Certain habits urge, emotions, thoughts have to be retained and controlled while certain other types habits or should never be retained as these puts too much strain on the bodily systems. The non- retainable urges are quantified to be thirteen in number; and will be discussed in another article, however, in this article, we primarily focus on the behavioral and emotional urges that need to be retained. We will first define these terminologies and then move onto certain scientific researches in association to these Ayurvedic claims.
The Dharayina derives from the Sanskrit word Dharana literally translating into “to hold”, while vega translates to “urges”. The urges Dbe it emotional, habitual, and or vocal urges that need to be buried deep down into your mental and/or physical depths is called “Dharaniya Vega”.
Suppressible or retainable urges: There are certain urges whose suppression is essential. These suppressible (retainable) urges are divided into three types:
1. Mental urges: Greed, malice, envy, infatuation, anger, grief, fear, ego, hatred, shamelessness, treason and so on.
2. Vocal urges: Undignified and uncivilized speech due to anger, unnecessary and excessive talking, backbiting, repeated talks, untimely and inappropriate or digressive talk. All these urges are related to speech. These are retainable urges.
3. Physical urges: Violent attitude, undisciplined actions such as thrashing, robbing, rape, theft, and such other urges are considered to be physical urges. Suppression of these urges will save you from illegal, undignified, unsocial and unethical conduct.
At initial thought, this might seem counter-intuitive or pseudo effective against the mood and effect. However, when we do scrutinize the holding of these urges in a modern scientific perspective, the holding of these urges are more justified. Certain theories like “catharsis theory” – relieving anger by letting it out, has been proved not to be helpful in reducing anger. Reliving anger by violence or more anger seems to break down the dam that holds the anger in place, flooding your mind with more anger. Acting on impulse is “non-premeditated”, controlled anger would induce sorts of positive feedback mechanisms that would eventually lead to subsidence of aggression.
During the 1960s, Albert Bandura conducted a series of experiments on observational learning, collectively known as the Bobo doll experiments. The question asked by the experiments was what part of child’s aggression was innate and what was learned. The children were made to watch adult show destructive behavior to a doll, and the children when left alone with the dolls, disturbingly copied the destructive behaviors shown by adults and lashed out on the doll, often getting creative with destruction and aggression.
Certain behaviors (physical urges) mentioned above has been vilified in nearly every modern human society, but what Ayurveda claimed a millennia ago, we are realizing just in the past two centuries or so. Ayurveda in predefining these violent and sometimes animals like behavior and contraindicating these behaviors in societal norms seems to have defined and shaped the Indian culture and behaviors in ancient times. But these moralities got replaced by that of looters and a pillager; the subjugated Indian morals seem to contradict the Ayurveda history.
Now one could view this guidance as a mindfulness technique, keeping a mindful eye (the eye of your mind) on your emotions, bodily orientation, attention, and speech. Mindfulness and Dharaniya vega go hand in hand. Buddhist monk during their lifetime learning to pay attention to their breath, emotions, and greeting of goodness to the world, but also practice the act of getting their urges under control. Devoting their life in pursuance of the eightfold paths: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. As Buddha puts it “Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth… becoming… clinging… craving… feeling… contact… the six sense media… name-&-form… consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.”