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 性就是死亡  
 作者:桑老师    教导来源:本站原创    点击数:    更新时间:2012-9-17  【
 

性就是死亡

格奥尔格·奥威尔说:“在一个处处都充斥着谎言的年代,说出真相是一项革命性的举动,”他还说:“如果自由意味着可以做任何事情的话,那么它也意味着我们有权利告诉人们他们不想听到的话。”如果在呈现一个对我来说意义深远的讯息时显得有些轻视他人的话,我要事先表示歉意。我分享这个想法不是为了贬低任何人或想得到任何东西,而是为了给人以帮助。这个观点可能最初显得让人不快,但它实际上包含着令人解放的觉悟。社会改革家弗雷德里克·道格拉斯说“知识会使人变得不适合做奴隶。”奥威尔和道格拉斯的立场指向的是社会/政治问题,而我要分享的却具有纯粹灵性的性质。然而,他们的话也同样地适用于我将要和大家分享的。这些思想源于一个奉爱瑜伽师茹阿文卓·斯瓦茹帕(Ravindra Svarupa),他有着宗教学硕士和博士学位以及哲学学士学位。这些思想节选自《永生的渴望》,这是以《无尽的爱》为题出版的一本文集中的一篇文章。几年前,我从这篇文章中学到的东西已经改变了我的人生,我相信它也会给你的生活带来改变。

其实,《永生的渴望》一文的作者所破除的幻觉可能是人们最普遍、最根深蒂固的信念:那就是我们可以通过感官的享乐,尤其是一切享乐的原型---性和性爱而获得幸福这一观念。那些把性从传统束缚中解放出来的广泛运动滋养了一些错误的观念——这些观念并没有使人们籍着肉欲的觉醒而获得幸福。但是,很多人仍然还没有理解这种错误。他们不理解色欲和爱之间的区别。想一想,最近一次是什么时候,你或你的女朋友、妻子、姐妹、孩子或母亲穿着类似妓女的服装:勉强遮住内衣的服装,穿着旨在把人的注意力引向私处。当人们充满色欲地瞥视潜在的享乐对象,那是爱吗?我个人是不相信那些经常手淫、看色情文学的人看到穿着半裸的人会不产生联想、不感到性冲动的。我感觉不可思议的是:人们竟然不介意成为一个陌生人的色欲的对象。就我而言,我肯定不喜欢被任何人狼吞虎咽的吞噬掉。但是,性自由似乎使人对最明显的事情都视而不见了。

茹阿文卓·斯瓦茹帕Ravindra Svarupa更进一步地讨论了这一点。他进一步解释了,为什么通过性来寻求快乐不仅产生乏味和肤浅的快乐感,而且会使人产生不快的死亡体验!根据他的推论:“死亡是一种幻觉,这种幻觉是我们想要享受这个世界的欲望强加在我们自己之上的,而性是这种欲望的本质。因此,性就是死亡。”

永生的渴望

换句话说,思考一下,我们被卷入性生活,卷入由此扩展而来的整个世俗生活的疯狂创业活动,造成了意识的迷醉或麻木状态,从而遮蔽了我们真正本然的正常知觉状态——一种完全不受制于死亡的本性。果真如此的话,就有希望通过发掘那个永恒的自我而实现一种内在的不可剥夺的快乐,这种快乐完全独立于躯体所处的状态。然而,只有把自己的精力从那以性为中心的物质满足的计划中转移出来,从而去除麻醉的知觉状态,一个人才能得到这种快乐。

再没有什么比性更能固化我们对躯体的错误认同感,使我们受到肉体的吸引,沉醉于物质上的扩张。性欲永远不可能被满足,因为它会因得到滋养而愈发旺盛。这种永远受挫的欲望会导致深度而持久的愤怒,这愤怒进而加深我们的幻觉。欲望和憎恨这错觉的双胞胎不断地驱使我们经历无尽的躯体的囚禁,把我们一次又一次掷入各种形体之中,这些躯体使我们充满恐惧、遭受不断的伤害和疾病的袭击,这些躯体在我们还居住在其中时就开始衰变然后毁灭。事实上,这一切都没有发生在我们身上,但是我们错误地认同于躯体,因此把这一切痛苦置于自己之上。

