विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिन: |
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते || 59||
viṣhayā vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinaḥ
rasa-varjaṁ raso ’pyasya paraṁ dṛiṣhṭvā nivartate
viṣhayāḥ—objects for senses; vinivartante—restrain; nirāhārasya—practicing self restraint; dehinaḥ—for the embodied; rasa-varjam—cessation of taste; rasaḥ—taste; api—however; asya—person’s; param—the Supreme; dṛiṣhṭvā—on realisation; nivartate—ceases to be
When a man rejects the sense objects by withdrawing the senses, he becomes free from the sense world only. The longing or taste for them still remains in the mind. Even this longing is removed when the self is perceived.
An essential secret of spiritual realisation is revealed here.
Restraining the senses is not alone enough. Direct perception of the Supreme is necessary. No doubt by restraining the senses, the objective world is repelled. But the taste for them remains in the form of subtle tendencies (vasanas) and unless these vasanas are removed steadiness of wisdom is not possible. Latent longing may rush forth when the restraint is relaxed. Even temporary causes like sickness and calamity may bring about a partial rejection of the sense world. But when these external causes pass away, the subtle vasanas break forth with all their original force. Hence the Lord declares that only when the Supreme is perceived, these vasanas are finally destroyed. The destruction of the vasanas, the destruction of the mind, and the direct experience of the self take place simultaneously. In the previous verse, it is said that by destroying the vasanas, Self-knowledge comes to man and in this verse, it is stated that self-knowledge destroys the vasanas. These are two aspects of the same Truth.
Destruction of the vasanas is not an easy task. It is the only path to Moksha. If one achieves it, everything is achieved. The innumerable experiences of the past births have taken root in the mind in the form of powerful tendencies, attitudes, and propensities. They work through the senses, and the senses function by contact with the world. The material world provides the widest field of activity and food for the senses. The senses have been accustomed to browsing at will on these delicious pasture lands of material pleasures through many births. To deny them this form of food means restraining the senses and preventing them from contacting the objective world. But this does not solve the problem. The taste for the objects would still be there in the mind; whenever the opportunity arises, the mental tendencies spring forth to grasp the illusory pleasures because their taste is not dead. So the attempt at first is to withdraw the senses from the sense – objects (pratyahara) and next to destroy the taste for them concealed in seed-form in the mind. When the vasanas are destroyed, man attains freedom, and the objective world is then powerless to influence him. It is stated here that direct Self-knowledge alone is capable of destroying the vasanas.
One must understand clearly the reality of Atma and the illusory nature of the world. One must hear of Atma often and often. He should think of Atma and contemplate on it frequently and intensely. He should know for certain that the world before his eyes is a painful illusion, that it is full of sorrow and suffering, that there is no permanent joy anywhere else except in Atma, and that Atma alone is the all-pervading substratum of the entire universe. As one thinks and acts on these fundamental truths, his attachment and craving for sense-pleasures become less and less and as they become weaker and weaker, the bliss of self is experienced more and more, till finally the bliss and blessedness of the Self swallow up the universe and converts it into its own element.
Abstinent: Some interpret this as fasting. Here what is meant is not the abstinence of food, but the rejection of all sensory experiences.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
Then comes a very important question. Sometimes people fast for days. … When the worst man has fasted for twenty days, he becomes quite gentle. Fasting and torturing themselves have been practised by people all over the world. Krishna’s idea is that this is all nonsense. He says that the senses will for the moment recede from the man who tortures himself, but will emerge again with twenty times more [power]. … What should you do? The idea is to be natural — no asceticism. Go on, work, only mind that you are not attached. The will can never be fixed strongly in the man who has not learnt and practised the secret of non-attachment.[Source]
Unless and until the mind is completely given to God, no external check can completely obliterate Lust.[Source]
“You must analyse your mind very carefully. The Master asked me to increase my lust infinitely. was amazed to hear it. He then explained, ‘What is lust? It is the desire to get. Then desire to get Him and strengthen this desire greatly….’
“Mere suppression of passions helps little. There must be a high ideal along with self-restraint. Without a high ideal, the passions will find another outlet. You must give them a new direction, then you will be automatically rid of them. “Take refuge in Me and control the senses.’ As for example, lust. Think that you are His child. Why should be so low you as to be lustful? Or think that you are ever pure.
— Swami Turiyananda (Spiritual Talks: By the First Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna p.111&113)
Question: Is it sufficient for liberation to control the senses?
Answer: No. The craving for them in the mind should be destroyed.
Question: How is that done?
Answer: By direct perception on Atma.