Stories of King Janaka: Saving Attention

Narada bows to Vishnu, Image Source
According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the goal and practice of Yoga both have to do with Chitta Vritti Nirodh, or stopping the waves of the mind.

This is accomplished through an eight-fold set of practices known as Ashtanga Yoga.

In Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga, withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara) facilitates concentration (dharana) which leads to meditation (dhyana) which in turn leads to oneness (samadhi).

Narada Muni is a joyful, mischievous storyteller who wanders the worlds sharing news and wisdom.

Here is a story of King Janaka's visit from Narada Muni:

“You know King Janaka was called ‘Vidheha’ (means also ‘dead’ or ‘liberated from the body’)

Great sage Narada asked him one day, 
‘ Revered Sir, how are you called as Vidheha, you live in this world, how can you be a Vidheha?’ 
Raja Janaka said,’this is very simple. I will tell you about it in the evening. 
Now, please do this little job for me. There is milk in this bowl. You take this bowl & come along with me. Please see that not a single drop of milk is spilled on the Earth. 
Then only I will tell you why I am called Vidheha’. 

Narada took the bowl & followed Janaka everywhere. He had to be very careful because the bowl was such that by the slightest movement the milk might have spilled. He got very tired. 
When they returned in the evening, Narada asked ‘Please tell me now, 
I am quite fed up with carrying this bowl & following you everywhere at the same time.`

Raja Janaka said, `First of all tell me what you have seen?’
Narada, `Nothing except this bowl of milk so that it won’t spill.`
Raja Janaka, “Didn’t you see, there was a big procession in my honour, then there was a court wherein, there was programme of dancing? Didn’t you see anything?
Narada said, “No sir, I have not seen anything”.

Raja Janaka, `My child, likewise with Me, I also see nothing. 
All the time, I just watch my attention. Where is it going? 
Making sure that it won’t spill away like the milk.`

“This sort of attention one has to develop: chitta nirod’.  
Nirod means the saving of your attention, so your attention should not be on saving money & worldly things and all that, but attention itself must be saved. 
As you watch your money, as you watch your road when you drive, as you watch your child, when it is growing, as you watch the beauty of your wife, or the care of your husband, 
all put together you watch your Self – your attention. 
(Shri Mataji)




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