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Chastity

Of all longings and desires none is stronger
than sex. Sex as a desire has no equal.
(Buddha)

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Look upon all the women of the world either as your mother, sister,
or daughter, so that you may make progress in your spiritual journey.
(Baba Sawan Singh)

From The Case for Chastity
(Russell Perkins, Sat Sandesh, Feb. 1972)
Perhaps the most difficult to keep of Master’s commandments, especially for
young men, is chastity. The society we live in is so permeated with sexuality,
and most of us have been surrounded since birth by so many people and so
much material inundated with unchaste preconceptions, that the concept of selfrestraint comes hard.
And yet, experience shows that the Master’s teachings on this subject are
grounded firmly both in spiritual necessity and in human nature. It does not take
us long to discover, if we are serious about the Path and our commitment to it,
that sexuality and inner experience are incompatible; and once we get past the
fears and prejudices that have been implanted in us by all segments of society,
and actually live for a while free from the addiction to sex, we begin to discover
for ourselves the peace and contentment that real chastity brings.
We have learned that the first step toward an honestly chaste life is intellectual
acceptance of the value of chastity. Since most of us have been assuming the
opposite for years, anything that goes to reinforce the concept in our minds is
helpful. And if we realize that the Master’s teaching is thoroughly and
completely in harmony with all Masters who have come as well as an
astonishing number of great men in all walks of life, we may perhaps feel more
secure in our own practice.

They say that woman is an enticement. No, No, she is not so.
They say that money is an enticement. No, No, it is not so.
They say that landed property is an enticement. No, No, it is not so.
The real enticement is the insatiable appetite of the mind,
O Lord Guheswara!
(Allama Prabhu, Vacana 91)

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Sexual Energy
(Ram Dass – from Be Here Now)
There are seven focal points of psychic energy in the body. These points are
called charkas. Each center is associated with a different vibrational expression
of the energy – from the first charka which works with the grossest form of this
energy to the seventh charka which works with the energy in its finest form.
Just as a personality profile can describe an individual’s dominant personality
characteristics, so a person can be described in terms of the charkas in which his
energy is received and dissipated.
There are certain labels which can be affixed to these charkas to define the
dominant concern of an individual whose primary energy expression is fixed at
that particular level. Thus the first charka is associated with survival, a jungle or
animal mentality. The second charka is associated with reproduction and sexual
gratification. The third charka concerns power and mastery. These three
charkas are the focal points for most of the energy presently used by man in his
worldly endeavors. These three charkas are primarily concerned with the use of
energy for the maintenance and enhancement of the ego.
It is only when we arrive at the fourth charka, the heart charka, that we enter into
a realm which starts to transcend the ego. This fourth charka is primarily
concerned with compassion. The fifth is concerned with the seeking of God.
The sixth (located between the eyebrows) is concerned with wisdom (the third
eye); and the seventh, with full enlightenment or union.
The spiritual path can be conceived, from an energy point of view, as the path
up the spine - that is, the movement and transformation of energy from the lower
to the higher charkas – the purification of energy. With this definition in mind,
it is apparent that any use of energy which further strengthens the hold, or
intensity, of the lower charkas interferes with the spiritual progress.
The experience and habits associated with lust are the domain of the second
charka. Freud was the master spokesman of the person who is fixated in the
second charka, just as Adler was the spokesman for the third charka, and
perhaps Jung the spokesman of the fourth.
In our Western culture there has been such an investment in the models of man
associated with the second and third charka (sex and power) that we have
developed strong and deeply held habits of perceiving the inner and outer

-3universe in these terms. Though we may realize intellectually that the spiritual
journey requires the transformation of energy from these preoccupations to
higher centers, we find it difficult to override these strong habits which seem to
be reinforced by the vibration of the culture in which we live.
Thus it seems “normal” to have certain ego needs with regard to sex and power.
It is difficult for us to comprehend that what is normal for a second-chakra
preoccupied person is hardly normal for a fourth-chakra person.
A second-chakra person, as so well described by Freud, thinks of everything as
sexual in nature – a pencil is phallic, political power is sexual potency, etc.
Freud describes religion as subliminated sexuality. A third-chakra person sees it
all in terms of power or mastery. Even his sexual activity is seen in that light.
All “takes” of the Universe in terms of the first, second and third charka are
profane. That is, they maintain and enhance man’s illusion of separateness.
Every time you live out an act in terms (habits of thought) of a lower charka,
you strengthen the hold of that charka.

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Mahatma Gandhi
(From Sat Sandesh, February 1972)
Today our entire environment – our reading, our thinking, our social behavior –
is generally calculated to subserve and cater for the sex-urge. To break through
its coils is no easy task. But it is a task worthy of our highest endeavor.

Thus it is not proved to my satisfaction that sexual union in marriage is in itself
good and beneficial to the unionists. To the contrary effect I can bear ample
testimony from my own experience and that of many friends. I am not aware of
any of us having derived any benefit, mental, spiritual or physical. Momentary
excitement and satisfaction there certainly was. But it was invariably followed
by exhaustion. And the desire for union returned immediately after the effect of
exhaustion had worn out. Although I have always been a conscientious worker,
I can clearly recall the fact that this indulgence interfered with my work. It was
the consciousness of this limitation that put me on the track of self-restraint; and
I have no manner of doubt that the self-restraint is responsible for the
comparative freedom from illness that I have enjoyed for long periods and for
my output of energy and work, both physical and mental, which eye-witnesses
have described as phenomenal.

No, I must declare with all the power I can command that sensual attraction
even between husband and wife is unnatural. Marriage is meant to cleanse the
hearts of sordid passions and take them nearer to God. Lustless love between
husband and wife is not impossible. Man is not a brute. He has risen to a higher
state after countless births in brute creation. He is born to stand, not to walk on
all fours or crawl. Bestiality is as far removed from manhood as matter from
spirit.
I submit that marriage is a fence that protects religion. If the fence were to be
destroyed, religion would go to pieces. The foundation of religion is restraint,
and marriage is nothing but restraint. The man who knows no restraint has no
hope of self-realization…The body may be either a playground of passion or a
temple of self-realization. If it is the latter, there is no room there for
libertinism. The spirit needs must curb the flesh every moment.

they are freed for universal service. Such misuse is the root cause of many a disease. word and deed. The husband and wife do not lose anything here. they can serve each other better. Where the mind wanders. If so. mothers or daughters will at once ennoble a man and snap his chains. restricting them to the physical union only between themselves and for the purpose only of procreation when both the partners desire it and are prepared for it. that the foolish man. If the married couple can think of each other as brother and sister. a consideration of the physical benefits of chastity becomes a matter of secondary importance. must be observed in thought. How foolish it is intentionally to dissipate vital energy in sensual enjoyment! It is a grave misuse to fritter away for physical gratification that which is given to man and woman for the full development of their bodily and mental powers. . the body and the mind will pull different ways. marriage must be considered to be a sacrament imposing discipline upon the partners. We experience every moment of our lives that often while the body is subject to our control. Their love becomes free from the impurity of lust and so grows stronger. If the foregoing argument is appreciated. and experience will corroborate the statement. This physical control should never be relaxed. It is one thing to allow the mind to harbor impure thoughts. and we shall be false to ourselves. It may be harmful to suppress the body. but only add to their resources and even to their family. if we non-cooperate with the mind in its evil wanderings. it is a different thing altogether if it strays among them in spite of ourselves. We can do nothing more. where the love is selfish and bounded. We are told in the Gita. who appears to control his body but is nursing evil thoughts in his mind. The very thought that all the women in the world are one’s sisters. and in addition we must put forth a constant endeavor to bring the mind under control. it must be based on ever-increasing restraint upon the demands of the flesh. the mind is not.-5Human society is a ceaseless growth. Victory will be ours in the end. Thus. With the disappearance of this impurity. if the mind is at the same time allowed to go astray. nothing less. It is necessary here to appreciate a distinction. There are more occasions for quarrel. If we give way to the mind. makes a vain effort. an unfoldment in terms of spirituality. like all other observances. the body must follow sooner or later. and the occasions for quarrel become fewer. Brahmacharya.

I feel that this conception is incomplete and wrong. to touch exciting things with the hands. to taste stimulating food with your tongue. If we practice simultaneous self-control in all directions.-6Body and mind may be said to go together. I have always felt that much harm has been done by the narrow definition of bramacharya. He. To hear suggestive stories with the ears. Mere control of animal passion has been thought to be tantamount to observing brahmacharya. almost impossible. therefore. and then at the same time expect to control the only remaining organ. we see that the term brahmacharya has been taken in a narrow sense. to see suggestive sights with your eyes. . In trying to find a reason for this belief. is just like putting one’s hands in a fire and then expecting to escape being burnt. who is resolved to control the one must be likewise determined to control the rest. He who attempts to control only one organ and allows all the others free play is bound to find his effort futile. so long as we continue to resist the approach of every evil thought. Brahmacharya means control of all the organs of sense. the attempt will be scientific and possible of success. The observance of brahmacharya has been believed to be very difficult.

While not everyone wants to take vows and enter a religious order.dharana. like the other yamas. It is a fact that the more people gratify their senses. Many people mistakenly believe that practicing brahmacharya means suppression of the natural sexual instincts. including worship of God. and have nuns and monks who take vows of chastity. goodness and kindness. much spiritual progress can be gained. Like all traditional spiritual traditions.-7- Brahmacharya Brahmacharya has two main meanings. One of the many reasons for the practice of brahmacharya is that practicing the higher limbs of ashtanga yoga . Suppression is not what is wanted. there are also guidelines for householders to practice brahmacharya within their personal relationships. japa.requires a tremendous amount of energy or prana. satsang. When this is accomplished. Of all the sensual activities. The proper way to practice brahmacharya is to sublimate these natural urges into Ojas by a strong yoga practice that includes meditation. celibacy improves health and all aspects of life when practiced in the proper context. dhyana. the will becomes weak or when sadhana slackens. In the broad sense it means control of the senses. everyone should practice brahmacharya to the best of their ability. More specifically it refers to celibacy or chastity. He advocates living a more selfless life of charity. and reading of scriptures or yogic texts. Contrary to some popular ideas and incorrect psychological beliefs. the less energy they have and the less ability they have to meditate on the absolute. sex is the one that will be the most depleting to the psychic and nervous system. yoga advocates restraining from indulging in sensual gratification. because anything that is suppressed will eventually be released with redoubled force when an opportunity arises. asanas. Marriage should lead the husband and wife upwards in the spiritual path towards a life of spiritual partnership. It is worth noting that most religions place emphasis on brahmacharya. pranayama. This energy is built up through the practices of yoga but is dissipated during sensual enjoyment. . Swami Sivananda recommends that for householders moderation should be practiced. Most people don't like to hear this but. kirtan. He recommends self-control in order to have one or two children who are healthy and strong. samadhi . considering it a higher state of religious practice. Brachmacharya is considered one of the cornerstones of a serious yoga practice.

From their practice of brahmacharya they had incredible amounts of energy. inner strength. you land people in hell and make them wander through many births. There are many benefits to health and spiritual life that come from the practice of brahmacharya. The pleasure is ephemeral. and Bhishma from the Mahabharata. (Guru Arjan) O Kam (lust). 0 Great and Compassionate One! I am at Thy mercy. rescue me by Thy Grace. a life of moderation in the household life is equally good and helpful for spiritual growth.-8Conservation of energy that comes from practicing celibacy is converted into Ojas and Tejas (spiritual energy). There are many famous yogis and spiritual leaders who were established in this yama. It is beyond all doubt that a life of brahmacharya is glorious and marvelous. but with Thy glance of Grace. (http://yoga108. It bestows tremendous strength. with austerities and penances one cannot escape. It invigorates the mind and nerves. At the same time. Hanuman. austerities and restraint. Both have their own advantages. It helps to conserve physical and mental energy. Strength and fortitude are obtained. You must have great strength to tread the path either way. vigor and vitality. Gandhi. a sweet voice and a beautiful complexion. It augments memory. Practice of Brahmacharya gives good health. peace of mind and long life. Some of them are Sankara. take Nanak out of the blind well. will-power and thought-power to do great works for the world. (Guru Arjan) .org/pages/show/96-brahmacharya-control-of-the-senses-or-chastity-one-ofthe-ethical-precepts-of-yoga) Full of the deadly sins and tormented by lusts of the flesh I cry. Lakshmana. sways all the three worlds and undoes one's meditation. Jesus. as best Thou may. will force and brain power. and you afflict high and low alike. He who is established in brahmacharya will have lustrous eyes. entices all minds.

May 1972) We who have been brought up with materially inclined natures have generally had great misconceptions on the nature of chastity. Sat Sandesh. it is harmful for the mind pushes the body in that direction…continence does not mean that one should merely control his lust and sensual passions.” Baba Sawan Singh . It means actually to withdraw oneself from all the sense desires.Part 2 (Jon Engle. In the Gurmat Siddhant. Spiritual Gems. It comprises control over all sense organs…This continence cannot be practiced by control of the body. It does not simply mean control of sex organs. speech and actions. (Baba Sawan Singh. All of the Masters and great men who emphasized chastity meant something far beyond behavior when they spoke of it. the Great Master defines chastity as being: “…the purity of mind. and the notion that it is a source of great calm and strength (of both mind and body) as well as a tremendous joy within itself is all too quickly discarded. This misconceived idea stems largely as a reaction to those who knew (or maybe only preached) “physical chastity” but never attempted control over their minds. word. As of late it is more often than not associated with repression.. etc. religious fanaticism. and deed.-9- The path of the Masters is diametrically opposed to the path which the learned and the public follow. If one controls the body but thinks of sensual pleasures. 188) From The Case for Chastity . Continence should therefore be observed with mind.

It involves withdrawal from wrong food. (Swami Shivananda) Pratyahara The term pratyahara is composed of two Sanskrit words. In yogic thought there are three levels of ahara. If you are easily disturbed by the noise and turmoil of the environment around you. prati and ahara. Ahara means "food." Pratyahara means literally "control of ahara. but pratyahara’s primary importance lies in control of sensory impressions which frees the mind to move within. taste. sight. Just as a healthy body can resists toxins and pathogens. pratyahara strengthens the mind’s powers of immunity. touch. The third level of ahara is our associations.-10- Pratyahara itself is termed as Yoga. rajas." or "gaining mastery over external influences. the people we hold at heart level who serve to nourish the soul and affect us with the gunas of sattva." but much more is implied. or food. . and smell." It is compared to a turtle withdrawing its limbs into its shell — the turtle’s shell is the mind and the senses are the limbs. and tamas. We cannot control our mental impressions without right diet and right relationship." or "anything we take into ourselves from the outside. right impressions and right associations. The first is physical food that brings in the five elements necessary to nourish the body. Without it. Pratyahara is twofold. wrong impressions and wrong associations. a healthy mind can ward off the negative sensory influences around it. practice pratyahara. The second is impressions." Prati is a preposition meaning "against" or "away. By withdrawing our awareness from negative impressions. while simultaneously opening up to right food. as it is the most important limb in Yoga Sadhana. you will not be able to meditate. which bring in the subtle substances necessary to nourish the mind — the sensations of sound. The term is usually translated as "withdrawal from the senses.

Pratyahara gives us the tools to strengthen the spirit and reduce its dependency on the body. They tell the mind what to do. the result of constant bombardment from television. magazines. careless. The old saying “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” applies to those of us who have not learned how to properly control our senses. We have been raised on every sort of sensory indulgence. like untrained children. we have become hostages of the world of the senses and its allurements. which is largely instinctual in nature. but proper coordination and motivation. radio. Right Intake of Impressions Pratyahara centers on the right intake of impressions. pratyahara is probably the most important limb of yoga for people today. We let people into our houses through television and movies that we would never allow into our homes in real life! What kind of impressions do we take in every day? Can we expect that they will not have an effect on us? Strong sensations dull the mind. Such control is not suppression (which causes eventual revolt). Our commercial society functions by stimulating our interest through the senses. Most of us are careful about the food we eat and the company we keep. We are so accustomed to ongoing sensory activity that we don’t know how to keep our minds quiet. We accept impressions via the mass media that we would never allow in our personal lives. books — you name it.-11- Control of the Senses Control of the senses is the most important form of pratyahara. loud noises and dramatic sensations. but we may not exercise the same discrimination about the impressions we take in from the senses. Most of us suffer from sensory overload. although this is not something that we like to hear about in our mass media-oriented culture. We are constantly confronted with bright colors. The problem is that the senses. newspapers. they dominate us with their endless demands. If we don’t discipline them. have their own will. and a dull mind makes us act in ways that are insensitive. it is the main form of entertainment in our society. computers. For this reason. or even violent. We run after what is appealing to the senses and forget the higher goals of life. .

abuddhistlibrary.-12According to Ayurveda. Trying to meditate without controlling our impressions pits our subconscious against us and prevents the development of inner peace and clarity. (www. junk impressions make the mind toxic. sensory impressions are the main food for the mind.htm) Anandmayi Maa . Junk food requires a lot of salt. for they build up the subconscious and strengthen the tendencies latent within it. similarly junk impressions require powerful dramatic impressions — sex and violence — to make us feel that they are real.com) The willingness or unwillingness to withdraw attention from sensory experience is a significant dividing line between those who experience true meditation and those who experience only physical relaxation. or spices to make it palatable because it is largely dead food. Just as junk food makes the body toxic. The background of our mental field consists of our predominant sensory impressions.com/yoga-sutras-25455. sugar. (http://swamij. We see this when our mind reverts to the impressions of the last song we heard or the last movie we saw. because they are actually just colors projected on a screen. We cannot ignore the role sensory impressions play in making us who we are.

