Why do you think Sex is something bad? – 11 Feb 16

In the last days, I have been telling you of Ashrams where sex is forbidden, of disciples that have sex in those Ashrams although it is forbidden and of course about gurus who have sex but won’t admit it, again because it is forbidden. Forbidden by themselves. Due to the stupid idea that sex could somehow be bad.

I stick with this: it is stupid to believe sex in itself could be bad. Or, on the reverse, that it could be good to force yourself to a life in celibacy! Sex, the physical action, is the result of a natural physical need: the urge to reproduce. Additionally, it is often combined with the need for human closeness, both physically and mentally.

Obviously, rape is bad. Obviously, using sex as a way of manipulating someone else is bad. Obviously, getting addicted to sex in your mind is bad as well.

Sex in itself, however, is not.

It is the beautiful union of two people. It is an exchange of touch, of physical love as well as emotional one, of giving and receiving, exploring each other deeply within, trusting with the most intimate desires and wishes and an expression of love.

A person’s natural urges however have a big power and by controlling them, people in the past have always tried to take control over others. The urge for sex has been a very popular one to be controlled and religions across the globe have toyed with it! For thousands of years, priests of many religions and others of high posts in churches, temples and similar places were required to remain celibate. To suppress their natural urge.

The result is however not a bigger energy for other matters or a clearer mind, as it is sometimes described. That person also doesn’t have any greater powers just because he or she suppressed his or her desire! No, the result is abuse as we have seen it in all religions across the world! Priests molesting young children in their care, gurus abusing their disciples and so much more!

Of course religions won’t abandon thousands of years of this tradition. You however, the sensible, reasonable person reading these lines can make a conscious decision: you don’t need to follow any guru, priest or leader and especially not those who are preaching celibacy. A lot of them are not sticking to this themselves either and even if they do – why would you?

Why Porn is not the Reason for Rape – 2 Jun 15

I yesterday mentioned someone telling me how porn, in his opinion, increased the number of rape cases in India. I already told you that I think of lust as a very beautiful emotion. Today I want to get to the false reasoning that porn could increase rape incidents because of creating lust.

Simply said, this conclusion is wrong. Porn is not the reason for rape. Men don’t watch porn, get lustful and then, with no other way to get satisfaction, go out to search for a woman to rape. Watching porn does not mean that you start raping people!

By the way – women also watch porn! To some people this may come as a surprise but it is a fact. So how come they don’t get crazy and rape men all around? Don’t laugh about the idea – there is rape by women with men as victims, it just doesn’t happen as often and is very often just suppressed as a crime as well. But the fact remains: women watch porn, too, so what happens with their lust?

When there were no porn movies, there was other art and literature, as I already mentioned yesterday. It is ages old, nothing new! Just think of the erotic temple sculptures in Khajuraho! According to your theory, everyone looking at this porn – which it is, just not as technically advanced – would soon feel the urge to go and rape someone because of all his lust! Imagine tourists paying to see the Kamsutra temples, getting an urge while looking at them and then grabbing the tourist next to them! What a dangerous world heritage site!

Jokes aside, I tell you that neither porn nor lust is the reason for rape.

There are people who say women’s clothing is the reason for rape. Others say it is the westernization of Indian society. Some ridiculous people – who really have others believing them – say it is the fault of mobiles or western food! You think it is porn movies. You can keep your thought but I don’t agree. In my eyes, the reason is the suppression of lust and in some cases the instrumentalisation of sex to suppress women.

You can imagine where I am going: in societies which are more open towards sex and in which gender equality is further advanced, there is not as much sexual crime as in countries in which women are suppressed and sex is a big taboo! Where there is suppression and where you hide everything related to sex, it breaks out as a result.

For men who believe in dominating the other gender, rape is a tool to show a woman her place. An action to destroy her willpower and to prove to her that she is weak. No lust is required, no enjoyment is had. I believe that even the rapist does not get real satisfaction!

And as I have already pointed out, the base of suppression, both of the other gender and of the natural sexual instinct and need, is religion. Religion, traditions and culture have turned out sexual desire unnaturally into a monster in the minds of people. You are not allowed to have sex, think of sex or enjoy sex! If you do, you are dirty, have committed a sin and will be punished for it! It is this suppression that makes it blow up at some point!

