Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vachanamrut Sarangpur-7

Step 1: Synthesize the simple statement. Below are a few ideas taken from the syllabus.
  • Naimisharanya Ksheta exists wherever the Satpurush resides.
  • Our greatest enemy is our own mind. 
  • Understanding the mahima of God & His Sant naturally reduces our desires.
Step 2: Start the presentation with a shakeup. 
  • Identity Theft - Alright, so it's not the kind that happens with stolen credit cards, but start off by describing a challenging situation. The point is to choose a challenge in which we were then inspired by another individual or entity. If that's too hard to decide upon, just use the example provided by the author. When we refocus our identity and realize that we prisoners of our mind, we too can overcome any challenge.
  • Help! - This entire episode is filled with examples of people who overcame their weaknesses. In the first segment of this episode of Radiolab, a woman describes her shortcomings with quitting smoking until her friend threatened to donate money to the KKK every time she picked up a cigarette. The frightening thought of the KKK shook this woman out of her addiction. In the second segment, scientist Oliver Sacks experienced difficulty with finishing his book and ended up setting a deadline for himself - one that would result in his death if he failed to meet it. In the third segment, Dr. Vyacheslav Davidov, helps alcoholics overcome their addiction by giving them a pill called "the torpedo" that induces disturbing symptoms if they ever chose to imbibe again.
  • Clocky - Getting out of bed can be a drag, but what if there was an alarm clock that forced us out of bed? Clocky does just that and is available for purchase on the market today. To fight the bad habit of not getting out of bed, we force ourselves to fight our sleep, and to fight our other bad habits, we need to force ourselves to fight our mind. 
Step 3: Support the simple statement with stories filled with detail (concrete) and validity (credible). For example, we chose the second simple statement, "Our greatest enemy is our own mind."
  • The Force of 99 - Before the money, look at what the neighbors had: little money, time to sleep, eat, or pray. After money, look at the neighbors had: Rs. 99; no time to sleep, eat, or pray. What was the cause of the breakdown of their easygoing lifestyle - money? Not quite. Warren Buffet is the wealthiest man on the planet as of 2011, yet drives his own car without driver or staff and enjoys coming home from work to eat popcorn and watch television. It's not money, but it's our mind's reaction to it. He says, "The happiest people do not necessarily have the 'best' things. They simply appreciate the things they have." If we can defeat our mind, we too can become the man that Warren Buffet is. 
  • Without a Blanket - If we've shared a blanket with someone else, we know what kind of tussle erupts in claiming ownership. On that basis, we would figure Pramukh Swami Maharaj to have lost by simply handing the blanket over. However, there is another tussle that happens within our us - the tussle for tolerance. Swamishri tolerated the cold and shows us through this example that we too can withstand our mental limits if we choose to do so.
  • The Pumpkin Boy - In Shriji Maharaj's time, there was a Koli boy who wanted to donate a pumpkin to Shriji Maharaj Himself. Shriji Maharaj was happy with this act of bhakti and rewarded the boy with five kilograms of sugar crystals; a nearby Bania saw this exchange and brought a cartload of pumpkins the next day. However, he did not receive the sugar crystals - why? While the boy used devotion to fight his craving, the Bania used devotion as a means to satisfy his craving. Our mind is an enemy that not only deceives but can shift the very nature of our thoughts, so defeating it is vital to our success.
While it may not be easy to fight our mind, we can certainly captivate it with a memorable presentation. Let's take some time to prepare and present accordingly.

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