我们应该认识到大多数的人类文化都在共谋着维持我们的至关重要的幻觉,都在巧妙地使我们处在无意识状态。我们树立一些人为的或象征性的目标并为之竞争,以便向我们自己证明我们的力量和能力、我们的耐力和刀枪不入;我们有成千上万的方法能使我们互相拍一拍背或拍一下自己的背。但是,无疑地,自然在无情地折磨着我们,完全无视我们美好而脆弱的情感,无视我们的横幅和旗帜,也无视我们一系列的征服和胜利。当我们毅然决然地使自己或全神贯注或三心二意,完全沉浸在我们那些虚幻的事业之中时,死亡来临了,这令我们万分惊讶。我们把死亡驱逐出我们的心意以便快乐,但这并不真的起作用。相反,既然在这个世界中生和死是紧紧绑在一起的,退避死亡也就退避了生命。一个人不可能有选择地处在无意识状态。

性是生物性的驱动力,它是生命本身的根本。我们无法摆脱性,而且即便能够摆脱也不是毫无困难的,更糟的是压抑和沮丧的问题。因此,我们能做什么呢?只是喋喋不休地说些事情的黑暗面是有违常情的,所有这些坏消息是毫无意义的。

但是,我向你保证,我们的讨论是有意义的。我希望你会思考一下我们反抗由躯体强加给我们的死亡判决的可能性,以及我们的存在不只是为了偶然的毁灭这种直觉可能会在我们隐约理解的、被遮蔽的真相里找到原因。我们高度发展的人类意识使我们无法舒舒服服的呆在一个动物的躯体内,这可能正预示着或表征着存在的根本特点。

性解放运动的宗旨是通过臣服于性,我们能够重获真纯并由此进入洋溢着激情和快乐体验的天地,无疑,以上的断语是与此完全相反的。但是这样一种放纵的情形忽略了一点,那就是躯体这个性享乐的工具,同时也是痛苦、疾病、衰老和死亡的载体。当开始性行为时,那种为享乐对躯体的势不可挡的征服体验,而正是这种体验最大地消弱了生存的能力,我们不难看到这一点。我们第一次的性行为促成了我们对躯体的顽强认同,打制了对性生活强烈依附的枷锁。此后,我们致力于通过感官寻求快乐的事业之中。与此同时,我们意识到一种深深的持久的恐惧:我们已经与死亡签订了协议。虽然性使精神麻木,它却使所有的感官活跃。性成为所有物质享乐的中心。

然而,感官享乐完全依赖于环境的怡人安排,因此,一个人越是致力于追求这类的享乐,就有越多的焦虑。最重要的是,他需要金钱。性以契约束缚他要不断的劳作。得到有魅力的性伴侣至多也就是一个煞费苦心而令人苦恼的追求,而且随时面临着丧失自尊的危险。当一个人变老的时候,这种追求就更为困难,几乎完全依赖于他维持自己社会声望和展示富裕及慷慨的能力。担心和害怕无休无止。另一方面,我们可能试图从性交易市场的焦虑中撤退出来,接受无数流行歌曲的忠告,寻求一个我们“爱”,也“爱”我们的人。这样的发现非常罕见,但它仍然不能结束我们的痛苦。相反,没有什么能比得上我们失去我们爱的对象-----或一个人对我们的爱时的痛苦。爱不是我们的庇护所。我们还发现,随着人们越来越多地想要从婚姻中获得性的满足,这种婚姻关系也变得越来越不持久。

