It is difficult to understand the moment when a peaceful mind turns restless or a restless mind turns peaceful. Both are the two sides of the same coin. Though they might appear to be different, basically they are the same. Peace and restlessness are the states of the mind. A good spell of rain fills the mind of the gardener with peace or happiness whereas the mind of the potter is filled with restlessness because of the obstruction of his work.
Our mind is the base of our feelings. All our desires are born in the mind. Both intellect and body are constantly engaged in the fulfillment of these desires. Absence of desire makes the mind calm and peaceful. It is equally true that so long as there is mind, there is desire. A new mind is born with every desire and with its fulfillment it dies. With each new desire there is a new mind. After all our mind is only a tool of the soul. Desires arise in consonance with the ambience of the soul. Therefore, this ambience in itself is an important component of life. This alone makes us experience peace/restlessness or heaven/hell in our life. Endurance leads to shame which in turn leads to a feelings of peace. The mind of a shameless individual can never be at peace. This too is a veil of Maya. There is hardly anyone who doesn’t seek peace.
The word shanti (peace) is formed by the verb stem of ‘sham.’ It signifies both inner and outer peace. Prosperity is the indicator of external peace. Inner joy alone is the indicator of inner peace. It has no connection with external prosperity. Nor is one indifferent to it. One merely assumes an indifferent attitude towards it. Though king Janak enjoyed all the material pleasures he was not attached to them. Today if you come across any prosperous individual, you will find him either sad or restless for one reason or the other.
Laxmi – the goddess of wealth is fickle. In this materialistic age today, no one seems to remember it. Everyone is worried as to how to keep Laxmi tethered. Prosperity doesn’t mean wealth alone, it also includes the eight siddhis. These are certainly attainable but only through austerity. They contain godly feelings and affluence. Lord Krishna says in the Gita, “shanten chetsa kuru” which means “Do your work with a peaceful mind.”
If the mind (chitta) is agitated, it puts a question mark on the possibility of the completion of an assignment. This agitated state of the mind creates the passions of anger, attachment and envy. It generates emotive upsurges in the mind. The individual begins to be swayed away by the current. These feelings produce many kinds of vibrations in the mind. The veil of intellect or the desire for a reward give momentum to these vibrations which in turn affect our endocrine glands. The hormonal balance is disturbed. The body begins to lose its powers or gets afflicted with diseases.
Today our life is hemmed in by the instruments that cause mental afflictions. So much so that even TV and cinema cause agitation in the peaceful mind of an individual. Feelings of attachment, greed and envy also do not allow an individual to live peacefully. These are the results of our tendency to focus on outcomes instead of actions. There is no stopping of the evil propensities. How can an individual experience peace in such a scenario? One can move towards peace only when the evil propensities are also accompanied by feelings of shame or remorse which may restrain us. It is, therefore, imperative to develop an ambience of endurance in the mind. Satisfaction and forbearance are at the root of peace. Only that prosperity gives peace to the mind of an individual which brings him name or fame. One experiences unprecedented peace of mind when one’s prosperity is used to alleviate human suffering.
When the old age makes the body frail and renders the organs of action powerless and feeble, an individual appears to be outwardly peaceful largely due to his physical helplessness. However, it is not necessary that such an individual also experiences inner peace. The meaningfulness of peace lies in the fact that we attend to our daily chores in a peaceful manner while we are physically strong and at the same time attempt to seek blissfulness in the future. We should be able to conquer our carnal desires which form the base of peace and restlessness. The path of carnal desires can be changed by transforming the ambience of the mind. The feeling of remorse and shame will then prevent us from embarking on the path that leads to restlessness and the feelings of illusion will then be able to transport us to peace.