How to Control the Desires?

In this ocean of birth-death cycle, desires are the crocodiles. Kill them as soon as they arise on the surface of the mind. Do not yield to them. Do not become despondent under your trials. Make friendship with the pure mind and overcome the impure mind with the help of the pure mind. Make your mind rest in the blissful Soul. Desires should be crushed the very moment they arise in the mind, by discrimination and dauntless, indefatigable efforts.

Whenever a desire arises in the mind, consult always your Viveka (power of discrimination). Viveka will at once tell you that the desire is attended with pain, that it is only a vain temptation set up by the mind and that Will and Giving up alone can bring about satisfaction and peace of mind. It will advise you to renounce the desire immediately. Think deeply again and again whether the new desire will give you more happiness or more spiritual gain. Viveka will guide you to take up the help of will and drive the desire immediately. Viveka and Will are two potent weapons for an aspirant on the Knowledge Based Yogic path to destroy evil temptation and remove all major and minor impediments.

Just as you starve a plant by depriving it of water, so you may starve out obnoxious desires by allowing the mind not to dwell upon such desires. You have no desire for a thing till you know what it is like. It is only after you have seen it or heard of it or touched it that you get a longing for it. Therefore, the best principle for a man is not to take, touch or see anything that is likely to taint the imagination. You will have to turn aside the attention resolutely and particularly the imagination from the subject. In course of time, all objectionable desires will die out.

It is desire in the mind that has created this body. The nature of the desire depends upon the quality of your past Karma. If these are good, virtuous Karma’s, good desires will crop up and, if they are bad, they will give rise to evil desires. Intellect also act according to the nature of Karma’s. It has to be specially trained by repeated efforts to think and act according to the holy injunctions of sacred scriptures. Desire becomes the thought and thought becomes the action. An evil desire sets up an evil thought which leads to evil action. Do always virtuous action, charity, meditation. The mind with half-developed Knowledge feels severe pain when it relinquish all desires. It demands aid, through prayer, from higher souls.

A counter-desire, a desire for God, one strong desire to attain Consciousness will destroy all other worldly desires. Put down vicious desires through virtuous desires. Then give up virtuous desires through one strong desire for liberation. Abandon this desire for God also in the long run. Give up impure desire through pure desire. Desires will become extinct with the rise of discrimination. There are no desires in Consciousness. Consciousness is All-Purity. Repeat OM. Repeat the Mantra, “All purity I am”. All the desires will vanish. Kill the thoughts. Practice thoughtlessness. You can destroy desires. Mind associated with thoughts of gratifying the passionate desires, blindly goads a man to seek for sensual pleasures. Uncontrolled thoughts are the roots of all evils. Sublime thoughts will easily destroy lower, base thoughts. Do not entertain any base thought.

Overcoming Desires Leads to Eternal Bliss

Mind associated with desires is bondage. Mind free from desires is liberated. Desires are themselves pain. Non-desire is itself pure Bliss. Mere annihilation of delusion is Liberation. With the extinction of the base thoughts, there is also the extinction of ignorance. Should all longings for the visible cease, then such an abnegation of mind is itself the destruction of ignorance or the mind. Such a bliss is generated through one’s efforts only.

Desire is the enemy of peace. You have become the beggar of beggars through desires. A desire less man is the richest man in the world. It is the mind that makes a man rich. Free yourself from the firm grip of crocodiles of desires. Do not get disheartened under trials. Cheer yourself up. Stand up like a lion. Destroy the impure mind with the help of the pure mind. Make friendship with the pure mind and rest yourself peacefully in Eternity!


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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