我们在维系关系上的无能是我们的窘境的中心。我们所有的快乐和成就都有赖于我们成功地维系持久的关系,于此我们最终的失败称为死亡。小的损失预示着更大的损失。我们想活下去,扩展我们的有机体,增加我们生命的力量----简而言之,克服死亡。因为性行为是创造生命的活动,我们转向它与生命能量本身建立密切关系来证明我们的生命力。这种生命力通过子孙体现出来。我们的家庭成为由不动产、资金、社会联系、特权和势力组成的要塞的核心。我们通过与敌人竞争并毁灭他们来滋养我们的生命力。以这种方式,我们变得繁荣,辉煌地扩张。然而所有这些活动都有着一种令人绝望的、被动的特性。我们在试图欺骗自己。因为,在内心,我们清楚地知道没有什么能够保护我们,我们所有有权有势的朋友、贵族气派的亲戚、面容甜美的孩子在战争中都是不可靠的士兵,我们所有人都注定要失败。

我所提议的发现永恒自我的工程,不应该与以宗教的名义宣传的压抑程序相混淆。觉悟自我的工程并不做这种呼吁,即为了在未来得到天堂般的享乐,我们要忍受充满挫折和损失的惨淡生活。我们也不建议,通过使情感萎缩,寻求的快乐只是中性的“平和”,只是没有痛苦而已。恰恰相反,我建议的是,我们想要拥有不中断的、持续增强的极乐的永恒存在,这种愿望是合理的,而且也有切实的方法让我们马上实现它,这种方法是如此自然、有力、令人着迷,以致其他一切事务都失去了他们的魅力。

但是,你可能在想,如果有这样的事情,那它应该已经被我们的知识分子和政治领袖所接受并纳入教育方针了。问题是,一个人的知识是和他的处境密切相关的。当一个人习惯于感官享乐和性生活时,他感知的工具就会出现故障,于是他就无法理解和体验自己永恒的本性,无论他在其他方面是多么的杰出。这样的人深陷在愚昧之中,他们的愚昧是如此的厚重、如此的根深蒂固,甚至于他们伟大的知识实际上是一种向无知的挺进。尽管一次又一次的失败,为得到快乐,他们不停的推出无望的、唐吉坷德式的计划。他们对这个世界的本性似乎有着动物般的迟钝、健忘。但是,如果他们误导了别人的话,最终他们甚至不值得我们愤怒或蔑视:他们也像任何其他人一样在受苦。

唯一正确的是,我们要与死亡的判决作战;唯一恰当的是,我们要寻求快乐的生活,这快乐没有中断,永不终结,不为羞耻或恐惧所扰;唯一自然的是,我们想要自己是一个完整的整体,不为二元性所扰。最致命的幻觉是:性是通向这些目标的方法,因为,事实是-----性是唯一最大的障碍。它是我们患病的原因,而我们却拥抱它,把它作为治疗方法。宗教中所训谕的对性活动的限制本意在于帮助我们克服这通向人类幸福的最大的障碍。不幸的是,现在唯有限制和否定尚在,而限制和否定的真正原因却被遗忘了。

性欲冲动的确是我们很重要的一部分。然而事实上它是我们对奎师那的爱的一种转化。因此,这欲望不大可能被清除,也不能被成功地压抑或抑制。但是它可以被恢复到它的原始状态。然而,只要我们还受到性欲的催动,我们就得接受一系列的的物质躯体。我们在生命种族的层级上提升;在我们进化的低级阶段,在植物然后是动物的躯体中,我们的意识被厚重的覆盖,我们只是朦胧地、断断续续地有些感觉能力。当我们最终获得了人类的身体,我们的意识,那永恒自我的光灿,特别地被移除了覆盖。这仍居于物质躯体中的永恒自我的更完满展示便造成了这种有问题的处境,充满了本性分裂的紧张,使我们体验到一种无知动物所体验不到的痛苦。这被移去覆盖的意识的礼物使我们想知道:我是谁?我为什么在这儿?我的目标是什么?为什么我必死无疑?这些问题引导我们走向自我觉悟。如果我们一点也没有开始这一进程的话,那我们还必须接受另一个物质躯体。我们的灵性意识本性的启示向我们表明,我们在物质世界的位置是不适宜的,正确的反应是,寻求从物质的缠结中解脱出来,从而解决那产生于二元性的痛苦。

