Becoming Free from Sex Desire
The greatest happiness for the soul starts with complete freedom: freedom from misery, unhappiness, suffering, freedom from the dictates of desires, and, ultimately, freedom from being trapped in a material body. But what keeps us ensnared in such a condition are the desires for sensual and mental pleasures. And the hardest freedom to attain is freedom from sex desire.
Yoga is for attaining this kind of complete freedom. However, this means freedom from material desires of all kinds. If you are still entrapped by the idea of needing your sensual, emotional, or mental desires fulfilled, then you are far from being free, mentally, intellectually, and certainly not spiritually. In other words, if you still have desires for the pursuit of sensual or mental pleasures and happiness, then you are still a servant of your mind and senses. You are still a slave to the dictates of your mental and sensual impulses. You are still bound by the golden chains of the temporary illusion of chasing after pleasing the senses. They may be golden chains, but they are chains nonetheless. So how is that freedom? And how are you ever going to attain complete spiritual freedom with such desires creeping up and trying to tell you what you should do?
It is, however, one thing to have your mind on the loose giving you all kinds of weird ideas and desires for happiness. But it is another thing to be controlled by them and act them out. Sometimes the mind just goes crazy, but the intelligence knows better than to pursue such desires or ideas. This is called controlling the lower self by the higher self. This is not real freedom, but it is also far from being a complete slave under the command of the mind and senses. But the hardest desire to be free from is the desire for sex. Complete spiritual freedom includes freedom from sexual desire.
Let me say before we go any further, that most people will probably not want to read this article. I get emails from people who ask what to do about sexual tendencies or their desires to get married. So I wanted to write something for them. However, this is not for those who are materially inclined, but for those who should realize what is necessary if they want to make serious spiritual advancement. The point is that for those who are looking for relief, there is a way out of this illusion. Remember, as I have said many times before, suffering exists only within the illusion. There is only happiness and bliss in the Reality. The doorway to that realm has been given. It is only up to us to follow the path. And that path is merely a matter of adjusting our consciousness, freeing ourselves of the very attachments that keep us bound to this world. And that attachment is epitomized by our attraction to sex. Once that is overcome, all else on our path to spiritual progress, which evolves around developing love of God, will flow much more easily. Anyone who is serious about rising above the temporary attractions of the flesh may consider keeping this article to review later to regain clarity whenever your vision becomes dark or cloudy. So for those who are serious, let us proceed.
Let’s face it, most people in this world are interested mainly in the joys of eating, sleeping, defending or keeping what is theirs, and, of course, mating. Sex life is quite high on most everyone’s list of objectives or goals. Even those who consider themselves spiritually oriented still find that sex should be included in one’s life. And why not? What’s wrong with it? Isn’t that what we are made for? And how else are we going to have families and raise children? Thus, for anyone who wants worldly happiness, sex or sexual companionship can hardly be ignored. After all, this is one of the main objectives in life. But over the long-term, we should not neglect the spiritual purpose of our existence. And to be honest about it, the more we focus on sex life, the more one remains on the bodily conception of life, which is quite to the contrary of being spiritual.
If you are in the bodily conception, the more important the comforts and bodily pleasures will be to you. While on the other hand, the more spiritual you become, the more you can live without such concerns, without the dictates of the mind and senses being an influence on you. The freer and more indifferent you will be to them. Therefore, the more interested you are in sex, the less spiritual you are.
Real Happiness Means Freedom, and Real Freedom Is Freedom from Desire
Most everyone thinks that attaining one’s goals is the means to attain happiness. We can certainly see that characteristic in sports, for example, wherein the winner relishes the victory or conquest over others. It may seem like a great state of mind, until, of course, the next challenge comes along, which may bring another victory or a loss. And for the loser, we have all seen the bitterness of defeat.
This is the same way with sex. Some people may want to have sex simply because they are lusty and they want the release or gratification. Others think that it’s the way to find love, a deep communication with another being with the hope that it is a mutually satisfying experience for the other person. Sometimes it works out that way and many times it does not, as can be seen from the high divorce rate and extra-marital affairs that go on in the pursuit of mutual pleasure and satisfaction. And if one engages in extra affairs while married, it usually means the other person in the marriage is left with disappointment and devastation and divorce when what had been happening becomes apparent. So what is the cause of this discontent?
We have to understand that sex is the greatest of all frauds. Nature promises us a wonderful event, the height of joy, yet through such an act she also robs us of our powers, both physical and mental, and when we believe we have reached the limits of fulfillment, we fall lower than ever before. We lose a tremendous amount of energy through this process both in the pursuit for attaining it, and in the act of trying for sexual fulfillment. An old Latin proverb mentions that both humans and animals feel depressed after physical union.
After all, what is left of sex pleasure in the morning? Great fatigue. And this will repeat itself so many times. It is merely a continuous struggle for unattainable unison. A certain force, the power of attraction brought two beings together in search of each other. Later, this force is appeased through the act of sex, which may provide a release, like scratching an itch. But later all that remains is emptiness, and being alone, whether this takes place in days, months or years. Sex can satisfy only the body and even that is most temporary, but never pleases the soul. Those who do think the soul is involved remain in the depths of maya, illusion.
People who live only for sex live in continued unrest and dissatisfaction. They are never fully happy, and the gratification they feel from sex never lasts for long. The problem is that, as it is explained, unrestricted sex is most sinful, even to think about it. One’s duration of life, blessings, opulence, etc., are all decreased by such sinful acts, and the most dangerous type of sinful act is unrestricted sex life. (Bhagavatam 3.12.33 pur.) The lust of sex desire itself is a type of sinful contamination. (Bhag. 3.14.16) In this way, unrestricted sex is most dangerous because it is the most difficult to give up, and keeps one on the bodily platform practically more than any other attachment. Most other material attractions can usually be given up or outgrown, but the fascination for sex can hinder and remain with a person for many lifetimes. Thus, one cannot become free from the continuous rounds of birth and death, which is an elementary goal for anyone who is truly spiritually motivated.
Furthermore, the desire for sex means to identify yourself as a man or a woman and separate from that which you think you need to feel fulfilled, such as another material body for sensual gratification and happiness. The Self has no desire for sex, and is without sex. Therefore, the desire and act of sex is all an illusion because it has no relevance to reality, which is in connection with the soul. The Self is a complete whole, not half of something seeking its complimentary half. The whole idea of seeking one’s better half or soul mate is but another materialistic conception to justify what is but an illusion.