If you have a healthy love life, you obviously never get stuck with pent-up lust inside you. Why would anybody rape when he is sexually satisfied? If you don’t have anybody near you to enjoy your lust with, it’s a different matter. Also in this case however, rape is not the logical consequence! Everyone knows that there is a solution as well: you can help yourself! Yes, men and women both have all physical possibilities to relieve themselves. Unfortunately, also this is restricted: religion has told everyone that you could get blind, that you are wasting life energy and again, that you are committing a sin! I will dedicate another blog entry on masturbation and the problem that many people feel guilty about this act on one of the next days.

At the end, we just remain with one conclusion: porn is not the reason for rape. Suppression of lust is – and the result is what we see in India.

Lust – a natural, joyful Feeling – it’s sick to see it as Sickness – 1 Jun 15

A while ago, an acquaintance expressed his view on porn movies to me, mentioning that in his opinion these films create lust in people which is then in consequence the reason for an increasing number of rape cases in India. In short, he thinks the more porn people watch, the more women will be raped.

First of all and before going into further detail, I have to clear one thing here: lust is nothing bad. It is a natural sensation, emotion and feeling and we all have it. Men and women, physically able or not, from children to old people, it exists in every single one of us. Each of us has lust – in fact, if you don’t, something is wrong with you! We have varying levels of lust according to our physical situation due to various hormones in our body and of course our mental situation as well.

It is in normal circumstances also easily accessible. Actually, even a simple thought can bring lust. You don’t need a movie or even a picture for that! You can create that all on your own! Also a regular Bollywood or Hollywood movie can create lust – or just an idea that you have while sitting in your office, working on something completely different! At the same time, if someone has a problem and doesn’t feel lust at all, he can watch hours of porn without ever reaching to the point of lust!

Lust is not only natural, it is really beautiful as well! With your feeling of lust and especially when you have satisfied it, you are automatically drawn into feelings of happiness, of fulfilment and love. It gives you a joy and relief which, in my eyes, makes it impossible to be the reason for rape! There is no room for rape with this happiness. But more about this aspect tomorrow.

Lust has always been a part of this world. It is everywhere – from literature to art, from sculptures in homes to paintings in places of worship. With technology, such imagery has become available to everyone by just a click of the mouse. Unfortunately however the image of lust has still not changed that much.

Still today, a lot of people think lust is wrong. The more radical they get, the worse they think of lust, sex and everything around it. Being lustful is the proof of a sick mind. A healthy mind doesn’t have such thoughts and a pure body shouldn’t have such feelings, longings and desires either. You have to feel guilty if you enjoy sex or think of sex. Any feeling of physical desire has to be suppressed. That’s how very religious people believe in celibacy. Trying to achieve purity by asceticism.

I think this is what is really sick. Religion has put the idea in people’s minds that lust is wrong. It is a mindset which makes people sick, mentally and physically! Celibacy is completely unnatural. Any suppression of physical love-making, claiming to have the purpose of purity is totally unscientific but religion doesn’t care!

Suppression has inspired men and women to explore it even more, although in hidden, and then it bursts out in the really sick ways – as sex crimes which were committed because there was no other outlet to a natural urge!

Lust. For centuries it has had a bad reputation and I think it is about time to change that!

How to deal with Grief – just never suppress it! – 12 Dec 13

I yesterday told you that I believe religious philosophies do not help at all when someone is in grief about the loss of a loved one. I told you that you just have to accept it. Of course that is the reality but there are some stages to it and I would like to tell you from my own experience how I think that process looks like.

First of all, there is a time of shock. Of course the depth and length of this shock depends very much on the question whether it was an expected or unexpected death and how close you were to the deceased.

If I speak of myself, it was one week in the case of my younger sister, who died in a car accident in 2006, while I was not even in India. For a complete week, I was like a madman, not able to accept what had happened. I did not cry and couldn’t let it out. One morning I got up and told my younger brother he should search for her on Google, we would find her there, she would be there! I was simply in denial of reality. One day however, reality reached me and I could finally cry.

