(Vinod Anand)

To live a meaningful life, we need to balance our thoughts, words and actions. However, few are able to do this. Either we think too much or too little; in either case our actions are gravely affected.

For those who think too much, action is wanting and for the thoughtless life turns out to be a casualty Although harmonizing thoughts and actions is desirable for acting wisely, there is a third element — speech to be present to make life wholesome.

Unless all three, thoughts, words and actions, are in unison, you cannot strike a balance. For sure, the person whose speech belies his thoughts and actions has no worthwhile credentials to speak of. Hence scriptures stress the need for unison in our “manasa-vachakarmana”, that is, thoughts, words and actions. Since the mind is the seat of our thoughts, words and actions, cultivation of mind is of paramount importance.

Perhaps the best method out of many recommended for mind- control is the one employed by Zen Buddhists. While engaged in an activity a Zen Buddhist will keep reminding himself “Where is the mind when the body is here?” This kind of auto-reminder helps him to keep body and mind together. Then even simple activities like sipping tea or watching a television serial could add considerably to the joy of living.

Sometimes auto-suggestions are beneficial to keep body and mind together For instance, when we sit down to meditate there is every possibility of the mind wandering everywhere. The following autosuggestion in the form of prayer can prove highly beneficial: “0 God, I am happy to be here, happy to be with you. And this is my only desire for now.

I have no other desire. And there is nothing here that belongs to me. All is yours. Even this place, my body, - everything is yours. So, take care of these, if you will. But let me be with you. .I have no other desire And this simple exercise helps you in freeing our mind of desires that may be distracting us at the hour Though mind-control is important on our spiritual journey, that alone is not enough to attain God-consciousness.

Swami Ram Sukh Das ji points out, we have to add to our activities — of karma, bhakti or gyan — ras or the very essence of life. By adding seva ras, the essence of service to our actions, we can make them selfless and free ourselves of the vices of doer ship.

Likewise we can fructify our devotional service by adding to it, prem ras, and the essence of love. Again, his study of scriptures is fructified only when vivek vichaar or the essence of contemplation is added to it. Thus only by adding the essence of service, love and contemplation to our activities can we have our consciousness changed from the material to God-consciousness? Once we have changed our consciousness from the material to God-consciousness — we must strive to live the rest of our lives only in God-consciousness.

Then we will run no risk of reverting to material consciousness. All our scriptures and saints recommend just this. As Ramakrishna Paramhansa put it: “First rub your hands with oil and then break open the jack fruit; otherwise they will be smeared with its sticky milk.” That is, equip yourself with the oil of divine love before setting yourself to the duties of the world.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.