Well I always thought about this statement ever since I heard it for the first time. But I never really understood its full essence. What could this mean? Why would any soul try to win over the self? What it even means to be winning over the self?
I never really understood that until I gathered a lot of experience with this dogma running at the back of my mind for several years. Now, in this post I am going to unravel that.
Before we really understand the concept of victory over the self, let me first explain to you the concept of the self. What is the self? The self is YOU. Your identity. Yes, it’s you with various types of shades. You see no one’s identity is made of either the good or the bad. But there are various hues of which a person’s identity is made. Some of them could be good and some of them could be bad. So, it is a combination of many gunas.
Duality of laziness & creativity
A person could be lazy but at the same time the same person could be really very imaginative and creative. And that person will be filled with potential to be a great artist. But due to the laziness, that person would always find the success elusive. So, here we see that there are two shades – one is good (creative and imaginative) and the other (laziness) co-existing in the same person.
For such a person, the victory over the self is winning over the lazy part or rather I should say defeating the weakness of being lazy and becoming a hard- working and patient person. Laziness is the quality that offers the liberty to a person to wonder and wander in the imaginative world. But it ends there if the person could not be hard working.
Inner conflicts to health
Read about the wonderful fitness story of Milind Soman in his book – made in india
For several years I could never really get started on my fitness journey. I wanted to be fit. But I always felt that I can’t be. I could never trust the process. As a result I could never develop that patience I needed to become healthy and fit until I realized that I was the only stumbling block between me and my dream of being fit.
I was living in a conflict zone where I wanted to be fit but at the same time I was not willing to give up the habits that were limiting me from reaching out to my ideal/aspirations. Then, I realized that I was acting a hypocrate! “If you want to fit and healthy, then you gotta do what it takes to be”. I was then able to understand that fitness is a lifestyle, it’s a deliberate choice that you have got to make. You could either be fit or you could be at the mercy of your moods and emotions that would never allow you to be what you aspired to be.
Slowly but surely, I started to walk the talk and turned into a healthier and happier person. What I did was I replaced the inner conflicts and hypocrisy with integrity and faith within.
Taming my temper
The third example comes from my very bad temper that I have been used to. And have deeply regretted it on several occasions. One moment my temper would flare up like a wild fire and within moments it will be doused to ashes. But before that the damage would have been done. Being an emotional person is what it means to be human but at the same time if you did not learn to tame your emotions, you will be burned by them. That’s what I was doing.
Every time I lost it to bad temper, I have regretted. Not a single occasion do I remember where I have rejoiced over it. I knew something had to be done about it. But how! Learn to conquer my temper by being conscious of it and fighting it as if I would be fighting an enemy.
After a lot of experiments where I have tried almost everything under the roof, I am now convinced that I can control my temper by being less emotional about my pains. Less emotional would imply being stronger to tame the overflow of emotions to cause damage.
Now I am well aware while I am in a bad or a very sensitive situation. The understanding has come to me by practice. And this understanding is nothing but the victory over the part of the self that turned weaker!