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Lust : a deadly enemy
April 6, 2011  |  radhanath-swami

Due to a small mistake of the immigration officials at Kabul, Richard (now Radhanath Swami) was now stranded alone at night. A friendly Dutch lady took Richard to her home and fed him dinner and provided a room. Soon however, she presented her body to Richard to fulfill her lusty desires. Richard’s mind reeled as he struggled to come out of her grips. Her six foot bodyguard threatened to kill Richard if he didn’t submit to her desires. With all his might, Richard heaved the woman off and escaped, the body guard closely chasing to kill Richard.

Somehow Richard escaped and later contemplated on the powers of passion. Radhanath Swami writes his realization, “sex could be a gift of God but when it becomes an obsession, it plunders all intelligence and people are driven to abominable acts to satisfy their lust.” Richard thought of directing the sex energy toward prayer and devotion. He vowed to remain a celibate for the remainder of his life, and prayed to God to help him keep his commitment.

Radhanath Swami explains that throughout history there have been saints in all traditions who have raised beautiful families utilizing sex as a divine offering. At the same time, throughout the same history many saints took the vow of celibacy because they realized the charm of the opposite sex to be a distraction from their exclusive dedication to God.

One of the biggest distractions in spiritual life is the ravaging lust that has the human society in its vicious grip. Quoting scriptures, Radhanath Swami compares lust to fire. The more we try to fulfill the lusty desires, more the fire burns our consciousness. Lust is an obsession to be the selfish enjoyer; this consciousness can never make us happy because our constitutional position is to serve. The more we seek to gratify our base carnal desires, the further we go from our loving service to God.

Sex was not discovered in the twentieth century. Radhanath Swami warns that Lust has been a major problem throughout the history of mankind, and nobody escapes the power and influence of lust. Even sincere spiritual seekers, although they may not idolize it, they have to reckon with its embarrassing presence in their consciousness. Lust starts at puberty, and that is when most boys begin their battle with lust. And now in our culture there is the added temptation of movies, magazines, and the computer. Radhanath Swami once said that lust is when we see the opposite sex not as a person but as a thing. Most people untrained in spiritual principles never learn what love is, but spend the rest of their lives under the dominion of lust. Little wonder that Marlyn Monroe, the heart throb of the 1960’s said, “I hate being a thing.” She was a sex symbol, and a symbol is a thing. She never really felt loved as a person but only used like a thing.

To make tangible spiritual advancement, a seeker of God has to desire to get rid of this negativity from the heart. Radhanath Swami assures we can do this through sincere prayers and by cultivating a desire to selflessly serve.

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126 Comments


  1. Arjun K Ramachandra

    I liked the statement Radhanath Swami makes “Lust is when we see the opposite sex not as a person but as a thing”. How true this is and how powerful are the forces of illusion that even the greatest of men fall prey to this trap.

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  2. Its the hardest hurdle from my own experience.thank you swamiji for giving a way to overcome it: sincere prayers and desire to serve selflessly .

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  3. HH Radhanath Swami is showing us a wonderful way of prayers and selfless service to overcome negativity of lust in our hearts. Thank you Maharaj for this inspiration.

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  4. beautiful explanation of “lust” based on the teachings of Radhanath Swami.

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  5. very good article

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  6. Radhanath Swami is amazing

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  7. krishna daya das

    Lust is not discovered in 20th century. Very hope giving statement. Mahraj encourages us by saying previous practitioners struggled and overcame it.

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  8. Thank you so much Maharaj for such important instruction.

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  9. Lord Krishna also says in Bhagavad Geeta that lust is only thing which creates sinful proclivity. Thank you Radhanath Swami for this instruction.

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  10. Thank you Radhanath Swami for the posting.Reading this article is such a eye opener to me.

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  11. To make tangible spiritual advancement, a seeker of God has to desire to get rid of this negativity from the heart. Radhanath Swami assures we can do this through sincere prayers and by cultivating a desire to selflessly serve.

    The above statements of Radhanath swami are the only hope for sincere spiritual seekers.

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  12. Lust+makes+one+insane

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  13. HH Radhanath Swami gives such a clear and analytical understanding of lust, how it has always been there in society and how to overcome it.

