A traveller with three mules was half way when night fell. So he decided to rest at an ashram. The man wanted to secure his mules with ropes. So, he hammered the pegs and tied two mules, but the rope of the third mule had fallen somewhere so he kept standing, waiting to be tied.

The traveller ran to the ashram’s Mahatmaji with his problem. Mahatmaji said, “The mule has a mulish mind. Just enact the whole sequence of tying him, along-with the accompanying sounds. The mule will sit.”  The man did exactly that, and to his surprise the mule sat down and remained safely seated till morning.

We are like this third mule, believing that we are tied, tied securely to objects, situations and people by an invisible rope, the mind, which binds you to your attachments. Bondage becomes subtle when you are bound to thoughts like love and hate.

You create a knot by knotting two ends of a thread. The thread is the only reality, the knot is an illusion. So, when the knot is untied, don’t ask “where did the knot go?” It never existed independently, it never was. The knot is just thread, the mind is just awareness.

A devotee requested Maharishi Ramana to help destroy her mind. Ramana jokingly said, “How does the mind look? Does it have a moustache? Bring it here in front of me I will destroy it.” Truly search, you’ll discover that there is no such entity as the mind. We create it with attachments,tie it up in knots and then cry.

Trace its attention and you will find its source. Hold softly, nimbly tug at the strings , and as it loosens,deftly lay it undone.  And lo! the knot disappears and the thread appears!

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi. Email: prarthnasaran@gmail.com