Chakra Discussions

"Gay monogamy" overrated

by Bhaktavatsala das

Posted January 8, 2005

In response to the article by His Holiness Hrdayananda das Goswami, titled "Gay monogamy preferred to promiscuity," it is certainly a weird (and perverted) use of the word "gay" with reference to homosexual behaviour, as there is nothing jolly, happy, nor uplifting, about the subject, nor about such lusty activities. Only devotees/Vaishnavas can be truly said to be "gay" -- being situated in the joy of devotional service at the divine lotus feet of Guru and Gauranga/Govinda.

There seems to be acertain fundamental incorrectness in the statement that "Gay monogamy [is] preferred to promiscuity." In brahminical society there is no presence whatsoever of homosexuality, nor is the focus of brahminical society on any form of mundane sexuality at all, as it is a wholly spiritually-minded society (as we see in the examples of Srimad-Bhagavatam). The focus of such a society, being spiritual and supramundane, is beyond the realm and jurisdiction of the mundane material existence, wherein souls are bound by the "shackles" (as Srila Prabhupada describes it) of mundane sex affairs.

Srila Prabhupada describes that it is the mundane sex interest (whether homosexual or heterosexual) that keeps one enslaved to the material realm, and the "bodily concept" of life (or mundane bodily consciousness and identification). Simple.

It is suprising that in discussing this fundamental subject, there has been mostly the expression of individual opinions, without reference to the the opinion of the Supreme Lord, Govinda. Surprising, considering the philosophical accomplishments of Hrdayananda Maharaja. The fact is that the opinion of Govinda is absolute, is the basis of everything, and beyond time, etc. He is never subject to the lusty interests of souls bound within the mundane material existence.

In Bhagavad-gita (7.11) Govinda says: "I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles." Simple. But this is where all the debate and speculation comes in, as to what constitutes "religious principles" etc. Basically all religions offer various variations of "religious principles" which cater to the various desires of living entities, in various degrees of relationship, and rebellion, with the Supreme Lord, Govinda. Srila Prabhupada is quite emphatic, in the purport to this verse of Bhagavad-gita. He simply says, ". . . sex life, according to religious principles (dharma), should be for the propagation of children, not otherwise." Note he says "should be" and "not otherwise." So, it always comes down to personal choice. Certainly, according to Govinda, "irreligious" sex would include homosexuality, whether "monogamous" or "promiscuous", etc., as no children are ever produced from such a union.

If one desires to get free from the repetitious cycle of birth and death, and thereby the bondage of the mundane material existence, sex life must be given up, especially as there are no such selfish activities (even for propagation of children) in the eternal transcendental realm of Govinda, which is ever free from birth, and death. It is eternal, as are we, as is Govinda. Even here, we can say that the promotion and proliferation of homosexuality as an acceptable part (and activity) of human society is certainly not going to lead to a healthy, peaceful society, especially when the simple fact is that sex is meant to (at best) produce children, naturally.

Hence homosexual "monogamy" is not "better than promiscuity" as there is no (and never will be any) production of children in such a "monogamous" relationship (when there often is in heterosexual promiscuity). Still, basically, children produced outside of (heterosexual) monogamous wedlock are considered varna-sankara (unwanted). Of course, we all have the right to our God-given free-will, but there is such a thing as good, better, and best, even in the eternal existence.

There are activities that keep one bound to the cycle of birth and death (samsara), the main one being the mundane sex interest, which keeps one mentally enslaved to the bodily (physical) conception of life, being that one identifies oneself with the body (and physics), thinking that that is who one is, and that pleasure and happiness come from the body, and the things associated with, and produced from, the body. That is simply ignorance. Ignoring the eternal spiritual reality of Govinda. That is the root of our dis-ease.

When it comes down to the actual purpose of the Krishna consciousness movement, we have to say that the mundane sex business is to be given up entirely, if one wishes to indeed "go back to home, back to Godhead" and get free from the shackles of the mundane material existence of repeated birth and death, as there is no question of any such business in the spiritual world ever, nor in brahminical/spiritual society and culture.

Of course one can, alternatively, go on eternally speculating that the mundane sex business does not have to be given up to be "spiritual" and liberated, but then one will remain within the mundane jurisdiction (due to such mundane conceptions and interests) wherein one is given "freedom" to pursue one's own independent interests, separate from Govinda.

Certainly homosexuality is on the bodily concept of life, and can never be considered in the realm of devotional service nor spiritual, whereas a bonafide couple, in Krishna conscious wedlock, can have the mentality of producing, and raising, children as divine service to Guru and Govinda, basically dovetailing their mundane sex interest in a way connected with Govinda. Of course, that still requires mundane sexual involvement, which is never pure, nor spiritual. It is mundane.

One cannot have kirtan, and still be involved in the mundane sex affairs. Simple, whether homosexual or heterosexual. We can say, definitely, that (of the two) heterosexuality, within marriage, is acceptable to Govinda. But even that is to be, inevitably and eventually, given up (if one wishes to return "back home, back to Godhead", back to Goloka/Govinda). That is the very meaning of the term "liberated" (liberated from bondage to lust, and mundane sexual involvement).