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Would you travel in a car without brakes?


My officer teases me about the various discourses I attend. Some members of his family, too, he says go to satsangs but he sees no inner change in people like us.

"So what if I indulge in eating food that's not sattvic and drink a bit - so long as I don't lose control?" he asks.

Often we feel we are in full control of ourselves but then a moment comes in life when one loses all control. It is the fear of that moment that makes wise men advise us to abstain. But more than one's food and drinking habits, it is emotions like anger, greed and lust that one must fear. In anger we devour the very soul of a person, in greed we take all we can lay our hands on. Trees are being cut randomly because those in control become uncontrollable. They see money in cutting trees, not realising that future generations will suffer.

Due to previous samskaras - habits of past births - we are unable to rid ourselves of anger, greed, lust and jealousy. Sattvic qualities appear difficult to cultivate. It takes great effort. One morning two sadhus sitting on the banks of the Ganga saw a black blanket floating towards them. One of them decided to take the blanket while the other told him not to bother with possessions. The first sadhu stretched his hand but the blanket turned out to be a black bear. His friend asked him to come back. "How can i come back, the blanket has caught me," shouted the sadhu. In the beginning we run after desires but later desires overpower us and the result is suffering. It is not so easy to loosen our grip on desires. Why should we not fulfil desires when we have the money to do so? Don't we earn to fulfil desires?

The answer, says the guru, is because desires are like the rubber band. Once a desire is fulfilled, the mind feels elated and produces many more desires. The mind stretches itself and stops only when it breaks. It is like a car with no brakes. Will you sit in a car if it has no brakes? Desires are like the accelerator and the inner self is the brake. If our inner consciousness has no say then our senses, mind and intellect will not know where to draw the line. A guru is not a spoilsport who does not want you to enjoy life. His wish is that you live, enjoy as well as realise that infinite bliss is got only in the company of the Divinity within.

Only a realised guru can help us find our inner Self. A boy was getting married when his guru asked: ''Are you firm?'' "Yes, of course!" he replied. But at night he found himself going to a woman's house with the intention of spending the night there, unable to resist the temptation. A gatekeeper stopped him saying she was getting ready. Later he said she had guests. And still later when the boy returned, the guard said she was resting and thus the night passed. At dawn he rushed to his guru's hut. The guru who was always awake at Brahma muhurta was still sleeping. Concerned, the disciple woke him up. "I was awake the whole night trying to stop you from succumbing to temptation. Son, you are still not firm." answered the guru.



Satsangs with self-realised saints activate our inner self. Yet it is entirely our own choice to follow the right or wrong path.


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