It is early morning. Bright rays of the Sun from the east spread on the ground and make the atmosphere golden. Diogenus is resting naked on the green grass. His eyes are staring at some unknown point without blinking. They are absorbing the ultimate element of nature.
Young Alexander is sitting beside him. He is restless but looking at Diogenus respectfully.
Diogenus asks Alexander, “Son, what is your aim?”
‘Sir, I want to conquer Europe.”
“Next I will conquer Iran.”
“Next I will conquer India.”
“What next?”, Diogenus asked calmly.
Alexander’s face shows confusion, says, ”Next………, next I will rest.”
Diogenus gives an innocent smile and says,” Then son, why aren’t you resting just now? Why should you go through such an ordeal to get rest?”
This Alexander fulfilled his dreams. When he was about to die, he instructed his attendants that his two hands should be kept free when his body would be placed in the coffin. The whole world should realise that the conqueror of the world, left with empty hands.
Most of the people are in the same situation at their respective levels. They spend their life doing host of activities and, still at last, they have not gained anything. How much pain do they undergo to feed their ego, they spoil other people’s lives, they turn their family, society and the nation upside down in the process. In spite of their getting everything, they are not at peace. The persons who leave others behind in the race seem defeated themselves.
At this point I remember an incident from Mahabharat. The Great War is over. Pandavas have won. Flag of their victory is flying in the air. There is joy everywhere and nothing else. At that time the only person who is very upset is Yuthisthir, the king himself. He does not hear the sound of flutter of his victory flag. He hears the cries of widows of thousands of dead soldiers on the battlefield. He thinks this as a defeat disguised as a victory. He feels his throne is soaked in blood. His mind is inconsolable in spite of being stable.
Shri Krishna is very much aware of this situation with Yuthisthir. He makes a wonderful statement ”O you, The destroyer of the enemies, you are facing the same battle that you fought against Bhishma and Drona, but now you have to fight it alone, with your mind.” What an ultimate truth is referred to by Krishna! It is the essence of all the philosophies and psychologies of the world. There is ultimate, whole-time truth in it which applies to everyone from Alexander to Shamji.
The greatest ambition a man has is “Being victorious. He wants to be the best among all groups, family, neighbours, office staff, society and if possible, among bigger groups. He is all the time occupied with the thoughts of how to be a boss, a leader, how to win others.
But the nature is very strange. Sometimes it is cruel. It has its own specified rules. If a person or society behaves without understanding these rules, it definitely fails always. If he acts according to the rules of nature, then he succeeds.
What is the rule of nature to come out victorious?
First thing is the biggest illusion that we can win over the others. One can pressurize the other to make him dumb temporarily, or one can frighten the other by snatching his belongings, or sending him to jail or pointing the gun towards him. But all these situations do not mean that he has won over the others. It is quite possible that the other person or the group of persons is unable to fight him for various reasons, they are less in numbers, they are not united, or they are weak physically or mentally.
For the time being, they may come under his power, but it is a mistake to believe that they have accepted their defeat. Temporary victory soon becomes void because this pressure or fright creates reaction and the weaker group begins to fight. This process gives birth to revolution and the victorious person becomes defeated in the end. Sometimes, the weak person commits suicide but does not accept his authority. Thus, on the surface the weak persons may seem to be under his authority, but the victorious man continuously feels that he has been unable to control them completely.
So, the forced victory is never permanent. It is like a bubble. It will burst in short time. It may be a home or the world, this happens everywhere. The labour of the winner is lost.
Yes, there is one subtle way to win and that is “To win by love.’
Pure love wins the other person immediately. He is prepared to do anything for the love he is showered upon. So, the shower of your love on others makes you a winner.
The contradiction in this fact is that the person, who really loves others, does not wish to be a winner. He only gives. There is a unique joy in giving. One is so absorbed in this process that all his desires vanish. Even then, we can say that one can be a winner faster by way of love than by force, and more long-lasting. The saints, parents, friends and relatives are in this category.
But thinkers say something different. They ask, “what is the need to be a winner?’ This longing is wrong and unnecessary. In fact it is the low self-confidence. One feels he lacks something important and that is why he wants to impress others. Evidently he cannot deal with others with his self-confidence, he is afraid, so he exerts outside pressures to impress them. But, as said before, he fails.
The thinkers go a step further to say, “Even then, if you must win, forsake the desire to win others, win over yourself ‘
“Win over the self? What does it mean?”
Yes, it is easy to win others. There is nothing much to do. You need a weapon or a small army. But it is very difficult to win the self.
To win the self means to understand your existence. Your existence comprises of mind-intellect-nervous system. The mind is unstable like mercury. It is not in our control. It acts as it fancies. It wanders in all directions at every moment. A person may want to do something but the mind makes him do something else. The intellect has also problems, either it does not work or it constantly raises doubts. A person does not have any remedy.
After these two, the nervous system is also like a horse without controls. In Bhagvad Geeta, the word used for it is “Pramathini’, meaning one which makes you restless. Each part of the system craves for so much luxury that a person is shattered totally if he fulfils these cravings. A man is in the same situation. He is pulled from all directions. The mind and each part of the nervous system pull him towards itself. As a result the person is ruined. He loses his identity. He may look sane from outside, but he is on the verge of being insane from inside. He is very near the condition, ‘neurosis’ or ‘psychosis’. Some strong push from the circumstances and he becomes suicidal or insane. Once a person proud of himself, becomes helpless before his mind.
That is why the thinkers insist that if you want to win, try to win yourself. Bhagawan Mahavir says, “the person who gets victory only over his soul is an ultimate winner, rather than the person who wins against lakhs of soldiers on the fierce battlefield.”
Completely controlled mind-intellect-nervous system makes you the true winner.
And see, everybody surrenders to such a person. He wins others very easily and unknowingly.
How to win over the self?
Not by fighting the mind and the nervous system. They are metaphysical so there is no way to fight them. And, who will fight? Would the mind fight with itself? It will result in a split personality, which will destroy the person. The true solution is, “Develop” understanding.
We must know the nature of the mind and the senses. We have to arrange them properly and deal with them. We should not exert force over them, but develop analytical approach. We have to think in terms spiritual welfare and material pleasure of and then lead them to spiritual welfare.. In the beginning they will revolt, but gradually they will co-operate with your discerning judgement and obey it. The awareness of the person will keep him alert and as a result the stronger than the wind mind itself will calm down. As the degree of calmness increases, the mind will be increasingly free. Understanding, discretion and Awakening are the weapons of the mind to win over itself. And then one gets ultimate joy. One becomes “the Ultimate Victorious” [Mahavir].The whole world is then his kingdom.
Translated by : Susmita Vaishnav, Ahmedabad