Restraint of the Mind.
At some point in the spiritual path, it becomes paramount to develop the virtue of saiyam.
Saiyam is the fire unto which every other minor fire dissolves. You know, there are fires within us that propel us all the time—the fire of hunger, the fire of desire, the fire of knowledge, or maybe the fire of devotion.
Without a certain level of saiyam, we cannot grow spiritually. But, saiyam is not just brute control of the senses. The implications are much deeper.
Control implies conflict. And where there is conflict, there cannot be clarity. When we can remain without any effort, but absolutely at ease, that’s the real mastery. To not let the mind, body and senses wander without any sense of control is the peak state of saiyam. Initially, there’s control. But, with deeper stillness of the mind, saiyam naturally flowers. Once you are a saiyam-yukt purush, you are kind of a conqueror of your mind. And whoever conquers his mind, can do phenomenal things.
Now, the question is—how to develop saiyam? Through the stillness of the mind!
The more your mind moves with impressions, the less stillness you have. And consequently, less saiyam. But as you become more and more still in your mind, you gain better levels of saiyam. A different kind of ‘discipline’ is required to develop this great state of saiyam. While the outward disciplines have their place, they are not enough. Your mind has to be in order to achieve that state. There are a host of disorders within us, psychologically speaking. I’m not talking about the medical or psychiatric disorders; they are different. But, I’m talking about the various contradictions within our minds—that really bring about disorders in us. Unless you understand your psychological contradictions completely, you cannot have order. And without order, to achieve saiyam will always be an effort.
So, that was my analysis of saiyam. I hope from this discussion so far, you’d be able to recognise the importance of saiyam, and the way to develop that.