Union in spirit is possible, but union of the body is not, two individual bodies cannot occupy the same space. Because of the longing for unity and for expressing care and love, people try to unite their bodies, and “touch each other’s heart” as the saying goes, and therefore slide down into sexuality. Nature exploits this longing for union, the yearning for the long lost paradisiacal state of belonging, in order to beget new generations of people. Therefore, this yearning manifests in the material act of sex in order to maintain the process of procreation of the species, human or otherwise. The great disappointment is that sexuality cannot create real union, and, thus, the soul remains unsatisfied. Therefore, we see people which, regardless of how much sex or how many lovers they may have, remain feeling empty, incomplete, unfulfilled.
The higher, universal, spiritual love is on a completely different plane than the lower “love” of the animal plane, which is a manifestation of animal instincts, and which is the urge nature uses to propagate the species. Such love is a desire for gratification, possession, and always seeks the body of another. It forces a person to come close to the loved one, and embrace, kiss, hug, or to want to possess, which is nothing but lust, and which forces one to be more focused on the material platform of life. Thus, as one caters to this desire, one becomes increasingly bound to this worldly existence.
Whoever is subject to this kind of love is still living in a mental state of dividedness and separation, and tries to find a complimentary physical partner in order to find satisfaction. This love always seeks to take, to have, to possess. Spiritual love does not come from the condition of division, or to have, to hold or own, but from divine unity. Hence such spiritual love is always giving, never taking, and needs no physical manifestation or expression, but always radiates from the consciousness of divine all-unity. People who are conscious on this plane do not want to possess anybody; they feel themselves one with the Infinite All, the Supreme Being. That is our real goal. Thus, they do not burn with desire, but only shine with the love reflected from the Supreme. This leads to real wholeness and unity, real bliss and happiness, complete in one’s Self.
Relationships: One of the Biggest, Most Time Consuming Problems in the World Today
In this day and age, we often see that the man or woman ends up not being satisfied with the other, so what to do about it? This is one of the biggest social problems in many areas around the world, not just western countries. This is not the kind of really serious issues that many people have to face, especially in developing countries, such as how they are going to have the clothes they or their children need, or how to get enough food to eat, how to find shelter from the elements, or whether they have to make a decision on spending whatever small amount of money they have on either medicine or on something to eat. But we can see that in developed areas of the world where they usually have enough of the necessities of life, one of the main sources of difficulties, however superficial this may be, is often in relationships. That is a big business in the West. It is the focus on the many ways and methods to work out the relationship, or how to end it and find a better one. This takes up much of the time, attention, and money of numerous people.
Many people are not realistically in love with another person, but are more in love with their desires of what they want in a relationship and what they expect that other person to be like. They are in love with their projected ideas of what love with another person should be. Thus, they always fluctuate between happiness and sadness. They feel sadness when they see the reality of the relationship being less than they want, or what they think it should be, or they feel happiness when there seems to be a glimpse of the fulfillment they hope to find from the relationship. This is the basis of most dysfunctional relationships, which evolves around what one wants to see in another person and not the reality of what is actually there. As the saying goes, “love is blind.” Though the relationship falls far short of being satisfactory for either party, the man may feel he has found his full outlet for his love. Or the woman feels she has found a fatherly relationship with a person who poses as an authority figure, or a means of being safe in this world, though, in actuality, he abuses and mistreats her. Of course, there are so many other scenarios that can be used as examples of why numerous relationships do not work, though such relations continue. Yet, many people keep looking for a situation that results in the same kind of troubles without realizing it and without feeling satisfied.
Sex attraction itself depends on the disposition of one’s mind. Yet the mental platform is very flickering. It is a part of the materialistic realm wherein what is here today may be gone tomorrow. Or what is attractive today may be boring or even repulsive tomorrow. The way the mind feels today may be different the next. It’s not dependable. Thus, a woman looking toward a man for love and sexual fulfillment cannot depend on that continually or steadily. The same goes for a man looking for a woman. The relationship may be ever so nice while it lasts, but it can change or dissolve at any time for any reason, thus giving way to disappointment, frustration, or worse. But this has to be expected since this is the nature of the material realm, as anyone can plainly see by analyzing from experience or by witnessing what others have gone through.
By this analysis we can understand that illusory sexual attraction actually increases one’s discomforts. This is already known, as the following quote illustrates: “Sri Prabuddha said: Accepting the roles of male and female in human society, the conditioned souls unite in sexual relationships. Thus they constantly make material endeavors to eliminate their unhappiness and unlimitedly increase their pleasure. But one should see that they inevitably achieve exactly the opposite result. In other words, their happiness inevitably vanishes, and as they grow older their material discomfort increases.” (Bhagavatam 11.3.18)
In this way, the attempt to increase one’s happiness by uniting with another often merely increases the burden of responsibilities, concerns, activities, stress, tension, the need to earn more money to meet larger overhead and maintenance bills, etc. As the Samnyasa Upanishads explain: At first one wants a wife, then a house, and then worlds. However, real freedom is to be free from all such problems by, first of all, being free from these kinds of sensual desires. Otherwise, there is no end to them, unless one becomes truly spiritualized.
In this way, we can see that a stable and deep relationship between man and woman must be based on something more than mere sexual attraction for the temporary beauty of the body.
One of the biggest problems is that the media in most of society, especially Western civilization, indoctrinates the masses into thinking that everything that matters most in life, everything that’s important to finding fulfillment, is wrapped around the premise of sex. A person has to be either sexually attractive to achieve it, or competent enough to pursue and attain it, and get it any way and as often as you can. That is the ideal of material success.
Thus, we can see that in any media these days, the promotion for the sale of something is often based on the idea that if you want to be sexually attractive, you need this product. You cannot avoid being exposed to this kind of mindset, whether in books, magazines, television, the internet, or advertisements anywhere. And if a person becomes motivated in this way, if he loses his strength of individuality and bends to the persuasion dictated toward sex in the media, he will become a slave to his senses, and another life lost to the fleeting dictates of the mind and sensual desires. All to the temporary glee of 5th Avenue and their financial well-being. Such a person simply becomes another slave to their pervasive indoctrination.
Furthermore, sex and thoughts of it, and of anything connected with the attempt to attain sexual fulfillment, is the easiest way to keep people preoccupied and entertained in a way that prevents them from thinking too much, or from thinking too deeply about things. It can also keep the general masses from noticing the intrigues and manipulation of the politicians, or their continued economic burden that the whole financial system in America forces on the public. This is why so much entertainment includes or is based on sex. This should become obvious to anyone, of course only if they have not lost their intelligence through excess sexual indulgence, either mentally or physically.
