The Sanskrit word for restraint is ‘sanyam.’ It is crucial for us to prevent the drainage or misuse of our powers and potentials.In general, most of us consume our mental and bodily energy in haphazard activities driven by the passions of our ever churning minds and sense organs. Even an apparently ordinary person may accomplish wonders if he stops draining his capabilities and makes constructive use of his potentials. To do so, we must be vigilant on four fronts: We have to practice control of the sense organs,control of the mind, optimal use of time and optimal use of money.Regarding sensory restraint, the most difficult and important is the restraint of the tongue and reproductive organs. These two are the greediest and most vulnerable to addiction. As you are aware, satisfying the in discriminant cravings of the tongue disturbs our digestive system and spoils our health. Likewise, the unrestrained indulgence in sex drains our vital energy and weakens our physical and mental strength. The unbridled use of the tongue in speech invites animosity and insult. One cannot hope to make any notable spiritual progress or even remain healthy and strong for long without restraining these organs of the senses.
Equally important is the careful use of available resources. Money is a vital resource on the material plane, but unless used carefully, it will encourage extravagance and addiction, lead to a variety of health problems both physical and mental or lead to extravagant displays, which invite jealousy, anxiety and the threat of burglary. Those who are not wealthy are forced to be careful, as every penny of their hard-earned money is important. Those who have substantial amounts for fulfilling their basic needs and duties should invest the remainder wisely in projects that help others generate income, thereby increasing the future viability of those around them. Industriousness, budgeting, and thoughtful use of money is the secret of prosperity. Frugality and controlled use of resources are also essential to one’s efforts to develop the self-restraint of the sense organs. They are also important for the development of independence and spiritual progress in general.
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