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Chapter 5: The Essence of Devotion

Psychologists are now saying that their belief that a man has only one mind is wrong; there are many minds within man. Man is multi-psychic. A man decides in the evening that he will wake up at five o’clock the next morning; that no matter what, he has to get up at five the following morning. But at five o’clock in the morning the same man says, “Forget it! What a crazy idea! It’s too cold. And what harm is there if for once I don’t get up early?” He turns over and goes back to sleep. Later on, at eight in the morning, the same man will complain, “How did it happen? I decided that for sure I would get up early in the morning.” Then he is at a loss how to understand it.

If you believe that man only has one mind, then it is very puzzling. But now psychologists say that the mind that made the first decision and the mind that decides to go on sleeping in the morning are different, and the mind that regrets later on is yet another mind. These are simply all different parts of the mind. And it is possible that these different parts never meet each other, that they are not even aware of each others’ existence.

Psychologists will be surprised to learn that Mahavira used a word twenty-five centuries ago, and the word is bahuchittawan: it exactly means “multipsychic.” Mahavira said that man is multipsychic, that there are many minds in man, not one, and with these many minds it is impossible to be alone.

Hence, the deeper meaning of a lonely or a solitary place is that you become unipsychic instead of multipsychic. Within you there remains one mind, not many: this is one meaning of a lonely place.

It will be good to understand another meaning of a lonely place, and that is that the crowd which is constantly chattering within you is certainly originating from the mind, but there is also a crowd of acquaintances, friends, relatives and enemies all around you, on the outside. Man does not live much in the outside world, he lives much more in his inner world. It will help you to understand these two types of worlds that man lives in: one is the world of his mind in which he lives around the clock, and the other is the world outside of his mind. To some extent he lives in this outside world, but mostly he lives in the world of his own mind. You have already rehearsed what you say to a friend in your own mind beforehand.

Mark Twain was going home after speaking at a meeting. A friend of his was with him and he said, “Today your talk was very beautiful.”

Twain said, “Which one?”

Now, he had given only one talk, so why ask which one?

The friend said, “Which one? The one you have just delivered right now!”

Twain said, “I have given at least three talks: one I gave inside my mind before the talk, that I will say this and this and this. Then there is the talk that I actually gave. The third I am giving right now, inside me, saying that I should have said this and this and this.. So which talk are you referring to?”

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