使自我恢复到其纯粹状态之程序的本质是使自我与奎师那直接接触。这么做最简单、最有效的方法是通过声音。称呼或描述奎师那的声音与称呼或描述物质事物的声音在本质上是全然不同的。这是因为,奎师那是绝对的,或非二元性的。物质世界的二元性使一个事物和它的名字本质上完全不同。比如说,我说“水、水、水”,我的口渴并不会消除。另一方面,如果我说“奎师那、奎师那、奎师那”或至尊自我本人的任何其他名字,我就与他直接接触到了。通过这样用我们的舌头来说、耳朵来听至尊者的名字和荣耀,我们与祂联接在了一起。这种联接是非常有力的。奎师那是至为纯粹的,与祂的联谊非常净化。我们在质上与奎师那是相同的,祂的联谊使我们原本的本性复苏,重新唤醒我们与生俱来的意识。然后,很快地,我们开始体验到我们的永恒本性,品尝到我们自然之爱的非凡滋味,在我们这么做的同时,我们也失去了对那些曾经吸引我们的物质替代品的兴趣。我们的色欲开始重新转化成爱。因而,纯粹意识的苏醒不是基于对欲望的压抑或抑制,而是基于使它重新灵性化。

这与升华不同。升华是用一种更优雅微妙的替代品人为的置换一种粗糙的躯体欲望。它能给予的满足感从来不如原始欲望的满足那么强烈,那么引人入胜。但是,相反,当我们的爱转向奎师那时,它会变得无限的强烈、有力,因为它找到了恰当的对象,而且它也不再有对变化和死亡的恐惧,对物质事物的投入总是为其所阻碍。我们对奎师那的爱开始毫不费力地流淌,不受抑制,畅通无阻。它无限地飘落,因为奎师那包含了所有其他的自我,我们的爱扩展到把他们也环绕起来。当一个人开始生活呼吸在对奎师那的无条件的、永不中断的爱的氛围中时,他会以全新的眼光看待整个世界,他先前为了自己的享乐而剥削利用它的企图也显得不正当了。

从奎师那意识/知觉的一开始,一个人就会获得对灵性存在的积极的品味,因此感官的沉醉也变得相对容易放弃。灵性生活的四个最大的障碍——非法性生活、服用麻醉品、吃肉和赌博——放弃起来可以出乎意外的容易。当一个人拥有真实的事物——一种永恒极乐和充满知识的真实生活——时,要撇开赝品自然就毫无困难。

对奎师那的无条件的爱展示在无条件地从事对奎师那的服务中——不求回报、永不中断的服务。这是它区别于它扭曲的物质转化——色欲——的特性,在色欲中,个人的得益是其动机。即便一个男人和一个女人的性的结合也可以被用来服务奎师那。出生于从事自我觉悟的父母是一个孩子最大的幸运,因为他从最早的那一刻起就生活在不受色欲和贪婪污染的氛围中,而且在他吸食母乳时就吸收了灵性生活的原则。只有在父母结合时就是明确为了这个目的,而且通过净化他们自己的意识来保证后代的好品质,才能孕育这样的孩子。父母的首要职责就是要拯救自己的孩子免于死亡,致力于这个目标的家庭生活对有益于自我觉悟的,这样的话,没有必要不自然的弃绝。

 

补充注释:

1)茹阿文卓·斯瓦茹帕(Ravindra Svarupa)的完整论文包含了一个基于《博伽梵歌》的哲学梗概以支持他的论点。为了简洁起见,我省略了这一部分。仍然,要正确地领会这些观点,一个形而上学的情况介绍还是必不可少的,其中确立了灵魂的在与至尊灵魂的联接中(yoga)的永恒地位。可以查阅《博伽梵歌》,其中提供了这种介绍,也可以核对这篇论文:http://www.dandavats.com/?p=4018#more-4018

