Once Gautama Buddha was travelling with a few of his followers to a village that he frequently went to. From morning they were travelling on foot and were tired, hungry and thirsty too. While they were passing a lake, Buddha told one of his disciples, ‘I am sitting near the shade of a tree and am very thirsty, do get me some water from the lake.’ The disciple immediately did what Buddha said and walked up to the lake. At that very moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake, as a result of which the water became very muddy and turbid.
The disciple thought, ‘How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?’ So he came back and told Buddha, ‘The water in there is very muddy, I do not think it is fit for you to drink.’ After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake. He did so and found that the water was still muddy. Nothing could be done. He returned and informed Buddha about the same. This went on for quite some time, again Buddha who was thirsty by this time, asked him to go back and check out the water. This time, the disciple found the mud had settled down and the water was clean and clear. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said in a calm voice, ‘See what you did to make the water clean, you let it be and the mud settled down on its own, and you now have clear water to drink. Your mind is like that too. When the mind is gloomy, depressed or disturbed, its actions too are chaotic and binding. It will not allow you to think properly and it will always be agitated.
Hence arises the supreme need to maintain cheerfulness, enthusiasm and equipoise under all circumstances. Learn to practice self-denial and accept difficulties in life. Give the mind a little time, it will settle down on its own. You do not have to put in any effort to calm it down, it will happen, it is effortless. Having ‘Peace of Mind’ is not a strenuous job. It is an effortless process so keep your mind cool and calm and have a great life ahead. The disciple understood what the Great Buddha meant and they happily walked ahead.