This is a story from the Ramayana. A sage was performing
a severe penance in Dandakaranya forest. Indra, the king of
Gods, felt threatened by the intensity of the penance. At first,
he sent some beautiful women to distract the sage. When
they failed in their mission, Indra adopted a new method to
destroy the sage’s concentration.

Indra approached the sage in the disguise of a warrior and
“Holy man, I have to go somewhere on an urgent work. I
wish to keep this sword in your safe custody. On returning, I
shall collect it from you.” From that day onwards, the sword
became the companion of the sage.

One day, accidentally, the sharp edge of the sword touched
the branch of a tree and cut it. The sage was surprised by the
power of the sword.

The taste for cruelty was born in him. He began to cut down
trees and plants and felt happy.

Slowly from the world of plants, his thirst for violence
extended to the world of animals. The sage began to kill
animals and his power of penance diminished and he ended
up a sinner. Thus a sage who aimed for Indraloka landed in
hell due to the company of the sword.

During Krita Yuga, demons lived in forests. But today, in Kali
Yuga, they live in the hearts and homes of people in the form
of violence and cruelty. Man has become the destroyer of
peace and violence has taken hold of his heart and mind.

Since the cause of violence lies in the human mind, it is only
a Sadhguru who can wipe it away and fill it with love. No
external authority or law can do this.

Shankaracharya prays to Lord Shiva :
“My mind is a forest where violence and cruelty wander
like beasts, hunt them down and be truly called a hunter.”

Shall we too invite Lord Shiva to wipe away cruelty from our
hearts and minds?

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