And the way to do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.pleasantly. (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux) What a mistake to suppose that the passions are strongest in youth. (Stephen Covey) Sant Kirpal Singh Inordinate love of the flesh is cruelty. but the control over them is weaker. (Edward Bulwer-Lytton) . smilingly. non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. because under the appearance of pleasing the body we kill the soul.-13- You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage . The passions are not stronger.

Sex seems pleasant to you now.” you will enslave yourself for life. The more you give in. I know. but don’t be discouraged.” Then inhale. the less you will be able to free yourself from the meshes of delusion. you will see how much more wonderful that is. (Conversations with Yogananda. sex. exhale and relax.-14- Paramhansa Yogananda Wine (intoxicants). the more powerful you will become in every way. I will use it to grow stronger in myself. but if you declare weakly. 303) . tense. say to yourself. but when you discover the joy of real inner union. I have to spill it. The best way to overcome temptation is to have something more fulfilling to compare it with. and to create through proper channels. You will then have something you can compare to sense pleasures. and you will find a joy inside that is real. Repeat that several times. That comparison will automatically make you want to forsake your sorrow-producing bad habits. “Lord. Your power is manifesting in me. “Oh. Don’t let the frogs of weakness kick you around! The more you control sex. (Conversations with Yogananda. Don’t be trapped by them. and money: these are the three great delusions. Some of you are weak. Meditate regularly. 172) When sex temptation comes.

You demean not only them. but yourself. it is Divine Mother who tests you through sex. however: he was inordinately fond of women. Sri Das had a weakness. Learn to see everybody as a soul. As soon as the first thought of sex enters the mind. And it is She also who blesses. once you are out of it you will see that it is the greatest delusion. was commissioned by Yoganadna to teach on his behalf. when you view women in that way. 282) Sri Das. The Master often scolded him for this shortcoming.-15Remember. that is the time to catch it. However tempting it seems now. Yogananda worked with him to help him overcome his tendency to view women as all that different from men. when you pass Her test. when the difference was only biological. a man from India. Yogananda said to the man. 73) . No one is his or her mere body!” (Conversations with Yogananda. (Conversations with Yogananda. “What you find attractive are only the grossly physical differences.

his peace of mind.-16Why is lustfulness a sin? Because lust is counterfeit love. loses power. of peace of mind. eventually. It is self-giving. boredom. The lustful person loses his health. Ah. or will you choose God? Pleasures seem alluring at first. in creating disharmony within himself and in others. He becomes increasingly tired and nervous. 8. Harmony is the way of love. blindness! How long must you continue before. Having lost contact with divine bliss within. he remains aware of his former. never selfish. True satisfaction eludes him. supernal state in God. Infinite joy. is his lost happiness in the Lord. 51) The soul cannot find its lost happiness in material things for the simple reason that the comfort they offer is counterfeit. while rushing restlessly from one sense pleasure to another. and the very fulfillment he imagines himself to be finding. and disgust. you seek joy within. and of happiness is the lot of everyone who succumbs to the lure of sense pleasures. is yours once you know God. sooner or later you will find yourself enmeshed in endless troubles and difficulties. The lustful man. He succeeds only. man hopes to satisfy his need for it in the pseudo-pleasures of the senses. in seeking his own pleasure of others. where alone it can be found?” (The Essence of Self-Realization. (The Essence of Self-Realization. Worldly temptations were given you to help you develop discrimination: will you prefer sense pleasures. On deeper levels of his being. (The Essence of Self-Realization. even while imagining that he has attained the happiness he craves. True love is divine. in the end. suffering from satiety. all because he denied divine love. Disharmony is the way of self-affirmation. 6) The true purpose of life is to know God. 9) . however. for what he seeks. the source of true and lasting well-being. and grows prematurely old. to learn this great lesson of life. but if you choose them. He cuts himself off from soul-joy. It takes one in the opposite direction from the fulfillment that is found in true love. even while deluding himself that he is gaining it. Every human being will have. on the other hand. Loss of health.

Spiritual Gems. (Jill Haak Adels) If you spent one-tenth of the time you devoted to distractions like chasing women or making money to spiritual practice. you would be enlightened in a few years. man and woman. letter 24) The Temptation of Saint Anthony Delaroche – 1832 All cultures are respectful and fearful of sexual desire because of the unique strength of this passion and because of the emotional and biological powers it unleashes.-17- The world is the design of Kal and Maya. they based the structure of the world on couples. the negative forces. To keep the soul down. and all societies struggle to channel and control it. (Sawan Singh. (Ramakrishna to a disciple) . Our own society seems to be experimenting to determine the absolute minimum level of taboo and control we can retain and still survive.

one spiritual. Out of a forward will lust had sprung. but not yet. particularly in early adolescence. and custom indulged had become necessity. These were the links which together formed what I have called my chain. and lust pampered had become custom. “Give me chastity and continence. So did my two wills. this is the bondage in which I was bound. which I wanted satisfied. and it held me fast in the duress of servitude. the other carnal. I had prayed to you for chastity and said. not quelled. the other old. . and when I gave in to lust habit was born. fight within me and by their discord undo my soul. one new.-18- Saint Augustine As a youth I had been woefully at fault. and when I did not resist the habit it became necessity. These were the links of the chain.” For I was afraid that you would answer my prayer at once and cure me too soon of the disease of lust. My will was perverse and lust had grown from it.

“we were saying how afraid we are that the ‘Evil Urge’ will pursue us. you are still pursuing it.-19- The Erotic Instinct Carl Jung The erotic instinct is something questionable and will always be so whatever laws may have to say on the matter. headlong. “You have not gotten high enough for it to pursue you. reason. If one or the other aspect is missing. to the original animal nature of man. It belongs. concern. Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human-being. he saw that his disciples. Lust pursues its own gratification. (Marquerite De la Sabiere) Desires go on increasing and burning more fiercely as they are fed. He asked them: “What were you talking about?” “Rabbi. the more you become captivated and enslaved by it. too much culture makes for a sick animal. when Rabbi Pinhas entered the House of Study. (Simon Blackburn) It is difficult to overcome one's passions. who had been talking busily. (Ramana Maharshi) Once. The more you yield to desire.” he replied. Love pursues the good of the other. with self-control. It does not matter the desire – the more you try to satisfy desire. the more dominant it becomes in your life. then an injury occurs. and it is impossible to satisfy them. on the one hand.” “Don't worry. which will exist as long as man has an animal body. it is connected with the highest forms of the spirit.” . immune to reason. But it blooms only when spirit and instinct are in true harmony. For the time being. there is a one-sided lack of balance which easily slips into the pathological.” they said. On the other hand. stopped at his coming. and patience. impatient of any control.

it was loneliness. In Buddhist psychology. Repetition is key. But they often repeated. But they kept arising. Over days and weeks these thoughts became even stronger. The Buddha instructs his followers. 301) . My teacher said to name them.” But still I tried it. Eventually. and the sexual images were ways of seeking comfort and closeness. (Jack Kornfield. It wasn’t all lust.-20- Lust or Loneliness (Jack Kornfield. the compulsive quality of the fantasies gradually diminished. A Path with Heart. Only when I accepted this very resistance and gently held it all in compassion did it begin to subside. I hated it. “Like a skilled carpenter who removes a coarse peg by knocking it out with a fine one. I learned that much of my sexuality had little to do with lust. “Accept this?” I thought. To my surprise I found a deep well of loneliness almost every time the fantasies arose. “But then they’ll never stop. I resisted it. Then I noticed how hard it was to let myself feel the loneliness. the instructions for thought transformation are very explicit. so a person removes a pain-producing thought by substituting a beautiful one. What is required is the selection of a helpful substitute and repeated practice. 108) In my earliest practice as a celibate monk I had long bouts of lust and images of sexual fantasy. which I did. and as I brought an acceptance to the feeling of loneliness. By expanding my attention. The Wise Heart.” The carpenter’s peg is a practical description of how we can remove unhealthy thoughts by substitution. I decided to expand my awareness to see what other feelings were present.

