Once Mullah Naseruddin was galloping on his horse. He looked exhausted, tired. He couldn’t even sit. He was lying flat on the back of the horse, hanging on to the horse. His face looked so dull and tired, his eyeballs rolling up.The horse was moving around and around the same streets in the village. People asked, “Hey, Mullah, where are you going?” He said, “I haven’t the least idea. Please ask the horse.” Our senses take us on such a gallop - we have no idea where we are going, what we are doing, what we want. I had a friend in school. He would turn the radio on and he would not listen to any station for even one minute. He would keep tuning, keep searching, moving from one station to another station, not even two sentences of a song would he listen to - he was so restless, he just could not keep from fiddling.
Similarly, we eat and we go on eating and eating. When you are asked what you ate, you don’t even know what you ate. You sit on the couch watching television and you keep stuffing yourself. Suddenly you find there is nothing left in front of you. You’ve stuffed everything and what you ate, you have no idea, how much you ate, you have no idea. When people become restless, they keep on eating. They are not enjoying the food - it is just the feverishness to stuff things inside. It is a Catch 22 situation. When you are exhausted, you keep eating. And when you have eaten so much, you get exhausted, you can’t do anything else.
Similarly, people go for sightseeing. You go to Paris, you go here and there, eyes wide open, looking at all the buildings. You come back tired and tanned, totally exhausted. What did you do? ‘Sightseeing!’ What did you see? ‘Well, nothing.’ Look at all the faces of tourists moving around, seeing this building, that building. Do they feel revitalized, energized, enthusiastic, bubbling with bliss and joy? No. Most of the holidays people take are tiring and exhausting - mentally, physically, emotionally, in all senses. After being on a holiday, they want to take another holiday. Coming back from a holiday, they want to rest a few days.
There cannot be rest unless you withdraw the senses from the objects. Deep rest is when you consciously withdraw all the senses and take a conscious rest. Unconscious rest is inevitable, you have to sleep every night. Nature has designed our systems such that we need to do that, otherwise we would drop dead. But consciously bringing the mind away from the sense into its source, even for a few moments, brings such a deep rest in you. That is what is called Vishayatyagat sangatyagat cha - getting away from the objects of the senses. Bringing the mind back to its source will kindle the love that you are, will manifest the love that you are. You know, our senses have a limited capacity to enjoy. But the desire in the mind is unlimited. That is the cause for bulimia. You can only eat so much, but the mind is not satisfied. Your mind wants to just stuff things, more and more. How much can you stuff? Then you vomit. Then again you eat, then you throw up, then again you eat. Then you destroy this beautiful instrument, this body, by over using it, by misusing it.
Excerpts from the book An Intimate Note to the Sincere Seeker by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar www.artofliving.org