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Offline JR

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« on: February 19, 2007, 05:33:42 AM »
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  • —By Swami Chinmayanand


    Blessings of Self-Control
    By lack of self control we can unwittingly slip and fall psycho¬logically away from our own merits and efficiencies. Naturally, a young man brimming with ambitions of success, preparing for life's march to win achievements does not want his potentialities snatched away from him.

    But how exactly is self-control helpful ? What really are the benefits of a life of self-control? It seems foolish not to do exactly as you feel. To conform to any norms of life is indeed painful. See the animals of the jungles they do what they feel; why not we also ?

    This is a valid doubt in the boisterous mind of a loose-thinking, wild-feeling, fast-acting teenager. He is so full of the awareness of all his political freedom, social privileges, communal rights indivi¬dual daring that to him to think is to act and fulfil. He would chal¬lenge the law and justify himself in the name of Revolution. He feels that rules are laid down, by ineffectual Rishis and prophets, who were themselves men of restraint—and had perhaps grown sour in their own disappointments.

    Krishna here gives a set of scientific arguments, logical and reasonable, and explains how through, self-control we bless ourselves, and grow in our inner-personality-vitality. A person becomes a more matured thinker, more balanced in his emotions, putting out better performances in his field of activity, be he a research scholar, rickshaw-puller, a politician or a priest, a mill worker or an agri¬cultural labourer.
    (II-64) "On the other hand a man of self-control, moves freely among the ohjects, with his sense under control and ever free from both 'attraction* and 'aversion'. He gains in himself a deep sense of tranquillity."
    One of the questions of Arjuna was "how does a man of Per¬fection move" (vrajeta kirn) ? How can a man of God freely move among the objects of pleasure in this world, and yet escape tempta¬tions ? Here is the answer.

    One who has self-control, can easily move among the tempt¬ing sense-objects, when his senses are perfectly under his own control. But how ?

    Let us take an example.   A drunkard and a teetotaller walking along the same road they see a full whisky bottle lying on the sidewalk. The teetotaller is unaffected and passes by. The drun¬kard immediately stoops down, snatches it, and embracing it to his bosom, runs home. Now the bottle remaining the same, both of them reacted differently; the teetotaller was repelled, but while the drunkard was attracted towards the bottle. Why ? In the mental make up of the drunkard there was something——the Vasana (desire) to drink——and so his senses ran out to hug it.

    One in whom Vasanas are trained and purified in him the senses will be controlled.   To restrain the senses does not mean any physi¬cal violence against the sense organs.   A re-education of the mind, brings  about  the  necessary   sense-control-noble  and   enduring rewarding and creative.

    When Vasanas are with us there will be in us an attraction (raga' for conducive objects, and a repulsion (dwesha} for unconducive ones.   Thus, let us say, a father, mother and child go to an exhibition sales.   In the saree-shop the mother is attracted but father and child remain unmoved; in the doll-departement the child gets anxious, but father and mother remain balanced; and in the gents-wear stall the father is restless, while mother and child are both un¬affected.   Indeed attraction and repulsion (ragadwesha) can be in us. only when we have powerful Vasanas.

    A Man-of-Perfection moves in the world-of-objects as un¬affected as the mother in the doll-house and among gents-wear, or as unattached as the father in the doll-house and among the sarees, or as careless as the child among the sarees and suits.

    When one comes to live, freely moving in this world among its objects, with sense-organs perfectly under control and free from both attraction and repulsion (Raga and Dwesha) what does one gain ? One's life may be an empty joyless monotony : a bothersome burden a wasteland of boredom.   This can be our doubt.   Krishna clearly says how such an individual alone discovers a deep sense of peace a tremulous calm and a restful tranquillity (Prasad).

    (11-65) "In tranquillity, all sorrows are destroyed.   Indeed a tranquil mind alone can keep the intellect steady in its application.'

    Sorrow subjectively is nothing but mental oscillation. Greater the agitations of the mind, greater the sorrow. When the mind is peaceful there is joy always.   When the bosom is tranquil all sorrows end,
    When the mind is agitated the intellect has no steady wisdom-its discrimination-power gets reduced and it is rendered incapable of rightly comprehending the problem and coming to correct judgements. In short 'buddhi' gets lost. When the mind is disturbed a man's intellectual efficiency gets lost.
    Glorifying this tranquility that arises from self-control Krishna exclaims (11-66) "In the uncontrolled, and therefore unsteady, there is no consistant intellect. To the inconsistent intellect there is no Vision (Bhavana). He who has no Vision has no peace. And he who knows no peace, how can he ever have happiness ?" What had been already asserted is now explained in a negative dialectics of happiness. Krishna directs the student's attention to what has been already indicated : "To the uncontrolled, and therefore unsteady (ayuktasya), there is no consistant intellect" (naasti buddhi). "To such an uncontrolled personality" (ayuktaha) there is no "Vision*" (bhavana). Our intellect perceives a great ideal, a mighty possi¬bility, and keeping it steadily before us to lift our thoughts and actions towards its higher perfections is called "Vision" (bhavana). "To one who has no such "Vision" there is no "peace". For such an individual will have no pole-star to guide the flow of his life's energies, and without any inspiring purpose, thoughts run amuck and the mind aimlessly wander from object to object, they can remain but in a constant state of restlessness and agitations. There is no peace of creative self-application known to the uncontrolled (ayuktah). "and to the restless (ashantasya) where is happiness (kutah sukham) ?"
    (courtesy—Geeta Office, Powai.)
    सबका मालिक एक - Sabka Malik Ek

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