Subtle Matters – Challenges Galore

While still carrying some burden of his superstitions, Mohan had now grown to his adolescence. He was going through the peculiar changes of this age. His way of looking at various things in life was changing. While watching any TV show or a movie, any romantic scene between a couple was grabbing his attention and was coming back to him till long after that. He was also going through the bodily changes of this age.
One evening he was watching a movie with his cousin. A hot romantic song engaged by a gorgeous and sexy actress grabbed Mohan’s attention and it just proved too much for him to control. He slyly got up from the couch, hiding his erected private, and headed towards the washroom. He started playfully fondling with it and in few minutes he was driven to continue the act, not only by the pleasure of the act but also by the curiosity. The pleasure consummated in next few minutes, not only making Mohan enjoy the sensastions, but also making him confused, clueless and slightly worried. Unable to comprehend what was happening with him, he washed himself and came back.
The next day he discussed this incident with his cousin, who told him that it was normal for adolescents to go through this experience. Mohan felt quite relieved and thought about enjoying the act again. But, to his surprise, he found himself doing this again and again. Not only this, he also noticed his increased tendency to observe the curves of girls around him slyly.
As the time was passing, he was growing into a person who would observe a girl, marvel at her beauty, fantasize about her, but would not have the guts to speak to her. Whenever he spoke to girls about any matter related to studies or something else, he was to the point. Other than that, he felt too shy to speak to them. In his interactions with girls, he was polite bitty short and sweet. However, after that he invariably used to fantasize about the girl in private, conjuring many stories of himself going around with the girl, to the point of making love.
Publicity he never wanted to be seen as a person who was too interested in making friends with girls. He wanted to be seen as too focused on his work, to the point that many times he used to just ignore presence of some girls, even if that was the same girl whom he fantasized about the previous evening.
Amid all this, his academic performance continued to be good, which made him popular among his classmates in school as he had developed an image of an intelligent and focused boy.
Every time he fantasized about a girl and had his private pleasure, he would end up feeling guilty. He felt that the Creator was watching him and this was immoral at his part to imagine all such things about a girl.

Advertisements

Subtle Matters – Striving for the fine balance

Mohan was now determined to deal with his superstitions. He thought that he must first assess the extent to which he had become superstitious. He started writing all the acts which he did slyly without any logic but just out of his belief. He first wrote about his tendency to repeating himself twice mentally. Then, he wrote about his uncontrollable habit of genuflecting to God’s idol innumerable times. He also wrote about him offering prayers mentally while playing or while doing anything important, where he was looking for special favors from God.
Next, he decided to fathom his mind to find the reason for him to perform these acts. He found that he was repeating himself to reinforce his belief in what he was saying. He wondered why he felt the need for reinforcing his belief on himself at the first place. Then, he found that he was genuflecting multiple times to ensure that God doesn’t become angry with him, just in case he had done any half hearted greetings or prayers unintentionally. He also found that the reason for him offering prayers while playing was to get God’s blessings and support for him good performance in the game.
It was amply clear to him that he lacked self confidence big time. He thought that he was dependent on an external God for every small thing in his life and if for any reason he could not get the favor from God, he was doomed. He wondered that the devotion to God which he tried to achieve with so much effort, had turned him from a God-loving person to a God -fearing person. He was contemplating his next way out of his superstitions. Should he stop believing in God and become an athiest as a knee jerk reaction? The next moment he was fearful of those idea for he might attract some grave punishment from God. Then he thought that even believing in God has brought him to this stage. Perhaps, he had to find a balance between believing in God and believing in self. But how could he believe on both? Sensing that this chain of thought was not taking him anywhere, he decided to spend next few days in awareness of all this and see if he was able to decide how next course.
Over next free days, he noticed that he was consciously stopping himself from acting out of his superstitions on several occasions. However, there still were some instances in a day when he would mindlessly get into acting out of his superstitions, specially in endless kneeling and bowing to the idols. He was still happy with whatever control he was able to achieve on his superstitions, hoping that with time he might overcome the rest of his superstitions too.