After all of one’s energy has been used in sexual escapades or the pursuit to maintain family life, including a job, raising kids, paying bills, etc., there is little energy left for deep thinking, either philosophically, spiritually, or even socially, politically, or economically. In this way, one remains in darkness, in maya, and easily controlled and manipulated by the greater “powers that be” that promise fulfillment if you only vote for them, or abide by their wishes or orders that will be applied to society by laws that were passed when the population wasn’t watching, was sleeping, was in darkness, or merely preoccupied with the idea of attaining sexual fulfillment. Yep, you wake up only to find you have been tricked again while you were preoccupied.
In this way, relations between men and women are often another form of entanglement in material affairs, based on the initial desire for some kind of external companionship. Since we are social creatures, we long for social interactions. But if we are not aware of how to keep such interactions on a spiritual or at least higher and more sophisticated level, such relations often fall under the influence of lust. This leads to troubles and trying times in many ways.
Numerous people may spend so much time and money to seek their soulmate or “twin flame”. The twin flame, however, is not a partner outside of the Self, but is understood to be the ripeness of all that is the Self.
One of the most important things you can do is love your spiritual Self. But you forget this and keep looking for the next relationship to make you whole or complete. The media makes you feel that without a relationship you are perhaps less than an acceptable person. Then you feel lonely or incomplete. But this is merely a mental concept put there by outside indoctrination. You must learn how to be alone. By that I mean alone with your Self, how to spend time with your Self and be content. Loneliness is simply a state of mind. You are never completely alone. You have multitudes of entities around you. If you would stop feeling sorry for yourself, you would find the real you, a complete and whole individual.
When you love yourself and stop getting convoluted about the need to have someone else love you, you can easily avoid all the traps and difficulties that others get sucked into. All you have to do is vibrate in the love of the Self, honor the Self, and understand that the journey here is about Self-discovery. It is not about finding lovers or husbands and wives. The journey here is about honoring your Self and perceiving the uniqueness of the Self as you touch the lives of many. Always allow yourself to work with the Self and evolve toward Self-realization. This is the real you, and this is the real goal of this journey.
Do not be afraid of being intimate with your Selves—of being alone with the Self. Once you develop an intimacy, a silence, a Self-love, and a containment of your energy, a unity within yourself as between the soul and the Supersoul, then if you develop this fully, it can outweigh the need for an outer relationship. This is why many saintly men and women are often wholly content to remain without an external partner in life.
Also, when you have attained this level of consciousness, then you will want to make that aspect of spiritual intimacy your standard for intimacy with someone else, which is far different than sexual unity, which is but a temporary illusion anyway. Only when someone is complete in themselves can they be complete and giving or loving toward another. Otherwise, it is a relationship based on role playing, doing something for someone else with the expectation that he or she will do a certain thing or things in return for you. Similarly, when so-called love depends mainly on sexuality for its expression, then you can know it is not love but only lust. There may appear to be some caring, but there is no true love in such a relationship, and the outcome is guaranteed to be merely future disappointment. The only relationship, for those already involved with another, that can provide something more than future disappointment and separation is that which is based on spiritual completeness between two people who are on such a spiritual level within themselves.
If you can understand this, you will realize that one never finds the complimentary half outside oneself. No human being can be another’s complimentary half. No one can find one’s complimentary half anywhere except within oneself as the Supersoul, Paramatma. In the world around us it’s only possible to find projected pictures, material forms or bodies that we accept to be similar to one’s true complimentary half. It is merely a reflection of the reality that we seek. But neither person can become complete by virtue of combining with such a projection or illusory physical form. Only the divine unity of the Self can bring blissful happiness. You’ll find your complimentary half within your Self, as the Supreme.
It may take many years, even lifetimes for most people to understand this. But the fact remains that the pool of spiritual love that we are all looking and hankering for is there within you. Most of you have withheld this experience from yourselves because you conceptualize that such love must come in a certain form, package, or in a certain relationship. But you need not be in an external relationship to experience the depths of love. A relationship with someone can mirror your experience but it cannot itself take you to the depths of love. It is you who must provide the means or follow the path of leaping into the pool of deep love through the development of bhakti, devotional love for the Supreme Being, who is the Supreme Lover. In that love you will find the means to a bliss which knows no bounds, a happiness without end.
When You Are Free from Sex Desires You Are Free from So Many Unnecessary Things
When a person becomes free from the desire for sexual indulgence, a person gains strength, especially mental strength, focus, clarity, and determination. He or she no longer easily succumbs to the wishes, attractions (or should we say distractions) or dictates of the senses. Then the thirst for pleasure is no longer the controller, but is controlled. He or she then uses his or her energy in more uplifting and realistic ways instead of the ephemeral and fleeting purpose for sensual stimulation and excitement.
The advantages include the elimination of purchasing any paraphernalia related to sex: magazines, videos, movies, prostitutes, Viagra, etc. Eighty percent of all internet traffic is related to pornography. With a freedom from sex desire, one is no longer a part of any of this.
Presently, every materialist wants to have sex, even when they are old. But it is natural for the body to change hormonal levels and lose interest as well as capability for sex as it ages. The necessity of sex naturally subsides and one should increasingly focus on more spiritual topics the more one enters old age and the closer one gets to death. The priorities change, and if a person’s interests don’t, then it merely reflects an immature and undeveloped consciousness. Society has enough of these kinds of people and this is not how we want to be. The more we age, and the closer we get to death, the more spiritual we should become.
Let’s face it, most activities that go on in this world are because of the desire to receive love and the desire to express love. But this is often misdirected in a way that is more properly called lust—the desire to ultimately or outrightly please one’s own mind and senses. How much money is spent to fulfill such desires is incalculable. Yet one is freed from having to spend so much time and money in this pursuit when one is freed from sex desire. This includes spending money in bars, restaurants, arranging for and entertaining your dates, the travel for such things, or learning to dance and then go to clubs to show your expertise, etc., all in the attempt to attract potential sexual partners. One can spend their life this way, or learn to raise their consciousness to go through life without being distracted by such endeavors. These are all just materialistic games that are here today but gone tomorrow anyway. And they drag a person down to lower levels of consciousness.
