सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिन:
सर्वे सन्तु निरामया:।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु।
मा कश्चित् दु:खभाग भवेत् ।।
Happiness be unto all.
Perfect health be unto all.
May all see what is good.
May all be free from suffering.
5. Control of Sense organs ( Pratyahara )
The Fifth Constituent of Yoga )
The Yoga Sutras say that to make the sense organs follow the intellect and to withdraw them from their objects is Pratyahara

In our opinion, Mind (Mana), Intellect (Buddhi), Ahamkara (Ego) and Chitta are separate entities, because, according to the effect of the three Gunas on them, their formation, nature and action will clearly be different. The external organs of sense come in contact with mind and intellect through the subtle organs situated in the Brahma-Randhara while conveying the knowledge of external objects, to the mind and intellect.

The sense organs acquire knowledge of external objects and pass it on to the mind and the subtle organs and the mind transmits it to the intellect. The latter discriminates and gives subtlety to the knowledge and in the form of Sanskaras conveys it to the 'Chitta' in the 'Karana' (causal) body situated in the heart region. In this process the sense organs come constantly in contact with mind and intellect. But the Chitta has no direct access to the sense organs. At the time of contemplation or meditation the mind and intellect come in contact with the subtle organs alone. The external organs do not come into the picture and are not activated, The result is that the eyes though open do not see, the ears do not hear, the hands do not work and the feet do not move. Then, the mind becomes occupied with the thought of the self or it is restricted and, therefore, becomes quiet. The intellect also is similarly calmed. Now, the sense organs cease to acquire knowledge of their objects because their master, the mind, is quiet or inactive, Thus, the sense organs do not get their food, They cease to have contact with their objects and, therefore, become as calm as the mind. This is Pratyahara. organs also follow it. That is to say, the sense organs become active only on the initiation of the intellect.

The commentator explains this process by the example of the queen bee. The bees follow the queen. They gather round her where she settles. When she flies away, the bees also fly off. In just the same manner, the organs follow the intellect. Yogi Goraksha, therefore, says that as a tortoise draws its external organs into its body, so should Yogi draw his sense organs inside himself. The Gita warns that the sense organs are very powerful. Once a man is drawn towards their objects, they agitate him and draw the mind also towards them. A wise man, therefore, keeps the sense organs constantly under control. When the sense organs are under control the intellect becomes steady. A wise Yogi, therefore, should keep the sense organs under control with mental and physical efforts both. Only then could he acquire perfection in Yoga. If one single sense organ remains uncontrolled, then the Yogi will begin to fall. His intellect or knowledge will start declining like water leaking from a holed pot.

The sense organs are usually after their objects. If the mind follows one of them, it gets lost as a boat in a storm. If a man is wise and his mind is well-directed, then his sense organs are under control, like trained horses which are in the hands of a trained charioteer.

If a person is wise and controls his mind like a charioteer, who holds the reins well in his hand, then his journey is successful and he attains salvation.

Until the mind is completely controlled, Pratyahara cannot be perfected. Without it one cannot attain success in Yoga.

They can be enjoyed only by the subtle body. Thus, subtle words, touches, forms, tastes, smells are the objects of enjoyment for only those who have reached high stage of Yoga. They are utilised by the Yogis in Samprajntata Samadhi, but only by those who have reached the stage of full domination on the five Tanamatras. When a man has completely detached himself from the enjoyment of the objects of the above two categories, then reaches the stage of Vashikara Sanjna. It is with reference to these two categories of objects of the senses that Pratyahara is classed as external and internal. But until the Yogi reaches this stage, he acquires neither the knowledge of the five Tanamatras nor the domination on them. How will he then enjoy them and how will he free himself from any desire or craving? He has not yet acquired even the knowledge of them. Therefore, generally what is meant is only the contact of the sense organs with their objects. Hence we regard Pratyahara as an external step. This is the view of Patanjali.

In achieving success in Pratyahara, it is very necessary to practise detachment, which is of four kinds ;

1. Progressive (Yatamana) detachment ;- The feelings of love and hate are ingrained in our organs and urge them to their objects. These feelings of attachment are the cause of great grief which must be perceived with the help of intellect so that under the force of craving for objects it may withdraw the sense organs from the objects.

2. Exclusive (Vyatireka) detachment ;- While perceiving the evils in objects one should continue to see which of these evils have been or are being or are to be renounced. A man should in this way continue to exclude the evils with the object of complete detachment of all.

3. One-organ (Ekendriya) detachment ;- Love and hatred, by persistent effort, leave the intellect ostensible, but as impressions they go down to the depth of the Chitta. However, when the sense organs are near their objects, they disturb the intellect ; but one should see that such disturbances do not take place.

4. Controlled (Vashikara) detachment :- A Yogi reached a stage when the deep buried impressions do not arise or disturb the intellect and even in the presence of objects of senses the intellect remains firm in its resolve and the sense organs also do not feel drawn. When such detachment becomes a part and parcel of Chitta, intellect, mind and the sense organs, the state reached is Vashikara.

Attachment and aversion are the opposites of Sattva Guna and inimical to wise persons of Satvika temperament. One should, therefore, keep away from such feelings so that his intellect is not disturbed.

Attraction and aversion destroy the intellect's power of discrimination. The result is that wise men and Yogis fall from their path.

Let me tell you a story. Once sage Parashara was crossing a river sitting in a boat. The young and charming daughter of the boatman was sitting by his side and the sage felt bewitched by her. In such circumstances, persons of lofty heights fall to despicable depths when they are under the influence of feelings of attachment. It is, therefore, always desirable to save oneself these from mighty feelings.

The Gita says that it is due to the feelings of attachment and aversion that the organs of sense feel drawn towards their objects. But those who are self-possessed and busy meditating on the Self and the Supreme Self, never feel disturbed by such feelings.

Pranayama is helpful in achieving Pratyahara. Pranayama purifies the sense organs and helps you to control them. It is closely connected with the sense organs. Hence Pranayama has its effect on the sense organs which come under control and thus they do not feel drawn this way or that by objects.

The Gita says: "Oh Arjuna, first control your sense organs and kill the desire lurking within you, because it destroys all your knowledge. Subdue the foe, that is, desire." Of all the sense organs, two are most powerful - Among the jnanendriyas the tongue, and among the karmendriyas the genital organ. These two, therefore, should be first brought under control. Then the control of the remaining sense organs will become easy . In this manner if one can acquire control over one's genital organ, then half the world is conquered. .