From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Indriyadhāraṇā literally means ‘restraining the senses’. It is holding back of the sense organs and their activity.

This is a special term found in the Kathā Upaniṣad,[1] though the idea is quite common. The full verse runs as follows:

‘They (the sages) consider that as yoga- the steady control of the senses (sthirām indriyadhāraṇām); the yogi must be vigilant; for yoga can be acquired and lost’.

Yoga is a perfect concentration of the mind ultimately leading to the union of the jīva with Paramātman. This concentration can be attained only when the senses do not function actively giving rise to mental quietude or tranquility and holding back of the sense organs and their activity is referred as Indriyadhāraṇā.


  1. Kathā Upaniṣad 6.11
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore