What is lust? || Acharya Prashant (2017)

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Question: Isn’t lust a demand of the body and mind while true self keeps connecting with love?

 Acharya Prashant: No sir, this distinction is unfounded. What we call as lust is not at all bodily or mental or physical. It is a little deeper than that. Lust is a misplaced notion. Lust is super-expectation. Lust is passion, driven by hope. Don’t you want to examine where the great force of lust comes from? Why does man commit so much of his energy to lust? There must be some reason, some hope. One does not just waste himself.

If you see everybody so lustful, if you see that lust consumes so much of one’s time, energy, attention, surely man is investing in lust because lust is not occasional. Lust is not periodic. Lust does not happen just once or twice. Lust is a constant happening and that constant happening surely cannot survive without man’s active support. Surely one is allowing lust to happen, rather surely one is promoting lust to happen.

Why does man promote lust? Lust has no energy of its own. One provides the energy of his own life, of his own goals to lust. The fire that lust has is the fire of the ego’s loneliness. The body is innocent. The body knows no crime. It is the ego that keeps on looking for the right thing at all the wrong places. In fact that is the very definition of ego: ego is the one who looks for the right thing but always at the wrong places.

When you look for satisfaction in material that is called lust. That material could be anything. That material could be food, that material could be a car, that material could be prestige, that material could be anything under the sun including a man or a woman’s body. That is lust: to look for God in material. Then the passionate intensity that should rightfully have been God’s gets wrongly diverted towards material.

The passion that you see in a lustful being is a great flow of energy. That flow of energy should have belonged to God. Instead it got distracted towards a male or a female body. That is lust. Lust only tells you how much passion you have. Lust only tells you what all can you do when you are really hell-bent upon reaching your goals. Lust shows you how keen you are to meet your lover but you are meeting your lover in a totally wrong way. In fact, lust is a great revealer.

Lust tells you that you are not at all indifferent or insipid. Lust tells you that you are not tepid, there is a lot of fire inside you. Just like the fire is burning at the wrong place and is consuming all the wrong stuff. If the same fire could turn inwards then it would burn down all that is false inside you.

-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity

Watch the session video: Acharya Prashant: What is lust?

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