Sex is, was and will remain the biggest issue in men and women’s lives. It is craved and yet it is taboo! It is desired, hated, dreamed about, grabbed forcefully, wished for and condemned – all at the same time! This is the eternal truth about sex! Man is bound in it and bound by it; he cannot live without it, and yet all religious authorities, gurus, swamis and yogis collectively condemn it! But humanity is obsessed with sex! What a dilemma for poor human beings!
We need to understand that sex is a basic instinct given to all beings - animals, birds, mammals, reptiles and humans - by nature.Nature is a creation of god and god is great! Is that not true? If your answer is yes, then nature cannot be impure, and its creations - the body and sex are not impure either.
Sex is, was and will remain the biggest issue in men and women’s lives. It is craved and yet it is taboo! It is desired, hated, dreamed about, grabbed forcefully, wished for and condemned – all at the same time! This is the eternal truth about sex!Sex is the energy to create a new life; sex is a source of enjoyment too. Human beings understand thelanguage of touch and they desire a loving and affectionate touch. A baby sleeps peacefully when stroked lovingly by its mother. The hand of a husband, wife, friend, colleague, mother or father, placed reassuringly on the shoulder is always a morale booster. When a loved one pats our head, Oh! We love it. Human beings understand the language of touch. Touch gives a physical expression to our innermost feelings. We love to be held, cuddled and embraced. We have to accept this first and then we can move deeper into the subject.
Men and women are complementary to one another, therefore a mutual attraction occurs. With the growth of the body and mind, the surging hormones lead to attraction. No one teaches a boy and a girl to like one another or to want one another; to woo one another or to go on a date etc. Rather, society in general wishes to keep them apart, as parent’s fear that something wrong may happen. Well, what new will happen that the parents themselves have not done? Even so, girls in a family grow under the watchful eagle-eye of parents, brothers and other family members. But can they really be stopped? The truth is that boys and girls will remain boys and girls, and therefore the more they are denied proximity, the more they will be attracted to one another.
At one time, it was during college that girls and boys would have their first sexual encounter, but now it is happening as early as the school level. Today children have better information even without their parents or teachers explaining what sex is.
Mr Duttta thought it was the right time to teach his growing younger son Amit, all about the birds and the bees. It was difficult for the father to explain everything to his young son, so he tried his level best to use the right words, diluted the terms, attempted the right usage of sentences in order to explain this natural phenomenon occurring between the opposite sexes. After two hours of explaining, exhausted and flushed he asked Amit, “Have you understood.” The son nodded a big yes and went out to his elder brother Rohit who was playing in the ground. “What happened inside,” asked Rohit. Amit said, “Nothing much, what we were doing with the girls yesterday behind the cars, well, father says the birds and the bees do the same.”
Whenever society says no to something, they are actually giving a hidden invitation to do that very thing. A mental attitude is formed that it must be something good and exciting that is allowed to adults alone and not to children and teenagers. Slowly children learn in their own Columbus-style explorations what it is that is being kept a secret from them. Earlier this information came from older friends, nowadays it is the internet where all information is available, and lest you forget, on the net pornography is shown in its true colors.
I ask all readers, can you say that you or your children haven’t watched a pornographic site? Just surprise your children by suddenly appearing behind them when they are doing their so called school project on the computer. Today, when pornography is available right on your mobile, how can you shut your eyes to this and how can you stop your children from experiencing it before time? Yes, it is a social norm at least in India, that sex is acceptable only after marriage. So girls are being educated in order to become eligible for marriage to the right boy. And get married for what? You know it, don’t you?
Sometimes boys and even girls break this rule and have their fun. Married people are definitely into it; the unmarried are waiting for their licence. On the other hand there are monks and nuns living in ashrams and monasteries who have been asked to shun sex totally. They do try hard, very hard! So hard that they begin to have nightfalls – aka wet dreams! The bolder ones masturbate and the even bolder ones look for a mate. Then there are still others who feel so guilty that the next morning they will pray all the more ardently, telling their beads with vigor and feelings of guilt. Monasteries do not allow spicy food – food that incites sexual feelings. Men and women are kept apart so that no accidents happen. Day and night sermons are given that sex is bad, filthy, a sin and hated by God.
