Many religions have stated clearly that indulgence in sin, specifically sin related to lust in some way is detrimental to spiritual growth. Is there anything in Hinduism that provides a way to prevent oneself from being lustful? Is there a way to seek forgiveness for lustful actions?

  • 9
    Attack the source. The source of lust is the Mind. Turn the mind away from that which it 'likes' and turn it towards what You like. That way lust will slowly lose its grip on you. It may take time, depending on the severity of lust. But it will show its effect eventually sir. Good q All the best.
    – Sai
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 15:01
  • Possible duplicate of How do I control and slay indriyas (senses)? Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 14:02
  • @sv. The other one is general question. This is specifically about Lust.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 14:37
  • @TheDestroyer True, but answers here and there are both generic. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 17:30

3 Answers 3


What is the need of austerities if you have Love for God? What are the use of austerities if you have no Love for God?

As Sri Ramakrishna ponted out;

The farther you walk West, the farther away are you from the East. Walk towards God and the farther away you will be from lust. The more you worry about lust, the more it will consume you. Walk towards God and lust will leave by itself. If you must lust, lust for God.

Krishna says in the Gita (XVIII. 65-66):

Fix your heart on Me, give your love to Me, worship Me, bow down before Me; so shall you come to Me. This is My pledge to you, for you are dear to Me.

Abandon all dharmas and come to Me alone for shelter. I will deliver you from all sins; do not grieve.

And in Gita (IX. 30-32)

Even the most sinful man, if he worships Me with unswerving devotion, must be regarded as righteous; for he has formed the right resolution.

He soon becomes righteous and attains eternal peace. Proclaim it boldly, O son of Kunti, that My devotee never perishes.

For those who take refuge in Me, O Partha, though they be of sinful birth--women, vasiyas, and sudras--even they attain the Supreme Goal.

  • 1
    Your statement "If you must lust, lust for God" reminds me of the poem linked to in my answer here, by the Tamil Vaishnava saint Thirumangai Alwar. The emotions expressed in the poem, like desire, obsession, frustration, anger, and confusion, would be problematic if they were directed toward some material goal, but they become characteristics of deep devotion when directed toward Vishnu. Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 5:51
  • Swamiji, "If you must lust, lust for God". Best statement.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 17:36
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    Why women are called sinful birth? I think the real meaning is born of sinful womb for Papayoni.
    – user9554
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 12:35
  • @ajay What is your comment about? It has nothing to do with the question, answers, or comments. Commented May 21, 2017 at 1:57
  • @swamivishwananda There is a verse given by you says that. So I asked.
    – user9554
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 3:19
  1. The varnasrama dharma in Hinduism is aimed at minimising the negative impact of such physical phenomena. Acceptance of grihastasrama (the life of a householder) and subsequent monogamy are recommended.

  2. Madalasa's advice to her son , Alarka ,(from Dattatreya charitra) is the following:-

    a. Companionship (sanga) is the root of evil. If you must seek 
       it, seek sat-sanga, i.e.,the companionship of those who strive to 
       be in "sat"
    b. Exactly the same that @SwamiVishwananda states - "If you must 
       lust, lust for God"

The answer in Hinduism, is at best gray. Sex in Hinduism is definitely not a sin, but lust (Kaama; which is best translated as 'wanting') can be considered as one.

Humans of all varna have 4 purushartha (or duties to perform) which are Dharma (righteousness, moral values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kāma (pleasure, love, psychological values) and Mokṣa (liberation, spiritual values). So, Kaama is one of the duties which one has to fulfill without which his life hasn't been complete. All four Purusarthas are important, but in cases of conflict, Dharma is considered more important than Artha or Kaama in Hindu philosophy. Moksha is considered the ultimate ideal of human life.

Now, that being said overindulgence is what is detested in Hinduism as in Buddhism. Vyasa, the commentator of the Yoga Sutras, however, defines brahmacharya as the control of the organ of generation and the giving up of all forms of lust. This means not only abstaining from gross sexual indulgence but also thinking, willing, seeing, talking, observing and indulging in sexual entertainment, mentally or through other senses. 1

Although, not a religious scripture, in Kamasutra Vatsyayana claims Kaama is never in conflict with Dharma or Artha, rather all three coexist and kaama results from the other two.

A man practicing Dharma, Artha and Kaama enjoys happiness now and in future. Any action which conduces to the practice of Dharma, Artha and Kama together, or of any two, or even one of them should be performed. But an action which conduces to the practice of one of them at the expense of the remaining two should not be performed. —Vatsyayana, The Kama sutra, Chapter 2

So, the morality in Hinduism is kind of subjective and context dependent. Lust is not outrightly rejected, rather it's accepted as an important part of Human psyche. The only precondition being a person's acts shouldn't solely be for Lust and must also take into account his Dharma.

  • Here is the relevant portion of Vyasa's Yoga Bhashya: books.google.com/… Strangely, Vyasa doesn't mention giving up all forms of lust (he just talks about controlling the organ). I'm not sure why the Hinduism Today article attributes that to Vyasa's Yoga Bhashya. Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 5:38
  • I searched for Yoga sutra text translated by Gangadhar Jha but couldn't find the correct translation in 2.38, 39 etc. Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 6:23

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