Next

ASSOCIATES OF MAHATMA GANDHI > VINOBA BHAVE > TALKS ON THE GITA > Control of the Mind
 

06. Control Of The Mind

25. Aspiration For Redemption Of The Self

  1. In the Fifth Chapter, we could conceive and visualize the highest possible flight of the human spirit. Karma, vikarma and akarma together complete sadhana. Karma is gross in nature. There should be full cooperation from the mind in the work done in the pursuit of swadharma. Vikarma is the work done to educate the mind for this purpose. It is a special kind of karma, a sort of subtle karma. Karma and vikarma, both are necessary. While doing them, ground is prepared for akarma. We have seen in the last Chapter that karma and sannyasa become one in the state of akarma. It has been restated at the beginning of this Chapter that karmayoga and sannyasa, although their standpoints appear different, are one and the same. Difference lies only in the way of looking at things. The Chapters that follow deal with the means to reach the state described in the Fifth Chapter.

  2. Many people have a misconception that spirituality and spiritual texts like the Gita are meant only for ascetics. I once heard a gentleman commenting that he was not an ascetic’, which implies that ascetics belong to a particular species of animals like horses, lions, bears, cows etc. and spirituality is meant only for them; others engaged in mundane affairs belong to a different category with thoughts and ways of their own!  This distinction has led to a hiatus between ascetics and the worldly men. Lokmanya Tilak has drawn our attention to this in his Gita-Rahasya. I whole heartedly endorse Tilaks view that the Gita is for ordinary people engaged in worldly life. In fact, the Gita is for the whole world. All the practices and means adopted in the course of the spiritual pursuit are meant to be followed by everyone. Spirituality, in fact, teaches how daily life can be purified, leading to contentment and peace of mind. The Gita is meant to teach us how worldly life can be purified. At whatever level you may be engaged in the world of practical affairs, the Gita comes to you. But it does not want you to remain there. Holding your hand, it will take you to the ultimate destination (Self-realisation). There is a famous saying that If the mountain does not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain’. Mohammed is anxious to see that even an inert mountain receives his message. The mountain is inert; so Mohammed would not keep waiting for it to come to him. This is also true with the Gita. It will come to the lowliest of the low, to the poor and the weak and the ignorant, not to keep them in that state, but to grasp them by their hands and lift them up. Its only desire is that man should purify his daily life and reach the ultimate state, the final destination. In fact, this is the very aim and object of the Gita.

  3. Therefore, never consider yourself a mundane ordinary  being caught up in samsara, never raise a fence around you confining yourself to where you are. Do not say with despair, What can I do? This body measuring three and a half cubits is all that I am.’ Do not remain in the prison of your own making and lead a beast-like existence. Gear up your spirit to move ahead, to rise higher and higher. उध्दरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।(Let a man raise himself by his own Self, let him not debase himself.) Have confidence that you would certainly raise yourself to great heights. Do not weaken the power of your mind by thinking that you are a worthless worldly creature. Do not clip the wings of vision; let your vision be broad. Look at the skylark. Early in the morning, as the sun rises, the skylark sees the sun and boldly says, I will soar high in the sky and reach the sun.’ That should be the spirit. Can the skylark ever reach the sun with its weak wings?  But its imagination can certainly take it there. Our behaviour, however, is just the opposite. We cripple our imagination and erect a fence around us. We therefore do not rise even to the extent we can; not only that, we become the cause of our own downfall. By underestimating our strength, we lose whatever strength we have. When imagination is crippled, we are sure to fall; what else can happen? Therefore, we should always aspire to rise higher and higher. It is aspiration that ensures man’s progress in life. Do not, therefore, throttle it. Do not whine, One should never leave the beaten track of worldly life and wander here and there.’ Do not insult your Self. A seeker can persevere in his course only if he has vision and confidence. That is the key to liberation. Do not think that dharma is only for the saints, and that one may go to them only to get a certificate from them that under the given circumstances, what you are doing is right for you.’ Do not entertain such ideas and bind yourself. One cannot take a single step forward without high aspirations.

If you have this vision, this aspiration, this exalted spirit, then only the question of appropriate means arises; otherwise everything will reach a dead end.