3) by means of Samadhi one develops intelligence and wisdom. Unless one can free himself from this bondage and these contaminations and exterminate these sexual lusts. no matter how much you may be able to practice dhyana. Listen carefully as I explain it to you. the Blessed One addressed the assembly: Ananda has just requested me to teach how to arrange a True Altar of Enlightenment to which sentient beings of this last kalpa may come for deliverance and protection. namely. with all their following waste and bondage and suffering. there will be no escape from the following suffering. desires and indulgence. concentrate his whole mind in a resolution to resist them to the uttermost. . Being prone to yield to these temptations and allurements. one must. As they yield to these temptations and allurements. in order to free himself from their bondage and their intoxication. Ananda. no matter to how high a degree of apparent Samadhi you may attain. Having learned these three good lessons. 1) the only way to keep the Precepts is first to be able to concentrate the mind. one has gained freedom from the intoxicants and hindrances. In these lower Mara realms of existence there are three ranks of evil ones: the Mara king. why is concentration of mind necessary before one can keep the Precepts? And why is it necessary to keep the Precepts before one can rightly practice dhyana (meditation) and attain Samadhi? And why is the attainment of Samadhi necessary before one may attain true intelligence and wisdom? Let me explain this to you. I have frequently emphasized three good lessons. The most important of these allurements are the temptations to yield to sexual thoughts.-21- Gautama Buddha In response to this appeal. nor hope of advancement to enlightenment and peacefulness. evil demons. you will ultimately fall into the lower realms of existence. 2) by keeping the Precepts you will be able to attain Samadhi. unless you have wholly annihilated all sexual lusts. No matter how keen you may be mentally. All sentient beings in all the six realms of existence are susceptible to temptations and allurements. and all of them have each his and her own double who disguise themselves as “angels of light” who have attain supreme Enlightenment. and female fiends. they fall into and become fast bound to the recurring cycles of deaths and rebirths. Ananda and all in this assembly! In explaining to you the rules of the Vinaya (discipline).

it will only be sand made a little hot. Ananda. a man who tries to practice dhyana without first attaining control of his mind is like a man trying to bake bread out of a dough made of sand. This is my first admonition as to keeping the Precepts.-22After my Parinirvana. (The Surangama Sutra. and all of you. and it is my instruction at the present. How can they hope to attain the wonderful experience of Samadhi out of bawdiness? If the source is indecent. 2/72) Of all the worldly passions. bake it as long as he will. and it will be the instruction of all Tathagatas of the future. Any other teaching than this is but the teaching of the evil Maras. should persistently teach the people of this world to attain perfect concentration of mind. in the last Kalpa of this world. lust is the most intense. It is the same with sentient beings. Therefore. so that they may be able to practice dhyana successfully and attain Samadhi. They can not hope to attain Buddhahood by means of an indecent body. When the mind is under perfect control and all indecent thoughts excluded. there will be plenty of these kinds of evil spirits everywhere. All other worldly passions seem to follow in its train. 262-64. Ananda. there will ever be a return to the never-ending recurrence of deaths and rebirths. No one will escape their machinations to lure them into the swamps of defilement and thus to lose the Path to Enlightenment. control of mind and dhyana leads to the blissful peace of Samadhi and Buddhahood. pp. Therefore. Sat Sandesh. Sexual lusts leads to multiplicity. control of mind and Samadhi leads to enlightenment and the unitive life of Buddhahood. and even the conception of inhibiting and annihilating must be discarded and forgotten. then there may be a reasonable expectation for the Enlightenment of the Buddhas. the outcome will be indecent. Inhibition of sexual thoughts and annihilation of sexual lusts is the path to Samadhi. . This is the clear teaching of all the Blessed Buddhas of the past. Multiplicity leads to strife and suffering. A Buddhist Bible. Ananda. Some of them will beset you openly with avarice and concupiscence and others of them will pose as holy and learned masters.

(Jesus Christ) Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Jesus Christ) Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. (Jesus Christ) . that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. but the flesh is weak. The spirit is willing. (John Lahr) Living with lust is like living shackled to a lunatic.-23- Society drives people crazy with lust and calls it advertising. (Simon Blackburn) But I say unto you.

which is the most important part of the spiritual life. Somebody might be relating long stories of vicious things to you. You have just to control your attention. “Where there is Naam.htm) The delusion of the world affects us through the outgoing faculties of senses. (www.org/mt/chastity. nose. When you start transcending the sensuous level. You might be looking at somebody but you need not be doing so with your full consciousness.ruhanisatsangusa.ruhanisatsangusa. ears. even with your open ears you won't hear.org/listen.-24- Sant Kirpal Singh I was just speaking about the chastity of life. The mind and outgoing faculties derive their power from the soul.org/grand-delusion.how far do we think we will go? Do one thing at a time. yet we say we want the highest thing of all the Nectar of Life! It is all wrong . So how to maintain chastity? that's the point. fourteen percent through the ears and the remaining six percent mainly through touch. Our attention has instead become like an image of the mind. but do not remain under this false impression. Spirituality cannot dawn on a mind which is driven or attracted through the outgoing faculties to the outward enjoyments.htm) Two very powerful forces are anger and lust. One Saint says. Then you will no longer be troubled by the lusts of the flesh and will be like an air-conditioned room that remains cool irrespective of the external temperature. touch and taste. there is no kam (lust) . If the attention dwells on lust.htm) . We want to enjoy all the low. we will not be affected by what we see or hear.light and darkness. Out of the five outgoing faculties of eyes. you would experience higher bliss on the inner planes. The soul cannot be linked with Naam until it withdraws inwardly and rises above the senses. So if our attention is riveted at the center of the soul in the body and we make the best use of the outgoing faculties. the soul falls very low.” Two cannot remain at once .where there is kam there is no Naam. in anger. the ego expands. If you control your attention. even with your open eyes. three are most powerful. (http://www. (http://www. Lust attacks us eighty percent through the eyes. worldly things.ruhanisatsangusa. They rule over everything. and the outward expression of the soul is the attention.

When lust and desires are deep. but we don't follow its teaching. This is the lesson of lessons." (ruhanisatsangusa. They are there in whichever religion you belong to. That's the pity. "To be guileless and pure: this is the way to nourish the spirit. When inner fires of lust are extinguished.htm) Param Sant Kirpal Singh. Nirvana means the subsiding of all human passions. I teach the doing away with lust. "Fascination with the body is a great debt for him who is seeking liberation." What more do you want them to tell you? What are we doing? These things are given great stress. but we people don't care. We belong to one religion or the other. Buddha says: "I proclaim the annihilation of lust. then one enters into the Nirvana. These aren't my words. "He who is affected by passions cannot obtain liberation. the springs of the heavenly are shallow." This is what Shankaracharya said.-25This is the main thing. 1894-1974 .org/lust. Chinese philosophy tells us. but each religion says so. Not one." I am quoting you these things from the scriptures.

org/chaste. If only the mind would take one true sip.htm) When you come in contact with Light and Sound Power within. (ruhanisatsangusa. (The Teachings of Kirpal Singh. the real happiness in the life of the spirit which comes about by communion with the holy Word. it would never again yearn for lower enjoyments.org/lok/first see.htm) So long as it (mind) does not take pleasure in the internal music.htm) The mind is a lover of enjoyments.1. Unless it is offered something more joyous within. (ruhanisatsangusa. it must fly out to worldly pleasures. you have not to adopt any virtues. (ruhanisatsangusa. all virtues. (ruhanisatsangusa. (The Teachings of Kirpal Singh. (ruhanisatsangusa. v.htm) . (ruhanisatsangusa.org/thief of. 22) Mind is accustomed to roam about externally through ages.org/guru-means.org/lok/occupied. 2.the most delectable Nectar one can ever taste.org/listen. and in the Naam there is the Maha Ras .-26You may go on meditating all through your life.htm) One cannot possibly forsake the lusts of the flesh unless one comes to know by actual contrast. but unless you practice chastity and forgiveness.htm) You enjoy outside and unless you get more blissful enjoyment inside you cannot withdraw from outside. v. 8) Even a little intoxication derived from steady daily practice will start to erase the taste for outer pleasures. will come within you of themselves. it cannot be controlled. it will not bear any fruit. but everything.

(ruhanisatsangusa. (ruhanisatsangusa. chaste life -.htm) One should be very cautious to avoid falling into carnal enjoyments as that darkens the inner vision.as enjoined in the booklet "Seven Paths to Perfection" -. (ruhanisatsangusa. (Spiritual Elixir.Y. initiates.-27The work ahead of us is to earn the Naam. part 6) .org/jewel. and ego. very few people have the right understanding as to the importance of maintaining the chastity of life. humility will banish all lust. for while one remains under their influence no real progress can be made. The outcome of this will be when you become as the Shabd.org/listen. 146) With the Satguru’s mercy one gets a little connection with the Light and Sound Principle. It should dwell in our hearts so much in evidence that it becomes apparent in us. initiates.you will not unfold the spiritual side of your nature that is at present lying dormant within you. the other vices would gradually drop away. part 11) Unless you live a pure. So chastity is the key not only to the spiritual life but also to success in every other field of endeavor. (ruhanisatsangusa. If he were to control his sensual appetite. Having the Nectar of Life. We should be molded in it. It is because man is not chaste that he is under the domination of other vices such as anger. (Letters to N. but if the life is not kept pure and chaste. all taste for small things will fade away.Y. (Letters to N. the curtain of darkness will obscure the Light again. greed and attachment.org/chaste. anger.htm) Unfortunately. It should be manifested inside and outside.htm) One must rise above all enjoyments and not be ruled by greed and lust.htm) Who can rise above body consciousness? One who is unattached and is not engrossed in sensual pleasures can do it.org/re_mind.

