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Controlling Sense Organs For Better Life

The chapter 2 of Dnyaneshwari (the Marathi interpretation of Bhagavad Gita by Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj) explains how controlling sense organs can lead us to a better life.

Seekers practice restraint and give up sense-pleasures; but they too can get entangled in various types of sense-pleasures if while restraining the ears, eyes etc., they fail to restrain the tongue. (2:303-304).

One can restrain himself from all sense pleasures except that of the tongue. One cannot forcibly restrain the pleasure of the tongue because our life depends on food. But when a seeker attains Self-realisation, the tongue naturally gets controlled and since the "I am the body" feeling has left him he forgets all sense-pleasures. (2:307-309).

These organs cannot be brought under control by any other means. (NB: It is implied that external means like rituals, fasts etc. are not useful. Internal means like meditation, introspection and experience only are useful for the purpose). Because even those who constantly try to conquer them and keep their minds under control by observing strict rules and restrictions, are harassed by them.

He who leaves all desire of pleasures, controls his organs and is not allured by the sense-pleasures is alone worthy of the trust set by yoga i.e. steadiness of intellect. Such a person has the knowledge of the Self and never forgets me. (2:315-317).

He who outwardly gives up sense-objects but keeps on thinking about them must be considered as being entangled only in the materialistic world. (2:318).

A slightest trace of desires remaining in the mind destroys discretion. (2:320). Mere memory of these sense-pleasures creates desire for them in the mind of even a detached person. Passions then arise in the mind and where there is passion there is also anger. Anger leads to thoughtlessness. Thoughtlessness leads to loss of memory and then the intellect is engulfed by the darkness of ignorance. The intellect then suffers and loses direction. Thus, the loss of memory leads to confused intellect and this in turn destroys all knowledge. In this way, even occasional memory of the sense-pleasures can lead to such downfall.

Therefore, when these sense-pleasures are totally removed from the mind, anger and hate are automatically destroyed. When anger and hate are destroyed then even if the organs become engaged in the sense-pleasures they do no harm. (2:321-332). Such a person is detached towards sense objects, free of desire and anger and remains engrossed in the bliss of the Self. (2:334). He who thus remains absorbed in the Self may be considered without doubt to have a stable intellect.