Aim for the highest goal in spirituality!
Self-confidence is the base!
I heard a nice story long back, regarding how monkeys are caught by the villagers. In the jungles where monkeys frequent, the villagers used to keep a narrow necked pot which contains a handful of peanuts. The monkeys which become curious to find food thrust their little fist inside the pot and grab the peanuts. Now the fist is full of peanuts. When it tries to withdraw its hand, it won’t come through the narrow neck of the pot. In this position, the monkey become helpless and the villagers catch it easily and train in for exhibiting the monkey pranks and earn a little money!
This is how we humans are caught up in this samsara or miserable worldly existence. We try to feed our senses by so many ways. During such search, we inadvertently get caught in the trap of the senses. Unable to extricate, we become an easy target as slaves for the senses. If those monkeys searching for the nuts are intelligent, they will let loose the peanuts from the fist and they can take out their hands from the pot neck. But man is an intelligent animal. He could easily extricate himself from the coils of sensory perceptions and thus he can escape from the bondage of this body/mind conundrum.
This is what many avatars and saints have explained and taught the ignorant in olden days. Buddha said that ‘desires are the root cause of evil. When he attained wisdom, his teachings were reflecting the falsity of earthly pleasures. He said, “Sarvam Dukkam; Sarvam Kshanigam”- “Everything in this world is grief and everything vanishes quickly. Have we not experienced this all along our existence? We eat some sweet dish. It remains in the tongue for a few microseconds. It is not retained over the tongue. The taste lingers for few seconds. It is sent down the gullet. We see beautiful sceneries. We won’t stand there forever. We move on. We hear some melodious song. After the song is over, we choose some other song. Likewise we crave for smoothening touches. This goes on ever since human beings are created on earth. Why? The attractions of senses are very strong and the mind is easily enslaved by such attractions. None is aware how to curtail the desires. Hence, the saints and prophets took birth on earth to preach the golden truths about life, god and creation.
Those who followed their footsteps escaped from the maddening desires that haunt us often. They become indifferent to the pulls and pushes of thoughts. They simply observed their thoughts but kept quiet without pursuing them. Each animal is fascinated with one sense organ. The elephant is fond of touch; the deer is fond of smell. The peacock is fond of enchanting sights. Hence as soon as the sky becomes cloudy, the peacock opens their colorful feathers and dance! The cuckoo or nightingale bird is fond of fine tunes. When such is the case, the fate of the man who is enslaved by all the sense organs could be imagined. Hence we should control our senses like the tortoise withdraw its limbs inside its strong shell so that it can’t be harmed. By observing the tortoise, we should try to withdraw our senses within us.
In fact, self-control is the first lesson in spirituality. From self-confidence arises self-control which leads to self-satisfaction which will culminate into Self-Realization, the highest goal any human can achieve. Here, I have to clarify about self-confidence which is not based on the body’s strength or capabilities but it arises from the confidence, the self exudes. The confidence, based on body’s abilities won’t last long since the body is ephemeral. The Self is Eternal and hence, the confidence arising out of the Self too is eternal. Our free will must be subsumed in God’s will. This is real surrender. When the ego is relinquished, when the selfishness is annihilated, the individual rests in the self. When he realizes his identity with the supreme self, he attains realization or Nirvana or Moksha! We have heard about yogis performing many astounding feats. They make the atoms of their bodies’ feather like and rise above the ground, against gravity. Their bodies become almost hollow and thence they could levitate on the air. When a yogi is in advanced states, he easily acquire telepathy, clairvoyance and he can create multiple bodies at different places. But, he won’t be interested in exhibiting these acts to attract followers. They are involuntary manifestations and through his yogic powers, he will raise the conscious of his visitors in a sublime level.
A yogi who wishes to demonstrate his power becomes cheaper than street magicians. Real Yogis will never stoop to such levels. Hence everyone must aspire to shed the evil in him and try to attain exalted states in spirituality to culminate in the merger with Divine!