Question: What is the relationship between sex and spirituality?
Sex is everywhere – in the plant world, in the animal world, and – yes – of course in the human world too! It’s natural. It’s the desire for Cosmic union manifested in each unit being. As the Cosmic Consciousness abides in all things, so does the desire for union also abide in all things. But in the unit (microcosm), that desire is in two forms: limited and unlimited; mundane as well as spiritual.
This manifested world would not exist without sex. It’s nature’s “style” of creating diversity in the universe. So it’s not something “bad” as such. It’s just part of life. Without it there would be no life – only death.
Now, we’ve come to the stage in our evolution where we want to do spiritual practice. We still have the desire for mundane union, but we have the desire for Cosmic union too. (That’s what spirituality means – the desire to unite with the Cosmic Entity.) So it’s understandable that we find ourselves in a bit of a dilemma, because we have two desires that seem contradictory – mundane as well as spiritual!
Now regarding the fulfilment of those desires, it’s true that we can’t have both at the same time. Mundane union means limited happiness, and Cosmic union means unlimited happiness. Limited, unlimited – not the same thing! There’s also the biological aspect. Lymph is food for the brain, and lymph is also what secretions emitted during sexual intercourse are made of. The more lymph you can save for your brain, the better will be your concentration and spiritual ideation. So yes, the two are mutually exclusive. We have to pick one or the other. But – and it’s a big but! – we may find it very difficult to give up the mundane for the spiritual, until we get to a certain level of spiritual realization; of spiritual union. After all, we’re accustomed to all things mundane – our physical survival has depended on it!
So what are we to do? Remember one thing that the Guru of Ananda Marga, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, said: “Regarding sex, the more restraint the better.” Moderate it. In fact, everything in our lives should be in moderation. Everything should be at the right time, the right place, and in the right quantity. Try to channelize your desire for union inwardly as much as you can, but that doesn’t mean you should suppress your other desires. Suppression causes psychic disease. Sex is a natural bodily function; there’s nothing wrong with it. But – moderation!
There are many practices that help to moderate the sexual impulse: vegetarian diet, yoga postures, half-bath, etc. These are all useful and important. The most important thing, though, is to do meditation. Without it we would lose the meaning of everything else. It is only the Cosmic perspective – the Cosmic ideation – that gives our life purpose and direction. Mundane pleasure is not our goal – nor could it ever satisfy us even if it was. We can only be completely satisfied with infinite pleasure, perfect peace and happiness – bliss. That’s our goal. But while moving towards the goal there are inevitably distractions. If you can ignore them, great! That’s the ideal. But if you can’t, don’t worry. Whatever you do, though, don’t take your eyes off the goal.