Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shama & Dama - Part 10 of 20


However, in shloka #23 he refers to *ubhayeshhAM indriyANAM*, where he defines ‘dama’.

He says ‘dama’ is the control of both types of senses, of perception as well as of action; the control is of the experience of pleasures obtained by both:

vishhayebhyaH parAvartya sthApanaM sva-svagolake /
ubhayeshhAM indriyANAM sa damaH parikIrtitaH //

‘dama’ is said to be the withdrawal of both kinds of senses (jnAna as well as karma) from their objects of enjoyment and limiting them to their own spheres (*sva-sva-golake*).

Here the ‘withdrawing of the senses’ makes sense; but ‘limiting the senses to their own spheres’ is not so clear.

Let me tell you how I have myself understood this.

It does not mean that one should not see anything, should not hear anything, should not eat anything, should not move about or do anything with hands and feet. No, the Acharya does not mean that.

If we stop all activities that way then the journey of life itself would become impossible. And then where comes the SAdhanA? Only if the base screen is there you can draw pictures on it.

Whatever is necessary for life’s journey – like seeing, hearing, eating, walking, moving – has to be done. Thus what is necessary to be done automatically defines a limit, a limiting sphere of activity, on all the senses. This is what is called *golaka* by the Acharya.


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