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How do yogis and saints restrain themselves from sense pleasures when there's much to enjoy in life?

This is a marvelous question, and, as usual, I will share from my personal experience.

I am neither a saint nor a yogi, however, all such things dissolved on their own accord by placing my deep longing, my attention, and my love on my Spiritual Guide.

Now, that is a recipe for complete, total disaster, IF, your Spiritual Guide is not at the pinnacle of purity themselves.

I didn’t get lucky in that regard, I hit the jackpot.

The wonderful Master, Babuji, felt my earnest longing in his infinite field and brought me to and into himself. Very naturally, as I grew into this sacred environment all sense pleasures bid farewell without struggle, not overnight, but in a natural way.

Now, I struggled for sure, too many times to count, but that was because I didn’t yet have the faith, courage, or ability to understand the help I was being given.

From the Master’s perspective, they are not at all concerned, they are completely aware that you will reach your goal, because of their own ability, not because of my lack of ability.

This is because of one very beautiful word that we need to bring back to the mainstream: GRACE.

I have a little joke that man’s greatest invention is foolishness because without it there is no need for Grace!

Now in centuries and decades past, yogis did all sorts of intense practices to kill off the senses. There is no use in such self-denial as Buddha discovered.

It all comes down to this:

The urge for reproduction is infused by nature to preserve creation. Nothing wrong with it.

The difficulty arises from our focusing on the repetition of the feeling and elaborating with all sorts of mental fantasies.

The more we think about something - ANYTHING, we are giving it power. More and more power.

Eventually, we can’t overcome the power we ourselves infused in such thoughts and we get stuck in a loop. This happens with sadness, anxiety, depression, and more. We have great difficulty overcoming the inertia of the ever more powerful loop of thought.

This wreaks havoc upon, not only the mind but the body.

Babuji’s solution is quite brilliant. He knew the world would be heading down this course and he wanted to offer the best service to help us turn things around.

He (and his Master, Lalaji) therefore reintroduced what they call pranahuti or transmission.

This subtle energy is above the mind's frequency waves and when the mind receives the higher transmission, it gladly welcomes it and balances itself.

For example:

Our mind is like the ocean. Waves are easily stirred up especially when the storms roll in (our life challenges).

The surface activity is out of control.

However, above this is the Sun.

The sun’s rays are always steady - a steady state.

They dissipate the clouds of difficulties and the surface of our ocean mind becomes much more steady too.

This is the specialty of meditation with transmission as offered by Babuji’s method (now Master Daaji).

The mind settles and you go deep into a wonderful regulated state in the very first meditation with a trainer.

Now, many people like to hang on to old methods. It’s okay.

But, do you like your mobile phone or would you prefer to stay with a rotary dial and cord?

Evolve we must and we are. It is good to utilize more efficient methods to solve our needs than cling to old ideas that are out of step with life today.

The same holds true for Babuji’s transmission. We can easily feel it and experience the steadying results with little effort on our part.

I put that in the ballpark of Grace.

So, here is the thing, Babuji never said to deny ourselves anything of this world. He himself was married, worked a job, and had children.

What he says is we just need to fly with both wings. The spiritual wing and the material wing. If one wing flaps harder than the other, we just go around in a circle. Babuji’s successor, Daaji, added a significant addition to this, he said, we also need to use those tail feathers like a rudder to steer and navigate through both spheres of our life.

So, please, no worries about denying the pleasures of the world, just balance life and the mind by using the higher energy to regulate ourselves, so we find immense inner peace and balance.

I met these beautiful traveling monks in 2020 when I was visiting Kanha Shanti Vanam, the ashram headquarters of Heartfulness and home of Daaji. They were super sweet souls.

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