Religion provides a way of life and aims to assist individuals in attaining self-realization. Lust, on the other hand, is considered a dangerous threat to individuals for several reasons.
Allowing Sexual Stimulation:
- Lust is a primitive desire that can be tempting at first, but ultimately ends in pain. It diverts vital energy away from the individual and towards satisfying the desire. The initial pleasure derived from indulging in lust soon dissipates, leading to a vicious cycle of increasing indulgence in search of the elusive pleasure. This eventually leads to depletion of physical, mental, and emotional energy, causing dependence and slavery to the illusory sexual sensation.
- The Result: Individuals become hopelessly addicted to the pursuit of sexual ecstasy, which is nothing but a mirage. This addiction leads to a decline in all areas of life, making it impossible to attain oneness with God. This is why all religious scriptures discourage lust.
The answer is to shut out all sensory stimuli backed by the constant reminder of knowledge that sense objects lead one away from the path of genuine progress, happiness, and bliss.
The second approach doesn’t ultimately make sense, as it’s nothing more than a circuitous & slow downfall towards one’s past delusive animal instincts.
You are right in assuming that a conducive environment bereft of temptation helps. It certainly does and is, in fact, a necessity for an aspirant in the path of celibacy.
All Holy Scriptures cutting across religions state that till the time a celibate has realized his ‘SELF’ or God and is perfectly established in celibacy to where his mental purity and lack of response towards sense objects become ‘Natural’ and ‘Effortless’ he should always be extremely alert and vigilant against the onslaught of senses. By the honest and unbroken practice of ‘celibacy’ for 12 years, man reaches this state. The sight of a naked woman would have no bearing upon him. He feels no difference in stimulus between touching a piece of wood and the naked body of a beautiful woman. He sees himself in every form of life and all forms of life within himself. This is the ultimate aim of celibacy and the goal of life. Man is the one with his maker.
But beware! Until one has reached this state, he is ever prone to defeat under the powerful attack of lust at any given point in time. It is in fact said that a celibate aspirant should ever be humble and meek before God, asking him for guidance and the power to win over the senses and be constantly aware of the fact that he is still a student in controlling his passions and not yet a master.
If an aspirant lets ‘some’ sensory stimuli to enter his domain, he soon is overpowered by ‘more and more’ sense stimuli, which grow like hay on fire and finally devour him! So, the trick is to nip them at the bud.
It’s good that you have been without slips for the past 4 months. This is, in fact, a sign that you are destined for more if you strive rightly. The first 3 -4 months of celibacy make a person experience a drastic change in his state of mind and attitude. This is because man ‘slightly’ touches upon that beautiful state of soul serenity which he never knew throughout his adult life. But a word of caution is necessary here: As you progress further this initial euphoria or ‘high’ will settle down and stabilize, and then the celibate should clearly remember to be eternally vigilant and alert against any form of sexual stimulus, else he will be tempted to stray and lose his ground
The desire to stare at a beautiful lady shows latent lust. There are people who argue that they are looking at ‘beauty’ and not at ‘sexuality’. Would they stare at the same lady if she were old or say dead? Where did the beauty go then? True beauty is permanent and imperishable. It cannot age, and it cannot perish. This thing which we call ‘beauty’ in a man, or a woman, is the physical beauty of the body, an illusion. Look at this beautiful lady after she’s down with disease for a few days, all grungy, haggard, and unkempt and see if you feel the same attraction. This ‘attraction’ which you refer to will have vanished…Why? Because the ‘beauty’ you were referring to and looking at was the illusive, temporary and semi-permanent physical beauty and not the true ‘soul’ or ‘god’ beauty. This is exactly where celibacy comes; it makes man get in touch with the genuine beauty of the ‘soul or ‘God’.
John, have you ever wondered why a young virile man or a pretty girl in her teens look so attractive? What is it in them which ‘disappears’ once the man grows old, or this ‘pretty girl’ bears a few kids? The secret of reality and creation lies in this answer. It is ‘God’ who shines through these people at youth as their sexuality and makes them look ‘beautiful’ in order to facilitate them to attract a mate, marry and produce offspring. Once this purpose is achieved, this ‘pretty girl’ starts losing the physical charm and ‘oomph’ which she previously had. In reality, the physical body made of flesh and bones was never beautiful.
The ‘God’ power shining through it with the above said purpose held it high and together to give it firmness, fullness, and an aura of beauty! If the same ‘pretty girl’ were to die, say at youth, her dead body would no longer look ‘beautiful’… Why? Because the ‘beauty’ or ‘God’ or ‘soul’ which lived in her body has vacated its residence!!
A true and a great artist when he paints, a beautiful lady would, at that instant, knowingly or unknowingly be into painting this imperishable, all pervading ‘God’ beauty in the object’s soul, shining through the body. We can clearly see this difference between the works of an ordinary artist who merely paints the body and that of classics like ‘Renoir’s’ or ‘Rembrandts’. So again, all superlative results, be it in any field of life, are results of man’s connection with the ‘Divine’ and not the flesh. A ‘Renoir’ of even a very old man looks ‘Fantabulous’!”