Sexual Orientation and Spirituality

By Rudra Shivananda


Yogiraj (Rudraji’s Guru)

Yogic spirituality is not a religion and does not pass any judgment on the spectrum of human behavior. I’m often asked by spiritual seekers with different sexual orientations about whether it is a factor on the spiritual path or whether there is any impact on their practice.

Sexual orientation is a complex of emotional, physical and mental needs and is not a subject that is discussed in yogic texts, which are revealing the modes and paths for transcending the human condition as such. Whether a person is straights or gay is immaterial for real yogis since these are all conditions which are concerning our bondage to the material world.

Society and those religions which form the basis of societies tend to value heterosexual behavior because of the need to propagate the family unit, to further the spread of their population. In their world-view, there would be no place for alternative sexual orientations.

In the yogic perspective, gender and all physical attributes as well as emotional and mental conditionings are a matter of previous karma being played out in this life-time. A physical body has a primary male or female condition while the emotional and mental aspects are a mix of both – that is why you can have a nurturing father or a dominating mother. This interplay of male and female attributes such as the left and right brain game is psychologically acceptable and understandable.

Since the Self that we wish to realize as our true nature does not have a gender and does not engage in procreation, paths of Self-Realization take an agnostic stand on these aspects. This does not mean that there are not so-called yogis who take unreasonable stands in the name of spirituality. Some are even against women being able to achieve liberation without being reborn as a man first! This in spite of their worshiping and praying to the Divine Mother.

Some yogis have also condemned the gay life-style without explanation because of their religious upbringing. Unfortunately, this is the current state of yogic teachers – a microcosm of society.

Lots of negative energy that can impede a gay spiritual seeker – both from others and also due to guilt feelings programmed into them by their elders. These negative energies and emotions need to be transformed into positive energy through special practices.

The practices of yoga are not affected by sexual orientation as such but more by the display of self-control or lack thereof. Most yogic practices require prana or life-force energy and so it is necessary to preserve one’s sexual energy in order to fuel the practices, especially if one is on the path to raise the kundalini energy. Excessive loss of sexual energy will result in a lack of the prana needed. A balanced life-style is the key whether one is straight or gay.

In summary, sexual orientation play little if any part in yogic sadhana and does not significantly impact the path of Self-Realization.

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