In the previous episode we had witnessed the continuation of an important advice that Vidura is providing King Dhirdiraashtra, which is also directly applicable to all of us. He is currently talking about how important is it for all of us to keep our five senses under our control at all times. If we fail to control our senses at the time when they have to be, we’ve to be prepared to face our own downfall. We witnessed in yesterday’s episode how Ravana, despite being a powerful and an invincible king was defeated quite easily by Rama. It is quite evident that Ravana had failed to control his senses and had to meet his end in such a ghastly manner. This is the same path through which King Dhirdiraashtra is walking through in the Mahaabhaarata and Vidura is trying to tide over the crisis that is upcoming. He advises, laments, slams and requests King Dhirdiraashtra to mend his ways by controlling his senses in the right direction. But is King Dhirdiraashtra ready to mend his ways? The answer is unfortunately a “No”! However, irrespective of whether King Dhirdiraashtra mends his ways or not, we can mend our ways by listening carefully to Vidura’s advice, isn’t it? Let us try to do so day by day and little by little! 🙂
Before we move on to the next point of discussion, there is one more aspect to be extended from this important discussion on the five senses: Just because Vidura says that we’ve to keep our senses in control, does he mean to say that we should close our eyes, ears, nose and mouth at all times? The answer is no! Here is where we need to be very careful – Our eyes, ears, nose, etc. would keep doing their jobs until our last breath in this world. We can neither change nor control that. In other words, what does Vidura mean by the word “Control”? Our readers should be careful to distinguish between the two words – “Control” and “Shut Down”. Here, Vidura is not asking us to “shut down” our five senses. He’s advising us to “control” them! What is the difference between these two? He tries to explain to us that these five senses would continue seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching something or the other. But we need to channelize them in the right direction!
I shall try and explain this better with an analogy – Why do we construct dams across rivers? The main purpose of a dam is to store the water during the rainy season and systematically channelize the stored water through the downstream areas, so that this water can constructively used for irrigation and drinking purposes by the people. What if there is no dam across the river? During the rainy season when the river is in spate, all the water would unwantedly drain off into the sea. This implies that we’ve wasted all the resources without putting the water into good use. Similarly, we should construct a dam called “control” across the “rivers” of vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Once we construct this dam called “control”, the five rivers would be channelized in the right direction so that it would benefit the individual as well as the society at large.
When we are youngsters we brim with lot of energy. This energy can be used in different ways – For instance, we see many college students in India protesting and going on strikes for various demands. As the protests turn violent, these students resort to fighting, breaking down of glass panels of buses and trains with stones, setting them on fire, etc. Thus we can see here that the energy of youngsters are being dissipated in a destructive purpose because their senses are not channelized in the right direction! Rather, if this same energy can be used in a constructive purpose like enhancing one’s own professional capabilities such as learning a new language, a new art, improving oneself with the desire of excelling in his/her studies and corporate career, it becomes beneficial for the students as well as for the country at large! We see examples of people who had excelled in their careers at such a young age – We’ve seen people becoming CEO’s of some great organizations of the world at a young age!
This is the difference that Vidura is exactly talking about here. Hence the message form today’s episode is that, when Vidura explains that we’ve to keep our senses under control, he doesn’t mean that we should completely shut them down by not doing anything. Rather we should infer that we need to channelize the activities of our five senses in the right direction so that we pave our way for success, both personally and professionally! In fact, these five senses given by Bhagawan are five big gifts, but they are like double-edged swords! If we use them in a constructive purpose, Bhagawan is going to lift us up to Vaikunta straightaway! Whereas if we use them for a destructive purpose, the same Bhagawan is going to let us down by making us falling into his trap! Hence we need to be extremely careful and choosy with our actions that we perform by using these five senses.
To go one step further, what is the best way in which our senses can be channelized? In other words, which is that one best channel through which our senses can be used constructively? It is only through the channel called “Bhakti-Maarga” or “Devotion” towards Bhagawan. Our eyes should look at Bhagwan and enjoy His beauty. Our ears should listen to the various stories (“Charithra”) of Bhagawan and melt in His glory! Our nose should smell the sweet-smelling “Tulasi” and the other flowers that we offer to Bhagawan. Our toungue should be made to chant the “Manthra” of Bhagawan and at the most, to talk about His significance. In this way if we channelize our senses towards Bhagawan, this is nothing but “Bhakti”, isn’t it? Hence, the best channel that all our five senses can be integrated into is “Bhakti” and nothing else!
So for today, let us think and assimilate this important point into us. Let us try to channelize our senses slowly into the stream of “Bhakti” or “Immortal Bliss” and when we slowly start succeeding in this, we would definitely reign into a state of ultimate peace of mind and with a high level of confidence within ourself! We shall wait till the next episode to explore more into Vidura’s advice! Stay tuned! 🙂