Chapter 14: Respect Your Heart
A friend came to me. He is young, so naturally he has to be interested in women. But his mind was full of thousands of years of conditioning, and he must have been in the company of holy monks from an early age, because he thought that taking an interest in women was sinful. The more he thought that it was sinful, the more interested he became in them. He even started avoiding women - but the more he tried to run away from them, the more desperate he became about them. He tried to suppress his desire, but it just took on new forms and started troubling him even more. During the day he had thoughts, at night he had dreams - and they were all full of sensuality.
Then he went and consulted some saint, who advised him to see the mother in all women. Now this created a big problem: how to see the mother in all women? And all the time this strongly suppressed sensuality was pushing him from inside. So the saint advised him: “Look! If you can’t see the mother in all women, it is better to worship a goddess, to see the mother in a goddess. And slowly slowly as your feelings for the goddess become stronger, you will be able to perceive the goddess in all the women you see.”
The intentions of the saint were honorable, he really wanted to help, but without understanding a problem you cannot be of much help. And life is complex: without first understanding the laws of life, even if you do offer help, and with good motives, only bad will come out of it.
You cannot imagine what happened. The outcome of all this was that the man started worshipping a goddess and carrying a picture of her wherever he went. The saint had never even dreamed that such a thing could happen - saints, as you know, are incapable of thinking for themselves! The sad result of all this was that now the young man was sexually attracted to the goddess herself, and at night in his dreams he started having a sexual relationship with her. All this scared the poor fellow out of his wits! When a person who is used to treating sex as a sin suddenly finds himself sexually attracted to a goddess, you can imagine what kind of a hell he must go through. He felt that he had committed the greatest of sins; a sin for which he could never, ever be forgiven. He felt that now there was nothing left for him to do but to die. That poor fellow came and said to me, “Sir, you cannot imagine the terrible sin I have committed. Even when I think of the goddess, I am aroused!”
So I said, “Doesn’t the person whom you asked for help have any sense at all? This was bound to happen. You can only transcend sexual desire once you have understood what it is all about. All this talk of accepting all women as your mother is nothing but foolishness. What can change just by accepting that you should focus yourself on the goddess? Only what is inside you can be focused onto the goddess! How can something which is not inside you be projected onto her? The goddess is not the question, the question is you.
“Right now you are tormented by sexual desire. And this sexual desire is so strong that it will be projected - no matter where you go or whom you see. So in trying to escape from a small sin you have ended up committing an even bigger one.” The poor fellow had become so helpless and weak because he thought that the goddess would be angry with him. So I told him not to worry about this: that no one would be angry, that the goddess was more intelligent than your so-called saints, that she wouldn’t be angry.