A true master of men is he who has first mastered himself. This state of total control over our own lower selves is what true power is all about. Sadhana is effective only when it facilitates deep reflection. Initial Sadhana is about a shift in thought and life style. It makes us aware of our animal appetites, our fruitless running about for the instant gratification of some want. A Sadhak (seeker) slowly develops a spirit of inquiry into the very purpose of every thought and action and starts avoiding a wasteful expenditure of energy.
Ahaar ( intake by all the senses) and Vihaar ( our responses to external stimuli) both need to follow a golden mean, a reasonable moderation. A conscious excercise of control is what all fasts are about. Not just eating and drinking but talking and sleeping all need moderation. Due to the double function of taste and speech the tongue is a very powerful sense organ. Yogies achieve tremendous calm of mind and equipoise by the intelligent and conscious control of the tongue. Fasting and (mauna) control of speech are two such very helpful disciplines. Useless talking is a huge drain on the vital energy of the body ,which if conserved ,helps greatly in meditation. When we dissipate our vital forces due to our outgoing tendencies the will is weakened, and the body and mind soon learn not to obey us and instead start commanding us!
When we allow an ungoverned mind to lap up garbage it soon gathers impurities which the seeker is advised to filter out regularly using a discriminatory intellect. If one wants to harness mental energy one needs to guard it against looters and polluters that unsettle the mind. The man who desires to rule must begin by ruling himself.
Prarthna Saran, President Delhi Chinmaya Mission.