To Facebook or not?

Question:
 

With the advent of social media and uncontrolled use of it, we have added immensely to the list of Raagas and Dveshas especially on viewing people’s profiles, photos or posting messages.  In a very subtle way, it impacts the mind and adds to my cravings & aversions silently. To fix this, I quit Facebook and Whatsapp. I still see my mind trying to negotiate with me to go back but I refuse to do so. My mind says that I acted out of Dvesha. Was it Dvesha? Please, could you help me understand?

Answer:
 
Have you ever used a bow and arrow?
 
When one places the arrow on the bow, we have to pull the string behind with force. We have to pull it quite far behind with as much force that is required for that arrow to shoot ahead. If one pulls it too far behind, the strings will break. If one does not apply enough pressure, the arrow won’t shoot. For the arrow to shoot ahead, one needs to apply the optimum amount of pressure on the bow, then only will the arrow really spring forward with a good speed and hit bull’s eye.

Similarly, if you pressurize your mind too much, it will break but if you’re too lenient with the mind, it will not get disciplined.  To apply the right amount of force is what is called Discipline.

Withdrawing from social media could be taken as that discipline but don’t make it a forever discipline. Set a time period for your mind that I will do this only for 6 months or 1 year.  So that in one year you complete Ashtavakra Geeta and probably learn to focus on how to be equanimous and not give into Raagas and Dveshas.  If your mind really knows that there is an incentive at the end waiting, the mind will work hard.  So this could be a formula for those people who need an incentive to follow any kind of discipline.  So if you are that kind of a person who needs an incentive, then this is the perfect discipline but again don’t apply too much pressure.  See that you make it time bound and this could be a good way to cleanse yourself.

The second important point, how will refraining from this help cleanse?  Just by refraining from it, it will not help cleanse.  You will have to do your spiritual exercises like meditation and listening to knowledge on a continuous basis and making an effort to apply that knowledge.  Then only this discipline will give its fruit at the end not otherwise. Because, if you are not generating Raaga and Dvesha from Facebook and WhatsApp but continue to generate Raagas and Dvesha at home, at work, with friends, your social circle and when face to face with people then also there will not be much progress.

So discipline needs to be:
  •  Time-bound
  •  Hand in hand with application of spiritual knowledge
  •  Work on recognizing the nature of the mind.  

The nature of the mind is that it keeps changing its parties.  One day the mind says, oh it is good to get off Facebook and WhatsApp.  The next day it says, go back to social media.  So this is the fickle nature of the mind not just your mind.  Everybody’s mind is like that.  The wise one is the one who masters this weakness of the mind.  The wise one is the one who masters the fickleness of the mind.  So be wise.  Recognize the fickleness of your mind and don’t lose to it specially in weak moments.  Never take an action when you are weak.  Wait for 24 hours to pass.  If after 24 hours, you still feel the same then only taken an action.

This is a secret, don’t tell anybody 🙂

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