I was watching the National Geographic Channel a few days back. A wildebeest was chased by a lioness. It was the survival instinct that pushed the wildebeest to run like hell for its life. A few minutes into the chase it will be all over for the wildebeest either it will killed by the lioness or it will manage to escape to live for another day. During the chase what is in the mind of the wildebeest??? There is only one focused thought that is to “outrun the lioness.”
In this particular episode the wildebeest galloped to outsmart its predator and survived the day. Once the chase was over the wildebeest got back to its herd and was back to its normal self within a few minutes. I wondered how it got back to its normal state so fast. It is indeed a point to ponder.
In the wild there is no room for the prey to brood over the chase that took place or get anxious over another possible chase. An animal that is being chased does not what to know why the predator was after it??? All it knows is to run for its life. Animals are equipped with only Annamaya (Physical Body), Pranamaya (Energy Body) and Manomaya Kosha (Mental Body), it doesn’t have Vijnanamaya Kosha (Wisdom Body), in a way it is a blessing for them. This is the major difference between humans and all the other primates. Unlike the wildebeest, the human mind would not rest after a traumatic experience. It will keep brooding on the event and also build anxiety about insecure future. It is this restlessness in the mind that causes hypertension. The restlessness of mind ceases to exist when we comprehend that existence is one thing, not a collection of things to be linked together. A collection of things become an idea.
There is a story recorded in Yoga Vasistha where Sage Vasistha tells Shri Rama about three non-existent princes find happiness by knowing that the world is nothing but an idea. The world and all that is within it are the thoughts of the thinker. There is nothing outside that one reality; its energy pervades all things. As the Sage Vasistha informed Shri Rama, “As an actor plays several roles one after the other, the mind assumes several aspects one after the other. The mind makes one thing appear to be another by its powers of thinking and conceptualising.”
The story goes thus: