Understanding Sex, Love And Religion
Question: If sex is normal and natural, then why have gurus, mahatmas and prophets denounced it? Why have they said no to it?
Answer: This is a gross misrepresentation, a wrong interpretation of facts. They have not denounced sex – I do not think any of them have done so. Yes, Buddha and Mahavira did but they had a reason for it; those who did not, also had a reason for it. There is nothing which the seers say that is unreasonable; every master has his own individual approach to the subject.
Sometimes it is the inability of the disciples to clearly decipher what the Master actually means, therefore they interpret his statements according to their limited understanding. There is often a big difference between what is said and meant by a master and what is understood by the disciples! What is meant is not really understood most of the time. And what is not said is taken literally as meant! It is very difficult to monitor and control what people are going to make of the words spoken by the Master.
The mating cycles of animals are seasonal and controlled by nature. Animals do not mate throughout the year; in human beings there is no fixed season or cycle. Though the sex hormones are controlled by the body, they are not sensitive to seasons, and so human beings have the flexibility and freedom to choose the time and duration of the sex act. Human beings have an highly evolved brain – a tool animals lack. Humans have the liberty to choose when, where and how much sex they would like to have.
Now the question is: What does sex do for you? This is something which must be understood before you condemn or glorify sex; before you reject it or extol its virtues. What does it give you? – this is a very important question. 99.9 percent human beings have sex because their body demands it of them. It is not the mind, remember that it is the body that demands and requires sex! The glandular system of the human body is made in such a way that after the age of 12 – though this age limit is receding and is even 10 in some cases – but 11 to 12 years is the average global age when the hormones begin to be secreted in the human body.
In the female body it is estrogen and progesterone, and in the male it is the hormone testosterone which is secreted in the sex glands. There are major glands working right from your brain to your genitals. There are multiple glands which function and when these chemicals are released in the body, it goes through a change; the mind too goes through a tumultuous change.
Before these hormones are activated, five or six year-old children are happy to be in one another’s company irrespective of sex. But today, because of the early and excessive exposure to media, children are aware of their physical differences much before their time, even when they are not mentally ready to handle the information. Till the age of 5 to 6 years, if you put children together, they may get inquisitive about each other’s body – just to see the differences – but they don’t get sexually excited. Why is that? Because there are no hormones yet; there are no chemical secretions in the bodies which excite them. At that time there is an absolute absence of sex or sexuality in the child’s body.
As the body grows, the glands begin to function and secrete hormones; the body begins to undergo changes. In our brain, there are areas which assist the chemicals to raise urges in the body, and when this urge is present, it needs to be satisfied; and it will be satisfied one way or the other. In the past, even in pre-historical times if I may say, there was no society, no religion, no morality, and men and women lived exactly as any animal would. Whenever they felt the urge or the excitement, there was no restriction on them, there was no moral binding and so they would copulate anywhere and anytime. Slowly various aspects of civilization entered the picture – morality, ethics and social discipline. When, how, what, why, where: all these things came into the picture.
The urge for sex is perfectly natural. We never denounce anyone who says he is hungry; well, if they are hungry you serve food. But if someone says I am sexually hungry? No one will dare to say it in public! He might be the most lecherous or libidinous person, but he would never ever express it verbally. Given the situation, such people will not verbalize their need, but their mind and body will be highly stimulated.
Question: What does sex give? Momentary pleasure and momentary release of stress! What gives satisfaction? Is it the act or is it the seminal release which gives satisfaction?
What exactly happens? I am talking from the physiological point of view. Keep aside spirituality, religion and all that stuff for the time being. The physical touch and intimacy is there, but we are not talking about intimacy or companionship. We are talking about the hardcore truth of sexual release. What happens at that time?
Answer: An electric current flows from the hypothalamus to the genitals at the moment of ejaculation – and time stops for a fraction of a moment – this is what everyone is looking for. Everything before that is just preparation, but the whole essence of the sexual act can be summarized into this one point. It is a high point – but after this one high point there is a big low. The big low is that this isn’t going to give you satisfaction for long and the mind will again hanker after that moment. It isn’t going to give you real contentment, and the mind which receives stimulation from so many areas again develops a false hunger for sex which keeps on growing.