So you understand the basic necessity of following the sacred impulse from the gracious Master Power in entertaining sublime thoughts.Y. preceded by repentance. (Letters to N.-28Opposite sex has much strong hold amongst one another when the charm and attraction involved is too much to be resisted. initiates. It is the good grace of the Master that child disciple is reminded by the gracious Master Power working overhead to follow the right course and those who abide by His instructions are blessed with success in evading the temptations. It is by long cultivation when one can expect some degree of success in living a clean chaste life. but a serious impediment on the Holy Path. is helpful for spiritual progress. Divine love and sex are quite opposing poles. part 4) It would not be advisable to live together as husband and wife by the initiates unless they are legally married. and this monkey mind cooperates with them for their spiritual progress.Y. and the same mind runs wild in that direction. Carnal desires are seldom satiated by indulgence. (Letters to N. Sex is not only sinful. You should know it for certain that mind is a very useful servant but a very bad master. initiates. who fall a prey to the allurements and unheed the divine counsel are hurled down into the abysmal of degradation. This results in gradual infatuation and bondage. part 10) The fake allurements of sensual gratification usually end in frustration. Spiritual discipline and renunciation of stumbling impediments by careful consideration. (Letters to N. Contrarily.Y. It amounts to adultery. whereas abstinence and renunciation bring in serenity and sobriety. part 4) . initiates. A slight slip can cause much havoc when the dear ones are hurled down in the abysmal of sensual gratification. Infatuation breeds indulgence.

part 11) . (Letters to N. but also to his physical health. The body is the temple of God and should be made a fitting instrument to manifest the God in man and not be degraded to the practice of sensual pleasures. you should continue to meet with your obligations in as detached a manner as is possible . safeguard his physical health. he cannot stop all at once. While I sympathize with you in your present situation with your husband.Y.you should inform him on your own behalf in a loving manner that the vital fluid which he loses each time is extremely harmful not only for his spiritual and mental health. however. If. Your advice to make use of the _____ was appropriate. initiates. he should in his own interests try and practice more self restraint.-29Chastity is life and sexuality is death. he will be successful in this and to some extent. With your loving help and cooperation.

is to cut at the root of life. The result is not the enhancement of consciousness but its numbing and atrophy. As in the case of a child. not detachment but indifference.-30Is it psychologically possible for the human mind to detach itself completely from its normal field of experience without first anchoring itself in another and higher one? It is a universal characteristic of man that he seeks kinship with something other than himself. (The Crown of Life. you may not without harm deprive him of his playthings until he has outgrown them psychologically. It will not bring progress but regression. for the man who undertakes it as an enforced discipline only succeeds in repressing his natural desires. and the adult to family and society. This is the law of his life and source of all his great achievements. likewise to expect the sadhak to give up his social and family attachments without first outgrowing them by discovering something greater and larger. Chapter 5) . The child is bound to his toys.

Nam means 'Word' or 'Sound Current'. And because we have not seen the other side of the whole picture. we are to fill the Brahmanda reservoir. Soul combined with mind and matter is an abnormality. then there is no day. one holds down the other. Kabir compares Naam and Kam to day and night. the negative forces. is permitted then the filling is delayed or perhaps may never even be up to the Pinda level. therefore. it is leaking. wide or narrow. and Kam ordinarily means lust or passion or indulgence in the sensual desires as opposed to self-control. we are to fill the Pinda reservoir. Strictly speaking. take Pinda or the physical body as the reservoir. Soul. The reservoir may be filled if the inlet pipe is large and the outlet pipe is small. By holding it at Trikuti. the faster it is leaking. they based the structure of the world on couples. it is filling. and if it is given to Kam. But it cannot remain filled if the outlet is wide open or even leaking. opposed to one another. And by holding it at Sach Khand. If leakage. but when the attention is running below the eye focus. it means all out-ward tendencies of the mind. the faster the reservoir will be filled. Nobody feels happier after the act of dissipation. If there is day. both would be free. . So long as the attention is at the eye focus. and there is a considerable amount of dissipation of energy. Now. To keep the soul down. Here. therefore. we take our present existence and our surroundings as the normal affair. By holding the attention at the eye focus. The sensual center is located very low. And the sooner the outlet is stopped. man and woman.-31- Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Nam and Kam are two of the vernacular terms used in our literature. there is no Naam. we are living an abnormal life. then there is no night. If both man and woman were to catch the Sound of Naam and rise up. we are to fill the Anda reservoir. The tendency of Naam is towards the inlet pipe to a reservoir and Kam leads to the outlet pipe. The same idea of reservoir and inlet and outlet pipes may be extended to Anda and Brahmanda. enjoying the company of servants and sweepers is an abnormality. If attention is given to Naam. the queen of royal blood. Nam and Kam are. respectively. playing of the attention on this center causes an enormous leakage. and if there is night. The world is the design of Kal and Maya. That act is a happy act if it leaves you happier. there is no Kam. And the lower the attention below the focus. but in its wide sense. Day and night do not go together.

There is no other way of controlling kam. 95) . Saints find human nature weak. To rise up is a slow process.-32The law admits of no exceptions. slowly and slowly. the tendencies toward kam diminish. Kam is a sudden fall of attention…Whenever Naam will become tasteful. kam will disappear. They make it strong. 1859-1949 If you waste your energies in sex enjoyment. step by step. as longing for Naam develops. (Spiritual Gems. (Spiritual Gems. Raising the focus of attention automatically subdues kam. They attach the individual to Naam and. Turning your face to one means turning your back to the other. letter 24) Hazur Baba Sawan Singh. The longing for Naam means turning your back on Kam. you cannot progress spiritually. but to fall from a height is sudden.

he can get nothing even if he sits in meditation for eight hours every day. This is impossible. (Spiritual Gems. and vanity. (Discourses on Sant Mat. (The Dawn of Light. All these must be mastered. But you can begin now. 288. Two things cannot happen at the same time. There is no other way to get in. 212) We are constantly beset by five foes . anger. 23) There is no entry within as long as there is no chastity of thought and action. loveliness of form. Be not deluded by these transitory qualities. delicate or coarse. worldly attachments. but which have to be discarded before we depart. Your aim in life should be to transcend them. You can never do that entirely until you have the aid of the Guru and are in harmonic relations with the Sound Current. 165) So long as the student has no control over his mind and is a slave of his senses. exquisite or plain in appearance. One is to be given up to achieve the other.passion. (Spiritual Gems. (The Dawn of Light. They are exactly like garments that we have purchased at the vanity-fair of this world.-33Outward beauty. is of no lasting worth. People wish to continue to run out through the outer gates and also wish to get into the inner. They are dolls of clay. 339) . stilling the mind and dying while alive is not easy. Handsome or ugly. fair or dark. They are fleeting forms that will soon vanish and be no more. brought under control. whether it is yours or possessed by another. all the forms that you behold are born of dust. The inner gate opens only when the outer gates are closed. charm of personality. (Discourses on Sant Mat. and every effort will be a step on the way. 46) Overcoming and giving up outward tendencies. 289) It is only a really brave person who can refuse sensual pleasures when they are easily available. Be not allured by this false show. greed.

and put nothing in it? That is. such as anger. can he realize this. 19) . greed and so forth. What is the use if you go on scouring and cleaning a vessel. but also in devoting yourself to Naam bhakti (spiritual practice). It is not a small achievement. the way to salvation or liberation lies in not only avoiding kam and krodh.-34With the longing to go within and the hearing of the Sound Current becoming tasteful. the indulgence or play in sex decreases and ultimately becomes hateful. (Spiritual Gems. (Spiritual Gems. and God himself. So many rishis and munis of old lost the battle. universes. and is automatically given up. Man has within himself whole continents. 317) To overcome kam and krodh (lust and anger) is real bravery. like other bad habits. but only when he practices Naam devotedly.

But that love is not possible if the mind dwells on “woman and gold. 346) Ramakrishna to Mahima: What I said about aspirants practicing continence is true. (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. Once a man said to Chaitanya. p. the water escapes little by little through the leak. “They dissipate their powers in the company of women. That is why they cannot assimilate spiritual instruction. become like so many sexual organs. One must become mad with love in order to realize God. and in every pore the aspirant enjoys the happiness of communion with the Atman.” (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. even the roots of the hair.-35- Ramakrishna Mad! That’s the word. If one keeps water in a leaky jar. Gauri used to say that when a man attains ecstatic love of God all the pores of the skin. p. Without chastity one cannot assimilate these teachings. 414) . “You give the devotees so much instruction.” Sex life with a woman! What happiness is there in that? The realization of God gives ten million times more happiness. Why don’t they make much progress?” Chaitanya said.

