Constraints by Om Swami –


It was a painful sight. In actual fact, it was virtually inhuman to see the newborn calf tied to the stake with a small rope within the ashram’s cowshed. The rope was so quick that the calf couldn’t actually transfer round. Though this difficulty was resolved inside hours by erecting a small enclosure for Swaroopa or Swoopy as she’s lovingly known as, it had an essential lesson value pondering over.

It turned out that what appeared inhuman to us was essential for the calf’s survival as a result of if they’re given a protracted rope, they will get their legs or neck entangled in it, generally fracturing their limbs or strangling themselves. Not to mention the calves, even grownup cows and bulls can meet the identical destiny when the leash is just too lengthy. In actual fact, dairy farmers say that the cattle typically get agitated and confused when they’re tied to a protracted rope because it affords neither full freedom nor complete bondage.

This publish, nonetheless, is just not meant to be a lesson in dairy farming about which I’m not certified or skilled to touch upon anyway. As an alternative, it’s concerning the utility, necessity, and energy of constraints in our lives.

We hate constraints like we hate, say, subscriptions. No one desires them. We need to eradicate something that stops us from doing what our coronary heart needs simply as we keep away from individuals who disagree with us. However you and I each know that if you need actual flowers, you need to be okay with the pollen, you’ve acquired to simply accept the fact of the bees and butterflies, perhaps thorns too. Actual flowers bloom on crops that develop in mud, in soil, towards resistance.

After we think about a really perfect life, we virtually all the time envision a spot, particular person or a part the place there aren’t any challenges or constraints, the place there will likely be no battle as a result of everybody round will merely agree with you. There will likely be no friction as a result of your preferences will reign supreme. Let me inform you {that a} life like that will or might not result in liberation however it is going to actually result in melancholy. Extreme melancholy. All progress stops within the absence of resistance. The mind turns boring when there aren’t any constraints. All through our evolution, any time we made a breakthrough in any area was as a result of we had been bugged by some constraint.

I keep in mind this one time I used to be touring to Rudranath (alt: ~12000 ft) from Anasuya temple in Mandal village (alt: ~7000 ft). The trail was a windy, comparatively unknown 23-km trek by the dense forests and superb Himalayan valleys. At occasions treacherous however largely lovely. Vinod and Babloo, the sons of the temple clergymen, had been accompanying me on this journey. On the way in which, I halted for a quick second to behold one of the lovely sights ever. There they had been, proper some twenty meters away, a big crowd of deer. There should have been no less than 500 of them if no more. 

“Wow!” I exclaimed. “I’ve by no means seen so many deer roaming freely within the wild like this. How wonderful!”
“With all of the lions already killed by the poachers,” Vinod stated to me, “there’s nobody to eat them, Maharaj. They’re multiplying like rabbits and changing into a nuisance with every passing day.”

With the constraint of the predators gone, they had been multiplying at an alarming tempo and disturbing the ecology. As time progresses, these deer will turn into chubby, they’ll lose agility and sharpness of the senses, the shrinking forests and their rising inhabitants will deprive them of the meadows, herbs and shrubs they want for survival. The smaller crops, saplings and all will likely be eaten away additional damaging the ecosystem and variety in unimaginable methods. 

It’s not too completely different for us. We would like full freedom. Of expression, motion and thought. However, does freedom have any that means within the absence of its reverse? I doubt it. Think about consuming a pizza, the place resting on a mattress of savory sauce, between recent tomatoes, jalapeños, olives, and crunchy bell peppers, you even have the sometimes tangy and juicy bits of pineapple held collectively by the melting mozzarella. For a second, let’s assume you like pineapple. However what if all the opposite toppings had been eliminated and also you had been served a pizza with simply diced pineapple? It gained’t be the identical in any respect. In actual fact, chances are you’ll even discover it repulsive.

The varied constraints in our lives, many of the issues we need to do with out are the varied toppings on our pizza. They add the a lot wanted distinction, selection and style. The day you cease wanting upon our restrictions and restraints because the undesirable obstacles and as a substitute embrace them as alternatives of gaining knowledge and transformation, you’ll evolve (spiritually and emotionally) at a a lot speedy tempo.

So the following time you meet somebody who disagrees with you, or you end up in a conflicting scenario, or there’s somebody who you are feeling is making an attempt to clip your wings, simply keep in mind, they’re there for a purpose. Are you able to ever recall a part in your life if you had no constraints? In all probability not. We solely transfer from one set to a different. So when we’ve to toil, face resistance, or undergo the undesirable, and you end up annoyed, simply pause, breathe and take a step again. Take a second to calibrate your consciousness and reprioritize your life to reply in a way that helps you progress previous the impediment. As you progress ahead, in some unspecified time in the future, you may be held again by one other constraint, another limitation, some unexpected impediment. Merely repeat the steps once more.

Mulla Nasrudin couldn’t wipe this smile off his face and his buddy requested him the rationale for his happiness.

“I simply had a beautiful dream final night time,” Mulla stated.
“What was your dream about?” the buddy stated.
“Effectively, I dreamt that I died and went to heaven. After I acquired there, I noticed an enormous room crammed with footwear of all sizes and shapes. I requested the angel, ‘What is that this room for?’ The angel replied, ‘These are all of the footwear of people that complain an excessive amount of of their lives. They’re now in heaven, however they can’t be joyful as a result of their ft are barely greater now and the footwear don’t match them anymore.’ Then the angel confirmed me one other room crammed with footwear. These had been the footwear of people that had discovered to be content material with what they’d in life. They had been joyful and at peace.”
“So, which room did you find yourself in?” Mulla’s buddy requested.
Nasrudin smiled ear to ear and stated, “I used to be barefoot!”

One dimension doesn’t match all. One dimension doesn’t even match one particular person for lengthy for that matter. However have you learnt when one dimension really matches an individual endlessly? After they cease rising. The presence of constraints signifies your propensity and potential to develop. As a result of when the expansion stops, the scale of your shoe will cease being a constraint.

Granted that generally eliminating your constraints might set you free in numerous methods. More often than not although, overcoming them is extra empowering than eliminating them.

A brief rope is usually a superb factor, generally.


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