Most people think that sex is an essential part of life, and that they do not want to live without it at any age. But quite simply, a person should not be preoccupied by it if they expect to reach the true goal of life. As it is explained: “Those who are interested in a so-called beautiful life—namely remaining as a householder entangled by sons and a wife [sex life] and searching after wealth—think that such things are life’s ultimate goal. Such people simply wander in different types of bodies throughout this material existence without finding the ultimate goal of life.” (Bhagavatam 4.25.6)
Vaikuntha Marriages: Working Together for the Same Goal with God as the Center – A Spiritual Relationship
If someone has an deep attraction for sex life, then it is better that they admit their true mental disposition and get married and conduct themselves properly. It has been shown that it is far worse if someone artificially tries to renounce such desires, or tries to show themselves as being more spiritually advanced than they really are, as if they are some kind of super-human renunciant or saffron-wearing swami that has no such inclinations. When such a person has an interest in sex and artificially represses such desires, it often comes out in some other way which creates more danger and damage than if he would have been honest about it. It is better to properly engage in family life than to secretly burn with desire.
Naturally, most of society will choose to find a partner. This is, nonetheless, also a most valid path for spiritual progress when used properly. Of course, in family life there has to be some mutual physical attraction between husband and wife, or it can be rather difficult living together. The wife should be pleasing to the husband, and the husband also should be attractive to the wife and treat her with respect. Then the relationship can go on nicely.
However, there is a purpose for the combination of husband and wife. It is an appropriate team especially for spiritual development. It is a means for people to work out their desires while being a contribution to society, and make spiritual advancement at the same time. When raising a family, naturally the woman has certain tendencies and talents in her nature that contribute to a loving atmosphere and be an assistant to the husband. The man also has particular traits that help in raising and taking care of the wife and family. So it is a good combination to work together in such a way. But if it is going to be based on something higher than mutual physical attraction, then there must be a spiritual perspective to it. There is an advantage to this. For example, if God is the center of the marriage, then no problems will be too difficult that they cannot be worked out. But if sense gratification is the center or purpose of the relationship, which can degrade to egoistic selfishness, sensuality, possessiveness, burning desires, demands of each other, etc., then there are so many problems that will creep up which may seem insurmountable and irreconcilable.
When God is the center of the relationship, then you can have a Vaikuntha marriage. Vaikuntha means the spiritual abode where there is no anxiety. Naturally, there will always be problems while living within these material worlds. But there should be no anxiety within the marriage. A Vaikuntha marriage is one in which God is the center, which is expressed through a supportive and spiritual partnership, and includes devotional service to the Lord, reading scripture together to enhance each others spiritual understanding, or singing bhajans or devotional songs together, going to the temple together, etc. Essentially, the difference between grihamedi and grihastha is that the grihamedi lives for satisfying the mind and senses, while the grihastha lives for spiritual self-realization, making the home into a spiritual ashrama. (Bhagavatam 3.32.1)
Even when having children, Lord Krishna says, “I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles.” (Bhagavad-gita 7.11) This means the act of sex is to produce children who will become pious and familiar with spiritual knowledge. Higher than that is to understand that you are raising children who may be in your custody, but who belong to God. Thus, it is a great responsibility with a higher purpose than merely looking at them as your own little expansions produced from sex life. This is what is meant by the act of having children which is in line with religious principles. The consciousness of the parents at the time of conception helps create the consciousness of the child who is conceived. Thus, the consciousness of the parents is very important from the time of conceiving the children and throughout raising them.
Thus, it is more than mere family life aimed at enhancing one’s comforts and pleasure, but it is a perfect companionship for heightening and taking care of the spiritual progress of both the wife and husband along with the children.
To put the foundation of eternity into any relationship, it must be based on the science of the soul. Otherwise, the relationship is as temporary as the mood of the mind, which is always flickering.
The husband and wife can help each other in material existence so that they can work together in their spiritual development. (Bhag. 3.14.17) The point is that one should not merely be attracted to a lump of flesh and blood. (Bhag. 4.26.23 pur.) But they should work together in a way in which they share spiritual activity and the results or merits of such activity.
One way the husband and wife share such spiritual growth is related as follows: “Accepting her husband as the representative of the Supreme Person, a wife should worship him with unalloyed devotion by offering him prasada (remnants of her cooking that has been offered to God, such as the family deities). The husband, being very pleased with his wife, should engage himself in the affairs of his family. Between the husband and wife, one person is sufficient to execute this devotional service (to the family deity). Because of their good relationship, both of them will enjoy the result. Therefore if the wife is unable to execute this process, the husband should carefully do so, and the faithful wife will share the result.” (Bhag. 6.19.17-18)
Furthermore, the proper relationship between husband and wife is that they should live together and protect one another both materially and from being overly attached to material existence. By assisting each other in spiritual life, they reach spiritual perfection. Everyone is looking for love, but the highest and most complete love to attain is love of God. That is all that really satisfies the soul. (Bhag. 4.26.17 pur.)
The problem is when the husband and wife look at each other as being the ultimate loving object, and then expect the other to satisfy or reciprocate all of the one’s desires for love. This is bound to give way to some level of dissatisfaction, disappointment, or tolerance of the other. Actually, it is God who is the ultimate lovable object, especially in His form as Sri Krishna, the God of love. It is God who can provide the ultimate loving reciprocation and fulfillment. In a Vaikuntha marriage, the husband and wife are supposed act as a team to assist each other in reaching this loving relationship with God. That is how each one assists and propels the other into wholesome and natural spiritual bliss wherein we reach the fulfillment that we are all seeking. It is that team that gives the joy and happiness of reaching the goal together.
Essentially, householders in a Vaikuntha marriage should be attached to God, Krishna. As long as they are attached to each other for sense enjoyment, then the man is a danger to the woman, and the woman is a danger to the man. In other words, they contribute to each other’s fall down into the bodily conception of life rather than uplifting each other toward spiritual consciousness. In this case, one’s house, husband or wife, and children should be considered to be the arrangement [or trap] of the external or illusory energy of the Lord for their death, just as the sweet singing of the hunter is death for the deer. (Bhagavatam 3.31.42 pur.) In other words, by remaining attached to material arrangements and conditions, and trying to gratify the mind and senses, one stays in materialistic consciousness and faces the danger of remaining in the continuous rounds of birth and death for many future lifetimes.
However, as Rupa Gosvami recommends in his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.255), a man and woman should live together as householders in relationship with Krishna, only for the purpose of discharging duties in the service of Krishna. Engage the children, wife and husband, all in Krishna conscious duties, and then all the bodily or material attachments will disappear. Since the via medium is Krishna, the consciousness is or will become pure, after which there will be no possibility of degradation at any time.
The thing we need to understand is that in Vaikuntha, the spiritual worlds, sex pleasure is insignificant. In spite of the fact that those who live there are thousands of times more beautiful than the beings who live in this material creation, inhabitants of Vaikuntha are not interested in sense enjoyment or sex pleasure. The spiritualized minds of the inhabitants of Vaikuntha are so much absorbed in the spiritual vibration of chanting the glories of the Lord that such enjoyment cannot be surpassed by any other enjoyment, even sex, which is the culmination of all forms of all pleasure in the material worlds. (Bhagavatam 4.6.30 pur.)
There is no sex in Vaikuntha because they feel it is not very attractive compared to the energy and taste that they get from serving the Lord. Therefore, a Vaikuntha marriage means that the husband and wife assist each other in spiritual service to the Lord. Even in this world, the husband and wife can turn their home into a place as good as Vaikuntha. They can, for example, install the deity of the Lord in their home and center their marriage and activities into service to the deities. Thus, they can overcome the sex urge, which is a sign of their advancement. “One who is advanced in devotional service is never attracted to sex life, and as soon as one becomes detached from sex life and proportionately attached to the service of the Lord, he or she actually experiences living in the Vaikuntha planets. In the ultimate issue, there is actually no material world, but when one forgets the service of the Lord and engages himself in the service of his senses, he is said to be living in the material world.” (Bhagavatam 4.23.29 pur.)
Thus, the final conclusion is that attraction to sex life is what keeps one fascinated with living in material consciousness and the cosmic creation. Such a person stays in material existence as long as such attraction remains. It is as simple as that.
“There is no stronger obstruction to one’s self-interest than thinking other subject matters to be more pleasing than one’s self-realization.” (Bhag. 4.22.32) In this way, any activity should be for pleasing the Supreme Lord, while anything performed for sense gratification is contrary to one’s real self-interest.
By seriously engaging in the devotional service of the Lord, the Lord protects His devotee from the sexual urge and forgives accidental falldowns. It is explained that only by engagement in the Lord’s devotional service can one be protected from the allurement of lusty material desires. (Bhag. 3.12.32)
In this way, as the husband and wife advance spiritually, they should also become increasingly advanced in self-realization and love for God. They should also become increasingly detached from the material conditions of life the bodily conception and fully perceive the reality of what are these bodies.
Reality of the Human Body, an Amazing Machine That Stinks
The body is certainly an amazing machine. Scientists and doctors are still trying to figure out all the intricacies of how it works. However, the body is but a machine wherein nice food goes in one end and stool and urine comes out the other, thus requiring the nasty business of having to evacuate such things on a regular basis. Now how glamorous is that? But some of these bodies are considered to be rather beautiful, from a material perspective. Nonetheless, no matter how lovely it may be, it is still nothing but a machine. And they still stink, and I mean that literally. If you don’t take a regular shower and keep it clean, or use deodorants or perfumes, the body begins to smell bad. And sometimes even if you do all of that, parts of the body, like the feet, armpits, one’s breath, or other obnoxious and unmentionable parts of the body still smell horrible. And the longer you go without a bath, the stronger the stench. And this is an object of desire? This is what people want for sex pleasure? And if they do, we can only question whether they have a good and thorough grip on reality. Or maybe they only see what they want to see, which is exactly what I mean: They are caught in the illusion.
However, when you look a little deeper and see what’s under the skin, all the blood, muscles, nerve systems, bones, internal organs, gastro-intestinal tract, etc., then how desirable is it to want to hold such a bag of these ingredients in your arms?
Materialistic men may look at a beautiful woman and imagine the way she looks without her clothes on. But try looking at any such person a little more deeply and imagine how they would look without their skin. Then are they so attractive? Are they still so desirable? Yet, this is the reality of the body, this is the fact of the matter. It is no different with any of us. We are all in these contraptions called material bodies. And, like it is said, such physical beauty is only skin deep.
This does not mean that you show any disdain toward people because of their bodies, but you must realize your own predicament of being inside such a contraption and be humble about it.
Now that you realize the faults of a material body, you must be humble since you are also in such a contraption, the same situation as others, and not expect respect just because of some bodily difference, whether good or bad.
I have seen an exhibit at a museum wherein a professor had taken a couple of bodies, both male and female, and cut them into one-inch slices and put them between two pieces of glass. Thus, you could see various segments of the skull, legs, and torso from shoulder to groin. You could see the external body hair, the skin, the nasal passages, the brain, or other internal organs, like the liver, lungs, intestines, bowels, kidneys, along with muscles, veins, heart, arteries, etc. Looking at such a thing will give you many realizations about the body. As I stood there looking at it, wondering where is the pleasure in such a contraption, sometimes other people would come by and not realize what it was. Then when they did, they would often quickly run to some other part of the museum. Sometimes a man would be looking at it, and then his wife would come along and say, “What’s this? Oh, God, let’s go,” and then grab their husband’s arm and drag them away. Kids would come up and look and then go, “Oh, yuck, let’s go.” It was surprising how many people did not want to face the reality of the body, and the fact that we are situated inside one of these things.
Nowadays, there are new exhibits in science museums and other places that show bodies in active positions that are in various stages of having been skinned or dissected and then plasticized. They show the whole body in movement, and display all of the internal organs and muscles. This is fascinating to some people, but gruesome to others.
If you want to get a deeper realization of the mechanics of the body, or if you still are not convinced by the reality of what the body is, then take a look at this video of an autopsy by using this link, and see how long you can last. Take a look at what lies under the skin. I watched for about a minute and then had to look away. It’s a little shocking, but certainly gives some clarity on what I’ve been saying: http://www.youtube.com/v/VRAh3Qse-Us.
