Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shama & Dama - Part 9 of 20


‘dama’ denotes sense-control; but here only the senses of perception (jnAnendriyas) are indicated. Just as it is the mind which is the force behind the five senses of perception so also it is the force of the senses of perception that motivate the karmendriyas (senses of action) into action.

That is why, the control of the senses of action are not dealt with separately. The control of indriyas usually means control of the five senses of perception only.

In Viveka Chudamani a little later (#76 or 78, depending on what reading you are using) these five senses are shown to be the harbinger of all evil.

“The deer obtains its ruin by the sense of sound through the ear (Hunters play the flute, the deer gets charmed by the music and stands still; that is when it is caught).

The elephant reaches its ruin by the sense of touch through the skin (The he-elephant is caught when he forgets himself in the pleasure of contact with a she-elephant, already known to him and now lured into his track).

The moth meets its death by sensing the form through the eyes (Does it not burn itself by being attracted by the form of light-flame which deludes it?).

The fish meets its ruin by the sense of taste realised by the tongue (The bait of the fisherman is the worm that prompts the fish to taste it and gets caught).

The bee meets its ruin by the sense of smell (The smell of the champaka flower attracts the bee and it goes and sits inside the full blossom of the flower; when the flower petals close up the bee still remains there, being enchanted by the smell and that is when it dies, starved of fresh air).

Thus each of the five different senses of perception prove to be the cause of death for one of the five different species of beings. The human, on the other hand is a prey to all the five senses of perception. What to speak of the crisis in store for him?”


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