After Ammaji died with all of us around her, in spite of our effort to take her to the hospital, I felt like a stone again. Since the moment we knew that she had left us forever until her cremation was over, no tears reached my eyes. Only when we came back to the Ashram, an empty Ashram without my mother in there, grief hit me and I cried. We all cried.

This is, I believe, the next step, and a very important one, too. You need to let the grief take over. Allow the sadness to pour out of you, in the form of tears and sobs, let your crying shake you. It is necessary to go through this and to not hold your emotions back!

I know that many people don’t let this step happen properly. Whether it is their own nature or their culture, they keep up that wall of stone around their heart and just don’t let the pain get out. They suppress, something which is never good. You have to allow it for it to pass. You can do it alone in your room but I tell you, nobody will judge you for those tears! Sharing the grief with someone else will not only give you faster relief but it will eternally connect you with this other person!

Life will go on. You will need to adjust and maybe that gap that this person left will never be filled. For a time I was not able to look at my sister’s pictures at all. Even with Ammaji’s pictures it was hard. But I believe it is healthy to take them out after some time and revive the beautiful memories of an earlier time.

There may be people who in our situation would never again eat Gakadiya (bread on open coal fire) or Gajar ka Halwa (a sweet carrot dish) again – because our mother made the best of the world and we only ever ate it from her hands. We know how to prepare it though and we have staff who learned from her, so we cook and eat. While we eat, we remember the taste of Gakadiya and Gajar ka Halwa made by her hands and then maybe shed a tear or two together or just eat together in memory of her love.

Life goes on and we go on along with it. We keep the memories in our hearts and feel the love. Don’t try to ban the memories from your heart. Live them, love them and feel how they bring that person very close to you again, in your heart.

Why do we celebrate International Women’s Day? – 8 Mar 12

Today is International Women’s Day. This is a day on which women all over the world celebrate just being women and think of those women who have done big things in the world. They have made big inventions or they have founded charities. They were the first women in big industries or companies, they are high politicians or they brought more women’s rights to their countries. But why are we actually celebrating this?

Is there an International Men’s Day? Maybe there is because of reasons of fairness but even if, I have never heard about it. There are thousands of men who could be celebrated. They have been the first on the moon, they run the most successful companies, they run the most countries and they have also founded most charities. Nevertheless the International Women’s Day is important – because it is still rare that women are on top of businesses. Because female heads of state are still not as frequent as male ones. Because there are still so many countries dominated by men and so many places in which women are suppressed. We have not reached a state of equality and this is why we the International Women’s Day is publicly so emphasized.

Obviously the reason for the inequality lies in the history of mankind. There have been developments in different societies, influenced by religion and driven by the greed for power, that have created this state which we are now in. Of course men were responsible for it, that has to be clearly said but we all, men and women, can work on getting to a state of equality.

Why do I say both genders have to work on it? Men obviously have to change their behavior towards women. In countries where women are not allowed to drive cars or to go out without their husband or another male member of the family, laws have to change! Men have to see their own faults in the same light as they see those of women and legal punishment has to be equal for both.

Additionally men should not see women only as their outer appearance. A woman is not just a body, she is not a showpiece or an advertisement for yourself. She is a person with a character, an intellect and an opinion.

Women however, too, have to realize this all. I often feel that some women believe they are free and independent and that is why they dress in very short clothes and exhibit their body. In reality however I believe they reduce themselves to their body, too. They do exactly that what men would like to see. Isn’t that in some way contributing to the inequality? On another part of the planet I want to ask women to throw off the burqa which covers their hair and head so that no other man looks at them. Why can you look at other men then?

There are so many more topics like female circumcision, the stoning of women or lower salary for women in the same jobs. The world has to change away from inequality. The reality is that women are not lower than men. They are just as intelligent and they can be even as strong. What strength they might miss in their arms, they have in their hearts. Don’t forget this! Happy International Women’s Day!

– And on a side note: Happy Holi! Today was the last day of the colour festival!

