We have Sankara exhorting us in Vivekachudamani: “The first step to Liberation is the extreme aversion to all perishable things, then follow calmness, self-control, forbearance, and the utter relinquishment of all work enjoined in the Scriptures.” And a little later he added: “He who is free from the terrible snare of the hankering after sense-objects, so very difficult to get rid of, is alone fit for Liberation, and none else even though he be versed in all the six Shastras.”
“Mind control is self-control,” said the highly revered Swami Krishnananda of Divine Life Society. And self-control is the way to awakening, he added.
Six passions of the mind called Arishadvargas were depicted as the internal enemies of the man on the path to attaining moksha (liberation). These correspond to the hormones produced at the six major nerve plexuses as shown in the figures 1 and 2 and Table 1.
Psychologist Piercarlo Valdesolo writes “The power to resist temptation has been extolled by philosophers, psychologists, teachers, coaches, and mothers.” And then he adds, “Of course, this assumes that our natural urges are a thing to be resisted – that there is a devil inside, luring you to cheat, offend, err, and annoy. New research has begun to question this assumption.”