Friday, August 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


The Kashmir divide
HERE is a sliver of light at the end of the Kashmir tunnel and though long expected, a degree of excitement is quite in order. After months of a wordy feud, two militant outfits, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Toiba, had a brief shootout. 

Trapped under the sea
HE sinking of a Russian nuclear submarine, with a crew of 116 on board, off the coast east Norway after hitting an unidentified vessel, is likely to revive the debate about the threat to mankind because of the abuse of nuclear technology. 


Veerappan As a Symptom of Our Times
Understanding the implications
by Pran Chopra
AM not making light of the problem — Veerappan by name and maniacal by appearance, by reputation, by record — which has been facing Karnataka, and facing the gentlest looking Chief Minister that state has ever had, Mr S.M. Krishna. I am thinking more of the spectacle being made out of our public affairs, which would be comic if it were not so tragic. 

India’s energy security
By M.S.N. Menon
N a decade, India’s oil import will go to 320 million tonnes and gas to 150 million cubic metres. We will then be face to face with an unprecedented crisis. Not because of supply problems, but because of money problems. India already spends about $ 8 billion to $ 9 billion on the imports.


Ill-planned yatra ends
August 17, 2000
Back to tolerant age
August 16, 2000
STD tariff set to fall 
August 15, 2000
It’s Terroristan 
August 14, 2000
Now, cybersex industry
August 13, 2000
Explosive frustration
August 12, 2000
Why Advani is angry
August 11, 2000
Black shadow on green cards
August 10, 2000
Free fall of rupee 
August 9, 2000
A soft state indeed 
August 8, 2000
A loud no by states 
August 7, 2000
Restructuring our federal polity
August 6, 2000
Constructive visit
August 5, 2000

Being a VIP spouse
by Suchita Malik
NEASY lies the head that wears the crown” is an old adage. Who says it is great fun being a VIP? The syndrome may have its touch of glamour apparently, yet the grind involved in it often goes unnoticed by the general public. You may be a very important person while the going is good but are obliged to sit on the other side of the fence and can be an object of ridicule once the going gets tough. Thus, the line of demarcation between being a Very Important Person (VIP) and a Very Ignored Person (still VIP) is indeed very thin.



The Kashmir divide

THERE is a sliver of light at the end of the Kashmir tunnel and though long expected, a degree of excitement is quite in order. After months of a wordy feud, two militant outfits, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Toiba, had a brief shootout. So say two leading English newspapers, quoting the same BSF commander. There are more details about the fighting like the provocation and the role of villagers, giving the report a veneer of credence. Already the Hizb and the Hurriyat have developed a sharp difference of opinion. Woven into a whole picture, the government will be tempted to see early and faint signs of the militants and the overground support organisations falling out with one another. If there is any live and reliable intelligence set-up in the valley, it should have fed the Centre on the truth or otherwise of an open rift and its likely impact on militancy. If the Punjab developments are anything to go by, the first split, even a brief one, is the beginning of the end of violence. A bullet from a fellow militant is more brutal than one from the security forces. Or so it would appear. And by his temperament and training, a militant tends to be indisciplined and trigger-happy. If the report of the Lashkar-Hizb clash is true, the valley will witness more shooting in farflung villages and wooded areas. Also paramilitary commanders may receive tips from unexpected sources about militant hideouts. That will usher in the tricky phase. What should the security forces do? Should they help, indirectly no doubt, the Hizb to drive out the mercenary-dominated Lashkar? It is a tempting thought but with unpredictable implications. Did the Cabinet Committee on Security discuss this aspect on Wednesday? It is necessary to evolve a clear-cut policy and to set up a small group to monitor implementation. The clash is merely a window of opportunity but one that calls for concentrated and pointed response.

After the clash several things fall in place. The two-week-long ceasefire has radically altered the ground reality in a dramatic manner. Kashmiris want peace and they are prepared to get it. The frightening mystique of the gun-toting jehadi may not work anymore. It is this possibility that scared Islamabad into armtwisting Salahuddin into withdrawing the ceasefire. One way to sustain the urge for peace is to keep counter-insurgency operations in a lower profile. And the commanders of the various forces should keep away from television cameras. In this respect, the BSF firing on a bunch of school kids and the death of one is shocking and highly deplorable. Simultaneously, the Hurriyat should be persuaded to make daily noises; that will heighten the impression of a return to normalcy. Above all, there should be an immediate end to the visible signs of friction between the Home Ministry (not the Home Minister) and the PMO. Last week a long and accusatory report appeared in select newspapers heaping the blame for the ceasefire withdrawal on some men “in a hurry” in the PMO. At the top of the heap ego clashes are inevitable, but airing them in public is unhealthy. For several long years, the Kashmir valley has not sent out a sign of hope; now it has but it is a hazy one. New Delhi should grab it and quietly and unobtrusively work on it.


