By Swami Harshananda
Indriyanigraha literally means ‘control of the sense-organs’.
According to the Śrutis or the Vedas, Indriya-nigraha is necessary to attain mokṣa from transmigratory existence.
Mokṣa can be attained either through jñāna or through bhakti. For either of these paths, mind is the chief mode of sādhanā or spiritual practice. Since the Indriya-s or the sense-organs are allowed to go towards the sense-objects, it can make the mind impure or distracted and there is a great need to reign them in. This is the meaning of the word Indriyanigraha.
The Indriya-s must be directed towards the objects or persons associated with God. By doing so, they bring in pure vibrations that help the aspirant to cleanse the mind.
- Jñāna means the knowledge or direct experience of one’s ātman-nature.
- Bhakti means devotion that leads one to God.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore