A rich man had three sons. As he grew old, he decided to give his property to the son who would value the wealth he had earned.
He called his three sons and gave them each five grains of rice.
He told them that he would ask for these grains at the end of 5 years and he would give his property to the son who would value these grains the most.
The first son threw away the grains. He decided to show his father some other grains when he would ask for them after 5 years,in anticipation that his father would not be able to see the difference between the two sets of grains.
The second son preserved these grains in a silver box and kept the silver box in the puja room at home, and offered prayers to the box while offering his prayers to God for 5 years.
The third son sowed these grains and cultivated them in the backyard of his house. They grow into crops during the harvest season.
He kept re-sowing the grains from these crops.
In due course, he had a vast plot of land cultivated with rice.
As apparent from the above mentioned, at the end of 5 years, the father gave his property to his third son, as he was the most
deserving among his three sons by properly fulfilling the desires of his father.
Moral of the story:
From the above story, we can come to an understanding regarding the proper and correct utilization of the senses which have been so mercifully awarded to us by the Supreme Lord.
Originally the senses of the living entity were awarded for the purpose of engaging them in the transcendental loving service of the Lord or that of His devotees, but the conditioned souls, illusioned by the material energy, became captivated by sense enjoyment.
The material universe is created to give a chance to the conditioned soul to rectify the conditioned activities of the senses and to re engage them in the direct service of the Lord.
In the story above, we can see that the first son just threw away the grains. This can be compared to the people , who instead of converting the activities of the senses, as some yogis make the conditioned souls sense-less and the Lord also sense-less.
Srila Prabhupada calls this as improper treatment for the conditioned souls. The diseased condition of the senses may be treated by curing the defect, but not uprooting the senses altogether.
The second son in the story, started worshipping the grains, just like the living entities, who illusioned by the glaring reflection of the external energy, worship the senses instead of engaging them properly in fulfilling the desires of the Supreme.
Just like the third son who did the proper thing by re-sowing the grains for the pleasure of his father, the activities of the senses should be re-engaged in the direct service of the Lord by seeing the beauty of the Lord, hearing His glories and acting on His account.
In the Hari bhakti sudhodaya (13.2), the following beautiful verse, describes the proper engagement of the senses, by which we can be liberated from our diseased condition:
akshnoh phalam tvaadrsha-darshanam hi
tanoh phalam tvaadrsha-gaatra-sangah
jihvaa-phalam tvaadrsa-kirtanam hi
sudurabhaa bhaagavataa hi loke
O devotee of the Lord, the purpose of the visual sense is fulfilled simply by seeing you, and to touch your body is the fulfillment of bodily touch. The tongue is meant for glorifying your qualities because in this world a pure devote of the Lord is very difficult to find.
Thus the challenging proposition of controlling the senses and stopping the material desires, becomes quite easy , if we become intelligent devotees, planning so many things for the service of the Lord and His pure devotees, so that the stagnant material desires become over flooded by the desire to serve the Lord and His devotees.