While we are able to heal the injuries of the body with the help of a physician, whom should we consult for the rectification of mind’s injuries and identify its behaviours. Also, is it mandatory to be in a family life to attain ultimate calmness or can this be achieved by a single? -- Arun Kumar V

It is indeed correct that the Mind is similar to the Body and prone to injury. However, if I understand your question, it is about whether the Mind’s habitual reactions or tendencies can be seen as an injury caused. Yes, it can be seen that way and in practical life counselling is seen as a way to help ‘cure’ (set right) the tendencies. When these tendencies are excessive or seen as abnormal, doctors who specialize in mental disorders are consulted.

Here again in my limited understanding meditation helps a lot and in fact is recommended as the best cure except in those cases where the ‘injury’ is too deep and meditation itself is not possible.

The answer to the second part is very simple. In normal life, family and the institution of marriage is essential and may be even a requirement to lead a contented life. However, the ‘Calmness’ or ‘Inner Pursuit’ is neither dependent on one’s marital status nor is being married an impediment to reach that stage. The time will come when nothing else matters and till then it is better to follow what is the norm. Each person will be led by his ‘Swabhava’, i.e. his stored up tendencies. One has to learn to accept what is till one raises above all of these. .

Can our 'stock of karma' be debited by experiencing through the dream? For example, If I am slapped in the dream, will it be debited from my real-life-karma-list? If this is so, I should be happy about 'bad dreams' because the karma is already debited? -- Murugan

I don’t know the answer, but normally the Karma is not physical, i.e. being slapped is not the issue, it is what you feel when slapped or when you anticipate being slapped which matters. When Karma relates to the Mind then in a dream one can experience the fear or joy or any other emotion as much as one can and does in real life. The intensity one feels in a dream may be as much as one does in the waking state (for ex:- one wakes up sweating with fear). Therefore, one can argue that dreams do cause reactions to be felt and therefore one can link it to real life. I have heard persons more learned than me say this to be true and logically it seems correct. One can say it is a better Karma that one undergoes an experience in a dream rather than in real life. However, one should not forget that the same may apply to good dreams also (!) and therefore it is better to move above Karma.

“Seen objects are sweet but those unseen are sweeter still”. Can we link this statement with Observation and Imagination - could you throw some light on this? -- A. S. Iyer

I am not very clear how you link the statement with the article as I don’t know the context of the statement. But in a spiritual context, it is perfectly correct that which cannot be seen, heard or understood but only experienced as Joy, is the sweetest experience one can have.

Learning something which is absolutely new experience and I strongly feel it helps me and others too in saving life sometimes (Learning Swimming). Is there any chance to continue the happiness long time? -- M K Vijayan

The short cryptic answer is that the happiness you derive out of something you learn, is by being absorbed in the task and not the subsequent thought which thinks and says that what one learnt was useful for oneself or for others. The later thought is what causes one to lose the happiness which one feels when being completely absorbed in the work at hand and therefore thought free, as the opposite effect can also arise, i.e. one can feel what one learnt is not useful or has not helped or was not done well etc.

In one of the Q&As, you mentioned that mind can twist the answer when karma theory is questioned. Some minds might think that it’s all “non-verifiable belief”. Why should we take this reasonable thinking by mind as the “mind twisting the right answer”? In other words, should we believe in it without asking questions? While we believe in verification beyond doubt in every other case, why can’t we expect the same in Karma theory too? -- V. Shankar

My point was in a different context. First my view is we should not accept anything till we know. The question is what is knowing or verification – as I have said earlier science proves by experiments and logic. In Karma and other matters of psychology or spirituality the verification has to be by experiential understanding and observation without the Mind seizing it and passing judgement or rationalizing an analysis. In that question, I had answered that way as if I had said Karma cannot be changed then the Mind can say then why do any effort? From my understanding and experience what is important is not to know whether we can change our experiences or not, but to try to raise above them and hence I did not want to get into a potential mental debate. Thus my reference to ‘Mind will twist the answer’!

To summarize, my understanding of the Upanishads is that they are as scientifically demanding as Modern Science about knowledge and therefore one should question always. Only the answer has to be found by going Inner and experiencing the answer rather than mentally trying to understand what is beyond the limited capacity of the Mind to comprehend.

Can you please distinguish the difference between True Happiness and Permanent Happiness. Can one attain the same in his life? Is it constant or temporary? -- R Rengan

True Happiness is what one attains when the Mind is silent and calmness descends/arises in one. This is not dependent on any external outcome. The same happiness if it lasts even when the Mind is active in action and ratiocinating, as well as there is absence of any adverse reactions can be termed as being in Permanent Happiness. Yes, one can attain and experience True Happiness in this life. See what happens when you meditate or are lost in observing something awe inspiring. Unfortunately this is temporary as the Mind starts its thoughts with only a few seconds rest. The more one practices the silence of the Mind, the more the time the ‘True Happiness’ is tasted. To be in the constant state of ‘Awareness’ or ‘Happiness’ has to be the goal of everyone.

Feedback and questions may be emailed to joyofbeingrd@gmail.com

(The writer is the Joint Managing Director of TVS & Sons Ltd., and MD, TVS Logistics)