The word Sanyam has various meanings like check, restraint, control,
prevention and mental concentration. Uttama Sanyam i.e., Supreme self-restraint
is the sixth virtue to be cultivated by a man to counteract the four passions (Kashayas)
i.e., anger, pride, deceit and greed.
There was a king. He was absorbed in sensuous pleasures day in and day out. The
king owned a vast and beautiful orchard cum flower garden, in which multicolored
flowers and fruits of the supreme variety grew and bloomed forever. The king was
so lusty and led such a luxurious life that in order to satisfy his whimsical demand
in numerous flowers of different varieties were brought daily to make a flowerbed
for him. The king deemed himself very happy and delighted by sleeping in this bed.
One evening, the royal gardener's wife brought flowers to adorn the king's
bed. As soon as she had spread the bed with fragrant flowers, she began to think,
'how lovely the flowerbed looks! God knows what bliss the king experiences by
sleeping on it.' While pondering thus in her mind, she decided to sleep for
five minutes only in that charming flower bed and feel the pleasure of it. She knew
that the king was likely to come into the palace after a long time. Thinking this
she lay down in the bed. She was dead tired of the whole day's work. As soon
as she lay in bed, she fell in sound sleep. When at nightfall the king came into
his royal bedroom and found the gardener's wife sound slept in his flowerbed,
his eyes became bloodshot with rage. The king instantly pulled her from the bed
catching hold of her ponytail, hurled her violently on the ground and beat her black
and blue with a stick. But there was no sign of pain and sorrow on her face; rather
she began to laugh loudly. When the king ordered her to make clear the reason of
her laughing, the lady gardener replied, "Your majesty! I am laughing at the
idea that when I had to bear so many hunter strokes simply for sleeping in this
flowerbed for five minutes only, what will be your fate, who sleeps in this flowerbed
every night? Why not you discard all these transitory worldly enjoyments and observe
self-restraint in life?"
On hearing these eye opener words from the gardener's wife, the king thought
in his mind what a great lesson this poor woman had taught him. Therefore, soon
after this incident the king renounced all royal grandeur and got initiated to monkshood.
A man should not wait for an appropriate time to observe self-restraint. He should
not think that he would practice self-restraint at a later stage of life; because
death keeps no calendar.