A wise person is said to have four techniques, both inwardly and outwardly — sama, dana, bheda and danda. To deal with people in the world, to be wise in the world, the first thing you use is sama which means engaging with the world with peace and understanding. When that doesn’t work out, then you go to the second method called dana which means allowing it to happen, forgiving, creating a space. When people don’t recognise your generosity in allowing them space, then the third principle called bheda comes. This means to create a discrimination, make a difference, intentionally create a distance. If somebody is at loggerheads with you, first you talk to them. When that doesn’t work out, then, with the same love, you just ignore them. Allow them to realise it for themselves. Your generosity, your letting go, should make people realise their mistake. If they don’t notice even then, then you start using bheda – create a difference.
The same four methods apply to your inner life, your being. However, in inner life, it is not one after another. Sama – to maintain equanimity through both pleasant and unpleasant sensations. Dana means giving up that which disturbs you, that which cannot put you in the royal seat of equanimity. It means to surrender the mind which is the cause of your sorrows, problems and misery. Negative actions bring suffering and positive actions create some pleasure. But after some time, any action, and its fruit, vanishes.
Dana (giving), includes forgiving also. When your mind wanders around, allow it to go. Don’t try to hold it back. Follow it and bring it back. Not saying, “I am sick and tired of my mind. My mind makes me feel jealous and it is very bad!” Don’t start hating your mind. Forgive your mind.
Now comes bheda- discriminate between the imperishable from the perishable. This very body is so hollow and empty. When you are watching the body, pleasant and unpleasant sensations arise. As you watch, they all disappear. Energy oozes out of every pore of your body. If you watch, it flows in an even manner. It creates balance. And you realise you are not this body or these sensations. You have been always reacting to the sensations. An emotion used to give rise to some sensation; the sensation, in turn, used to create an impression, another emotion. So these circles of craving and aversion with sensation and emotion, made your life, both subtle body and gross body, and that took you from life to life.
Another thing that you can do is to disassociate yourself from the sensation. A grief is coming. You say, “This is something that is changing. I shall not associate with it. I’ll watch the sensation instead.” It becomes very intense and disappears. It is the same with a pleasant sensation.
Then comes danda; danda means support. Determination and commitment are the danda. Your spiritual discipline is danda. Mind is like a vine (creeper), it needs support. Listening to spiritual discourses, satsang, practice, Guru’s presence are all the support, the danda.
People die by suicide because they feel like there is no escape from misery. In today’s fast-paced world, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated. Whether you are young or old, navigating the uncertainties of the future, and grappling with the pressures of daily life, it is crucial to remember that you are not alone.
The foundation of our society lies in compassion, and there are people who genuinely care and are there to support you through thick and thin. While we openly talk about physical health issues like diabetes, mental health concerns often remain hidden due to stigma. Breaking this barrier is crucial. We must create a safe and understanding environment where people feel comfortable discussing their mental health struggles without fear of judgment. Just as we openly talk about a physical ailment, it is equally important to speak openly about depression or any mental health issue.
When energy levels or prana (life force) goes down you get low and when it goes further down it can lead to suicidal tendencies. When the energy is high, this thought is less likely to arise. You will not be violent to yourself or others when your energy is high. Through proper breathing exercises, some meditation and good company, energy can go up. Anyone with suicidal tendencies should be guided into meditation and some breathing exercises to raise their energy level. Every day, for ten minutes, meditate and become hollow and empty.
We need to create a society free from stress and violence, and the way for it is through meditation. Ensure you get good sleep. Utilise free time to exercise, jog or run for better circulation. Engage in reading books that uplift your spirits like Bhagvad Gita and Upanishads. Stay busy with knowledge, music, and seva (service) to prevent recurring negative thoughts.
Let us assure the younger generation, and everyone else that they are not alone in this journey of life. Let’s break the silence around mental health and embrace the power of social connection. Together, we can make a difference in each other’s lives, spreading hope, and lighting up the world with the warmth of human kindness.