Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


I have a question about sex and lust. Are these considered to be sinful? What if we are constantly surrounded by beautiful women? Is it wrong to have lust for them? Is lust a natural feeling?


Three have answered this question: Lalita Arya (Ammaji), Michael Smith, and Carolyn Hume.

From Lalita Arya (Ammaji):

Maybe the quote given hereunder might help this student. I don't need to say much except maybe to add "'..and humans .." of the world.

"The important thing is not to expect too much from the things ('and humans') of the world or from your relationships. You expect something that is not there, and it is your attachment and expectations that make you miserable. You think you can own the things of the world and try to claim them as yours. Nature will take them away from you the moment you think you possess them, and you will become unhappy.” - Swami Rama, Sadhana, The Path To Enlightenment

This student also seriously needs to read up on DISTRACTIONS & DISCIPLINE. Any of Swami Rama's or Swami Veda's books in our tradition will be very helpful.

From Michael Smith:

“Lust” is by definition sinful, if we define “sin” as something which creates a habitual dependence and a karmic whirlpool – and does not lead to moksha (liberation). A lot of the students want to be shown a way have their cake and eat it too: spiritual and worldly at the same time, but Christ said, “You can’t serve God and Mammon,” in other words, you can’t go in two opposite directions simultaneously.

From Carolyn Hume:

Lust can be lust for many things, not just sex. And to lust after something is to both objectify whatever it is and also to seek satisfaction from things. Lust means that you have expectations from whatever/whomever you lust after. Such appetites do not lead one towards knowing the Self.

In yoga, sex is considered to be one of the four primitive fountains, which are: food, sleep, self-preservation and sex. As Swami Rama has said they “still control human life exactly as they do in the animal kingdom. That is why they are called primitive fountains.” (Conscious Living: A Guidebook for Spiritual Transformation) And Swami Rama further writes, “All of your emotions are related to the four primitive fountains. From these four urges or motivations rise the six main streams of emotions. Kama is the prime desire. The second stream is krodha or anger; if a desire is not fulfilled, you become angry and frustrated. If that same desire is fulfilled, you become puffed up with pride, mada, the third stream. If the desire is fulfilled, you become attached to the object that fulfilled your desire. That is moha. The next stream is lobha, which means that you become greedy and want more and more. When greed takes over, you do everything to feed ahamkara (ego); that prevents you from knowing your true Self.” (The Essence of Spiritual Life: A Companion Guide for the Seeker)

Swami Rama has explained, “The difference between lust and love is that love means selfless action; lust means that you have expectations.” And “When you love, you give and give and don’t expect anything in return. Your expectations are the mother of all your problems in life.” (The Art of Joyful Living)

“Love and attachment are two opposing principles. Attachment contracts the human personality, while love expands it. People think that they cannot survive without attachments. This is true: they survive temporarily only to finally destroy themselves with the black force of attachment. Attachment is like the veiler of the night who always delights in doing things in darkness, never in light. But those who understand the difference between attachment and love know that attachment means lust while love means selfless giving. Love is a great power that has liberating qualities. Love for God and attachment to lust are two entirely different motivations and have vastly difference consequences. When one learns to live in the world doing his duties lovingly and skillfully, then he or she remains unattached, unaffected, and liberated from the bondage of karma and the fruits of action that one receives due to karma. Such human beings are aware that although attachment is the cause of all misery, love is the very nature of life, and is a liberating force that comforts them in all conditions and circumstances of life.” – Swami Rama in Wisdom of the Ancient Sages: Mundaka Upanishad

Editor’s Notes:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use this link to ask it:  http://ahymsin.org/main/adhyatma-samiti-spiritual-committee.html

To read “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…” columns, please use this link: http://ahymsin.org/main/practice/dear-yoga-mentor-my-question-is.html



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana     Mindfulness     Japa     Dharana     Shavasana     Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor     Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage     Silence     Full Moon Meditation

Copyright © 2009-2017 by AHYMSIN ®