Aeons ago, during the ancient times in China, lived a gentleman who suffered from the pestilence of heart problem and neurasthenia. The severity of the malady was immense and he found himself perpetually in a lightheaded and wobbly state. He and his family were mentally distraught on account of this quotidian condition.
In sheer desperation, the patient was compelled to consult several estimable physicians besides a pool of quacks. His devastated and shattered wife was burnt out and had exhausted virtually the last penny from the family’s meagre deposits. No amount of penny-pinching and thriftiness could replenish the wealth of the family, which only served to exacerbate the misadventures in the lives of the family. Her mind, once brawny and robust capitulated to become demurral and brimful of dubiety.
The medical condition of the gentleman was regressing steadily until providentially a relative convinced him to meet a legendary Zen Master who was well-equipped and endowed in the Art of Healing.
The Zen Master with dexterous usage of his craft and circumspect diagnosis revealed to the afflicted and his consort that the chambers of the heart were clogged. The obstruction was rooted in the vexation and accumulated unwholesome thoughts in the mind of the patient.
These noxious and salacious thoughts of the past, present and future that harboured within, had had a detrimental effect on the mental jollity and welfare of the victim. The Master explained in his imperturbable manner that it was inevitable for humans to have antipathetic and lustful thoughts occasionally, but an individual must be in an awakened and alert state to the origin and ascension of such thoughts and feelings.
Markedly and conspicuously, be it prosaic individuals, honcho, sachem, monks or seekers, everyone ought to be careful to exterminate such thoughts before one gets sucked in the cesspool of such libidinous ardour.
The existence of salacious thoughts, more than often triggers lurgy. The appreciation and realisation such nugatory and Sisyphean thoughts is the only cleansing and alleviation. The venerable Master was to further add to the patient that the present condition was on account of the imbalance of Fire and Water elements within his body.
His unceasing and unremitting craving and lust for beauteous and comely women (the outer sensual desire) and his desire for sempiternal and perdurable sexual activity (the inner sensual desire) resulted in depletion of his vital energy levels which made him vulnerable and an easy prey to maladies of several forms.
The Tao Master exhorted the gentleman to exercise complete abstinence to preserve his vital energy. By practising such austerity, the kidneys (water element) would get rejuvenated and the afflicted would be in a position to regulate the flow and balance between the water and fire elements and thereby fortify the heart and other vital organs from impairment. The patient was left with a Hobson’s choice and acquiesced to the sane advice of the Master. He resolutely decided to sever and delink his mind from unwholesome and lustful thoughts.
Through the practise of Buddhist breathing techniques, mindful breathing and meditation, chanting of Mantras with the aid of a rosary, he could arrest these emotions and thoughts whenever they arose.
Through punctilious and streamlined persistence he combatted the heart problem and within a few months staged a prodigious and astounding recovery. Further, he could purge the lecherous thoughts which cannonaded his mind and blossomed in wisdom, compassion, knowledge; reaching a stage where he could distinguish between the two Ls – love and lust. Thus by the expatriation of unwelcome and sybaritic thoughts, he survived in the pink of health well into the winter of his life.
Ever since man lost his innocence in the Garden of Eden by partaking of the forbidden apple, humans are possessed by appetitive and epicurean feelings and emotions. Several Hindu temples are embellished with various seductive poses and openly advocating sexual exhibition. So much so, it appears to advocate single and multiple partners during copulation and also seems to champion LGTB rights (which are frowned upon in this country in a so called modern time). However, the subtle meaning is glossed over by historians and some sections of the oriental and the occidental world. The depiction of these graphic carvings and sculptures is to suggest that humans traverse this sensual and voluptuary path prior to entering the Garbha- Griha (the sanctum where the idol of the Lord is placed). Once the mind enters this blessed and ecclesiastical premise, it purges all carnal thoughts and the mind is metamorphosed into a pristine one.
There is a difference between love and lust. While love promotes harmony, divinity and selflessness, lust espouses possession and craving. Today there is a fusillade of salacious material available through the internet which transmutes the mind towards instant gratification. This wrecks the lives of the youth and adults alike. Wanton acts lead to broken homes and intrusion in the lives of students which disrupts their academic pursuits.
The way out is for individuals to adopt techniques to make the mind robust and resolute. The modus operandi includes taking up vigorous physical activity either in the gym or outdoors. Alternately one should follow one’s passions like writing, painting, learning music, learning yoga and meditation through the bouquet of courses offered by the Art of Living to deflect the mind to something more purposeful and meaningful in life. The Vipassana breathing technique and meditation too offers wide vista to make the mind centred and wakeful.
But as Sage Patanjali said, practice alone is not adequate to combat this intriguing issue. Abhyasa is to be dovetailed with Vairagya or dispassion. The human mind in such a state does not gallop towards passion.