2)我意识到,灵性和性方面的事情是我们生活中最珍爱最亲密的方面。因此,我们总是在防范着任何感知到的流言的中伤侵袭。问题是我们经常防卫一些不正确的、有害的观点。因此,我们不愿意问自己那些会刺破我们的自我欺骗的尖锐问题。当缺少超然的愿望时,我们倾向于专注于那些能增加纵欲回报的“信念”。我们捍卫谎言,把它们认作真相。而且,整个的群体都憎恨他们的错误观点被揭露。他们施以最大惩罚的对象,不是那些威胁他们经济状况的人,而是那些帮助摧毁他们赖以获得自尊的基础的人。他们籍着谈及种种虚假的英雄和装置来获得自尊,如果有人揭露这谬误的话,他们无法容忍。因此,在你反对本文中所表达的观点前,请确保你清楚的知道是什么促使你反对。

3茹阿文卓·斯瓦茹帕表示,无论一个人可能有多么好的意,通常地,性冲动似乎强大难以克服。他,于人压制来说,这种观察是对的,但那些修习奉爱瑜伽(Bhakti yoga)的人从他们的经验中知道,如果一个人只是开始积极的修习,尤其是吟诵奎师那的名字,以“哈瑞 奎师那曼陀罗”的形式展示的名字,“他会发现曾经看似如此可怕的障碍变得可以轻易跨越,而且你的真正的生活、超越这个生死轮回的世界,也触手可及。”所以,每个人都可以成功。通常地,成功是相对于其他人的成功而定义的,因此,每个胜利者都要有失败者。如果这定义是基于一个人昔日的辉煌壮举,那么每个人在精力水平下降的老年都会成为失败者。但是当对成功的定义是我们对超然的唱颂和聆听获得多大吸引时,每个人都可以成功。因此,唱颂“哈瑞 奎师那”可以给予每个人以快乐。

 

原文:

Sex is Death

 

Georg Orwell says, “At a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” and “if liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” I apologize in advance if I come off as dismissive with a message that means a lot to me. I share the idea not for demeaning anyone or demanding anything but to help. The idea may at first seem unpleasant but in fact contains realizations that are liberating. “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave,” says social reformer Frederick Douglass. Orwell and Douglass’s stance refer to social/political issues, whereas what I want to share is of purely spiritual nature. Still, their sayings are equally apt for what I’m about to share: thoughts that originate from Ravindra Svarupa, a Bhakti-Yogi who holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in religion and a B.A. in philosophy. They are excerpted from Immortal Longings, an essay in a compilation published as Endless Love. What I learned from there (some years before) has made a difference to my life and I believe it will make a difference to yours too.

 

Indeed, the illusion the author of Immortal Longings destroys is perhaps the most deeply rooted and pervasive of all human convictions: It is the idea that we can achieve happiness through the enjoyment of our senses, especially through that prototype of all pleasure, sex and sexual love. Widespread campaigns that liberated sexuality from traditional restrains have fed erroneous convictions – conviction that failed to reward happiness through sensual awakening. Still, many people have not come to understand that error. They do not understand the difference between lust and love. Think, when was it the last time that you or your girlfriend, wife, sister, child or mother dressed in ways that resembled the garb of a prostitute: clothes that barely cover the underwear; wears that aim to draw the attention to the private part. When people look lustily at that potential enjoyment, is that love? Personally I do not believe that those who regularly masturbate and watch pornography do not make the connection and do not feel sexual urges by observing half dressed people. I think it is weird that otherwise descend people do not mind to be the objects of a stranger’s lusty desires. For my part, I certainly do not like to be gobbled down by anyone. But it seems that sexual liberty produces blindness to what is evident.

 

Ravindra Svarupa advances this point. He further shows why seeking pleasure trough sexuality not only yields dullness and shallow happiness but also creates the unpleasant experience of death! According to his inference, “death is an illusion we have imposed upon ourselves by our desire to enjoy this world. Sex is the essence of that desire. Sex, therefore, is death.”

 

Immortal Longings

To put it another way, consider the possibility that our involvement in sex, and in the whole frantic enterprise of sensual life that expands from it, constitutes a kind of intoxication or stupefaction of awareness that occludes our normal consciousness of our real nature – a nature that is in fact not subject at all to death. If this is so, there is a prospect for realizing, through the excavation of that eternal self, an inherent and inalienable happiness absolutely independent of the states of the body. One can achieve this, however, only if one can remove the stupefaction of consciousness by directing his energies away from the project of material satisfaction that centers on sex.

