All the saints across the geographical divide and across the different thought spectra have stressed upon the need to acquire and maintain equanimity of mind. The Gita as well as the Bible exhort the spiritual seeker to attain “peace of mind and joy” and guard it as a treasure.
The body serves as a cushion of peace and joy, but the ‘predators’ in various garbs and guises pollute the settled mind. So, it becomes necessary to purge them out of the mental atmosphere.
During a dialogue between Yudhishtra and Bhishm Pitahma, the former queries the latter as to where from ignorance comes and how it proves harmful and destructive.
The latter, ripened with age and under rigorous vow of celibacy, says that there are 13 mighty enemies of us mortals. They delude us, lead us astray and “pounce on us like wolves” from whom we should ever be on our guard.
Bhishm Pitahma counts them as lust, anger, greed, attachment, ego, worry, fear, anxiety, indecision, impatience, grief, slavish dependence and jealousy. The first five, namely lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego are considered to be the worst “predators”.
Biblical literature includes these negative tendencies as sins. And in the word “sins”, read not only vice and degradation but doubts, fear, tempers, temptations and hatred.
Dalai Lama refers to them as “inner demons that haunt us, causing nothing but misery." Well- known mystic poet Kabir, with his home-spun wisdom, cautions us of “these thieves tinkering with our luggage” during our life’s journey.
Swami Vivekanand refers to these predators as agents of human bondage. They snatch from us the “bliss” which, in Paramhansa Yoganand’s words, is “the highest spiritual attainment.”
Therefore, these predators have to be "slain" so that one stops living as their puppet and as a mechanical robot; and instead lives as a blissful “conscious” human being. All that is needed is a strong and determined will. And the promise to succeed.