Trapped under the sea

THE sinking of a Russian nuclear submarine, with a crew of 116 on board, off  the coast east Norway after hitting an unidentified vessel, is likely to revive the debate about the threat to mankind because of the abuse of nuclear technology. However, the immediate issue which deserves attention is the agony of the families of the crew members trapped inside the damaged submarine. The more they saw on television the inept attempt to rescue the sailors the more despondent they became. A resident of Murmansk, from where the Russian navy launched the rescue operations, summed up the heart-wrenching tragedy in one sentence by pointing out that "it is terrible when people are shut up in a tin can and have to sit at the bottom of the sea". And the Barents Sea is counted among the coldest in the world. As word of the nuclear accident got around, the USA, Britain, Norway and some other countries made offers of assisting the Russians in rescuing the trapped sailors. However, the offers of help were rejected for reasons which are not difficult to understand. The submerged submarine, the Kursk, was commissioned in 1995. It was designed during Soviet rule and was the biggest attack submarine ever built. It was the last hope for the economically struggling Russia to maintain its superpower image. The size of the sunk vessel could be gauged from the indoor facilities it offered to the crew. A swimming pool, a sauna and special quarters for pets were some of the fringe benefits offered for those manning the "world's most powerful underwater nuclear combat facility". The diffidence of the Russians in accepting outside help may have had something to do with the "enemy stealing the nuclear secrets" from the Kursk under the pretext of saving human lives. If this was indeed the case, it was a stupid reason for spurning the global community's offer of help.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a grave error of judgement by placing unjustified confidence in the ability of Russian rescuers to accomplish the complicated task of saving 116 crew members trapped inside the "tin box" without outside assistance. Permission to help should have been granted to the US, British and other teams the moment news of the sinking of the Kursk reached Moscow. In this age of mind-boggling technologies even the best kept secrets invariably end up on the tables of interested parties. The larger issue is, of course, the likely long-term consequences of the sinking of the nuclear submarine. Western analysts have taken with a pinch of salt the Russian claim that there were no warheads on the Kursk when it sank. In overall terms both the USA and the Soviet Union (and now Russia) have contributed in equal measure to the littering of the sea-bed with "nuclear waste" from sunk submarines. If the then Soviet Union was responsible for the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the Three Mile Island incident showed that even the USA could slip up on ensuring foolproof safety for its nuclear-powered facilities. The Barents Sea tragedy should make the members of the nuclear club realise that the onus of keeping the world free of the threat of nuclear disaster lies primarily with them. They have to set the example for the smaller countries to follow by destroying their nuclear stockpiles before a Three Mile Island or a Barents Sea-type accident destroys the planet itself.


Veerappan As a Symptom of Our Times
Understanding the implications
by Pran Chopra

I AM not making light of the problem — Veerappan by name and maniacal by appearance, by reputation, by record — which has been facing Karnataka, and facing the gentlest looking Chief Minister that state has ever had, Mr S.M. Krishna. I am thinking more of the spectacle being made out of our public affairs, which would be comic if it were not so tragic. Nor am I making light of the problem facing Mr Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who must be seeing a snake of unknown dimensions in the grass of Tamil politics. If I am looking past “the sandalwood smuggler”, to use the least threatening name by which he has come to be known, and if I am looking past even the more appropriate name, “murderer”, it is because I am looking past the moustachioed figure, which is only transitory, as the dangerous symptom of our times which he has become.

To grasp the full potential and future gravity of the symptom, one should recall how violent and radical activism began in Andhra more than 50 years ago and soon turned Telengana into the “liberated zone” which remains “liberated” even now, half a century later, in the sense that it is virtually out of bounds for the machinery of the government of Andhra. Of course, this comparison does an injustice to Telengana in the sense to which I will come presently. But not only does a limited comparison with Telengana hold. A similar comparison can also be made with a part of Karnataka now, in which also the writ of the government of Karnataka no longer appears to run. Together these areas are larger than the valley of Kashmir, of which so much is heard, while the future potential of what is seen as a comical figure today, used and manipulated by others, escapes the attention it merits.

