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How to control sexual desire?

Sometimes sexual desires and impulses arise within us at a very fast pace, and therefore we also look for quick solutions to get rid of them. However, those solutions do not last for long. Controlling sexual desires cannot be done through a quick fix. It requires thorough understanding, a lot of patience, internal steadiness, and most importantly, a firm commitment.

First and foremost, in order to control desires, it is important to stay away from things that are sexually arousing. Do not look at images, videos, or read stories that are of sexual nature. This will multiply the sexual impulses by tenfold, making it harder to control the desires. Letting a sexual thought or imagination prolong, and being indulged in it, will also make the impulses stronger. Therefore, a person should be alert and not let the sexual thought to continue for more than a second. Being involved in sexuality through thoughts, visuals, and actions will only make a person want more of it. Avoid company or friends that encourage sexuality, even jokingly. You never know when you might agree with them. Furthermore, do not stare at or look into the eyes of the opposite sex, and avoid touching at all costs. Nonetheless, all these are still temporary solutions that will not completely destroy the seeds of sexuality from within us. Until all these seeds of sexuality are completely destroyed, sexual desires can arise at any time, even at an old age.

The most important way to fully eradicate sexuality is to completely devalue it. Devalue the object of attraction (i.e. a person, thought, body parts, etc.) to zero. A person should think about all the ways that the pleasure derived from sexuality is merely illusory, is not real, and is only temporary.  When we are indulged in some form of sexuality, we tend to forget how filthy the human body actually is. For instance, we forget that every pore and opening in our body releases waste which smells awful. If feces, sweat, and other discharge smell so bad, imagine how it would be inside the body. Picturing the human body without skin isn’t a pretty sight either. This practice is done not to create hatred, but to understand and get the real picture of how the human body is, so that we don’t get attracted to it. For those who wanted to practice celibacy, Param Pujya Dadashri had given a unique understanding called “Three Vision.” The Three Vision, he said, would make a person look at the physical body the way it actually is, so that we do not have any illusory attachment for it.

Dadashri: “Use the same experiment that I had used for myself. For me this experiment is constantly in place and it had kept me aware even before enlightenment. When my eyes fall on someone wearing beautiful clothes, a saree worth two thousand Rupees, I become aware and my first vision see her without clothes. Then a second awareness arises and I see the body without the skin and then the third awareness arises and I see the intestines, the kind you see when the stomach is cut open. I can also see changes that occur within the intestines. I can see blood vessels; I can see fecal matter etc. I can see all the refuse this way. Then there is no chance of sexual impulse arising, is there? In all this, the Soul is the only pure thing and that is where my vision stops. Therefore, how can any illusion over sex ever occur?

In short, the Three Vision involves visualizing the person who you are attracted to as: 1. Without clothes, 2. Without Skin, 3. Internal organs, muscles, bones, blood, fecal matter, urine, etc. All three visions should be used simultaneously and within a few seconds. Devaluation should be done to a point where nothing related to sexuality can grab your attention even for a fraction of a second.

Do not become curious for anything related to sexuality. We tend to expect that we will become happy after experiencing sexuality, either through thoughts or actions. We become curious and try new ways to experience sexuality, but in the end, the satisfaction that we had expected, never comes. Therefore, we again look for different ways to get pleasure. This becomes like an addiction which is never fulfilled. This will then continue like a vicious cycle. The only way to come out of this curiosity is to realize with certainty that true happiness will never arise from sexuality.

The ultimate step for getting rid of sexual desires is to understand with conviction that there is no happiness in any form of sexuality in any way. In order to achieve this, one has to taste the bliss that is higher than that derived from sexual pleasures. That bliss can only be attained from one’s own Pure Soul. To experience the bliss of Pure Soul, a person must attain Self-realization.

Click here to learn more about Self-realization.

Finally, a person should certainly do pratikraman (heartfelt repentance) and ask for forgiveness for the desires that are occurring now and the ones that have occurred previously. The thoughts that are coming right now are sprouting from the knot of sexuality that was formed previously. Since this knot has not been removed, the thoughts will continue to come in some form.

Click here to learn more about pratikraman.

Other Solutions:

As soon as sexual impulses arise keep on reciting the following prayer:
"Dear God! Give me infinite inner strength not to have, cause someone to have, nor encourage anyone to have any sexual desires, feelings, or gestures towards any living being, be it male, female, or of neutral gender. Give me the supreme strength to be free from all sexual desires, forever."

The desires occur now because of our previous opinion that there is happiness in sexuality. By reciting the prayer above and asking for strength, we destroy the opinion and ask for the desires to not arise in the future.

Saiyam (control) that comes as a result of indifference towards sensual pleasures will last forever. This indifference can only occur through detailed contemplation about how the happiness derived through sensual pleasures is only illusory. Rather than thinking about things that pull us more towards sexuality, we should think about all the consequences of being entrapped in sensual pleasures, and all the benefits and importance of brahmacharya (celibacy).

Click here to learn about the benefits of practicing celibacy.

Click here to know the importance of practicing celibacy.

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