Toxins of the Mind

Toxins of the Mind

Last week (June 30th to July 2nd 2011) I fasted for three days. There was no illness, pain, or injury to heal. It was just a routine fast to clean out toxins and tone up the body. First night, I slept lightly but woke up the following morning reasonably rested and cheerful. I drank my usual morning ration of water and lay down. The day passed quite peacefully and without discomfort. I felt only lightly hungry, not enough to want actually to eat anything.

Whole body was so calm I could not feel any itch, rub, pain, or irritation anywhere in the body. There was no headache or fever. Only thing I could feel was a sense of slow weight loss.

Second night, the sleep was very light and patchy but I did not feel anything clearly enough to notice. I assumed that nothing was happening because the body is well. Some cleaning was perhaps happening but not much else.

Second day of fast too was like the first. I felt very light hunger but no discomfort. Usually in a long fast one experiences negative, often disturbing thoughts, on the second day. But none came. I kept wanting to go out walking and actually did a few times. During the second excursion my friend Nagrajan caught and mildly chastised me! He is in fact one of my fasting mentors and his word made me fall in the line of discipline.

I slept lightly till midnight the third night. Then I began to dream. Thoughts of what I had been neglecting, what I needed to do, and right path came in a torrent. The flow was so strong there was no time to react. After some feeble attempt to hear clearly I just gave up and let the current flow.

This process of removing toxins of the mind continued till the next morning. I woke up, shook my head and tried to grasp what was going on. My memory was failed and nothing came clearly to mind of the content of the dream.

With great difficulty I could faintly recall hearing ‘slow down’, ‘nothing to do’, ‘you cannot do’, ‘it happens by itself’. A week later I am still in the grip of that experience.

Is it all my imagination? I do not know. But certainly, I am reminded that there are more toxins in my mind than in the rest of the body. I sincerely hope that during this fast some of my mind’s toxins dissolved and drained out. Walking on the dead-end street of worldly concerns has gone on long enough. Time has come to turn earnestly to the path of eternal joy.

I am reminded of the story I have heard many times since boyhood. A simple illiterate man ran into a sanyasi (recluse). On his advice he turned to repeating the name of Lord Rama. After a few years he became enlightened. When asked what name he repeated he said ‘mara, mara, mara’ which means I am dead. Poor man had reverted the syllables in the name of the Lord. Correctly pronouncing the name is not required. The idea is let go of our excessive involvement in the mundane. One needs to awaken the animator in us. Only then we can finally shatter the curtain of ignorance and enter the bright sunshine of Truth.

Partap Aggarwal

9 July 2011