Are we placing in the treasury that which belongs to the dustbin?
We clean our home regularly because dirt inevitably comes in from somewhere. While cleaning, first we check if the dirt is coming from any specific source like an open window that can be closed. Second and more important, we throw the dirtinto the dustbin.
Unlike our physical home, we rarely clean our inner home, our mind. Mental dirt comprises unworthy thoughts, deplorable desires andevil schemes. When such ideas come in from somewhere, we indiscriminatinglydwell on them, even fantasize about them.
Such contemplation can be dangerous because unlike physical dirt, mental dirt can grow. By feeding on our attention, it assumes giant-like proportions, therebymaking us give it undue importance. Thus, weunwittingly end up placing the dirt in our mental treasury.
From this privileged place, mental dirt influences us deviously. In moments of inner weakness and outer temptation, we may act out an ugly idea. Even if we don’t, the awareness that we entertain such an idea may deplete our moral self-esteem, Even if we don’t feel morally stained, still thevery presence of mental dirt will subtly corrupt us.
To avoid all such contaminating influences, we need to do regular mental housekeeping by abandoning all unwholesome desires without exception, as the Bhagavad-gita (06.24) urges. For removing mental dirt, we can adapt the two steps of housekeeping as follows:
1. Did I see or hear or read something that generated this dirt? If yes, then let me henceforth avoid it as much as possible.
2. Let me firmly and swiftly sweep this dirt out of my mind; let me give it no more thoughtbut instead focus on my important and worthy goals.
This simple and sensible approach can protect us from the blunder of treasuring that which deserves to be trashed.
“One should engage oneself in the practice of yoga with determination and faith and not be deviated from the path. One should abandon, without exception, all material desires born of mental speculation and thus control all the senses on all sides by the mind.”