Subtle Matters – Inevitable distortions

Mohan decided to give himself more time to recover from his failures in his attempts towards devotion. His attempts towards controlling his mind were going in vain repeatedly. Meanwhile, he continued to do well in his studies and compliments and praises continued to come his way from his teachers and relatives. His parents continued to be proud of their kids, whom they thought to be a marvellous kid.
After pondering for few days, Mohan came to the conclusion that perhaps his mind was still not ready to be dedicated in the devotion of the mother and Shiva. He must dedicate his devotion to some others deity, meditating on whom would not lead his mind to ever think about gender or any sexual ideas. After some thinking, he decided Lord Hanuman, the monkey God, to be the one whom he should worship. Lord Hanuman represents the energy of devotion and service towards thes Master through all physical, mental and emotional prowess.
Having failed in the devotion of the mother and Shiva twice, Mohan did not want to take any chances this time. He decided to first read extensively about Lord Hanuman so that he is aware of His stature and his achievements. He wanted to be aware of what Lord Hanuman stands for. This will help him be dedicated in the devotion. With this thinking, he started reading religious scriptures dedicated to Lord Hanuman and Lord Rama (the master of Lord Hanuman).
He read how the Lord helped His devotees in their hardships, as per the mythology. When Sugreeva, the monkey king, was hiding in the hills from his older brother, Bali, Hanuman helped him befriend Rama. Rama killed Bali to save Sugreeva and have the kingdom to Sugreeva. In return, Sugreeva was to help Rama in search for Sita, Rama’s wife. However, Sugreeva, after finding his long lost kingdom, forgot about his service to Rama. Then Hanuman again reminded him of his services and thus saved him from Rama’s ire. This was Mohan found that Lord Hanuman ensures bringing back his devotees to the rightful path.
Mohan then read about the story that Lord Hanuman, in search for Sita, jumped across the ocean to Lanka and executed intelligence to find the whereabouts of Sita inside the kingdom of Ravana. The whole episode tought Mohan about the Lord’s message about the service attitude towards ones Master and a single minded focus to the task at hand.
Mohan also read about the Lord’s significant contribution in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and how he demolished the opponents by the sheer force of his power. All this reading made him understand how complete the being Lord Hanuman is.
Filled with the feeling of devotion towards the Lord, Mohan started offering prayers to the monkey God regularly. He was still reverent towards the mother Goddess and Shiva, but, by now, he had understood that the path for him was to worship and meditate on Lord Hanuman. Unlike his attempts to meditate on the mother’s statue, this time Mohan was able to easily meditate on the statue of Lord Hanuman. He was gradually developing various emotions towards the deity: that of Guru (the teacher), that of a friend, that of Guardian, that of companion and do on. As the time past, Moham realized that he was progressing on his devotion towards the Lord spontaneously and naturally.

As Mohan was growing up, he was becoming increasingly inclined towards such self-correcting reflections for how’s own life. He would start thinking of any random event during the day and would keep thinking about the reasons for that particular experience being pleasant or otherwise; and how he could have done better in that situation.
While this habit was helping him improve himself in terms of his interactions with people older than his age, he was increasingly becoming reliant on God’s help (as he thought) for things beyond his control. Once he went to play cricket with his friends in a small ground near his home. When it was his turn to bat, he got out on the first ball. It continued to happen for a series of 3-4 games continuously. As his habit was, Mohan kept thinking about it even after returning home. In a few days, he found himself mentally reciting some sort of small prayer when he was to face any ball while batting. As an effect, he thought that his frequency of getting out at a zero score had come down. After few more day, he was scoring bigger totals. However. by now his friends were talking among themselves that Mohan chanted some Mantra while playing. As a result, he always got the perception of being a weak player despite scoring well in some games.
Superstitions in the game are nowhere uncommon. Mohan saw some of the reputed good players in his team tying right shoe first, announcing that if they tied the left one first, they got out at a duck. Nobody ever cared about their superstition, but in Mohan’s case as he was doing something secretively people never accepted him. Eventually, such events made Mohan never take any sport seriously.
Over the years he found himself increasingly superstitious about every small thing. He had somehow picked the habit of repeating himself twice mentally, as he believed he won’t make an impact otherwise. He also thought that he must genuflect multiple times in front of the idol of the God, else he stood chance of annoying The God and so on.
His superstitious acts were not going unnoticed by his family members, friends and relatives. At first, his older brother, Dipansh, found it a good opportunity to show him down in front of everyone who thought Mohan was superior than him. Dipansh would catch Mohan doing some superstitious thing and announce to everyone present there to ridicule Mohan. Mohan felt humiliated by these incidents and this creates further gap between the two brothers. Mohan also had to face similar ridicule from his friends and relatives, whoever found out about his superstitions. However, this ridicule made Mohan rethink and boldly question his superstitions.

Subtle Matters – Sustaining the Light

Mohan decided to give himself more time to recover from his failures in his attempts towards devotion. His attempts towards controlling his mind were going in vain repeatedly. Meanwhile, he continued to do well in his studies and compliments and praises continued to come his way from his teachers and relatives. His parents continued to be proud of their kids, whom they thought to be a marvellous kid.

After pondering for few days, Mohan came to the conclusion that perhaps his mind was still not ready to be dedicated in the devotion of the mother and Shiva. He must dedicate his devotion to some others deity, meditating on whom would not lead his mind to ever think about gender or any sexual ideas. After some thinking, he decided Lord Hanuman, the monkey God, to be the one whom he should worship. Lord Hanuman represents the energy of devotion and service towards thes Master through all physical, mental and emotional prowess.

Having failed in the devotion of the mother and Shiva twice, Mohan did not want to take any chances this time. He decided to first read extensively about Lord Hanuman so that he is aware of His stature and his achievements. He wanted to be aware of what Lord Hanuman stands for. This will help him be dedicated in the devotion. With this thinking, he started reading religious scriptures dedicated to Lord Hanuman and Lord Rama (the master of Lord Hanuman).
He read how the Lord helped His devotees in their hardships, as per the mythology. When Sugreeva, the monkey king, was hiding in the hills from his older brother, Bali, Hanuman helped him befriend Rama. Rama killed Bali to save Sugreeva and have the kingdom to Sugreeva. In return, Sugreeva was to help Rama in search for Sita, Rama’s wife. However, Sugreeva, after finding his long lost kingdom, forgot about his service to Rama. Then Hanuman again reminded him of his services and thus saved him from Rama’s ire. This was Mohan found that Lord Hanuman ensures bringing back his devotees to the rightful path.

Mohan then read about the story that Lord Hanuman, in search for Sita, jumped across the ocean to Lanka and executed intelligence to find the whereabouts of Sita inside the kingdom of Ravana. The whole episode tought Mohan about the Lord’s message about the service attitude towards ones Master and a single minded focus to the task at hand.

Mohan also read about the Lord’s significant contribution in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and how he demolished the opponents by the sheer force of his power. All this reading made him understand how complete the being Lord Hanuman is.
Filled with the feeling of devotion towards the Lord, Mohan started offering prayers to the monkey God regularly. He was still reverent towards the mother Goddess and Shiva, but, by now, he had understood that the path for him was to worship and meditate on Lord Hanuman. Unlike his attempts to meditate on the mother’s statue, this time Mohan was able to easily meditate on the statue of Lord Hanuman. He was gradually developing various emotions towards the deity: that of Guru (the teacher), that of a friend, that of Guardian, that of companion and do on. As the time past, Moham realized that he was progressing on his devotion towards the Lord spontaneously and naturally.

Subtle Matters – Resistance in the path of light

For next few weeks, Mohan decided to not attempt to meditate on the statue of the Goddess, add he tried that day. He just continued offering regular prayers by chanting hymns and litanies.During this time, he felt that had he known more about the powers and stature of the mother Goddess, his mind has never entertained such thoughts about the mother. With this idea, he started reading a page of Hindu scriptures like Shiva Purana and Durga Chalisa in his daily prayers.
When the parents took note of this, they went further ga-ga about Mohan. For the time being, Mohan decided to just focus on his prayers and scripture reading rather than focusing on what all praises he is getting from his parents, because deep down he was still disturbed by this utter indiscipline of his mind. How could his mind entertain such sacrilegious thoughts?
It has been about an year since Mohan started reading scriptures in his daily prayers. By now he had read extensively about the mother Goddess and her status as the creative power behind the entire creation. He had also learnt about the role of Shiva, as the primordial masculine energy, who in conjunction with the Goddess creates, sustains and destroys the universe. After reading about all this, he started feeling that his devotion was increasing, not only towards the Goddess, but also towards Shiva. He was reasonably sure that with all this knowledge in his consciousness about the stature of Shiva and the mother, now his mind will not entertain such unwanted thoughts about the Goddess. He decided to give a fresh attempt to the meditation on the mother’s statue.
He sat in the prayer room cross-legged, fixing his gaze lovingly at the statue of the mother. He glanced at the entire statue with focus and consciousness and felt a unique kind of connection with the image of the statue. He continued starting at it for a while and instinctively started thinking about some of the great endeavors achieved by this form of the Goddess. He thought about the mother’s battle with the demon Mahishasura, whom she destroyed in a fierce battle. He then started visualizing the fierce form of the mother Kali, to control whom, Shiva himself had to lie down. His current of thoughts then shifted towards the creation of the universe by Shiva and the mother. Next she started visualising the union between the divine couple. Forcibly, he pulled his mind out of this and again reprimanded himself with instinctive slaps (a series of 4-5 this time). He felt sad and helpless. He wanted to dedicate himself in the devotion but helplessly, his mind was creating resistance by conjuring such sacrilegeous thoughts. He was utterly confused and was clueless what he could do next.