Lust destroys our life, so we should take practical steps to overcome lust. If we fail to do so, we will destroy our life. Lust killed Ravana much before Lord Rama killed him. Lust may also be killing us. Most of the times, we feel ashamed to admit that we are being troubled by lusty thoughts.
Many say that when one is young, one may fantasize about women but as one advances in age that tendency goes away. But this is not true. Even old men have lusty thoughts and are tormented because of it. I have seen many old men watching Hollywood/Bollywood movies and dancing on movie songs. They think its cool to do so.
King finds out how difficult it is to give up lust
There is story of a king who once told one of his minster that as one grows old, one loses all interest to enjoy with opposite sex. The minister disagreed. King wanted the proof. The minister invited the king to the house of an old men who was more than eighty years old and was on death bed.
The king agreed. But the minister said to the king that you bring your young daughter also with you. So, the next day king arrived with his young daughter to the old man’s house. The minster asked the daughter to wait in the corner of the room.
King and the minister went near the old man. The elderly man who was hardly able to speak and was surrounded by his family members. But as the daughter was standing there was tinkling of bangles and anklets.
The old man immediately started looking towards the corner from where the sound was coming. Although unable to express anything, his eyes showed that he was more interested in seeing the young lady then the king.
The king felt offended and returned back with the minister and of course with his daughter. Some say that the king was Akbar and the minister Birbal. Whoever may be the king and the minister, that is not so important, the most important lesson is that it is not easy to give up lust desires.
So, we should not think that since I am young now, it is nothing wrong to have desire for opposite sex. As the years will pass my lusty desires will subside. Instead, one should do ones best to curb lust when one is young.
Let us see what few practical steps we can take to overcome lust.
Practical steps to overcome lust
Need for a friend, philosopher and guide
One of the important reasons for Ravana’s falldown was that he did not have a guru nor any genuine friend whom he trusted. He was full of ego so he did not feel the need of a guru. And he considered himself superior to all, so he did not have any friend. He was all alone.
In Ramayana, we see that Ravana was surrounded by ministers who were utterly selfish and were afraid of speaking truth to him. They were his ‘yes’ men. And so, we see that when Ravana kidnapped another man’s wife, apart from Vibhishana no one endeavored even a little to correct the king.
On the other hand, we see Vidura who was the brother and minster of Dhritarashtra never shied away from giving good advice to Dhritarashtra. Although most of the time Dhritarashtra did not heed Vidura’s advice but Vidura continued speaking truth to him.
And at the fag end of his life because of Vidura’s counselling, Dhritarashtra understood that how foolishly he has been acting and how miserable he has become. So, he decided to retire to the forest. His chaste wife, Gandhari followed him. And finally, both of them were able to attain liberation.
So, it is necessary that we have a friend, philosopher, and guide in our life. Any moment we may be lured by the illusory energy of the Lord in the form of lust, and we may fail to figure out what is good and what is bad for us. At that time, we need a guru’s guidance and a friend’s shoulder.
Do not become a victim of internet pornography
Today, in this age of internet, it is very challenging to protect ourselves from lust. As internet have penetrated our personal lives, we are always at the risk of succumbing to lust. Earlier brothel would be situated in a particular part of the city were no cultured men ventured.
Even if anyone thought about going there, they did not do so because of social stigma. But today it is not necessary to go to brothel, just by the click of few buttons on smart phone or laptop one can enter the virtual pornographic world. And no one will even come to know what we are doing on internet.
Not just pornographic industry is spreading vulgarity but today’s movies, TV serials, commercials are full of scantily dressed men and women gyrating on some obscene songs.
Increase in sexual crimes like rape is also linked to pornography. A report published in The New Indian Express says, “As described by the title of eminent psychoanalyst and author Danielle Knafo’s book, we now live in ‘The Age of Perversion’ that is aided completely by our addiction to technology. And experts are of the opinion that increased accessibility to porn and, more importantly, the nature of porn being consumed have an impact on potential predators and their chances of committing the crime.”
So, we should be extremely careful while using internet. If we do not require smart phone than we should switch to button phone. And even if we have to use smart phone and laptop then we should install software to block the pornographic sites and those sites which disseminate vulgarity.
I think, it will be best, if the government bans pornographic sites and any other sites or programs which is obscene.
Uplift your consciousness by associating with good people and good books
Association plays a very important role in our life. Lord Rama’s association purified the monkeys. If we also associate with those who are driven by higher purpose, then we will lose taste for lower things like lust.
For example, hippies were able to give up drugs and lust by associating with Srila Prabhupada and following his instructions. So, we should also try to surround ourselves with sincere devotees of the Lord.
Along with that we should read good books. Literatures like Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Ramayana is not just intellectually nourishing but it also helps to understand what is good for us and what is not.
Never be idle – always keep yourself mentally and physically engaged
We should never keep ourselves idle but should always engage ourselves in some physically activity for the Lord. Lord Rama has set this precedent.
When he began ruling the world then he did not allow his brothers to remain idle, instead, he sent them to conquer the entire world. Srila Prabhupada explains, “The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not allow any of His devotees or assistants to be engaged in sense gratification. The younger brothers of Lord Rāmacandra were at home enjoying the personal presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the Lord ordered Them to go out and achieve victory all over the world.’ Śrimad Bhagavatam 9.11.25, purport.
If we begin serving the Lord with our mind, body and words then we will be able to conquer lust gives pain than pleasure.
Also, we should regularly chant the holy names of the Lord like the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. It will keep us mentally engaged and most importantly will purify our heart.
These are some of the important practical steps we can take to overcome lust. If we are able to do so, we will become peaceful, will be able to focus on higher goals and can practice Krishna Consciousness more seriously.