Dealing with Sexual desires on the spiritual path!
What should be the effort from our side to get over sexual desire on the spiritual path, if we should not suppress it? If we express it aren’t we making those impressions stronger? What should be our attitude towards it?
Have you played with a bow and arrow?
You pick up the bow and place the arrow on it and pull the string behind. Until this point, you have the ability to revert the harm that can be caused. But once the string is released, there is no turning back. The karma has now caught momentum. Now it cannot be stopped. Until the arrow keeps moving in a direction, piercing through the wind and ends up in a particular destination, there is no stopping it.
Similarly is our inner 2-level mechanism of senses.
Level 1] Swa-icha chalit [Self-Functioning on account of Tri-gunas & Doshas]
Level 2] Swa-chalit / Yantric [Auto-pilot /Mechanical mode on account of the fog of desire]
Lets first understand these 2 levels with simple examples.
E.g. 1 – You eat the first bite of delicious cake on account of hunger/driven by the tri-gunas and doshas. [Tri-gunas are Rajas+ Tamas + Satva]. [Tri-doshas are Vaata + Pitta + Kapha]. These produce the first desire in you. You give into this desire. The initial few bites are driven by them. In this level 1 phase, you have the ability to stop or continue. The decision lies in your hands.
Soon you reach the Swa-chalit Yantric or auto-pilot mode [Level 2] where you just can’t stop yourself. It is a state where you are engulfed by a fog of desire. You are on auto-pilot and the senses are out of your control.
By the time you wake up from the fog, you have eaten too much cake and realize that it will prove to go against your weight-loss goals.
E.g. 2 – When you get angry, you can control it initially but soon you reach a point where you land up with a knife in your hand to harm the person. You realize that the knife is in your hand but even though you want to, you just cannot withdraw from the peak of anger. The hand has caught onto the momentum of karma. Now that knife will stop only after it cuts something.
E.g. 3 – Similarly, when lust takes over, it is happening initially on account of Doshas + Gunas. There is a line until where you have control over it but once the line is crossed, the Swa-chalit yantric level 2 takes over, and you get drowsy under the intoxication of Maaya.
How does the progression happen from level 1 to Level 2?
Level 1 is like water set on burning fire. Your ‘giving into’ the fire [of lust/anger/taste/etc] is like adding coals into the fire. Soon the fire flares up heating the water up to 100 degrees. Level 1 reaches its boundary. Water turns into Vapor.
Now you step into Level 2. Now everything happens mechanically on autopilot mode.
What’s the solution?
Buddha says that one must become aware right in the beginning. You cannot say that when the Vasana takes over, I will become aware. It won’t work. One must be a Sakshi/Witness all the time. Only with awareness does one realize the higher truth that THE PLEASURE IS NOT IN THE OBJECT OF THE SENSES.
THE CRAVING FOR THE OBJECT PROMISES PLEASURE IN THE FUTURE. BUT FUTURE NEVER COMES. IT IS ALWAYS THE PRESENT MOMENT THAT ARRIVES. THE TENDENCY OF THE MIND IS THAT THE PLEASURE IS NOT IN THE ‘NOW’ BUT IN THE FUTURE. This higher truth cannot be recognized without self-awareness. So practice to be aware all the time to reach this truth yourself.
Soon you will realize that THAT SOURCE OF JOY IS WITHIN AND NOT OUTSIDE. That’s why the external object is not ALWAYS pleasurable.
Buddha & Mahavir’s techniques of awareness – If you practice meditation of awareness / observing sensations in the present moment/ being with what is on a regular basis, strengthening of Samadhi happens.
A point comes when the strength of constant awareness transforms into a power explosion where there is no more desire left, as if it was squeezed out of you with the explosion. You reach the other side of mind and matter just by observing the truth of the moment, every moment. You become the Master of the senses!
To realize this truth what does one do? Suppress the desires of the Senses?
No! One must NOT suppress the Karmindriya/Organs of action. They have a function that is dictated by nature. Let the organs function. Instead learn the art of distinguishing between Level 1 & Level 2.
There is a fine line in between
- ’Karmindriya’ functioning on account of the permutation and combination of TriGunas/Tri-Doshas &
- The ‘feverishness’ for desire that consumes you thereafter and makes you like an animal.
It is a FINE line. Learn to recognize it and not stumble over. Realize the truth that it is just the ‘craving for future pleasure’ overtaking you and ‘future does NOT exist’. Slowly with the recognition of the line, the sense of mastery over sensuality strengthens.
What if you were not aware in the first few moments and landed up becoming aware later in Level 1 or when you landed up in Level 2?
If you lost your chance to be aware in the initial moments of Level 1, you fail to be a Master. But you can still adopt Krishna’s technique of becoming a ‘Nimmit’ [instrument].
There are only 2 ways dear;
1] In the initial stages become the Master, if you fail there, go to 2.
2] In the later stages become an Instrument /Nimmit.
Meaning of being a ‘Nimmit’?
You stop thinking like a Karta. Drop the Karta bhava[Doership]! Automatically the Bhokta Bhava [Experiencer-ship] will also drop. Become a Sakshi [Witness]! A witness to what is happening. By the practice of Nimmit, the Vasana will drop away gradually.
This is the Key!
- 1st Level – Master
- 2nd Level – Nimmit
There is NO other shortcut, dear!
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Dealing with Sexual desires on the spiritual path – the article is one of the best I have ever read!
Very nicely explained