(Sculpture of the goddess LAJJA GOURI)
SEXUALITY AND SPIRITUALISM IN INDIAN LITERATURE (1)
Generally in Greco-Semitic family, God is described in masculine terms.but in the Indic family, we find God is considered as both masculine and feminine form. In Taoism, Yin and Yang and in Hinduism Prakriti and Purusha are considered feminine and masculine .The concept of Ardhanariswar form of Lord Shiva in Hinduism ia also considered as the major factor of gender equality and for this in ancient India we find evidence of homosexuality, bisexuality, androgyny, multiple sex partners and open representation of sexual pleasures in artworks like the Konark,Khajuraho temples, being accepted within prevalent social frameworks .
In Samkhya Philosophy, the concept of Prakriti and Purusha was later accpted in buddhism and Bhagwat gita .We may define thi Prakruti as ‘female’ or negative charge and purusha as ‘male’ poitive charge. This Prakriti is all pervasive but complex primal substance, which is transformed into multifarious nature. The primal entity is not perceived in its original form, for then it is in a state of equilibrium, and as such remains non-modified. This eternal and infinite principle is insentient and consists of three interdependent and interchangeable elements called the gunas. These are sattva, rajas, and tamas. These gunas are not the qualities but the constituent parts of Prakriti. They give complexity to Mula (original) Prakriti.But Purusha is inactive and passive, but sentient and also infinite and eternal . Under the inscrutable influence of Purusha; the equilibrium in Prakriti is disturbed and the whole universe of unlimited permutations and combinations comes into existence. The first modification of Prakriti - primordial nature - is called as Mahat or Cosmic Intelligence. It further involutes into two forces, 1) Akasha, the primal matter, and 2) Prana, the primal energy. Akasha forms the material basis, and Prana the energy basis of creation. From the interaction between Akasha and Prana are formed five subtle elements, crudely translated as Ether, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. In various proportions, these are the constituents of all the material existence in the universe. As can be seen, even Mahat or Intelligence is matter consisting of three gunas, and five elements.
In Physics also we find an atom is made up of proton and electron..Proton is a positive charged particle and electron is negatively charged particle .The attraction between Proton and Electron made the existence of an atom possible.
Later, this concept laid to the Shiva and Shakti dual theory of creation. Adi Shankaracharya, the founder of non-dualistic philosophy (Advaita – ‘not two’) in Hindu thought says in his ‘Saundaryalaairi’ –“ Shivah Shaktayaa yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum na che devum devona khalu kushalah spanditam api” i.e. It is only when Shiva is united with Shakti that He acquires the capability of becoming the Lord of the Universe. In the absence of Shakti, He is not even able to stir.
In Vrihadaranyakopanishad ,it is stated that the genesis started from the sexual intercourse of the Creator and a cow.the cow was running from the Creator with a fear to being raped and ‘she’ was transferming ‘herself’ in different forms and but the Creator was finding out ‘her’ and every time from the sexual intercourse (or we may describe it as a ‘rape’) the genesis started. I don’t find any reason why we the Indian people get so much worried about Wendy Doniger .I do admit that the western thinkers portray Hinduism inappropriately through Greco-Semitic concepts and categories .I often find my western Philosophers examine Bhagwat Gita as a negative terms of Arjuna killing his relatives because of his Hindu outlook .But as Hindus, we are also very much sensitive regarding sexuality , especially when it is quoted with our religion and spiritualism.But we have to admit that sexuality is often described in our myths, Puranas and in our religious text, above all in our literatures from medival age to this post modern age .In this serial eassy,I will try to justify the role of sexuality from different angle and also try to compared it with the European/American concept of sexuality.
(To be continued)