Pratyahara

Pratyahara is the third part of yoga. The senses are subjugated by this yoga activity.

Abstraction


Introduction-

        The practice of pratyahara is done after the practice of asana and pranayama. Pratyahara is the third part of yoga. The senses are subjugated by this yoga activity. There is a development of self-control by disappearing the the mind’s frivolity. The word ‘Pratyahara’ is made of dhatu “Ha”, which means collect. The mind is collected in pratyahara and it is applied on thoughts and speculation. Stabilizing the mind according to desire by collecting different senses is pratyahara yoga sadhna.

        Viz, when senses run towards their subject for getting their taste, checking senses towards that side at that time is called pratyahara.    

        There are five senses of knowledge (gyanindri) of the body which is related with word, touch, fragrance, juice and skin. These can be felt by the different parts of the body. Ears are for listening, eyes for looking, tongue for the taste, nose for the smelling and skin for touching. There are five deeds of the human being as speaking, hearing, holding, walking and giving birth.

        There are five senses of deeds (karmindri) for completing these five deeds of the human being as mouth, hand, legs, anus and cartilage. They are controlled by the mind. It is the mind which keeps on misleading the mind from their real job. Senses of knowledge (gyanindri), senses of deed (karmaindiri) and the mind are the causes of grief of human being. Stabilizing the mind by controlling to the senses is pratyahara.

A description about pratyahara has been given in bhakti sagar-

                                Vishaya or indri jo jave

                                Apne swadana ko lalchave

                                Tinki or na jane dei

                                Pratyahara kahave aie

Adag madhye yathadgani koormah sankochyeda ghruvam

Yogi pratyahara devabhindriyana tathastamani

        As tortoise collects its parts and hides itself inside in the same way yogi hides his senses and mind in self by collecting by the practice of pratyahara.  

        A description about the human being life has been given and it has been described according to the description that human body is a chariot and the soul is proprietor of this chariot similar body and the mind is the charioteer, which controls this chariot, and five senses are horses, which pull the chariot. As horse keeps on walking on the way according to charioteer similarly five senses do their deeds according to mind. But, if the mind says to do good work, the person does good work and if the mind says to do bad deeds, he does bad deeds.  

        So, using senses in good deeds by finishing all the bad thoughts of the mind is pratyahara. There are five disorders of the body as work, anger, greed, affection and ego, which generate bad disorders in the soul. It has been considered as enemy of the human being and keeping the mind far from these disorders is pratyahara. 

Technique of pratyahara sadhna-

  • When any sense goes towards its subject, it should be stopped forcibly viz. senses can be stopped by the strong resolution in the mind.
  • When any sense goes towards its subject, make any other sense active on that time for example, if your eyes want to look anything, start to read any book at that time. The strength of the first sense begins to reduce in the case of getting no diet and that sense will become calm.
  • When any sense goes towards its subject, the mind will become calm by thinking about the disorders of that subject at that time. As your tongue is eager to taste of any yummy food, think about the harms of those things on that time.  All the greed towards that subject will come to an end in the mind by doing so and mind will start to attract towards pratyahara.
  • Someone gets success in pratyahara by doing the practice of pranayama because the mind becomes calm and stable by pranayama consequently the strength of straying of the senses finish.
  • Detachment is the strongest sadhna of pratyahara. Detachment is that condition of the mind in which feelings of hate are originated towards those things, which attract to the senses. When sentiment originates in the mind, senses stop themselves from going towards that subject. The detachment has been considered good equipment for subjugating the senses. God Shree Krishna says to Arjuna about two types of subjugating the mind. Subjugating the mind is very hard work but it can be controlled by the practice definitely. It has been described in the holy book Geeta-

Asanshaya mahabaho mano dratingraham chalam

Abhyasane tukounteya veragyen cha grahate.

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