After last week’s talk about Alcohol, Drugs & Yoga I received some inquiries about whether pornography also affects one’s yoga practice and its place or role in our search for happiness.  This is an important topic considering how viewing porn has become so common and accepted.  There is the view that it is harmless, unless engaged in excessively.  However, this is not true.  We look at the influence of our mind over us (the spiritual beings residing within the body) and the role it plays in getting in the way of our actual happiness. In discussing this I am reminded of a beautiful statement of a great and saintly teacher of yoga wisdom – “The spirit soul wants to get out of the clutches of material bondage and fulfill its desire for complete freedom.” Something well worth deeply contemplating.

The verses I read are listed here:

anityāśuci-duḥkhānātmāsu nitya-śuci-sukhātma-khyātir-avidyā

Ignorance consists of considering that which is temporary as eternal, the impure as pure, misery as happiness and the non-self (the body or mind) as the real self.  – Yoga-sūtras 2.5

FROM THE BHAGAVAD-GITA

BG 3.36: Arjuna said: O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?

BG 3.37: The Blessed Lord said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world.

BG 3.39: Thus the wise living entity’s pure consciousness becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire.

BG 3.40: The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust. Through them lust covers the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.

BG 3.41: Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bhāratas, in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization.

BG 3.42: The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.

BG 3.43: Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence and thus — by spiritual strength — conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.

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