5.Self-Restraint and the Nature of the Self : 3.
The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :
The senses are to be withdrawn from their contact with the objects. The objects are to be shut-out from their relationship with the senses: Sparshankritva bahirbahya. Here, there is something interesting for us to know. The necessity to sever sensory contact with external objects arises on account of a basic error involved in this contact. All contacts are wombs of pain, says the Gita in another place: Ye hi samsaparsaja bhoga dukhayonaya eva te advantah. The desire of the mind to come in contact with objects through the senses arises on account of the mistaken notion that pleasure rises from the objects. As milk is oozed out from the udder of the cow, it appears that objects ooze out satisfaction, joy - nectar seems to be milked-out of the objects by the senses through their contact. This is a gross mistake; there is no such thing taking place. The joys of life arise on account of a circumstance quite different from what we imagine in our minds, out of point altogether from the connection of the senses with physical objects.
Firstly, a real contact with objects is not possible, due to the operation of a differentiating factor which cuts off the subjects from the objects – space and time. This screen, which is hanging in front of our eyes, space-time as you call it, prevents a real communion of the subject with the object; and all contact is finally a desire for such a communion which is never attained. Thus the desire is never fulfilled, finally, because the contact, which is the objective behind the manifestation of a desire, is never really attained. There is only a tantalising phenomenon taking place, misleading the mind and completely defeating the senses of their purpose. The objects repel the senses because of the impossibility of coming in contact with the objects.
The desire for an object, as I mentioned, is a desire for union with the object, possession of the object, enjoyment of the object – by an entry into it, if it were possible, and the bringing the object so close to one's self that the distinction between one's self and the object is abolished in a space-transcending experience; but this is not possible in this world of space and time. We can never really come in contact with anything in this world; we cannot possess anything in this world because of this difficulty. The externality principle which is space-time, or you may call it by any other name – is so vehemently active that it will not permit the coming in contact of one thing with another in the manner of a communion or an entry of one thing into another. 'A' can never become 'B'. 'A' is 'A', 'B' is 'B', subject is subject, and object is object.
Thus everyone gets defeated in this world, and no one goes from here with the satisfaction that the objectives of life craved for have been really fulfilled or attained. This is one of the reasons why the desire for contact with objects of senses is futile, finally. Parinama tapa samskara – are some of the points mentioned in a sutra of Patanjali as factors which should dissuade anyone from enshrining in one's heart an inordinate longing for anything in this world. The consequence of the fulfilment of a desire is an increase of the desire, and not a fulfilment of the desire. Na jado kamah kamana upabhogye nishamyati havisha krishnavartye na bhuye eva bhi vartati –
Desire flames up like raging fire which is fed with clarified butter when it is attempted to be fulfilled, and desire is never extinguished by its being fed with the fuel of sense objects. The reason is that every enjoyment, every sensory contact effecting this imagined satisfaction, acts as a medium to confirm this error – that joy arises from the objects. There is a reinforcement of the error – that joy is embedded in the objects – so one goes more and more towards the objects, and does not learn a lesson that a mistake had been involved in this craving of the senses for objects. Thus the consequence of the fulfilment of a desire is an increased impetuosity of the desire, not the fulfilment. A desire is never fulfilled; it only gets increased.
To be continued ...