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5. తాబేలు (Taabelu)


At this stage of development a person learns to control his senses and does not behave disproportionately. He is capable of moving either on the earth or in water - an adjustment capacity to live in a settled way. This is elementary stage of Viveka.

A stage of Indriya Nigraha. Till now, all the senses were let loose. This is a stage where there is control over limbs. The concept of Yama and Niyama have basis in this form of expression.

The tortoise teaches us the discipline of Asana, which demands that the senses are withdrawn. However, it is found that many people are happy doing the Asanas and forget about the Goal. For them the asanas have become the goal itself.

When a hunter comes, tortoise will pull in all its legs inside. The head is taken inside. It will be sitting like a stone. It is indriya nigraha. It is able to pull back the legs. That is why kurmasana (tortoise seat) is suggested for sadhana also. Kurmasana is a good seat. Nowadays no one is using it. Not sure why it is gone.

For meditation they use kurmasana. It teaches you, that you should control all your senses. You use deer's skin (Krishnajeenam) also for that purpose only, to say that you should be as satvic as that. Those who want to have Indriya Nigraha do this. The seat itself reminds you of the goal.

To withdraw means, the question may arise if it is like an ostrich or like a tortoise? The tortoise will be safe, where as ostrich will die.

A tortoise when it is being hunted, the first reaction it has got is to withdraw all its limbs and it survives like that. Similarly here, to avoid bad company, the fellow who is trying to pull us out, when he would ask us to come somewhere or other such activities; in all those cases, we should be in a position to withdraw like a Tortoise. The tortoise teaches us a lot of lessons. To our knowledge, the only big temple we have is Sri Kurmamu, in Srikakulam.