-36- Rumi Little by little God takes away human beauty: little by little the sapling withers. As long as you are laying logs on the fire. People fancy they are enjoying themselves. Don’t allow your animal nature to rule your reason. . but they are really tearing out their wings for the sake of an illusion. the fire will burn. we also cause them to decline. “To whomever we give a length of days.” Seek the spirit. doesn’t the Beloved desire you to be desireless? The life of lovers is in death: you will not win the Beloved’s heart unless you lose your own. When you withhold the wood. Go recite. don’t set your heart on bones! Fiery lust is not diminished by indulging it. the fire dies. but inevitably by leaving it ungratified. and God carries the water! Although your desire tastes sweet.

when you find it the wonderment of the earth’s gifts you will lay aside as naturally as does a child a doll. But that was many lives ago. He who puts down that cup lightens the inner eye. He alone is the source of all joy and sorrow. relying on the thought. all else will vanish. I know there is a gold mine in you. “Later I will repent and ask God’s forgiveness. even though outwardly it seems as pleasant as eating sweets. Now look at yourself: You are often still a mess though these days. at times. it will know the flavors of falsehood and truth. burns away everything except God. When the heart becomes whole. and the secret is revealed. is in reality an agony of spirit. it robbed his heart of health. Discernment flies from one who is drunken with desire. when it blazes. stand the pain! Escape the poison of your impulses! Beware! Don’t allow yourself to do what you know is wrong. (Hafiz) . Brother. God alone is eternal. except love of the most beauteous God. It used to be if someone stole all your coins or locked your sexual pleasures in a room you could not reach this world would have no meaning and a thirst for a hemlock brew might arise.-37Everything. For the lovers of God. What is meant by agony of spirit? It is to advance toward physical death without drinking the Water of Life. Love for God is that flame which. When Adam’s greed for the forbidden fruit increased. Love for God is a sword which cuts down all that is not of God.” Your tastes have become refined. you weep because you miss Him. every other kind of love is idle infatuation. He alone is the true object of desire.

hellish nature tries to lead you into temptation. but you have struggled hard and now your soul is full of purity. and the thorns of envy to the roses of love. You have quenched the fires of lust for God’s sake. The fire of anger has turned to forbearance. Answering the call of God. the fire of greed to unselfishness. You have extinguished these fires for the love of God. and converted your fiery nature into a verdant orchard. The nightingales of the remembrance and glorification of God sing sweetly in the garden of your heart. the darkness of ignorance to knowledge. and they have been transformed into the light of guidance. (Rumi) . you have brought the water of the spirit into the blazing hell of your soul.-38- Your lower.

Indeed. when you travel this road until your legs are exhausted and you fall down flat. activity. Then the bounty will come to you. you are commanded to travel with your own feeble hands and feet. in a hundred thousand years you will not arrive at the first way station. This is the rule that has been established: expend everything you have in journeying on the Way. (Rumi) . and effort. until you have no more strength to move forward. On this endless road. However. then God’s grace will take you in its arms. God knows that you cannot traverse this Way with feet so feeble.-39- You imagined that you would accomplish this task through your own strength.

Yet he cannot whole-heartedly accept either. its movement is always from one opposite to the other and consequently from one disappointment to another. and then knowing that the soul remains dissatisfied even after gratification of desire. It seems as if man must accept the one alternative or the other. Like everything else in human life. sex comes to be considered through the opposites which are the necessary creations of the limited mind. Thus searching for happiness and freedom. Both result in the vitiation of consciousness through lust or the desire for sensations. the mind must first understand that both alternatives are equally the creation of imagination working under the deluding influence of craving. The mind is therefore inevitably restless in either alternative. seeks freedom through repression. whether this craving is gratified or not. attraction or repulsion. .-40- The Problem of Sex Meher Baba Sex is decidedly one of the most important problems with which the human mind is confronted in the domain of duality. so in relation to sex it tends to think of indulgence and repression as alternatives from which there is no escape. Craving is implicitly present in the repression of sex as well as in its gratification. In order to solve the problem of sex. The mind when restless with desire creates an illusory idea of happiness in the gratification of desire. When he tries indulgence he becomes conscious of his bondage to the senses and seeks freedom by going back to mechanical repression. Since it does not try to go beyond these opposites. there is gloom and lack of sunshine. good or bad. for when he tries repression he is dissatisfied with his lot and longingly thinks of indulgence. so when the human mind is shrouded by craving there is diminution of being and lack of true happiness. Just as when there are clouds in the sky. whether it rains or not. Just as the mind tries to fit life into a scheme of alternatives such as joy or pain. the mind gets caught up in the opposites of indulgence and repression which it finds equally disappointing. solitude or company. The mind remains dissatisfied with both alternatives and there thus arises one of the most vital and complicated problems of human life. It is one of the “givens” in the make-up of human nature with which one has to deal.

This is like moving within a cage. it should be borne in mind that the life of freedom is nearer to the life of restraint than to the life of indulgence (though in quality it is essentially different from both). it is easily susceptible to the false promise of gratification. the mind usually does not renounce the root cause of unhappiness which is craving. the mind can no longer be moved by the false promises of indulgence or mechanical repression. but it turns to internal and spontaneous renunciation of craving because of disillusionment or awakening. because. The gateway to the spiritual Path of internal and spontaneous renunciation of craving remains closed for those who have not the good fortune to be awakened by a Master. Internal and spontaneous renunciation of craving is as different from mechanical repression as it is from indulgence.-41Thus craving falsifies the operation of imagination and presents the mind with the option between the alternatives of indulgence and repression which prove to be equally deceptive in their promise of happiness. Such restraint is difficult for most persons and sometimes impossible. in spite of alternate and repeated disappointment in indulgence as well as in repression. When the mind is free from craving. The need for both vanishes with the complete disappearance of craving. while experiencing disappointment in repression. But true awakening is the entering into the path of wisdom which. married life is undoubtedly advisable unless they have a special aptitude for celibacy. . in course of time. However. Hence for the aspirant a life of strict celibacy is preferable to married life. When the aspirant becomes fully awake to the inevitable bondage and suffering entailed by craving. However. surely leads to the freedom and abiding happiness of life eternal. and for them married life is decidedly more helpful than a life of celibacy. and while experiencing disappointment in gratification. if restraint comes to him easily without undue sense of selfrepression. it is easily susceptible to the false promise of purely mechanical repression. The need for indulgence or mechanical repression arises only when the nature of craving is not clearly grasped. The question of indulgence or repression arises only when there is craving. he begins voluntarily to disburden himself of craving through intelligent understanding. For ordinary persons. Mind turns to the mechanical repression of craving because of disappointment.

conditions for the sublimation of sex are much more favorable than when it is cheap and promiscuous. He cheerfully accepts the conditions which his past life has determined for him and utilizes them towards his spiritual advancement in the light of the ideal which he has come to perceive. the value of marriage lies in lessons of mutual adjustment and the sense of unity with the other. and as the Truth increasingly comes within his ken. In promiscuity the temptation to explore the possibilities of mere sex contact is formidable. The path of perfection is open to the aspirant whether in celibacy or in marriage. he gradually disburdens himself of craving. True union or dissolution of duality is possible. and he practices internal and spontaneous renunciation of craving until he is freed from the deceptive opposites. it perpetuates entanglement and creates in the spiritual path insuperable difficulties to the internal and spontaneous renunciation of craving. and whether he begins from celibacy or from marriage will depend upon his sanskaras and karmic ties. When the aspirant is drawn by the Truth he longs for nothing else. In the same way. Promiscuity in sex gratification is bound to land the aspirant in a most pitiful and dangerous chaos of ungovernable lust. Sex in marriage is entirely different from sex outside marriage. It is only by the maximum restriction of the scope of mere sex that the aspirant can arrive at any real understanding of the values attainable through . As such diffused and undirected lust veils the higher values. When sexcompanionship is accompanied by a sense of responsibility. and he must avoid at all costs a cheap compromise between the two. The value of celibacy lies in the habit of restraint and the sense of detachment and independence which it gives. however. For the celibate as well as for the married person the path of inner life is the same.-42Just as the life of celibacy requires and calls forth the development of many virtues. he is no longer swayed by the deceptive promises of indulgence or mechanical repression. Whether in celibacy or in marriage. love and spiritual idealism. He must take to the life of celibacy or to the married life. In marriage the sanskaras of lust are much lighter and are capable of being removed more easily. only through Divine Love which can never dawn as long as there is the slightest shadow of lust or craving in the mind. married life in turn also nourishes the growth of many spiritual qualities of utmost importance. Only by treading the path of inner and spontaneous renunciation of craving is it possible to attain true freedom and unity. The aspirant must choose one of the two courses which are open to him. But as long as the mind is not altogether free from craving there is no true freedom.

there is no end to the delusions to which it is a prey. If the mind tries to understand sex through increasing the scope of sex.-43the gradual transformation of sex into love. In married life the range of experience to be had in the company of the partner is so wide that the suggestions of lust are not necessarily the first to present themselves to the mind. There is therefore a real opportunity for the aspirant to recognize and annul the limiting factors in experience. and the individual is doomed to react to people within the limitation of this initial perversion and thus close the door to deeper experiences. is made possible through whole-hearted concentration and a real and earnest interest in life. By the gradual elimination of lust and the progression through a series of increasingly richer experiences of love and sacrifice. Truth cannot be grasped by skipping over the surface of life and multiplying superficial contacts. and the transcendence of the lower in favor of the higher. v. 142-147) . for there is no end to the enlarging of its scope. p. he can finally arrive at Infinity. It requires the preparedness of mind which can center its capacities upon selected experiences and free itself from its limiting features. (Discourses. 1. This process of discrimination between the higher and the lower. In promiscuity the suggestions of lust are necessarily the first to present themselves to the mind. Such wholehearted concentration and real interest is necessarily precluded when the mind becomes a slave to the habit of running at a tangent and wandering between many possible objects of similar experience.