 

Sex more than anything else fixes our false identification of our selves with the body, rivets us into the flesh, and addicts us to material aggrandizement. Sexual desire can never be satisfied, for it grows by what it feeds on. This permanently frustrated desire causes a deep and abiding rage, which deepens our illusion. The twin delusions of desire and hate drive us on through interminable bodily incarcerations, hurtling us over and over into forms that fill us with fear, suffer the ceaseless onslaught of injury and disease, disintegrate while we still occupy them, and are destroyed. In reality none of this happens to us, but we have erroneously identified ourselves with the body and have thereby taken these torments upon us.

 

We should recognize that most of human culture is a complicity to sustain our vital delusion, a skillful artifice to keep ourselves unconscious. We erect and vie for artificial or symbolic goals so that we can prove to ourselves our strength and power, our endurance and invulnerability; we have thousands of ways of patting each other and ourselves on the back. But of course, nature grinds relentlessly on and pays no heed to our fine and tender feelings, our banners and our flags, our list of conquests and victories. While we keep ourselves resolutely preoccupied and distracted, absorbed in our illusory enterprises, death comes, to our great surprise. We dismiss death from our minds to be happy, but it doesn't really work. On the contrary, since in this world life and death are bound tightly together, to retreat from death is to retreat from life. One cannot become selectively unconscious.

 

Sex is a biological drive; it is fundamental to life itself. We cannot be free of it, and so even though it is not without difficulties, even worse are the difficulties of suppression and frustration. So what can we do? It is simply perverse to keep harping on the dark side of things, and all this bad news is pointless.

 

But there is, I assure you, a point. I would like you to consider the possibility that our revolt against the sentence of death imposed by the body, our intuitive consciousness that we are meant for more than casual destruction, may have a justification in dimly apprehended, obscured fact. Our developed human consciousness, which keeps us from being comfortable in an animal body, may indicate or symptomize a fundamental feature of existence.

 

The assertion, of course, goes quite counter to the tenet of the sexual liberation movement that through surrender to sex we can gain a new innocence and thus enter a world radiant with intense and joyous experience. But such a liberated posture ignores that the body, which is the vehicle of sexual pleasure, is also the vehicle of pain and disease and senescence and death. The initiation into sex, that experience of overwhelming subjugation to the body for pleasure, is precisely that experience which contributes most to the diminished capacity for living. This is not so hard to see. Our first sexual act precipitates a tenacious identification with the body, forges a fast bond to it. Thereafter, we are committed to the project of seeking happiness through the senses. At the same time, we awaken to a deep and abiding dread: We have sealed our pact with mortality. As sex deadens the spirit, it quickens all the senses. It becomes the center of all material enjoyment.

 

Yet sensual pleasures depend entirely upon the favorable arrangement of circumstances, and so the more a person is committed to pursuing these pleasures, the greater his anxiety. Most of all he needs money. Sex indentures him to ceaseless labor. Securing attractive sexual partners is at best an elaborate and troublesome pursuit, fraught with dangers to one's self-esteem. As a person becomes older, the pursuit becomes harder and depends almost entirely upon his ability to maintain his social prestige and display his opulence and generosity. There is no end to worry and to fear. On the other hand, we may try to withdraw from the anxieties of the sexual marketplace and take the advice of count-less popular songs by seeking the one we "love" and who "loves" us in return. Such a discovery is rare enough, but it hardly ends our sufferings. On the contrary, nothing can compare to our anguish when we lose the object of our love – or that one's love for us. Love is no shelter. And we have discovered that as people increasingly demand sexual fulfillment from marriage, the less durable such relationships are becoming.

