Lots of efforts are being put in conquering the coronavirus. But we know that even if we conquer the virus, we still have to gather ourselves and learn our lessons. Because there is no point in conquering the virus and falling back into immoral activities. It may be difficult to conquer ourselves – because it requires subduing so many ambitions, desires, aspirations which otherwise make us ‘happy’ – but it is definitely less painful than going through the angst of a pandemic. How do we conquer ourselves?

“Saadhe indriya prabalko, jihite outhe oopaadh
Man raajaa behakaawate, paanchon bare asaadh”.

Bring the dominant senses under control as they are the root of all troubles; the five senses are unruly and try to fool the mind. Satguru Kabir Saheb tells us that the mind should be the king, not the slave of our senses. Once the mind becomes a slave, everything goes perverse. Conquering the senses is thus the first step in taking control of ourselves. Applying discriminative wisdom, we are then able to know what is right to do. Without the right knowledge, people get lost and do not know what to do. Engaging in numerous fights to win the world ends up in losing ourselves. What is the use of conquering COVID if we lose ourselves in the battle?

“Man ke mate na chaaliye, man ke mate anek
Jo man par asavar huwe, so saadhu koyi ek”

Do not let the mind guide you because the mind is uncontrollable. He is a Sadhu who is able to bring his mind under his control. Once we have been able to tame the senses, the next step is to have our mind under control as well. The mind has been compared to a monkey, which jumps from one branch to another in no time. Satguru Kabir Saheb observes that rare is the one who can control the mind. People easily get addicted to unwanted habits. And once addicted, it becomes difficult to drop the habit. It requires lots of courage and determination to stay away from temptations.

Being in control of ourselves instead of being a slave to others or to situations, possessions, or conditions is what we must aim at. To be able to achieve that control, we must first acknowledge that we are neither the body nor the mind; therefore none of what we do to satisfy the body or the mind will bring us that control.

Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.