Some of the specifics of the drama Veerappan has enacted so far, and in which the Chief Ministers of two of the most important states of India have been sucked in as though they were obliging extras, might be overtaken by other events before these lines are printed. For example, his terms for releasing Rajkumar might become better or more reliably known; or even the release might take place before that and consequential scenes of the drama take the stage. But that will not affect the main theme of the present comment, that the drama as enacted so far has already made Veerappan a very disturbing symptom of our times, and that his story is the story of the decline which has taken place in public affairs.

Karnataka has been caught between the immense mass popularity of the cinema idol, Rajkumar, and fear of the proven ruthlessness of the brigand who has captured him. Veerappan is said to have more than a hundred skulls to his credit, and there is no knowing what he might do if the law knocked at his door, and Veerappan is using all his reputation for unpredictability to keep Krishna slowly turning over the fire. Along with the Chief Minister turn millions of Kannadiga fans of the actor, while Mr Karunanidhi and his own Tamil flock bite their nails in anxiety over who may be using Veerappan, and for what purpose. Neither Mr Krishna nor Mr Karunanidhi can be comfortable with the coincidence that one of forces lurking in the forest in the shadow of Veerappan also calls itself a “liberation army” of some Tamils who also call themselves radical activists. Nor is there comfort for them in another coincidence: that just at the time when various brands of “activists” are turning Veerappan into a folk hero and king of the jungle, further stages of the same process are unfolding themselves in the forests of Bastar — not far away from Andhra, Karnataka, or Tamil Nadu.

The Union government, acting in the name of better governance, has only just decided to carve a smaller state, Chhattisgarh, out of Madhya Pradesh, and already those who had built up other local kings out of the diverse jungle folk of Bastar are demanding that Bastar should be made into “an autonomous self-governing entity”, in the words of Gudasa Usendi, spokesman of the Dandakaranya Zonal Committee of the People’s War Group, who has been quoted for this in the Indian Express of August 14. He may well be a political descendent of the PWGs of Telengana.

To be fair to these and other PWGs (there are some also in the forest of Jharkhand, another new state), and to Phoolan Devi, the “Bandit Queen”, whose name also crops up in the same context, they had some redeeming features which have not touched the smuggler of sandalwood and ivory and the killer of men and elephants. The PWGs have risen in a cause, whether one agrees or not with their aims and their methods. So did the “Bandit Queen”. She rose against the injustice to which her community was submitted first, and then rose against the bestiality which was let loose upon her own person. None of that condones the killings practised by Veerappan, particularly those against forest guards who were only trying to protect forest wealth and wild life. And in spite of the causes more genuinely associated with them than with Veerappan, none of them was given an easy way out of the clutches of law. Phoolan Devi remained in prison for almost a decade after her surrender before she could be given a pardon.

Of course, this is not the first time that the law has become the accomplice of crime because of authority’s fear of what the criminal might do to his victim. There is the famous case of Rubaiah, daughter of a Union Home Minister, who had fallen into hands perhaps even more smeared with blood than Veerappan’s and could be freed only by freeing some militants. There are also the examples of the victims of the Kandhar hijacking, not to mention Speight, who brought down not only the government of Fiji but also the whole constitution because there was no other way he would release people he had imprisoned in Parliament House, including the country’s Prime Minister and the whole Cabinet, and Speight is facing trial on charges which can bring a severe sentence down on him if he is proved guilty.

But apart from there being no “cause” he can plead for the murders committed by him, Veerappan’s case is different on four other counts also. First, during all the decade or so that he has been fugitive from the law, the offences he committed, including the murders of forest guards, were in aid of his own greed; the guards were murdered only because they came in his way as he looted the forest. There is no evidence of his using any of the loot for any larger community than his own accomplices. Second, it is only very recently, in his negotiations with the two Chief Ministers through Gopal, the Editor of Nakeeran, that he has raised any issues which were not concerned with his personal needs or interest. It is true that up to the time of this writing there has been no confirmation of earlier reports that he has demanded either a ransom for releasing Rajkumar or amnesty for himself or any of his band. But not only is the process of negotiations incomplete as yet; its full terms may never really become fully known, as happened with the terms on which the Taliban agreed, in Kandhar, to release the hostages taken in the hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane. Thirdly, some of the terms he has put down are so alien to all that is known of his own mental horizon, such as the demand that the Cauvery waters dispute be referred to an international tribunal, that they can only have been put there by some tutors. But the cat truly escapes from the bag with the fourth difference: the TADA detainees whose release he has demanded are all members or associates of Tamil organisations which have a distinctive hue, and his relations with them not known to date back any further than the kidnapping of Rajkumar. Given the hold that Veerappan now has on the life of the cinema actor, and the hold that Rajkumar has on the affection and imagination of the people of Karnataka, which is also the reason why the film industry is sacrificing a few crores of rupees every day because of the (voluntary) closure of cinema houses in solidarity with him, it is not surprising that those who are manipulating Veerappan and his demands find him such a useful tool that they are not going to let go of him easily. It is they who are firing the gun of Tamil demands from the shoulders of Veerappan in order to build up their own constituency in the areas where he has a hold. In other words, they are carving out an area for which, at some suitable date in the future, they too can demand autonomy and self-governance, as Gudasa Usendi is demanding for a corner of Bastar.

