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What kind of sex life can one lead, living in the material world?

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"What kind of sex life can one lead, living in the material world"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

The Vedic principle is that one should avoid sex life altogether. The whole Vedic principle is to get liberation from this material bondage.
Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Mayapura:

Bob: I've asked devotees about how they feel towards sex in their relations, and I under..., I see their way they feel, but I can't see myself acting the same way. See, I'll be getting married in this end of this summer.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Bob: I'll be getting married the end of this summer, in September or August, when I return to America. And the devotees say that the householders only have sex to conceive a child. And I cannot picture myself at all in such a position, and... What kind of sex life can one lead, living in the material world?

Prabhupāda: The Vedic principle is that one should avoid sex life altogether. The whole Vedic principle is to get liberation from this material bondage. And there are different attachments for this material enjoyment, out of which sex life is the source of topmost enjoyment. The Bhāgavata says that this material world... Puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etam (SB 5.5.8). Means that a man is attached to woman and woman is attached to man. Not only human society, in animal society also. That attachment is the basic principle of material life. So, a woman is hankering or seeking after the association of a man, and a man is hankering or seeking the association of a woman. Just like we see the, all the fictions, novels, dramas, this cinema, or even ordinary advertisement, simply they depict the attachment between man and woman. Even in tailor's shop you'll find on the window some woman, some man. (break) So this attachment is already there.

Bob: The attachment between man and woman.

Prabhupāda: Man and woman. So if you want to get liberation from this material world, then that attachment should be reduced to nil. Otherwise, simply for that attachment, you'll have to take birth and rebirth, either as human being or as demigod or as an animal, as a serpent, as a bird, as a beast. You have to take birth. So this basic principle of attachment, increasing, is not our business. It is decreasing. Pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalam. This is the general tendency, but if one can reduce and stop it, that is first class. Therefore our Vedic system is that first of all a boy is trained as a brahmacārī, no sex life. Brahmacārī. He goes to the teacher's home. (pause—a devotee chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa over loudspeaker is very loud.) Who is this? Stop it. (break) The whole principle is, Vedic principle is, to reduce it, not to increase it. Therefore the whole system is varṇāśrama-dharma. Our, the Indian system is called varṇa and āśrama, four spiritual orders and four social orders. The social order is brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsa. Uh, this is spiritual order. And social order is brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, and śūdra. So under this system the regulative principles are so nice that even one has got the tendency for enjoy material life, he is so nicely molded that at last he gets liberation and goes back to home, back to Godhead. This is the process. So sex life is not required on principle, but because we are attached to that, therefore there are some regulative principles. Sex life... It is said in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that

puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etaṁ
tayor mitho hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ
ato gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair
janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti
(SB 5.5.8)

It is said that this is the basic principle of material life: attachment for man or woman. And when they are united, when a man and a woman is united, that attachment becomes increased. And that increased attachment will induce him for gṛha, means home; kṣetra, means land; suta, means children; āpta, friendship, or society; and vitta, vitta means money. In this way, gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittaiḥ, he becomes entangled. Janasya moho 'yam. This is the illusion. And by this illusion he becomes ahaṁ mameti (SB 5.5.8), "I am this body, and anything in relationship with this body, that is mine."

Bob: What is that again?

Prabhupāda: This attachment increases. The material attachment. The material attachment means "I am this body, and because I have got this body in a particular place, that is my country." And that is going on. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," this bodily... "This is my country. I shall sacrifice everything for my country, society." So in this way the illusion becomes increased. So under this illusion, when he dies he gets another body. That may be a superior body or inferior body according to his karma. So if he gets superior body, then that is also entanglement. Even if he goes to the heavenly planet, that is entanglement. And if he becomes cats and dogs, then his life's lost. A tree. There is every chance. So this science is not known in the world, that how the soul is transmigrating from one body to another and how he's being entrapped in different types of body. This science is unknown. Therefore when Arjuna was speaking from the bodily concept of life that "If I kill my brother, if I kill my grandfather, the other side..." So he was simply thinking on the basis of bodily concept of life. But when it was not solved he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, accepted Him as spiritual master. And when Kṛṣṇa became his spiritual master He chastised him in the beginning. Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase (BG 2.11), that "You are talking like learned man, but you are a fool number one because you are talking on the bodily concept of life." So this sex life increases the bodily concept of life. Therefore the whole process is to reduce it to nil.

Bob: To reduce it over the stages of your life?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Reduce it, just like a boy is trained up as a student up to twenty-five years, restricting sex life. Brahmacārī. So, some of the boys they remain naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī. He, because he's given education, so if he becomes fully conversant he doesn't like to marry. But one who has not such restraint, he's allowed to marry. That is also restricted, that he cannot have sex life without being married. Therefore in the human society there is marriage, not in the animal society. But we are reducing human society gradually to animal society. We are forgetting marriage. That is also written in the śāstras. Svīkāra eva codvāhe. In the Kali-yuga there will be no marriage performances, but the boy and the girl, they'll simply agree to live together. Dāmpatye 'bhirucir hetuḥ. And their relationship will exist on sexual power. If the man or the woman is deficient in sex life, then there is divorce. So on this philosophy... There are many western philosophers like Freud and others. They have written so many books. But according to Vedic culture, we are not interested. We are interested only for begetting children. That's all. Not to study the psychology of sex life. There is already psychology, pravṛtti, natural. Even if one does not read any philosophy, he'll be sexually inclined. There is no need of philosophizing sex life. Nobody is taught sex life in the school and the colleges, but everyone knows it, how to do it. (laughs) So pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalam. That is the general tendency. But education should be given to stop it. That is real education. (pause)

May 15, 0011 JL +
August 26, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 1 +  and Let: 0 +