According to the Gita, impulse is force. Lord Krishna says, “He who is able to endure here on earth, before he is liberated from the body, the force born of desire and passion, he is harmonized, he is a happy man”. Man wishes to have children to maintain the race or line. This is the reproductive instinct. The desire to copulate proceeds from this sexual instinct. The strength of the sexual desire depends upon the sexual impulse. Impulse is a mighty force. It exerts influence on the mind. It is a force suddenly communicated to the mind.
Just as petrol or steam moves the engine, the instincts and impulses move this body. The instincts are the prime movers of all human activities. They give a push to the body and move you to action. The instincts create habits. The instinctive impulses supply the driving power by which all mental activities are kept up. These impulses are mental forces. They operate through the mind and the intellect. They mould the life of a man.
The attraction towards women in men is God’s bliss. That unknown attraction and happiness in their company is the seed of the sex impulse. This attraction, which is like a bubble in the beginning, later on assumes the form of a formidable, uncontrollable wave of strong passion. You must understand the psychological working of the impulse. When there are itches on the body, mere scratching of them is a pleasure. The sex impulse is only a nervous itching. The over-satisfaction of this impulse begets a delusive pleasure, but it has a disastrous effect on the spiritual well-being of the person.
Lust is powerful. It carries a flowery bow equipped with five arrows, namely— fascination, stupefaction, intoxication, emaciation and burning. One arrow causes fascination in young men when they see a beautiful form. Another arrests their attention. The third intoxicates them. The fourth arrow causes intense attraction towards the form. The fifth arrow inflames and burns their heart. It pierces their cardiac chambers deeply. No one on this earth has the power to resist the potential influence of these arrows. Cupid directly shoots an arrow through the bewitching eyebrows and piercing glances of a young lady with tender waist, rosy cheeks and red lips. Moonlit night, scents and perfumes, flowers and garlands, sandal-paste, meat and liquor, theaters and novels are his mighty weapons to delude the passionate young men. Reason and discrimination take to their heels the moment their hearts are filled with burning passion. They all become absolutely blind. Cupid makes intellectual persons, great orators, ministers and research scholars, doctors and barristers, as pleasure deer or pet dogs in the laps of young ladies. Reason has temporarily taken its seat in the dry intellect of a learned pundit or a professor. He has no real stamina. Cupid knows his strength. Cupid reigns supreme everywhere. He penetrates the hearts of all. He knows how to tickle their nerves. Within the twinkling of an eye he destroys reason, discrimination and understanding by simply inflaming the passion of young men.
Even in dreams Cupid has full sway, even when all the desires are silent. Ladies are his infallible agents! They are always at his beck and call. Cupid operates through their smiles, bewitching glances and sweet words, through their melodious songs and ball dances. Young girls work quickly the ruin of men and can disturb the peace of even the minds of sages. Cupid can make the nervous system of celibates quiver in the delirium of imaginary pleasure even when they think of the pictures of young, beautiful ladies, even when they hear the gentle sounds of their bracelets and anklets, even when they think of their blooming faces.
A sexual act produces an impression in the subconscious mind. This impression raises a thought-wave in the mind and thickens the excitements. Through memory and imagination, a revival of the sexual desire comes in. Remembrance of the image of a woman unsettles the mind. When a tiger has once tasted human blood, it always runs to kill human beings. It becomes a man-eater. Even so, when the mind has once tasted sexual pleasures, it always runs after women.
From the bed of impressions and lust in the mind emanates imagination through memory. Then comes attachment. Along with imagination, emotion and impulse manifest, Emotion and impulse exist side by side. Then comes sexual irritation—craving and burning in the mind and throughout the body. The irritation and burning in the mind percolate into the physical body, just as the water inside a pot percolates into the surface of the pot. If you are very vigilant, you can drive off the bad imagination in the very beginning itself and avert the impending danger. Even if you allow the thief imagination to enter the first gate, keep a careful watch at the second gate when the sexual irritation manifests. You can stop the burning now. You can stop also, easily, the strong sexual impulse from being transmitted to the desires’ originating point itself. Draw the sex energy up towards the brain and divert the mind.Pray, meditate. If you still find it difficult to control the mind, immediately seek some good company and do not remain alone because when the strong impulse manifests suddenly and is transmitted to the organ, you forget everything and become blind. You become a prey to lust. Later on you repent.
Even in a blind man who is a celibate who has not seen the face of a woman, the sexual impulse is very strong. Why? This is due to the force of impressions embedded in the subconscious mind. Whatever you do, whatever you think, are all lodged or printed or indelibly impressed in the layers of the subconscious mind. These impressions can be burnt or obliterated only by the dawn of knowledge of the Supreme Self. When the sexual desire fills the whole mind and body, the impressions assume the form of big waves and torment the poor blind man.