 

Our inability to sustain relationships is at the heart of our predicament. All our happiness and our achievement depend upon our successfully perpetuating relationships, and our ultimate failure to do so is called death. Small losses prefigure the larger one. We want to live, to expand our organism, to increase the power of our being – in short, to overcome death. As sex is the act of creation of life, we turn to it to commune with the energy of life itself and to prove our vital power. This power becomes embodied in offspring. Our family becomes the nucleus of a fortification composed of real estate, money, social connections, privilege, and power. We feed our vital force by competing with enemies and destroying them. In this way we prosper and gloriously expand. Yet all these activities have a desperate and driven character. We are trying to fool ourselves. For at heart we know very well that nothing can protect us, that all our powerful friends, aristocratic relatives, and sweet-faced children are fallible soldiers in the war, and that all of us are doomed.

 

The project of uncovering the eternal self that I am proposing should not be confused with the repressive programs that have been propagated in the name of religion. The project of self-realization does not call for enduring a bleak life of frustration and deprivation to attain a future heavenly enjoyment. Nor does it propose that we seek happiness as a neutral "peace," the mere absence of pain, through atrophy of the affections. On the contrary, I propose that our desire to possess an unending existence of uninterrupted, every-intensifying bliss is legitimate, and that there is a practical way we can fulfill it immediately, a way so natural, powerful, and attractive that all other engagements lose their allure.

 

You may be thinking, however, that if there were anything to this, it would have already been accepted by our intellectual and political leaders and embedded in educational policy. The problem is that a person's knowledge is relative to his situation. When a person is habituated to sensual enjoyment and to sex, his instruments of perception malfunction, and so he is unable to comprehend or experience his own eternal nature, no matter how outstanding he may otherwise be. Such people are sunk in ignorance so profound, so fundamental, that even their greatest knowledge is really a kind of advancement in ignorance. In spite of repeated failures, they perpetually put forward hopeless and quixotic schemes to bring happiness, and they seem to have an animal-like obliviousness to the essential character of the world. Even though they mislead others, however, they are ultimately not worthy of anger or scorn: they suffer like everyone else.

 

It is only right that we struggle against the sentence of death. It is only proper that we seek a life of uninterrupted and unending pleasure uncompromised by shame or fear. It is only natural that we want to be whole and at one with ourselves, uncompromised by duality. The most deadly delusion is that sex is a way to these goals, for in fact it is the greatest single impediment. It is the cause of our disease, which we embrace as the cure. The restrictions upon sexual activity enjoined by religions were originally meant to assist in overcoming this greatest block to human happiness. Unfortunately, now only the restrictions and negations survive, while the real reason for them has been forgotten.

 

The erotic drive is indeed part of our essential makeup. But it is a transformation of what is in fact our love for Krishna, God. Desire, therefore, cannot possibly be annihilated, nor can it be successfully repressed or suppressed. However, it can be reverted to its original state. Yet as long as we are impelled by the erotic drive, we take on a succession of bodies of matter. We move up the hierarchy of beings; in the lower stages of our evolution, in plant and then animal bodies, our consciousness is heavily covered. We are only dimly and fitfully sentient. When at last we acquire human bodies, our consciousness, that effulgence of the eternal self, becomes uniquely uncovered. This fuller manifestation of the eternal self in beings that still inhabit material bodies creates a problematical situation, full of the tensions of a divided nature, and provides a kind of suffering that ignorant animals do not experience. The gift of uncovered consciousness causes us to wonder: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why must I die? Such questions lead us toward self-realization. If we do not at least begin upon this course, then we must take another. The revelation of our spiritually conscious nature shows us the incongruities of our position in matter, and the proper response is to seek freedom from material entanglement and thus resolve the sufferings that arise from duality.

 

The essence of the program to return the self to its pure state consists of bringing that self into direct contact with Krishna. The simplest and most effective way of doing this is through sound. The sounds that name or describe Krishna are of a totally different nature from sounds that name or describe material things. This is because Krishna is absolute, or non-dual. The duality of the material world entails that a substance and its name have nothing intrinsic in common. If, for example, I say "water, water, water," my thirst is not slaked. On the other hand, if I say "Krishna, Krishna, Krishna," or any other personal name of the supreme self, I come directly into contact with Him. By thus using our tongue to utter and ear to hear the names and glorification of the supreme, we are united with Him. That contact is potent. Krishna is the supreme pure, and His association is purifying. We are qualitatively one with Krishna, and His association revives that original character, reawakens our native consciousness. Quickly, then, we begin to experience our eternal nature and to taste the remarkable flavor of our natural love, and as we do so we lose interest in the material substitutes that used to attract us. Our lust begins to be transformed back into love again. Thus, the revival of pure consciousness is based not on the repression or suppression of desire, but on its re-spiritualization.

