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Detachment from worldly desires can lead to progress on the path of spirituality. These desires are creation of five sense organs responsible for kam, krodh, mad, moh and lobh (lust, anger, ego, attachment and greed). If one tries to tread on the path of spirituality remaining attached to sensual pleasures, he is under false impression of rowing boat in a river like the story of a man narrated below:

There was a man who got intoxicated after consuming bhang (cannabis) in the evening. He went for a stroll towards the river nearby. It was a full moon night and very pleasant weather. He saw a boat on the bank of the river. He thought why I should not go for a boat ride in the moon lit night. He boarded the boat and started boating with two wooden planks meant for it. After few hours of rowing boat, when he got tired, he thought he should now return back as he might have come too far from the bank. By this time, it was dusk and his intoxication was also over. When he saw around, he was shocked to find that he was on the river bank only and had not moved anywhere at all. He got down the boat and found that the anchor of the boat was fixed in the ground, which he had forgotten to unhook. He repented and laughed at himself for his blunder mistake and foolishness. He worked so hard and wasted so much time and energy without any fruit.


This story has a deeper sense and a lesson for spiritual seekers. Most of us commit the same mistake in our spiritual journey by having attachment to worldly things consciously or unconsciously and we move nowhere and remain in the same place from where we started and we thinking that we have moved far ahead under false impression.

Here the boat which can be moved in any direction by the choice of the seeker are different paths of spirituality  karma, bhakti, gyan, dhyan yoga etc. which we adopt according to our liking or mental inclination. The anchor has generally five hooks for fixing it in the ground to retain the boat on the bank. Here anchor can be compared with our ego having five sense organs reflecting kam, krodh, mad, moh and lobh (lust, anger, ego, attachment and greed). Thus under intoxication (of attachment to worldly pleasures); we forget to unhook the anchor (five senses) from the ground (world), go on doing efforts of spiritual practices/yoga etc, remain where we were for long time and stuck there itself even for many incarnations without any spiritual advancement. Therefore, for spiritual progress detachment from the world is must.

(Contributed by Dr. J. Kumar Delhi)