If you have a garden in your back yard you would observe that you need to take good care of it. Whether you tend to the garden or not, if it is fertile something will definitely grow. When you tend the garden with patience and hard work, you can grow beautiful flowers like roses, marigolds and daffodils. On the other hand if you don’t care much about the garden the weeds will just grow on their own.
There is a thing about weeds – if you don’t pluck them they will not just remain in the garden they will bring more of their kind. They will continue to do so until the whole garden is overrun with weeds.
Similar to the garden is the mind which generates our thoughts. The mind is so powerful, so fertile that it has the potential to make us a saint, and also poses the danger of making us a demon.
If we take care of the mind and are careful about the thought seeds that we plant in it, we can reap a good harvest for ourselves. However, if we are not careful about the garden of our mind, it will be overrun with thoughts of anxiety, fear, tension, greed, envy and hatred. These negative thoughts will bring more such thoughts until we have a garden full of weeds. Such will be the state of our mind.
So as human beings, in this life we have a responsibility that God has given to us – what is that? He has made us the gardeners of our own minds so that we can reach sublime heights and attain everlasting joy. To reach that goal we need to tend to the mind. A good gardener not only sows the good seeds, he is also careful to pluck out the weeds.
Similarly, as spiritual aspirants we should sow divine thoughts of love and devotion for God. At the same time, as vigilant gardeners of the mind we should be careful to pluck out all those thoughts that are harmful and injurious to our spiritual growth. These could be thoughts of attachment, envy or hatred in the world which serve no purpose to us.
Finally the spiritual aspirant should water the garden of mind with sadhana every single day. Daily sadhana nourishes the garden of mind and makes it grow strong and beautiful, so that one day we can reap the fruits of divine love.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about sadhana, watch “Secrets of Spiritual Practice” lecture series by Swami Mukundananda on Youtube.