Monastic orders that enjoin celibacy - do they have spiritual techniques to curb desire? Have spiritual masters recorded their struggles with desire?
How do initiates of monastic orders that enjoin lifelong celibacy deal with this requirement?
By controlling their diet and senses, doing austerities, reflecting on knowledge, leading a disciplined life, avoiding sense pleasure, and avoiding contact with women.
Here are the rules of Brahmacharya from the Apastamba Dharma Sutras:
[One shall not eat] pungent condiments, salt, honey or meat.
One shall not sleep in the day-time.
Nor use perfumes.
Nor engage in sexual activities.
Nor embellish oneself [by using ointments and the like].
Nor wash the body [with hot water for pleasure]
But, if the body is soiled by unclean things, one shall clean it [with earth or water], in a place where one is not seen by a Guru.
One should not frolic about in the water whilst bathing; let him float [motionless] like a stick.
One shall wear all the hair tied in one knot.
Dancing should not be watched [by the student]
Nor should [a student] attend assemblies [for gambling, etc.], nor join crowds [assembled at festivals].
Nor should one be addicted to gossiping.
[A student] should not do anything for his own pleasure in places which his teacher frequents.
Let him talk with women as much [only] as is necessary.
As you can see, with such a discplined lifestyle, along with chanting of mantras, one becomes very sattvic and doesn't have much difficulty controlling his senses.
Totapuri, coming to know of the Master's marriage, had once remarked: "What does it matter? He alone is firmly established in the Knowledge of Brahman who can adhere to his spirit of discrimination and renunciation even while living with his wife. He alone has attained the supreme illumination who can look on man and woman alike as Brahman. A man with the idea of sex may be a good aspirant, but he is still far from the goal."
One day, while stroking his feet, Sarada Devi asked the Master, "What do you think of me?" Quick came the answer: "The Mother who is worshipped in the temple is the mother who has given birth to my body and is now living in the nahabat, and it is She again who is stroking my feet at this moment. Indeed, I always look on you as the personification of the Blissful Mother Kali."
नारीस्तनभरनाभीदेशम्, दृष्ट्वा मागा मोहावेशम्। एतन्मान्सवसादिविकारम्, मनसि विचिन्तय वारं वारम्॥३॥
> Do not get attracted on seeing the parts of woman's anatomy under the influence of delusion, as these are made up of skin, flesh and similar substances. Deliberate on this again and again in your mind.॥3॥