It was a Sunday, morning. The calling bell buzzed out. I opened the door. With bags and baggages my brother-in-law stepped into the house. The children woke up with sudden jerk and pestered around their maternal uncle in a joyous mood. I walked into the bathroom. I became irritated not to find any water in the tap. I screamed for a glass of water. I became more frustrated when I found water rushing out of my neighbour's tap. "There is definitely some mischief!" I grumbled. "Now a days, water supply is so irregular!", my guest made an expert comment and vividly narrated with all gesticulations how there was a break-down of the bus on the ghat section and how they narrowly escaped a major accident. He added, "It is so risky to travel in a bus. We were stranded in the jungle for three hours". He then opened his bag and a packet of sweets. The children promptly searched for their toothbrushes and washed their faces to make use of the eatables.
My wife was deeply engrossed in enquiring and extracting various information about her parent's health, friend's marriage, sister's plus two (+2) result, her cousin's new posting and uncle's retirement etc.
Few minutes later, tea was ready. My wife handed over the bag to me and placed her indent for some selected vegetable and other quality products. She whispered into my ears to ascertain whether I was having sufficient money with me. While I was getting ready to go to the market, my brother-in-law commented that my health appeared reduced. I just smiled and went inside. I stood before the full view mirror and examined my collarbones, eye-sockets and cheeks etc to find out whether I had really reduced. My wife, who was over-hearing our conversation, could guess why I was so attentively and investigatively watching myself. She boosted up my sagged morale by ascribing the reason of my apparently reduced health to my unshaved face.
I immediately got the shaving box and was getting ready to clean my face to project a better and healthier personality. But to my despair, the blades were blunt. I examined those, one after another. But they slipped over my beard just as a leveller skids over a plough field. They hit and hurt but never trimmed. I saw, on a close scrutiny, pencil marks on the blades. I lost my temper; threw away the shaving kits and slapped my insensible boy for his nuisance. At this, my wife raised a hue and cry and the proposal of going to the market was dropped.
Whatever diverse scenes were enacted on that Sunday morning were due to contacts with different situations. Situations change, moods change and ultimately our life style changes. Many of our plans and designs are turned upside down. Just as water, though flows downward, has no definite direction, similarly most of our activities are undertaken, less by direction and more by 'unpredictable contacts', which we happen to come across.
In the evening, my little boy requested me to go out for a walk. We both went towards a market area. He came across a fruit shop. He cried out for some apples. My intention was to just have an evening walk. I did not carry my purse. I immediately diverted his attention from basketful of apples to the aeroplane flying high up in the sky. Apples went out of his mind. Few seconds later, aeroplane also went out his sight. He then dragged me to another vendor who was ringing his bell and attracting others to his rose coloured Bombay-sweets kept inside a glass box.
This time I diverted his mind to the marching home guards in the nearby police ground. It was not safe for me to stay in the market any longer. I took a different route. On our way back, we came across a 'Mina Bazar' with a small zoo, merry-go-round, photo studio, bangle shop and a toyshop. The toyshop was well decorated, beautifully arranged, and so looked prominent. My son dragged me to the toyshop. I followed him like an unwilling sacrificial goat. There were so many costly toys inside but a pumpkin-shaped balloon, which was tossing in front of the shop, attracted my son's attention. Luckily, I was having a fifty paise coin with me. Of course, to my baby's bad luck the balloon burst just few minutes after we reached home. He started crying but I was just smiling.
It all happened for the baby who yielded to the 'contact function'. The 'contact function' never spares us also. But we are hardly conscious of that. Sometimes we intend doing a particular job. But when we come in touch with some other thing, our mind gets diverted and we forget our original work. Forgetting to collect our umbrella, forgetting to drop a letter etc. is the result of 'contact function'. Unmindfulness does not mean absence of mind; it means 'mind-else-where'. In other words, mind is in contact with some other thing. An example may be cited to make it clearer.
When we ask a child to bring a glass of water, he obeys and goes inside to carry out the allotted work. But in the next room when he sees that his toy is in some other's hands, he immediately turns his way to snatch away his property and if necessary, he starts fighting also. In the process he forgets to fetch the glass of water. It is true that we are driven and led away by various contacts.
Whenever we go to Rome, we do as the Romans do. At home, we play different role. In the office our roles are commensurate with our designations. At different places, our thoughts are different; our activities are also different.
Winter reminds us of our blanket. Rain reminds us of our umbrella. Monsoon reminds us of our sowing operations. A particular date reminds us of some momentous occasion. It is Independence Day today, the day for celebration of a national festival. The other day, we had celebrated the grand car festival. A couple of months after we shall celebrate "New Year Day". If some important date approaches, we engage ourselves in preparing ourselves for the same. Thus our thoughts and actions differ as dates differ, months differ and years differ. In other words, all our thoughts and actions are strung with the time thread.
