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Often times i see in scriptures, authors say to shun objects of senses. I want to know in detail about them, their types, their effects on Jiva and so on

Thanks

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In the context of spiritual and philosophical discussions, the term "sense objects" refers to the external stimuli or objects that our senses perceive in the world. These objects are categorized based on the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. The idea is often discussed in the context of restraining desires and achieving spiritual growth, as mentioned in various scriptures including the Bhagavad Gita.

In the Bhagavad Gita, the concept of sense objects is discussed in the context of self-discipline, control of desires, and the path to spiritual realization. The Gita advises individuals to practice detachment from sense objects in order to attain a state of inner peace and self-realization. By controlling one's desires and attachments to sensory pleasures, one can overcome the cycle of birth and death (samsara) and attain liberation (moksha).

The types of sense objects can be broadly categorized as follows:

Visual Objects (Sight): Anything that is perceived through the sense of sight, such as beautiful or attractive things.

Auditory Objects (Hearing): Sounds and voices, including pleasant and unpleasant sounds.

Tactile Objects (Touch): Physical sensations and textures, including experiences of pleasure and pain.

Gustatory Objects (Taste): Flavors and tastes experienced through the sense of taste.

Olfactory Objects (Smell): Various scents and smells perceived through the sense of smell.

The scriptures advise individuals to practice moderation and detachment in their interaction with these sense objects. Excessive attachment and desire for these objects can lead to distraction, sensory pleasure-seeking, and a cycle of craving and dissatisfaction. By developing control over the senses and cultivating a detached attitude towards sense objects, individuals can focus on spiritual growth and self-realization.

It's important to note that the teachings in the Bhagavad Gita and other spiritual texts are often metaphorical and symbolic, aiming to guide individuals toward a balanced and purposeful life rather than advocating complete avoidance of the external world.

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In Ashtavakra Gita, Ashtavakra advises to shun the object of the senses:

To be free,

shun the experiences of the senses

like poison.

Turn your attention to forgiveness, sincerity, kindness, simplicity, truth.

Ashtavakra Gita 1.2

An object of the senses is defined as everything that can be perceived by self (Not senses).

What is 'self' is defined in Mandukya Upanishad. (Refer Video Lec: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGKFTUuJppU).

The Self is known as “the forth” and is to be realized. It is neither conscious of the external or internal worlds, nor is it a mass of consciousness. It is not simple consciousness, nor is it unconscious. It cannot be seen by the senses, is unrelated to anything, incomprehensible to the mind, uninferable, unthinkable, and indescribable. It’s nature is pure consciousness, the negation of all phenomena, non-dual, blissful, and peaceful.

Mandukya Upanishad 7th verse.

The self is the pure consciousness. It can be best described as the experiencer of everything associated with the universe and life. During the dream state, a person has a body (through which he accesses the dream world), a mind (to think inside the dream), emotions (fright, pleasant - dreams), an outside world, different objects of external world associated with different pleasure or aversion, etc. No matter how real it may seem, everything in the dream is not real.

The same is true with the self in reality, we have thoughts, emotions, ego, mind, memories, and sensory objects of the sense organs associated with different pain and pleasure of different objects in reality. Now the problem is that everything the self perceives that changes with time is unreal, only the witness that sees them is the real one. After the death of the physical body, the memories, thoughts, mind, and emotions associated with the physical body will die. But the seer that witnesses everything remains. In case of attachment to certain objects of pleasure/pain, the seer takes new body because it is attached to it (incarnation). This is why self is said to be both - known and unknown. It is known because we know that it is the witness of everything here, at the same time it is unknown because it cannot be felt (self is not a sense object like a thought, emotions, pain, or pleasure, that can be witnessed by self), it is beyond all those.

When Ashtavakra says - shun the experiences of senses, he's calling for an ultimate detachment through pleasure/pain of anything that self witnesses. So that the self doesn't seek pleasure and reincarnates (gets liberated) during death.


A good way to shun the experiences of senses is to use - neti neti (Not this, not that) from the Upanishad. Upon feeling any emotion of pain/pleasure, direct the mind and assert that - the pain, or pleasure is not what belongs to self, rather it is what my body is feeling, and not identify yourself with what the body feels. This way one gains control over his emotions (or reactions) to his body in small bits and prevents attachment and aversion in the long run. A very simplified version of the same is what Krishna explains to Arjuna in chapter 3 of Uttara Gita.

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There are three different YATHAARTHA objectives of humans relying on sense objects : the three are

  1. ARTHAA (Karma based)
  2. KAAMA (community based)
  3. MOKSHA (Devotion based)

SENSE OBJECTS: Objects of any type either attached to human body or utilised by human often go into three YATHAARTHA states.

God Krishna in Bhagavad Gita thus stresses the importance of many types of Yoga for humans to control their lingering on sense objects.

Sensory organs like taste, smell, touch etc (Bhootagraama) are just part of human body and they are not objects unless and until they are exposed to MATERIALISTIC SENSUAL OBJECTS that may increase human dependancies on them.

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