Friday, October 31, 2008

Advaita's reversal

Advaita recently posted the following on his blog.
Pāyūpasthayoś ca tatra sākṣād ayogyatvāt,which says one cannot use the genitals and the anus in Krishna's service, out of context. tatra means 'here', 'in this context', the context being Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 11.627-9, describing several ways in which the active- and knowledge-senses engage directly in Krishna's service, like the head in bowing down, the nose in smelling offered incense and Tulasi, etc., sākṣād means ' directly'. Sanatan Goswami states in the quoted tika that in this context the anus and genitals can not be directly engaged. My friend Brajabhushan personally wrote me last August: 
"Now, regarding your quote from HBV: my understanding is that the ṭīkā-kāra says that 'when describing sādhanā bhakti, various activities related to our senses were mentioned, but those related to anus and genitals were not included as they are not directly (sākṣād) suitable for the service.' That's clear, you will not offer to Krishna such direct 'service' as passing stool in front of Him, nobody would like it, not even a person dearest to you (like your mother, let's say) would like it. Nevertheless, she would like it if you emptied your bowels regularly (in the toilet, of course) as only this way you could maintain your health. I believe Krishna reasons in the same way."

Nice arguments can also be found in my blogs of August 22 and October 1. My friend Boris quoted this verse from Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (8.410), which also mention the genitals (śiṣṇā) as instrument of devotional service:

itaḥ pūrvaṁ prāṇa-buddhi-dharmādhikārato jāgrat-svapna-suṣupty-avasthāsu manasā vācā karmaṇā hastābhyāṁ padbhyām udareṇa śiśnā yat smṛtaṁ yad uktaṁ yat kṛtaṁ tat sarvaṁ śrī-kṛṣṇārpaṇaṁ bhāvatu svāhā māṁ madīyaṁ ca sakalaṁ haraye samarpayāmīti oṁ tat sat (410)
The problem of svarūpa-siddha and aropa-siddha bhakti remains. This latter quote is an example of aropa-siddha, i.e., when one offers one's activities after the fact. Procreation is simply not svarūpa-siddha by any stretch of the imagination. Such offering is necessary as a kind of fail-safe measure for a sādhaka, no matter what he or she does. But it does not engage the question of how the sex organs are to be used in direct devotional service.

Shiva made many good points on this blog here. The critical area is on the level of sādhanā bhakti. Do the sex organs have any function for direct devotional service there?

To say that procreation fulfills that function does not, I am afraid, hit the mark, nor does the quotation of dharmāviruddha-bhūteṣu kāmo'smi when used to support that contention. If one is holding one's nose and thinking of England while producing a child for Krishna, that is hardly svarūpa-siddha bhakti in madhura-rasa.

Anyone who thinks that the only function of sexuality is procreation has not thought the matter through. Is procreation involved in Radha-Krishna's madhura rasa? Since it is not, it means that sexuality has another function, that of LOVE.

If we don't face up to the fact that sexuality (if you don't like the word, use love; it helps) is at the very core of our personality, we will never understand madhura-rasa, nor why it is considered the highest and most complete of the kinds of divine relationship.

We also have to think of our acharyas' admonishments about the difference between sambhogecchātmikā and tad-bhavecchātmikā kāmānugā bhaktis. But that is a little more complex, so let us just say this: Bhakti is carried out on two levels--physical and mental, external and internal. Of the two, Jiva says that the internal is the sādhya, the external is the sādhanā.

Mental is perhaps the wrong word here, because rāgānugā bhakti, carried out in the mind, is also external. Mind here is external to self, and the practices of lila smarana are also meant to achieve the sādhyas of bhāva and prema. The fact that one can perform līlā-smaraa and not get prema is proof enough. Bhāva and prema are beyond the mind.

Stimulus --> memory --> emotion.

If the emotion is related to Krishna, it is bhakti. If that emotion is of the madhura quality, it is madhura bhakti. Since the general rule is that specific stimuli lead to specific memories and then to specific emotions, activities that engage madhura-rasa related senses (erogenous zones), in the mind trained by rāgānugā bhakti, lead to Krishna smaraṇa and then to bhāva.

I would add, of course, that one needs to train the body and mind with yoga as well. The reason for this is precisely because the energies that are awakened when the erogenous zones are stimulated need to be channeled properly, not haphazardly. Though there is no doubt in my mind that undisciplined sexual activity can have some benefit for smaraṇa, such benefit is really very miniscule when compared to sexuality that is controlled by yoga, and performed with a sexual partner who is also a bhakti-yoga practitioner, sādhaka or sādhikā.

Without the mental culture of rāgānugā bhakti, through which powerful symbolic associations are created, linking physical experience to the spiritual, sahaja sādhanā is impossible. Without the physical/psychic culture of yoga, the intensity of that experience is diminished tremendously.

Indeed, the path to bhāva is so strong and direct through devotional engagement of the genitals that it dwarfs all other sādhanās. Nothing concentrates the mind like sex. And nothing in the spiritual world is more intense than the love of Radha and Krishna. That is indeed the very basis for all creation. Avoiding this fact is like looking in a mirror and not seeing your nose. Unless you learn to engage the erogenous faculties in bhakti, your chances of entering madhura-rasa lila are diminished.

harir eṣa na ced avātariṣyat
mathurāyāṁ madirākṣī rādhikā ca
abhaviṣyad iyaṁ vṛthā visṛṣṭir
makarankasya viśeṣatas tad atra

If Krishna had not appeared in Mathura along with Radha, of intoxicated eyes, then this whole creation would have been an exercise in futility, and especially that of Cupid.

