Once, I was attending a spiritual discourse. The subject of the discourse was Lord Krishna and during the course of discussion, the devotion to Lord Krishna was deliberated on. Lord Krishna is loved by most of the women devotees in one form or the other. When Swamiji asked them whether they were devoted to Lord Krishna, almost all of them raised their hands. Then he asked how many of them would like to become the mother of Lord Krishna. Not realising the implications, many showed their willingness. Swamiji then posed the conditions for becoming the mother of Lord Krishna. The first condition was that she and her husband would be imprisoned just after their marriage, by her own brother. The second condition was that Lord Krishna would be the eighth child and the first seven would be killed just after their birth. The third condition was that she would only give birth and the upbringing would be carried out by someone else.
After listening to all these conditions, everyone backed out. No one had ever thought so deeply about the price paid by Devaki for giving birth to Lord Krishna. Most of us take such realities as routine matters and hardly think about them deeply unless such events take place in our own lives. The conditions put forward by Swamiji were the facts and the parents of Lord Krishna actually underwent such extreme agony. However, in no account of their sufferings is their bitterness reflected anywhere. This means that the human mind is capable of harmonising harshness even in such painful situations.
The human mind is capable of a very wide range of reactions to a particular situation as revealed in the way the two characters in the story of Lord Krishna deal with the situations confronting them. One is Devaki, mother of Lord Krishna, who could bear the extreme cruelty of her brother without any bitterness. This is the positive dimension of the mind which is achieved through great wisdom. There is no limit to this dimension and it can reach to plus infinity. Questions may be raised about the practicality of this but here we are talking about the possibilities of a positive reaction. Besides Devaki, there are numerous examples of extreme sacrifices. Such persons have existed in all times, exist today and shall continue to exist.
Now let us look at the second character, Kamsa, who was a very powerful but ignorant king. In order to protect his position, he adopted the lowliest possible means, using violence and cruelty to gain his own ends. This is also a dimension of the mind but the negative one. Here also, there is no limit and it can be minus infinity. Such characters too have existed in the past, exist today and will continue to exist in future. They all display the negative dimension of the mind which is the result of ignorance. Thus the range of the human mind is minus infinity to plus infinity. An integrated mind should be able to accept these ranges objectively and harmonise them. Harmony is possible only by 'knowledge', not mundane but spiritual. Life, then, becomes a process of integration of the mind with a range of integration from minus infinity to plus infinity.