No Respect for lower Castes in Hinduism? Become a Buddhist! – 3 Oct 11

Last week I wrote about people who want to convert others to their belief. I explained why I believe it is not a good idea to even try. I also mentioned that I think more and more people leave religions because of the attempt to force them into a belief. But there are people who absolutely want to convert to another religion and there are of course religions that are happy to accept them as new members.

This happens in India with many people who, in Hinduism, are seen as lower than others. Dalits, people of the lowest castes happily convert in thousands. I read an article about Buddhist events in which thousands of Hindus, most of them of the lower castes, convert to Buddhism. We actually hear about such events quite often.

The reason for this is clear in my eyes: Hindus treat them as humans of second grade, worth less and made to do lower and dirty work. People of higher castes don’t want to eat with them, they think of them as untouchable and try to avoid them whenever possible. They are not respected, face a lot of restrictions within their own religion and that just because they were born into their families! I can understand their anger!

Hinduism is often proud of the fact that you are born a Hindu and I also mentioned that this is a good thing as Hindus thus usually don’t try to convert others. But imagine you are born a Hindu, but a lower-caste Hindu. Would you enjoy being a Hindu? Would you be proud and happy to be a member of this religion? Or would you be happy if a Buddhist monk came to you and offered you to become a Buddhist with all rights and full respect?

I believe everybody would agree that Buddhism here offers a better deal to them! That’s what Hinduism created itself! The caste system is inhumane and does not fit in today’s world. People don’t want to be suppressed by their own religion, especially not when they grow up in a free country, a democracy where they are told that they have a right for free speech, a right to have their own opinion and a right to decide for their lives themselves. Why, if they have the choice, should they choose to live in suppression and as a second grade human?

These ‘lower-caste people’ actually follow the example of B. R. Ambedkar, a man of big importance in the history of India. He, born into an untouchable caste, was one of the first lower caste people to receive university degrees and he is today known as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution – the main writer of our constitution. Ambedkar did exactly the same thing: he converted to Buddhism and fought his whole life long against the discrimination of lower castes. He understood with own experience what it meant to be lower and worse than others because of your birth and in his lifetime already encouraged thousands of lower-caste people to convert, too.

It is a logical consequence to suppression by a religion.

Rape in India connected with Suppression of Sexuality – 22 Jun 11

You know that while I am in Germany I keep on reading Indian newspapers online and stay informed about what is going on in India. In the last days I have noticed that there are so many really bad news about one topic that I thought I would like to mention it here, too. Here are some of those headlines:

Father rapes minor Daughter and shares her with 100 Others

Minor Girl gang-raped four Times in one Month

Teenage Girl raped by Father and Brother

Brave Woman exposes Father as Rapist

Daughter kills Father while keeping him from raping her

Women pulled off street into Van and gang-raped inside

Eleven Police Officers rape and murder 14-year-old

Field Working Woman attacked and raped

Schoolgirl kidnapped and raped on Way Home

Woman gang-raped and burnt alive

After unsuccessful Rape Attempt, Woman’s Eyes gouged with Knives

You could keep on writing this list with more and more similar news. When I read all these, it pains me and makes me very sad. What is happening? We claim that this country has a great, ancient culture, that it is the most god-conscious country, that it has brought some of the greatest saints and philosophers of all times and that still today, it is the place on earth where you can find spirituality everywhere. We have great women in the history of our country. We praise the strong family relations where everybody takes care of each other and nobody is ever alone. But still, the safety of women and girls is obviously so little ensured that there is more than a full page of news of how they were raped and sexually abused – by relatives and complete strangers alike.

This happens everywhere and in every other country but in most countries not as much as in India. Obviously, India is a very big country and has a big population but if you take the average and just look at the ratio, India has a high rate of sexual crimes against women and girls.

We may hear of those cases in which women and girls are actually raped or murdered but the newspapers don’t write about the sexual harassment that is happening every day. Women are touched inappropriately in public places and at home. They walk on the street and men shout vulgar lines to them, insulting them or prompting them to have sex with them.

