Sublimation of Sexual Desires



I want to know how to completely sublimate sexual desires which greatly impede the ability to concentrate and perform sadhana?

—G, Canada


Dear Friend,

When a general plans an invasion of enemy territory he must obtain information about the preparedness and relative strength of the enemy forces.

Sexual desires (which includes romantic impulses and much more) are no mere tyro when it comes to complete sublimation. One must proceed with calmness and view one’s efforts in the long-term, lest one find oneself completely routed and fall into an abyss of utter defeat!

Without the creative impulse given to us by God, we would be without vitality, drive, energy, and creativity of any kind, not just sexual desires. One should treat this force, therefore as both powerful and divine. For it nothing less than God’s impulse to create the world.

Sublimation includes, however, an entire army and force of its own. Healthy lifestyles of diet, exercise, service to humanity, and spiritual service to others, and the company and fellowship you seek are crucial. Avoiding mass entertainment media including TV, movies, careful use of internet, and popular music are equally important.

Prayer, devotion, and meditation are also important tools in the arsenal of seeking Self-realization. I highly recommend the book, Sadhu Beware, by Swami Kriyananda. See the publisher’s website: This book has many suggestions and inspirations to share on this subject.

In the yogic tradition there are a host of techniques that are recommended but which would be too lengthy to attempt to list and describe their use. Perhaps one will suffice, however: as a regular practice while meditating, place some ice cubes in a plastic bag or other suitable device, mix with water; place the ice bag over the genital area. While meditating direct the cool feeling in that area upward toward the spiritual eye and offer it back to God and Gurus. Another would be that whenever slightly aroused, do some deep breathing and raise the inner energy upward to the spiritual eye. Immediately seek the company of true friends, do some vigorous exercise, or other very focused creative or serviceful activity. (Loud devotional chanting, inclining toward silence, could be helpful too)

I assume you are not in a relationship, for that is a completely different subject. In any case, you should learn to avoid familiarity with anyone who might attract you sexually and in your behavior in general and certainly specifically with such people, you should strive to be calm, dignified, respectful and avoid unnecessary hugging, touching, eye contact and so on.

If you slip from time to time, be calm. Mentally resist even if physically you yield. Try not to identify with any slip or fall but maintain your connected with Brahma, and move in the flow of grace with calmness and poise at all times.

This is a big subject and I suggest you approach it realistically and avoid fanaticism. The very effort invites fanaticism and I suggest you have a spiritual buddy or counselor to share with in your efforts.

I could go on but best if I stop here. If you have specifics you can write back. Take your time, the road to Self-realization isn’t so much long but you cannot presume upon either its ease or its length. Let God, Christ, Gurus, and Divine Mother be your your constant companions.


Nayaswami Hriman