CELIBACY AND SANCTIFICATION OF MARRIED LIFE
Lust is greatest hindrance on the path of spirituality. It creates deep rooted sanskaras of red colour which are more difficult to wipe out as compared to other vices of anger and greed etc. Lust is possessive in nature and finds expression with contact of opposite gender.
Celibacy is a way of life to remain out of sex or no expression of lust. It benefits to progress on the path of spirituality. It has to be according to one’s temperament, voluntarily and self-imposed. One who is sure or confident to remain celibate should only exercise it. From spiritual point of view, there is no compromise between celibacy and married life. Middle path may be most disastrous.
Married life is the next and only better way to adopt limited expression of sex for specific purpose of bearing child and own responsibilities. Even birth control with artificial means is also not desirable to control over lust in married life.
All aspects of celibacy and married life clearly explained Meher Baba is as under:
For the aspirant a life of strict celibacy is preferable to married life, if restraint comes to him easily without undue sense of self-repression.
Celibacy is good for progress in spiritual path who can control their sex emotion. Contact with Perfect Master helps one to gain that control, but as few very strong power to control themselves, marriage for most and women is advisable. Indeed it is much better to marry and devote your attention to one person than to remain bachelor, and like a bee pass from flower to flower in search of new experiences.
Celibacy is unimportant. Some men marry, others remain single; but a man is not more backward spiritually because he has married. A woman can inspire him by her love to know the Truth. But she must develop love and not lust. This is the key to happiness.
For the celibate as well as for the married person the path of inner life is the same;
Every human relationship is based on love in one form or another and endures or dissolves as that love is eternal or temporal in character.
Marriage, for example, is a happy or unhappy, lasting or fleeting, according to the love which inspires and sustains it. Marriage based on sex attraction alone cannot endure. They lead inevitably to divorce or worse. Marriages, on other hand, which are based on a mutual desire to serve and inspire grow continually in richness and beauty, and are a benediction to all who know of them.
A woman can play an important part in the development of divine grace. She is man's equal. So long as she is true to herself, all will be well. But once she surrenders to her surroundings, the function of marriage fails. It is then you have divorces.
Delusion of sex
Self has no sex, but when self treats itself as the body, the illusion of sex appears; and therefore, duality. The Self in each of us is sexless, but the self in a person thinks itself as a woman, and in another thinks itself as man. This is delusion. A very subtle difference, It all comes from thinking of ourselves as the body.
The soul is to the body as the bald man is to his wig. The bald man puts on his topi when he goes to work in the morning. When he comes home and goes to sleep at night, he takes it off. In conclusion, you must learn to use the body when you need it for work, and to free yourself when you no longer need it.
Lust is greatest obstacle of spiritual path
In the spiritual path, lust is the greatest obstacle. Even the thought of fornication should not enter the mind. That is why I tell you "Keep your langoti tight," which mean to have no lustful thoughts, do no lustful actions, and do not touch or even look at a woman. Lust is so forceful that even looking at a woman can start a man thinking about sex and thinking leads to action.
Compare the love between a child and his mother, the child plays in her arms and touches her without creating the least thought of lust. But the slightest touch between the father and mother may arouse lustful thoughts in them.
Sanskaras of sex is deep and worst red colour
There are seven colours of sanskaras. Red is the worst and the deepest. It is the most lasting impression, and takes the longest to be wiped out. These red sanskaras are caused by the sex act; hence they are a great check on the progress and advancement. The sex act is considered a grave sin on the Path, and prohibited to spiritual aspirants.
Marriage based on sex attraction alone cannot endure; they lead inevitably to divorce or worse.
Thoughts of sexual desire may come, and even a rush of impulses, but one should not commit any action with another person. Even masturbation is better, though it is harmful to the physique. Sexual intercourse has the worst consequences. It attracts to oneself the worst sanskaras of ages past of one's partner, hence it is most difficult to wipe out. It incurs immense ineradicable damage to one's spiritual progress
Solution of problem of sex
In order to solve the problem of sex, the minds first understand that both alternatives are equally creation of imagination working under influence of craving.
