“To dissipate our energies through the sense organs is the vulgar hobby of the thoughtless mortal.” – Chinmaya
Just as a stone effortlessly falls down the mountain, so too the mind and the senses are drawn towards the sense pleasures by their very nature.
For a thoughtless mortal, the pleasures derived from such indulgences alone are the real happiness and he or she sees no other meaning in life. But the fact remains that no lasting happiness can be gained through such sensual excesses as they only serve to drain away our vital energies, intensifying our slavery to the sense objects in the process. Hence the Lord says in Bhagawad Gita that the wise do not revel in such worldly pleasures.
When Nachiketa was offered all the luxuries of the world for countless years by Yamaraj, the intelligent little one replied, “Sir, you may keep with yourself all these dance and music; please give me that which is Real and Eternal.”
Such earnest seekers of Truth are rare indeed. Majority of us have no such noble goal or aspiration. We are like the anchorless boat carried away by any passing wind, getting tossed up and down in the boundless ocean. If we observe how we spend every minute in a day, we will be shocked to realize that unnecessary and unimportant chores eat up most of our time. Newspapers, movies, cricket, gossips, chats, TV, internet etc. are increasingly becoming the pastimes of the masses. No one seems to be bothered about one’s own spiritual evolution. There is no time allocated for meditation, Satsang or any spiritual sadhana. The body is fed indiscriminately with tasty but junk foods and the mind is constantly fed with base, ignoble and vulgar thoughts. Thus, sick both in body and mind, the modern man drags on his life, totally unmindful of the very purpose for which he has come to this world.
It is the discipline that makes life easier, not licentiousness.
Someone put it very well- “Seek freedom and become captive of your desires; seek discipline and find your liberty.”
For us, another word for discipline is ‘pain’! But let us remember that there are no shortcuts to any place worth going and any gain worth achieving. ‘Must’ is a hard nut to crack but it has a sweet kernel!
A party of young men and women made merry in a grove near Uruvela. They were in a holiday mood, dancing, playing and making fun with each other. Tired, they lay down to sleep. When they woke up, all their items of baggage were gone!
They set out in search of the thief. They ran hither and thither but in vain. From a distance they saw a tree underneath which sat Buddha in lonely majesty, His face radiating with supreme peace. Prostrating themselves in reverence, they asked Buddha, “Sir, we are in search of the thief who has robbed us of our goods. Can you give us some clue?”
Buddha looked long into their eyes and gazed into the depths of their aspiring hearts and said, “In search of the thief have you set out my children! Were it not better that you went in search of yourselves?”
As they listened to these words, soaked in compassion, they forgot the thief, they forgot their goods, and they forgot the whole world! Buddha continued, “Subdue your passion for the pleasure of this world and the next. Conquer lust and be free from the shackles of pride. May you grow in the knowledge – the knowledge that will remove the veil and you will behold yourselves as you truly are!”
In Vivekachoodamani, Bhagawan Sri Adi Shankaracharya says that one who, even after getting a noble human birth does not strive for the realization of the Self verily commits suicide. It is said that we all must undergo either of the two pains – the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The only difference is that discipline weighs in ounces while regret weighs in tons!
May we make the best use of this precious life that God has given us and strive to be the worthy children of the Divine.
O M T A T S A T