Chapter 9: Practice and Desirelessness
Whenever a young boy, a healthy boy, looks at a nude picture of a girl, the pupils of his eyes become big. They are more open to receive the nude figure. And you cannot control your pupils, they are not voluntary. So you may say that you are not interested in sex, but a nude picture will show whether you are interested or not. And you cannot do anything voluntarily; you cannot control the pupils of your eyes. They expand, because something so interesting has come before them that they open more, the shutters open more to take more in. No, women are not interested in nude men, they are interested in small babies, so if a beautiful baby’s picture is given to them their eyes expand.
Every precaution was taken to see whether the boys were interested - no interest. By and by the interest was declining. Even in their dreams they stopped seeing girls, sexual dreams. By the second week, the fourteenth or fifteenth day, they were simply dead corpses. Even if a beautiful girl came nearby they would not look. If someone said a dirty joke they would not laugh. For thirty days they were starved - on the thirtieth day the whole group was sexless. There was no sex in their mind, in their body.
Then food was given to them again: on the very first day they again became the same. The next day they were interested, and the third day all that starving for thirty days had disappeared. Now not only were they interested, they were obsessively interested, as if this gap had helped. For a few weeks they were obsessively sexual, only thinking of girls and nothing else. When the food was in the body girls became important again.
But this has been done in many countries all over the world. Many religions have followed this fasting. And then people start thinking that they have gone beyond sex. You can go beyond sex, but fasting is not the way. That’s a trick. And this can be done in every way. If you are on a fast you will be less angry, and if fasting becomes habitual then many things from your life will simply drop because the base has dropped: food is the base.
When you have more energy you move in more dimensions. When you are filled with overflowing energy, your overflowing energy leads you into many, many desires. Desires are nothing but outlets for energy. So two ways are possible: one is your desire changes, the energy remains; or energy is removed, desire remains. Energy can be removed very easily. You can simply be operated on, castrated, and then sex disappears. Some hormones can be removed from your body. And that’s what fasting is doing - some hormones disappear, then you can become sexless.
But this is not the goal of Patanjali. Patanjali says that energy should remain and the desire disappears. Only when desire disappears and you are filled with energy can you achieve that blissful state that Yoga aims at. A dead person cannot reach to the divine. The divine can be attained only through overflowing energy, abundant energy, an ocean of energy.
So this is the second thing to remember continuously: don’t destroy energy, destroy desire. It will be difficult. It is going to be hard, arduous, because it needs a total transformation of your being. But Patanjali is for it. So he divides his vairagya, his desirelessness, into two steps. We will enter the sutra.
The first sutra:
The first state of vairagya - desirelessness: cessation from self-indulgence in the thirst for sensuous pleasures, with conscious effort.