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  14. “sex could be a gift of God but when it becomes an obsession, it plunders all intelligence and people are driven to abominable acts to satisfy their lust.”

    this realization of HH Radhanath swami can be realized everyday when we see around or read newspaper or hear news

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  15. This single sentence sums it all up: Lust is an obsession to be the selfish enjoyer; this consciousness can never make us happy because our constitutional position is to serve.

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  16. Very powerful enemy of a devotee

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  17. Radhanath Swami warns us of this deadly enemy of Lust. He also explains what it actually means and finally how to overcome it – “through sincere prayers and by cultivating a desire to selflessly serve”.

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  18. Yes our eternal nature is to serve the Supreme Personality Godhead Lord Sri-Krishna.Therefore trying to satisfy our desires in this world is simply an useless endavour.Maharaj gives us right hint to keep us away from the lust of this world.Thank you very much.

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  19. krishna chandra

    Only someone like Radhanath Swami who has control over his senses can give such a powerful yet simple understanding of the dangers of sex life.

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  20. Lust is such a powerful vice. Before coming to Krishna consciousness I did not realize that lust for opposite sex is bad because there is such strong propaganda in schools and colleges that it is “cool”. Unfortunately, now even lust for the same sex is considered “cool”. Thank you Radhanath Maharaj for guiding us in the right direction and by teaching how to cleanse oneself of lust by your personal example (this incident with the Dutch lady). Hare Krishna!

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  21. The above statements of Radhanath swami are the only hope for sincere spiritual seekers.

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  22. Amazing, thanks very much for sharing this crucial instruction

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  23. What a wonderful article by Radhanath Swami !!!

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  24. This article is dipping in realization about the difference between lust and love. Radhanath Swami’s experiences show that his heart is so soft that he can not see any person with a selfish motive.

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  25. Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki jai!

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  26. Yogita Jagannathan

    The basic principle of this material existence is attraction between man and woman, based on lusty sex desires. As Radhanath Swami says here, it is one of most difficult things to overcome, especially for one who is not on the path of surrendering to the Lord.

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  27. Shyam Bihari Das

    HH Radhanath Maharaj has laid the landmarks towards spiritual realization. Lust is the root cause of all deterrents on this path, and conquering this, as Maharaj says, is essential for tangible spiritual advancement.

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  28. Shoba Ramachandran

    Thank you Swamiji for making us understand that cultivating the attitude and desire of selfless service would burn these negative energies within us including lust.

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  29. Thank you for this wonderful post!

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  30. very nice!!!

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  31. Very profound statement from Maharajah
    “sex could be a gift of God but when it becomes an obsession, it plunders all intelligence and people are driven to abominable acts to satisfy their lust”.

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  32. Radhanath Swami Maharaj warns us about the dangers of lust….

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  33. This is such an enlightining statement => “Lust is an obsession to be the selfish enjoyer; this consciousness can never make us happy because our constitutional position is to serve”.

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  34. rambaboo maheshwari

    In association of His Holiness even this most dangerous FIRE can be controlled.

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  35. Thank you so much Maharaj for such an enlivening understanding of Sex life.

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  36. Thank you so much Radhanath Swami.

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  37. Wow, thank you Radhanath Swami Maharaj. This is exactly what was troubling me and you have kindly answered it here. Now I understand that the Spiritual Master can connect with you in so many ways!

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  38. thank you very much for sharing this knowledge.

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  39. “To make tangible spiritual advancement, a seeker of God has to desire to get rid of this negativity from the heart”- Very nice.

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  40. Thank U Maharaj for this lovely explanation

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  41. wow! Amazing! Thank you.

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  42. Very true!!

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  43. Tallam Sita Ramaiah

    Lust is an obsession to be the selfish enjoyer; this consciousness can never make us happy because our constitutional position is to serve.This is such a powerful statement which should be realised by all who seek spiritual advancement.

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  44. Radhanath Swami Maharaj explains the true meaning of lust that is to consider a person as a thing for enjoyment…..

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  45. wow! awe inspiring!!!

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  46. thank you very much for sharing wonderful article.

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  47. “lust is when we see the opposite sex not as a person but as a thing” – HH Radhanath Swami gives us vision to introspect.

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