In Vedanta, self-control is known as dama.
It is the practice of controlling the mind, senses, and body. The goal of dama is to achieve inner peace and freedom from the desires and impulses of the material world.
Vedanta teaches that the mind is constantly bombarded with thoughts, both good and bad. These thoughts can lead to negative emotions, such as anger, fear, and greed. If we are not careful, these emotions can control us and lead us to make unwise decisions.
Dama is the practice of learning to control our thoughts and emotions. It is the process of gradually taming the wild horse of the mind. This is not an easy task, but it is essential for spiritual growth.
There are many different ways to practice dama. Some common practices include:
- Meditation: Meditation helps to calm the mind and focus attention.
- Prayer: Prayer can help us to connect with a higher power and find the strength to overcome our challenges.
- Yamas and niyamas: The yamas and niyamas are a set of ethical principles and practices that can help us to live a more disciplined life.
- Self-observation: We can learn a lot about ourselves by observing our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Dama is a lifelong practice. It is not something that we can achieve overnight. However, with regular practice, we can gradually learn to control our thoughts and emotions. This will lead to inner peace, freedom, and happiness.
Here are some verses from the Bhagavad Gita that discuss self-control:
- “He who has conquered his senses is his own best friend, but for him who has not conquered his senses his senses are his worst enemies.” (6.5)
- “The self-controlled man is always happy and peaceful, even in the midst of difficulties. He is not disturbed by praise or blame, heat or cold, pleasure or pain.” (2.55)
- “The self-controlled man is always content and satisfied. He is not envious of others, nor does he desire what they have.” (6.6)
Self-control is an essential part of the spiritual path. It is the key to inner peace and freedom. If we want to achieve spiritual enlightenment, we must learn to control our thoughts and emotions.
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