This chapter is the English translation of Gujarati Book
Title - Sadhak and Sathi
Author - Shri Atmanandji (Dr. Soneji)
RESTRAINT OF WANTONNESS
The general meaning of wantonness is self-willed and
uncontrolled behavior. It is only when one follows in
day-to-day life the sublime instructions of the highly virtuous
and enlightened saint or preceptor that one can control this
wantonness. Thus by controlling this wantonness, one is drawn
to the propitious path.
In general, the human mind has a downward inclination. From the
beginning of the time, the human soul is habituated to be a
slave under the five senses and mind. The soul is attached to
the mind, senses, and evil company that it has absolutely no
idea of the utter loss of its independence.
However we are extremely lucky, that with the grace of pious
and learned saint, we can defeat this wantonness with great
effort and diligence. This will lead the soul to understand its
PRACTICE OF CONTROL OF WANTONNESS
For properly controlling wantonness, two things are required;
Right Knowledge and Right Preaching.
Let us question ourselves: Can we be really happy by wanton
behavior? Or is wantonness the real means to be happy?
Thinking even from the social point of view, good social order
and peace cannot be established by fostering wantonness. The
whole society would suffer from anarchy, distress, disquiet, and
chaos, if it fails to adopt certain good and moral rules of
conduct and a righteous way of life. One should, under the
circumstances, think of the likely consequences of such conduct
at the individual level as well.
Thinking from the spiritual point of view, we should concede
that what is right at the family and social level, this is also
true at the individual level. No individual would be happy by
becoming slave of his mind, five senses, and behaving in a
Considering from any viewpoint, one who behaves unrighteously is
unhappy, his mind is restless and his personality bewildered,
frightened, and dissatisfied. We should therefore be convinced
that happiness and peace cannot be attained by wanton
Once we are convinced that wantonness is the root of all
sufferings, it becomes necessary to consider the ways and means
through which it can be controlled.
For this, our conduct should be guided by the right type of
discrimination. Let us follow the sublime and just teachings of
those great saints of ancient and modern times who have acquired
genuine happiness and peace. Let us associate ourselves with
them, wherever possible. Slowly but surely this brings about
the developmental and sublimating change in our life, so that
several good virtues become manifest in us. Once this is
achieved, true faith and true awakening of the self become
firmly accomplished. With this, wantonness starts vanishing.
Thus the control of wantonness is accomplished with ease.
OBSTACLES IN THE CONTROL OF WANTONNESS:
When a person thinks, "I am great, I am learned, no one is equal
of me," and so on, he will not be able to progress spiritually
in his life. Because such thinking results from false pride and
lurk in his life.
Success is possible only if one becomes impartial and patiently
ponders over the problem. Then one will realize that in all
walks of life, far greater persons have been born than himself.
This will dissipate his pride of family, knowledge, worship,
fame, body, handsomeness, wealth, youth and various similar
Thus one develops humility, a spirit of adoption of virtues, and
a compassionate heart. Now wantonness will leave him. Once one
abandons the path of wantonness, all vices start disappearing
from within in a short time and with the rise of so many
virtues, one can win supreme happiness. Therefore, it is said,
"To follow the preachings of the great and pious saints is the
real religion (Dharma), and it is the real austerity (Tapas)."
GLORY OF CONTROL OF WANTONNESS:
1. "Man can surely win liberation by controlling wantonness.
Thus, salvation has been achieved by endless endeavors." So
said the sacred Jain Tirthankaras.
2. The progress in the path of salvation is directly in
proportion to the degree of suppression of wantonness.
3. If a person is led away by the uncontrolled five senses and
mind, he will suffer from diseases, poverty, and dishonor in
this life, and the pains of low birth, such as animal, bird,
hell, and vegetables, in the life hereafter.
4. Let a person follow to the preachings of a noble preceptor to
enhance his fitness to be firmly established on the path of
5. To abandon bad habits, to take no interest in useless and
trivial matters, to give up bad deeds with conscious efforts,
to keep the mind engaged in feelings, speech, and deeds that
will make life rich, noble, and pure - all these are
practical ways and means of avoiding wantonness. Thus one
attains purity as well as sublimity in life.
6. A person always falls prey to wantonness, if he behaves in
such a way as to scoff at the sublime teachings and
commandments of the preceptor, and not being afraid of
mundane worldly existence. Every command of the wise is
conducive to a multifaceted personality. Let a person not,
therefore, ponder over the high and low of it, or quarrel
with insistence about it. Wantonness is healed only if one
realizes that every command of the wise is blissful. If
wantonness is healed, the soul (person) attains to bliss.
LIVING EXAMPLES OF CONTROL OF WANTONNESS:
Shrimad Rajchandra had written his personal diary and gave it
to his disciple monk Shri Lalluji to copy down some useful part
of it. Shri Lalluji copied that part plus a few other parts
which he found useful. He had thought of obtaining the
permission for the other parts in the morning because his vows
as a monk did not permit him to go out at night to see Shrimad
Next morning, Shri Lalluji placed all the copied pages and diary
before Shrimad Rajchandra and said, "As it was night, I could
not come to get your permission. I have copied from the diary a
few more pages than you permitted." Shrimad Rajchandra kept his
diary and all the copied pages in his own custody. He gave
nothing back to Shri Lalluji. Lalluji repented of it and
narrated everything before Ambalalhbai, a householder pupil of
Shrimad Rajchandra. He too scolded him for copying extra pages
without permission. Shri Lalluji requested Shrimad Rajchandra
again through Ambalalbhai to return him the copied pages. He
then hand over to Lalluji all that he had copied.
This was one of the ways in which Shrimad Rajchandra revealed
the glory of control of wantonness and preached again and again
to resort to self control (Atma-Sadhana) under the orders of the
Bhudeva Mukhopadhyaya was a great man of the state of Bengal,
India during the last century. He was a great scholar who
specialized in philosophy and logic. He was a strict
disciplinarian and he had brought up his family with the
traditional cultural way of life.
He had a grandson named Somadeva. Somadeva was seven years old
at the time.
Once both were travelling together to Calcutta, they were at the
Hoogli railway station. The grand father asked the son to sit
on a bench on the platform and said, "Be seated until I come.
Do not get up." The father was busy arranging about the luggage.
The train arrived and all the passengers took their seats in the
train. The grand father suddenly remembered Somadeva. There he
was, seated on the bench while his eyes were searching for his
grand father. Immediately the father ran and lifted him into
the train. Then he asked, "Well, dear boy, why did you not come
on your own to sit in the train?"
Somadeva replied, "Under your orders, I sat there. How could I
get up before you came?"
All hearts were elated by the boy's firmness in obeying orders.
George Washington, the first President of the USA was renowned
for regularity and discipline in his life. He was firm and
insistent on accomplishing a fixed amount of work in a fixed
amount of time.
Once he had arranged a party at his house to welcome the newly
elected members of the American Congress. The members arrived
late and Washington started on his dinner! When the members
arrived, they were amazed by it. Then Washington said, "Well
friends, I am so sorry, but my butler serves my dinner at a
fixed time because he knows that his master takes his meals at a
With this, Washington continued with his dinner and all the
members joined him.
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