How to Overcome Subtle Desires – Part 1

Calmness through Rational Thinking

Through the practice of Calmness, the aspirant should destroy the Subtle Desires one by one with the help of Intellect. He should crush them as soon as they try to raise their heads on the surface of the mind-lake. He must not allow them to sprout forth. This is give up of the Subtle Desire. This attack or fight is from inside.

When a Subtle Desire or Thought arises in the mind, the mind gives a push to the internal sense organs. From here, this push is communicated to the external instruments such as hands, legs, eyes, ears, etc. The practice of Calmness stops this very push which is the root cause of motion of all the Senses.

Calmness is peace of mind produced by the eradication of the Subtle Desires. The mind of a man who possesses this virtue is cooler than ice. Even the coolness of the moon cannot compete with coolness of the mind of this man. Generally, the fourfold mind of a world-ling is a blazing furnace. A man of Calmness is neither exalted when he gets a desired object nor depressed when he gets an undesired thing. He keeps a balanced mind always.

He has no enemies. The happiness of an emperor is nothing, nothing when compared with the supreme spiritual bliss of a man with this virtue. Calmness is one of the four sentinels of Liberation (Moksha). If you have Calmness, you will get the company of the other three friends, viz., Contentment, Self Inquiry (inquiry into Soul) and association with the wise and saintly.

Control of Senses

The attack should commence from outside also. It should be done through restraint of the Sense organs. You must not allow sense-vibrations to enter from outside into the mind through the avenues of Senses. This is also necessary. Calmness alone is not sufficient. The senses must be rendered blunt too. The Subtle Desire for sweets, for instance, should be destroyed by calmness through rational thinking, by crushing the Subtle Desires within as soon as a desire arises; and the thought waves, which arises by the sight of sweetmeat should be destroyed by withdrawing the eyes from the same when you move about the store and by giving up taking sugar. It supplements rational thinking in the control of mind. It is an auxiliary for the complete eradication of Subtle Desires. If you give up an old habit of taking coffee, you have controlled to a certain extent the sense of taste. You have destroyed one Subtle Desire. This will give you some peace, because the craving for coffee has gone and you are freed from your efforts and thinking in getting coffee, sugar, milk, etc.

Thinking is pain, seeing is pain, hearing is pain for a philosopher. It is all pleasure for a world-ling. The energy that was agitating you to run after coffee is now transmuted into will. You gain peace and will-power by giving up one thing. If you give up fifteen things, your peace of mind will be still greater and the will still more powerful. This is the fruit of giving up. So, you are not a loser in giving up. You gain more knowledge, more bliss and more power. You give up something in favor of something higher. Is there anyone who will not give up black sugar in favor of white sugar? If you once control one Subtle Desire, it will be easy for you to control other Subtle Desires too, because you gain strength and power.


Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Author: Ganesh

A soul in the search of eternal peace... "Be True, Love All, Help Others Selflessly, Live in Harmony and Rest in Peace"

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