As I was reading and thinking of the discourses of the Buddha in the book I am reading now, In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon, many passages made a very strong impression and got me thinking real deep and hard at the root. It helped me straighten my mind and helped me acquire some insights into my own thoughts and being as well as cut through the hustle and bustle of the happenings of the daily life.
Buddhism has this effect on me and I have never see Buddhism as a religion but a very powerful philosophical system rooted on logic, common sense and the betterment of the human condition.
Here is to share some words from the Samyutta Nikaya, titled “The Hindrances to Mental Development”:
According to this sutta, there are 5 hindrances to mental development, namely:
1. Sensual lust
2. Ill will
3. Dullness and drowsiness
4. Restlessless and remorse
If we look deep into each one of the above, meditating on them (the Buddha has advised a very powerful yet simple method of meditation based on breathing), we can really see that these 5 sometimes really paralyzes our thoughts, poisons our mind and blocking us from achieving a better mental state.
For example, when we have ill will towards a certain people, our whole mind is coloured as such and we could not be objective and think straight. It also hurts our emotional self and much more. One of the ways to counter this is to inculcate a spirit of loving-kindness towards all being. Also, if we are dull and lazy and always drowsy and intoxicated, there is no way we can think straight and have a productive life. If we are indulgent to sensual lust, we are bound to be tempted into many things that has a negative effect on not only our mind but spirit, body, family etc.
The discourse on this is comprehensive and comes along with similes using a pot of water as a reflection of our mind and after reading this sutta, I started to think deep and many a knot has been untangled.