What happens in those cases? There is a man who sees a female being. What comes in his mind? He does not see her as a human, as a respectable person. He sees that she is a soft woman, an easy target to satisfy his sexual urge. If it is a child or teenager, it seems easier but in the end it does not matter whether it is a one- or two-year-old baby or an 80-year-old woman. Such a man’s inner attitude towards women is reduced to their own sexual urge and so they see women as an instrument which they can use.

How come they have such an attitude towards women that they actually only think of her genitals when they see her? They imagine how it would be to have sex with her. I believe that in India we have a great problem of suppression. The whole topic of sexual intercourse and any kind of sexual activity is so suppressed that there is nothing else that these men can think of. They don’t have any natural outlet for their thoughts, feelings and natural urge. It is so taboo that they are not even supposed to think of it. What happens is that they don’t think of anything else. You cover and you hide, you don’t talk about it. Men who don’t have strong willpower and have experienced this suppression of their natural feelings a lot can commit this kind of crime. And there is not the question whether that man was educated or not – rapists come from every background.

We call India an enourmously spiritual country and in this complete religiosity we hide that there are such issues that need to be addressed! If someone has sex with another person without being married, it is such a big issue, the worst sin that you can commit. If that person was from another caste, honour-killing can even be the consequence. Still today, there is not enough awareness about this topic, people are against sexual education, they don’t even want to mention to their teenage children that something like sex exists. They curse the open sexuality of the west and tell that there, everyone has sex with everyone else. They don’t see that this is not true and that there is more awareness about such crimes in western countries. There are not that many men who act like evil. Controlled and suppressed sexuality explodes in this way.

I don’t advocate adultery or having sex with the next-best person you can find but Indian people need to relax a bit when this topic is concerned. And religion plays a major role in this suppression. If you don’t allow sexuality to be suppressed, it will not explode in this way that much anymore.

Suppression and Inequality of Women in the Religion of Islam – 20 Jun 11

Some time ago I was reading a few articles in the online version of a national Indian newspaper. They were related to the religion of Islam and the role of women in many countries where Islam is the primary and sometimes only religion. What I read made me wonder again how any religion can make such difference of genders, in between man and woman.

I don’t want to go in detail with what I read but would like to write down a few examples mentioned in those articles. The authors wrote what the religious law of Islam allows women to do and, more importantly, what it doesn’t allow them to do:

Muslim women are not allowed to work out side of their home.

It is not permitted for a Muslim woman to marry a man of another religion.

Muslim women are only allowed to travel long journeys in male company. And this company has to be a male relative with whom they cannot have sex, such as their father or brother.

A Muslim woman or girl is not allowed to talk on phone with her fiancé.

There were two further laws that were not directly related with women but which also made me wonder about this religion:

Chatting on the internet is against the law of Islam.

Islam does not allow its believers to donate blood. This can only be accepted if it is done in order to save the life of a near and dear one.

Once in Iran, a popular religious leader gave a statement: by wearing clothes that encourage others to look at them, women mislead young men and in this way encourage extra-marital sex. Due to this misbehavior, our country has suffered from a lot of earthquakes.

It seems extra-marital sex is so powerful that it makes the whole earth shake! Everybody knows the Iran is an earthquake-affected area. Maybe in Japan that was also the case and there were too many woman wearing revealing clothes whereas people in Germany don’t seem to have a lot of extra-marital sex, if you follow his reasoning.

Seriously, I don’t understand such laws and I don’t understand how they can believe in such inequality! If a man is allowed to have four wives, why can a woman not have several husbands or at least talk on phone with the one that she is going to marry? What is the reason behind all this? I have written before about such inequality and suppression, too, and mentioned that women are in no way second-grade people. They are equally important in life as men and they are the ones in which life grows and who give birth. We all have a mother, how can we believe it is good to suppress women when our mothers are also women?

I also don’t know how women can live in such conditions of suppression. But there are many countries in which it is normal that women live in full suppression and somehow a lot of them are able to accept their fate as it is. I have a lot of respect for every woman in those countries who fights, stands up for her real rights as an equal being and helps other women to find their strength. There are female doctors, journalists, human right activists and also bloggers who write about the situation in their countries. Many of them daily risk their lives but their aim is to show the world what is going on. It has to change and it will.

