Con­quer life’s two demons for peace

The Sunday Guardian - - & COMMENT ANALYSIS - By Davin­der P.S. Sandhu

In Pan­jab, if a per­son loses fo­cus and is dis­tracted from the orig­i­nal thought, he is said to be speak­ing like Il­walla. My Teacher told me the story be­hind this word.

Il­walla (San­skrit for a rest­less mind) and Vaat­api (San­skrit for that which can waste your life, or death) were two demons. Il­walla could bring the dead to life, and Vaat­api could change form at will. They would en­tice trav­ellers to their house, promis­ing a de­li­cious meal. Vaat­api would change form to be­come a goat, and Il­walla would cut the goat, pre­pare the meat dish, and feed the un­sus­pect­ing guests.

Then Il­walla would call Vaat­api back from the dead, who would re­sume orig­i­nal form, tear­ing the very bel­lies of the poor trav­ellers, as the pieces of meat re­formed into Vaat­api.

One day, they met the great sage Agasthya, and tried the same trick on him. But after he had eaten, Agasthya med­i­tated on His name, and prayed for the food to be bro­ken down and di­gested, and so it was. This time, when Il­walla called out to Vaat­api, he did not re­turn. Sage Agasthya smiled and said, “Vaat­api is di­gested now, he will never come back!” Il­walla be­came Agasthya’s dis­ci­ple, never to wa­ver again.

My teacher said that our rest­less minds are Il­walla, and our ego, full of pride, and at­tached to this mor­tal world, is Vaat­api. We try to subli­mate our own Vaat­api, but our Il­walla will call it to life again and again, and this con­tin­u­ous cy­cle pre­vents us from self-ac­tu­al­i­sa­tion:

We come to med­i­tate on the One Lord.

But after birth, we are en­ticed by a mor­tal, vir­tual world.

We may think we have van­quished our ego, but one call from our rest­less mind, and it will be re­born. Un­der the guid­ance of a sage, we me­di­ate on Him, and our ego will be sub­li­mated. And the rest­less mind will be for­ever at peace.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.