Relationship Advice from Sri Sri
Chapter 4 Sex and Spirituality

The Three Avenues of Sex

This body has come into existence through sex, and sex is the oldest impression in this body. There are three forms of sex:

#1 The Body Sex

The lowest form of sex is the animalistic sex. See even in sex there is a gradation, a growth. So the lowest form of sex is when all focus is on the genital organs. Nothing else is important. One does not care who the person is, but all one’s attention is on the piece of flesh. It is like the eagle, it flies so high in the sky but its sight is always on a piece of flesh on the floor. You will find that most people in bars are stuck in this type of sex.

People who watch pornography and all these things, their consciousness, their whole mental make-up is very immature. It is on the level of the animals. It is just bound by the body. This is the basic sex, or the body sex.

#2 The Mind Sex

More grown up and mature people, their sex is not only with the organs of the body, but with some feeling, some vibration as well. It is more on the mental level. Their focus is the not only on the genital organs, but it is the partner that matters more. It is the sense of touch, the companionship that one craves for. It is choosy. It is not just the body but also the mind that is involved. The mind has some ideals and concepts..

#3 The Sex of The Soul

The third and the final form of sex is the sex of the soul. It is the mature and refined form of sex, union of the soul. It is the soul’s longing to unite with the wholeness, with the entirety.

So sex is permeating your life, permeating the entire creation in one way or the other. Even for a fruit to grow in a tree, pollination in necessary. The trees, animals, insects, birds, everything is born out of sex. And the supreme form of sex is the uniting of the mind, the soul, and the being within. We call it love.

The Body Sex or Lust

#1 Signs Of Lust

In love even an object gains life. Stones speak to you, trees speak to you, the sun, the moon and the whole creation becomes alive and divine. In lust even a living being becomes an object. You want to use even people like objects. Love and lust are so different yet so close!

Lust brings tension, love brings relaxation.
Lust focuses on the part, love focuses on the whole.
Lust bring violence, love brings sacrifice.
In lust you want to grab and possess, in love you want to give and surrender.
Lust says, "All I want you to have is what I want.” Love says, "I want you to have what you want.”
In lust there is effort, love is effortlessness.
Lust imprisons and destroys, love liberates and sets you free.
Lust demands, love commands.
Lust gets you mixed up and confused, in love you are focused and blissful.
Lust is only dark and monotonous, love has many modes and colors.
If someone's lust is interrupted they get angry and start hating. Hatred in the world today is not out of love, it is out of lust.
In lust there is cunningness and manipulation, love is playfulness.

#2 Overcoming Lust

Lust is one of the main botherations that many face. Lust grips the mind, tires the body and dulls the intellect. Lust, when indulged, brings inertia, and when suppressed brings anger. Lust is nothing but primordial, un-harnessed energy. The same when harnessed manifests as enthusiasm, sparkle, sharpness of intellect and love.

What factors can sublimate or transform lust into love?

  • Playfulness: People who are in the grip of lust cannot be genuinely playful. When you are genuinely playful, then there is no lust there.
  • Generosity: When you realize that you are here only to give and give, and you feel that you are very generous, lust is sublimated. Lust makes one possessive and not generous.
  • Moderate intake of food
  • Remembrance of death
  • Cold water showers
  • Creative challenges
  • Being in love with God

From Lust to Love

There are two basic instincts in human beings, and these have been with you in all your lifetimes: one is food and the other is sex. Whether an animal or human being, you are born out of these two.

It is so beautiful that in India, both food and sex are connected with the divinity. In the Upanishads (sacred Hindu scripture) it is said ‘Food is God’. When you consider food as God you will not over eat. You will not stuff food into your body, but eat food with honour.

When you go to a place of worship in India, they will give you some prasad (food that has been offered to the divine as part of worship). Prasad is just a little bit of food that is given. Without prasad there is no pilgrimage and no festival in India, because it is believed that food is connected with God.

Similarly, sex is also connected with God. Otherwise, you keep sex separate and think that this is my material life and God is different. In India, the ancient people linked sex to God so that no aspect of your life remains away from God. A basic instinct doesn’t remain away from God. And when you honour sex and consider it as part of the divinity, then your obsession disappears, lust disappears and sacredness dawns. From being an aggressive lust, it gets transformed into a submissive love. This is the ancient thought.

Some people are misusing yoga for their enjoyment of the carnal instincts. This is wrong, this is a blunder. It should be the other way around. Whenever there is a carnal instinct, transform that into a divine inner experience. There is a beautiful word in Sanskrit called 'Atma Rati', which means 'Union with one’s being'; it is rejoicing in one’s own self.

