Pornography is a fantasy world devoid of a relationship. It’s like an acid to the heart and relationships.

ISKCON masturbation Hare Krishna

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Question: How to overcome pornography and online videos and etc? My friend has a serious problem to overcome in spite of association.

What pornography is doing – and now, do you know, it’s not just men who are watching pornography, it’s 78% men which means 22% of women are watching and it’s just going to get worse. So, the whole idea of pornography is that when a person is looking at pornography, he is thinking of how he can enjoy this woman. So there is no conception of relationship. There is no conception of responsibility. There is no conception of duty. There is no conception of romantic affection without sexual desire. It’s completely self-centered. It’s completely selfish. It’s all about me. It’s all about the person looking at it. It’s a fantasy world because that world doesn’t exist. That world doesn’t exist because women do not walk around for men.

We were just reading this morning that there was this demon called Sankhasura and who had a big jewel on his forehead that he was really proud of. So he became really proud and so he stole Krishna’s wives because he thought he was so beautiful they should be for him. So, reality is that women are not lined up for men to be their sexual slaves. So when a man is looking at pornography the woman becomes a sexual slave. So it’s about him and his sexual slave. What that does is that it undermines the value of a women and that makes it more and more difficult to have any meaningful, balanced, wholesome, loving relationship with women because he has already put women into a particular relationship within his mind: “They exist for my enjoyment.”

Another problem that happens is that the women he is looking at in these pornographic pictures are probably way more attractive than his wife. So it starts to disturb that relationship. It’s already disturbing because it’s altering his perception of women. It’s devaluing his relationship with them. It’s changing his belief system where women are really meant for one’s enjoyment. In the sastras we learn from the story of Krishna stealing the cloths of the gopis that if a man sees a woman naked he has to marry her. So technically every pornographic picture that a man looks at, technically, he has to marry that woman. So these guys who are looking at pornography should probably have like 400 wives by now.

Krishna stealing the clothes of the gopis, and maneuvering them into exposing their naked bodies to his gaze
Krishna stealing the clothes of the gopis, and maneuvering them into exposing their naked bodies to his gaze.

It’s said that 50% of the men in this world, that means one out of every two men that you see walking down the street, view pornography at least once a month. It’s a pretty sick situation. It’s like an acid in the heart, and to what it does to the male and female relationship. It degrades the whole relationship. So, what woman in a right mind would want to marry a man who has viewing pornography since he has been a teenager? Average age a kid sees pornography is eleven. So ladies, do you want to marry a guy who has been looking at pornography at least once a month since he has been eleven? I don’t think so. How do you think he is going to deal with you? You think he is going to be chaste? A chaste husband? It’s going to be really hard for him. That’s what he is bringing into the marriage. So, every time a man views pornography he is undermining his marriage or he is undermining his potential marriage if he is not married. He is undermining the relationship that he is going to have with his wife because he is implanting all these samskaras about women as object for his sexual enjoyment.

Another realization I had about pornography is that in traditional Vedic culture, when women went out they went out in palanquins which had curtains on all sides and nobody saw them. So in strict Vedic culture, men didn’t even really see women. They only saw their mother, sister or wife. So then we advance it a little further. Men are seeing women and women don’t really dress like they did in Vedic culture. So, ok – it’s not that bad. But for men to see women other than their wife naked it’s like unheard of in the history of the world up until the invention of the printing press. For men in general, as wide spread as it is, it’s just not the way. God did not create us to see other people without cloths. Prabhupada said that is total animal life.

So the message for men – you can give this message to your friend who is viewing pornography – according to Prabhupada that is what animals do. It’s not what humans do. Prabhupada said human beings are meant to cover their bodies. So if you’re looking at a body that is uncovered you’re not a human being. Also, Prabhupada said, “No cultured man would ever want to look at a naked woman.” And the example given is Draupadi having her sari torn apart. There were no cultured men there. Men weren’t protesting. So Prabhupada’s point is that no cultured man would allow that to happen. And if the sari were pulled off, then no cultured man would have looked at her. They would have turned away. And now we have the exact opposite. Instead of turning away we’re viewing picture of naked women one after another. And it’s all these impressions are going into the hearts of men and making it difficult for them to be husbands or to be boyfriends. It’s just like the worst thing. So I would say in whatever way they can get help, and of course Krishna consciousness is the ultimate solution for purity. But sometimes these addiction require more work, and as a friend you can really do something to really help them. You know, sexaholics anonymous is wonderful and there are so many other programs.

Sexualization of teenagers.
You grow up and your parent are telling you, “You are a really handsome young boy! You are a really pretty young girl! You should be able to attract a lot of girls! I bet the girls really like you! Don’t they!? I bet they fall all over you! Yeah, go out and get them! Don’t you have a girlfriend? Don’t you have a boyfriend?”

When I was growing up all the messages I got were to enjoy women. From my friends, from my society, from my father, it was like there is something wrong with you if you are not thinking that way. So growing up that way is a real challenge for us who are practicing Krishna consciousness – to practice sexual control. You grow up and your parent are telling you, “You are a really handsome young boy! You are a really pretty young girl! You should be able to attract a lot of girls! I bet the girls really like you! Don’t they!? I bet they fall all over you! Yeah, go out and get them! Don’t you have a girlfriend? Don’t you have a boyfriend?” So you’re getting all these messages. And then you consider that success if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend and you’re thirteen years old. “Well, I guess I’m doing the right thing.” And you want to learn whatever you have to learn about sex as soon as you can. So now statistics say that half of fifteen year olds have already had sex. So, you know, this is what we’re dealing with, and the thousands of sexual messages that we’re getting through the media, subtly or grossly.

There is a Christian book called Every Man’s Battle written by two Christian men who grew up in a home in which their father was viewing pornography. It was like all over the place so they got to see it. So this book is about how they grew up addicted to pornography, as Christian men, as good Christian men, as married men, and their battle dealing with lust, not just addiction to pornography but addiction to sexual lust. I’ve heard them talk about it. And it’s interesting because they were able to conquer their addiction but it took a while. It took them months and months and months but they were able to conquer it, and they really worked on it and they did it. So we can do it also.