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Lord Shiva relieved Indra of his sins
There is a temple on the southern end of India, it is called Thanumalayan Temple, and it is in a town called Suchindram. That is where Indra (leader of the mind) became pure. Now, the concept of Indra is very astonishing. Indra has 1000 eyes, that means, 500 people together create a collective consciousness (something like a mob). That is the minimum, then it can go on in multiples of 500, but 500 is the minimum to create a collective consciousness. If you see the mob psychology, all the crime on the planet is due to it. Individual people are not creating a crime, it is the mob that is creating havoc on planet Earth. One person can be changed, but to change a mob is difficult.
Our senses are called Indriya, our mind is called Indra, and the collective mind is called Indra. So when the collective mind does a lot of sin, and the sin has to be relieved from the collective mind, then a wise person was needed. The mythological story goes that — Indra had committed many sins and then he met with a Guru at Suchindram. Shiva came in the form of Dakshinamurthy and relieved Indra of all his sins, and so Indra became pure. This is the story, and the message of the story is so apt — if a wise person’s instructions are followed, it purifies the mob, then the mob can be stopped from engaging in violent or unruly activity. So in the temple they have a 5000 year old tree, and it was under this tree that Indra was purified. This is not a phenomena that has happened once, it is happening all the time. In a purer atmosphere, with wise people around, people’s minds change and become more and more humane in their behaviour. This is a symbolic story, but most people don’t know its significance.
If you see the TV serials, Indra is always doing wrong things and you wonder how he can be doing such things. Indra means collective consciousness and collective consciousness always indulges in sin and to cleanse the sin, a wise person is needed. That is why it is said, “Guru ke bina gati nahi”.