How to control your mind: Pratyahara or Sense – withdrawal
Both ‘posture’ and the ‘control of the life –force’ lead to a progressive desensitization to external stimuli. When the mind has become completely sealed off from the objective environment, the condition of perfect sense – withdrawal or pratyahara occurs. The Sanskrit texts compare this process to a tortoise contracting its limbs. In the Mahabharata, sense withdrawal is pertinently described in these words;
The self (atman) cannot be perceived with the sense which disunited scatter to and fro and are difficult to restrain for those whose self is not prepared.
Clinging thereto (i.e to the highest reality), the sage should, through absorption, concentrate his mind to one point by ‘clenching’ the host of the sense and sitting like a log. He should not perceive sound with his ear, not feel touch with his skin. He should not perceive form with his eyes and not taste tastes with his tongue.
Also, the knower of Yoga should, through absorption, abstain from all smells. He should courageously reject these agitators of the group of five (sense).