In the End, the Body Is but a Package – Each One Made of the Same Material Elements
We are a spark of consciousness in a machine made of atoms and elements that combine in a way to make the machine in which we exist. The body is a conglomeration of cells, systems of nerves, veins, arteries, organisms, a microscopic world unto itself. The body is simply a package, all of which are made of the same elements. It’s like a bunch of cardboard boxes in that they are all made of cardboard, although they may be dressed differently. Some may have nothing but packing tape on them, while another may have beautiful wrapping paper with fancy prints, with bows and ribbons, a card on it, and so on. It looks beautiful but in the end it is still just a box. Similarly, a human body may be so shapely, with a beautiful smile, lovely skin, nice long hair, expertly applied make-up, expensive jewelry, lovely clothes, and rare perfume. But in the end it is just another stinky material body made of the same elements as anybody else, and filled with the same blood and internal organs as every other body with the same need of engaging in the nasty business of evacuating stool and urine like any other body. And you call this attractive? So where does the concept of beauty fit in if you are actually assessing it from the realistic level of perception? Only from the materialistic point of view can a body, no matter how it is decorated, be seriously considered attractive.
One thing I could never figure out is how doctors, who work with the physical body of numerous patients and fully know the mechanics and reality of the body, can come home to their wives and get turned on enough to have sex. I mean, what do they tell their wives after a day of analyzing stool samples, or listening to the complaints about disease from patients, or something else, “No thanks, Honey. I had to look at stool samples today, so I’m not really in the mood to squeeze any more bags of stool.” Whoowee, I’m sure the wife would feel complimented by that, but isn’t that what the body is? Another bag with all kinds of things in it that make most people noxious or want to vomit if they see what is inside. Especially if they are a surgeon, how can they get turned on by any body, no matter how attractive it is, knowing full well that it is a container filled with deteriorating organs that may one day need to be fixed through various operations, or that are going to get diseased at some point anyway. Now that’s something to get hot and bothered about. If someone still gets turned on when seeing this reality of the body, then they really do not have a good grasp of the actual situation of the body.
However, as explained in the Vedic texts, until one is completely self-realized, he may be attracted to women. (Bhag. 7.12.10) Thus, working for spiritual advancement to give up lusty desires, anger, greed, and fear, is of prime importance, as it is further explained: “By making plans with determination, one should give up lusty desires for sense gratification. Similarly, by giving up envy one should conquer anger, by discussing the disadvantages of accumulating wealth one should give up greed, and by discussing the truth one should give up fear.” (Bhag. 7.15.22)
Why should we do this? What’s the point?
The Lord Cannot Be Realized by Those Who Cannot Control Their Senses
The answer is that if we are truly interested in spiritual advancement, and freedom from the continued rounds of birth and death, then without this realization and freedom from the attraction of sense gratification, we will be staying in this world for a long time, many lives. Spiritual realizations cannot be attained through the senses or sensual acts. That is similar to trying to put out a fire by pouring gasoline on it. The sensual experience, whatever it is, may give you some insights into how unfulfilling they are ultimately, but only spiritually oriented activities can lead to spiritual realizations. However, once a person has attained a level of spirituality, he may have a spiritual orientation that affects every aspect of his life, and also allow him to further his transcendental perception in everything he does. As it is explained: “My Lord, You are the controller of formidable strength in three kinds of energy. You appear as the reservoir of all sense pleasure and the protector of the surrendered souls. You possess unlimited energy, but You are unapproachable by those who are unable to control their senses. I offer my obeisances unto You again and again.” (Bhag. 8.3.28)
In this way, as long as the living being is not enlightened so that he may understand his real position, he will remain attracted to materialistic life and pleasure in the form of sex. He will want to remain surrounded by house, friends, wife, family, community, etc. Thus, he will not be allowed to enter the spiritual realm as long as such desires continue to tie him into such material entanglement.
Sadhus and Sadhvis Are Equal to All–They See That Souls in both Male and Female Bodies Are Completely the Same
The best of people, those who are spiritually oriented and working to further their own and everyone else’s spiritual development, gain a spiritual view of all living entities. They can see the essence or soul that exists within all beings. Thus, with such a perception, they relate to everyone as a spiritual being within a material body, and are not swayed by the temporary appearance of one’s physical form. After all, the Svetasvatara Upanishad (5.10) explains:
naiva stri na pumaneshha na chaivaya na napumsakah
yadyachchhariramadatte tene tene sa yujyate
“The individual soul is neither female, nor male, nor neutral. Whatever body he assumes, he becomes identified with that.”
Such a perception is described as follows in the Vedic texts:
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog eater [outcaste].” (Bhagavad-gita 5.18)
“One who can see that all activities are performed by the body, which is created of material nature, and sees that the self does nothing, actually sees. When a sensible man ceases to see different identities, which are due to different material bodies, he attains to the Brahman [spiritual] conception.” (Bhagavad-gita. 13.30-31)
“The false ego gives shape to illusory material existence and thus experiences material happiness and distress. The spirit soul, however, is transcendental to material nature; he can never actually be affected by material happiness and distress in any place, under any circumstance or by the agency of any person. A person who understands this has nothing to fear from the material creation.” (Bhagavatam 11.23.56)
“Although the material body is different from the self, because of the ignorance of material association one falsely identifies oneself with the superior and inferior bodily conditions. Sometimes a fortunate person is able to give up such mental concoctions.” (Bhag 11.22.48)
“You will see Me in all living entities as well as all over the universe, just as fire is situated in wood. Only in that state of transcendental vision will you be able to be free from all kinds of illusion.” (Bhag. 3.9.32)
In this way, one losses the illusory attachment and attraction to the body, the outer material coverings of the soul, and, thus, also becomes free from lust. This gives some idea of how people with spiritual vision see beyond the superficial covering of the physical body and recognizes the real spiritual identity of the person within it.
The most dangerous kind of person is one who is not persuaded or distracted by sex attraction, by the lure of sense gratification. All materialists are fascinated by the various forms and possibilities of sense pleasure, and can be easily distracted by the prospects of this kind of enjoyment. However, a person who does not have such attractions, being focused on the spiritual dimension, is not swayed by prospects of sensual delights. This is one who has the singleness of purpose to stay focused on the goal of spiritual progress. Or one who can see all beings as equal, and who can love one and all alike as spiritual beings inside material forms. Why is such a person the most dangerous? Because, within this world of many kinds of illusion, he or she can treat people uniformly fair and give them the Truth of spiritual knowledge without being influenced, persuaded, or manipulated by outside forces for comfort or gain. Such a person can truly stand alone, independent as an “agent of reality,” working for the higher purpose for the benefit of all. Thus, a spiritual woman is much superior to even the greatest of materialistic men.
However, those who are younger or who are spiritually inexperienced will not resist a girl’s beauty, so a truly spiritual woman should be cautious around such men. The higher your spirit rises, the more beautiful you will appear, and lusty men will want you all the more. Therefore, you must associate only with those who can see beyond such material beauty and who recognize your spiritual potential and respect it for what it is.
