Human psyche perceives controlling five vices - Pride, Lust, Anger, Attachment and Greed, as being perhaps the five most difficult things to do during our short stay on this planet. And the solution to controlling these vices lies within ourselves only.

Self-discipline comes from Self-realization. Self-realization comes from Self-introspection. Self-introspection comes with Patience and Patience comes from Practice.

When we say that we are fighting these vices, this means we are already aware of these problems, which are hampering our spiritual growth, and we are already on our way. But then this should not be said just for mere saying or for impressing upon others.

Actually, the fact of the matter is that as soon as we are confronted with a critical situation, we simply forget to practice patience with ourselves and are conveniently overtaken by any of the above-mentioned vices.

Example: As soon as somebody offends us, our 'ego' comes forward and we, conveniently, forget about practicing patience. Have we ever analyzed how long a period of time we actually remember an incident that gave us the feeling of hurt or insult, regardless of the magnitude of a dispute?

I would say... not more than 2-3 days at the most. And after that, whatever we recollect from that argument, is just a hazy picture of what had actually happened. But the hurt/insult, of whatever derogatory remark she/he said to us, always remains embedded in our mind.

Obviously, the same applies to the other person as well. Those derogatory remarks play games in our minds, for a lifetime in some cases. We hardly remember the cause for which we had argued and tend to remember only the hurt/insult thus caused. Hurt or insult is caused by our false 'ego' or 'ahamkaar' only. This is the reason we are unhappy for most of our lives.

We always say how dare she/he say these remarks to me? (We can't even recollect the remarks...). But, we do not realize that whatever she/he uttered was restricted by her/his level of thinking/intellect... We feel this hurt/insult only because we take whatever is said to us to heart & mind and that is where all the problems arise. What if we do not take the insult at all? She/he can do nothing about it.

Patience is a rare state of mind, where we are neither too happy on the happening of a favorable event nor too depressed on the happening of an unfavorable event. Our goal: the state of mind in which we are constantly in 'Anand...Eternal Joy...Bliss'.

But this state of mind needs practice; practicing restrain or patience with ourselves. Some would simply argue, "Very difficult! Very difficult!!" But: Is it really that difficult? Have we ever strived for it? I am afraid, no, never ever!

So, one derogatory remark from she/he induces another derogatory remark from us and so this vicious circle continues to a point where there can be no looking back.

And in 100% of the cases, we earn nothing from our false ego-based arguments but rather might lose the blessings of our elders or a true friend for a lifetime. By dragging his/her thinking (derogatory words) into our mind again and again, we are not only corrupting our minds but we also don't allow good thoughts to enter our mind.

If we could just practice patience and just listen to what the other person has to say, without blasting him/her out of his/her 'ego', we would solve a lot of problems. We need to practice patience with our minds.

So, whenever we feel bothered with such feelings of hurt/insult, just go to quieter places and try to empty our mind from such thoughts. By giving our mind a feed of positive thoughts or even think about the positive sides of that individual who had hurt/insulted us in the first place, maybe we could reconcile with him/her.

But again, this comes from practicing patience. Now, whenever there is a situation when we feel that one of the five vices are overtaking our thinking, just take a deep cool breath and hold back. We will certainly cool down.

You could say that the other person would brag/boast that he has proven his point, just because we have stopped responding to the negative arguments. We should remember that nobody has ever won an argument and his/her bragging could just be their 'false-ego' only.

Let him/her feel happy!! We can't be right each time and the other person can't be wrong each time. So, if we can gain something from others, we should feel grateful to him/her. We can at least give Patience a try. Patience definitely breeds peace of mind.

Come on, let us give it a try.

Copyright © 2004 Amanpartap Singh --- India