03 Aug Hansaji on ‘Balanced State of Mind’ at the Satsang
The topic for the Hindi Satsang on Sunday, 28th July, 2013 was ‘Balanced State of Mind.’
Following is the transcript of the speech made by Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.
Listen to the Audio:
“Let’s understand our role in any situation, how we can help ourselves maintain a balanced state of mind. While we perform our work, others too perform their own work. Everything has its own place, everything has its own need, that’s why it’s there. So we should carry on. And carry on happily, carry on with joy, with enthusiasm. Be very creative, find out (for yourself) in the same very situation, what can you do, so that you may still enjoy it more and so on.
Maintaining a balanced state of mind should be our primary goal, that no matter what happens, I should not lose my balance. This means that I have to practice self-discipline; like a watchman who does not allow bad elements to enter, similarly I have to watch myself and not allow any thoughts that may make me lose my balance. But for that, I have to attend to many areas.
1. First and foremost is my food – As my food, so shall be my mind, so shall be my thoughts, so shall be my routines and behaviour. Therefore it is important to eat food that will help keep a balanced state of mind. Intoxicants like coffee, cocoa, wine, liquor is going to bring in imbalance. Excessive spices, either too much salt or chillies or any any variety of spices, they are all good but should be taken in moderation. We have to be extremely careful about what we eat and how much we eat. The quantity should not be less because you do not like the food or should not be more than what your body needs. We have to find a balance. Hence, the type of food, ideally Sattvic food, the quantum of food and the timings of meals have to be followed so that we can easily maintain our balanced state of mind.
2. Routines – Our routines, like our wake up time and going to bed times should be ideal, waking up early with the sun and not staying awake till late post sunset. Late or irregular sleeping habits are wrong and encourage imbalance. Therefore we should try to follow a fixed and ideal routine. Excessive activity or absolutely no activity has to be avoided. Again moderation is the key. Let me explain with the help of a case study. A machine could run for 7 hours at a stretch before it would heat up or start giving trouble, therefore it could continuously and smoothly work upto a maximum of 7 hours only. Two groups were formed and each was given this machine. One group would work the machine for 7 hours and then stop for the day. The second group understood the importance of maintaining a balance. They would work the machine for 2 hours and switch it off for 15-20 min, then restart it and work for 2-3 hours before taking a break again of 15-20 min. Every 2-3 hours, the machine was rested for 15-20 min and in this manner this group worked the machine for over 14 hours a day compared to the first group, more creative therefore more productive. The group 1 machine started to give trouble after 2 years in the form of breakdowns or some parts required replacement, but the second groups machine has been trouble free for the past 40 odd years now. This has been studied scientifically and proven. At home too, if we were to play an instrument after a long gap of time, it may break apart but if played a little bit every day, it will work for years smoothly without giving any trouble.
This principle is very clear that we are supposed to work in such a way that we don’t get tired. Tiredness means the balance is lost. Don’t do activities that will tire you out but be fairly active all the time. The moment you become aware that you are breathing fast, take a break, let the breathing become normal again before you continue your work – a very simple policy in yoga. This has been very clearly stated in the Bhagwad Gita as well – action and inaction, both are required to maintain a balance.
We should sleep well by sleeping on time and waking up on time, we cannot be sleeping at odd hours as we like it. Night is meant for sleeping and the day is meant for activity. All these are very basic rules to be followed for maintaining a balanced state of mind.
3. Balanced behaviour – Say what you want to say but not when you have lost your balance. Do not speak while angry, first settle down, and then say your fill calmly. This is extremely important for managing our relationships. Do not speak / do any action when disturbed, practise Mauna (silence), practise simple slow breathing, Asanas, meditation – Use these techniques of yoga and bring balance. Simple practical techniques may also be used like taking a bath would help to bring balance, singing or playing some games would help to bring in balance, going for a walk – being with nature helps to bring in balance. Try any of these, find out for yourself what helps bring in balance and do that. Practicing Asanas may be not be possible anytime or anywhere but taking a walk is. As per the circumstances, do what is possible and bring in balance, this is most important.
4. Finally, the will has to be there that I do not want to lose my balance, this decision is a must that in unfavorable situations, I will not lose my balance. It’s very easy to maintain a balance state of mind when everything is going right, its in difficult times that we immediately lose our balance. In sad times, if we feel sad then what have we learnt? The point is to maintain a balanced state of mind in sad times, then see how quickly you will overcome the difficulties and the sad times will pass. When our business / work is not doing well or we have lost someone close to us, how quickly we tend to feel low / sad. A balanced state of mind at such times is most important else we invite diseases like diabetes, heart attack, depression, anxiety disorders etc.”