Sex, Celibacy, Marriage, and Soul Mates ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

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PARAMAHANSAJI: Enjoyments of wine and sex are rooted in the natural man… Sense wiles are comparable to the evergreen oleander, fragrant with its rosy-colored flowers: every part of the plant is poisonous.  The land of healing lies within, radiant with the happiness that is blindly sought in a thousand outer directions. ….

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Students seeking to escape from the maya-induced sex delusion received from Sri Yukteswar patient and understanding counsel.

“Just as hunger, not greed, has a legitimate purpose, so the sexual instinct has been implanted by Nature solely for the propagation of the species, not for the kindling of insatiable longings,” he said.  “Destroy wrong desires now; otherwise they will remain with you after the astral body has been separated from its physical casing.  Even when the flesh is weak, the mind should be constantly resistant.  If temptation assails you with cruel force, overcome it by impersonal analysis and indomitable will.  Every natural passion can be mastered.

Autobiography of a Yogi


The sex impulse is the single most physically magnetic power that pulls the life and consciousness down from spirit and the higher centers in the brain, out through the coccygeal center into matter and body consciousness.  The beginner in yoga meditation experiences all too definitely how grounded he is by the stubborn attachment of his life and energy to the body, sometimes without realizing that it is his uncontrolled thoughts and acts of sex that are primarily responsible for his earthbound condition. The seeker after Self-realization is therefore urged by yoga to take command of this rebel force: married couples should practice moderation with love and friendship predominating; the unmarried should abide by the pure laws of celibacy – in thought as well as act. 

Spirit and Nature

They are blessed who are victorious over the sexual instinct.  Because suppression may only increase one’s difficulties, yoga teaches sublimation.  The average person can be free of temptation by avoiding the company, environments, books, movies, that stimulate sex thoughts; and by training the armies of self-control, by seeking good company, by proper diet (eating little or no meat and taking more fresh fruits and vegetables), by exercising regularly, by engaging in creative activities such as art, invention, writing.  Above all, by keeping the thoughts on the wonder, peace, and all-satisfying love of God, the insatiable desire for the pleasure of sex is transmuted by the divine love and ecstatic joy experienced in deep meditation. ….

Condemnation by religious moralists, however, does little more than create feelings of guilt in the so-called “sinner”; or cause him either to turn against religion or, more commonly, to justify his behavior by associating with those of comparable standards—the availability of whom is never lacking.

God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita


Jesus does not say it is wrong to marry and to bring good children into the world by Nature’s ordinary law of procreation.  But it is to be remembered that this creative principle is one of God’s holiest laws.  We must not think that there is sin in it, but there is inherent physical and spiritual danger in it’s misuse to stimulate and gratify sex consciousness for its own sake.  That is detrimental to the nervous system and weakens the vitality and immune system on the body.  Spiritually, it is impossible to lift the consciousness into the kingdom of heaven, the Eden of the higher centers of God-perception, without raising the life force from the lower spinal centers of sensual compulsions.

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Moderation in married life, supported by tasting of the Infinite Bliss of deep meditation and the unconditioned divine love of God in the soul, transmutes the consciousness in a natural way.  When the joy of God, felt in meditation with stillness of breath, remains continuously in the soul, then the physical temptation vanishes forever through contrast: The joy in God becomes more tempting than all temptations.  One can even love husband or wife with the love of God and not love of flesh, as did Lahiri Mahasaya (my Guru’s Guru).  His marriage was to show people how the consciousness of God can tame temptation and how God’s love can spiritualize and transmute conjugal love.  When one is irrevocably established in union with Divine Bliss, that consciousness can exist under all conditions of life. Real freedom can be accomplished in no other way.

The Second Coming of Christ


The culmination of marriage between soul mates is distinguished by the fact that the husband and wife no longer live on the sexual plane – not by forced abstinence, but in transcendence.   Being together in perfect love, they become united with God.  Any so-called soul mates who have not yet extinguished their sexual appetites are not truly united as soul mates.   A marriage that is very harmonious but without God-realization may be a moral marriage, an ideal socioreligious relationship on the human level, but falls short of being an actual spiritual marriage between soul mates, the end of which is liberation in God.

The Second Coming of Christ


See also~

Kundalini vs. Sex Force ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

 SRF’s Perspective on Marriage / Daya Mata on Homosexuality/ Sister Shanti on AIDS

“Achieving this balance, men and women become gods…” ~ Paramahansaji and Daya Mata


PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA ~ Talks and Stories by and about the Guru

INDEX: Miscellaneous Controversies