Saturday, September 11, 2010

You are your best friend

Are you someone who loves the company of friends and hate being alone? Well, then you are not the only one. I can very well relate to you. Many years ago,I found myself in a foreign country on work and spent almost 18 months away from family and friends. At that time, I had felt overwhelmed by the sense of loneliness. So desperate had I become that I quit my job before the contract expired and returned back home!

There are zillions of people who crave to have someone around them and feel lost when they are all by themselves. Such people feel comforted by the presence of others near them and have the overpowering need to reach out and communicate. It is not just about talking with or hearing others but also about feeling secure and nice with the mere presence.

It is but natural that when there are two people there are many shared moments of togetherness and happiness. There are also moments of disagreements and disappointments. Two people can have two or more views on any subject leading to debates and sometimes arguments which can sometimes lead to anger or frustration.

If there is anyone who is always near you and with you, it is you yourself. You are your best friend who is never apart - even for a moment. You know yourself better than anyone else. You accept yourself as you are without any complaints or concerns. You know everything that you think and you are in total agreement with your thoughts. You seldom argue with yourself. You empathise with yourself more than anyone else. Hardly anyone can love you or care for you as much as you do.

Despite this, why do we shy away from our own company? Why do we feel uncomfortable with ourselves?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Master your senses

There is a tale in Srimad Bhagvatam on how different creatures fall prey due to their different addictions. The firefly gets consumed by the very flame it gets attracted to. Yet, it continues to literally play with fire due to the desire to enjoy the sight of something bright. The fish cannot control its tongue and sense of taste and hence gets ensnared by the hook which tempts it to bite.

Likewise, the deer is trapped by hunters by playing soft music for they know that the deers have a weakness for the sense of hearing. The bee which is attracted by the smell of the lotus gets entrapped inside and dies. The mighty elephant gets trapped by hunters by exploiting its weakness for the sense of touch. They bait the animal with a tame female which leads it to the trap.

Each of these creatures gets into trouble because of excessive attraction to one sense only. What can we say about humans who indulge each of the senses? We want to keep entertaining our eyes and ears endlessly at the cost of precious sleep. We want to keep tasting delicious variety of food /drink all the time to the detriment of our digestive system. We want to enjoy the pleasures of touch through massage etc. irrespective of the consequences. We use perfumes, deodorants etc. to pander to our sense of smell without caring for the environment.

Have we ever considered what this can lead to? Our own sense indulgence will lead to our loss. Someone who is excessively fond of hearing music will, over time, find a loss of the hearing faculty due to excessive exposure to sound. Likewise, someone who is, without rest, straining the eyes by watching TV / movies / Computer might find his eyes becoming less sharp.

Any form of obsession or excess will have its negative effect on us. The true purpose of our senses is for protecting our life and for essential activities. We must not let the desire for pleasure conflict and overtake our senses. We must not let our senses enslave us. Rather, we must master our sense in our own interest. By doing so, we will be able to control our desires and live longer healthier lives.

When we master our senses, our lives will become more fulfilling and happy.