Friday, September 19, 2014

Sexual Instincts and Spiritual Pursuit - A Question

Sexual Instincts and Spiritual Pursuit - A Question 

[Sitara Mittag, herself an accomplished Non-dualist, is a Coach and Consultant in personal and spiritual matters. She is also an Astrologer publishing a monthly column of forecasts. After following Osho’s teachings for a couple of decades, she pursued initially the Western style of Non-duality and soon moved on to the traditional Advaita Vedanta. She had spent many years in India and loves the Indian culture. Sitara teaches Advaita to several students mainly on a one-to-one basis. In addition to maintaining her own Web Site, she also blogs regularly at Advaita Vision, UK. She lives in Germany and can be reached by e-mail
I am grateful to Sitara for readily consenting to provide her mature advice and guidance on a sensitive question that puzzles everyone’s mind but rarely gets asked – ramesam]

Question:  Sexual instincts are natural to the gross physical body. How does one balance these physiological desires with the aspirations of pursuing the spiritual goal of knowing the Absolute Advaita Truth while living the life of a householder in the modern day world?

Sitara Mittag: 

The key to this question is in identification or attachment.

Sitara Mittag
All senses can be experienced with or without attachment. Remember the chariot analogy of Katha Upanishad. What counts, is the buddhi (Intellect), as the driver of the chariot (body). The Upanishad compares the body to a chariot, the senses to the horses, and manas (mind) to the reigns). If the buddhi is sharp and clear and knows the goal, all will follow her. That does not mean that the chariot or the horses or the reigns should be dropped. No need for that.

As much as you may enjoy a delicious meal, a beautiful piece of music or your children’s laughter, equally you may enjoy sexuality with your spouse. It is a natural and a beautiful way to express love and intimate closeness. Just take care that your sexual activity is not egocentric and is not disconnected from the heart. Share the enjoyment in making the experience enjoyable for both. This is the dharmic way: treat the other the way you would like yourself to be treated.

By practicing sexuality like this, it becomes a spiritual discipline. In the end it is like meditating together. Lust is not anymore in focus but for a sense of ‘offering’ and surrender to the flow of love where ‘me’ as doer is absent.

Such sexuality will not come in the way of spirituality.

I have discussed these matters in my interviews with Non-Duality Magazine and can be found here and here.

A Question on 'Sexual Desire and Happiness' was also answered by me and my co-bloggers here.
                                                                                         --  Sitara


Note Added  on Jan 03, 2017 by Ramesam:

Please watch 
Rupert Spira, if you like: 

Losing the Sense of Separation in Sexual Intimacy (6:54 min)

Realigning Sexuality with the Understanding (9:50 min)


Unknown said...

Dear Sitara & Ramesam
Here is another take on sexuality, rather brutal, from UG:
" Unfortunately, we have blown this business of sex
out of proportion. It is just a simple biological need
of the living organism. The body is interested in only
two things - to survive, and to reproduce one like
itself. It is not interested in anything else. But sex
has become a tremendous problem for us, because
we have turned the basic biological functioning of
the body into a pleasure movement. You see, if
there is no thought, there is no sex at all.
The second problem is that it is not just the sex act
that is important [to us], but the build-up that is
there, the romantic structure that we have built
around the love play. If you look at a beautiful
woman, for example, the moment you say that it is
a woman, you have already created a problem - "A
beautiful woman!" Then it is more pleasurable to
hold her hands than just to look at her. It is more
pleasurable to embrace her, even more pleasurable
to kiss her, and so on. It is the build-up that is really
the problem. The moment you say that she is a
beautiful woman, culture comes into the picture.
Here [pointing to himself] the build-up is totally
absent because there is no way that these [pointing
to his eyes] can be focused on any particular object

Ramesam Vemuri said...


Dear Vijay,

Thank you for commenting although I must say that I find the quote unsatisfactory.