We saw that vikarma coupled with karma leads to the divine state of akarma. We dealt with the divine state of akarma and its types in the Fifth Chapter. From this Chapter onwards, various types of vikarma, the varieties of sadhana  have been outlined. Before embarking on this exercise, the Gita exhorts us to have divine aspirations, to keep the mind free and wings strong, so that the jiva (the lower self) can become one with God, i.e., unite with the Supreme Self. Devotion,  meditation, development of virtues, enquiry and analysis, discrimination between the Self and the not-Self—all these are different types of vikarma or spiritual discipline. This Chapter discusses the yoga of meditation.


26. One-Pointedness Of Mind

  1. The yoga of meditation consists chiefly of three important components: (i) One-pointedness of mind (ii) Moderation and regulation in life to help attain one-pointedness (iii) Equanimity and evenness in outlook. A true spiritual quest is not possible without these three things.

One-pointedness of mind requires that the mind be restrained and its fickleness controlled. Moderation and regulation in life implies doing everything in a measured way and within proper limits. Equanimity and evenness in outlook means having a positive and constructive outlook. These three together make up the yoga of meditation. There are two means to achieve these three—abhyasa (constant practice) and vairagya (non-attachment). Let us discuss these five in brief.

  1. Let us first take one-pointedness of mind. It is indispensable for any work. Even in worldly affairs, one needs concentration. It is not that the qualities needed for worldly success are different from those needed for spiritual progress. Spirituality means nothing but purification of worldly life. Business, scientific research, politics, diplomacy—in fact, take any activity, concentration of mind is the key to success. It is said of Napoleon that after chalking out the strategy and deploying the troops on the battlefield, he would lose himself in solving mathematical problems. Amidst heavy shelling and dying soldiers, he would sit absorbed in those problems. I am not suggesting that Napoleons concentration was of the highest degree; one can give examples of even higher concentration. I just want to draw your attention to the level of his concentration. The same thing is said about Caliph Omar. Even when the battle was in progress, he would steady his mind, kneel down and start praying on the battlefield at the appointed hour. He would then be totally unaware of what was happening around. It was on account of such devotion and one-pointedness of mind of the early Mahomedans that Islam spread far and wide.

  2. The other day, I heard a story about a Muslim ascetic. An arrow had pierced and stuck into his body. The pain was unbearable. But any attempt to pull out the arrow resulted only in greater pain. Anesthetic agents like chloroform were not available in those days. Everybody was perplexed. Some persons who knew the ascetic well said, Forget about the arrow for the time being. We shall pull it out when he starts his prayers. In the evening, at the appointed hour, the ascetic started his prayers. In a moment, his mind was so concentrated that he did not know when the arrow was pulled out. What a wonderful degree of the concentration of mind!

  3. Thus, success is hard to come by, in temporal as well as in spiritual pursuits, without one-pointedness of mind. If you could make your mind one-pointed, you will never be short of strength. Even if you are an old man of sixty, you will have the enthusiasm and strength of a young man. The mind should, in fact, go on getting stronger as one gets older. Look at a fruit. In the beginning it is raw, then it ripens, then decays; but the seed within gets harder and harder. The shell deteriorates and falls off; but that is not the essential part of the fruit. Its essential part is the seed. Similarly, memory should grow stronger and intellect should become sharper and more radiant as one ages. But this does not happen. People complain of failing memory and attribute the cause to their old age. But knowledge, wisdom, memory are like one’s seed, ones essential part. Even as the body grows older and becomes infirm, the soul should become stronger. One-pointedness of mind is necessary for this purpose.


27. How To Attain One-Pointedness Of Mind?

  1. But how to attain it?  What should be done for it?  The Lord says, one should fix the mind in the Self and think of nothing else. न किञ्चिदपि चिन्तयेत् । But how to do this? To still the mind is extremely important. Concentration will always elude us if we do not forcefully stop the revolving wheels of thought. The outer wheel’ may perhaps be stopped somehow—we may put a stop to worldly activities—but the inner wheel’ continues to revolve. As we go on employing different means for the concentration of mind, the inner wheel’ revolves all the faster. You may sit in this or that posture and fix your gaze; by itself it will not achieve concentration of the mind. The important thing is that one must be able to stop the inner wheel’.

