Wednesday, December 8, 2010



Restraint means 'keep within sensible limits'. When the water flow crosses the two banks, there is danger of flood which will wash away everything. Similarly the unrestrained mind washes away all the good we have accumulated in no time. There are two kinds of restraint. Restraint in what goes in to the mind and restraint in what goes out of the mind.
The input of the senses is like food for the mind. Buddha says that one has to ask oneself: Are we preparing good food for the mind or junk food or poisonous food? Sometimes we think we are cooking up great meals, but they can make us sick. Cooking good food for the mind is the skill.
If the mind's only nourishment is things outside, then we are going to be in trouble. But when we can step back and say "No, I have got a source of pleasure, a source of happiness inside" – the outside can't touch us. Our ability to find nourishment inside is protection for the mind.
Lord says in Gita, the mind is powerful than the senses, the intellect is powerful than the mind and the Atman is powerful than all these. That Atman inside the form of the body is really a highest level of food for the mind, a highest level of happiness, the best place to be. We can do our duties staying here in this center. The disappointments, joys and sorrows of life never touch the one whose mind is surrendered to the Atman/Lord. Restraint becomes necessary when one understands the unhealthy conditions of unrestrained mind.
The sense organs are five in number. They are associated with five activities – sound, color, smell, taste and touch. These sense organs are controlled by the mind. From time immemorial we, living beings by getting indulged in these five-fold pleasant things, have forgotten our real nature – that we are divine. We have taken the sensuous pleasures as the real happiness. This is the reason for the cycle of birth and death. A sieve can be filled with water, but the thirst for these sense pleasures can never be quenched. When we control the mind which runs behind the senses, the happiness is retained.
A fish being overpowered by the sense of taste is caught in the hook of a fisherman's catching rod. A black bee is imprisoned amidst the lotus petals at sunset on becoming a slave to the sense of smell and loses its life. A fire-worm is drawn to the flame of a burning candle or an electric bulb being a slave to the sense of sight and meets its end. A deer becomes fully charmed by the melody of the flute or rhythm of music inspired by the sense of hearing, and is a victim to the arrow of the hunter.
Think of the man who is provided with all the five senses! All senses are pulling in all directions day and night. The pleasures created by the senses look extremely charming; but the life of the living being that is dependent on these transitory enjoyments is ultimately ruined. Guruji was mentioning in one of the talks that we are cursed by so many distractions like mobile phones, Television, computers, etc. Senses have in plenty to feed on.
Sage Vyasa seeing King Dasharatha playing with his children thought for a moment, "If my children play on me how happy I will be?" He was reborn for that thought as a father of two children. Another great rishi saw two fishes copulating while doing his morning prayer in the river and got into the desire to marry. The unrestrained mind even for a second is dangerous to the tapas.
The path of restraint doesn't provide refreshment for the mind only while we do meditation. This is the practice for 24 hours, 365 days. Restraint is what provides continuity to the practice. If we can do it skillfully, all actions like looking and listening all become part of the practice. The restraint of the mind is the true restraint because they can keep us on the path all day long.
I read this beautiful prayer in amma's site:
Whenever there is attachment in my mind
And whenever there is the desire to be angry,
I should not do anything nor say anything,
But remain like a piece of wood....
Whenever I am eager for praise
Or have the desire to blame others;
Whenever I have the wish to speak harshly and cause dispute;
At such times I should remain like a piece of wood.
Whenever I desire material gain, honor or fame;
Whenever I seek attendants or a circle of friends,
And when in my mind I wish to be served;
At [all] these times I should remain like a piece of wood.
Whenever I have the wish to decrease or to stop working for others
And the desire to pursue my own welfare alone,
If [motivated by such thoughts] a wish to say something occurs,
At these times I should remain like a piece of wood.
The restrained mind alone can think about the Lord all the time because the mind is free from all kinds of disturbances. The restrained mind only can meditate. That is why Lord asks in Gita 'offer your mind and intellect to Me'. That is the way to realization of our true nature like we see the bottom of the pond clearly when there are no ripples.

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