|Saturday, October 21, 2000||
Whatever our mind thinks becomes a reality sooner or later. While some wishes may get fulfilled right away, others may take years or sometimes many reincarnations to become a reality. Such is the awesome power of the mind. That’s why our ancient saints and sages believed that all thoughts arising in the mind were capable of creating either heaven or hell for us, writes S.S.Negi
ONCE a man died and his soul soared out of his physical body and commenced its journey beyond death. During his life on earth, the man had heard priests talk about life after death: how a dead person’s soul gets detached from its physical body and then travels either to heaven or hell.
The priests had also said that heaven or paradise was studded with unlimited shady trees of great beauty known as kalpatrus — the wish-fulfilling trees. One just had to sit under this tree, wish for anything and in no time, the wish was fulfilled.
And, of course, things were quite different in hell. The place was said to be flooded with all sorts of evil spirits — witches, demons, ghosts and so on. These evil spirits delighted in torturing souls who were thrown into hell.
It so happened that this man’s soul wandered around a lot after its release from the physical body. As there is no sense of time after death, the soul didn’t know how long it roamed about.
By chance, it entered paradise. The man was taken aback by the splendour of what he saw before him. Here there were no nights. In fact, the light in paradise was bright yet pleasant. There was not a trace of cloud anywhere. The temperature was just ideal — neither hot nor cold — in short too pleasant to be believed. And wherever his eyes wandered, he found all sorts of flowers — some he had never seen on earth — blooming in full glory.
There were lush green lawns, stunningly beautiful waterfalls, ponds and lovely landscapes everywhere — such as he had never encountered on earth. And, of course, the wish-fulfilling kalpatrus trees were everywhere. Wonderful to behold, they were aromatic and shady.
Finding one such tree, the man sat down under it to rest, for he had been travelling ever since he had left the mortal remains of his body on earth.
No sooner did he sit under the kalpatrus tree, a soft breeze lulled him to sleep. In a short while he was in such deep sleep that he became oblivious to everything around him.
When he finally woke up, he was feeling ravenous. Immediately a thought arose in his mind that he must have something to eat. And he wished for hot delicious food.
And wonder of wonders, out of the blue an array of steaming hot and delicious dishes appeared before him. It was all thanks to the kalpatrus tree he was sitting under. It is believed that as soon as even a slight thought arises in the mind, the kalpatrus reads it and fulfils it right away. On seeing such delicious food before him, the man — starved as he was — began to eat with gusto. He forgot everything. The moment he consumed a dish, another appeared that was even more delicious than the previous one.
After he had eaten to his fill, another thought appeared in his mind: "What about a drink? I’m feeling thirsty". At once, he was served all kinds of drinks — champagne, red wine, somras, whisky, cold water and so on.
The man had his fill of the choicest drinks. During his spell of life on earth, he had never had such a feast. Being a man of modest means, he just couldn’t afford such a fare.
He was feeling on top of the world. But then he began to wonder whether what was happening to him was real or was it just a dream.
A thought appeared in his mind that it must be unreal, for he had never been treated so royally. He thought that all this must be the work of ghosts, demons and witches who, it seemed to him, were out to play tricks on him.
Instantly out of thin air, leapt scores of ghosts, demons, witches who surrounded him. And they were exactly as the priests on earth had described them. They’d furious expressions on their faces, and with garlands of human bones around their necks, they began to dance around him. They were also carrying all sorts of weapons in their hands that they brandished at him as they danced, shrieked and cried.
The man got frightened and froze with fear. As the tempo of their dance increased so did the blood-curdling sounds they uttered.
Awe-struck by this spectacle, the man began to tremble and shake uncontrollably. His teeth began to chatter. He had never seen such devilish faces who breathed fire and whose hands and feet had claws.
All at once a thought emanated from his mind: "These ghosts, witches and demons are going to kill me". And the very next moment all these fearsome creatures thrust all their weapons into him. He was killed instantly. The kalpatrus had fulfilled this wish too.
This ancient parable signifies the power of the mind over us. The kalpatrus tree symbolises our mind.
Whatever our mind thinks becomes a reality sooner or later. While some wishes may get fulfilled right away, others may take years or sometimes many rebirths to become a reality. Such is the awesome power of the mind.
That’s why our ancient saints and sages believed that all thoughts that arose in the mind were capable of creating either heaven or hell for us.
And yet the heaven or hell, so created, is just an illusion or maya. We ourselves are solely responsible for their creation.