Hinduism and Sexuality:

Hinduism’s conservatism regarding sexuality came in with the Islamic invasions and influences in India from the 12th-16th centuries and crystallized in the 18th Century under the British Empire and Victorian Conservatism. This was owing to the ideas of guilt and sin in Semitic faiths that was foreign in element regarding sexuality. 

The lay society as the kshatriyas or warriors were naturally inclined towards kama (desire) and raga (lust), owing to their rajasic nature within them. We see this in the khajuraho temples and Kama Sutra. Yet, various practices as in the Veera Marga of Tantra were created for them in order towards a transformation or transmutation of this energy as an expression of nature’s creative energy or rajasic-shakti.

The Hindu view of Brahmacharya was not based on guilt and sin, but rather a view of preserving one’s ojas (vitality) and hence the various methods to avoid losing one’s vital bodily fluids. It was hence adopted by Yogis and monks for the purpose of maintaining strength and health or vitality in the body, as also under the militant (kshatriya) style Hatha-Yogis so they maintained strength while fighting. This forced brahmacharya is more rajasic in nature as it was used for outer purposes. More inner brahmacharya is used to direct one’s inner energies and shakti or ojas towards higher pursuits of stabalising the mind and body and transforming the senses.

The more ojas we have in the body, the easier it is to control the mind and senses as in seated Asanas for great periods, as the mind and body do no wonder. The more ojas a person loses or more activity they do, this increases the Vata (wind) in the body, causing movement (gati) and agitation of the mind and senses.

These are quite different reasons and ways of viewing sexuality than through the Victorian mindset, which has been superimposed upon modern Hindus and Swamis – which isn’t the traditional way of viewing it!

-Ved Kovid, Durgadas

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