In the dreamy nights sleeping beside our father, we listened to many stories from Puranas. Later I read such stories in the books to find one thing in common. When some sage or a “Sadhaka” King did severe penance, Indra, the King of God used to send his dancing damsels, the beautiful “Apsaras” to create disturbance in their meditation.
I never questioned the process; it was so usual in each story. But as I grew up and dug into the spiritual path, could crack the mystery of these dancing damsels. As our revered Gurudev says, a Sadhaka trading on the spiritual path has to be extremely cautious and should withdraw his/her five-sense telephones, severing connection from the outer world. One should internalize his/ her mind as much as they could, making it gradually thoughtless. “Swargaloka” is a lower plane of ‘Siddhi’ may be similar to the realm of ‘Mooladhara and Swadhishthana chakra’ where the material and sensual pleasures are obtained. Apsaras are nothing but the lures of the mundane world that eludes from your chosen path to ascend the chakras. Many sadhakas do get entangled at that point, allowing the Apsaras to be successful in their assignments.
With due course of time Indra’s place has been replaced by “Internet” (one can read Indra Net) and the lures are not the Apsaras like Urvashi, Menaka, Rambha but social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, other chatting apps, even the non-stop news channels having raucous discussions over current affairs (giving the pleasure of cock-fight to the audience), the newspapers and the like. Different researches have shown that chronic use of these social media not just waste time but activate the opioid receptors in the brain and one behaves as a drug addict, difficult to resist the urge of accessing them.
And the result?? Lack of concentration, alienation from the immediate environment living in their own virtual world, pseudo-satisfaction of knowing things whereas all the informations are half-baked, barely analysed in a proper manner, highly partial at times, language redundant to a contorted English using SMS text, at times a mixture of many languages.
If we consider the medical problems, they can affect acutely making you suffer from muscular pain, burning of eyes, muscular spasms to chronic problems like obesity, polycystic ovarian disease and various neurotic diseases. Performance of a student proportionately falls down with social media usage.
Now these Apsaras become “active” making all the buttons go green on the right pane of the screen as the night grows and beyond midnight exchange of texts, photos, dialogues go on. Though many people utilize the social media in their favor and gains, most others really fail to gain anything out of it. Like PHOOL KE SAATH KAANTE (thorns of the rose) the youth mass is easily falling prey to it. They start surfing the internet for study material but finally get glued on social media, YouTube videos and the likes.
The period of study is nothing less than a staunch ‘Sadhana’ and the students, the sadhakas. They too should be aware of these Apsaras of IndraNet ☺ and should stay away when study demands intense focus.
Once a mother brought her small kid to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and requested him to tell the kid to quit sweets. But Sri Ramakrishna asked the mother to come after 1 month or so. On the subsequent visit he asked the kid not to refrain from sweets. Astonished, the mother asked, why didn’t he tell the same thing on the first visit? Sri Ramakrishna explained that he himself took lot of sweets and how come he sermon the child when he himself didn’t have control over his desires and senses! Since he quit sweets himself, he qualified to sermonize the child now.
Thus, my article won’t have any impact on the society, especially the youth mass if I don’t show some amount of self-control myself. Hence, I keep WHATSAPP MAUNA (silence) and FACEBOOK UPAVAAS (Fast) for certain time period when I feel I am being controlled by social media rather than the other way round. Why silence and fast, why not complete uninstallation or deactivation! It’s because the Apsaras change form from one to another. It is up to us whether to forcefully suppress them or consciously live them and gradually ascend beyond them.