The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Sex and Spirituality

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The Times of India, delves into the attitude toward sex and spirituality in many Indian traditions.  I post this on the heels of the Catholic Pope finally acknowledging that celibacy in the Catholic Church is only a tradition, not dogma.  I’ve long held, as does this article, that celibacy is against man’s natural instinct and should only be undertaken when a person is well along the spiritual path.

…according to many Indian traditions, the path of spirituality does not preclude sex. In fact, drawing from the divine Krishna tradition, there is a spirit of joy and celebration around the idea of sex and loving union. It follows logically that sex forms a vital part of self-realization. Osho Rajneesh, a modern master, said forced celibacy was not just wrong, it was damaging to the soul of man.
It was against man’s natural instincts. Celibacy as a vow had to be voluntary, and under the guidance of a capable preceptor. Otherwise, there was every possibility of the act of self-mortification destroying the initiate. All Hindu gods had families while several Indian traditions emphasized the sense of the sensual.
However, other streams of Indian spiritualism also grew, drawing from more severe notions of renunciation. One of the best that exists in Sanatani philosophy on the subject of the human body is Patanjali’s statement, ‘Swa-ang jugupsa, parai asansargah.’ It means that with increasing spiritual insights, with greater realization, with the mind’s constant attachment with truth, there develops apathy for the physical body, and it loses its physical affiliation with others. This is considered a high state of spiritual being, and that is what has made celibacy the plinth of sanyas as many understand it.
Yet, ancient Hindu rishis were known to have families and children. Even modern spiritualists like Swami Ramakrisnha Paramhansa, Lahiri Mahasaya and Sri Yukteswar Giri, the master of Paramahansa Yogananda, were all householders.

Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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