Our scriptures say that at the time of seminal discharge, it isn’t just the semen which is lost but also ojas. When translated into English, ojas means the cosmic bio-energy, the energy which makes your body function. It is that unseen energy which runs the bio-electrical forces in your body. And this body is just like a machine which needs fuel; this fuel comes from ojas.
Ojas is formed partly from the nutrition that comes from food, and largely from the pranic force. It is not just the food but the cosmic pranic energy which runs your whole system. The six major systems cannot function if there is no ojas in the body.
At the moment of release, it is not just ojas and semen which is lost, but also ojas the bio-fuel of the body. This depletes the energy of the body and the mind.
What is the mind? It is the invisible part of your body. And what is the body? We can say that it is the gross aspect of the mind. With pranic energy, the mind and body are able to function in conjunction. Sexual contact might give you a release at the physical level, but what you lose is something which is unseen, but very valuable. That is the reason why all the Masters talk about understanding the urge, understanding the fact, understanding what you will get and understanding what you will lose in the act of sex.
The yogis went far ahead of this level too. I am talking about those yogis who understood the functioning of the pranic energy in the body; who of their own will could stop their heartbeat and pulse; those who had mastered the body in such a mind boggling way. They gave a very deep thought to the subject of sex. A man needs sex for that is how nature has made man. It is not just for procreation – there are some hidden purposes too. In itself, sex is beautiful, but what you lose is so big that it cannot be compensated by anything else.
This pranic energy is the most important thing in your spiritual practice and the yogis went a step ahead. They said: sex gives the mind a single moment of happiness – can that moment be created without the physical act? And the answer is…. Yes! The answer is yes! And from this ‘yes’ the whole mechanism was explored and amazing methodologies were born. A male doesn’t need a female and a female doesn’t need a male for that one moment of happiness – just by using their own pranic energy they can experience that moment when this electric current is passed from the hypothalamus to the genitals – without losing semen an orgasmic experience can be gained.
Understand that sex is not centered in the genital organs but in the brain. It is not between the legs; it arises in the brain. If one knows how to handle the brain waves then anything is possible. No woman or man can give an orgasmic experience such as the one experienced by oneself without a partner. The Vama Marga Tantra describes beautiful methods for couples to experience their first ever experience of divinity in meditativeness. This experience is only possible between a couple who are deeply in love and who are deeply dedicated to one another. With training, a perfect moment can be achieved between an evolved couple.
Shiva’s Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Sutra talks about it and in my understanding this is the oldest and the first original scripture where hundred and twelve methods of the inward journey have been explained by Shiva to his beautiful consort and disciple Parvati. Even in Yogini Tantra Shastra, there are methods which were taught to men and women – ways to transcend animal sex – without denouncing sex and without labeling it as bad or as a sin. Sex is neither bad nor ugly; sexuality is. Shiva has described sex in such a beautiful way that it has got a spiritual color.
No wonder we have temples like Khajuraho and the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, where sex is depicted as being godly in its purity. These beautiful places are symbols of our intelligent forefathers who never condemned sex, yet today people view these places as symbols of erotica. And I see it as a sign of humanity’s journey; different planes through which every individual consciousness has to pass; from the physical plane to the mental, and from the mental to the spiritual, and finally to a plane where there is no label at all – where there is total shoonyata; total silence.
Coming back to the aspect of physical release, actually this depletes you of your pranic energy. The seers gave a serious thought to this. They felt that if it is a matter of only one moment, then why can it not be achieved without the physical act? Then there would be no dependance for men and women – every man is a slave to his wife and every wife is a slave to her husband – just for sex. If we eliminate the urge for sex, which can be done very easily – one injection of particular chemicals will make you a perfect celibate for a small period of time – then you will not get excited even if the most curvaceous woman is standing stark naked in front of you, because your brain will not react to the visual.
Yoga masters have devised methods by which you can experience the high moment for not just a small time but for hours together; you can remain in the orgasmic state without going into the physical act and without losing your pranic energy. On the contrary, your pranic energy and ojas levels are elevated.
But people who could not understand this, knew that it is difficult to deal with weaknesses of the mind and the attractions of the physical world. The easiest way was to simply denounce sex and to run away from it. They labelled it as bad, but it is definitely not a sin. If you indulge in sex without understanding it, then you are just an animal. Once more I will say that it’s not bad, it’s not ugly, and it’s not sinful.
