Two Questions

What is your opinion about sexual life and food?

Sexual life is a necessary step in the evolution of consciousness, and as such, those who need this fulfilment of sexual life should understand that it is not anti-spiritual. I would not say that it is spiritual, but it is not anti-spiritual either. Rather it is one of the dharmas of the individual by which we try to metabolize our emotions. Yoga has nothing to say about the sexual life of an individual. In yoga we believe that there are people in society who have a different structure of hormones. They really do not want sexual life and they really do not need it, not even as an urgent necessity. For them, the way of living without sexual life is quite good. Then there are people who have very imbalanced or excessive hormones. They are over-sexual which does sometimes effect the normal ethics, structure or pattern of society. People who have such imbalanced hormones can bring about a balance by the practice of kriya and other techniques of yoga.

So far as food is concerned, yoga has nothing particular to say about it. When a person is suffering from a certain disease, he has to be given a certain diet, just as in allopathy – don’t eat sugar and don’t eat starch and so on.

Labourers should sleep eight hours and children about ten hours. In many cases, in yoga it is advised not to take ghee because it is a fat. In yoga, all these 'dos' and 'don'ts' as far as diet is concerned depend upon the condition of the person or when one is practising meditation. When you meditate for long hours or when you do anushthana in Navaratri or in the month of Shravan, or you want to do Gayatri anushthana, then not only a meat diet but even a fat diet is given up. It is not because it is impure but because you are sitting in an anushthana where the hydrochloric acid of the digestive juices in the body function differently so that you can utilize that digestive prana for your dhyana, meditation, rather than ingesting food stuff. If the digestive juices are subjugated during meditation, then dyspepsia can also take place. I have met many swamis who are very good sadhakas, but suffer from chronic dysentery and dyspepsia because they eat a lot and sit for a long periods of time.

We do not consider sex and food as immoral or unholy but according to the quality of the aspirant, the sadhana which he is doing and the purpose for which he is doing it, do’s and don’ts are recommended.

How can we develop visualization?

A lotus, an animal or any image which you see in the depth of meditation is nothing but your own consciousness. When your consciousness or your mental awareness becomes completely purified, the image becomes clear before you. If you can see a rose flower within as clearly as you can see one outside in the garden and if the quality of perception does not differ, I admire that purity of your thought. Verily that man has concentration who is able to see things with his eyes closed as much as he sees with eyes open. When the difference between the thought perception and outer perception dissolves into nothing, then your thoughts become like a mirror. When your thoughts are completely cleared up, then you can see the rose inside you with the same clarity as you see the rose outside. If you are not able to see the rose inside you, it means that your mind is not completely clear. It means that there is a barrier between the thought of the rose and being able to see it within.

When the mind becomes pure and distractions lessen, then all becomes clear. There is no need to repair the mind. Whenever there is concentration, meditation, one-pointedness, there is detachment from the outside world for some time.

22 July 1982, Bokaro, Jharkhand (previously Bihar)