It is easy to control the conscious mind. But it is very difficult to control the subconscious mind. You may be a moral man. Mark how the mind behaves or conducts itself in dreams. You begin to steal in dreams. You can commit adultery in dreams. The sex impulses, ambitions and low desires are all ingrained in you and deep-rooted in the subconscious mind. Destroy the subconscious mind and its impressions through meditation. A man who is established in mental celibacy can never have even a single thought of evil in dreams. He can never have a bad dream. There is a lack of proper discriminating thinking in dream. That is the reason why you get bad dreams, even though you are pure in the awaken state through the power of your appropriate thinking.
An aspirant complains: “As I continue meditation, layer after layer of impurities keep rising from the subconscious mind. Sometimes they are so strong and formidable that I am bewildered as to how to check them. I am not perfectly established in truth. The old habits of lust and of speaking lies are still lurking in me. Lust is troubling me vigorously. The very idea of women agitates my mind. My mind is so sensitive that I am not able to hear or think of them. As soon as the thought comes in the mind, my determination gets disturbed, and also, the peace of the whole day is spoiled. I advise my mind, coax it, frighten it, but it is of no avail. My mind revolts. I do not know how to control this passion. Irritability, egoism, anger, greed, hatred and attachment are still lurking in me. Lust is my chief enemy and it is a very strong one too. I request you to be kind enough to advise me as to how to destroy it”.
When the impurities emerge from the subconscious mind and come to the surface of the conscious mind with formidable force, we should not try to resist them. We should not think of our defects or evil qualities much. It is enough if we introspect and find out our defects. We should not try to attack the evil qualities. Then they will show their long faces. We must develop positive virtues. We should not worry ourselves often: “I have got so many defects and weaknesses”. Cultivate virtues through meditation, and by the development of positive qualities, all the negative qualities will die by themselves. This is the right method.
You may become old, your hair may turn gray, but your mind remains ever young. The capacity may vanish, but the craving remains even when you have reached advanced senility. Cravings are the real seeds of birth. These craving-seeds give rise to determination and action. The wheel of impression is kept revolving by these cravings. We must nip them in the bud. Then only will we be safe. we will get meditation and devotion will root out these craving-seeds which are laid deep. We will have to dig them out properly in various corners and burn them beyond resurrection. Then only your efforts will bear the fruit.
One student writes: “The impure flesh and skin appear to me as very pure and good. I am very lustful. I try to develop mentally an imagination of mother in all women. I prostrate before a lady mentally, thinking that she is an image of Goddess, and yet my mind is extremely lustful. What shall I do now? I desire again and again to have a glimpse of a beautiful lady”. Obviously, discrimination has not dawned in his mind even a bit. The old vicious impressions are very powerful.
Even a pure celibate will be troubled in the beginning by curiosity. He will be curious to know and feel what sort of happiness the sexual enjoyment will give. He thinks sometimes: “Let me have the carnal knowledge of a woman once. Then I will be able to root out this sexual impulse and desire completely. This sexual curiosity is troubling me very much”. Mind wants to delude this Celibate. Curiosity is transmuted into a strong desire. Enjoyment cannot bring satisfaction of a desire. The wise way is to kill the strong wave of curiosity by enquiry about that pure sexless self, by totally eradicating the sexual desire through constant meditation, and by thinking over the glory of celibacy and the defects of an impure life.
The sight of a young beautiful girl produces in a passionate young man attraction and agitation in the mind, piercing of the heart and serious intoxication. If these symptoms are absent in a man, then it is a sign to denote that he is established in celibacy. The sight of the pairing or mating of birds and animals, or the sight of the bare body of a lady, should not produce the least agitation in the mind.
If a feeling arises in the mind of a celibate for the company of a woman during times of ailment, if there is a strong desire to be in her company, if there is a desire to talk, play and joke with her, if there is a desire to look at young beautiful girls, if the look is unholy and unchaste, and if there is a desire in the mind when there is pain in the body for touch by the hands of females, remember that lust is still lurking in his mind. There is deep sexual craving. This should be destroyed. The old thief is still hiding. Such a celibate must be very careful. He is still within the danger zone. He has not attained the state of purity. Even in dreams there should not arise in the mind any craving for the touch of a female and the company of a woman. One’s purity can be gauged by one’s experiences in dream. If one is entirely free from any sexual thought in dreams, he has reached the climax of purity. Self-analysis and introspection are indispensable requisites to determine the state of one’s mind.
A wise person will have no wet dreams. He who is established in celibacy will not get even a single bad dream. Dream serves as a criterion to judge our mental state or the degree of our mental purity.