If there is no way to dovetail the activities of Desire, who is a form of Krishna, then this entire universe becomes meaningless. For the materialist, desire in itself is the goal, but the devotee has to learn how to take the energy of desire, the raw material of desire, and use it as the fuel for sādhanā.

I would add, of course, that the actual engagement of the genitals may be considered secondary. If one learns to use the energies produced in the nether regions and channel them properly, it may not be necessary. But, to be honest, that is the hard way. The association of a bhakta man with a bhakta woman, who love each other, is the highest and most powerful kind of bhakta sanga. How we have come to this situation where women are association with spiritual doom, even when they are rasika devotees, is quite beyond me.

People are missing the point. We are bhaktas, not jnanis. We are madhura-rasa bhaktas, not shanta-dasya-sakhya-vatsalya rasa bhaktas. This is about turbo charging your sādhanā.


Anonymous said...

The end of sex is downfall of semen..... many jivas are living in it........ when for procreation those scores a jivas die but the continuation one makes the great sacrifice worthwhile.... but when god has sex jivas do not die as its on spiritually plain (creating more jivas) or as some comment that he practices vajroli - means ejaculation without losing the semen. Yogiraj.

Thus in this world to have sex outside of procreation is a sin the murder of innumerable jivas without any benefit.

the last samskara of a person is breaking their skull by the son while burning. accompanied is a vedic mantra which says that for my sake (of giving me birth) you failed to pass through your crown cakra - so in return i must do it for you.

there is no direct statement in any sastra supporting this utilization idea.... all your quotes are interpretations

Anonymous said...

"Thus in this world to have sex outside of procreation is a sin the murder of innumerable jivas without any benefit. "

So then sex wherein there is no ejaculation and no procreation is NOT sinful, such as cunninglingus, fellatio without ejaculation, or intercourse in which ejaculation is withheld?

Anonymous said...

the listed activities are not sex they are doodleings. try and do the last one... vajroli is ejaculation and then bringing it back up.

Anonymous said...

probably different degrees of sin

Anonymous said...

Just doodlings, eh?

Try asking a WOMAN about that....

Anonymous said...

How could cunninglingus or fellatio ever be construed as "sin"? What would be the rationale behind that? Sure, it's not bhakti, but sin?

shiva said...

Jivas are not in all semen, maybe they are just in the ones that are destined to be born, more likely they are put into their baby body right before they are born,it's funny to think that every time you let loose it's a supposed holocaust (50 million sperm are discharged during just one ejaculation in a normal healthy male)

genderdysforia said...

I always felt superguilty after masturbating which in turn resulted in excessive masturbation. The guilt of killing millions of spermatozoÏds was killing me. A vicious circle.
It took me many sessions of RET-therapy to realize that I held some disfunctional cognitions that impaired my mental (and physical) health.

My therapist told me an anecdote of another client of his I reminded him of. A body-builder that used to eat his own sperm after masturbating, because he felt so guilty wasting precious muscle-enhancing proteins in his ejaculate. Among some body-builders this was actually common practice in the seventies and eighties. They won't tell you of course. It's inside information. The governor of California probably did it too. The taste is similar to raw eggs.... which of course (proteins) they also eat and swallow.

My point is..what was it..that some things are just weird behaviors based on weird thoughts. (like declaring sex sin)

Anonymous said...

"it's funny to think that every time you let loose it's a supposed holocaust (50 million sperm are discharged during just one ejaculation in a normal healthy male)""

Yep, that's the male ego for you. "Every sperm has a jiva in it, that's how powerful we are".

Dream on.

Anonymous said...

in kali yuga mental sins dont count, but the more you commit mental sins the more likely it will come out and become a real sin.
cunninglingus or fellatio are the same pre-sin leading to the real sin

Anonymous said...

"Jivas are not in all semen"

thats the case for chronic masturbaters

chronic masturbationist said...

I am sure everyone has masturbated and most still do. Someone who says he never did is very likely to be lying.

dr. presin pre-sin said...

"in kali yuga mental sins dont count, but the more you commit mental sins the more likely it will come out and become a real sin.
cunninglingus or fellatio are the same pre-sin leading to the real sin"

I like this (^) a lot. I am going to paint this one on my front door. It is also going to be my main slogan at the next anti-G8/globalization rally.

Anonymous said...

Where is it stated in any shastra that cunninglingus or fellatio are sins?

Jagat said...

I think this is enough for this thread.

I assume that shastra includes all such activities as non-procreative sex and therefore frowns upon them. If one says all meat is wrong to eat, one has no need of specifying rabbit or hamster meat.

By the same token, masturbation and spilling seed is seen as non-procreative sex.

The question is whether the only alternatives are lust or procreation.

Anonymous said...


interesting end note

but is there anything more than good and evil???????? I dont think there is.

Anonymous said...

I still fail to see how cunninglingus or fellatio between two exclusively committed spouses is "sinful".

Anonymous said...

A note to Advaita:

Advaita, I doubt that if the subject is genuine spiritual nectar "everybody would fall asleep". Its you, Advaita, who fail to deliver real spiritual nectar. Your attempts at "spiritual nectar" have been laced with bitterness, misrepresentation, and frankly speaking, evident lack of realization. Basically, what you do is use shastra as your private boxing gloves. Even Jagat here, your favorite archenemy, manages to deliver more spiritual nectar interspersed with his sahajiya mumble jumble than you ever mustered in your looooong yet mark-missing history of canned shastra.

Lighten up (and wake up) old friend.