 

This is different from sublimation. Sublimation is an artificial replacement of a gross physical urge with a more refined substitute, and the satisfaction it affords is never as intense and absorbing as the satisfaction of the original urge. But when, by contrast, our love is returned to Krishna, it gains immeasurably in intensity and in power, for it has found its proper object, and it is now free from the fear of change and death that block its investment in material things. Our love for Krishna begins to flow effortlessly, unchecked and unimpeded. It exfoliates without limit. Since Krishna includes all other selves, our love expands to encompass them also. As one begins to live and breathe the atmosphere of unconditioned and uninterrupted love for Krishna, he sees the whole world in a new light, and his former attempts to exploit it for his own pleasure seem perverse.

 

From the very beginning of Krishna consciousness one gains the positive taste for spiritual existence, and so the addictions of the senses become relatively easy to give up. The four greatest impediments to spiritual life – illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating, and gambling – can be abandoned with surprising ease. When one has the real thing, a real life of unceasing bliss and knowledge, there is no difficulty in putting aside the counterfeits.

 

Unconditional love for Krishna is manifest in unconditional engagement in the service of Krishna, in service that has no desire for reward and no interruption. This is the characteristic that distinguishes love from its perverted material transformation, lust, in which personal gain is the motive. Even the sexual union of a man and a woman can be used in the service of Krishna. It is extremely good fortune for a child to be born from parents engaged in self-realization, for from his earliest moments he lives in an atmosphere uncontaminated by lust and greed and he takes in the principles of spiritual life with his mother's milk. Such children can be conceived only when the parents unite specifically for that purpose and insure the good qualities of their offspring through their own purification of consciousness. The first duty of parents is to be able to deliver their children from death, and family life dedicated to that purpose is conducive to self-realization and as such need not be artificially renounced.

 

Additional Notes
1) Ravindra Svarupa’s complete essay contains a philosophical sketch based on the Bhagavad-gita that supports his arguments.  For the sake of brevity I herein omitted this part. Still, to properly appreciate the ideas, a metaphysical orientation where the soul with its permanent position of union (yoga) with the Supreme soul has been established is essential. Consult the Gita that provides this orientation or check out the essay: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=4018#more-4018

 

2) I’m aware that sexuality as well as spirituality is the most dear and intimate aspect of our lives. Hence we are on guard from any perceived malign invasion. The problem is that we often defend views that are incorrect and harmful. Hence we hesitate to ask ourselves tough questions that break through our self-deceptions. When bereft of transcendental desires we tend to focus on “believes” that enhances licentious paybacks. We defend lies by thinking of them as truth. Furthermore, society hates the disclosure of erroneous views. They allot the biggest punishment not to those who threaten their economic condition but to those who help destroy the foundation on which they have gotten their self-respect. They get their self-respect by referring to various sorts of false heroes and devices, and if someone exposes the fallacy, they cannot tolerate it. Thus, before you object to what is expressed in this article, make sure you know well what prompts your objection.

 

3) Ravindra Svarupa states that whatever good intentions one may have, often the sexual drive seems too powerful to overcome. He says this is a correct observation in regard to artificial suppression, but that those who practice Bhakti Yoga know from experience that if one simply begins these positive practices, especially the reciting of the name of Krishna in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra, “one will find that what seemed so formidable a barrier becomes easy to cross and that your authentic life, beyond the world of birth and death, is at hand.” So, everyone can succeed. Ordinarily, success is defined relatively to other people’s success, hence every winner requires losers. And if the definition is based on one’s past feats, then almost everyone will become a loser in old age, when the energy level declines. But when success is defined in how much attraction we achieve for transcendental chanting and hearing, everyone can be successful. Thus chanting Hare Krishna awards happiness to everyone.

 

 

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