In the previous episode, we had witnessed an extension of the discussion on why should we develop this important “Dharma” called “Tolerance” within us. Especially in the current situation at which the entire world is, this assumes extreme significance. At this juncture, it is important for us to stay put at our homes and not to roam around in the open, unless and until it is extremely important. As mentioned yesterday, this is not a “punishment” given to us, but we should view this as a “medicine” for a disease which still doesn’t have a medical cure. Of course, if we’ve to be at home 24*7, it is obviously going to be a challenge for all of us, but there are loads of constructive things that we can do to spend our time constructively. For this, we need to have the tolerance within us. Thus, the point here is that, this current situation is seemingly becoming catastrophic across the world, and we should exercise extra care for our own health as well as the health of our near and dear ones.
Moving on thus, we shall discuss the next aspect of “Dharma” that Sage Sukhaachaarya is going to talk about to King Parikshit. So far, we’ve witnessed seventeen different aspects of “Dharma” and relevant modern-day explanations for each of them. Now we move on to the next important aspect of “Dharma”, which perhaps assumes loads of significance in today’s scenario as well – “Viparyayah iheksha”. This means, we should perform only those activities and tasks that are useful and beneficial for ourselves and for our society. We should cut down all of those activities that doesn’t add value.
For instance, a person went to a garden which has a lush green lawn all around it. Upon seeing the lawn, he sat down on it and started talking with his friends for the next thirty minutes or so. At the end of the thirty-minute talk, as the person got up from the lawn, the place where he was sitting was full of grass pieces! As the talk was progressing, this person’s hands were not quiet and it started to pick out the grass from the ground and throwing it off. Thus, as the person got up, the beauty of the lawn was destroyed. Can we do this? Or, are we authorized to do such an activity? The answer is obviously a “No”! More than the rules and regulations that might be in place by the organization which maintains the garden, we are not authorized to destroy the life of a plant, isn’t it?
This is where Sage Sukhaachaarya is saying here that we should avoid such unwanted activities in our daily life. Another example to illustrate this point further – As we keep talking with someone or doing some important work, many of us have this habit of pricking our nails unwantedly, or scratching our head and hair, or biting our nails with our teeth, etc. Even these kinds of activities are considered as unwanted. In fact, this is what is being taught as “Corporate ethos” and “personal etiquette” in modern-day organizations as well. If we keep doing such unwanted activities when we’re in front of a client or if we’re part of an important meeting, it sends a very wrong signal to the other people who are sitting around us. Performing such unwanted activities imply that we are nervous for something within us, or we’re guilty of doing something wrong and are trying to cover it up. Thus, these unwanted practices are signs of bad body language and hence should be avoided as much as possible.
Thus the point here is that, we should try and cut down on all our unwanted activities in life. This of course, we’ve witnessed so far only with respect to small things. If we look at it from the spiritual perspective, every passing day we keep doing so many things that are unnecessary and that are detrimental for our spiritual progress. We keep talking and talking with someone or the other, especially on the mobile phone and nowadays more on social media as well. If we analyze the content of what we talk everyday, most of it would be junk! It would be about someone or something that is in no connection with us in any way! These are certain things that we can cut down. Moreover, as part of our routine life, we tend to poke our nose into anything and everything that other people do. This is yet another mistake that we do. If we’ve to progress spiritually, we need to be selfish to some extent – Atleast in this context. Of course, we should be selfless in offering our service to the world, but that’s a different context. Readers should not confuse between both these points here. When it comes to serving the world, we should obviously be selfless in nature. However, when it comes to our spiritual development and performing our spiritual practices, we should definitely be selfish. Here, the word “Selfishness” simply implies that we are conscious about what we’re doing.
Hence, we should understand Sage Sukhaachaarya’s point very clearly. He is explaining here that we should be selfish for our own spiritual development by cutting down all unwanted activities that might be a deterrent for it. This is like how a farmer keeps cutting all the weeds from his paddy field frequently. What happens if the weeds are not cut down? They would grow enormously and would absorb all the ground water, which would be meant for the paddy crops to grow. Ultimately, because of these weeds, the paddy might get destroyed. So to prevent this from happening, the farmer would keep cutting down the weeds frequently, so that the paddy is protected. Similarly, we should make a detailed analysis of those factors that are potential barriers for our spiritual growth. We should identify those factors and take conscious steps to cut them down.
So for today, let us realize this point that Sage Sukhaachaarya is making here, and let us meticulously put this to practice. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next aspect of “Dharma”. Stay tuned! 😊