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]
All regulations in eating, practicing, etc., are all right so long as they are complementary to a spiritual aspiration but they are not ends in themselves; they are only helps.[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)
If you want to escape the results of good and bad karma, then chant God’s name, repeat your mantra, worship the Lord, and read the scriptures. Always discriminate between the real and the unreal. Good karma subdues bad karma, but cannot destroy it. The good and bad karmas of an individual soul are destroyed only by chanting God’s name, which also purifies the mind. Then one can know one’s true nature.
— Sri Sarada Devi (Source: The Gospel of Holy Mother)
A man who has tasted even a drop of God’s ecstatic love looks on ‘woman and gold’ as most insignificant. One gradually obtains that love for God if one but prays to Him with a yearning heart and always chants His name and glories.
— Sri Ramakrishna (Source: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna)
Swami Adbhutananda related in his reminiscences how Sri Ramakrishna transformed Kalipada’s life:
When the Master first met Kalipada, he remarked, “This man has come here after tormenting his wife for twelve years.” Kalipada was startled but said nothing.
Then the Master asked him, “What do you want?”
Kalipada asked shamelessly, “Can you give me a little wine?”
The Master smiled. “Yes, I can. But the wine I have is so intoxicating that you will not be able to bear it.”
Kalipada took him literally and said: “Is it real British wine? Please give me a little to soak my throat.”
“No, it is not British wine,” said the Master, still smiling. “It is completely homemade. This wine cannot be given to just anyone, for not everyone can stand it. If a person tastes this wine even once, British wine will seem insipid to him ever after. Are you ready to drink my wine instead of the other?”
For a moment Kalipada was thoughtful, and then I heard him say, “Please give me that wine which will make me intoxicated my entire life.” The Master touched him, and Kalipada started to weep. We tried to calm him, but he went on weeping in spite of our attempts.
On 23 December Sri Ramakrishna touched Kalipada’s chest and said, “May your inner spirit be awakened.” Then, stroking Kalipada’s chin, he said with great affection, “Whoever has sincerely called on God or performed his daily religious devotions will certainly come here.” The Master’s blessing and unrestrained love that day made Kalipada a new person. He gave up his drinking habit and lost all interest in worldly things.
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.