Overcoming Sex Force


Is there any method, either through yoga or meditation in which once can switch off sexuality and romantic feelings completely?

—Dan, United States


Dear Dan,

The mating instinct is the most powerful human impulse second only to the will to survive. When the Infinite Spirit projected its vibration into the world it was in the act of creation: “procreation” in the sense that God’s “consort” is the part of the Trinity that is called “Divine Mother” or “Holy Ghost” — the vibratory aspect of God that manifests the creation. The impulse to procreate is deeply embedded in our spiritual DNA and it is, in fact, the underlying meaning of the Adam and Eve story. They were unconscious of their “nakedness” prior to eating the proverbial “apple” of sense indulgence.

So we must understand what we are dealing with: it is not like simply having a bad habit in diet or spending, in other words. There are two aspects to how we can re-direct this powerful, God-given impulse which, by itself, is not wrong but which is very difficult to keep in its proper place:

1. Self-control. We must exercise our own will power to avoid seeking or gazing upon images or the sight of romantically attractive people. Unfortunately our world and society is filled with alluring pictures. These are found in ordinary advertisements and in movies and videos. Ready access to more extreme, pornographic material, is a great scourge upon humanity. Jesus said that “adultery” isn’t limited to an actual sexual act but takes place in the mind and heart just the same. It is therefore important to develop habits of not fantasizing or dwelling upon romantic or sexual images, stories, jokes, and so on.

2. The other, even more important because more magnetic, is developing love for God as the only source of true love and bliss. For this purpose, devotion to God in the feminine form such as the Blessed Mother of Jesus, Divine Mother in the East is one means to re-direct this impulse heaven-ward.

Subsidiary tools of sublimation of the sexual force include vigorous exercise; vegetarian diet; selfless service to others; creative endeavors with in the arts or sciences or daily life; chanting, prayer, and affirmations (including mantras).

Whenever you are assailed by sex thoughts or stimulation, do some deep breathing and draw the inhalation current upward to the spiritual eye. In meditation when not otherwise so stimulated, draw the energy of the lower three chakras upward to the spiritual eye as well. Look upon the opposite sex as incarnations of Divine Mother or as sisters. Keep your distance and remain calm and dignified (but also natural) in their presence, avoiding familiarity.

Lahiri Mahasaya taught a technique whereby one fills a plastic bag with ice and water and places it over the genitals when meditating. Draw the cool feeling upward to the spiritual eye.

In this sex-saturated society of ours, have you considered getting married? Although marriage is never a solution for one’s spiritual growth, it can be a means to realize on a deeper level the soul’s need for divine, unconditional love. It may well be necessary for your spiritual growth to experience human love and its limitations, and yes, limited satisfactions, in order to cope responsibly with this powerful impulse. It might even be right for you to have a family in order to round out your human potential.

Finally: I cannot undervalue the importance of having friends who are self-controlled, who have devotion and aspire to high ideals with moral vigor. We call this, in Sanskrit, “satsang” : “good company!”

Know that the goal of transmuting the sex force is one worthy of the soul and, with divine assistance, can be accomplished. All saints have so testified. It may seem difficult in the beginning, but it is cleansing and calming to become gradually free of its grip upon your mind. Self-control and devotion brings clarity to the mind; health to the body; and bliss to the soul.

May the Light of Pure Love shine upon you,
Nayaswami Hriman