The flavor of Natural Love
from the book 'Endless Love'
Ravindra Svarupa das
Submitted by Manoj
The essence of the program to return the self to its pure state consists of bringing that self into direct contact with Krsna. The simplest and most effective way of doing this is through sound. The sounds that name or describe Krsna are of a totally different nature from the sounds that describe material things. This is because Krsna is absolute or nondual. 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 "Krsna, Krsna, Krsna," 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. Krsna is the supreme person and His association is purifying. We, are qualitatively one with Krsna, 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 desires, but on its respiritualization.
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 Krsna, 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 blocks its investment in material things. Our love for Krsna begins to flow effortlessly, unchecked and unimpeded. It exfoliates without limit. Since Krsna 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 Krsna, 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 Krsna 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 Krsna is manifest in unconditional engagement in the service of Krsna, 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 Krsna. 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.
But sex for any other purpose-sex to exploit the body for enjoyment, to fuel the delusions of the ego-is the cause of death. 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 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. 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.
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 uncomprornised 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. Unfonunately, now only the restrictions and negations survive, while the real reason for them has been forgotten.
But the viable path of self-realization is once again open. It may seem to you that, whatever good intentions you may have, the sexual drive is too powerful for you to overcome. It is true that it is too strong for artificial suppression. But I know from experience that if you simply begin by taking up the positive practices of bhakti-yoga, especially the reciting of the name of Krsna in the form of the Hare Krsna mantra, you 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.