  2. The mind is crowded with the thoughts of limitless samsara—affairs and happenings in the outside world. Concentration of the mind is impossible until all those thoughts are put out. We dissipate the Self’s boundless potential power of knowing in brooding over worldly trifles. This must not happen. A man who has become rich, not by robbing others but through his own hard work, will never squander his money. We too should not waste the Self’s power in gross and petty matters. This power can lead us to enlightenment. It is our priceless treasure. But look, how we waste this power!  If we find at the dining table that there is not enough salt in the vegetable, we grumble and complain about it. Is it that important?  We waste our power to know on such petty matters. Children are taught within the four walls of the class-room. We are afraid that they would get distracted by the crows and the sparrows if they are taught in the open. Poor little children! Their minds can get concentrated if they do not see a crow or a sparrow. But what about us?  We are grown-ups! We have lost our innocence and have become worldly-wise, and therefore cannot concentrate our minds even if we are kept within a seven-walled fortress. We go on discussing merrily, each and every trivial matter in the world. We go on expending our power of thought, which can lead us to the Lord, in discussing the taste of vegetables and pat ourselves on the back for this feat!

  3. Day and night, this frightening samsara is always surging around us, within and without. Even our prayers are for some material gain. There is no longing to become one with the Lord, forgetting samsara at least for a moment. Our prayer is nothing but a show. When such is the mental state, sitting cross-legged and closing the eyes is bound to be in vain. As the mind is disposed to get distracted all the time by the things without, a mans strength is completely sapped. He loses any kind of discipline and controlling power. We are witnessing this state of affairs at every step in our country. Truly, India is a land of spirituality. It is believed that her people live at the high altitude of spirituality. Still, how  pitiable is our condition!  It is painful to see us engaged in hair-splitting over trivial matters. Our minds are always immersed in such matters.

कथा पुराण एकतां । झोपें नाडिलें तत्त्वतां

खाटेवरी पडतां । व्यापी चिंता तळमळ

ऐसी गहन कर्मगति । काय तयासी रडतीं

(While listening to the narration of epics and stories from mythology, sleep overtakes us; but when in bed, anxieties keep us awake. Such is the inscrutable way of karma—actions accumulated in the present and the earlier lives. What is the use of shedding tears over it?’)

The mind is either focused on nothing or is focused on too many things at the same time, but it is never fixed on one single object. Man is such a slave to the senses. Once a gentleman asked me, Why is it said that the eyes should only be half-open while meditating?  I replied, I give you a simple answer. If the eyes are fully closed, one is likely to go to sleep and if they are kept wide open, attention would be diverted and there would be no concentration. Proneness to sleep when the eyes are closed is tamas and the diversion of attention when the eyes are open is rajas. Therefore, an intermediate state has been prescribed.

In short, there cannot be concentration of mind without change in its disposition. The disposition of mind should be pure. This cannot be attained merely by sitting in particular postures. All our worldly activities should be purified for this purpose. This requires a change in the goal of those activities. We should not engage in them for our own personal gains or for satisfying baser instincts and desires, or for any material purpose.

  1. The whole day, we are engaged in doing some or the other worldly activity. What is the purpose of all this toil?  याजसाठीं केला अट्टाहास । शेवटचा दिस व्हावा ।।’  (‘All my persistent efforts were to make the last moment happy.’) All the toil in this life is to be done to have the last moment happy. Throughout life bitter poison is to be swallowed—suffering and hardships are to be borne—to have a calm, serene and holy end. The last moment of the day comes in the evening. Had the activities throughout the day been carried out with a pure heart, then the night prayer would be sweet, bringing a sense of contentment and fulfillment. If the last moment of the day is sweet, it means that the day’s work has been fruitful. Then the mind can easily get concentrated.

Purity of life is essential for concentration. Mind should never be preoccupied with worldly matters. A man’s life is not long, but even in a short span of life he can experience the eternal, divine bliss. Two men may appear to be cast in the same mould, but one of them becomes God-like while the other sinks to the level of a beast. Why does it happen?  When all are the children of God—अवघी एकाचीच वीण—why is there such a difference? why does one nara'1 become Narayan whereas the other becomes vanara?

