Hello and welcome to episode 115 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about lust and how we can overcome it.
Today’s question comes from Gavin and he says “my desire for women never leaves me. I am attracted to them and cannot overcome it. What should I be doing?”
Thanks for the question. Once we realise that lust is a strong emotion that pulls us out we know that we have to take care of it. I always believed the why is more important than the how. Knowing why we need to do it is more important. The how is the easy part.
It all comes down to eligibility. Ram Krishna says you are not entitled to the company of women unless you assume the attitude of a woman. Ram Krishna believed in this so much that he even wore women dresses when he was around women. He believed in totally giving himself over to it. He would wear it all day and even go and worship in it. It’s been said that when men walk they lead with their right leg and when women walk they lead with their left leg. This happens in 90% of cases. When Ramakrishna wore a women dress he too would lead with his left leg. That’s how much he was into it.
Now I’m not saying that you should wear women’s dresses but the core idea is what is important. He wanted to show people that you need to do whatever it takes. He gave the example of walking on a set of stairs to a roof. He said while walking on the stairs, you can’t dance. You have to be careful. In the same way we must respect women and see the divine mother in them, the gold image. So you need to be careful in the beginning while you are learning.
Think of it like a garden. When the trees are small seedlings they are protected by fences but when they are fully grown you can tie an elephant to them. The fences are like prohibitions but these are necessary because without them you might get into trouble. When Ramakrishna had these first urges he prayed to Goddess Kali and begged her not to give him this feeling. He did not want to fall for that pleasure.
When it first happened to Vivekananda he picked up a hot gas cylinder and sat on it until it burned his back. He said he would always remember that and never let those feelings rise to the surface again. Again I don’t want anyone to actually do this. I don’t think it would have this effect on an ordinary person. Men have looked upon women as objects of pleasure for centuries and that will not change overnight. They say they respect women but they don’t really because when you mention the word woman the first thought that enters their head will be of pleasure. If they say otherwise they are lying.
So to form the gold image we must give up those feelings. Vivekananda gave the example of coming down from a cliff and when he was moving down to the bottom he looked at the top and realised how far down he had come. He said while you are coming down you don’t feel it. It’s only when you hit rock bottom that you realise what happened. This is what happened to men in the company of women.
So if you do not assume the attitude of women then you may still achieve a lot of great things in the world because of your karma but in the eyes of god you will have reached rock bottom. All the great ones say that everything we do is a transformation on the heart of the consciousness. We have the gold image but everything else is a cover up.
There are four transformations that happen on the heart of the consciousness. The first one is craving. Craving pleasure. The second is power, the third is money and the fourth is anger. These are the four greatest things that will block you out the greatest being craving.
Krishna says “the 3 fold is the door to hell. They are lust, rath and greed. When released from these three one attends to promotes one’s own good” It is only when you are released from these three things that you will start to do great things. People talk about issues in the world but that one urge in man to enjoy pleasure is the cause of a billion problems like relationships, money and power. This urge is the seed yet no one is concerned about it.
Now I’m not saying you should become a monk or never become involved in a physical act. That is not what this is about. What is faulty is our attitude towards women. They only look upon women as objects of pleasure and this is what we must stop. Krishna says “he whose body is strong enough to resist the urge of lust and wrath before the fall of the body is integrated happy.”
From the ages of 35 to 41 I slept alone. This was a sacrifice that had to be made. Otherwise I would not have been able to speak with such insight. This is why all the great ones either did not marry or married and then separated. Only a person of pure mind who has the gold image can really talk about these things. Otherwise it is only a show and they are not serious about it.
At that time it was necessary. That may not be the case now. It doesn’t mean that these urges have gone completely. If I see a beautiful woman I may glance but that is all it will be, a glance because I have worked on it and have rid myself of 90% of these urges. It will never be 100% gone. For that you would need to be God so we need to keep hustling. It will be worth it to form the gold image.
Remember it’s not prohibition. It’s about destroying duality. It’s not about saying no to something. It’s about saying yes to the gold image. When you destroy this duality you will have the greatest respect for women and they in turn will respect you.
I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.