373 – Sub-Conscious Mind

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit

 Sub-Conscious Mind

A teacher was educating students about effects of alcohol. He had two glasses in front of him. One with pure water and another will alcohol. He dropped a few worms in both of them. After couple of minutes, he showed that worms dropped in the glass of water were alive whereas the worms in the glass of alcohol were all dead. When the teacher asked two students about their inference, one said, ‘Alcohol can kill a human being’.  The second student said, ‘Alcohol kills worms in one’s stomach’. On a background check, the Teacher found out, that the parent of the first student was a doctor and of the second one a liquor manufacturer.

There is a Sanskrit proverb यत् भावम् तत् भवति  (யத் பா⁴வம் தத் ப⁴வதி ) “Yad bhaavam tad bhavati” which means “You are what you believe”. An object is viewed differently from different points of view. The appearance of an object conforms to the colour of the glasses one wears. The change in the colour of the appearance is due to the change in the colour of the glasses.

Research by Psychologists point out that, the brain is the epicenter of Mental State.  Mental State is defined as a collection of thoughts and images which run through one’s mind. Initially, such thoughts and images get registered in one’s mind right from childhood, through, what is observed, heard and from first hand experiences.  Constant revisit of these thoughts, thereafter, permeates one’s sub-conscious mind and slowly and steadily manifests into one’s value systems. Subsequent experiences which conform to the already registered thoughts, goes to reinforce their conviction.  Experiences which do not confirm to them are rejected as exceptions and ignored.

Psychologists conclude that, a person is prone to respond to situations, based on their preconceived notions because they feel secure by holding on to them, even if it is prejudiced. In 95% of the cases, academic knowledge is less likely to influence their response. Only a very few people show the maturity to change their preconceived notions, which involves introspection into the underlying motives and assumptions and a thorough reasoning.

Thiruvalluvar in his couplet 373 says a person’s values are determined more by destiny ( collection of thoughts)  rather than his knowledge. He says “though a person afflicted with the destructive nature of destiny may read many books of higher values to sharpen his wisdom, his knowledge will be limited to the extent as dictated by his destiny and his knowledge is bound to take a back seat”.

In day to day life, we observe people with high academic attainments, practice values, which are diametrically opposite the knowledge presumed to have been acquired through their academic pursuits. In a majority of cases it is like, “more the knowledge, more the extent of negativity”. The common man is left wondering, how this can happen. This couplet, perhaps, explains that phenomenon.

நுண்ணிய நூல்பல கற்பினும் மற்றும்தன் 
உண்மை அறிவே மிகும்

Nun-niya Nool-pala Karpinum Matrum-than
Unmai arive Migum

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

நுண்ணிய நூல் பல கற்பினும் – பேதைப்படுக்கும் ஊழுடையான் ஒருவன் நுண்ணிய பொருள்களை உணர்த்தும் நூல் பலவற்றையும் கற்றானாயினும், மற்றும் தன் உண்மை அறிவே மிகும் – அவனுக்குப் பின்னும் தன் ஊழான் ஆகிய பேதைமை உணர்வே மேற்படும். (பொருளின் உண்மை நூலின்மேல் ஏற்றப்பட்டது. மேற்படுதல் – கல்வியறிவைப் பின் இரங்குவதற்கு ஆக்கிச் செயலுக்குத் தான் முற்படுதல். ‘காதன் மிக்குழிக் கற்றவும் கைகொடா, ஆதல் கண்ணகத்தஞ்சனம் போலுமால்’ (சீவக.கனக. 76) என்பதும் அது. செயற்கையானாய அறிவையும் கீழ்ப்படுத்தும் என்பதாம்.).

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

அதீ⁴த ஸர்வ ஸா²ஸ்த்ரைரப்யஸு²ப⁴ம்  கர்ம யத் க்ருதம் |
ததே³வ ஸமயம்  ப்ராப்ய தத்த்வஜ்ஞாநம்  வினாஸ²யேத் ||