“Intoxication with sense-objects is the biggest impediment to spiritual progress. What I refer to as the ‘evolutionary pressure’ is unremittingly engaged in propelling the individual soul (jivatma) to its goal which is the Perfection of Consciousness, but world-objects scattered en route beguile the traveller and retard the journey until, at one stage, the soul simply stagnates and starts wallowing in the mire of the world-process, unable to conserve its energy and make a bid for freedom that is its birthright. The situation is not different from that of Atlanta, the fastest runner in the world in Greek mythology who noticed solid blocks of gold scattered on the track. She was very far ahead of the competitor and so she confidently tarried to collect the gold-pieces. This diversion resulted not only in loss of running time but also added a burden to her and so she had necessarily to slow down. With the predictable outcome that she lost the race to the wily competitor who had capitalised on the power of temptation which the human mind is slave to.


            “Have you ever had the time to ponder why the TV is more in attractive power than the radio? The radio with its music engages only one of your five senses, viz the ear, whereas the TV draws another sense-organ too, this being the eye. So the pleasure you derive from a song-and-dance sequence on the TV is twicefold; and even as you enjoy it does it not occur to you that your life-energy is being expended to a greater extent? Does this example set you thinking on a missing factor in your education? If so, you are on the right track. The lesson you should learn is that the more the number of senses involved in an enjoyment, the more would be the quantum of pleasure that falls to your lot and the more the drawal from the stock and store of your life-energy which is your sole capital for the business of living three score years and ten on this planet. It was Tiruvalluvar who pointed out first that only in matrimony all the five senses are engaged at the same time and hence the experience of near-bliss therein. Are there not any number of poems and film-songs saying that the world stood still for a moment at the height of carnal bliss and that Time itself came to a stop? It is in this background that the concept of yoga through bhoga came to be mentioned, as Bharati draws our attention to, in one of his prose-works.


            “Having said all this, am I seeking to coerce you to the conclusion that sense-enjoyment is forbidden? No, nothing like that. Such abnegation is neither necessary nor is it practical. Even the samiyar who pontifically calls upon you to ‘give up desire’ likes his coffee hot and frowns if a dish is not to his taste! It is the senses that identify the world around for you; and contact of any sense with any object would result in pleasure or pain or peace as a sensation to the mind. A burning fire is pleasant to look at but painful to touch. So what do you do? Take sufficient care to protect yourself when you have to handle fire. A child does not know this rule and hence gets into trouble. Here ignorance is the cause of misery. Even after you grow up if you ignore the law of Nature you will have to pay the price. A blow without a word is what you bargain for, as Aldous Huxley puts it.


            “Now, when does Ignorance overpower a trained mind even? When the mind falls a prey to emotion. That is why I say repeatedly ‘Avoid Emotion and cultivate Awareness’. Stop not till the Awareness becomes constant.”


— Sage TGN

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