Saturday 26 May 2018

The Power of Mind

Swami Vivekananda says : A carriage with four horses may rush down a hill unrestrained, or the coachman may curb the horses. Which is the greater manifestation of power, to let them go or to hold them? A cannonball flying through the air goes a long distance and falls. Another is cut short in its flight by striking against a wall, and the impact generates intense heat. All outgoing energy following a selfish motive is frittered away; it will not cause power to return to you; but if restrained, it will result in development of power. This self-control will tend to produce a mighty will, a character which makes a Christ or a Buddha.

Similar feelings are echoed by Sister Nivedita in The Power of Mind

All power is in the human mind. We can master anything, simply by giving our attention to it. Even the ideals of the West, the ideals of the new age, are within our grasp, if we study them, if we recognize their necessity, and proceed to work them out. It is natural, however, that under the circumstances, feeling as we do that the study of our own circumstances, and of the new ideals that are to initiate a new age, is the one duty that devolves upon us, it is natural that education should seem to us the supreme ground of battle for our national rights. No one who stands outside the Indian community can dream of the jealousy with which the students watch all attempts to curtail or limit their numbers. Records are kept, and accurate news is carried, that would astonish those most concerned, if they knew of it, as to how opportunities are shrinking, and by whose action, in this direction or

that. A short time ago fees were raised in a certain college. Now, nearly half the students are to be turned out. All this is noted and discussed amongst the students. Their eyes are not shut, nor are they slow to draw their own inferences from the facts. And there is nothing that so stirs them, for all the apparent silence that hangs over the country, as this withdrawal of the means of knowledge.  Nor is this unnatural. Education is our one overwhelming want, in this hour of the nation's history. Knowledge we must have. And knowledge we are determined to have. An immense force has been called into being, by the organization of schools and colleges. But once evoked, such forces must be fed and developed along sound lines. It is at their peril that mortals attempt to stand in the path of avalanche or the canon-ball. Is it imagined that mind-energy is less dangerous than material? Only the bravest or the grossest will attempt to thwart or baffle an awakened communal consciousness. The bravest, because he may offer himself as a sacrifice. The grossest, because he does not believe that mind is a force, like any other, and rules the world; does not believe that a poor weapon in the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte is more deadly than the best, when used by a coward or a fool; cannot understand, till it has turned and rent him, the perils of the great force called into being, and then subjected to the crushing weight of suppression.


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