A friend of Facebook wrote a status: "I don't believe in sexiness," which elicited a number of comments. In a talk I gave last night here in Rishikesh, one person once again accused me of promoting "free sex": nothing could be further from the truth and indeed it gets tiresome defending oneself against such a shallow understanding of my theology and practice.

We are in a world where hypersexualization has vitiated the spiritual potential of erotic love. But sexuality is so fundamental to human life that if we do not understand how to cultivate the sacred in that, we will never truly understand madhura-rasa. This also takes discipline because it is a sādhana. It is pleasurable, of course, because spiritual life IS about the highest pleasure, and the highest pleasure is love, and the highest love is the love of God, which we experience through our human love relations.

So I too find it gross when I see a woman flaunting her sexuality, like the movie stars who wear shocking outfits and so on. In some ways, I think these women must be very self controlled to smile naturally while she is making this statement. Her obvious message is "My breast is showing, I dare you to look! And when you do I will call you a lusty dog and know that I have power over you."

Believe me, it is extremely powerful magic that works on the very fundamental levels of the animal psyche. Men always look at breasts. How can you avoid it, they are right in front of you, pointing at you? Nevertheless, it is not my style. It is a game I do not want to be a part of.

But how can one deny that the attraction of sex is at the root of every sexual relationship? It is only a caricature of what it really can be.

A rasika devotee understands the real purpose of the game. So the very personality is different. He or she is looking for something else besides mundane rewards of any kind and is seeking prema, prema-bhakti.

A devotee knows that the secret meaning of sexuality is about entering into the sacred realm of love. And the most or truest attractive feature possessed by the one to whom they are attracted is that they are also desirous of entering that realm.

That realm means prema, not kama. The woman who uses her sexuality as a tool for power and control is just as guilty of an offense to love as the man who lusts for her. Both are caught in the maelstrom.

The problem is trying to split ourselves away from the world. Denying the world, of which sexuality is a part. But the warning lies in being self-realized, i.e., having achieved the results of sādhana on the individual or kanistha level first, i.e., on the first level of individuation, then one can proceed to dual relationships which are one-on-one I-Thou interchanges, of which erotic love is the crowning jewel.

Then as one becomes fixed up there, one can effect change in the world. To skip steps is usually problematic, but to a great extent unavoidable and not altogether improper.


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