There are two things, nature (prakriti) and consciousness (purusha). Nature and consciousness, body and soul, interplay all the time. So their coupling is happening all the time, and seeing that union within oneself is meditation. That is why meditation is considered to be a thousand times more joyful than sex. Whatever joy sex gives, meditation is thousand times more joyful because there is no effort, and there is no action there. It is just being. This play and display of consciousness comes to one’s awareness, to one’s experience through meditation, and this is a very beautiful experience.

Don’t keep any corner of your existence away from divinity. The divine should be interwoven into every aspect of your life, and this is called Brahmacharya, which means uniting with the infinity.

This is very high knowledge. If you don’t get it the first time, never mind, keep listening and keep understanding, and one day you will say, "Ah, now I understand".
So in India, when you go to any temple anywhere, you find both aspects – Shiva and Parvati which symbolize consciousness and matter (respectively). This is so we first recognize the duality and then see the unity. They are not two, they are not different, but they are two sides of the same coin. You are complete by yourself!

What does this mean? You are both man and woman. Coming out of this label, "I am man", "I am woman",, getting out of your identity is the highest philosophy of the universe. We keep identifying ourselves, "I am a man", "I am a woman", "I am old", "I am young", "I am educated", "I am illiterate". Throw away all these labels. What remains is pure consciousness.

Do not even say, "I am consciousness". Just know that you are consciousness. Don’t go around saying "I am nothing".

A great saint in India once said, "One who labels themselves as something is a fool, and one who labels themselves as nothing is a bigger fool". One who is nothing does not talk, so just keep quiet. How can you say, "I am nothing", when you are saying something? There cannot be somebody there saying, "I am nothing". So keep quiet.

When you consider the basic instincts of food and sex as sacred, then aggression in you disappears and surrender dawns; gratefulness and love dawn in you. That is when it is said the devotee and the Divine have become One. They have merged into One! What is ego? It is a sense of separation, a boundary, a wall, an identity. What is devotion? It is a state of Love.


#1 Overcoming Lust

Q: I think I am addicted to sex. I have no self-control when it comes to sex. I try very hard, but I can’t control myself.

I think you have too much free time. If you are busy and you work hard, then you will get so tired that you will be waiting to hit the pillow. The moment you hit the pillow you will fall asleep.

You either have too much free time or you are eating too much food; then obsessions and addictions come up. Too much food and sex are related. So, keep a watch on your food, keep a watch on your company and keep yourself very busy, especially at the age when the hormones play havoc. If you follow the language of moderation then you will be all right.

When you have a goal, or something to achieve, then you do not think about sex. Just ask any student, during exam time are they bombarded with thoughts of sex? They’ll say no. For that whole month when they have to achieve something, their mind is fully focused on it. They have a bundle of books to read and to prepare. So engaging yourself in some creative activity is helpful.

Pleasure always makes you run towards it first, and then later on makes you run away from it. This is its nature. First you crave for it and you go towards it, and then later on you go away from it because it becomes too much to handle. Yoga is that which makes you centered, it stabilizes you. When you are stable and centered, if pleasure is there, you enjoy it, if it’s not there, you don’t mind it. It does not occupy your mind. It’s not a craving that bothers you.

Q: How do we curb our desires to watch porn, which is so freely available these days?

Yoga, pranayama, meditation change these tendencies in you. It changes your nature. You know that you are not just the body; you are scintillating spirit. With the help of these practices, you find yourself elevated to another level.

Q: I have many erotic thoughts, are they harmful?

Never mind, don’t worry! Don’t identify yourself with the thoughts. Thoughts are thoughts, they come and go. As long as you don’t act on them, you are safe.

It takes time for your consciousness to be dispassionate and centered so such thoughts don’t occur to your mind. It doesn’t happen right away. You might have noticed, as you practice yoga, meditation and pranayama, these sorts of thoughts are fewer and fewer. Erotic and violent thoughts are fewer and fewer.

Q: Isn't lust created by God?

God has put these tendencies in our lives for us to rise above them. Without this there is nothing else in life to do. We have also been given the wisdom and the tools to rise above them. So the solution has been given first and then the problem. We need to fit the right solution to the problem. If we don’t see the solution but remain caught up in the problem, then that is ignorance.

Q: I have come to know that sex is not good. How do I get over my desire to have sex?

Why do you think sex is negative? Through sex alone everybody has come to this earth., In the past people have been made to believe “Sex is the original sin”. Sex is not a sin, it is a basic function. Any plant, human, animal, everything comes out of it, and it is okay in moderation. Nothing should be done in extremes.

All that we need to know is that there is a difference between bliss and sex. Sex is energy draining and bliss is energy conserving. One is energy consuming, the other is energy conserving. That is the thing. 

