02.58 – To minimize weariness, maximize wariness

by August 16, 2013

If we had to do everything that everyone wanted us to do, we would soon become exhausted. That’s why we learn to say no to those things that aren’t high on our priority list.

This principle of learning to say no applies to our inner life too. Most of the desires entering our mind are intruders that prey on our time and mental energy. But because they seem to come without anyone’s external persuasion, we tend to think of them as our own desires. Frequently however, they are not our own desires; they are simply delayed external persuasions.
Our past exposures to external temptations have created impressions in our mind. When we are off-guard, those impressions impel us to do things that are unimportant, unnecessary or even undesirable. When our energy gets dissipated on such things, then we find ourselves overworked, stressed and frustrated. In one word, weary.
To minimize such weariness, we need to maximize our wariness about inner desires and outer temptations.
1. Inner desires: Instead of uncritically identifying the desires coming in our mind as our desires, we can cautiously evaluate them: “Is this important for me? If not, let me neglect it, or better still, reject it.”
2. Outer temptations: Even when external temptations don’t seem to provoke us, still we can minimize our exposure, knowing that the consequent impressions may provoke us in the future. Why court trouble?
The Bhagavad-gita (02.58) recommends such wariness when it urges us to withdraw our senses from the sense objects.
Over time, the struggle to be wary may itself make us weary. That’s why we need to complement our wariness of the negative with eagerness of the positive – devotional stimuli centered on Krishna. The resulting remembrance of Krishna will fill us with spiritual energy and drive out our weariness.

One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its limbs within the shell, is firmly fixed in perfect consciousness.

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