Training OR Punishment?

A person who has a goal in life enjoys health. He does not waste time realizing its value. He is always on time. He does his work himself. He lives always in the present. He is helpful to others. The people around him understand him and love him. He will be able to solve problems easily no matter how hard they are. He does not complain. He is never regretful. The goal-oriented person has these many advantages. But the question remains: how does one espouse a goal?

Training OR Punishment

Mind is naturally fickle. It is as fickle as the wind. One’s priorities change depending on one’s age and the circumstances. One’s goal also changes accordingly. This is because the human mind has in it multiple egos . Every ego wants to take control of mind and master it. Consequently multiple egos rule human life. Because of this, human life gets many masters. Every ego has a goal. Goal changes with the change of ego. As a result, man fails to adhere to his goal. A household ruled by many masters inevitably comes to grief. We fail to watch the T V which has too many remote controls. In the same way, we cannot achieve anything in life if we keep multiple egos in mind.

King Santhanu in the Mahabharatha goes to the seashore for a stroll and falls in love with Sathyavathi. He meets her father to ask for her hand. But the father of the young lady rejects the proposal. Next day Bhishma, on knowing his father’s desire to marry her, meets Sathyavathi’s father and prevails upon him to let his father marry his daughter. He promises him that he would never marry in his life. The ego that actuated Bhishma at that moment remained to the end of his life. He did not let another ego take control of his mind. Therefore Bhishma’s vow came to be known as Bhishma Pratijna. The unflinching decision is called Ekathma bhava(Single minded attitude).

Srikrishna called Arjuna Paranthapa (Scorcher of enemies). As Krishna stationed his chariot between the warring forces on the battle field, the valiant Arjuna developed cold feet on seeing his dear kinsmen among his foes. The ego in him prompted him not to fight. Then Krishna brought forth his earlier ego which was determined to fight. Krishna instructed
him convincingly to fight and achieve victory.

In the course of the Mahabharatha war Abhimanyu got killed. Dharma Raja was overpowered by grief, and the ego in him decided not to fight. Vyasa came to him and told him that death was inescapable for all, and fostered his former ego which decided to fight and made him ready for the battle.

In the Ramayana, Kaikeyi wanted Rama to live in the forest for fourteen years. She wanted him to regard it as his father’s order. Rama promised his mother and father to leave for the forest. Then many people including Vasistha and Bharatha advised him to change his decision. He did not accept their advice because he did not give room to another ego to rule his mind. That is why Rama is called DRIDHA VRATHA (one of unflinching decision)

Hanuman crossed the ocean, reached Lanka and searched for Sita. As he did not find her there, he was deeply disappointed. His ego made him decide to end his life in frustration. But he put it down remembering the promise he had made to his people. He strengthened his former ego which directed him to make use of his time and power in the service of Paramathaman (Sri Rama). He achieved victory.

In the history of our struggle for independence, we notice the supreme sacrifice made by Jhansi Laxmi
Bai, Alluri Seetha Rama Raju, Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagath Singh and Mahathma Gandhi. They have become immortal. They have achieved this because they did not give room to many egos to rule them. There was only one ego that guided them throughout.

A lamb for instance does not need instruction about food, sleep etc. It lives guided by its instinct. Animals do not make mistakes in life. There is no need for them to learn lessons about the way they live. They need to be trained only when we want them to perform specific duties. But the case of human beings is different. They are guided by their mind. It is natural for mind to make mistakes. It is natural for man to err. But man does not accept his errors. Mind does not allow him to learn lessons from his errors. But it leads him to err more. Law punishes the erring man without training him. That is why the man who is punished to go to prison does not refrain from committing crime.He repeats it and gets jailed repeatedly.

In fact the word Siksha in Sanskrit means
training. Therefore we have the works like
Paniniya Siksha. But in popular use the word
Siksha means Punishment.

Let us take the case of ordinary men. For instance, a servant maid had been working for years in a household. She appealed repeatedly in vain to the master of the house to increase her remuneration. One day, she stole the money from the master’s purse. She was punished by the court of law. There are two aspects here to note. The maid’s stealing money is a crime according to law. The master’s refusal to increase her wages is, in fact, the reason for her crime. But the master is not punished for his crime. His is an ethical crime. There are countless people who are guilty of such ethical crimes. Who will punish them? In fact this world itself is a prison for them. They suffer here or they get trained.

Science has enabled man to rule this planet and beyond. This is admirable. Money in millions is spent
for this. Thousands of men spend their time working for this. There is of course superb technological achievement. But how
much of time and money is spent towards promoting human values to match the technological achievement? Why don’t the scientists work in this direction? The people may argue that the Government is spending money on educating people and that there is no need for efforts specially for promoting human values. If the system of education takes care of this, there is no need for the special efforts to promote human values and personality development. But the fact is that a large number of University degree holders are running after the personality development classes. Why?

Therefore we need to direct our attention in the first place towards changing the present system of education. If this takes lots of time, we have to provide the opportunity for men and women to seek training from the teachers who are endowed with excellent personality.

We want to be happy in life. But happiness is never unalloyed. It is inevitably associated with misery. We cannot help desiring happiness. Is it wrong then to desire happiness? How can we solve this problem? The only way is to change our understanding or awareness of happiness. We need training to inculcate this awareness. For instance we like eating sweets. The sweets are made of sugar which is full of chemicals. Because of sweets made of sugar, we become victims of osteoporosis which renders bones weak and brittle. If we remember this fact while eating sweets, we develop a kind of loving detachment. In the Bhagavadgita, this is suggested as Duhkhadoshaanudarshanam which means that we should see misery- causing evil in the enjoyment of pleasure repeatedly.



It is said that we get 70 thousand thoughts daily. Every thought consumes our energy. 90% of the thoughts we get are said to be negative. These drain our energy even if we do not exert ourselves in any way. We cannot stop getting thoughts. But we can put the thoughts we get in a right way. We need training for this. We convert a piece of iron into a magnet by rubbing it with a magnet. The atoms are in an irregular manner in a piece of iron. When rubbed with a magnet, they form a regular order. This is a sort of training. We can also regularize our 70 thousand thoughts by training. Let us get
ready for this.



-Translated by Prof. S. Laxmana Murthy, India