PARAMAHAMSA SRI NITHYANANDA on Making yourself Stress-Proof FOUR hundred years ago Rene Descartes, the French philosopher declared, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ He was right, and at the same time, he was wrong. This declaration has formed the basis of modern thinking. Billions of people in this world have followed Descartes for generations believing that unless each one outthinks the other they cannot succeed in this world. He was right in that the human system does not know how to live without its mind, without thinking. As a result human beings have become slaves to their minds. They live in bondage. He was wrong in that it is possible to live without the mind! Many centuries before Descartes, a vedic sage declared that man does not begin to exist till he stops thinking. Adi Shankara, the boy sage from ancient India, at the age of eight, faced his future master across the waters of the holy Tungabhadra river. The master asked him, ‘Who are you?’ In response Adi Shankara said, ‘I am not the mind, I am not the intellect, I am not the ego and I am not the senses. I am beyond all that. I am pure consciousness.’ We are merely a bio-machine as long as we think we are mind and body. We are just a shade better than the animals we ascended from as long as we allow our senses to guide us. The true potential of human beings is not in the power of the mind. The purpose of human life is to transcend the mind and reach a higher state of consciousness. In that state we are truly in the divinity that we descended from. Till we reach that state of unity with what we truly are, we are in turmoil. This turmoil between our true nature and what we pretend and strive to be is what we call stress or tension. Stress is an inevitable part of life. There can be no life without what we term ‘stress’. However, we can make ourselves stress-proof, by simply choosing not to be affected by what happens outside us. Such an easy technique! This is not impractical. It is your conditioning that makes you get affected by what happens to you through events that are beyond your control. Nothing is inherently good or bad except what we judge them to be. Drop your judgement about yourself, about people around you and about situations. You will see that suddenly you have become stress-free! That is all it takes to be liberated from stress. Meditation can help you with this liberation. It helps you reach the restful mind state from which you can actively participate and yet be untouched by the events around you. You really have nothing to lose by trying, except your stress! Be Blissful!