The Third Rope: Equanimity of Mind | Vibheeshana Gita

– Understandings from Swami Swaroopanandaji’s talk for Youth Empowerment Programme – 6th batch

Souraj dhiraj tehi rath chaaka,
Satyaseel dhruda dhwaja pataka
Bal bibek dam parahit khore
Chama krupa samata raju jore

Equanimity of mind is the third rope of the chariot

Only an equanimous mind is capable of taking good decisions, for, it is not prejudiced. When the mind is excited, we tend to make hasty decisions, which we later regret. There’s a saying, ‘Never make a promise when you are happy and never take a decision when you are sad’. A happy or sorrow mind cannot have a longer vision. One needs to calm down his mind to take good decisions.

Lord Rama is the best example of Samata. It is said that when Rama was told that he would be crowned as the king the next day, he had a smile on his face. The very next day, when Kaikeyi told him to go to the forest, he had the same smile on his face.

Sugreeva and Rama had a deal that Rama would kill Bali and Sugreeva would help him find Sita. But when Bali was killed and Sugreeva got back his kingdom, he was so happy that he forgot his promise to Rama to help find Sita. Yet, Rama did not lose his poise.

Even at this instance when Rama is giving the success formula to Vibheeshana, we can imagine how equanimous his mind must be to face Ravana. Even though he doesn’t have any armour, chariot or much weapons to fight, his mind is not disturbed at any point. His mind was always equanimous in all situations.

In the life of Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, we can see many instances where he displayed this quality. Once, a group of religious fanatics came to him. Their faces were red with anger when they heard Swamiji say that – Heaven & Hell are not geographical locations but exist only in our minds. One of them walked towards Swamiji and held him by his collar and asked, “So, you are saying there is no Heaven & Hell?” Before he could continue, Swamiji laughed and said, “There open are the gates of Hell for you”. The man realized his mistake and immediately released his hand. Swamiji said, “There open are the gates of Heaven for you.” The group returned back without saying anything. He was another perfect example of Samata.

Buddha also had this quality. One day a man came and started abusing Buddha because his brother had become Buddha’s follower. Buddha calmly sat looking at the man. After some time, the man stopped. So, Buddha asked, “Have you finished talking?” He said, “No” and continued abusing. Again after some time, the man stopped. Buddha asked, “Have you finished talking?” The man said angrily, “Yes. What do you have to say?” Buddha replied, “If I gift you something and you don’t take it, with whom does the gift stay?” The man said, “With you.” Buddha smilingly replied, “Dear Sir, I do not accept your gift.” That was his level of equanimity.

We need to tame our mind inorder to achieve our purpose of life. Hence, equanimity of mind is compared to the rope that controls. The means to tame our mind as prescribed in the scriptures are regular Satsang (Company of the good which helps us entertain positive thoughts), regular Japa (Chanting the name of the Lord thus maintaining one line of thought) and regular Meditation (Contemplating on the form of the Lord thus attaining single-pointed focus). This will help mind gain back its balance quickly even if it loses its poise at any instance.

A good leader should have these three qualities – Forgiveness, Compassion and Equanimity of Mind; the ropes with which he can manage himself as well as others.

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