At the Thursday afternoon tea-party at Kaka Shahane's. It is not easy to escape the clutches of one's desires. simply increased one's sanskaric load.excepting in the relations of man and wife which are based upon mutual love and respect . it is a mere shadow of a drop from the infinite ocean of eternal bliss.' He said that the loss of this . Desires are harmful both ways. disciples. there is another desire that arises ready to be satisfied. which brings on disappointment and dejection.net/life_eternal/Book_Two/2_Sex. The intensity of lust has broken the penance and austerities of even rishis and munis.htm Sexual intercourse is the highest type of sensual pleasure in the world. and those on whom their grace descends.-44- Meher Baba Continued http://www.was a serious matter. For instance. Indulgence for its own sake. From this comparison you can imagine the hollowness of the world and its pleasures. What then? After the fornication. When that desire is satisfied. If this. and so on. he fornicates with someone of the opposite sex and fulfills his desire. when his desire has been fulfilled? At first it seems so strange. For that is the eventual result of expression of his desire. When once realized. the highest of all worldly pleasures. but there is nothing strange about it. Baba brought up the subject of 'vital forces' or 'vital fluid. a person has a desire for sex. when fulfilled and when not fulfilled.meherbabadnyana. which was being continued every week. is compared with the real happiness of eternal divine bliss. another is there. . But how long does it last? Only a few minutes. Overcome with intense longing. whether natural or unnatural or in dreams. Only Perfect Masters can destroy the desires of their devotees. he feels dejected. Why is this. Once a desire is fulfilled. this bliss is felt and enjoyed every second forever.

This is the law. It should be there to fight you. I let it remain. It will be a conflict in you till the end of your days. There are thousands of points thinner than hair. Until then. despite knowing everything?” Before you do any wrong action. You should put up a fierce fight. continue on with the battle inside yourselves.-45Baba asked each of the unmarried men to promise never to touch any woman lustfully. but I will destroy it in you when the right time comes. lust is the worst possible weakness. don't put it into action. From the spiritual point of view. . you should have this lust. and never give up. It is necessary. The fact is. He asked the married men to promise not to touch any woman other than their wives lustfully. Then why do I not prevent you? It is my secret. it is no easy thing to eradicate sanskaras gathered during birth after birth. but knowing everything. but you should do your utmost not to fall prey to it. there is no pleasure in fighting. without sacrifices and untiring effort afford no pleasure. The real pleasure is to fight it and not succumb to it. “Why doesn't Baba save us from committing sins. Perhaps you might think. and you should always be alert and ready for battle.” I know each and every thing. I keep on watching. I could destroy the lust in you in no time. go on fighting. But these are points on this path which you will never understand. But what would be the use of destroying it? Inevitably I will destroy it. But even if lust is there in you. The real hero is he who successfully fights it. Wars won without obstacles. Remember. This should be a life and death fight. “Lust is not bad. Without a struggle. Then he explained. The secret of my work is. Because of this lust. you will defeat it. It is a lifelong struggle. though I know everything. The real pleasure lies in success after so many defeats. and though defeated a thousand times. and lust is the hardest of all sanskaras. Knowing this. I do not interfere. you should again be ready to continue to fight the lust. I already know that you are going to do it. It is due to this very lust that you will turn from men into God. Were I to wish it. Then joy will come in defeating lust. Lust is there to be fought. In the meantime. But be heroes and fight lust. you have been born as human beings.

Q. How can the aspirant use marriage for spiritual progress? Baba: In the beginning. he refuted Meredith's claim. Q. But in order to achieve this purpose. he should marry. To pursue a spiritual life. he must strictly limit himself to his partner in matters of sex. lasting or fleeting. Every human relationship is based on love in one form or another. for example. it is much better to marry than to go from flower to flower. with conscious and deliberate cooperation with the partner. and makes one want to serve the beloved above all other things. What is your teaching concerning marriage? Baba: For an aspirant. until love becomes utterly pure and free from lust. Marriage. but the marriage was breaking up because of it.-46Even the love which expresses through physical desire is good to the extent that it frees one from the thralldom of personal likes and dislikes. . is happy or unhappy. and told them that when married. They followed this advice for some time. But if he cannot control himself. in relation to the partner. exalting or degrading. The topic of celibacy came up again during Baba's private interview with Dick and Audrey Ince. gradually lessen the element of lust and increase the element of love. When they told Baba. according to the love which inspires and sustains it. celibacy is better than marriage. Meredith Starr had told the Inces that sex was only for procreation of children. the aspirant will. But he can. and endures or dissolves as that love is eternal or temporal in character. one should lead a normal married life. and they were not to have any sexual intercourse whatsoever. feel lust as well as love.

but when it comes to a question of duty. "It is better to treat your husband with love and affection. It is good to have no sexual desires. you must sacrifice a little of your interest to please your husband. can quickly impart numberless impressions to the person who touches it. Impressions are contagious. wants to help a strongly lustful person. To have one eye glued on the enchanting pleasures of the flesh. and the goal of brahmacharya is finally obtained. Keep your mind focused toward God. because of her desire to see God. Her husband did not agree. he allows him to legally marry. even with his wedded wife. Be like her. and give your body to your husband. In wedlock the impressions exchanged are much lighter and less binding. but the height of hypocrisy. thus rendering himself more susceptible to lust and anger. although he can maintain and continue the married life. as lust diminishes. who is entirely free from lust. he may be asked to give up all acts of lust. Sex contact outside wedlock is the worst form of exposure to heavy and binding impressions of lust. Remember Saint Mira's sacrifice and how she suffered.-47A woman told Baba that. she wanted to stop having sex with her husband. he knows that the aspirant is incapable of brahmacharya. Baba told her. even if you dislike and do not wish to indulge in intercourse because of your spiritual aspiration and desire to love God. A Gross body. Therefore. Then gradually. lust is gradually eliminated. In this manner. even a corpse. Eating meat is prohibited in many spiritual disciplines because therein the person catches the impressions of the animal. and with the other expect to see a spark of eternal bliss. is not only impossible. Sometimes innumerable strong impressions are transmitted through the mere touch of the physical body of another person." Now if the Master. . but he asks him to limit his lust only to one woman.

We reach out for another source of pleasure. but also to the mental habit of wanting itself. we need not indulge the mind’s every desire and impulse: we can learn to say no to the mind. we reach for it again or look for another source of that momentary satisfaction. Something gives us pleasure and we grasp it. we are open to everything that arises. but we see with discriminating wisdom. With wisdom and awareness we can see that there are skillful activities that are conducive to greater happiness and understanding. With restraint. to relate to desire in an altogether different way. a way of much greater freedom.-48- The Freedom of Restraint Excerpt from Seeking the Heart of Wisdom By Joseph Goldstein It is important to understand what restraint means because it lies at the very heart of our practice. Just as a wise parent does not indulge a child’s unhealthy tendencies. It is possible to develop restraint. Restraint is the capacity we have to discriminate one from the other. We should be careful not to confuse restraint with repression or avoidance. understanding that it is sometimes appropriate to say no. the ignorance of not acknowledging what is present creates more tension and pain in the mind. aversion. An unrestrained mind is much like an unrestrained child: temper tantrums. In both cases we need to develop a gentle kind of discipline. the gentle discipline of settling back and allowing the desires to arise and pass without always feeling the need or compulsion to act on them. It does not mean being judgmental or having an aversion toward certain aspects of ourselves. gently and with humor. . fits of wanting. Restraint also serves as a counterbalance to the addictive tendencies of mind… This is how we are with our addictions. Then another and another. though. and the like. and there are unskillful ones that lead to further suffering and conflict. Feeling the lack when it changes. and the strength and composure of mind to pursue the skillful course. We become addicted not only to the gratification of our wants. without becoming lost or forgetful. until we’re quite entangled by the grasping and wanting state of mind. We become quite firmly entrapped by the force of our own desire. It is possible. Restraint of mind does not mean pushing something away and denying its presence.