If you do not get impure dreams, you are growing in purity. The very idea of sex should vanish from the mind. Sukadeva had this experience. Suka did not marry. He left his home and roamed about the world at large, stark naked. The separation was very painful for his father, Vyasa. Vyasa went out in search of his son. While he passed by a tank, the Apsaras (fairies), who were freely indulging in play, felt ashamed and put on their clothes hastily. Vyasa said, “Very strange indeed! I am old. I am putting on clothes. But when my son passed this way naked, you kept quiet, you remained unmoved”. The fairies replied, “O venerable sage, thy son knows not man and woman, but thou knowest”.
You will have to search out carefully this dire enemy, lust that lies hidden in the various corners of your heart. Just as the fox hides itself within the bush, so also, this lust hides itself in the substratum and corners of the mind. You can detect its presence only if you are vigilant. Intense self-examination is very necessary. Just as powerful enemies can be conquered only if you attack them from all sides, so also, you can keep the powerful senses under control only if you attack them from all sides, from within and from without, from above and from beneath. The senses are very turbulent. The powerful virus that causes syphilis is attacked on all sides by the doctor by various contrivances such as inunctions or local rubbing, injection, mixture and powder. So also, the senses must be controlled by various methods such as fasting, restriction in diet, yoga, meditation, or enquiry of “Who am I?” abstraction, self-restraint, thought-control and destruction of desires.
Safeguard yourself against the error of foolishly imagining that you have succeeded in getting rid of lust by the mere fact of having lived a single life for a number of years or experiencing a little feeling of serenity or purity. You must not labor under the delusion that you have eradicated lust completely by adjusting the diet a bit, by practising yoga and by doing a little prayer, and that you have nothing more to do. Temptation may overcome you at any moment. Eternal vigilance and rigorous practice are very essential. You cannot attain perfect celibacy by limited effort. Just as a machine-gun is necessary to kill a powerful enemy, so also, constant, vigorous, powerful effort is necessary to annihilate this powerful enemy, lust. You must not be puffed up with pride for your little achievement in celibacy. If you are put to test, you will hopelessly fail. You must be ever conscious of your shortcomings and you must constantly strive to get rid of them. The highest effort is necessary. Then only you will have sanguine success in this direction.
It is easy to tame a wild tiger or a lion or an elephant. It is easy to play with the cobra. It is easy to walk over the fire. It is easy to devour fire and drink the waters of the ocean. It is easy to uproot the Himalayas. It is easy to get victory in the battlefield. But, it is difficult to eradicate lust. Right from the earlier stages of evolution through the ages, the instinctive urge for reproduction and multiplication has been kept up only by the power of lust. Therefore, despite all efforts at controlling and subduing it, the power tries to manifest itself forcibly and overwhelm the aspirant.
All the same, you need not despair even a bit. Have faith in God, in His Name and His grace. Lust cannot be completely rooted out of the mind except by the grace of the Lord. You are bound to succeed if you have faith in Him. You can destroy lust in the twinkling of an eye. The Lord makes a dumb man speak and a lame man ascends a steep hill. Mere human effort alone will not suffice. The divine grace is needed. God helps those who help themselves.
Regular meditation and prayers, pure diet, yoga, study of religious books, seclusion for some period will entirely annihilate lust, however powerful the old impressions and desires may be. The positive always overcomes the negative. You need not be discouraged at any rate. Plunge yourself seriously in meditation, kill this and come out victorious in the struggle. Shine as a brilliant Yogi.
Sexual impulses can, with difficulty, be controlled. A rebellion of the sexual impulses takes place when you attempt to control them. Constant prayers and meditation for a long period are necessary to direct the sex energy into the spiritual channel. Complete sublimation of the sexual energy into gathering power is necessary. Then only you are perfectly safe. Then only you will be established in purity, as impure desires will entirely vanish. Extreme patience, constant vigilance, perseverance and rigorous working are necessary to eradicate the sexual impulses and attain perfect purity in thought, word and deed.
Purity can be attained only through constant striving. It cannot be achieved in a day or a week. Lust is doubtless very powerful. It is your deadly enemy. But your most powerful friend is your prayers. It will destroy lust from its very root. Yogic practices, meditation and so on will attenuate or thin out the sexual desire to a very great extent. But, Self-realization alone can completely destroy or burn the sexual desire. Bhagavadgita rightly points out, “The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man leaving the longing behind, but this longing also turns away after he attains Self-realization”.
Sex urge is a creative force. Unless you are inspired by spiritual ideals, it is difficult to keep the sexual instinct in check. Direct the sex energy to the higher spiritual channel. It will be sublimated. It will be transformed into divine energy and you will enjoy the life much superior hereafter. This submission, however, does not intend to drift you away from your natural duties towards your spouse but it requests you to avoid over-indulgence.
Be Happy – Gauge Your Mental Purity