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.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very meaningful Vish...thank you for throwing a very powerful thought....cheers,
santhosh

V Rakesh said...

I'd like to believe, through my experiences and upbringing, that mastery over the senses leads to many answers, among which is also the answer to what one's purpose in life is, which is undoubtedly a life of purpose!

Wonderful post, Sir!

Latha Nair said...

That was a very thought-provoking post.
One can claim to be truly spiritual and wise only through control of one's senses-that must be the ultimate peace.

Sandeep Katrekar said...

Your intention to post such thoughts on this blog should definitely succeed. Keep it up...

surjit said...

Very informative and meaningful post.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This very thoughtful post reminded me of teachings of the Buddha which says..

"Master your Senses
What you taste and Smell
What you see what you hear
In all things be a master
Of what you do,say and think..
Be free,Quieten your body,quieten your mind by your own efforts,waken yourself,watch yourself and live joyfully.."

Regards
Tyaagi

Sonal Raisinghani said...

There are 2 points you have discussed
1) Control your senses / feelings/ craving for anything... They could
be positive / they could be negative. Be aware as to what it is
leading us to.
2) Get rid of any obsession. Rightly said by you we must not let our senses enslave us..

What I understand here is Newtons third law of gravity: Action and
reaction are equal and opposite in direction.

It is our senses which drag us around this external world, whether
pursuing material objects, food, or circumstances related to
professional, social, or economic life.

We need to gradually gain positive control over the mind/ senses,
which are being obsessively drawn towards all these objects.

What I understand is senses are a mental function, and whenever that
mental function is drawn to the objects of the mind, there is active engagement of these senses. Senses are said to follow the mind in a way similar to the hive of bees following queen bee.

What you are talking about is - Be in full control of your senses..
Analyse whether it is good or bad for us... Stand by it, Respect your
decision but don’t get into obsession of it.. Learn where exactly to stop and hit the pause button.

It’s just like when you think of getting rid of a bad habit. Simply
stopping the external action would lead your inner desire to
frustration.

Its always better to control mental action first and then the external action part of it comes naturally as part of mental control.