Hinduism Prohibits Lower Caste People from Entering Temples – 19 Apr 11

Today I saw the above pictures on Facebook, shared by some Indian friends. These pictures are from a temple in Himachal Pradesh, an Indian state in the Himalayas. It is a beautiful state and many people do pilgrimages there, to the ‘Land of Lords’, as it is also called. The pictures above are signs which were found at the temple entrance and the dining hall next to the temple. For those who cannot read Hindi, I would like to translate what is written on those two signboards.

“Lower caste people should not enter the dining hall.” and “Lower caste people should not enter the temple.”

This is India’s situation in the 21st century. We are developing, the country is getting more and more modern but the mindset obviously stayed the same.

You may now be outraged about the idea of writing such a sign and prohibiting some people of society of doing their worship in the same temple where others do. What most people would not know however, even if they have travelled to India and have visited temples there, is that this is an unwritten law in all Hindu temples all over India. You may not realize this anywhere, as there will not be any signs but it is simply understood.

Those signs are actually a crime against the law against discrimination of people because of their castes. And this is also one reason why in bigger towns and cities you may as well find people of lower castes entering in temples. A caste is anyway not openly visible, so one would not even notice it. Even if you noticed it, in a bigger city, it would be difficult to do something against that person’s entering. If anybody called out to them, saying “Hey, you are of the lowest caste, you are not allowed here”, it would be a crime and that man or woman might go to police.

In smaller villages however, where everyone knows everyone else, people also know each other’s castes. They know everybody who is allowed to enter the temple and everyone who is not. Lower caste people are well aware of that and stay away from the temple. They know that the whole village would get angry if they did and the higher caste people in the temple would go as far as to kill them for breaking this law.

I have heard higher caste people saying that in scriptures it is written, a lower caste person, who is not allowed to go into the temple and worship there, gets the same amount of good Karma only by seeing the tip of the temple from far away. This is the most polite way to prohibit them from entering the temple. They are allowed to clean the outer part of the temple but never to go in. This is Hinduism and it is a big shame for this religion, for the society and the country that this is still alive in people’s minds.

This is one of the reasons why many people of lower castes have converted to Buddhism, a religion in which there is no concept of God. It is horrible that the caste system is still that much alive. You can see the caste system everywhere, whether this is in the arrangement of marriages or the fact that higher caste people don’t want to eat together with lower caste people. I wrote already several times how politicians encourage this system even today and were successful in creating hatred in between castes. I see myself as out of any religion and caste. We have to work against this suppression of others, eat with them at one table and discourage everyone who believes that lower caste people have any less rights or any less dignity than higher caste people.

Political Revolution in Egypt and Spiritual Revolution in Your Heart – 3 Feb 11

The news that we all are listening to these days is the revolution that is going on in Egypt. People want a political revolution, they want democracy and don’t want to see their president Hosni Mubarak anymore, who has been their dictator for the last 30 years and who still does not want to leave his president chair even though he is already 82 years old. He won the last election but only because he was the only candidate. The population doesn’t accept him anymore and wants a change. The dictator’s plan was to transfer his kingdom to his son but the people of Egypt did not see their future in this way. This is how they exploded. The government tried their best to suppress the voice of people raised for democracy by cutting everybody off the world by stopping internet and SMS facilities and even with military forces.

This is a political revolution that people wish for. It is a big change that they want and it has already taken place in their heads. I call this change a spiritual revolution. When you stop obeying to a dictator and wish for democracy, for your voice to be heard. Only in this way, in a real democracy, you can live in freedom.

I like to compare even the world of religion with the world of politics. Religion and any kind of sect simply seem like a dictatorship with the master, guru or religious leader being the dictator. You have to obey the master and the rules of this religion and there are people who take care that you do. Only if you take the step towards your spiritual revolution, you can come out of this suppression. You go towards real spirituality, towards democracy and away from the religious dictatorship of gurus and masters. You have to believe in yourself. You want your voice to get heard? It will be because you are your own master. God is inside you, in your heart.

Make a change, there is always a chance!