  1. There have been men in the past who have shown what great heights man can scale. Such men are there even now in our midst. This is a matter of experience. The saints have shown what a man can achieve even while remaining caged within the body. If some men can do miraculous deeds while remaining within the body, why should it not be possible for me?  Why should I set bounds to my imagination?  I too possess the same human body, dwelling in which others have done heroic deeds. Why should then I be in such a sad plight?  There must be something wrong with me. My mind is all the time focused on things outside. It is too preoccupied in finding faults in others. But why should I judge others?  कासया गुणदेश पाहों आणिकांचें । मज काय त्यांचें उणें असे ।।’   (‘Why should I be concerned with the virtues and vices of others when I myself have them in abundance?)  If I remain busy in observing and criticising the faults in others, how could I have concentration of mind?  Then I am bound to be caught between rajas and tamas—the mind will either wander aimlessly or it will go blank.

It is true that the Lord has given suggestions about the sitting posture, the fixing of gaze etc. for attaining one-pointedness of mind. But they could be useful only when one has realised the need of having one-pointedness of mind. Then one will seek and find for oneself the means to attain it.


28. Moderation And Regulation In Life

  1. One more thing that aids concentration is to set bounds to one’s life. All our actions should be measured and weighed. This is an essential characteristic of mathematics and it should be there in all our actions. As we take medicine in measured doses, so should be the case with our food and sleep and, in fact, with everything. All the sense-organs should be under strict vigil. We should be ever alert lest we should eat too much or sleep too much, or have a roving eye. All our activities should thus be continuously examined with meticulous care.

  2. I once heard of a gentleman who, within a minute of entering a room, would note what things are kept in it and where. I said to myself, O Lord! May I never have such a faculty!  Am I somebodys personal secretary to keep in my mind an inventory of his possessions, or am I a thief?  How does it concern me where he keeps his soap or his watch?  Why do I need such information?  We should prevent waywardness of our eyes; and of our ears too. Some people seem to feel that it would have been wonderful to have ears like a dog’s that could be turned in any direction at will. God has not provided man with this facility,’ they rue. But no, excessive curiosity must not be there. The mind of a man is a very powerful thing. It is wayward too; it gets distracted by the slightest disturbance.

  3. Therefore, there should be regulation and moderation in life. Let us not look at bad things. Let us not read bad books. Let us not listen to anybody’s slander or even praise. Let us turn away not only from bad things, but also from the excess of even good things. Indulgence in any form should be avoided. Things like liquor, sweetmeats or fried eatables should no doubt be positively shunned, but even fruits should not be taken in excess. A fruitarian diet is certainly pure and healthy. But the fruits too should not be taken in excessive quantities. The master within should never allow the tongue to have its own way. The sense-organs should feel awe for the master within; they must ever be on guard and realise that if they misbehave, they will be punished. Moderation and regulation in life means having a disciplined and regulated life.


29. Equanimity And Evenness In Outlook

  1. The third thing is to have equanimity and evenness in outlook. It means having an outlook infused with goodwill, a disposition to look at the positive side of men and matters. It implies faith in the goodness and order in the universe. There cannot be concentration of mind without it. The lion is the mighty king of the forest and yet he does not take four steps forward without looking behind. How can the lion, that lives by violence, attain concentration of mind?  Tigers, crows and cats are always looking here and there with apprehension. Such is the state of animals that are violent. One should look at the world with a sense of equanimity. One should feel that everything in the world is good, friendly and auspicious. Just as we trust ourselves, so should we trust the whole world.

  2. What, after all, have we to fear?  Everything is good and sacred. विशवं तद् भद्रं यदवन्ति देवाः—The universe is full of goodness, as God is looking after it, protecting it. The poet Browning has said in the similar vein: God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world!

Nothing is really wrong with the world. If there is wrong with something, it is with my vision. As is my vision, so is the world. If I put on red-coloured glasses, the world is bound to appear red and aflame.

  1. When Saint Ramdas was writing the Ramayana, he used to read it out to his disciples. It is said that Hanuman2 used to come incognito to hear the same. Once Ramdas read out, Hanuman went to Ashokvan3. There he saw white flowers.  Hearing this, Hanuman came forward and said, I did not see white flowers. What I saw were red flowers. Please correct what you have written. Ramdas insisted, No, what I have written is correct. The flowers you saw were white. Hanuman said, I myself was there. How could I be wrong?  Finally the dispute was taken to Lord Rama. He said, The flowers were indeed white, but Hanuman’s eyes were red with anger; hence they appeared red to him.  The point of this charming story is that what the world appears us to be, depends on the way we look at it.

