An old friend of mine in Florida sent me this noteworthy quotation the other day.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”
-Marcus Antonius (A.D. 86-161)
Yes, that’s spoken by none other than Mark Antony, the famous Roman politician. It’s quite a profound statement, especially for a politician.
I had a browse on the internet and found another quote that supported this idea, this time from an even more respected source:
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
These quotes got me thinking about the lessons I have learned over the years about the mind, from my favourite philosphical treatise, the Bhagavad-gita.
The mind, as we know, is the pivotal point and source of our thinking, feeling and desiring. The great philosphers of the past have pointed out that the mind can either be our friend or enemy.
To explain further: thoughts and contemplation often lead us to desire to put those thoughts into action. Those actions that lead to positive, peaceful, uplifting and productive interaction with this world, those living entities that share it with us, and ultimately with The Supreme, lead to happiness.
On the other hand, allowing destructive, selfish and degrading thoughts to fester in our mind invariably leads us to act in unfavourable ways, and thus suffer various misadventures.
The Bhagavad-gita points out:
“For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.”
If one allows an enemy to live close by, one will always be in anxiety; he can strike at any time. A healthy life’s ethos is to learn how to live a lifestyle based on cautious dealings with the mind. Mind control is a vital part of life. It is no less important than controlling our urge to eat too much food, controlling our bladder and bowels, controlling our urge to speak offensive words to others, or the urge to commit violent acts.
It all starts with the mind. Mind control is good. It is not that we try to control other’s minds. We must control OUR minds, and subdue the enemy within.