we can see that the attitude of wanting more simple leads to greater craving and frustration. How many beautiful sounds. It is from this conservation of energy that we generate enough power of mind to penetrate and open to the deepest levels. The problem is not that we too rarely fulfill our desires. delicious tastes. It comes from simply seeing what is harmonious and what isn’t. yet are still left wanting. rapturous feelings have we already experienced in our lives? Countless. We have a desire. and when conditions change and the pleasure diminishes or goes away. a flickering lamp. but that we so often do. The Buddha expressed this ephemeral nature of experience in a short verse: See all of this world as a star at dawn. exciting thoughts. we find a return of craving. If we stop to reflect upon our situation. power. gratify it. And as we work with the quality or restraint. it is possible to become aware of what is happening and have enough space and wisdom. Through the power of restraint we can learn that instead of letting every thought or feeling that goes through the mind be the cause of action. we find it to be a source of tremendous power and energy. a flash of lightning in a summer cloud. wonderful sensations. of what the Buddha called “the greatest gain” – contentment. But all this has not yet satisfied the wanting mind. Through the power of restraint we can begin the process of disentangling our thoughts and projections from the reality of what is actually present…Restraint creates a spaciousness in the mind that can appreciate the emptiness and impermanence of phenomena. The underlying rationale of this wanting mind is that fulfillment will make us happy. more honor. fame. and experience some pleasure. bringing our actions of speech and body into alignment with what we know to be true. to restrain the mind and conserve the growing energy momentum. both material and psychological.-49True restraint is not cultivated through aversion and suppression. too many even to remember. instead of letting all these impulses be energy leaks for us. a phantom and a dream. enough reflective ability. that we burden ourselves with acquisitions. We are so conditioned to want more. wanting more. motivated . a bubble in a stream. and so forth. to think that we will be happier if we accumulate more money or possessions. and then acting accordingly. sex. This wisdom opens up to us the possibility of simplicity in our lives.

we experience a greater and greater peace. It is where everyone else is looking. impatience. (Henepola Gunaratana) . sounds. or mental states. We try again and again to come to completion. Whether we crave pleasant sights. but they really carry no stick at all. We seek fulfillment in sense pleasure because that seems the obvious place to look. There is only one way to learn this lesson though.restlessness. The difficulty is that even when the pleasant feelings come. It’s the skill of seeing through the hollow shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. they coax. It’s all a show. You give in because you never really bother to look beyond the threat. What is it that we crave? Craving is hunger for pleasant feelings. They have no power over you. Much to your surprise. As simple as that. they don’t last very long. But a more genuine happiness and peace lie in contentment and simplicity. we’re never done. they threaten. it passes away. bodily sensations. anxiety. believing it to be the place where happiness is to be found. It is all empty back there. Voluntary simplicity creates the possibility of tremendous lightness and spaciousness in our lives. a deception. You give in out of habit. But look within and watch the stuff coming up . tastes. looking for permanent satisfaction in phenomena that in their very nature are impermanent. It is patience. it will simply go away. It conjures up images of somebody standing over you with a stick. We go around and around. The words on this page won’t do it. Your urges scream and bluster at you.just watch it come up and don’t get involved.-50by the same sense of lack. Discipline is a difficult word for most of us. telling you that you are wrong. pain . As the force of craving and acquisitiveness cool down and we are less driven by impulses of the wanting mind. There is another word for self-discipline. We really don’t need very much to be happy. It rises. they cajole. But self-discipline is different. but it doesn’t work. what we are after is the feeling of pleasantness.

It leaves them absolutely on the bottom. The longer I have lived. Some of these dear ones started out very high. What the Master wants is for people to rise above the whole thing. but because of the one thing that I have seen repeatedly happen. in The Crown of Life. but he will be ever seeking to sublimate it. Sept. and I never liked to repeat it because it seemed extreme to me. the more that I have seen. He will understand that nature’s purpose in this instinct is to preserve the race. says: “One will not suppress all sexual desire. because of the lack of desire to take seriously the implications of a life of chastity and meditation.” Now. the point is that we will fulfill our purpose for being born only after we are able to rise above them.” In the old days I found this statement embarrassing. “Chastity is life and sexuality is death. then we are basically standing in our own way. “Chastity is life and sexuality is death. and that is that sexual indulgence ruins people’s lives. they end up drowning under the influence of the world and losing their real wealth. We are to understand the reason why this very strong impulse is there. for repression can only breed neurosis and prepare the way for a downfall. regardless of the direction of our sexual desires.-51- On Sexual Orientation and the Judging of Others Excerpt from Sant Bani Magazine. Such viewpoints simply are not justified. I found the uncompromising nature of the quote disturbing. 1994 By Russell Perkins Master Kirpal used to say. never making it an end in itself. Whatever way our sexual desires manifest. it turns into a drug that anesthetizes the spirit and begins to defeat nature’s purpose of procreation by encouraging the invention and use of contraceptives. but I no longer feel that way. We are turning it into a drug . When we make it an end in itself. but because of an inability to be chaste. through whatever avenues these desires make inroads into our lives. to decide that their particular type of indulgence is superior on this or that grounds and that this coincides with the teachings of Sant Mat. a source of physical pleasure.” It is not because of the emergence of AIDS. and will channel it so as to fulfill that purpose. So. that is the ideal. We are to work towards this. the more my life’s experiences confirm that Master’s statement is nothing more nor less than the absolute truth. regardless of who we are. it is not a question for heterosexual people. or for that matter for homosexual people. for when it becomes that. Master Kirpal Singh.

The work of embracing chastity and the work of understanding it as an enjoyable positive experience. allowing Him to work in our lives. loving the Master. We may be wide awake physically. When withdrawing from any addiction. unfeeling slumber.-52that casts the spirit into a deep. and to allow us to forgive other people who intentionally or inadvertently offend us. These two types of enjoyment can not be present within us at the same time. But if we pick up any book written by the Masters. It may involve confronting our fears. He takes a million steps towards us. step by step. and in so doing further create an aura of lethargy in our lives. the early phase of breaking away is usually not pleasant. What is not beyond our control is doing our best. to turn away from the life of sensual indulgence to the life of spiritual strength. this is where many of us procrastinate. We take one step towards Him. but inside we are not able to gain access to the higher state. In the beginning many aspects of our sexuality may be beyond our control.” This is why the Masters lovingly ask us to take up the path of steady progress. It takes courage to make these changes. we find that They continually encourage each disciple gradually. allowing Him to give us the Grace that we need to make some real changes. So that is the working out of “chastity is life and sexuality is death. .

How did you free yourself from bondage to worldly attachments?” “Dear Friend.” The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence. while you have given up God for the world. but in the mastery. noted for his simple life style and renunciation of all worldly pleasures and attachments: “Reverend Sir.” replied the Master. who banishes from his mind all cravings.-53- The Real Renunciate A wealthy merchant addressed a visiting guru. For I have merely given up the world in exchange for God. lures and greed is a warrior indeed. the hardest victory is the victory over self. (Alfred. you are a great renunciate. (Kabir) . (Aristotle) Who fights with bows and arrows is not the true valiant one. of his passions. “It is not I that am a great renunciate but you. Lord Tennyson) I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies.

” Dhu-L-Nun told him: “You can accompany our caravan only if you first accept two things. But if deeds are wanted. (Ansari of Herat) . but you will soon hear the sacramental word “Enter.” (Attar) O God. Urged by desire. You will lose what you consider valuable. you will sacrifice everything.” If you prefer the secrets of the love of your soul to be revealed to you. give me that right discrimination that the lure of the world may cheat me no more. I claim a crown. It is ‘wanting’ which stands between man and the Path of Truth.-54- An intending disciple said to Dhu-L-Nun. One is that you will have to do things which you do not want to do. I am as helpless as the ant. I gained nothing except feeding the fire of desire. help me. The other is that you will not be permitted to do things which you desire to do. the Egyptian mystic: “Above everything in this world I wish to enroll in the Path of Truth. I wandered in the streets of good and evil. As long as in me remains the breath of life. for You alone can hear my prayer. (Ansari of Herat) If words can establish a claim.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan) The spiritual path is one of falling on your face. from my weakness I fail a thousand times. Spiritual Gems. getting up. He is prepared to fight your battles with you. Mind is not stronger than the sound current. Have faith in him. 328) Do not lose heart but fight courageously.-55As a child learning to walk falls a thousand times before he can stand. Fight the mind and you will succeed. letter 210) . God’s word is: “He who strives never perishes. He is always by your side. but His loving hands are always there to pick you up. The Master is with you. no doubt. Though. therefore. so are we as little children before God. I rejoice to walk on it. (Sant Kirpal Singh. I shall not lose faith. turning and looking sheepishly at God and then taking the next step. You may stumble and fall. (Confucius) I know the path: it is straight and narrow. (Baba Sawan Singh. (Sant Kirpal Singh) You are under the protective wings of the great Master-Power always extending His grace and protection unknowingly and unasked for. brushing yourself off. He is watching your every movement. I weep when I slip. Take him as your helper. (Mohandas Gandhi) One falls often. but one becomes a good rider only after many a fall. and after that falls again and again until at last he can walk. (Sri Aurobindo) Our greatest glory is not in never falling.” I have implicit faith in that promise. Spiritual Elixir. It is like the edge of a sword. but in rising every time we fall. The battle has just begun.

org . (Rumi) Kirpalct@yahoo.May your soul be happy.com For more booklets go to: kirpalsingh. journey joyfully.