  2. So long as we are not convinced that the world around is good, our mind will not become one-pointed. As long as we think that the world around is bad, we are bound to look around with suspicion. Poets eulogise the freedom of birds. Let them become birds for a while; they would then know the worth of that freedom. A bird is never calm. Its neck is always moving back and forth. It is always afraid of others. If you put a sparrow on the seat for meditation, will its mind attain one-pointedness?  If I try to go near a sparrow, it will immediately fly away, fearing that I may hurt it. How can those who entertain the frightful idea that the whole world is out to destroy them can ever have peace of mind?  So long as a man thinks that he alone has to defend himself as everybody else is an enemy, he cannot attain one-pointedness of mind. An outlook that treats everybody with equality and fairness is the best means for attaining one-pointedness of mind. When you find goodness and benevolence all around, the mind will automatically attain peace.

  3. Take a grief-stricken man to a running stream of river. The sight of clear, pure and peacefully flowing water will assuage his sorrow. He will forget his troubles. What gives the stream such healing power?  It is because of the manifestation of the benign power of God in that stream. There is a beautiful description of the streams in the Veda: अतिष्ठन्तीनाम् अनिवेशनानाम्—The stream flows without break, it has no resting place, no home of its own. It is like a sannyasi in this respect. Watching the flow of such a sacred stream concentrates the mind in a moment. Should that stream not motivate me to create a spring of love and wisdom within me?

  4. If the flowing water, which is part of the material world, can bring such peace to my mind, imagine how much peace the mind would have if the stream of divine consciousness, devotion and wisdom begins to flow through the valley of the mind. Once a friend of mine was travelling in the Himalayas in Kashmir. He used to write to me about the holy mountains and the beautiful streams there. I wrote to him, Those holy mountains and the streams and the winds blowing there give you immense joy. I can see and feel all that within my heart. I daily view such marvellous scenes in the inner recesses of my heart. Even if you invite me, I would not come there, leaving the great and divine Himalaya within me. The Lord has said, ‘Among the fixed and immovable things, I am the Himalaya.’4 The Himalaya is the symbol of steadfastness and should, in fact, be worshipped to imbibe that quality. What is then the point in forsaking the duty and rushing towards it, enamoured by the description of its beauty?

  5. So, calm the mind a bit. Look at the world with a positive and friendly eye. Then an infinite number of springs will begin to flow within your heart. Your inner firmament will be illuminated with the stars of noble ideas. If auspicious objects made of stone or clay can bring peace to the mind, would not the vision of the inner world have this effect?  I had once been to Travancore (Kerala). One evening I was sitting on the beach, silently listening to the majestic roaring of the boundless sea. I was just still, full of peace, lost in myself. My friend brought fruits for me. Absorbed in another world, I felt distaste even for such a pure sattvik food. The sea was as if chanting  (Om, Om) remiding me of the Gitas exhortation, Remember Me and fight on.5 That was what the sea was doing; it was ceaselessly doing karma. Its waves were surging back and forth without a moment’s rest. That sight had made me lose appetite for anything. What was there in that sea to have such an effect?  If my heart could overflow with joy at the sight of waves of salt-water, how ecstatically would I dance when the waves of wisdom and love surge in my heart? Vedic seers had this experience in their hearts.

‘…अंतःसमुद्रे हदि अंतरायुषि                

….घृतस्य धारा अभिचाकशीमि….

समुद्रादूर्मिर्मधुमानुदारत्….’

(I am witnessing all around the streams of ghee6 ... in the sea, within the heart, in all the living beings ... waves of sweetness are arising in the sea ...’)

This divine language has non-plussed the commentators. What is meant by the streams of honey and ghee?  But, how can there be streams of salt-water in my heart?  It is bound to have waves of milk and ghee and honey surging within it.


30. A Child As Preceptor

  1. Learn to behold the surging waves of the sea within. Look up at the clear blue sky outside and make your mind pure and unsullied like it. In fact, attaining one-pointedness of mind is a child’s play. It is the occupation of the mind in umpteen matters that is unnatural. Look into the eyes of a child intently. He looks with a constant gaze, while you blink every few seconds. A child’s mind easily becomes one-pointed. If you show the greenery outside to a child, four or five months old, he will be absorbed in observing it. Women, in fact, believe that such an intent observation of the greenery causes the children’s stools to be green. It is as if all their senses come together in their eyes when they see. Any small thing can make a deep impression on the minds of children. Educationists say that what the children learn within the first three to four years is what is firmly imprinted on their minds. You may open any number of schools or colleges or any other institutions to educate them; it is during the early years that real learning takes place. I have been associated with education and I am getting increasingly convinced that only the impressions formed in the early years prove to be indelible; subsequent formal education has little effect. That is nothing but outer polish. A soap can remove a stain; but can it wash off the black colour of skin?  The impressions of the early years are likewise hard to remove.

