Avoid extremes; Follow the middle path!
Avoid extremes to lead a happy contented life!
“Avoid extremes’ cautions the learned one. The middle path has been recommended as the best one for treading life in this world. Now let us examine the terms ‘extremes’ and middle path. Of course, this caution do not hold good for traffic along highways. This is applicable only for leading our life safely. In this world, there are many kinds of people. People who are ‘perfectionists; perfection per see is not bad. We have to perform the tasks perfectly. We cannot do it in a half-baked manner. But it is perilous to expect perfections everywhere. We may act perfectly but we cannot expect every other to follow suit. The problem starts here only. Expecting everything to be perfect and expecting everyone to be perfect is the first sign of trouble.
The world itself is a mixture of perfections and imperfections. There is light as well as dark. There is cleanliness as well as dirt. Creation goes through many processes. First there is creation, then sustenance and ultimately annihilation. Perfection cannot lead to annihilation. We are all aware that there are many microorganisms that assist sustenance of created beings. At the same time, there are many bacteria which cause ill health and disease. Biologists know the different varieties which assists life and which are harmful to life. We consume pure nourishing food to sustain us. The next day, the undigested food is extricated by all. Then only we can remain healthy. Nature too sustains itself by many ways. Many of us may be aware how the ecology of the world is balanced. Creation happens in a mass scale. Insects and reptiles perpetuate their species in astonishing speed. If they are allowed to remain as it is, the world cannot sustain itself. Hence there are many species of creatures, animals and birds which feed on the insects and reptiles. Hence there are many ways by which each species of life is maintained in balance. Smaller birds are food for many animals and snakes. Plants are food to the animals and human beings. There are meat eating animals which feed on cows, buffalos and deer. Small fishes are food to larger fishes, sharks and whales. When lion, tiger and cheetah feed on the flesh of the animals, the left over carcass is eaten away by hyenas, fox and hawks. Hence there is always a self-cleansing and self-balancing mechanism that is in force in ecological systems.
Now let us examine human qualities and feelings. Anger is one such quality which will become disastrous when uncontrolled. We may get anger on reasonable things. We should not carry on the anger forward. Express your anger mildly. Yes this is the middle path. Do not shout or hurt others in anger. This is extreme. Likewise we should use the negative tendencies in mild manner so that it will be beneficial. For instance, lust is meant for propagation of human race. Many of us may become lustful for enjoying carnal pleasures which will enslave us in the longer run. Even the animals’ shows restrain in its behavior but unfortunately man has become worse than animals by behaving in indecent manners. In the ancient scriptures many rules and regulations have been given for human behavior. Unfortunately due to the evil effects of the present age, man has descended to abysmal depths. Selfishness, greed and ego play havoc in human life. To regulate the indecent behavior, several disciplines are prescribed for ethics. For instance ‘over eating’ causes sloth and lethargy in human mind. Hence the elders have said, half stomach should be filled with solid food, one quarter with liquid and the remaining quarter should be left empty. Then only we can enjoy better health and have good digestion. Stuffing the stomach with all the food one has access, eating in between meals, snacks and fast foods harm our health to a great extent. Hence even in the Bagawad Gita, Lord Krishna prescribes middle path with regard to food, sleep, recreation and exercise. Over exercise will harm our bodies. You should sleep for minimum 6 to 8 hours. That much rest to the brain is enough. Some people have the habit to sleep both in the night and the day time also.
Hence avoid all extremes in feelings, food, sleep, work and recreation. Adopt moderate life style. Do not toil day and night for filling the belly and acquiring things. We cannot carry a penny to the other world. Our houses, cars and other properties won’t accompany us. Hence adopt moderation or middle path in all your activities. Do not go to extremes!