Swami Nithyananda had sex ! !
Oh, the horror of it. An entire nation has come to a standstill. Ashrams are burning and everyone seems to be tut-tutting from street corners to office coolers. There seems to be the lurking suspicion that this is actually a trend… Maybe its not just the odd swami ! Perhaps there are hordes of them, giving in to their carnal desires all over the country. Today Nityananda, tomorrow…. ??? Shudder!
But has anyone asked the question, so what? I mean.. seriously… whats the big deal? Is it really so shocking that two consenting adults decided to engage in a natural bodily function?? Since when is that a crime? I mean, if somebody had put a camera in his bathroom and found that he goes to the loo like all of us, or he brushes his teeth like all of us, would it have cause the same furore? No, right? Then why all this outrage when its sex?
Practically, most people realize that such “sting” operations are usually the result of attempted blackmail or political/money rivalry. At a mass level, one almost suspects that the outrage is based more on jealousy than on moral tenets. When you become a “godman” you can enjoy power, prestige and perhaps some wealth. But you’ve GOT to give up sex. I mean, there has to be a cost, right? If you don’t, then face the consequences!
Jokes apart, I guess it takes us back to a more fundamental question. Our attitudes and social mores towards sex. The role of religious institutions and opinion makers towards developing certain fixed ideas, taboos and misconceptions around a topic that admittedly occupies a central place in many a subconscious mind. And the society’s split personality which condemns it, and at the same time is captivated vicariously by it, above all else.
Clearly, religious leaders understood the power of this extremely powerful basic instinct from early on. And in order to harness and control it, placed sex in inimical opposition to God. Restricting it, pushing it to the dark recesses of the mind, and banishing it from all that is positive and spiritual. It was something meant for the ‘sinning’ masses, not for those who aspired to be on a higher spiritual plane. The consequence of all this smoke and mirrors was a declaration that godmen cannot be “good men”, unless they sacrificed certain forms of physical intimacy! And that became the “price” they were expected to pay, over a period of time. But I guess someone forgot that the very thing they are branding as ungodly, was in itself a creation of God. No more than a channel for the life energy within each person, which is ultimately connected to that universal energy called God. And these restrictions were unlikely to work in the past, or anytime in the future. Simply because they are battling a force far too strong. The basic human instinct to procreate, and hence survive, and flourish as a species.
It is also true that generations of repression, celibate godmen and moral policemen of various hues have not produced a better society. In fact most people would agree that a significant proportion of bad behavior in this world can still be linked back to repressed desire in some form or the other. Thats the very nature of the force. The more you try to repress it, the more it grows in your mind. And finds outlets at breaking points, often resulting in unnatural reactions.
In the end, there are no easy answers to something that involves complex human emotions. But in between all this voyeurism, one is certainly left with the suspicion that if we stop making such a big deal of it, and restricting the very acknowledgment of its existence, then perhaps we can stop being so obsessed about sex all the time!