THE NEED FOR SELF CONTROL


Prof. Jitendra Rajput
How would you behave ?
• In your college mess, for a special dinner everyone is served only one gulabjamun per head and you want a second one. Then?
• You have just met your old school friend while reading in your college library. You are meeting him after 5 years; but there is a board SILENCE on the table. Then what would you do?
• Teacher announces , 'Today’s last lecture is free. But all of you can complete your homework and then go home.' As soon as she leaves, how would you react?
• You've packed your bag for a picnic during vacation with your intimate friends and you come to know that your mother has high fever and there is no one else at home to take care of her. You have to stay back. How would you take it?
• You're sitting in the window seat of a train and a semi-clad young girl comes and sits next to you, talking and joking with her friends. What would be your response?

To learn restraint in all these situations is called Self Control. Singers avoid ice cream, cold drinks and hot chilly items to have high pitch. A man with typhoid avoids poor is and oily foodstuffs to get well. A pilot avoids drinking alcohol in order to save the passengers from plane crash. Without self restraint none of these can attain peace and happiness.

Have you seen the three monkeys-one with eyes closed, one with ears closed and the third with mouth closed - indicating that we should avoid seeing, hearing or speaking unwanted things that bring about degradation in our lives.

There is no victory more glorious than mastery over our own mind and senses. When we are self-controlled we sleep peacefully and awake enthusiastically. Self mastery means conquering the body and subduing the restless mind. We know happiness and contentment. Until we control the body and mind, we are subject to the slavery of cruel taskmasters, such as lust and ignorance. He who rules his own mind and senses has no need for crown. He is already the lord of himself and is a real superman.

To be self-controlled, we must be well established in renunciation. This means renouncing the mind's endless and insatiable desire to know and experience new things. August Comte said, "To control the sexual impulse efficiently has always been and ever will be regarded as the highest test of human wisdom." Temptations must be resisted, evil thoughts subdued, and base desires rejected. Only then will we have lasting peace and joy.

Self control is discipline. It is the power to keep the mind and senses submissive to the direction of the intelligence and eternal soul. Self control yields all knowledge. It increases energy and purifies. A wonderful entourage follows in its path: charity, compassion, knowledge, forgiveness, patience, non-violence, sincerity, mildness, modesty, determination, liberality, contentment, truthfulness, benevolence, and freedom from anger and malice. Self control gives us the fortitude to withstand tribulation and endure great suffering in defence of what is right. By self control, the mind becomes clear and discriminating. In short, self control opens wide doors to material and spiritual peace and joy.

The senses are very turbulent. Compared to controlling the senses, it is easy to tame a tiger or an elephant, walk on burning coals, conquer a great empire or move mountains. Not without reason have the unruly senses been compared to wild horses and the raging wind. All the more reason they must be controlled. We must learn to harness wild horses and use the wind. This is possible by devotion, faith, determination and constant practice. Just as a doctor treats a disease by various methods, the yogi controls the unruly senses by certain practices, including fasting, chanting, meditation, exercise, worship, and knowledge that, "I am not this body. I am a pure spirit soul, servant of God." What if I don’t control the senses and allow them to enjoy in the way they want? Then as itching sensation keeps growing by scratching or as the fire grows by pouring ghee in fire, similarly the uncontrolled senses will drive one to the point of unbearable pain and insanity. This is only the first instalment. The later instalments will be given in the subsequent material bodies that follow due to the sinful acts performed due to uncontrolled senses.