Either you run your life, or your habits run your life. Who is the master and who is the slave? Let’s get our perceptions right The topic of seminar was ‘Set your Magnet Right ‘.The key speakers in the seminar were Dev and Avyakta & both were orators par excellence. Strangely, Dev was getting a little ego involved with Avyakta. By the end of the seminar, Dev spared no opportunity to counter and negate some of Avyakta’s answers.
With a glass of scotch in one hand and a cigarette in the other, Dev and asked, “I have heard you saying ‘In matters of principle, stand like a rock and in matters of relationship, flow like the river’. For the sake of relationship, why don’t you join us for a drink?”Avyakta burst out laughing and then said, “That’s innovative, asking me to drink in the name of relationship. I always thought ‘to drink or not’ was a matter of principle. How does it matter to you what is in the glass and what goes down my throat, as long as I stand next to you sipping a glass?” Saying so, Avyakta picked up a glass of fruit punch. ‘I and I alone will have the last say’ is one of the most common traits of an egoist. Dev argued, “Why is it that you people who abstain from some habits think very high of yourselves? And what is so bad about those of us who enjoy the little pleasures of life? Even some doctors, who understand everything about the way the body functions, drink. Then what’s all this fuss about?”
Avyakta explained. “Alcohol is just incidental. The fuss is not about alcohols, but about habits. I am not saying there are good habits and bad habits. Habits, whether they pertain to liquor or tea or TV or newspaper, are wrong.” Avyakta took a sip of the fruit punch and said, “if I didn’t get this fruit punch today it wouldn’t have mattered to me, but if you didn’t get what’s in your glass it would have disturbed you. Habits disturb one’s flow and happiness. Hence they are wrong.”
Dev snubbed him saying, “Typical people, all of you. What you do is right and what you don’t do is wrong. If we are like you, we are good people; if not, we are bad people.” Saying so Dev walked out of the place. One of the seminar organizers extended a soft apology to Avyakta, Avyakta said, “When you hold your peace above everything else, then nothing and no one can disturb you. When you hold your ego above everything else, then everything and everyone disturbs you. ”
One of the participants enquired, “I am truly curious to know what is wrong with habits ?”Avyakta explained, “Habits are mental phonograph records, repeated indulgence in anything creates a mental blueprint. Repetition causes the grooves to deepen and after a while, the record plays automatically. Thus we become slaves to our habits and lose our freedom, self discipline and control. Our habits make us lead a robot like existence.”
Avyakta elaborated, “Haven’t we heard about the Pavlov effect? Ivan Pavlov used to ring a metronome at the same time he fed his dogs. After a while, the dogs that earlier salivated only on seeing their food, began to salivate when the metronome sounded, even if no food was present. If I don’t smoke, I can’t do potty; if I miss my morning tea, I will get a headache; when I am tense, I need a drink; else hell will break lose…..ring the bell and I will salivate. Salvation or Salivation?”
“To be succinct,” Avyakta said, “if you do not get what you want when you want it, and it disturbs you, it has gained mastery over you. What has gained mastery over you has gained mastery over your peace. The more external masters you have, the less peaceful you are. If the newspaper is delayed, it disturbs your peace. If the coffee is not to your specification, it disturbs your peace. If you can’t go to temple when you want to, it disturbs your peace.
Avyakta summarized, “Who is the Master is the big question? The more number of times the answer is something or someone outside of you, then you do not have a very peaceful existence. The more number of time you feel you are the master, you will find that you are experiencing the all encompassing peace.”
No matter how much we achieve, there is a point at which all of us will once again feel like a failure. You run the race of life in
laps to discover that every finishing line is also the starting line. You only realize, year after year that the closing balance once
again becomes the opening balance, and you start all over again.