We behave differently with different persons. We differentiate a stranger from our kith and kin. We behave not in the same fashion with our boss as we do with our subordinates. We behave not in the same fashion with our children as we do with our parents. Our behaviour with students differs from that with our teachers. In other words, we play different roles in the capacity of son, father, husband, boss, subordinate and so on. After seeing some friends, we recollect so many incidents and experiences. Feelings of friendship and those of hostility swarm through our mind and we are carried away by those thoughts. Many faded memories resting in our unconscious state buoy up to conscious plane like the low lying bubbles that come up to the surface of water one after another. Even when we see a stranger, we recollect our friend if there is slight resemblance between the two. Even during our discussions we digress from the original theme and concentrate on a particular point, which arises in course of such discussion. Further our topics of discussion change as persons change.
Our nails all of a sudden appear prominent at the sight of a nail cutter. Different objects trigger different ideas in our mind just as different play materials prompt the boys to play different games. Many would have observed a sparrow in front of a mirror. The sparrow seeing its reflected image in the mirror probably misconstrues the same as another sparrow and fights with that imaginary stranger by tapping its beak against the glass. It goes on doing so for some time. We can recollect the story of a lion that was led by a clever rabbit to a well. The lion saw its own image inside the well and mistaking for another lion, his competing counterpart, jumped into the well in an aggressive mood. That proved to be fatal and turned out to be its last jump. We come across different photos and recollect many sweet and bitter experiences.
We come across different incidents and different audiovisuals and match them with our own experiences. We are no less swayed by 'contacts' than a 'kite' swept away by the wind. Most of our day's works are unplanned and life's destination is uncharted. Varieties of thoughts enter into our mind and they keep on modifying our actions. Our five senses play a major role in this regard and make our mind restless, dragging here and there. As a result we become as helpless as a blade of grass caught in a whirlwind or as miserable as a leaf in a whirlpool not being able to withstand the strong currents. This becomes the inevitable consequence of our contacts with the gross objects.
Contact with the subtle:
In this area we lag far behind as if it is a prohibited zone for us. The reasons are not far to seek. When we enter into our friend's drawing room, our eyes fall on the T.V., the decorative wall hangings, the beautiful calendars and the cushioned sofa set etc etc. We normally do not see the air, the dusts, the germs, the temperature, etc. We can never see the jnana, the consciousness, the intelligence, the sound wave, the electric wave, different rays and the force of gravitation etc.
We cannot hear the light music since it is overcast by the cry of a baby. This goes to prove that our senses can immediately take cognizance of the gross, the deep and the dense things. Our mind follows suit and gets preoccupied with those. We talk on those things. We think and even dream on those things. But a man with intuition turns himself away from all these common and base matters. He rises above this level and by making use of his intelligence and conscience he penetrates into the subtle, which always remain away from our senses. Therefore he can discover more and more truths as the scientists do.
The things that appear prominent and important to us prove deceptive in the long run exactly like the pumpkin shaped balloon. Our senses left to themselves never leave any scope for us to contemplate on the unseen, unheard, untouched, unsmelt and untasted things. Just as the motor car's headlight cannot focus on the motor car itself (like darkness beneath the lamp), the senses are rarely inverted and we being led by them, hardly think of the infuser of life into our lives, and the energizer of our senses. In the other words, the eye cannot see him who enables the eye to see. The ear can not hear him, who enables the ear to hear. The nose cannot smell him who enables the nose to smell. The tongue cannot taste him who enables the tongue to taste. The maker thus remains far away from our comprehension because the sense contacted subjects and objects hold our thoughts and activities in check just as bulls are curbed by strings that are passed through their nostrils.
Spiritual matters do not find a place in our daily list. Wherever it finds a place, it remains at the fag end of the list. If there is surplus time only, we (some times) think of spiritual matters. That is a big 'if' again. In order to come closer to Him, it is necessary to slowly raise the spiritual item to the top of the list.
Lastly the more we are aimless, the more we fall victims to the diverse contacts. If we move, on the other hand, unswervingly towards a fixed destination, we can side track the unwanted contacts and make the best use of our time and energy at our disposal.
If immergence of our 'self' with the 'cosmic whole' is the ultimate aim of life, if liberation be our only goal, if observance of 'swadharama' be our only duty, then it is imperative for us to synchronise all our individual actions for our peaceful existence, for the good of the society and for God realisation by converging our nature (prakriti) towards Atman (purusha, the real ego) instead of diverging the same towards 'Ahankar' (the false ego).
It should be our aim to establish 'contact' with God (the Unity) and slowly get rid of all other contacts by reading 'sadgrantha' (scriptures), participating in 'satsang' and listening to 'sadguru' (spiritual master) besides repeated remembrance and contemplation. Contact with the mundane makes our life base and mundane but contact with divinity refines our consciousness and makes us divine. This is what "Dibya Darshan" preaches.