But, of course, the hold Rajkumar has on the people of Karnataka and the hold Veerappan now has on Rajkumar does nothing to explain, let alone condone, the criminal neglect of their duties by successive governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, even though these states as supposed to be better governed than many others are. This is what makes the Veerappan affair such a dangerous symptom of our times; it typifies the failure of governments to see, let alone stem, the rot that is setting in under their noses. Sandalwood and ivory are not like packets of narcotics which can be hidden away beneath false bottoms of innocuous looking suit cases. They must have been carted away by truck loads. And who allowed them to be? For what “consideration”, and how was that loot distributed between politicians, administrators, and the police? The questions only certify that Veerappan is only a symptom, however, disgusting, of a much wider malady the spread of which is being encouraged by the state of our politics.

It is not just a coincidence that just at the time when the smell of Veerappan was spreading all over the country, two things happened in the close neighbourhood of Karnataka, in the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra (not that Karnataka is free of equally shameful incidents) which show how rotten is the state of our principal political institutions.

The Congress party in Tamil Nadu, once the cradle of some of the best political leaders in the country, found itself unable to hold party elections, which were overdue, because the outgoing president of the party ran away with the papers required for conducting them, according to Press reports. In Andhra, opposition MLAs were physically removed from the house after they stalled the presentation of the budget because of their opposition to a power levy by the government, when the budget debate itself would have been the best occasion for them to argue against it. But just as the ways of argument have been abandoned in favour of pandemonium in Parliament, so are they being abandoned in state assemblies one after another; institutions being smothered by the likes of Veerappan, or are willingly subordinating themselves to brigandage. Ultimately, they meet their well deserved end because they lose the support of the majority of the people on account of the very methods used by them for consolidating a coterie behind them. But in the meantime they prosper on the calculation that under our first-past-the-post electoral system a candidate can win an election by mobilising only a splinter of the electorate so long as a rival does not mobilise a larger splinter. That is the rationale of what is, in fact, an irrational attempt by Veerappan to consolidate a Tamil splinter behind the new image which is being carved for him by two formations of radical Tamil activism.


India’s energy security
By M.S.N. Menon

IN a decade, India’s oil import will go to 320 million tonnes and gas to 150 million cubic metres. We will then be face to face with an unprecedented crisis. Not because of supply problems, but because of money problems. India already spends about $ 8 billion to $ 9 billion on the imports.

India’s reserves of oil and gas are very limited. It will not last for long. And yet we produce automobiles by the million for the domestic market ! And go for more and more gas-based industries! It is like a death-wish. As a result, about 70 per cent of our foreign exchange resources will go into oil and gas imports, leaving very little for other purposes.

An army cannot move without transport. This is no secret. Nor can it fight a war without oil. How can we ensure our security when we are so much dependent on imported oil? Perhaps we have not given serious thought to this matter ?

Here are some stray thoughts on the subject — stray, because it is difficult to knit them together into a logical pattern at present.

Most of the world’s energy sources are concentrated in the Gulf, Iran, Central Asia and Russia. Indonesia Algeria and Nigeria — these are other major producers. The Muslims, thus, dominate the oil and gas supplies. They could be the most prosperous people. But the Muslim world is racked with afflictions of all sorts — fundamentalism, drug trafficking, money laundering and so on. With all this talk of civilisational conflict, one can, therefore, never be sure of the future. One cannot even rule out the possibility of more Muslim nations acquiring the bomb.

