Hindu mythology is a set of fictional characters which depict the art of living for the ordinary man or woman. The concept has been adapted from the Vedas, which broadly talks about human psychology and outlines the principles of compassion. The concept was styled in written and narrative story-telling form since it is easy to relate, understand, and memorise the concept by visualisation. Clearly, the focus is given to the mind and how it functions under a given situation from the practice of dark psychology which, influences and harms our mental and physical welling.
In Hindu mythology, the ideology behind the concept of villains, is to outline the personality traits of dark psychology. Today, we call them narcissistic, Machiavellianism and psychopaths. The most insensitive popular villains in Hindu mythology such as Ravana, Dhuryohan, Shakuni, Manthara, Kansa, Surpanakha and many more, had characteristics likewise with mastery over the art of illusion that is – the talent of deception, manipulation, lying and cheating to influences others for their benefits. How did they do it? – by making them suffer mentality with the thought-provoking message, – “more is better” whether it is money, power or sex.
At the same time, Hindu mythology shares pieces of advice on how to overcome the same. It teaches the counter strategies of void and chaos triggered by mental and physical suffering. In the process of learning, we discover what is good and bad for our wellbeing. We learn to understand and identify our emotions – what makes us feel happy, sad, or depressed. Thus, helps us to know when to extend or draw our boundaries with others. This, in turn, helps us to differentiate between good and dark psychology.
Being an avid reader of Hindu mythology, here
is are the top five lessons that I can relate to as counter strategies to overcome chaos, void, and suffering.
1. Treat your mind as the seashore waves
Lord Krishna in Mahabharat and Geeta repeatedly talked about “change” is the law of nature. Hinting evolution and revolution are inevitable. Moulding yourself with the situation is the only way to live in peace. Just like lines drawn at seashores, slowly washes out with time. Similarly, we should be flexible enough to accept changes that no longer serve the society and as an individual. But a rigid mind can lead to a conflict of interest within and outside of us. The story of Karan’s fight against the caste system work mentioned in the Mahabharat talks about the mass destruction of the society and what an individual goes through.
2. Perspective – is your glass half empty?
Arjun’s inner battle to fight against his own kinsmen is a scenario when emotion clouds the mind to understand what he sees is not as he believes. A perfect example of how we see our situation. Arjun’s problem was not the fight against his kinsmen but his emotion. Lord Krishna showed him the solution to his problems from a different perspective. He made Arjun realise it’s a fight against his own emotion than them. The chaos, confusion is born inward – it is only a matter of perspective how and where we identify our problems because the solution is found where the problem lies.
3. Transform your life with small habits
Dark emotions, such as addiction, greed, sex, power, and bad habits have the power to destroy families and individuals. Making small changes to our routine and the daily habits is first step to rewire our brain for a healthy art of living. This notion is depicted in the tales of Shiv Puran, which talks about the story of a married woman addicted to sex and greedy for money. She has countless encounters with strangers for satisfaction. One day, she discussed with a Rishi her desire to change her lifestyle to which the Rishi prescribed her small changes to her daily routine and habits in the form of rituals and medication to reprogram her mind by introducing the concept of how ‘self-help’ puts you in charge of your own life.
4. We always have a choice
“Choice” – is the common theme discussed in Ramayan, Mahabharat, Geeta and the same is reflected in the work of spiritual leaders such as Sri Aurobindo, Eknath Eswar and Paramhansa Yogananda. Our choice defines our lives, which means we always have a choice. The dilemma is people fear
s the feeling of “being stuck”, without realising ‘not to act’ is itself is a choice made by them. That is why it is important to evaluate your choice. In Mahabharat, Yudhishthira had the choice not to save his family humiliation during the dice game if only he chooses not to gamble his wife, Draupadi. In fact, every person in the room had a choice, but having failed to understand the consequences of the “choice” of not choosing to act, led to Draupadi’s revenge on the Kauravas.
5. Ego – you are not listening
In many mythological stories, the concept of ego is introduced through the characters of Ravana, Kansa, Dhuryodhana and Indra Dev. In their early life, society benefited from their problem-solving and decisions making skills, but with time, they failed to identify the problems because their expertise misled them to believe they have the key to every question, i.e., how something can be wrong with someone who is good at problem-solving. This was the time when their false ego stopped them from listening, which led to their downfall or failure. It means, when the problem is not identified, it is because we are not listening and as a result, we stop using common sense in assessing a situation, and this is why we are told, “If Ram lives within us, Ravana does too.”
Contributor: Kavita Srivastava
About our Writing Program Student
Kavita Srivastava (35) holds a degree in MBA. She’s an avid reader of business strategies, digital marketing strategies, mythology, mystic and fine arts with a focus on content marketing. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with nature and animals. Some day, she wishes to adopt a puppy with whom she can go hiking and jogging. Currently, she’s pursing a career in digital content marketing.
Book Name – Why I Am a Hindu
Author – Dr Shashi Tharoor
Publisher – Aleph Book Company
Year – 2018
Book Name – Dark Psychology
Author – Benedict Goleman
Year – 2020
When was the word Hindu used for the first time?