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Do mind and intellect need daily food?

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Do mind and intellect need daily food?
Shilpa Shah, Associate Professor HKBBA College

In general, the common man knows that it is impossible for the body to function and survive in a situation where it does not get the necessary food. Each creature knows how essential food is for life, so all work hard to get food throughout life. Since most living beings in nature do not have the existence of mind or intellect, they do not need to think about how to keep the mind and intellect healthy. But man has a highly developed mind and intellect by the use of which he can make every moment of his life happy, calm, healthy and energetic, if he is aware and active about the health of mind and intellect. We all take proper food at least two to three times a day to keep our body active and healthy and that too continuously throughout life.

But unfortunately we neglect to give the mind and intellect the necessary and indispensable amount of regular food. Perhaps we do not know that the mind and intellect also need food. If the diet is nutritious and sattvic, then just as the body remains healthy and energetic life long and a person can achieve success in every field, the highest state of life can be achieved by giving the mind and intellect the necessary nutritious food.

We all know that success at every stage of life depends on the right decision taken by us at the right time and decision making is the function of intellect. So that the intellect should be given regular and proper food on time only then the decision can be taken well and the life can be happy, calm, healthy and completely safe. Do you know what is the food for intellect? Satsang is the food of intellect. A person functions and takes decisions according to the type of company he gets continuously, also the decisions taken determine the direction of his life and the amount of happiness so it is essential to make right decisions. For which the intellect needs to be fit and healthy. To keep the intellect fresh and sattvic, it should receive some nutritious diet in form of Satsang regularly every day. Just as we feed the body twice a day to keep it healthy, the intellect should also be feed sattvic and nutritious food that is Satsang at least once a day for half an hour. Satsang can be done in many ways such as study of scriptures, gets lessons from Guru, Companionship of good pious people etc. are examples of Satsang through which the intellect is always remains fresh and enlightened and can take excellent judgment. Understands exactly what is right and wrong, what is good and what is bad.

Two types of goals are present in every decision making
1) Self-oriented goals and
2) supreme goals.

When a decision is taken in favor of a self-oriented goal, sometimes there is a possibility of suffering, but when the intellect makes decision in favor of a supreme goal, the welfare of the self as well as the entire society becomes certain. A Satsang (diet of intellect) is very helpful in making decisions in favor of the ultimate goal. Also another powerful factor is always responsible behind the decision taken by the intellect and that is the mind. What a human being will decide through his intellect is based on his mind’s instincts, desires, lust and also the memory and samskaras of many births in the mind. The state of mind of every human being which is subject to his karmas, lusts, instincts, according to that only the mind commands or helps the intellect to take decisions. If the state of mind is high, i.e. the mind is pure, sattvic, virtuous, and deeds are full of virtues, then the intellect guided by the mind will always take an excellent and welfare decision even in any dire situation. Thus the happiness and peace of life depends on the decision taken by the human being. Decision making is based on intellect and the functioning of intellect is based on mind so mind should also get constant regular proper nutritious and sattvic diet like body and intellect.

The best food for the mind is good deeds. The mind is a very fickle being which cannot remain steady for a second and it is very difficult to sustain the efficiency of a constantly wandering mind. In order to sustain the efficiency or power of the mind, it has to be stabilized. Just as we give a task to a child to keep him sitting or to prevent him from fussing or we are trying to reduce his fun or excitement by giving him toys and keeping him in one place. Similarly, if the mind is constantly occupied with some good work, its stability and efficiency can be increased and many destructions created by free mind can be avoided. There is a saying in our country “નવરું મન નખોદ વાળે” that is free mind creates disaster, so the mind should not be allowed to wander anywhere and should be kept busy by giving good food in the form of good deeds. Meditation is also a great tool to keep the mind steady and stable but we are not yet perfect enough to achieve option free state of mind (samadhi) by sitting alone so the alchemy of keeping the mind engaged in some good work is more effective and easier.

Just like the body, the mind should be practiced to have two meals (lunch and dinner in form of two good deeds) every day, that is, the mind should be feed twice a day. Everyone should practice at least two good deeds daily. Good deeds can be many like feeding chickpeas to birds, feeding bread to cows and dogs, feeding ant, bringing a smile to a sad face, helping the needy, serving a sick person, helping relatives, neighbors, friends, colleagues whenever get an opportunity, doing charity, spending some time with elders, try to know their problems, comforting them, playing with children, giving good education to children etc. Err. But each of these tasks should not be done occasionally, it should be a habit, i.e., a rule should be made and task should be done daily, because it is not enough to feed the body once in six months, as we all know, the need for food for the mind and intellect should be fulfilled regularly. So that the mind and intellect are constantly fit and healthy and each second can help us. Do not forget that the health of mind and intellect is also the basic reason behind physical health. In short, just like the daily food given to the body, the mind and intellect should also be provided with regular daily diet in form of SATSANG and good karma (noble deeds). So that it can help us to remain completely healthy and happy till the end.

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