Long before Swami Vivekananda had become popular through his landmark speeches in Chicago in 1893, he had once gone to meet and stay with Maharaja of Jaipur. As was the custom, Maharaja a great lover of festivities went out of his way to welcome Swamiji. There was an issue that he didn’t forsee. Welcoming rituals included welcoming the guests by prostitutes who were specially called in.
As Swamiji came, Maharaja called the “best and the most expensive prostitute” to welcome him. Swamiji was a Sanyasi, and Maharaja was unaware of his ways. On learning that prostitutes were called to sing and dance for him, he locked himself in his room. He hadn’t yet matured as a Yogi.
The Maharaja came to ask for his forgiveness. Said that this was the most expensive prostitute for whom he had already paid and turning her away would be insulting her and creating a rift with the whole group. But Swami Vivekananda would have nothing of it. He remained holed up in his room.
The prostitute started singing on her own, without the guest in the presence of the hosts. She sang a divine song of a Saint. Weeping, crying and yet singing her heart out and her pain… her travails of being “dirt” in front of him, a Saint. Swamiji couldn’t ignore her singing and walked out of the room and sat in front of her to listen to her singing that night. That night be wrote in his diary:
”A new revelation has been given to me by the divine. I was afraid… must be some lust within me. That’s why I was afraid. But the woman defeated me completely, and I have never seen such a pure soul. The tears were so innocent and the singing and the dancing were so holy that I would have missed. And sitting near her, for the first time I became aware that it is not a question who is there outside; it is a question what is.”
Indifference comes sans antagonism. Swamiji, as a young Sadhak, was suppressing his sexual desires. He had not become a Yogi yet. (Story from “Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2” by Osho)
The grace of divinity in terms of sex is not in suppressing sexuality, but in facing it. Directly. And yet being in complete equanimity.
Years later when Swamiji was asked a question on how to fight sexual desires, he replied that one doesn’t have to fight the desire. If one has reached a certain state, the desire falls off on its own. The prostitute that day had helped Swami Vivekananda transcend.
Rape Case and Sexuality
If there was any country or society in the world, which can be said to have done the maximum and the most profound work in Spirituality, it would have to be India. Also, if there is any society, which has openly and directly celebrated sexuality most since time immemorial, it would ALSO have to be India.
Is that a coincidence or is there something to it?
How would Khajuraho, Konark and Kamasutra co-exist with Spirituality and Yoga?
Mind you, Khajuraho was not a “Gentleman’s club” hidden from the public view or behind a “firewall” to not let “impressionable minds” in. It was a temple! So was Konark.
Konark and Khajuraho are proclaiming loudly what Swami Vivekananda learnt from that embarrassing yet transcending experience with the prostitute in Jaipur. That, Sexuality is not to be feared or given into. Sexuality is normal and human.
A body part becomes sexual as long as our mind has a limited view of it as such. The full breasts of a young woman when she is young can turn off any hard core sexualist when she is an old woman of 80. The issue is not the body part. The issue is the mind. And mind is immature and has only learnt two things –
Either to give in to temptation, or to become Antagonistic towards that temptation and Suppress it.
Consciousness and Awareness of self doesn’t do these things. It just looks at it the way it is. A body part. A person. A soul. It blesses it. Rejoices it. And celebrates it. If there is a need it indulges in a natural way. If not, it moves on.
Western and Middle Eastern societies have dealt with Sexuality through the immaturity of the mind. They haven’t invested enough in raising the consciousness. Not even in Ascetic Schools.
Understanding Rape in India
Rape in India is the result of a conflict. Conflict between the inability of the Indian mind to be moulded like the Western or Middle Eastern mind through suppression and proliferation of temptation of Sexuality in a decadent form. After all, no Hindu or indigenous scripture tells you to suppress your self like Quran. How does one go and worship Shiva Lingam and yet try to tell oneself that Sexuality is evil. We know it is not. We know it is nonsense.
So how does one work with a mind which is not being cultivated like Swami Vivekananda’s and yet train it to be in tune with Sexuality when it cannot be dictated to? This is a serious question that we need to address.
We are in a strange climate, where Religion is “tolerated” but Spirituality is maligned by intellectuals and the “rationalists”. What they have to offer is Humanity dependent upon Mind. A Mind which only knows Suppression. A mind which tells a man that the ONLY way to not rape a woman is by covering her from head to toe and confining her to her home or your Harem!
A Yogi on his Spiritual journey comes across many temptations. Food, Money, Comfort, Ego, Pain and many more. The toughest one to transcend or handle is Sexuality. Why? Because it is ROOT of our existence. It is the foundation of this creation itself. From Gases to Galaxies to Amoebas to Plants to Humans, if one thing is common – that is Expansion. It is called Entropy for some and Procreation for others. To indulge in Sex is to give in to the desire to expand. Physically, albeit. But without any other dimension known to us, that is the ONLY way for us to manifest this foundational quality of the Creation.
Even the best of Yogis can succumb to this in certain moments of unawareness. When that happens, it is not a comment on the Yogi (and his “lowly character”) but at the power of the foundational root of this existence. As well as the difficulty in transcending it.
But taking that journey is the only way. There is no other way. Mind games won’t help. See in the US, for example. One study says that Rape for women in the US is more common than Smoking!
Today an article published in on Significance Magazine’s web site, a publication of the American Statistical Association and Royal Statistical Society, compared these rates to those of smoking – 18.3% of women over 18 reported being sexual assaulted in their lifetime while 17.4% of women reported smoking. Let consider this as we set health priorities. (link)
And such is the state of this crime that over 25% of these rapes happen in victim’s own home.
When family becomes predator, then what to say of the outside world?
Sadhguru on GangRape and his appeal for working on Consciousness
It is in this context – of the dichotomous situation that Indian youth – both, male and female – is stuck in and the lack of society to utilize the techniques of consciousness that Dharmic and Yogic traditions offered, that one can see what Sadhguru is pointing to.
Stay in touch! Like Patheos Hindu on Facebook: