“The word dama-shariri means that we have a body in which we can control the senses and the mind. The complication of materialistic life is due to an uncontrolled mind and uncontrolled senses. One should feel grateful to the Supreme Personality of Godhead for having obtained such a nice human form of body, and one should properly utilize it.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.31.19 Purport)
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1. Holding back at the dinner table
“I really want another slice of pizza. I think I am doing everyone else a favor. No one wants anymore. They are done. From past experience, I understand that the same pizza will not taste as good tomorrow.
“There is something lost in the reheating process. The taste is best when fresh out of the oven. I could easily put down what is right in front of me, but I also know that uncontrolled eating is not good. I will regret the indulgence later on. I will fall asleep later and also require more rest to be fully charged in the morning.”
2. Not pursuing that amorous affair
“I have a loving wife at home. She is faithful. She is loyal. She is supportive. We have been together for many years. It took me forever to find the right person. It was a struggle, for sure. We have our highs and lows, but right now things are steady.
“This other person is pursuing me. We work closely on certain projects. It would be a quick affair; at least I think. I could probably get away with it. There would be enjoyment; no one doubts that.
“At the same time, why go down that route? There is no reason to disturb the current situation over something trivial. Is it really necessary to create so many problems for something that won’t provide lasting satisfaction?”
3. Not lamenting over failures from the past
“I always remember the incidents. The mind won’t let go. The mistakes occurred decades ago. The other people on the scene probably have no memory of what happened. I am the only one holding on to the embarrassment.
“I should move on. People make mistakes. To err is human. No one is perfect. I have much more important things to do. I would rather contemplate positive matters. I would rather spend my remaining days happy and at peace.”
4. Not hankering for a better material condition
“It seems that everyone has it better than me. That person at the office makes way more money than the rest of us. They are barely skilled at what they do. I don’t think they make any meaningful contribution to the firm.
“That is office politics, though. It’s not what you know, but who you know. Maybe I should change jobs. I heard that is the way to climb up the ladder of success. I am pretty happy right now, otherwise. If not for comparing myself to others, I would say that the job satisfaction is high.”
5. Sleeping on time
“It is the strangest thing. In the morning, I never want to get up. I would rather remain in bed for an extended period of time. I am well aware of what lies ahead. I know the difficulty in completing tasks. I know the struggle in travelling to this place and that.
“At night, it is just the opposite. I don’t want to go to sleep. Just a few minutes more of fun. Let me watch another television program. Read one more chapter from that book. Do anything except fall asleep, which is like giving up.
“Still, it is important to maintain regular habits. Even if there is force, there has to be some control. If I simply followed my whims all the time, I would not get anywhere in life.”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that controlling the mind and the senses is one of the boons of the human existence. Complications within material life are due to lack of control in these areas.
We can make changes. We can alter behavior for fulfilling a purpose. With control over the mind and the senses, the human birth can be utilized for connecting with and serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Within other body types, the living entity knows only agreeable and disagreeable conditions. The fire is hot, so stay away. The water tastes good, so drink it. It is cold in this area, so find another place to live. That animal is dangerous, so prepare for defense.
The human being can deliberate. It can put limits on where the mind travels. It can keep the fire of desire in check. This is a wonderful gift, making the body suitable for attaining the highest purpose.
With controlled mind and senses, I can see God both within and without. I notice His presence in the functioning of the interconnected elements on the inside. On the outside, I marvel at His amazing nature, which works through so many connected pieces doing just the right things at just the right moments.
In unique position to find,
That possible to control the mind.
And the senses keeping in check,
Where not equilibrium to wreck.
Boon for higher purpose meant,
That in Divine contemplation spent.
Such that the purpose of life living,
God for His service giving.
Categories: the five
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