Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mercurial...

Why does my mind grow ever so fickle-
something so strong suddenly shrink with sorrow, subtle?
It is as if time weathered the surface of my mind,
And created those worry lines, wrinkle by wrinkle...

Why does my mind grow ever so precarious-
I wonder like Arjuna*, though centuries later,
While the AMPA receptors** were littered on surfaces various
were some sentiments also inadvertently sprinkled?

Why does my mind grow ever so morose-
do the years that crawl make the smiles forced
and like the hawk that draws on its prey ever close
little by little sculpt the joys into woes?

Time must be laughing at me, for after all,
He transformed the stone into a touch-me-not!

Some explanations: 

*Most of you would know Arjuna. This reference comes from Chapter 6, Shloka 34 of the Bhagavad Gita- "Chanchalam hi manah Krishna pramaathi balavad dridham; Tasyaaham nigraham manye vaayoriva sudushkaram". The translation goes: "The mind is really restless, O Krishna, turbulent, strong and unyielding; I deem it as difficult to control as the wind " This is the part where Arjuna asks Krishna how to control the mind, exclaiming that it is so fickle and hard to control.
This chapter happens to be favorite- Aatma-samyama yoga or the Yoga of controlling the mind. Krishna's reply is another popular Shloka- "Asamshayam Mahabaaho manodurnigraham chalam; Abhyasena tu kounteya vairaagyena cha gruhyathe" which means "There is no doubt, O great warrior, that the mind wanders unharnessed; But it can be controlled, O Kounteya, with practice and determination!"
** This comes from recent neuroscience theories on memory. AMPA is a neurotransmitter- a chemical that plays a vital role in neuronal information transfer. The theory is that memory is formed when certain neural pathways are strengthened by the addition of newer and newer AMPA receptors on the cell membrane, every time that pathway is used (which is probably why memory is supposed to strengthen with repetition).

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