Advice to a disciple on quitting smoking

Q: I want to say something about smoking. I used to smoke. When I came here I stopped smoking. But when the Xs came slowly I began again, just sometimes. Then I stopped once more. Lately, for ten days I have not smoked. But the desire comes back very strongly. I would like to get rid of it very much, for I am not its master.

If the desire is simply nervous it can easily be managed; but if it finds a support in the vital and the mind, it is more difficult.

In principle there are two methods. The first is to cut off everything abruptly. To make a firm resolution and by an act of will refuse the consent. When the desire comes, to withdraw from it and to let it have its play below, unless one can throw it out also. The desire becomes weaker and weaker. The other method is to give the desire when it comes a little satisfaction and then to reject it. To give it a little bhoga. But one must take care to make this only a means to arrive at the rejection. Not to indulge in it, for without that the resistance is indefinite.

These are the two methods used by yogis.

– Sri Aurobindo