Every other day we hear stories of gurus sexually exploiting their disciples, and whether or not these stories are true, everyone is ready to believe them, as people know from their first-hand experience that it is the most difficult thing to control oneself. Anyhow, church and temple authorities, have been accused of sexual molestation; children are the targets of pedophile priests and gurus. All those who denounce sex have been found to be guilty of that which they speak against! So the bhogi - those who indulge in sex - and the tyagi – the renunciate – are both involved in it. In a way, all of society seems to berevolving around sex.
Why is society so conscious of fashion, dressing up, money, status, family and success? Well, it is for sex! Suppose you are holed up at home or marooned on an isolated island with no one around you, would you still dress up and show off your body, brains or money? Man can live without money, name and fame, but cannot live without sex. No wonder children are produced even in poverty! They are just born accidentally!
If you analyze your mental attitudes, you will learn that their roots go deeper than the level of mere thought. All the roots of your attitudes lie in the primitive fountains: food, sex, sleep and self-preservation. More then anything else it is sex which is the most alluring and powerful root that triggers impulsive reactions in the body and mind. It is a strange dilemma of man. What can be done about this? First and foremost we need to understand that sex can’t be bad, otherwise god wouldn’t have created it. And if god has created sex then there must be some purpose to it. Indeed, a purpose is there!
At the physical and mental level sex is a great stress reliever and pleasure giver; procreation happens because of sex. If your parents had not had sex then you wouldn’t have been born, right? So we were born because of our parent’s sexual activity. All avatars, gurus, yogis, devotees, bhaktas, scientists, poets, ordinary and extra ordinary beings have been born of sexual activity. So indeed sex is a good thing – right? Do you agree? Well! You should!
At the spiritual level it is said that when a mentally and spiritually evolved man and woman first had sex, it was the time when the first glimpse of beyond-ness was experienced. The first lightning experience of divinity happened in that moment. As the couple was highly intelligent, they started working on it, understanding, exploring what it was and what it meant. Maybe hereafter the existence of something beyond, an higher energy, an higher being - God - was realized. As per Hindu scriptures they were none other than Shiva and Parvati. This divine couple is adored and worshipped; their teachings are meditated upon. This happened many many kalpas ago - exactly when can’t be stated in chronological terms. There is a system in Vedic mathematics to understand how many trillion years there are in one kalpa - and this happened many kalpas ago. This story has travelled to us in time.
Our seers worked intensively to understand why the urge for sex is there, why man behaves in certain ways when he is around women. Animals have a fixed mating season but human beings have no fixed season; they are always involved in it. After years of observation they came to various conclusions which were not random but arrived at after a critical analysis of hundreds and thousands of men and women. They laid down certain rules to explore sex and also ways to sublimate it.
In Vedic times human life was assumed to be of one hundred years, and was divided into four ashrams or schools – brahmacharaya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyas. Girls and boys were sent to a gurukul to study subjects like astrology, mathematics, yoga, psychology and Sanskrit. While living in a pious environment, children were exposed to a rigorous discipline and higher learning. On completion of their studies, it was suggested that they marry a person of their choice. Many people live for sex, but when the opportunity comes they cannot enjoy it. To experience this enjoyment, a person needs inner strength and sometimes that is not there. Sometimes due to food habits, lack of rest or lack of quality sleep, the body is not coordinated with the mind. Then you find yourself incapable of some actions or of behaving correctly while performing the sexual act; this leads to apprehension. Gurukul trained people to bestrong of mind and body and to lead a disciplined life.
Sex can be very harmful and unproductive if it is done without love. Some people do it like a physical exercise, but this is not a healthy way to approach sex. Your appetite for food is directly related to your body, but sex is not directly related to your body. Unless the thought or feeling comes into your mind,you cannot perform sex. Sexuality occurs in the mind first, and is then expressed through the body. The desire for food occurs in the body first and later affects the mind. Therefore our sages laid great stress on the importance of training the mind and the brain through various yogic postures and methods of dharana and dhyan to achieve the desired balance.
