Quiver – Clean and Firm Mind | Vibheeshana Gita

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

Amal achal mann trona samaana
Sam jam niyama sileemukh naana
Kavach abhed bipra gur pooja
Ehi sam bijaya upaaya na dooja

Amal – clean; without any impurities. Achal – firm; unshaking. Mann – mind. Trona – Quiver. Samaana – is like. A clear/pure and firm mind is like the quiver.

In his visit to Chicago, USA, Swami Vivekananda was once walking on a bridge when he saw a group of young boys trying to shoot egg shells floating in the river below. They fired their air gun many times but were unable to shoot the shells even for a single time. Vivekananda stood there watching with keen interest. The boys asked him whether he would like to try a shot. Vivekananda took the air gun, focused on the egg shells for some time and fired twelve times. Each time the bullet hit the target. The boys were stunned. They asked him with all wonder, “Sir, who taught you to shoot?” Vivekananda’s reply was something like this – “I’ve never handled a gun in my life. Your teacher taught you to shoot. My teacher taught me to concentrate.” What a powerful line!

A quiver is where an archer keeps his arrows ready. If the quiver is not tied firmly to his back, the archer, however efficient he may be, might not be able to take out at the right time when he is in a battle. All his knowledge and training can go unfruitful if he neglects the quiver. And the quiver has to be clean so that there’s no trouble in taking the arrows on time. In the case of Vivekananda, his mind was clean and firm. The power of Self-knowledge, study of the scriptures and Sadhana had made his mind pure. All the words he has spoken reflect the firmness of his mind. With such a mind, he could achieve almost anything he wanted to do.

Everybody has got desires, be it selfish or selfless. Not all of them get fulfilled. But if we look at the life of great people, we can see that they could achieve such herculean tasks which nobody could even dream of. Like the case of Swami Chinmayananda. One man’s wish to serve the society, to spread the knowledge of the scriptures to the common man in the common man’s language, resulted in a global organization with more than 300 centres all over the world, more than 80 schools and colleges, hospitals, rural development centres, International Research Centre, much more and still growing. It was nothing but one man’s wish. But that wish came from a pure and firm mind. Hence it brought out such an unimaginable result.

Purity of mind is not just possible for saints and sages. J.R.D.Tata is an inspiring example in quote in this context. He was a visionary leader who didn’t think of merely making money. A businessman he was, no doubt, but he had a greater vision for the country. He wanted his country to grow and not just himself or his business organization. That purity, that clarity in thought brought about the growth of one of the biggest business empires in India.

They say it is a competitive world today. There is cut-throat competition. The one who is able to beat the rest, wins the race. But J.R.D.Tata’s attitude towards competition was quite different. In 1930, the Aga Khan Trophy was offered for the first Indian to fly solo from India to England or vice versa. J.R.D. competed, taking off from Karachi to London. When he landed at Aboukir Bay in Egypt, he found that Aspy Engineer, the other contender, flying from London to Karachi, was stranded in the desert airfield for want of a spark plug! J.R.D. sportingly parted with his spare one and they continued their journey in opposite directions. Aspy beat him by a couple of hours. “I am glad he won,” said J.R.D., “because it helped him get into the Royal Indian Air Force.” Later Aspy was to be the second Indian to be the chief of the Indian Air Force. And in 1932, India’s first airline, the Tata Airlines, was inaugurated.

Such clean are the minds of successful individuals in any field, be it spirituality or materialism, purity and firmness are must. Most of our desires usually come out from an unclean and wavering mind. But the lives of such successful people show how purity mind and vision helped them in achieving success. When we aim at success, we generally work on all other factors like gaining knowledge, skill, power, etc. But a thought of cleansing our mind seldom comes to us probably because we do not consider it as a factor determining success. And Tulsidas ji aptly compares it with the example of a quiver which might be ignored by an archer who thinks that skill and knowledge can earn him victory in a battle.

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