Sex and spiritualism: they figure in my Blogger and Orkut profiles as two of my passions. For many, the combination might seem like the mixture of oil and water. What to do, mindsets can be made of concrete. A famous editor of a certain newspaper does not approve of articles related to yoga and meditation because he believes they are synonymous with Hinduism and are unscientific and therefore should not find place in his 'secular' paper.
If an editor, who is supposed to be the embodiment of intellect and knowledge, indulges in such discrimination, you can imagine the horror of a lesser mortal when he finds you glorifying sex on one hand and talking about spiritualism on the other. But what the hell, I shall include scotch as well. Believe me, the cocktail of the three S's can make your stay on this planet really worthwhile -- provided you mix the right quantities.
My recipe for happiness would be: connect to your soul early in the morning; do your karma yoga throughout the day; down a couple of scotches in the evening, and then sex at night. The order could be interchanged, as long as you don't do something at the cost of the other.
But then, it is always easier said than done, and that is why we are what we are, and thank God for that. Imagine a world full of perfectionists who followed a time-table: 6 am -- meditation, 8 am -- breakfast, 10 am -- in office, 7 pm -- drinks, 8 pm -- dinner, 10 pm -- fornication.
So back to the cocktail of sex, scotch and spiritualism; and the people who look down up or laugh at it. Sex and alcohol are often seen as natural partners (therefore the cliched phrase, Wine and Women); but alcohol and God, or sex and God? -- that's blasphemy! But read what South India -- The Rough Guide has to say about the Ayappa cult in Kerala:
"One day, when the two male gods, Shiva and Vishnu, were together in the pine forest, Shiva asked to see Vishnu's famed female form Mohini, the divine enchantress. Vishnu refused, having a fair idea of what this could lead to. However, Shiva was undeterred, and used all his powers of persuasion to induce Vishnu to transform. As a result of the inevitable passionate embrace, Vishnu became pregnant, and the baby Ayappa emerged from his thigh.
"Pilgrims, however, are required to remain celibate..." And it goes on to talk about the famous pilgrimage undertaken by thousands every year in South India.
Per se, it is a good idea to resist physical desires for 41 days: it cleanses your mind and body. But why connect this abstinence to a God who himself was born out of a momentary physical desire?
But then, somebody -- certainly not God himself -- must have made the rules at some point, and people are merely following it. Just like elderly people in villages still follow the unwritten rule that even the shadow of a low caste must be avoided at all cost. Only the dark corners of the mind are at work, and such people, all their lives, are consigned to darkness.
A God-loving man is usually happy, but a God-fearing man is necessarily unhappy. A God-loving man gives a fuck: he has his own devices to tide over the vicissitudes of life. A God-fearing man, on the other hand, is chained either by insecurity or greed. If I were God, and if a devotee came to me pleading, "Please ensure that my film is successful. If you do so, I shall tonsure my head," I would ask the devotee to turn around and plant a solid kick on his ass.
But then, I am not God. Though I know what God is like. God is sitting right inside you: all you need to do is connect. If you are a thief, and after the day's theft you sit in an isolated place to ponder whether you are doing the right thing, and then you hear a voice from within that says, "You loser, can't you work to earn a living instead of stealing?", you have found God. You don't need to go to Tirupathi and pray, "God, if you rid me of my habit of stealing, I shall donate Rs 501."
Very often, alcohol brings you closer to God like nothing else. Because when you are a couple of drinks high, you are yourself. And that is when God is likely to make an appearance. God hates it when you fake it. So be yourself, and chances are God will rescue you.
But most people behave like coy brides when it comes to God. My mother, for instance. She has a set of 'puja clothes', which she washes everyday and makes sure no one touches them when they are left out to dry. Every morning, attired in those 'fresh' clothes, she will sit for puja, but not before she has personally washed all the utensils on which God has to be served. God's food usually consists of tiny sugar-balls, and when I ask her: "God is the one who is feeding us, so why do you need to feed him?", the staple answer is: "How can I leave God unfed?" If I argue, she warns me, "Don't fly too high, God can always ground you."
I pity her, and I pity the millions of others, who undertake so much of hardship to please a so-called God. Imagine standing in the queue for hours and hours, just for the sake of a darshan, or a glimpse, of the deity. And in those few moments you get the glimpse, you don't even relish the sight of the deity because your heart is busy pouring out dozens of selfish requests. And even before you finish with your list of requests, the priest rudely asks you to move on to enable the next guy in the queue to have his darshan.
India, in spite of its population, has no dearth of vacant places. Such as the beach or the riverside. Even a small temple where people hardly go. So please go there, sit comfortably, shut your eyes and talk to yourself. You will find God. Doesn't matter if you have had a few drinks -- in fact, that would make you more honest. Doesn't matter if you have just had sex -- that would rid you of the burden of lust.
Sitting alone, completely at peace with yourself -- that, according to me, is true spritualism.