Saturday, January 13, 2018

Water In The Vessel

We all desire to have comfortable days, day after day. No one likes to have difficult days, one after the other. Not only a bad day one after the other, but not even a bad day amidst many good days. The want is to always have happy days and thereby enjoy life. Comfortable days with good health, lot of money and all other things that we want. We do not want even the streaks of anything that we perceive as bad amidst plentiful good tidings.

Desire is one thing but the reality is something else. If everything turns out to be the way we want, there would be no problems in life. It never happens that way because we are unable to control many things. If we contemplate further, we are unable to control even things that are apparently under our control.

Sufferings may be of different types. Financial sufferings can be one of them. There are times when all the hard work done does not result in financial benefits. There are instances when hard earned money is lost due to unforeseen happenings. Trusted friends and relatives borrow and fail to return when needed by us. Friendship is lost with money lent. Previously made out plans are now upside down. Many times new beginnings have to be made at later stages in life. These turn out to be painful and frustrating times indeed.

Loss of social status can be another cause of suffering. Loss may occur due to one's own failings or due to mechanisation of trusted ones. Many times retrieval of the lost status may not be possible. Some are able to get on with life in changed circumstances; others suffer in the very thought of having lost in the race.

Physical health is another important issue in life. One may ignore financial loss or social status being taken away. But setbacks in health is something which is very difficult to ignore. The problem continues to haunt during days and nights. It comes with us wherever we go. If the loss of health is coupled with pain, then it is even more miserable. Pain killers are temporary relievers of pain; they have their side effects too. Fighting pain and still carrying on daily activities is indeed very testing and demanding.

We see many people around us who suffer setbacks in health. There are some who cannot come out of the setback and succumb to the difficulties. We also see many others who are brave and fight their way out of trouble. These are the people who show remarkable tenacity amidst very adverse conditions. They do not give up even when others around give up hope. They are the examples of exemplary bravery and astonishing resilience. Watching them fight it out and come out successful inspires others.

An young man entered his office in the morning as usual. "Are you not feeling well?", The first colleague he met near the door asked him. "No. I am fine", he said and started his work. Another colleague came and asked him why he did not take the day off as he looked sick. The young man ignored and went on with his work. Another three or four colleagues had the same question and now he started getting doubt about his own health. He went to the rest room and checked his face in the mirror. He felt he looked tired and not normal. By afternoon he developed high temperature and felt very sick. The prank played by his colleagues had indeed taken its toll.

Psychologists say that there is a direct relation between physical health and mental health. State of mind plays an important role during sickness and recovery to good health. Pain and physical suffering have their impact on mental status of a person. Similarly, a disturbed mind acts on physical health.

Though physical health and mental health are inter dependent and affect each other, the effect of mental status on physical wellbeing appears to be even more significant. One important attribute that can be seen in those who fight physical adversity is their healthy mindset. They remain to be cheerful even amidst physical pain and suffering. They do not resign to their fate and believe in combating the troubled days and emerge victorious. This could even be seen the way they interact with those around them. It is this mental strength that sees them through the physical pain and suffering. 

On the contrary, we have many examples of mental weakness amplifying the physical troubles. People attending to the sick know this better than others. Brooding over the difficult things mentally directly impacts physical wellbeing. Mental troubles increase physical pain and suffering. A healthy mind is indeed a strong tool to restore physical health.

All this discussion is well summed up in this verse from Aranya Parva of Mahabharata:

मानसेन हि दुःखेन शरीरमुपतप्यते |
अयःपिण्डेन तप्तेन कुम्भसम्स्थमिवोदकम् ||

Maanasena hi dukhena shareeramupatapyate |
Ayahpindena Taptena Kumbhasamstahamivodakam ||

Physical body suffers due to mental disturbances. Just as the water kept in a vessel gets hot when the vessel is heated. 

The relation between the mind and body is like the vessel and the water in it. Even if the water is not heated directly, the heat of the vessel results in the water becoming hot. Therefore, all efforts should be made to keep the mind cool even in times of adversity. This ensures that the body remains healthy at all times. This is all the more important when the body suffers pain. A calm mind reduces the effects of such pain whereas a disturbed mind would only increase the pain and suffering. 


  1. Good facts, very true,well written

  2. Importance of mental and physical health well narrated sir. The message is loud and clear....'Sound mind in a sound body'.

  3. very thoughtful sir, one can easily relate his/ her life reading this :-)

  4. Very well narrated Keshav. Kudoos.

    Kanakapura Narayan Chidananda

  5. The last para sums up so clearly the importance of having patience and calmness in dealing with our physical health. I totally agree. Thanks for this blog. Very helpful tool for our well being. UR........

  6. Dear Sir, thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts. As the saying goes, 'it's all in the mind'

  7. Thanks for the blog sir, really important for a banker to keep these things in mind,

  8. Dear Sir,

    I was just going through a bad patch, when I read your article . I already feel light and cheerful, thanks for making my day,



  9. Very true in any situation as it is rightly said your attitude depends on how you react to a particular situation and how you react in particular situation will depend on what is going on in your mind.
    Very nice blog sir, well written.

  10. have a healthy heart to have a healthy body. very well put.