The bottomless pit

Study Circle, 07-08-18: The Bottomless Pit
Sathya Sai Speaks – Vol 6, Chp 18.

Sublimation of the senses is essential :
A dog lying comfortably in the middle of a busy thoroughfare—you will have seen some dogs enjoying a siesta in that spot full of danger, creating an island for itself in the midst of the traffic flow—was once asked why it had chosen that spot. It replied that it wanted to discover who among the pedestrians were good and who were bad. It explained that though there was enough road space on both sides, some men prodded it just for fun or out of sheer mischief in order to shoo it off. Such men are innately bad, it declared. The others who mind their own business, go their way, and do not concern themselves with things they meet on the way which distract their attention delaying their journey are good, it said. That dog spoke true, for the men who cannot let well alone are really obstructing their own progress. The main thing is the control and the sublimation of the senses. Letting them have their way, by directing them on the objective world of tastes, smells, shapes, melodies and softnesses is to fall into a bottomless pit. It is like locking up the treasure in a golden box with a golden lock. The thieves get a richer loot, that is all. The Geetha speaks of bhakthi, jnaana, karma, as yogas and by yoga is meant what Pathanjali intended it to mean: chiththa vriththi nirodhah, that is, the stilling of the agitations of the Mindstuff. Vishnu is the supreme exemplar of this calm, for He is “shaanthaakaaram bhujaga shayanam”, the very picture of peaceful calm., though reclining on a thousand-hooded serpent; the snake being the symbol of the objective world with its poisonous fangs. Being in the world but not of it, not bound by it—that is the secret. Maareecha gave up even the urge to live when he got the chance to die at the hands of Raama, with his eyes fixed on the charm of that Divine Form. He knew that Raama was, as he said, “Vigrahavaan Dharmah’—Dharma in cognisable form. So he thanked Raavana for the chance given to him to be killed by Raamaa’s arrow.


  1. Swami says that the main thing is the control and the sublimation of the senses. Reflect a little. – Please come up with some best practices for sublimating the senses under these situations:
  • The sense of sight – Anything that is challenging to the individual, for example, a weakness for watching horror movies. You can come up with your own example.
  • The sense of smell – Anything that is challenging to the individual, for example a weakness for using the sense of smell to hurt oneself like sniffing drugs, markers, glue etc. You can come up with your own example.
  • The sense of touch – Anything that is challenging to the individual, for example, having a weakness for the touch of specific brand name materials on your body. You can come up with your own example.
  • The sense of hearing – Anything that is challenging to the individual. For example, a weakness for listening to loud music. You can come up with your own example.
  • The sense of taste – Anything that is challenging to the individual, for example, a weakness for sweet foods and snacks. You can come up with your own example.

Fortitude is the foremost sadhana
The conquest of the senses and of the passions and emotions is a hard process and a slow process, which will be crowned by success only by systematic endeavour. Take anger, for example. There was once a huge big wrestler who was strutting along a street, proud of his physical strength and his victory over many rivals. As he passed, a middle-aged woman tittered at his size and appearance. The wrestler gnashed his teeth in anger and lunged towards her. The woman exclaimed,” What type of strong man are you, who cannot take a woman’s laughter calmly?” The wrestler had to hang his head in shame. Sahana (forbearance) is the best saadhana, fortitude is the foremost saadhana. That is the greatest lesson of the Shaasthras. How can man serve others or the Lord who is resident in all when the senses drag him away from that service or when passions peep in to tarnish the love that inspires the service? The Lokesha (Lord of the world) is engaged in spreading aanandha in the Loka (world); man should be engaged in spreading aanandha around him. That is the way to co-operate and share in the task of the Lord. Every evil deed hastens one’s fall. Raavana carried away Seetha; many men wonder why, when he did that nefarious deed, the flames of Divine wrath did not reduce him to ashes, or why the anger of a chaste woman did not consume him. But the consequence of all the thapas (penance) he had gone through and the boons he had won from the Gods stood as an armour for long. Raavana must meet his doom through his own folly and wickedness. The Lord is but a witness; He is above all hate and anger, of attachment derived from mine and thine.

2. Swami said that fortitude (courage in pain and adversity) is the foremost sadhana. Why do you think fortitude is the foremost saadhana? Please share your thoughts.

3. Swami said that forbearance ( patient self- control, restraint and tolerance) is the best sadhana. Why do you think forbearance is the best sadhana? Please share your thoughts.

Affirmation: I control my senses

Life Application skill: Please come up with one based on today’s reading.