Episode # 184 – How important is it for us to control our “External” & “Internal” senses?

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had commenced with an important discussion at the beginning of the eighth “Skandha” of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana wherein Sage Sukhaachaarya is listing out various aspects of “Dharma” that each of us living in this world should follow. The discussion commences with some basic “Dharma” that all of us should adhere to, such as speaking the truth always, having compassion towards all living beings on the earth, dealing with complex situations with patience and perseverance, refraining from physically and verbally abusing others and repeatedly recollecting all the aspects of “Dharma” that we keep learning every day. There are still couple of more aspects of “Dharma” that we need to discuss from the yesterday’s sloka, before moving on into the finer details. Let’s discuss them first as we move on.

We are left out with “Shamaha” and “tamaha”, which signify the control of our senses – both external and internal. Our external senses as we might be knowing, are our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Whereas, our internal sense primarily pertains to our “mind”. Control of both these external and internal sense organs are of prime importance if we’ve to call ourselves as “Dhaarmikas”. Of course, with certain “stringent” measures, we can still control our external senses. For instance, with the international level outbreak of the new sickness called Coronavirus, people from all over the world are now propagating the control of our external senses – like, refraining from touching each other, washing our hands, eyes, etc. constantly with soap, etc. Of course, if we’re going to close our eyes and shut our ears with cotton or whatever, we’re going to control our external sense organs to an extent. However, what happens to our internal control, which is our mind? Controlling of our mind is of paramount importance and this is where we’ve witnessed all through this blog series for the past 1000-odd episodes, innumerable people talking and setting examples for all of us as to how to control our mind.

For instance, whenever we go to a temple and worship Bhagawan, our external senses like our eyes, ears, etc. are somehow being controlled. When we’re standing in front of Bhagawan, our eyes look at Bhagawan’s idol. Our ears listen to the “Mantras” that are being chanted. Our hands are in folded position, so as to pay respect for Bhagawan, who is in front of us. However, is our mind controlled within the sphere, so as to think of Bhagawan and pray? Many a times, our mind keeps wandering here and there – The first thing that our mind thinks about is, whether our slippers that we’ve left outside the temple would be safe till I come back! 😊 Several allied thoughts prop up too thus, “Oh! What if someone steals our pair of slippers, which I’ve bought for almost a thousand rupees? What if I’ve to walk barefoot on the road, which might invite unwanted germs to enter our body? What if we fall sick after that?” The list of questions keeps going on and on! But where are we currently? We’re standing in front of Bhagawan inside the temple! This is where the problem lies – Are we able to forget all the external aspects of our life atleast for that 5-10 minutes when we’re standing in front of Bhagawan, think of Him and pray with a single point focus?

Another aspect that I keep seeing many a times in the present day when people visit temples is that, all of us carry our mobile phones inside the temple premises! This is a huge disturbance and a menace, not only for us, but also for other devotees who come and try to be single pointed in their worship. Of course in today’s “dynamic world”, people keep saying that they cannot isolate themselves from their mobile phones even for a minute, because they might miss “important calls” or messages! My request to all such people is that, if such is the urgency, we should have the decency to keep our phone on the “silent mode”, so that it doesn’t disturb others. If it is an urgent call to be attended, we should have the decency to go out of the temple, finish the call and then come back. Some people sadly lack this discipline and start conversing on the mobile phone, while standing in front of Bhagawan. Or else, if the mobile phone is of paramount importance, it is better that such people refrain from visiting temples at all! This solves half the problems, not only for them, but also for everybody else.

Thus, the point here is, whenever we are inside the temple, we should respect our own privacy with Bhagawan and also the privacy between Bhagawan and the rest of His devotees as well. I’m narrating this point in detail to drive home the important aspect of “Dharma” that, mind control is very important for all of us, so as to fall into the path of “Dharma”. So for today, let us ponder over these two points – Control of our external and internal senses. We shall wait till the next episode to witness subsequent points made by Sage Sukhaachaarya to King Parikshit on the various aspects of “Dharma” for various people. Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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