Beware of Maya (delusion), you will have to be very, very careful. During the period of practice, avoid the company of men/women. You must never mix with them however strong you may be. Maya works through under-currents so stealthily that you may not be aware of your actual downfall.
Keep the mind fully occupied with spiritual pursuits. Keep yourself at the farthest distance from everything that would stir up your passions. Then only you will be safe. Do not live with householders. Do not test your spiritual strength and purity when you are a beginner on the spiritual path. Do not rush into evil associations when you are a spiritual neophyte to show that you have the courage to face sin and impurity. It will be a serious mistake. You will be running into a grave danger. You will have a quick downfall. A small fire will be very easily extinguished by a heap of dust.
Mind has a great power of imitation. That is the reason why a spiritual aspirant is prohibited from mixing with householders. His mind will try to imitate the minds of worldlings. Downfall will ensue. If an aspirant moves with rich people, royals, his mind begins to imitate the luxurious habits of these people and, ere long, he gets an unconscious downfall. Certain bad habits creep in him unconsciously. And he finds it difficult to tear out or remove these bad habits. After forty, it is difficult to tear out old habits and establish new healthy habits.
An aspirant can live only for a short time in his native place if there is an urgent call. Yogic rules and laws cannot permit him to stay there for a sufficiently long period, however suitable the place may be and whatever may be the degree of Vairagya (dispassion) of the aspirant. The force of Impressions are tremendous. Unless all the impressions are thoroughly burnt through pure thoughtless state, it is not safe for one to stay for a long time in one’s own native place. He is still within the danger zone.
After seclusion for five years, the aspirant should test his mental state by coming into the world and mixing with the worldly people. If there is no attraction for objects, he can be quite sure that he has reached the third stage wherein the mind is thinned out like a slender thread.
How lust develops?
From the bed of impressions and subtle desires emanates imagination, through memory. Then comes attachment. Along with imagination, emotion and impulse manifest. Emotion and impulse exist side by side. Then comes sexual irritation, sexual craving, excitement and burning in the mind and throughout the body. The irritation and burning in the mind penetrate into the physical body just as water in the pot penetrates into the surface of the pot. If you are very vigilant, you can drive off the imagination itself in the very beginning and avert the danger. Even if you allow the thief imagination to enter the first gate, keep a careful watch at the second gate when the irritation manifests. You can stop the burning now. You can stop also easily the strong sexual impulse from being transmitted to the Sense itself. Draw the sex energy up towards the brain through yogic practices and mantras. Divert the mind. Pray. Meditate. Tomorrow we will see the methods to control.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda