Spiritual perfection requires detachment from our own body, what to speak of others’ bodies

Contemporary culture revels in glamorizing sex through myriad mind-grabbing means. This pervasive glamorization sometimes even seeps into spiritual circles, wherein appear slogans such as sambhoga se samadhi (spiritual perfection through sex).

Such ideas may captivate popular imagination, but they can’t survive philosophical investigation. The ABC of spirituality, given as the first lesson of the Bhagavad-gita (02.13), is that we are not our bodies. We can realize our immortal spiritual identity, the Gita (02.15) indicates, only when we detach ourselves from our bodies by cultivating indifference towards its pleasures and pains.

Focus on detachment can dry up relationships. But bhakti with its focus on Krishna deepens rather than dries relationships.

When spiritual realization requires detaching ourselves from even our own bodies, how can it come through an activity that takes us in the opposite direction – from sex that makes us attached to not only our body but also others’ bodies? It can’t. No wonder serious spiritual traditions throughout history have mandated regulation, if not renunciation, of sex.

The bhakti tradition too requires sexual regulation, but it makes such regulation easier by fulfilling the heart’s longing for love – the longing that the culture misdirects towards body-centered romance. Bhakti connects us with the all-attractive Supreme Person Krishna, whose love satisfies our heart perfectly and perennially. And we can glimpse that love by sincere practice of bhakti-yoga.

That taste of divine love enriches even our worldly relationships. In non-devotional spiritual paths, the focus on detachment can dry up relationships. But bhakti with its focus on Krishna deepens rather than dries relationships. We see our loved ones not just as materially related but also as spiritually related, being our relatives in the universal family of Krishna and presently entrusted by him in our care.

Thus, the more bhakti detaches us from our bodies, the more it bonds our souls together in our shared spiritual love for Krishna. Explanation of article:

Listen audio

Information puffs us up; application builds us up
The Gita is a book of theology for the purpose of therapy
Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Captcha *