A couple who is well educated and has meditated and served their masters, have all the required patience, tolerance, control and education about body and mind. One who has not trained the bodycannot really enjoy sex.
Thus, for years before entering into matrimony, both were trained morally, physically and intellectually, so that when marriage took place, life would be enriched with beautiful colors. Sex between those who respect and love one another can be a great experience. And after twenty-five years of sexual experiences, both man and woman would outgrow the need for sex. But remember, the experience of sex for intelligent loving couples can give rise to the wisdom for them to come out of it.
Once they would cross the age of fifty, both would begin to prepare to hand over the family responsibility to the older son. They’d prepare to move from grihastha ashram to vanaprastha ashram, dedicating more time to sadhana. And if either of the partners would desire sex, then maybe they would revert to the guru and gurukul, to take up intensive and dedicated practices for the remainder of their life.
But we are living in a very different society where the ashram system is hardly practiced. This means that the full responsibility to train ourselves is ours. Sex begins from a thought in the head and then the brain, supported by glandular systems, arouses the body. If the mind is calm and the brain is balanced, then the urges won’t be there; it would be more like a system which is well managed and is used when a conscious decision to use it is made. Sex has to be experienced with wisdom and the knowledge that it won’t give permanent peace; it is just a temporary method to feel good.
It can’t give you ananda, not from this woman nor from that one; not from this man nor from that handsome hulk. Sex as such won’t last for more than a few minutes, so how can it give you long lasting happiness? If you still wish to – go ahead and enjoy.
Question: Can a good experience of sex give us the understanding to come out of it?
Answer: No, it won’t give the understanding to come out of sex; do not jump to conclusions. The whole world is sexed up, having loads of sex. Are they getting wiser and coming out of it? No, they are not. Wisdom may or may not come with direct experience. Sometimes highly evolved sages who had matured to the level of sublimation of sex, are born in their present life with wisdom, hence they do not have to go back to the same class of sex again.
But yes, they won’t condemn sex either; those who do so are definitely not wise. Wisdom and experience may happen side by side, or wisdom alone may be sufficient to come out of it. As long as sex is needed, one should not deny oneself, but if it becomes an obsession, then something definitely needs to be done. As a dry leaf simply drops off the branch, similarly one day the sex urge wanes.
Question: Is sex a hindrance to spiritual practice?
Answer: No, sex isn’t a hindrance, but understand that if your mind thinks about sex compulsively orsuppresses sex, then it is a hindrance. It is just like if you are hungry you eat food; eating is not bad but if someone keeps thinking about food - that is sick! If sexual thoughts are overpowering your mind, then how can you focus on anything else? If the mere sight of a woman or a girl is enough to arouse you, then there is a problem. Do not be sexually starved and do not treat sex at just the physical level. Sex minus love is animalistic where each partner is using the other for pleasure and release.
It amounts to treating a person like an object - no one likes that! When sex is the end purpose of a relationship, there will be frustrations, agitations and accusations. There will be a struggle to overpower one another. When husband and wife are wrestling with one another, then how can one come out of the need for sex? Sex should happen when they understand each other love and respect each another - then sex can be beautiful and will help to move deeper in love. From mere copulation it will lead to a spiritual union. Human beings need love - not just sex or physical touch. Love satisfies the mind, sex doesn’t.
Question: How can we avoid thinking about Sex?
Answer: You will think about it if you want to think about it. When you have nothing meaningful to do then sexuality will fill the space. If your heart and mind is filled with music, creativity, poetry and prayer, can there be room for anything else? When you experience bliss from within, then sex won’t even come in your distant thoughts.
Man is looking for joy and happiness. If he knows where it is in its concentrated, truest and purest form - that is in divine love - then he will never ever be satisfied with sex alone, which has just the weakest ray of joy in it and yet seems so tempting to everybody.
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