Unfortunately, India is under the malevolent glare of fundamentalism. Pakistan, our neighbour, is the source of the hate campaigns. By setting the Muslim world against India (in which it has had some success) Pakistan has multiplied our anxieties. But our responses must be intelligent. We should not open a war against Islam or the Muslims because we have an on-going battle against Pakistan. That will be the most dangerous folly. (I am afraid that this factor is not clearly understood by a section of our society.) This can jeopardise India’s oil and gas supplies.

Fundamentalism, however, is a fringe malady. We should not exaggerate its importance. And, remember, there is no real unity among the Muslim countries. They cannot come together against India. Certainly not to oblige Pakistan. India has the second largest Muslim population. No Muslim country can ignore this factor. And India provides one of the biggest markets for the Arabs. What is more, distribution of oil and gas is largely in the hands of Western MNCs. They prefer India as a customer because they save huge amounts in transport. The producers have little control on the MNCs.

Finally, there is a sober thought. Oil and gas will not be there for ever. They will dry up in a century or so. And then what ? Without interaction with India, the Arabs have no future after that. It will be folly on their part to make India a long-term enemy.

Pipelines over land will be the ideal solution for India. But Pakistan was in the way. It was opposed to any pipeline either over land or under sea. This animus of Pakistan against India will continue for some more years. But economic compulsions will one day change Pakistan’s outlook.

Pakistan’s economy is in a bad shape. Of late, there is growing support for SAARC. Pakistan knows that it can no more get doles from Washington or Riyadh. This explains the change of stance about the 1500 km overland pipeline proposed by Iran of late. General Musharraf seems to be enthusiastic about it. And that is not only because Pakistan will receive $ 600 million to $ 800 million for the transit facilities. It is because Pakistan can also go for gas-based industries on an extensive scale.

Can we trust Pakistan ? No. But we can bind it to international treaties (The Indus treaty on water sharing has worked well all these years.) But let us involve as many parties as possible, including the United States. According to Aminzade, Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, multilateral and international guarantees are available.

Perhaps Pakistan may be a changed nation at the end of the day ?

Iran is already a changed nation. With 80 per cent of its people voting against the mullahs and for reform (a truly democratic miracle) the 1979 revolution has petered out, although the mullahs still control the police and judiciary. The Iranians must thank their millennia-old civilisation for the transformation. Iran, after two decades of nightmare, can now be expected to be a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism.

Mohammed Khatami, the reformist President of Iran, wants to change the image of Iran as a fundamentalist nation and end its international isolation. He has already done much to make the reforms irreversible.

As I said, in order to ensure oil and gas supplies, fundamentalism must be defeated. And Iran must be central to this task. One hopes that America will appreciate the emerging situation. A reformed Iran is the best guarantee for peace and stability.

Iran says it has a written guarantee from Pakistan about the security of the pipeline. Good enough. But there must be deterrent penalties.

India’s trade with the Gulf is already around $ 10 billion. If we add our trade with Central Asia and Russia, this region will form the most important trading area for us. But the Gulf is of special importance for us — because 3.5 million Indians are working in the region. They remit about $ 6 billion yearly to their families. Something not to be spurned. And more and more skilled Indians are wanted in the entire region as Arabs take to industrialisation. What is more, Arabs find India the best place to invest.

I have said in my earlier writings that international developments are now shaping the contours of the world. For example, the development of communications. Pakistan can say nay to the pipeline, but it cannot stop work on the highway from Singapore to Europe. There are several such projects in the pipeline, which will become common to South Asia.

Central Asia will dominate the oil and gas scenario of the 21st century. It is virgin territory. India has a wider and deeper interest in this region. It is planning massive investment in oil and gas of Central Asia.

But how do we propose to transport oil and gas to India from Central Asia ? The Afghan-Pakistan route is too risky. The shortest route is through the Xinjiang province of China to Ladakh along the old silk route. This will be safer and stable. But this anticipates normal and friendly relations with China.

It is in this connection that one recalls Primakov’s proposal for a trilateral relations between India, Russia and China. If the three countries can join hands to develop Central Asia and take advantage of its oil and gas, especially for the benefit of China and India, it will be a major breakthrough for peace in Asia. And in the process if we can win over Central Asia against fundamentalism, it will be a major achievement.


Being a VIP spouse
by Suchita Malik

“UNEASY lies the head that wears the crown” is an old adage. Who says it is great fun being a VIP? The syndrome may have its touch of glamour apparently, yet the grind involved in it often goes unnoticed by the general public. You may be a very important person while the going is good but are obliged to sit on the other side of the fence and can be an object of ridicule once the going gets tough. Thus, the line of demarcation between being a Very Important Person (VIP) and a Very Ignored Person (still VIP) is indeed very thin.

