Monday, September 12, 2005

Nice stuff from Eknath!

A Thought for the Day From Sri Eknath Easwaran

Even as a tortoise draws in its limbs, the wise can draw in their senses at will. - Bhagavad Gita

The Gita says a free person can draw in his senses just as a tortoise draws in its legs. What a marvelous simile! Just imagine a tortoise being approached by a group of school children with sticks in their hands. He sees the children coming, and the command is given to the limbs, "Retire!"

Immediately, the head, the tail, and the four legs withdraw into the shell. The children come; they beat out a rhythm on the shell with their sticks. They toss the tortoise in the air, but they can't harm him. After the children leave and all is quiet, the tortoise ventures to stick his neck out, then his tail and legs. He continues his journey, unconcerned. He goes where he likes.

If we want to live in freedom, Krishna says, we must train our senses. We learn when to welcome an experience, and when to withdraw for our own safety. We become masters of our lives. Then we will be like the giant tortoise I saw at the zoo - wandering freely while all the other animals were in cages. A notice on his back read: "I am free. Don't report me to the management."

:-) Lots to learn from all the living beings that we co-exist with!

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