What is the difference between having sex with multiple partners (called promiscuity) and having sex with one individual ? If there is no sign of God penalizing you, if society is not prudish about it, and if pregnancy and sexual diseases can be avoided, why limit yourself to a long and boring monogamous relationship when you can have sex with multiple partners, a few nights here, a few weeks there, over and over again? There are people who apparently live long and healthy lives despite adhering to such an obviously decadent lifestyle. While the naked eye may see nothing wrong with it (pun intended), the third eye might.
Youth is a fragile period when boundaries are fluid and ethical values are not yet established, when there is a surfeit of energy but no balance of mind or depth of perception. During this phase, insecure and ignorant men and women lost in the merry company of debauched friends often succumb to peer pressure and undertake foolhardy actions which can trap them in lifelong vices. Gaining experience in alcohol, sex and drugs is mistakenly regarded as a sign of maturity. On three occasions in his youth, Mahatma Gandhi was inadvertently drawn by friends into a tryst with prostitutes but escaped narrowly due to his childlike timidity or his nascent ethical personality. He related these episodes in response to a question on the power of Ramanama (i.e. the chanting of the name “Rama”). This article first appeared in the Navjivan (“new life”) newspaper that Gandhi used to publish from Ahmedabad.
What exactly is this singular phenomenon called the “crush” or “love at first sight” during which the breath quickens, the cheeks become flushed, the voice quivers, and the heart continues pounding without respite? People often assume that a “crush” is an instinct originating irrefutably from the soul/psychic but according to the Mother Mirra Alfassa, it is just another example of an irrational vital process. The region from the throat to the heart tends to be buoyant and vulnerable to certain physical images giving rise to these fads we denote as a “crush“.
These are some general observations by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa on topics related to sexuality: sex education; touching; whether indulgence, starving the flesh or mixing freely can alleviate sexual difficulties encountered in spiritual practice. This article follows on the previous articles on this subject: Should women dress modestly?, Sublimation of the sexual urge through Yoga and The transmutation of sexual energy.
For centuries, religious clerics have railed against women for tempting men with their seductive and skimpy clothing, and sought to sequester them and restrict their dress choices. Such rash and narrow social impositions often create a deceptive illusion of purity without addressing the sexual turbulence which continues unabated within the individual consciousness. A more sagacious solution has to be based on the recognition of the complexity of human consciousness. This article examines some insights provided by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (Mirra Alfassa) on this matter.
The path of Yoga demands the difficult task of transmuting the sexual energy(Retas) into spiritual vigor(Ojas) as discussed in a previous post. Sex is a natural urge implanted in human beings for the procreation of the species but when indulged in excess, it leads to the degradation of the soul. The spiritual solution lies neither in forced suppression nor licentious expression but moderation through the application of progressive self-control. There is usually a period of struggle, which varies depending on past-life development, before the individual consciousness evolves to a stage where the sexual urge drops off naturally. How you pace yourself in this conversion is upto you. This post brings together some observations on the sublimation of sexual energy derived from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
In this excerpt from Kishor Gandhi’s book Light on life-problems, Sri Aurobindo eludicates on the spiritual purpose behind the transmutation of sexual energies and whether psychological disorders can be caused by abstinence. Please note that this exchange occurred in the early twentieth century and therefore contains references to some personalities who were prominent at that time.