That’s a relevant question, for myself who has been celibate for 42 years. It’s not a matter of becoming very strong, like internally strong, some sort of psychological emotional Rambo or Schwarzenegger. It’s not like becoming a spiritual Rambo, becoming really strong so you can fight off the temptations when they come while other people are crumbling and submitting themselves. No, that’s not the point.
At least in Krishna consciousness, bhakti yoga, the point is that we should try, we really need to try, to mould our lives, our activities and our thinking in such ways that we get involved in activities, in a lifestyle through which we get what we call a “higher taste”. In other words you have a lifestyle with various types of activities which give you a higher happiness.
Think about it, it’s a very simple point. If you really have a higher happiness you won’t want to give that up of course for some lower happiness. Why on earth would you do that? Generally people just will not do that. It goes without saying.
How to get a higher taste? What is a higher taste even? We are adults, when we were children we used to play with little toys. When I was a child we used to play with little motor cars. As a child we were really into these. Now as adults we’re not really interested if someone offered you a toy motor car. I don’t think any of us would be so interested. We would rather have a real car because the taste, the experience that you get from driving a real car is much higher than the taste you get from pushing a toy motor car around as a child. It’s a very simple principle and obvious really. Another example, if Allen for arguments sake has R10000 and Sarah has R10. Allen says listen Sarah take my R10000 and give me your R10. Sarah, one would imagine, generally, would immediately say fine take my R10. In other words she is happy to give it up because she is getting a higher taste. If Allen has no money and Sarah has R10, if Allen says I will give you nothing and you give me your R10 then people are generally not willing to do that. It’s a very simple point. It’s a question of taste. It’s a question of what you may get out if it, what your experience will be.
Therefore, what we’re recommending as an answer to this question “How do your resist temptation?” we’re kind of turning it around a bit. That if you are getting a clearly higher experience from doing something than you were getting from doing something else previously, which previously you were very attracted to than it won’t be so hard resisting the temptation of that lower thing.Here now we are talking about a real higher experience which is spiritual, without going into all the details I’ll give you one example. People are very attracted to music, singing generally. People are attracted to various types of music. We note that nowadays at least in the world of popular music, the music of the young people. Some song will be very popular for a while, top of the charts. A song will be popular for one week, two, three or four weeks. Four weeks is unusual, the song then drops off and along comes something else to the top, drops off and after a while something else comes along. This is material experience of material pleasure. Material pleasure is temporary, it may feel good for a while but after a while you get tired of it and you look for something else. Spiritual, now we’re talking about music, spiritual sound vibration works differently. I have been singing and chanting in different ways the Hare Krishna mantra and some other mantras but particularly the Hare Krishna mantra(hare krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare) for forty odd years even before I became a monk.
I have been singing/chanting the Hare Krishna mantra every day for at least a minimum of two to three hours, seven days a week for more than forty years. I actually once asked George Harrison (a member of the Beatles); he was explaining how he got into mantra. He explained that he and John Lennon ended up singing the Hare Krishna mantra for 22 hours. I asked him what it would have been like singing a popular Beatles song for 22 hours and he laughed, he said it would have been really very tough. This is the nature of spiritual experience, it’s on a higher level than just ordinary material experience which is very temporary and after a while you become tired of it.
So how do you resist temptation? Go above it, come to the spiritual platform. Perform activities which give a higher taste.