UG: It is just a simple biological need
of the living organism.
Sitara (S): Agreed.

UG: But sex
has become a tremendous problem for us,
S: For who? And what kind of a problem?

UG: We have turned the basic biological functioning of
the body into a pleasure movement.
S: No, we have not. Sex IS pleasurable, no need to turn anything into anything.

UG: if
there is no thought, there is no sex at all.
S: True. But if there is no thought, there anyway is no manifestation at all. I am not sure what this sentence is meant to convey.

UG: it is not just the sex act 
that is important [to us], but the build-up that is 
there, the romantic structure that we have built 
around the love play.
S: Again, what does UG mean to say here? The sex act can become a sense object to which one becomes attached, as much as the romantic play, as well as virtually anything that is experienceable in the universe.

So, to me UG seems to say very little here.
-- Sitara

Unknown said...

Dear Sitara
I like your explanation "Sex as an ego-less offering" better than the one in UG's quote.
Men (like me) take longer to grasp the concept of offering/giving in this context.
Thanks for your good article on such a sensitive subject.

Sitara said...

Dear Vijay,
yes this is a very beautiful wording, which incidentally came from Ramesam who was kind enough to help me phrasing what I wanted to say.

Ramesam Vemuri said...

Dear Sitara,

It is very gracious of you to say so. The credit goes entirely to you only for the excellent way you have been kind to give practical guidance. What I did was merely an editorial job.

warm regards,

A. H. said...

Even the saints and the holiest of holy people got their body through the sex act of their parents.
Perhaps in the case of Jesus, as it is told, his mother was impregnated by God.
While one may consider such a virgin birth purer and free of sex, I prefer to laugh and picture that even the formless omnipresent God is enjoying making love to Mary, for the blessing of humanity.
Though Ramana says there is no sex in the Self, I take it to mean, 1) that the Self is not a thing like the body is and 2) the Self, not being a thing, never acts.
Thanks for the lovely sharing.
May saintly beings continue to have sex and give birth to more Ramakrishna's, who can then refrain from sex, as a testimony to the one-pointed focus on the ultimate realization of God. What a paradox this manifestation is!

Muz Murray said...

In the language of the times of Jesus (Yeshua ben Joseph) a woman was known as a 'virgin' until she had conceived a child. Hence the mistaken notion that she conceived without sex.

Muz MURRAY said...

Ifn fact, the word used in the early Hebrew version of the Bible was 'almah'--which meant "a young woman of child-bearing age, whether married or unmarried," but which was later translated as 'virgin' in the 2nd Century. However, the old Hebrew word for an actual virgin was 'betulah', a term with which ‘Mary’ (actually, Miriam) was never described. So the whole erroneous concept appears to have devloped from there.

Martin said...

Part of the exoteric meaning of virginity prior to marriage was to ensure that transmission of genetic material (sperm) was exclusively from the husband.

The esoteric meaning of virginity and virgin birth refers to the lower nature of man and also nature itself, that can be represented as the second of the following two pairs (besides other dualities): purusha and prakriti, Self and no-Self, etc. Buddha, Christ, and Zoroaster can be symbols of the higher Self being incarnate in the lower nature (‘Buddha nature’ as the higher in the first case, and so on). The pure virgin/virginity signifies the purified part of the lower nature – in both sexes. In Christianity every soul is female with respect of Christ, its lord and model. The expressions: virgin nature, virgin forest, virgin oil! suggest being untouched or unpolluted. There are other meanings, e.g. two Greek virgin goddesses, Minerva the huntress, and Athena, symbol of wisdom and the arts. The latter enjoyed the company of outstanding males (gods and heroes), be it in wisdom or in courage and skill in battle – she would outperform anyone of them (same as ferocious Durga!) – but did not allow sexual contact with them, beautiful as she was; she wanted to keep her independence and self-reliance. There are probably other meanings attached to 'virgin', as happens with much of symbolism and the arcane 'science' of mythology…