Lust is not just vicious but also voracious
“What makes a person do something as terrible as that?” This universal question about human behavior is echoed by Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita (03.36). The next verse (03.37) identifies that evil-impelling force to be lust and states the two characteristics that make it so dangerous: it is vicious (mahaa-papma) and voracious (mahaa-ashano):
1. Vicious: Lust is one of the six primary vices that drag the soul away from Krishna and into dreadful actions – dreadful for not just one’s spiritual prospects, but also for one’s material well-being. And dreadful not just for oneself, but also for others who become victimized by one’s lust. Naturally therefore, to help people regulate lust, every civilization places some social restraint centered on marriage. Yet this restraint alone is frequently not enough to regulate lust due to its second characteristic.
2. Voracious: The appetite of lust is insatiable; indulgence doesn’t pacify it, but aggravates it. People usually stop sex not because their mental craving is fulfilled but because their physical capacity is exhausted. Their mind wants more, but the body doesn’t allow it. Even when the bodily capacity is restored after some time, it can never match the mental craving. In fact, indulgence often inflames the imagination, thereby increasing the chasm between the craving and the capacity, and consequently exacerbating the dissatisfaction.
Gita wisdom explains the way out of this frustration. We are souls with an original natural love for Krishna. Lust is a perversion of that spiritual love. The more we practice bhakti-yoga and relish devotional fulfillment in loving remembrance of Krishna, the more lust subsides, as our need for happiness becomes redirected from matter towards Krishna. By this redirection, we become empowered to regulate lust more and more till finally we learn to delight forever in pure love for Krishna.