All those who have denounced it were unwise. There have been contradictory reactions to this whole thing – there have been people who have denounced it and there have been people who have glorified it. Two contradictory and opposite definitions have been given to it. One says: Leave it, throw it, it is dirty, it is sin! Another school of thought says: It is the most beautiful thing, have as much as you can.
People’s lives, their whole thinking and life style revolves around sex. Clothes, jewellery, cars, houses, jobs: man is striving so hard to attain all this to impress women or win women. Why does a woman spend hours and hours on looking beautiful? The only objective is sex.
This is their only avenue for stress release, appreciation, attention and happiness. They have firsthand information on it in their subconscious from scores of previous lives, which they may not be able to recollect at the conscious level. And the urge to be in that one moment is so huge that all the munis, mahatamas, sadhus and gurus denounce it; ordinary people too say, “Oh! It is bad!” And yet everybody ends up having sex. Sadhus make people take a vow that on particular days they will abstain, but somehow the vow is broken and then the guilt takes over! And out of guilt they end up giving huge donations to their religious institutions so that they are pardoned.
Every grown-up, every adult and every teenager should know what sex is all about. Every one should know and understand what sex is and what it will give you.
A young boy was very frustrated because his girlfriend had ditched him. He wanted her but she was not interested. Then one day he dared to propose to her and she straightaway rejected him. He came to me and said that he was going through hell; the girl he loved had rejected him; there was no hope for him and he felt like committing suicide. I said, “You are a young man and it is natural for you to be attracted to a girl, but why do you think that there will be only one girl in your life? You are handsome and you will get many girls!” When I said this, he started believing my words. “Oh! Gurumaa is saying this! Maybe it’s a prophecy that I will get many girls!” Therefore he started listening to me more attentively!
I said, “There is something lacking in you, you don’t have the aura which can attract females.” He said, “How can I get it?” “Well,” I said, “You need to do certain things.” By chance at that time I had Hatha Yoga Pradipika with me. In it there is a shloka which says that those who regularly practice Ashtanga Yoga, Kapalbhati and Ujjayi Pranayama, get a moon-like glow on their faces and they shine like love; like God! They drink divine ambrosia and their body glows such that even heavenly woman are attracted to them – to the man who has mastered his body and mind. I said, “Read this.” Now this was a game, a scriptural endorsement of what I had said. I said, “For now if you do this, you will begin to develop an aura and then you will shine; the day you shine, there will be a line of girls for you.”
He started practicing what I had said. I knew the whole game inside out, but he never knew what my game was! After a month or so, he came to me again and said, “Gurumaa, I have something to say: “Now that I am doing as you have instructed, I am very much at peace and now my heart is not troubled. I also feel very energetic. But the problem is that if I go deeper into this, I will not have any urge left for any girl! I said, “Well! That is my whole objective – that you do not become a slave of any woman for sex!”
Once you have tasted the nectar of divinity, you can no longer behave like an animal; you cannot remain a libidinous person who just thinks and dreams of sex alone.
I would like to explain the psychology of women: a woman is more satisfied with a man who treats her at the level of the mind and does not just use her body. Most wives hate their husbands; they feel they are wanted just for sex – as if they are just a body; they are used and abused. Husbands and wives just use one another, so hatred begins to brim deep in their minds and that is one of the reasons for unreasonable bickering and fighting. They can’t really identify or understand the cause of their hurting one another, as they do not have a deep understanding of their mind and emotions.
It is hard to find a husband and wife who don’t fight or who don’t accuse one another. For any small error, mistake or mishap in their life, they begin to accuse one another. If a child falls sick, or fails in a school exam, they accuse one another.
A woman needs to be treated with love and respect. Every man wants to be appreciated loved and respected; if he sees that his wife is loving only when she needs money, then how can he be happy? If a woman sees that the whole day her husband ignores her and abuses her, but at night he wants sex, she won’t see this as an act of love – on the contrary she will hate him all the more for it. A woman will be satisfied with a man who treats her at the level of her mind, who gels with her emotions and listens to her thoughts. Sex is a basic need of the body, as love is the need of the mind. Loveless sex is equivalent to rape; today the law too recognizes this and they call it marital rape, where the husband forces himself on his wife against her wish. Human beings want love, attention, understanding and companionship – sex is just one part of the relationship.
