Very often we see people give up something they like doing – example eating sweets, fruits, delicacies or alternatively take on doing something relatively difficult like walking barefoot, bathing in ice cold water, sleeping on the hard floor, etc. While all these could have in their own way a limited positive influence (hopefully) on their living – these need not necessarily be their ticket to evolution. ‘Dama’ which is the wilful control of the senses, involves a person taking control over their feelings – predominantly in the physical plane.
However what actually defines the start point of human evolution is ‘Sama’ the wilful control of mind. Controlling the mind through strong reasoning to keep it focused internally – by removing its distraction with external objects and past indulgence is Sama. Practicing Sama involves one to battle against the vasanas or accumulated desire that resides in the labyrinth of our mind. Handling this subtle instrument (mind) is far difficult from handling the gross (physical body)
Very often a small victory through Dama on the physical plan is enough to give us the feeling of having moved one notch above the rest of our fellow human beings. You can see this by the amount of publicity each of one us practicing some form of physical control give ourselves. But the harsh truth is while Dama can give us disciplining of our sense organs – if we do not progress to Sama; all our valiant efforts otherwise would be in vain!