March 25, 2001
Des Plaines Mandira

Dinkar Uncle gave the parable of a weak cow that was fenced in by his owner, and a strong cow that wandered and ate in the wild. The hefty cow told the thin cow that if she joined her, she too would become strong. So they went to a stranger's farm and began eating the grass. When the owner of the farm saw this, he rushed to capture the cows. The cow that was previously tied up continued to eat unaware of the owner. The wild cow was used to being alert during each meal. Thus, the hefty cow got away, while the thin one was abused, left hungry for the next couple days, and finally brought back and reprimanded by her original owner. The owner punished the cow by tying a heavy bell around her neck. The moral of the story is that if the thin cow had remained within her boundaries in the first place, she would not have suffered so much.

Take the example of alcoholism. Drinking can start by taking one glass on a social basis. Slowly, the quantity increases, and drinking is used to, for example, relieve stress. Finally, a habit is formed such that one is addicted to alcohol. Now one cannot live without it, even at the expense of family, friends, and health. While it may have seemed that the niyama of not drinking was a restriction or fence, when things get out of hand, the real restriction is introduced: the consistent need to drink even though it is harmful.



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