WHY should we develop our Heart Space? – Part-3

A folktale from Bangladesh drives home the point emphatically:

Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy man who employed a poor maid servant. Her daily tasks included cleaning the house and washing her master’s dishes. As she went about her duties, she couldn’t help but gaze at the luxurious, cushioned bed in awe. Throughout her entire life, she had never experienced the comfort of sleeping on such a bed. Residing in the slums on the outskirts of town, she had grown accustomed to the hardness of the floor.

Every day, while tidying her master’s bedroom, she would occasionally touch the bed and marvel at its softness. One fateful day, the master had to attend to urgent matters, leaving the maid alone at home to complete her chores. Seizing the opportunity, she couldn’t resist the temptation and decided to lie down on the bed, longing to experience its comfort. Almost instantly, she drifted into a deep slumber.

An hour later, the master returned unexpectedly and was overcome with fury upon discovering his servant’s audacity. “How dare you sleep on my bed?” thundered the master. “You uncouth woman! I shall teach you a lesson you’ll never forget.”

The cruel master grabbed a whip and began mercilessly lashing the maid, causing her to scream out in pain. Believing that he was serving justice, the master continued to beat her relentlessly. Despite the agony she endured, an unexpected transformation occurred within the maid. Gradually, her screams turned into a smile and soon transformed into laughter. This only further infuriated the master, who couldn’t comprehend how she could dare to laugh while being punished.

“What is the meaning of this laughter, you impudent woman?” roared the master, demanding an explanation.

With tears streaming down her face, the maid responded, “Oh, master, I am filled with gratitude to God. I lay on your bed for just a few minutes and I am now suffering so greatly. I can’t help but wonder how much pain you must endure every night, as you have slept on this bed for years.”

The master’s anger began to wane, as her words struck a chord within him. In that moment, he realized the weight of his actions and the profound lesson the maid had unwittingly taught him. His heart softened, and he set aside the whip, realizing the depth of his own ignorance.

Is sense gratification harmful?

No! Sense gratification, in moderation, can add flavor to life, much like salt enhances the taste of food. However, an excessive indulgence in sense pleasures can lead to an unbalanced and unsatisfying existence.

Maintaining a healthy and balanced approach to gratification is crucial. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna declares, “He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation, and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system” (6.17). This highlights the importance of moderation and self-regulation in our pursuit of pleasure.

To be continued…