And, in case you happen to be a VIP spouse, it’s indeed a tight-rope walk for you. Let alone being denied your normal reflexes, you are expected to behave like a perfect robot that has to carry out his brief with almost mechanical precision. And, by God’s grace, if you are a VIP spouse and a working woman on top of it, the combination can be deadly. You are an easy prey for long sermons on flouting of all norms and nothing seems to come to you in normal routine. You are denied the right to exist in your own individual capacity and are constantly slighted as “that VIP’s biwi”.

As a VIP spouse, you generate pre-set notions of bias and a hostile environment at the outset itself. Invariably, your colleagues get all set to “fix” you in the first place whenever the occasion presents itself. It is presumed that you do not have any merit or standing of our own; and you happen to be in there “courtesy your VIP husband” alone. You are looked down upon and ridiculed as being the “black sheep” who might have trampled over the rights of others to make a place for yourself. So, you are often lambasted as “bourgeois” while all others are taken to be the “proletariat” in Marxian terms.

And, who said that the so-called “proletariat” were all idealists or had a devotion to duty par excellence? Take, for instance, teaching profession! (Let me use “you” for the “bourgeois” and “they” for the ‘proletariat’.) If “they” absented themselves from taking regular classes or were compulsive shirkers, it was all right since they did it themselves and were well within their democratic rights. But, if you happen to perchance miss a single class, all hell would break loose since you are there in your job “primarily to while away your time” and that too, dressed in all your finery. When it comes to performing some other duties at your workplace, you are among those “chosen few” who have to be shown their proper place every time; it does not matter that there are a number of those who would never be seen.

As a VIP spouse, you are strictly forbidden to have any aspirations of your own. You must never try to raise your individual status lest your husband may be accused of illegally “pressurising” the “powers that be” for vested interests. Ambition may be lethal to you and vanity a sin. You are expected to dwell in your own “ivory tower” and any attempt to venture out of it may be taken as a sign of arrogant sinister overtures. If you dress well, you obviously are the “rich-n-famous”! If you joke well with others, you obviously are in a “position” to do so. If your write-ups are published, you have obviously “managed” it with your connections.

You and your actions are under constant scrutiny and you are unable to lead a normal, healthy life. So attuned you are to the public glare and gaze! Being a VIP is like a finished product of the cinematic world where the glamour is reflected on the screen while the grind comes to a halt once the “show is on”.

I often wonder...where will it end? ...This VIP syndrome. Are they really VIPs? These so-called VIPs, like “bourgeois”, are the creation of the “proletariat”. Be that as it may, don’t the VIPs (so called) have a right to live a life of their own...don’t they want a whiff of privacy sometimes.... Aren’t things “managed” and “fixed” outside this rung of VIP syndrome. Hasn’t “fixing” come of age globally and internationally?



On this side is matter; on the other side is pure spirit. Mind forms a bridge between the two. Cross the bridge (control the mind). You will attain Brahman. He is a real potentate and a Maharaja who has conquered the mind. He is the richest man who has conquered desires, passions and the mind. If the mind is under control, it matters little whether you stay in a palace or a cave in the Himalayas .... It is indeed a rare thing to find a mind that is not affected by its contact with fluctuation. Like heat which is inseparable from fire, fluctuation which debases the mind is inseparable from it. Devoid of this fluctuation, the mind ceases to exist. It is this fluctuation-potency of the mind that you should destroy through ceaseless Atma-Jnana enquiry.

Swami Shivananda, Mind: Its Mysteries and Control, Chapter 30

* * *

When the mind is working normally in its legitimate spheres of action it is carrying on the work it was intended to do. But when the least perversion of its normal faculties takes place these five destructive modes (passion, anger, greed, attachment and vanity) take possession of one or more or all of them and control the mind. So long as spirit controls the mind, the four faculties (manas, chitta, buddhi and ahankar) perform their proper function ... But when the mind runs wild, out of control, under the impulse of one or more of the five passions, it generally heads for destruction.

Julian Johnson, The Path of the Masters, Chapter 6

* * *

Mind is a light which the Gods mock us with,

To lead those false who trust it.

Mathew Arnold, Empedocles on Etna, I.2

* * *

The mind covers more ground than the heart but goes less far.

A Chinese saying

* * *

It is the mind which creates the world about us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours, my heart will never stir to the emotions with which yours is touched.

George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft: Summer


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