Why are these impressions strong and indelible and the subsequent ones weak?  It is because a child’s mind gets concentrated effortlessly. Such is the wonderful power of the concentration of mind. Nothing is impossible for those who have achieved it.

  1. Today our whole life has become artificial. We have lost childlike innocence. Life has become dull and joyless. Our behaviour lacks any rhyme or reason. It is not Darwin who proved that human beings are the descendants of apes; we ourselves are daily proving that through our actions!

A child is trustful. He believes in everything that the mother tells. He never questions the truth of even the fairy tales wherein crows and sparrows speak like human beings. His mind can quickly become one-pointed because of such an attitude.


31. Abhyasa (Constant Practice), Vairagya (Non-Attachment) And Faith

  1. In short, the yoga of meditation needs one-pointedness of mind, regulation and moderation in life and a friendly, fair and positive outlook. Two other aids have also been suggested: vairagya (non-attachment) and abhyasa (cultivation through constant practice). One is negative in nature while the other is positive. Vairagya is akin to uprooting weeds from a field. It is negative in nature. Abhyasa is akin to sowing the seeds. To sow seeds is constructive work. Abhyasa is constructive. It involves rumination over pure thoughts.

  2. How could one imbibe vairagya?  We say that a mango is sweet. But is sweetness really a quality of the mango?  No. Sweetness is really an attribute of the Self, and a particular thing tastes sweet when it is infused with that sweetness. One should, therefore, learn to taste the sweetness within. Sweetness is not in things themselves; it is in the Self which is an ocean of sweetness. As this realisation sinks deep within us, vairagya will become ingrained in us. Sita gave Hanuman a pearl necklace. Hanuman cracked every pearl to see whether Lord Rama was within it. In no pearl could he find Rama. So he threw away all the pearls. Rama was there in his heart. Fools would have gladly paid millions of rupees for that necklace.

  3. While explaining the yoga of meditation, the Lord has made one important point at the very outset—one should make a firm resolve, I want to redeem myself, I shall go ahead, I shall scale great heights, I shall not remain within this human body for ever, I shall have the courage to make efforts to realise God.’

Listening to all this, Arjuna had a doubt. He said, I am no longer in the prime of my life and am destined to die soon. What is then the use of spiritual pursuit?  The Lord replied, Yes, you will die. But death is nothing but a long sleep. We sleep daily. Are we afraid of it?  On the contrary, we are worried if we do not get sleep. Death is as necessary as the daily sleep. We resume our daily work after waking up; likewise we resume our spiritual pursuit in the next birth from the very point we had reached at the time of death. We do not lose what we have already gained. No spiritual pursuit ever goes waste.

  1. Jnanadeva appears to be referring to his own life when he writes in Jnaneshwari on the concerned verses of the Gita e.g. बालपणींच सर्वज्ञता । वरी तयाचे (All knowledge comes to him in childhood itself’), सकल शास्त्रें स्वयंभें । निघतीं मुखें (Words of spiritual wisdom come out of his mouth of their own accord.)  Abhyasa in the previous birth pulls you onward. That is why some persons are not drawn to the objects of senses. They are not tempted by them. This is because of their sadhana in the previous birth. The Lord has given an assurance at the end, शुभकारी कुणी बापा दुर्गतीस न जातसे । (‘No well-doer ever meets with a sad end.’) Good done is never wasted. One should have faith in this assurance. What remains incomplete in this life will be completed in the next one. Understand the essence of this teaching and attain fulfillment in life.

(27.3.32)


References:

  1. There is a pun on the word 'nara' meaning man.  Narayan means God and vanara means monkey.

  2. Hanuman, the devotee of Lord Rama, who helped Rama in his fight against Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka, is believed to be one among the seven immortal men.  So he could come there, even in the 17th Century.

  3. The ashoka-grove where Sita was confined by Ravana.

  4. Gita 10.25

  5. Gita 8.7

  6. Clarified butter, obtained after heating the butter.