SIVANANDA DAILY READING FOR 19 NOVEMBER
The senses are your real foes. They draw you out and disturb your peace of mind. Do not keep company with them. Subdue them. Restrain them. Curb them just as you would curb your enemies on the battlefield. This is not the work of a day. It wants patient and protracted sadhana (practice) for a very long time. Control of the senses is really control of the mind. All the ten senses must be controlled. Starve them to death. Do not give them what they want.
Then they will obey your orders implicitly. All worldly-minded persons are slaves of their senses, though they are educated, though they possess immense wealth, though they hold judicial and executive powers. If you are a slave of meat-eating, for instance, you will begin to exercise control of your tongue the moment you give up the meat-eating habit entirely for six months. You will consciously feel that you have gained a little supremacy over this troublesome sense of taste which began to revolt against you sometime ago.
Worldly pleasures intensify the desire for enjoying greater pleasures. Hence the minds of worldlings are very restless. There is no satisfaction, and mental peace is absent. The mind can never be satisfied, whatever amount of pleasure you may store up for it. The more it enjoys the pleasures, the more it wants them. So people are exceedingly troubled and vexed by their own minds. They are tired of their minds. Hence, in order to remove these botherations and troubles, the rsis (sages) thought it best to deprive the mind of all sensual pleasures. When the mind has been concentrated or made extinct, it cannot force one to seek for further pleasure, and all botherations and troubles are removed for ever and the person attains real peace.
The mind can do nothing without the help of the senses. And the senses cannot do anything without the help of the mind. Desire moves the mind and the senses and makes it outgoing. Abandon desires and control the mind. Thinking means externalisation or objectification. Thinking is samsara. Thinking causes identification with the body, with `I-ness', `mine-ness', time and space.
Stop this thinking through vairagya (dispassion) and abhyasa (practice). Merge yourself in pure consciousness where there is no thinking. This is the absolution; this is jivanmukta (liberation).