As per ancient Indian literature, we have 10 Indriyas – 5 motor and 5 sensory. The motor Indriyas are called Karmendriyas and the sensory indriyas are called Gnanendriyas. The motor indriyas involve the functions of elimination (anus), procreation (genitals), movement (legs), grasping (hands) and speaking (speech). The five sensory indriyas in sequence are smell, taste, seeing, touching and hearing.

The first motor indriya is linked to the first sensory indriya. Therefore, elimination is linked to smelling, procreation to tasting, movement to seeing, grasping to touching and speaking to hearing.

Controlling the senses is the fundamental principle in acquiring spiritual health. Senses in Indian mythology are depicted by horses, which are chanchal and are likely to go out of control. The control over 10 senses is required to become a yogi.

The Ashwamedha Yagna of ancient era of kings basically meant doing a sacrifice so as to be able to control one’s senses.

In internal Ramayana, Lord Dashrath represents a person who has control over his 10 senses. Here ‘Dash’ means ten and ‘Rath’ means horse.

During meditation also, one is taught to sequentially control one’s senses. For example, to be able to meditate, one must first pass urine and stool as in the presence of these urges, one will not be able to meditate. The second is to control one’s sexual desires. It is well known that sexuality and spirituality cannot go hand in hand. In any Shiv Mandir, Nandi, the bull, is always worshipped outside the temple and not inside the temple.

The next step in meditation is control on movements and that is practicing stillness followed by relaxing each every muscle representing control over grasping and then going to an inner journey of inner silence of controlling over the 5th motor indriya i.e. speech. Only after one has learnt to control the mortal indriyas, can one be able to control the 5 sensory indriyas in succession as mentioned above.