Sadhana for Controlling the Ten Senses
by Swami Sivananda
Repression or suppression brings vehement reaction and the senses become formidable, turbulent and boisterous. What is wanted is sublimation of the senses through proper and good use but not repression or suppression. The senses must be thinned first through the practice of Pranayama. Vairagya (dispassion), Tyaga (renunciation), meditation, reduction of wants, control of desires help a long way in the control of the senses.
The senses are very strong and impetuous. They should be controlled gradually by intelligent methods, enquiry and discrimination. Violent Tamasic Tapas will not help much in their control. It is not a day's or month's work. It is a patient, continuous struggle. Plod on with patience and perseverance. Satsanga gives strength and helps to control them efficiently. Above all God's grace is very necessary. Obtain this through surrender, faith and devotion.
Jnana Indriyas(Organs of Sensation)
Control the ears by hearing the glories, the Lilas and Kirtans of the Lord, by hearing the Anahata sounds by the practice of Yoni Mudra.
Control the sense of touch by practice of Brahmacharya, sleeping on a coarse mat and wearing coarse blanket, coarse shirt and coarse clothes.
Practise Trataka daily and control the wandering eyes. Feel that every form is the form of the Lord. Put a stamp of the picture of the Lord in every form mentally. Do Trataka on your Ishta-Devata and visualise the picture with closed eyes.
Give up those articles which the mind likes best for a week or a month. Give up salt on Sundays. Take sugarless milk. Abandon pickles, chutni. Do not ask extra salt, or sugar for tea or milk. Take very simple, bland food. Eat three things. Fast on Ekadasi, Amavasya, Purnima, Janmashtami, Sivaratri, Vaikuntha Ekadasi and Dassera.
Karma Indriyas (Organs of Action)
Observe Mouna for two hours daily and 24 hours on Sundays. Speak measured words. Speak sweetly. Speak the Truth. You can control the organ of speech.
Serve the sick and the poor. Serve your parents. Serve the Sadhus. Practise Ahimsa or non-injury in thought, word and deed. Do Archana or offer flowers to the Lord. Put up light in the temple. Sweep the floor in the temple. Bring water for Abhisheka. Do other services in the temple. Do charity. You can control the hand.
Visit the temple. Visit the holy places of pilgrimage. Perambulate round the temple. Sit on one Asana for 2 or 3 hours. You can control the restlessness of the legs.
Practise Brahmacharya. You can control the organ of generation.
Eat moderately. Fast. You can control the anus.