Loveless sex is a trap and most people are ignorantly bound in it. Say someone puts you in confinement, you are imprisoned in jail – but it is a fantastic jail. It’s a palace with all luxuries and comforts. Once I was the guest of a rich person who was staying in Burj-al-Arab, one of the most luxurious eight-star hotels in the world. Think of richness, luxury, opulence and it was there. A most fantastic sea-view, all bathroom fittings in gold, a personal butler – the list goes on and on. But what if you are imprisoned in this opulent room; you are provided with the best of champagne, food and clothes, but you cannot leave, you cannot go out of the room?
Sex at the level of the body is just like a jail; you get tempted and you get relief, but you cannot come out of it. Understand that your body has a limit, but the mind has no limit – that is why people remain mentally dissatisfied, even if they go through scores of partners.
Guru says don’t indulge in this futile thing; it isn’t going to give you anything at all, it will just extract your energy, your life and your aura. The time which could have been devoted to understanding your inner journey is being wasted. Do not waste it! Sex was not condemned per se, but for the waste of the quality time spent on it that could have been used to achieve a much higher purpose.
Do you have any idea how much time people spend thinking about sex? Just think of how much time people spend looking for it. Hours and hours of precious life are being given to grooming yourself and decorating yourself so that you attract the opposite sex’s attention. The young in mind and body spend hours and hours beautifying themselves, so that they may get the best life partner. And yet, are those who have, really happy with their life, or are even they looking for something else?
They aren’t, because the mind is still going to run the race. A mind obsessed with sex, will miss so much in life. Sex is not bad but the obsession with sex is wrong. Sex can be a useful tool but it can’t be made the sole objective of life. Sex is a lower rung on the staircase of life; one has to keep on moving higher and higher to experience fullness and to attain evolvement.
Question: Many gurus and yogis like Ramakrishna and others were married?
Answer: Yes, they were very much married. One’s guruship is not endangered because one in married. Those who understood the mechanisms of the mind and the body knew how to use them; they had the eyes to see beauty in all phases of life. Beauty is very fragile, you can destroy it with your ignorance, and you can also create it and see it in the dirtiest thing. As such, nothing is dirty and nothing is beautiful – how you receive and perceive it, present and use it is what makes sense of it. Most of the Masters in India were married. There were others like Narada, Sanatan, Sant Kumar, Ashtavakra and Shukdev, who chose to remain unmarried. But it was just a personal choice and they never made it mandatory for every seeker. The majority of the Masters were married and some of them were even married more than once.
Yagnyavalka married twice and lived happily with both wives, till a time came when he wished to remain alone. He asked his wives to divide the property amongst themselves, but one of them said that his true knowledge was the treasure in which she was interested, and so she would go along with him and he would have to share with her whatever he gained. But the other wife was happy with material possessions so she stayed back. The Masters knew what sex can give and what it cannot give. These were the only people who could actually use sex appropriately. Those who don’t know are just led by their urges; they indulge in it and the act happens unconsciously. In Vama Marga Tantra, sex is one of the tools for meditation. No normal man or woman can even think of attempting these methods as they were designed for spiritual practitioners, those who had gone beyond the urges of mind and body, who had attained purity, integrity and high levels of concentration. Today the entire Western world knows Tantra as the Eastern art of lovemaking; it is a total devaluation of Tantra.
Question: What is the mechanism of romantic attachments. We may know ten people but we are attracted to one or maybe two, but not to all. Why?
Answer: Simple, Attraction happens wherever the personalities of individuals are complementary! Nothing more than that. Sometimes it is the mind and at other times the feelings. At still other times it is habits or choices. And sometimes it is feelings and sometimes it is habits. The plain truth is that most of the time it is just physical attraction – the rest we justify with issues of compatibility.
Attraction happens at multiple levels. The story of Laila and Majnu is world famous; Laila was not a good-looking girl; she was dark, short and not from a royal family, but Majnu was head over heels in love with her. Majnu was greatly disturbed as they could not meet. He was so emotionally disturbed, that even the emperor took pity on him. Seeing his pathetic state, the emperor lined up the most beautiful women for him and asked him to choose any number of them, but to forget all about Laila. The emperor said he had heard that Laila was not even beautiful. Majnu said,” Thanks, but to see the beauty of Laila, you need to have the eyes of Majnu. Only I can see how beautiful she is. Even if God comes to me, I will look at Him only if he comes in the form of Laila.” So attraction has very strange rules, and the best that can be said is that it can be illogical, yet we will find the logic to define our attraction.