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Question: Acharya Ji, there are different planes of love possible – mental, spiritual, physical. But somehow, to me they seem different. It may be because that I have been raised this way that I intertwine these two – mental and physical plane. And that is how I come to see the world as well.
I have been made to believe that I am not that beautiful, but I still want someone beautiful in my life as a partner. That may not be possible, because the other person too may want someone beautiful enough.
But there may be a case that someone connects with me at the mental plane, and wants to be with me at physical plane as well.
Acharya Prashant: That too depends on your definition of yourself.
If you take yourself as primarily physical, then beauty too for you would be something just physical. You will look at the woman most capable of successfully reproducing. That’s prakritik definition of beauty. Do you understand this?
What is the prakritik definition of beauty?
What is prakriti? Physical nature, this that we see all around us. Here, don’t we have beautiful stuff? Tell me the beautiful stuff that you find in physical nature, and you will be astonished that in physical nature, most of that which you call as ‘beautiful’, is nothing but that which leads to procreation.
The first thing that comes to mind is – flowers. What are flowers? Flowers are the reproductive organs of the plant or the tree. Aren’t they? In physical nature, in prakriti, stuff that directly corresponds to reproduction appears attractive. Now you know why you are attracted to particular physical parts of a woman. Those parts are most likely to be the ones that are related to her capacity to reproduce. Right? And its common knowledge, that in general, most women would feel attracted to a male who has a certain built, another stuff, and therefore can offer protection to the offspring.
So this talk of beauty at the physical level is just DNA trying to carry itself forward to the next human being. If you think that you are just a body, then all that you will care for is height, and complexion, and such stuff.
If you take yourself to be more mental, then you will be attracted to things like knowledge, like prestige, like money, that are not directly related to reproduction of the body, but indirectly even these things are just agents that facilitate successful cohabitation and the production of offspring.
The definition of ‘beauty’ totally changes if you look at yourself in the Spiritual way. Then the one that you are calling as ‘beautiful’, would be different. Then it is quite possible that you may find an utterly physically attractive woman quite ugly, and equally it is possible that you may find somebody physically very ordinary, or even repulsive to most people, quite attractive to you.
So it is not much about attracting somebody beautiful to yourself, or obtaining a beautiful mate in your life; it is more about knowing what ‘beauty’ really is.
Depending on your definition of ‘beauty’ you will choose your relationships, you will choose everything in life, because life in one way is just a search for beauty.
If the very definition of beauty is flawed, then all that you will gather, and all that you will go through, all that you will bring towards yourself will be flawed as well.
Don’t let that happen.
Questioner: Just want to explore the other side of the question. I might not feel the need of the other sex for a spiritual connection, but I still somehow have those animal urges.
Acharya Prashant: They must not be killed, but they must be subservient to the spiritual objective. One day I had called all that as – ‘the tail of the elephant’. I had said, “The real thing must be like the body of the elephant, and then let the sexual part follow the body of the elephant like the tail.” How big is the tail of the elephant? Not much. Fine.
Obviously sexuality is a part of one’s physical existence.
There is no need to try to smother it.
Let it be there.
But then let it not occupy the commanding position in your psyche.
Choose a person for his or her spiritual or actual merit, and then if sex follows, alright. Who said that you have to never enter into the sexual activity? That’s not a mandate.
Spirituality does not forbid sex, it only forbids foolishness.
Most of our sexual activity is quite foolish, therefore by association, sex is talked of in spiritual circles in a lowly way. But that kind of lowliness that is accorded to sex, is not because sex in itself is lowly. Sex is neither high nor low; it is just a physical thing. But it becomes lowly when it tries to occupy the place of the Highest.
In your mind you have a throne, in your mind you have a hierarchy, and that hierarchy should be right and clear. As a young person, if in your mental hierarchy sex comes to occupy a very high position, then you will have problems. That does not mean that you have to give no place to sex in this hierarchical system.
Give a place to sex, that sex deserves. And for sure it does not deserve the topmost place.
So we had talked of three levels of association – physical, mental, and spiritual. They are not mutually exclusive. (Addressing the questioner) Thanks for pointing that out. They are not mutually exclusive. I didn’t say that if you are spiritually related to someone, you will have no emotional connect and no physical connect. No, that was not the objective.
A Spiritual relationship means that you are related for spiritual reasons. Now the body is secondary. Now it does not matter whether sex happens or not, either way it does not matter. If it doesn’t happen, fine. If it happens, you don’t have to feel guilty.
But you surely are guilty, if sex itself becomes central. Then you have insulted yourself, by bringing yourself down and the other person down, to merely the level of animal existence.
Watch the session video: Seeking a good-looking partner? || Acharya Prashant (2020)
The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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