Sacred texts lay emphasis on the need to exercise control over the sense organs as they exert powerful influence, making man succumb to them. This warning can be administered easily by anyone but it is extremely difficult to put into practice.
Saints who are still among us have shown the way to avoid their stranglehold. Aspirants can draw the necessary inspiration from them and gradually avoid indulging in bad ways. This may not be difficult, because with earnestness a person can remain uninfluenced by temptations.
The benign acts of religious guides have proved that they possess enormous spiritual powers, acquired through severe austerities. There is mention of a country suffering from continuous drought for 12 years experiencing heavy downpour when a sage from a lonely spot was invited to fetch relief to the people.
Even in present times such miracles do occur when great men visit us, thus adding testimony to the statements in ancient books that they are not fictituous. In a temple a devotee usually offers worship individually to a variety of deities, but as a Guru retains the powers of all Gods, adoring him will be equally beneficial. He will extend his compassion and grace to those who come to him.
The disciples in turn should know the purpose of their births and the means to achieve the same. Saint Arunagirinathar explains that man should never go about aimlessly. The anxiety of saintly souls being the establishment of righteousness. they will prescribe measures to correct humanity and one among them is the need to keep strict vigil over the sense organs.
How men can be trapped by the tentacles of these powerful senses has been illustrated by the behaviour of animals and insects, said Sri Sukhi Sivam in a lecture. Attracted by the fleshy worm stuckto an iron hook, the fish gets duped, bites it, suffers injury and dies. Men may watch this sitting on the banks of a river but they may not realise that they may also meet their ends in a similar way. A bee which enjoys jzuckling honey from flowers forgets that it will perish when the petals close. A rare bird which likes the music of a flute, gets deceived when a hunter plays it and jumps into the fire lit by him. A tusker falls into a pit when it approaches a she-elephant stationed nearby to lure it. A glow-worm unaware of the heat, leaps into the burning light.
They get lost by the influence of taste, smell, sound, lust and light. One can imagine how a man will behave when all the five senses extend their grip on him. Spiritual guides caution him about such dangers.