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Energy Conservation And Yoga

Posted on: 03 Nov 2018
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

Shri P V N M Sharma asked: Swami! Why do you put off the lights and fans as soon as we leave the room?

Swami replied (jokingly): O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! You know that I am the light of spiritual knowledge and a fan of God Datta. There is always jealousy between similar items since likes repel each other. The light and the fan are My rivals and so I always put them off!

(Seriously): We should use electricity with utmost care only whenever we have a real necessity. People leave the lights and fans on even after they leave the rooms. They try to show off their false generosity and richness; that they can pay the electricity charges even for the electricity that they do not need. Yes, I agree that you are very rich and have the capacity to pay the electricity bill even though it was spent unnecessarily. It is not the question of your capacity to pay the extra electricity charges. Electrical energy is generated only in a limited quantity; not in an unlimited quantity. If it were generated in an unlimited quantity, your wastage of electricity need not be criticized. Everybody is wasting some amount of electricity. If all these small quantities of electricity are conserved and the wastage is reduced to zero, a lot of electricity will be saved. This large amount of electricity saved would be useful for poor farmers who need electricity for pumping water from their borewells and irrigating their fields. This will allow plenty of food to be produced, which in turn would prevent the hunger deaths taking place on the streets. The saved energy could also be used for other real necessities like industries, which give employment to the poor. Unless we are concerned about the wastage of energy which is generated in limited quantities, we are not helping this world function peacefully. The peaceful functioning of the world is the main aim of God.

Similarly, human energy is also very much limited. You may have a lot of food in your home since you are very rich. But can you continuously eat food and continuously generate human energy? Are you like an engine, which can continuously generate energy by continuously consuming fuel? Actually, even an engine, if operated continuously, will lose its efficiency and get spoiled in a very short time. Our digestive system is even more delicate. It does not even allow food to be eaten continuously, not to mention producing human energy continuously. It can only take in a little quantity of food twice or thrice in a day and it can generate a very limited amount of human energy. If we waste our human energy in unnecessary worldly issues, no energy is left for our spiritual efforts. We must control the wastage of human energy in unnecessary worldly vices. A small part of the little amount of available human energy should be used for fulfilling the bare worldly necessities. The rest of the available human energy should be used for our spiritual efforts. Unless we develop the habit of controlling the wastage of external energy, how can we save our external physical energy and use it for useful worldly tasks? Unless we develop the habit of controlling the wastage of our internal human energy, how can we save the internal human energy and use it for the spiritual effort?

Conservation of energy, time and money, without wasting them on unnecessary expenditure is not miserliness. It is real wisdom to conserve them so that they may be used for the right purposes. If one conserves these three and does not use them even for the right purposes, such a person is a real miser. Controlling the unnecessary expenditure of these three is not miserliness at all. You are conserving them by resisting their wastage so that they can be spent in full quantity for the right purpose and that the need is perfectly and effectively met. Generally, we waste energy, time and money thinking that we are spending them in very very small quantities. But thinking like this we waste them in small quantities many many times. If only we could put all these small wasted amounts together and see the full extent of the wastage!

We should withdraw our senses from these worldly vices to save our energy, time and money, remembering that drops of water put together formed the mighty ocean. Such withdrawal of senses from the unnecessary wastage of these three is called as Pratyahaara, which is the fifth step of yoga. This step is the main gate of the real spiritual effort, which is represented by the next three steps called as Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Unless the leakages in the water-tank are arrested, the pipelines running from the water-tank cannot yield water at a sufficient pressure to fulfill your needs. The first four steps of yoga are: yama, niyama, aasana and praanaayaama. They are related to conserving one’s physical health. Physical health is also the basis of mental health. So, these four steps ensure that you attain a sound mind in a sound body. Only after attaining this preliminary requirement, does the actual path of yoga start with the fifth step called as pratyahaara.

In this fifth step, you have to withdraw the senses from the false attractions of the world so that you can put in the initial effort with force and enter into the subject of God (spiritual knowledge). After digesting the subject of God, there is no necessity of any effort for the detachment from the unnecessary worldly issues. The attachment to God naturally brings detachment from the world. But before attaining that attachment to God, you have to put in special effort for worldly detachment. This is just an initial starting trouble. For this initial effort, we need the help of this fifth step of yoga. Unless you have a sound body with a sound mind along with the achieved interest in God, you cannot serve God effectively like Hanuman, who has a strong body and a strong mind with a strong attachment to God.

 
   

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