. ‘Maybe that poisonous snake lies in one of these bags’, they thought.
They threw pieces of stone at the bags, but there was no movement. They shook the bags by sticks, but no sound was heard of a snake’s movement. Instead, there was a Jingling sound coming out of those bags.
Now an anxiety obsessed their mind. They moved closer and shook the bags to be sure if they contained coins. They found golden coins as they opened the bags.
With the golden coins in view they styled the ascetic as extremely greedy and thought. “The ascetic, a dishonest man, should have been unable to carry away these heavy bags. He should have gone to be back with one of his friends as a helper.”
One of the four friends told. ‘Now when we have had immense wealth, we need not go on expedition to earn more money. Let us four share this full stock.”
All the four agreed to this suggestion.
Two of us guard this treasure while the other two go to the market and fetch some food. We shall resume the Journey back after taking food,’ said one of them and he was agreed to.
The two friends, on the way to fetch food, thought, we are four, hence this treasure will have to be divided into four parts. Each of us will have just a forth. We two can have half of it each.
Obsessed with this idea they had their meals to utter satisfaction, while they poisoned the food which they carried for the other two friends.
The other two friends on the other side, also got obsessed by a troublesome idea. They planned to divide the treasure into two only, that is one bag each. They decided to kill the other two friends as soon as they would be back.
No sooner the other two friends appeared back than they showered stones on them to death. And having killed them the remaining two friends took the poisoned meals and died the same moment.
Thus all the four friends died, leaving the two bags behind. Is such a treasure any less fearful than a poisonous snake?
Certainly a mistake it would be, if we would not pay attention to a suggestion coming in our own interest. But it would be a greater mistake if no lesson is learnt from the consequence of a mistake.
Our best teacher is good books. We remain mistake-proof all the time we are surrounded by good books and are busy with reading: reviewing and thinking over them. No better thing can there be than to remain mistake-proof.
Should you like to be unhappy, start being worried. You will yourself be unhappy. A very simple thing, you just start thinking: ‘are we happy or unhappy?’ and a worry will come up to destroy your better-than-the-best present.
What is destined to happen will certainly happen: this is a universal truth which has never been rejected by anybody. If a calamity or an unwanted action or an accident is destined, it will take place without fail. Nobody can avoid it. Ofcourse, we often make the results of the unwanted happenings more difficult and complicated.
We may energize ourselves enough to face the happenings which are beyond our control; thus we shall be able to avoid the further mistakes which often follow those happenings. We must devote our knowledge, time and labour to mould the after-effects as to suit our mind and situations.
Our most auspicious object should be our confidence in the controlling power of our inner world. This is the one point which always inspires us to be busy with meritorious activities. Each one of us is able to hear the sound coming from there. It, of course, is a different matter that we, having heard it, either become activated accordingly, or just ignore it.
To be clear about this situation of the mind, we will have to overcome our inner attachment and aversion. They will have to be conquered.Someone asked Lord Mahavira. My lord, it is said that austerity cannot be observed in arural or an urban area. It is possible in a secluded place in a jungle only. Is the area for observing austerities confined? Please enlighten.”
Lord Mahavira told. ‘Disciple, austerity can be observed anywhere, in a rural area or in an urban area. There is a verse with the same meaning:
If the attachment and aversion are conquered, what remains to be done in a jungle? If the attachment and aversion are not conquered, what is the need to go to a jungle?
The basic thing is that we will have to review all the problems from the multi-dimensional point of view. called Anekanta. This human body, which we are lucky enough to have, is aimed at highly meritorious deeds. The Rama-charita-manasa explains:
The human body is a result of great luck. It is not attained by even the Gods. It is praised by all books. It is the appropriate means observing austerities. It is the entrance to liberation. Having it, one has to well plan for his next world. He who does not plan will have to undergo severe pains and repentances. Such a man imposes his mistake on the time factor, on the destiny and on God
The way to prosperity of all the human beings is blocked. by their addiction to the sensual objects. For this he will have to control his mind:
‘O Super powered one, the control of this fickling mind is very difficult. It can be controlled, O son of Kunti, by practice and indifference.’Patanjali also, referring to the practice and indifference as ‘the only means of control of the mind, defines the term. practice, as a ‘repeated exercise carried out constantly for a long term with inclination on a solid background. 4 Practice in its matured form terminates into an absorption in the God: ‘One may, by and by, have a pause with the skill controlled by patience; he with the mind selfcentred. may contemplate on nothing else.
Mind and vitality or the life principle are related so closely to each other that if one is affected the other is automatically affected. The great sage Patanjali wrote: Mind is clarified and concentrated by repeated exhaling and inhaling of vital air. ‘
Mind is the greatest friend and otherwise the greatest enemy of man: ‘you only are your friend and you only are your enemy. Achieve the state of indifference to both and all your sufferings will vanish. ‘
‘Who controls his mind and senses with the body, has his mind as the greatest friend and who fails in doing so has his mind as the greatest enemy. ‘
With the mistaken actions we are controlled by the mind. When we ignore the circumstances, there is an increase in mistakes. Therefore we should always be careful to control our mind in a friendly manner for successful activities.