Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eros and Guru relationships (Part IV)

Some make the unequivocal statement that it is never correct for a guru to sleep with his disciples. I would like to state that in reverse. I say:

A woman should only sleep with her guru, and a man should only sleep with his guru. All sexual relationships should be mutual guru-disciple relationships.

The guru-disciple relationship is the vātsalya relationship par excellence, in that it selflessly seeks the welfare of the other. Vātsalya, like friendship, service, and admiration, is included in madhura. But in the latter, vātsalya must be mutual, i.e., felt by both parties.

Without mutuality, if vātsalya or, worse, vātsalya-ābhāsa (the mere outward appearance of guru sentiment) is predominant, then sexual relations would be inimical to love, or rasa-virodha, to use the Sanskrit terminology.

Rasa-virodha means "distasteful", which is a rather understated translation. That is why we recoil at these guru-disciple sexual relations and why we intuitively know they are wrong. We know it cannot be pure because it is a perversion of vātsalya, which by definition is to be wholly interested in the welfare of the other.

(This is why I asked the question the way that I did: Are there disciples who feel they were benefited through such unequal relationships, and how and why?)

The Hare Krishna position, like that expressed above, takes a straight line of patriarchal thought that leads to the depersonalization of women, relegates them to childlike dependent status, and considers them inferior, less intelligent, and worse yet, the source of all dangers to men.

This is a failure to pass the first rule of love, which is to see the other person as a person. Its base point is in the duality of fear and desire, and that is within the matrix of bubhukṣā-mumukṣā, sense enjoyment and desire for liberation. Love must transcend this, and especially erotic love.

The fact that we do not see the partner as guru means that we fail to see them in their true spiritual being. We see them in terms of their body only. And that is the error. Not the love act itself, which in fact is the God-given route par excellence to the mutual communication of love, the most intimate of sat-saṅgas.

Devotee sādhakas learn the art of cultivating this sādhanā and using it as the door to understanding Radha and Krishna. Those who fail to take advantage of it are confused about phalgu-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya.

They are people who, like the four Kumaras, wish to remain children, who refuse to accept the gift of sexuality as a path to transformation, who due to the influence of rajas, tamas and even sattva, see only its potential for bondage instead of its potential for supreme liberation in prema.

Krishna says to Radha, "Your love is my guru." When one recognizes this, then one begins to really cultivate love instead of some idol of love.

We all talk a big game. Everyone has got the words, "God is love" on their lips. And yet, we depersonalize love to such an extent that we cannot even recognize it in the most intimate relationships that we have. We fail to recognize that this is the most powerful locus of the sacred, bar none.

Radha and Krishna are not some ordinary impersonal God of "this world" dealing with progeny, worldly duty, even service to mankind or some impersonal generalized wishy-washy flower power love. They are a call to recognize the locus of the sacred in erotic love, which can only be found in committed sādhana or abhyāsa (See Yoga Sutra 1.13-14).

To enter this locus of the sacred means to experience mystic participation in the divine līlā of Radha and Krishna in the nitya-vihāra.

One who recognizes this love finds that all other kinds of love are born out of it.

Worship of Radha and Krishna that refuses to recognize this dimension is worshiping half a hen at best.

The above comments are all, as usual, contingent on adhikāra. This is why the sādhanā stage is preceded by the pravartaka stage. I suggest reading the relevant portions here: pravartaka.

Jai Shri Radhe!

1 comment:

sungazer said...

Pamho JagatJi. I have a question on Vatsalya Bhava, and these posts were included in the tags so I will ask it here. We have heard it said, that Madhurya Bhava contains all the preceding bhavas. But, how can, for example a manjari-bhava aspirant, contain the bhava of nursing baby Gopala like Mother Yashoda does? How can someone either in tat tat bhavaicchamayi or sambhogicchamayi know what it feels like for a mother who suckles her child? It doesnt seem to be true, that the Madhurya bhava sadhakas can feel this most powerful aspect of Vatsalya Bhava. Because arent they mutually exclusive? How can you nurse your child in your lap, and then also come back to your particular angle in the Madhurya Bhava? At the most you can look at how sweet Sri Gopala looks in the lap of Maiiya, and in that sense you can feel her Vatsalya, but it can only go so far right? Please clarify Jagatji.