Q: Is it okay to see someone's beauty? Is it not lust to look at someone's beauty?

If you see some beauty and you want to possess it, then it is lust. You see beautiful things in the world, and every beautiful thing should remind you of the divinity. Then the beauty itself becomes a prayer. A great saint from India wrote some beautiful verses in Sanskrit called Soundarya Lahari. In that he says that everything he sees reminds him of the Divine. The waves of beauty, it all reminds him of the divinity. 

#2 Homosexuality

Q: I am gay, is it wrong?

No, if the tendency is in you, just accept it. Why do you want to blame yourself? It is a biological tendency. Why do you have to be ashamed of it? Just accept it! We should not label and blame ourselves. If you have such a tendency, just recognize it and don’t feel bad about it.

Q: Is being gay an impression of the mind?

It could be, or it could also be biological.

My advice would be to get out of labelling yourself based on some tendency of the body. Know that you are consciousness, you are love, you are scintillating energy. Your identification as energy, as love and as a beautiful person is far better than identifying yourself with the physical tendencies that may arise in you.

The spirit has no gender, it is beyond gender. The spirit is love, and that is what you are. When you know this, you become very solid.

Q: I want to be honest with my parents about my sexuality. Yet my fear of losing their love and support has been stopping me from being honest with them. Please guide me to a solution.

What are you going to achieve by telling your parents? Is it going to make them any happier? When they are not going to be happy, what is the point in telling them? Think about it. You don’t have to pretend to be what you are not; at the same time you don’t have to put a bomb where people cannot accept it. You could tell them gradually; prepare them in some way.

You have to study the situation. How fragile are your parents? How unhappy they will become by your saying that? Is it worth being that honest to them if this is going to make them miserable? You need to judge all these pros and cons.

In the ancient days, they used to say, "Speak the truth but speak the pleasant truth. Don’t speak unpleasant truth and don’t speak pleasant lies". This is the perfect balance.

So use your sense of discrimination and gently prepare them if you want to tell them, if it’s going to serve some purpose.

#3 Sex Offense

Q: Why are there rape cases?

Sex offenders have primarily three issue:
1. Hormone issues. There could be some serious hormonal imbalances in them. 
2. Emotional disturbances. The person may be a victim of some sort themselves. 
3. Total deterioration of human values.

So, these three things together can make a person do such criminal acts which they themselves may later regret.  They are compelled because of their sick mind, imbalanced emotions and hormones. So these kind of people need treatment. They definitely need counselling, and society needs to provide them with this kind of counselling.

Just remember this, there is no human being devoid of goodness. Sometimes it gets buried under stress and ignorance. Unless and until people come to the spiritual path they will not become sensitive, or have a high degree of sensibility. Both sensitivity and sensibility can flourish only through meditation and knowledge. That is why it is so important to bring this knowledge to every doorstep, to every school, to every heart.

#4 Celibacy

Q: Is celibacy the middle path? How do we get to know of God’s expression in its totality without the feminine-masculine principle?

See, you are made up of both, feminine and masculine. Both aspects are in you. Now, celibacy is not the only way. It is not a practice. Celibacy is something that happens when you realize that you are not the body, and the genders masculine and feminine are only for the body and not for the consciousness. The consciousness is beyond.

When you realize this consciousness is beyond, then you go beyond the gross pleasure. At some point of time you will say, "Enough is enough. I want to just go inside". That is when the mind turns inward. So you should not negate anything, but when the energy in you rises up, then you will naturally move towards a joy that is free from feverishness and excitement.

It is said, one minute of samadhi (experience of meditation) is equivalent to 1000 units of sex. How much joy you get in one unit of sex, a thousand units of sex is one samadhi. And that one minute of samadhi is equivalent to a billion years of rest.

Do you want that? Then you have to go beyond these regular things. See, you have to give up something to get something. If you want to really enjoy a nice good meal, you have to give up eating junk food all day. If you are stuffing yourself with a bag of potato chips from the morning, you can’t enjoy your lunch because you won’t have the appetite for it, right? When you are hungry, then you are able to enjoy a good meal.

Q: I am torn between spirituality and sex. I feel a sense of guilt mixing both. I am married and have a good relationship with my wife.

When you are married, that is your duty. You have to grow together with your spouse and help them to grow.

Quotes on Sex and Spirituality

“Anything we need in life is directed towards happiness. That is how the mind works. And the greatest happiness is in reposing in the being.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
“If you do not want to be unhappy, no one else can make you unhappy.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
“The best form of worship is to just be happy!” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
Well Done! You made it through Chapter One! Are you ready for Chapter Five: How to Get Over a Broken Heart?