( First Published In Spring & Summer Edition Of Aavartan, 2014. It’s A Research Journal Published From Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh)
India is melting pot of most beautiful philosophies. On one hand we have lofty themes embedded in Advaitic domain, which expand our limited consciousness, and on the other, we have principles related with Kama, explored beautifully in Vatsayana’s Kama Sutra. However, having said that, I must say we have strayed away from these concepts, leading to disturbed living patterns at various level of human existence. Neither we have been able to act as Grihastha (householder) nor able to emerge as a perfect Yogi. At this point, it’s better to stick to distortions that have trespassed into healthy sexual beliefs.
One should not forget that sex is a powerful force, which can even shake the beliefs of yogis lost in deep meditation. The stories of Indra sending Apsaras to distract the sages are quite well known- a fact which mythological TV serials have cashed-in so well! Osho comes to describe the impact of sexual power in his inimitable style. He says, “Ninety percent of our thinking is sexual. Whatsoever you are doing outside, inside sex is a constant concern – you may not even be aware of it. You are sitting in a room and a woman enters: your posture changes suddenly. Your spine is more erect, your breathing changes, your blood pressure is different. You may not be aware at all of what has happened, but your whole body has reacted sexually. You were a different person when the woman was not there; now again you are a different person.”
That’s being the case, it’s really baffling average human being has been taught to remain in denial mode about it. Now that’s not only strange but also a dangerous state of affair. It leads to unhealthy suppression of one of the most basic instincts. Why do we forget that such unhealthy denial would prove suicidal for the greater good of human society? It would only lead to negative manifestation of sexual energies. Worse, self-proclaimed Gurus in field of spirituality have created huge mess by proclaiming that sexual beliefs are obstacle in attainment of realization. Kama has been portrayed as villain. That’s not true. Had it been villain, it would not have attained a dignified position as one of the aims associated with Purusartha (aims considered vital for human existence). The truth is not what these commercial Gurus are preaching. What we need to remember is that sex need to be enjoyed but not at the cost of cherished human values. It needs to be honoured but in a dignified way.
So now we come to an altogether different aspect. We are living in age of technological boom. Sexting is so common, pornographic materials are available at one click and women and men are now being hailed progressive in such matters, but still an enlightened understanding is missing. Mind you, bundle of information cannot ensure a conscious approach. We need a proper mindset, a proper approach to develop a mature understanding in this regard. This “mature understanding” is something which has not made its presence felt. It’s not going to come through titillating advertisement, wherein particular flavour of condom is being preferred. Nor it can be achieved by witnessing gyrating bodies in Bollywood movies. Most of the henious crimes we are witnessing have some sexual misconception as their primary cause. Imagine infants are being raped and even older women are also being raped! Rapes are not only about man exerting his power over woman in wrong way as preached by feminists, but it’s more about sexual miseducation.
Jeremy Seabrook, a prominent British author, expressing his concerns about sexual miseducation rightly states that “if it’s true that silence over sexuality risks blighting lives, it is certain that leaving instructions of the young in sexual matters to the free market is a disaster…..It is clear that new forms of ignorance can be conjured out of the very knowingness which the newly initiated into the secrets of sex they have gained.” If that sort of so-called knowledge about sex is lethal, one could easily imagine that restrictions imposed by society on having access to fulfillment of sexual desires would be cause of greater sorrow. That’s because digital era has made transfer of sexual knowledge and explicit images a very commonplace affair. So if you are not proving it smooth outlet, you are simply creating world of perverts. It’s hard to imagine how can tough laws ensure prevention of sex-related crimes? They can act as deterrent, leading to lesser number of crimes, but they cannot eliminate the desire.
Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita unfolds this dilemma more succinctly: “Because of the destructive idea propounded by some spiritual traditions, that spiritual fulfillment is only possible if one denies sex, there is a great lack of any kind of intelligent sexual education. And because our species’ survival depends on sex, of course our bodies make it a priority.” The message is loud and clear: Make room for sex in intelligent way. It’s better to channelize our sexual desires in conscious way, but, at the same time, not forsaking principles related with honourable life.
Ironically, in another arena, the law commission, the courts and law enforcing agencies do not see sex related crimes in wider aspect. They treat it as a sexual offence wherein a man is a “dangerous criminal” and woman the “most helpless victim”. Rape in my eyes is representative of the collective failure of the society! Rape is seen as one of the most heinous crimes, and, indeed, it should be the case. However, does that ensure one accused of such a crime be treated in barbaric manners. In a nation which cares damn about prison reforms, one can imagine that those found guilty of sexual crimes or under-trials are treated in most miserable way. They also conveniently forget that when laws were framed the situations were quite different. The attitude of women was not brazen as it has now become and when one says one is not suggesting that a woman’s modesty needs to be outraged simply because she dared to display bizarre traits. It’s being suggested to merely show the changes that have occurred with the passage of time, wherein vulnerability has increased due to many complex developments which until now were quite unknown to Indian society. Earlier, there was lesser generation of porn movies but now in USA almost 211 porn movies are being made in every week. Needless to state, the Asian countries offer great market. The point which I wish to prove is that in given scenario the way we look at sex and sex related crimes needs to change.
Sadly, the Indian landscape is marred by contradictions in this regard. It’s open to Reebok shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and Wrangler Jeans, but it tries hard to ignore the impact of permissiveness, and licentiousness too, these items have unleashed. Why there is so much ambiguity when it comes to having a candid opinion regarding the worth of sex in Indian society? It’s high time we have a proper mindset and clinical approach to deal with sex related crimes. Let’s not treat one guilty of sexual crime merely as “sick pervert” and treated to legal process in most cruel fashion, but subject him to greater reforms which help him emerge as good human being. We have borrowed from West so many lesser aspects, but failed to borrow their methodological approach encircling complex issues. One cannot emerge as good human being by merely highlighting on one’s T-shirt “Being Human” message. One need to go beyond such cosmetic gestures.
It’s not merely enough that sex education gets introduced. There has to be a greater space for assimilation of sexual beliefs besides channelization of sexual desires. After all, celibacy is abnormal and outdated in both progressive and orthodox societies! For progressive thinkers it’s akin to introduction of Hindutva! Against this backdrop, the only path that remains is to provide space to unleash sexual desires. Is Indian society really prepared for that? However, the harsh truth is that it has no other way left. So let’s have proper sex education; introduce state-of-the-art sex clinics in villages and smaller cities to deal with sexual disorders/sex related diseases, and, above all, improvise the legal mechanism to deal with sex related crimes. It’s still marred by archaic methods. It’s never too late to give way to better ways, ideas and beliefs. Let’s accept the new changes in a wise way before the damage becomes irreparable!
Spring and Summer Edition In PDF format:
Jeremy Seabrook: Article Titled "Sexual Miseducation"
Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita: Paradigm Shift; Nov-Dec.2010