Abstract Thinking: [09.03] Bhavana Of Restraint - The Process Of Controlling The Senses

Published: 02.11.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

The question arises: How can the senses be restrained? And is it possible to restrain them? If something is put on the tongue, is it possible to avoid the conclusion it is good or bad? Presented with a countenance, a particular form, is it possible to avoid saying, it is beautiful or ugly.

Well, it is possible. By placing something on the tongue, we come to know whether it is sweet, bitter or acrid. In later stages even this knowledge falls outside our scope. The knowledge-carrying filaments of the tongue stop working. The centres of sensation also cease functioning. This is possible, because when a person, rising above the ground of sensation, enters the field of knowledge, of awareness, the groundwork of sensation falls far below and that of knowledge comes to the fore. It is quite possible. Jayacharya has indicated a method of restraining the senses:: "It is possible to conquer the senses by stabilising the mind."

We usually go for a direct confrontation with the senses. It is not possible to vanquish them so. To directly conquer the eye, to subdue the ear, to triumph over the tongue, is not possible. Actually, it is not even required. We are not in confrontation with the senses at all. We have no quarrel with the sense-organs. They never torment us to make us try to conquer them. The poor senses do us no harm. They only constitute a stream of knowledge. It is an illusion that we must fight them. It is like fighting one's own shadow.

This is what man is doing today. He- is quarreling with his own image. The senses constitute our stream of knowledge. To fight the senses is to fight with our own image. There is no need to quarrel with the senses. It is necessary to confront the mind. For a man who understands his mind, all infatuation with the senses stands dissolved. Like, dislike, attachment and aversion, infatuation - all these come with the mind. It is through the mind that these get mixed up in the stream of our knowledge.

Let us get to know infatuation and delusion. That is the understanding we require. With this understanding, comes objectivity. Before controlling the senses, we need to control the mind. When the mind is under control, the senses are of themselves restrained. A man whose mind is tranquil, whose consciousness is calm and untroubled, and whose intellect is clear, will be able to meet beauty and know it for what it is without turning it into a defilement. There is a subtle dividing line between what is worth knowing and a perversion. We must grasp it well. Sound, form, relish, smell and touch are knowable. And they are worth knowing.

  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Consciousness
  2. Jayacharya
  3. Objectivity
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