Foremost, you should try to get rid of lust, as all other vices are on account of it. For instance, if a parrot's throat is cut, it dies. But if its wings are clipped, it does not die, after some time the feathers of the wings grow back. Lust can be compared to the parrot's head. Therefore, when lust is still present and we conquer other evils, such as anger, the evils again revive; everything rises out of the head. But if lust is killed once and for all, every other evil is also destroyed; you have cut off its head.
There is no need to stop thoughts from coming. This is a very important thing. In no book it is mentioned. It is only for My lovers that I am pointing out today the secret of this spiritual darkness.
Lusty, good or bad thoughts should not be checked. Let them come, rather encourage them to come! Do not feel nervous or get despondent, but never allow them to express themselves in actions.
What happens then? To clean the slate of the mind these sanskaras should be spent in any way. If they are not spent in this birth they will have to be spent in the next birth. So they should be spent through thoughts only. If they are spent through physical actions, as we have said, new sanskaras are created. So they should only be spent mentally. When their force is spent, you are free.
Now why do these thoughts come? From where do they come? They are not borrowed, nor do they come from somewhere outside. They were deep within you. If they do not surface now, they will surge up some other time. So I repeat, don't worry, and if you follow Me hundred percent you will be free.
An aspirant can use marriage for spiritual progress
In the beginning, the aspirant will, in relation to the partner, feel lust as well as love. But he can, with conscious and deliberate cooperation with the partner, gradually lessen the element of lust and increase the element of love, until love becomes utterly pure and free from lust. But in order to achieve this purpose, he must strictly limit himself to his partner in matters of sex.
In fact, through the intelligent handling of marriage, a person may traverse so much of the spiritual path that it needs only a touch by the Master to raise him into the sanctuary of eternal life.
For ideal married life, be honest, simple, and natural
The ideal married life however, is not arrived at overnight. The true meaning of married life unfolds very gradually, and with it, very, very gradually, the aspirant gets a hold over biological urges.
Be patient. Let your love for her, hers for you and the love both of you have for the Beloved Lord, dispel all tension, confusion, and desperation in your married life. Remain happy and contented with the blessings of His Love upon you both. He has blessed you with His love so make the best of it in this life. Waste not your precious time analyzing the meaning of words of the discourses and in devising ways and means to make your married life compatible to the sexual/biological urges according to the written word. If you continue to do so, you will be engrossed and entangled all the more in words and thoughts of sex, whereas your beloved Lord and Master wants you to remember Him wholeheartedly and get lost in Him rather than His words. Why should one give such importance to sex and celibacy? There are many other things more important than this given in the discourses.
Beloved Baba wants you both to love each other and love and gentle to all; He would want you to be simple, honest, and natural in your married life.
Birth control through artificial means is not desirable from spiritual point of view.
The use of physical means for preventing the birth of children without mental control is spiritually disastrous for an aspirant. but it is permissible for an aspirant to use, in increasing degree, mental control along with physical means, if he considers that he cannot undertake responsibility of children and if he does not in any way slacken his attempts at mental control and sublimation and if he uses the physical means provisionally and intends to give up them as soon as possible?
Birth control must be essentially self control (mental control) and nothing else. There should be no second add to it. Any physical means, under no circumstances, consideration or conditions, would be available.
An interesting episode on Baba’s marriage.
One day, Shireen (Meher Baba’s mother) talked with Baba said, "Merwan, now you are worshiped as God on earth. Since I am your mother, I should also be respected, and I tell you now that there is only one thing left I want in this world – You must get married!"
Baba silently laughed and then dictated in reply, "What you say is perfectly true, mother. You are on the same level with Mary the mother of Jesus, with Yeshoda the mother of Krishna.
You must be respected and you too will one day be worshiped, as it was through your womb that God has taken birth.
As your son, I would never disobey you. Of course, I respect your wishes. However, in order to get married there must be a man and a woman. What am I to do? God has put Me into such a state that I do not find anyone else in the world but Me! I experience Myself to be in all.
When a man goes to a cinema and watches a movie of a beautiful actress on the screen, can He marry her? No, because she is only a two-dimensional image on the screen. Likewise, I see you all on the screen of Maya. How then can I get married?" Shireen was sincere in her wish, and Baba's reply made her weep. She had nothing else to say to counter His point.