It is with great dismay that I have been reading up on all the news and views on the Sabarimala verdict. The Supreme Court Judges have treated the case as one of discrimination of the sexes. Many of those who support the judgment also have now gone overboard mentioning how with changing times, women should not be discriminated against. And those who are against the verdict have been talking about ancient customs, traditions and how only Hindu religion is interfered with by our Courts. My limited understanding about Sanatan Dharma wishes to dwell on a point which not many have referred to – Abstinence from sex – Brahmacharya at every stage of life is preserving the life force to raise oneself on a higher, subtler path in the discover of the self.
If one were to read some of the stories in our Puranas, we would find that Indradev always sent Apsaras to people (Rishis or Asuras) who were meditating, with a view to deflect them from the path of meditation. Indra was always scared of the fact that unbroken meditation would make the Rishi/Asura more powerful and that they would ultimately want His heavenly throne. Indulgence in anger and/or lust always makes one lose one’s subtle powers because it hampers our mental strength and judgment. It is a well known fact that spies all over the world use honey traps to get information. But for Srishthi (creation) to continue, sex is a must. Therefore, in Sanatan Dharma, legitimate sex was treated as a Sanskaar and it came under the Sanskaar of Marriage. For us, marriage is NOT a contract as it is for Abrahamic religions; it is the bond of the Souls and Karma, extending over lifetimes. But here too there were rules to be followed – for example, having sex during Sandhya (Sunrise & Sunset hours) or during the menstruating days was forbidden; having sex during certain tithis like Amavasya, Paurnami, etc., mating during Moola, Magha, Revati, etc. nakshatras, copulating before & immediately after performing a Puja, Yagna, etc. were all forbidden. No other religion has so many rules when it comes to sex. Why? This is because our ancients understood the subtler aspects of life and set us on a path to go beyond the gross elements. Even in Yoga, there are aasanas where the sperm can be conserved and energy directed to the Sushumna Naadi.
If one were to contemplate on the recent Judgments passed in the Supreme Court, be it Section 377 or Section 497 or the entry to women to Sabarimala, it is obvious that the emphasis has been only on the Gross dimension of life – something that is very much against the core principles of Sanatan Dharma. For example, one may agree that both, women and men are equally wrong when it comes to adultery, but to say that adultery now does not come under the purview of criminality, appears wrong to me. What about the family system or the spouse or the children who may be the victims in such cases? When people celebrate homosexuality as normal, are we not giving in to indiscipline in the family system? It is not as if adultery or homosexuality was not there in the past, but it was not accepted as the norm. This restricted its spread. What is actually happening today is that the Hindu Bharatiya society which respected Sanyasis and Brahmacharis as the model of purity, is now hurtled into a phase where body consciousness overrules soul consciousness.
Coming to Sabarimala, it is not as if Ayyappa, the eternal Brahmachari, will fall to the beauty of any woman … but for the men who have been following a disciplined life for those 41 days, it may be prove to be an irritant. The combined, conserved energy flow of the people who have fasted and abstained for 41 days, is one of the reasons why the whole path is so charged with positive vibrations. As it is, our temples which are built on Agama Shastra principles are massive energy points from where positive energies are diffused into the visiting pilgrims and through them, to their families and society. They are NOT tourist locations where people can go and have some snacks and click pictures. Anyone who has been to Vaishno Devi, Kedarnath, Badrinath, taken a dip in Rameshwaram, Ganga, etc. will tell you how they felt different, during and after the trip. If one were to see old, infirm people, small children complete the trek to Vaishno Devi or Amarnath cave, one would wonder which Shakti has helped them complete it.
When Advocate Naushad Ahmed Khan, President of the Indian Young Lawyers Association that filed the PIL in the Sabarimala case, won, did he feel overjoyed that he had managed to crack the glass ceiling which women from various cultures face all over the world? If yes, I feel sorry for him, that despite living in this country for so many years, he never understood what our temples were all about. Unlike other cultures, Sanatan Dharma has never valued or used sex as a tool to empower people or enslave them … on the contrary, it was always thought of as a physical aspect of life, which one should rise above. The women who are celebrating the Sabarimala verdict also have to be those women who have never understood Hindu philosophy. Why then are they interested in visiting the Temple?
A request – readers are requested to visit the site www.hinducharter.org, read it and sign the Charter.