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Safeguarding Against Mental Deception Of Lust

For a very long time, and over many lives, the instinctive urge for reproduction and preservation of lineage and race has been supported only by the power of lust and not by the higher idea of rita, universal order. This has created deep impressions in our unconscious and subconscious minds, which are working powerfully in the background. For this reason, despite all our efforts at controlling and sublimating that power, it triggers itself forcibly and overwhelms us.

In certain situations, our subconscious mind tends to deceive us, generally in a very subtle way — even by turning diplomatic — and in consequence we may find it difficult to understand its ways and secret operations. To try to access this subconscious mind demands a subtle intellect as well as careful and repeated introspection. We have to develop a highly watchful inner eye capable of scanning the intentions of our own mind at different levels. We should constantly analyse what we feel and what we think in the company of other people — whether anyone attracts our mind sensually. The process demands deep sincerity and humility on our part at all times, not merely under particular circumstances.

We have to safeguard against the error of imagining that we have succeeded in getting rid of lust by the mere fact of having lived a secluded life for many years, or by experiencing a little feeling of serenity and purity. Rushing to test oneself may be a sign of overconfidence. Swami Turiyananda advises: ‘Never pride yourself on your having gained control over the passions. If you do, they will at once raise their heads. Ever pray to him, “O Bhagavan, save me from them”.’

Repelling Depressive Thoughts

Guilt feelings are a tremendous torture, and brooding over them only makes the problem worse. Depressive thoughts are very dangerous, both in secular and spiritual life. Among other things, they weaken us. We have to learn from our mistakes and try fervently not to repeat them, but never brood over past failures. Asking sincere forgiveness with the firm commitment not to repeat the mistake works wonders in reducing depressive thoughts. Sincere apology restores some dignity in the guilty person.

When we are struggling with our senses and mind over an outward attraction or mental picture, we should have ready at hand several weapons for prompt action. Never should we rely on one means alone. Japa, prayer, intense and one-pointed visualization of a holy personality, repetition of some holy passages, rhythmic breathing, the company of spiritual people, the production of counter-thoughts — one or more of these methods can be utilized as the occasion demands.