How to work in this way to attain a spiritual perception is that you need to choose your association carefully, not only with the people with whom you mix, but with the things you let into your life. For example, avoid those things, whether they are movies, music, magazines, or websites that invoke lust and desires within you. As it is said, out of sight, out of mind. This is practically impossible in the West, but you can work on this and be careful. Being choosy and discriminative in this way is the first step.
Similarly, you need to be careful to control your mind, which may indeed contain the habitual thought patterns that you are trying to overcome, such as the attractions toward sexual expression. Sometimes it can take a while to actually enter into the spiritual perception that has been attained by advanced sages and sadhus, but we have to practice it and enhance it by the association of those who are spiritually developed. Furthermore, we have to be careful of our association. As it is described, “Woman is compared to fire, and man is compared to a butter pot. Therefore a man should avoid associating even with his own daughter in a secluded place. Similarly, he should also avoid associating with other women. One should associate with women only for important business and not otherwise.” (Bhag. 7.12.9) This is in regard to when a man becomes too close to a woman, he can hardly avoid being captivated by her charms, just like a butter pot melts when close to fire. In this way, we have to keep our mind from being lured back into the darker or more base levels of thinking that we may be trying to overcome, and must restrict our association with women other than a wife. And if we have no wife, then we must be all the more careful, not only for ourselves, but also to set the proper example that others will see and from which they will form opinions. But this instruction is to help us reach the spiritual strata by purifying our consciousness.
However, as it is said, there are no sannyasis or renounced monks in the spiritual world. This is because everyone is a perfected soul in the spiritual domain, and no one has to work at trying to purge their thoughts of bodily pleasure and sexual pursuits there, or guard against improper association. This is already accomplished. But this is how we reach that realm. So while in this material world we have to work at it and learn how best to keep ourselves in a higher consciousness and not allow our wild minds to devolve back into being attracted to physical pleasures, which are so temporary anyway. Therefore, being cautious in our association with others, especially with the opposite sex, is given notice.
In Vedic society, men are brought up to look at a woman other than one’s wife as a mother, and to address her in this kind of honorific title. The mother is seen as a most respectful position and who also deserves our gratitude. This mindset in an individual can certainly help decrease the notion of looking at a woman in a lustful way.
No One Leaves the Material World behind while Harboring Desires for Sex
No one with desires for sex can be liberated or go back to the spiritual world. How many times have we heard of so-called great spiritual teachers or authorities who later become accused of trying to seduce women, or even of rape, or of homosexual tendencies or relations with young boys? It doesn’t matter who they are. If a person has a desire for sex, or strongly identifies himself or herself with a particular sexual orientation or tendency, he or she cannot make much spiritual advancement. Nor can they instill that in others since they lack their own internal potency to follow it. One has to live it to teach it. One has to be realized in the spiritual dimension to give that or bring another to that realization. He cannot be limited by his own material attractions or desires. He cannot free others if he is still tied up by the same desires or consciousness from which he is trying to free others.
Real freedom from sex desires means that one becomes oblivious to any sexual orientation or preference. This is accomplished by being absorbed in one’s own spiritual identification, which takes one above the bodily conception. In such a state of consciousness, even the idea of being heterosexual or homosexual, man or woman, becomes a distant thing, wherein one is no longer aware of or concerned with such an idea because his or her spiritual identity shines forth and completely takes over, outweighing the material conception. If one is still attached to identifying oneself with a particular sexual orientation, then by that alone one is still attached to particular sexual thoughts and attractions, whether one engages in sexual acts or not. It keeps one from tasting the higher bliss of the spiritual dimension. Naturally, some people may object to this point. But the fact remains that such thoughts, regardless of how spiritual one may think he or she is, still indicates that they are attached to a particular bodily identity, which is also bound to keep one stuck in the continued rounds of births and deaths in the material bodies in which they can maintain such preferences. Again, this is contrary to genuine spiritual development. Thus, it is imperative that one reaches the point of understanding the need to go beyond any sexual orientation or sexual desire if one hopes to make any genuine spiritual progress that will truly deliver them to the release from samsara. In other words, keeping a bodily identification is part of the illusion that will keep you bound to the illusion. Keeping a bodily identification will keep you in a body. And that means future rounds of birth and death. And isn’t that what we are trying to be released from? Isn’t that part of the freedom we long to attain? Thus, it is only our own thoughts and our continual catering to our minds that keeps us here.
The fact remains that if a person has sex desire, no matter how seemingly spiritually advanced he or she may be, he or she cannot be free or become liberated from material existence. Why? Because if one wants to indulge in sexual relations of any kind on the physical, mental, or emotional level, he must have a material body to do so. So, continued existence in the material worlds is assured in order to provide the means and facility for such sensual and mental pursuits. That’s why we are here in this material existence. So if one really wants to be free, he or she has to get serious to overcome one of the most basic of material desires, which is for sex.
So what can we do?
Dovetailing Our Love toward God
We have a natural inclination to love, and that cannot be stopped or repressed for long. We want to love and be loved. That is a natural characteristic of the soul. But in many ways, depending on the person, this loving propensity can be confused with or misdirected as the desire for sex. The soul has pure spiritual desires for love, just as a flashlight sends out a pure white light. But if you put a red-tinted paper over the light, the light that shines through becomes red, perverted from what is really there. Similarly, as the clear and pure tendencies or the soul become filtered through a physical body, mind and false ego, the pure characteristics and longings of the soul can become perverted toward satisfying the sensual demands of the mind and senses. This is what needs to be corrected.
We have a higher love potential within us and should direct it toward establishing a loving relationship with the Supreme Person, God. We can direct our love toward Him, thus reconnecting the soul with the Supersoul. This is easy to do, but also involves a process of spiritual purification. This is the path of uplifting and spiritualizing our consciousness. As our consciousness becomes more spiritualized, the more attracted we become to that which is spiritual and, ultimately, to the Supreme Spirit. As it is explained in the Bhagavata Purana, one should be attached to Krishna, the actual basis of affection: “I am the Supersoul of every individual. I am the supreme director and the dearest. People are wrongly attached to the gross and subtle bodies, but they should be attached to Me only.” (Bhag. 3.9.42)
As we get to know the Lord’s personal features, we can become so attracted that we forget all else, as it is explained, “The charming eyebrows of the Lord are so fascinating that they cause forgetfulness of sense gratification. Conditioned souls are shackled to material existence with the golden chains of captivation of the charms of sense gratification, especially sex life.” (Bhag. 3.28.32)
However, we need to understand that our desire for sex is actually a reflection of our real need for spiritual association, which could be called spiritual sex, though it is not at all like the sexual encounters of this material world for fulfilling our sensual desires through gross physical contact. In other words, it has an original cause. The desire for physical or sexual unity is but a perverted reflection of the natural desire for spiritual unity.
“Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura specifically deals with original and pure sex psychology (adi-rasa) devoid of all mundane inebriety. The entire material world turns due to the basic principle of sex life. In modern human civilization, sex is the central point of all activities; indeed, wherever we turn our face we see sex life prominent. Consequently sex life is not unreal; its true reality is experienced in the spiritual world. Material sex is but a perverted reflection of the original; the original is found in the Absolute Truth. This validates the fact that the Absolute Truth is personal, for the Absolute Truth cannot be impersonal and have a sense of pure sex life. The impersonal monist philosophy gives an indirect impetus to abominable mundane sex because it overly stresses the impersonality of the ultimate truth. The result is that men who lack knowledge have accepted the perverted material sex life as all in all because they have no information of the actual spiritual form of sex. There is a distinction between sex in the diseased condition of material life and sex in the spiritual existence. Srimad-Bhagavatam gradually elevates the unbiased reader to the highest perfectional stage of transcendence above the three modes of material activities, fruitive actions, speculative philosophy and above worship of functional deities indicated in the Vedas. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the embodiment of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna [and is therefore situated in a position superior to other Vedic literature]. (From Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Page 256, Chapter 23, Why Study the Vedanta Sutras)
So what is meant by spiritual sex? It is explained that such deep loving relations have their highest expression with Lord Krishna, the God of love. You cannot fall in love nor have personal loving exchanges with an impersonal force, such as the Brahman. You may love sunshine but you cannot have a personal, interactive, loving relation with it. Similarly, Krishna is known for reciprocating the love of a devotee in a most personal way. This is only one reason why He is considered the Supreme Person, Bhagavan, and the Supreme Lovable Lord. An example of this spiritual love is described as follows:
“The loving affairs between Krishna and the gopis [cowherd girls] in Vrindavana are also transcendental. They appear as ordinary lusty affairs of this material world, but there is a gulf of difference. In the material world there may be the temporary awakening of lust, but it disappears after so-called satisfaction. In the spiritual world the love between the gopis and Krishna is constantly increasing. That is the difference between transcendental love and material lust. The lust, or so-called love, arising out of this body is as temporary as the body itself, but the love arising from the eternal soul in the spiritual world is on the spiritual platform, and that love is also eternal. Therefore Krishna is addressed as the ever green Cupid.
“Actually lust and sex are there in spiritual life, but when the spirit soul is embodied in material elements, that spiritual urge is expressed through the material body and is therefore pervertedly reflected. When one actually becomes conversant in the science of Krishna consciousness, he can understand that his material desire for sex is abominable, whereas spiritual sex is desirable.
“Spiritual sex is of two kinds: one in accordance with the constitutional position of the self and the other in accordance with the object. When one understands the truth about this life but is not completely cleansed of material contamination, he is not factually situated in the transcendental abode, Vrindavana, although he may understand spiritual life. When, however, one becomes free from the sex urges of the material body, he can actually attain the supreme abode of Vrindavana. When one is so situated, he can utter the kama-gayatri and kama-bija mantra.
“Ramananda Raya then explained that Krishna is attractive both for men and women, for the movable and the immovable—indeed, for all living entities. For this reason He is called the transcendental Cupid. Ramananda Raya then quoted a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.32.2) stating that when the Lord appeared before the damsels of Vraja smiling and playing on His flute, He appeared just like Cupid.
“Krishna is so beautiful, transcendental and attractive that He sometimes attracts even Himself. The following verse appears in Gita-govinda (1.11):
“My dear friend, just see how Krishna is enjoying His transcendental pastimes in the spring by expanding the beauty of His personal body. His soft legs and hands, just like the most beautiful moon, are used on the bodies of the gopis. When He embraces different parts of their bodies, He is so beautiful. Krishna is so beautiful that He attracts even Narayana, as well as the goddess of fortune (Lakshmi) who associates with Narayana.” ( From Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Page 323-4, Chapter Thirty-one, The Supreme Perfection)
When we connect with this kind of spiritual loving exchange, we will know no higher ecstasy than this. This is the culmination of all kinds of longings we have for loving expression and association, beyond the body and any physical or selfishly lusty desires, but ready to give and love in the deepest committed and devotional way. This is the highest level of union in its purest form in connection with the Supreme Being. This is when the soul can blossom to its fullest and reach its highest happiness and bliss. This is the final outcome of all loving expression as found only in the spiritual domain. Only the Vedic literature of devotional loving service, bhakti-yoga, can explain the details of this path. Thus, further research and study is encouraged. With such guidance, along with advice from the spiritual master, put into regular practice and sadhana, we will soon purify our consciousness and affect it with this devotional love. Then we will have the chance to begin to perceive our own loving connection and relationship with the Supreme Lord.
With even a glimpse of this devotional loving exchange, attracted by the beauty of Sri Krishna which easily surpasses the loveliness many times over of all other things, we will become so wholly preoccupied with such bliss in this loving reciprocation that nothing else can compare with it. Then we will easily neglect all other forms of pleasure and happiness and accept them as insignificant in comparison to this overwhelming bliss in such intimate loving exchange with the Supreme.
This experience is not out of reach but is available to all of us if we truly open our hearts to the Supreme Being, and guard ourselves from negative association, and take advice from the spiritual authorities who know of or have attained this experience. This is the ultimate goal of all living entities and the way to reach it.
Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa) has dedicated himself to spreading the deepest and most practical levels of spiritual knowledge about the soul–our real identity. Though this world may give us numerous challenges, when we rise above the basic materialistic view and its limited search for solutions, our evolutionary development on all levels greatly accelerates. By recognizing that we are all spiritual beings who are, basically, attempting to achieve the same essentials for our existence–namely love, acceptance, harmony, peace, and happiness, not to mention the ordinary needs of food, water, clothing and shelter–we can reach a new level of cooperation with each other. Stephen has written many books on this and related subjects and studied with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada becoming initiated into the spiritual line of Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya sampradaya. He is also president of the Vedic Friends Association. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Sexualities, Spirituality
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