Overcoming lust, the spiritual way

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Overcoming lust, the spiritual way

Wednesday, 08 November 2023 | Ajit Kumar Bishnoi

Overcoming lust, the spiritual way

Stay away from sense objects which invoke lusty feelings in us

It must be, otherwise, you are in denial. Our bodies have been made such that lust of all kinds will affect us. The Bhagavad-Geeta has plenty of information about this very important subject, “The senses, the mind and the intelligence are said to be lust’s seats. Through them, this bewilders an embodied person, covering his wisdom.” (3.40), “The senses are said to be powerful, but the mind is more powerful than the senses.

The intelligence is more powerful than the mind, but that which is more powerful than even the intelligence is lust. (3.42) Sample some of our weaknesses: for sex, for tasty foods, for attractive sights, for hearing what pleases us, for talking unnecessarily, etc. Yes, a few of these will be dominant in a person, while others will be dormant. Males will most likely have a weakness for sex, while women may be/will be more attracted to clothes, jewellery, etc. Unfortunately, no one will be free from these.

A question may be asked: “Why were we made in this fashion?” For two reasons. The first is that the creation has to go on. These shortcomings keep us attracted to the material world. The second is our wanting it. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to find someone, who doesn’t have a deep desire for some kind of lust, be it for power, fame, beauty, wealth, etc. We really cannot fault God.

This article is for those, who are troubled by this ever-present ‘kama,’ and, most importantly, who are honest enough to admit their weakness. They can be helped. Before I go into specifics of it, let us understand the true nature of kama from the Geeta. “It is lust only; it is anger only, born of the mode of passion. Lust is the one that devours, and is a great sinner.

Know this to be the enemy of the world.” (3.37) “Just as fire is covered with smoke; just as a mirror is covered with dirt; and just as an embryo is covered with a womb, similarly, knowledge is covered with lust.” Lord Krishna leaves no doubt about how dangerous lust is, when He states, “Lust, anger and greed are three doors to hell, which cause ruination of the soul. (16.21) 

Having got a fair idea about the nature of kama, lets us understand how to deal with it. The very first lesson is to never underestimate lust. Rather we should err on the side of caution and overestimate it. Therefore, stay away from sense objects, which invoke lusty feelings in us.

As it is, we are highly susceptible to being corrupted. Why, then have anything to do with it? Yes, it is not possible to do so always but we must. External attractions make the mind weak, which is already highly vulnerable.

These and many other ideas will help somewhat, but all will fall woefully short. Why? Because the mind is seated inside us. One thinks that we are not hurting anyone and no one is wiser about our thoughts. This is a big mistake; we hurt ourselves quite badly. The mind, already a big enemy, becomes worse. The reality is that only God can help. I mean it. God has counselled us to kill this formidable enemy; He has stated, “Thus knowing this lust to be more powerful than the intelligence and steadying self by self, kill this difficult to conquer enemy in the form of lust.” (3.43) Yes, but it is practically impossible to do it by oneself. We need God’s help to get rid of the lust, which covers knowledge/wisdom.

(Bishnoi is a spiritual guide, views are personal)

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