Many things will have to be understood.

First: sex is not an ordinary need, like food. It is very extraordinary. If food is not given to you, you will die, but without sex you can live. If water is not given to you, the body will die, but without sex you can live. If air is not given to you, you will die within seconds, but without sex you can live your whole life.

This is the first difference, and why is it so? Because sex is basically not the need of the individual, it is the need of the race. The race will die if sex is not allowed, but you will not die. Man will die; it is not individual, but collective. Sex is a racial need, not individual. If everybody becomes a brahmachari, a celibate, then humanity will disappear, but you will live. You will live for seventy years or even more, because you will save much energy. A man who was going to live seventy years may be able to live a hundred years without sex, because his energies will be conserved. But without sex the race will die.

This is the first difference: food is needed for you, sex is needed for others. Sex is needed for the future generations to come. You have already come so there is no problem. Your parents needed sex for you to come. If they had remained celibates, you would not be here, but they would have lived, it would have been no problem for them. They would have lived even better because you created many troubles for them.

That’s why nature has given you such a deep hypnosis about sex, otherwise humanity will disappear. Nature has made you completely obsessive about sex – it forces you. You try to escape from the trap, and you feel trapped – whatsoever you do, wherever you go, sex follows you. Nature cannot afford it. Otherwise, sex in itself is such an ugly act that if you were allowed freedom, then I don’t think anybody would choose it. It is enforced.

Have you ever thought about yourself copulating? – How ugly it looks! That’s why people hide themselves when they copulate; they want privacy so that nobody looks at them. But just think, imagine yourself copulating. The whole thing seems to be absurd, foolish. What are you doing? If there were no obsession inside you to do it, nobody would do it. But nature cannot afford not to let you do it, so nature has given you a deep inner hypnosis about it. It is chemical, it is hormonal. In the bloodstream particular hormones are flowing which force you.

Now biologists say that if those hormones can be taken out of you, sex will disappear. Injections can be given to you of those hormones and sex becomes very powerful. Even in an old man of seventy or eighty years old whose body is no longer capable of moving into sex, the hormones can be injected and he will start behaving like a foolish young man. He will start chasing women. He may even be in a wheelchair but he will chase women. It is not that one is chasing, it is the hormonal chemical system in the body.

A child is born, the hormones are not ripe; they will take time to ripen. He will become capable of the sexual urge at about fourteen. Up to that time there is no problem. The sex hormones are getting ripe, the glands are getting ready.

Suddenly, at fourteen, they explode and the child goes crazy. He cannot understand what is happening.

The age between fourteen and eighteen is one of the most awkward. The child cannot understand: ‘What is happening?’ Something has taken possession of him.

It is a possession! Nature has taken possession – now you are ready, now the body is ready, now nature forces you to reproduce. Fantasies arise, dreams; you cannot escape. Wherever you look, if you are a man you can see only a woman, if you are a woman, only a man. It is a sort of madness. Of course, nature has to create it, otherwise there would be no reproduction.

Your individual life is not at stake if you become celibate. No, nothing is at stake.

On the contrary, you will live more deeply, more easily because energy will be conserved.

That is why in the East people discovered this: they discovered that sex brings death sooner. So those who wanted to live longer, for their own reasons, they dropped sex completely. For example, Hatha yogis who want to live longer because they have very slow moving methods, bullock cart methods – they need a very long time to finish them, they need long life to finish their yoga, to come to the final Enlightenment – they dropped sex completely. And how did they drop it? They created particular postures which change the hormonal flow in the body. They created certain bodily exercises in which the semen is reabsorbed back into the blood. They did tremendous things with the body; even discharged semen could be reabsorbed back into the body.

They created many methods to absorb the sex energy because sex energy is life energy; a child is born out of it. If you can absorb the energy back into your own system, you will be very, very strong. You can live longer. In fact, old age can be simply dropped. You can be young to the very end.

There are differences. Food is an individual need. If you stop it you will die. Sex is not an individual need, it is a possession. If you can stop, you will gain much out of it. But stopping can be of three types: you can suppress the desire; that will not help – your sex energy will become perverted. That’s why I say it is better to be natural than to be perverted. Jain monks, Buddhist monks, Christian, Catholic monks, who have all lived in exclusively male societies, male groups – out of a hundred monks, ninety percent are either masturbatory or homosexual. That has to be so, because where will the energy go? And they have only been suppressing, they have not transformed the hormonal system, the chemistry of the body. They don’t know what to do so they simply suppress. Suppression becomes perversion. I am against methods of the first type. It is better to be natural than to be perverted, because perversion is falling below nature, it is not going beyond.

Then there is the second type which has tried to change the hormonal system of the body: Hatha yogis, yoga asanas. And there are many ways to change the chemistry of the body. The second methods are better than the first, but still I am not in favor of them. Why? Because if you change the body, you are not changed.

An impotent man is celibate, but it is useless. Through Hatha Yoga methods you will become impotent; the hormones will not be there functioning, or the glands will be damaged and they cannot function, but this is not a spiritual growth. You have destroyed the mechanism, you have not gone beyond it.

And this too can lead to other types of problems in life. You will become afraid of many things. You will be afraid of  a woman because the moment she comes near, your changed chemistry will again take the old pattern, a flow. A woman has a certain energy: the feminine energy, which is magnetic and changes your body – energy. So Hatha yogis became afraid of women. They escaped to the Himalayas and the caves. Fear is not a good thing, and if you are afraid, you are in it. It is as if a man becomes blind so that he cannot see a woman, but that won’t help much.

The third type of method is to become more aware. Don’t change the body – as it is, it is good. Let it remain natural; you become more aware. Whatsoever happens in the mind and in the body, become aware. On gross and subtle layers become more and more conscious. Just by being conscious, by being a witness, you rise higher and higher and higher – and a moment comes when just because of your height, just because of your peak consciousness, the valley remains there but you are no more part of the valley; you have transcended it. The body remains sexual, but you are not there to cooperate with it. The body remains absolutely natural, but you have gone beyond it. It cannot function without your cooperation. This happens in a Buddha.

The word ‘Buddha’ means one who has awakened. It does not belong to Gautam Buddha alone. ‘Buddha’ is not a personal name, it is a quality of being. Christ is a Buddha, Krishna is a Buddha, and thousands of Buddhas have existed. It is a quality of being – and what is that quality? – Awareness. The flame of awareness goes higher and higher and a moment comes when the body is there, fully functioning and natural, sensitive, sensual, alive, but your cooperation is not there. You are a witness now, not a doer – sex disappears.

Food will not disappear; even a Buddha will need food because it is a personal need, not a social need or a racial need. Sleep will not disappear, it is a personal need. All that is personal will be there, all that is racial will disappear – and this disappearance has a beauty of its own.

If you look at a Hatha yogi you will see a crippled being. You cannot see any grace coming from his face. He has destroyed his chemistry, he is not beautiful. If you see a repressed monk, he is even more ugly because from his eyes and face you will see all sorts of lust falling all around. He will have a sexual atmosphere around him – ugly and dirty. A natural man is better; at least he is natural. But a perverted man is ill and he carries illness around him.

I am in favor of the third, but for the meantime you remain natural. No need to suppress, no need to try any methods to cripple the body – no need. Be natural and go on working for your Buddhahood. Be natural and become more and more alert and aware. A moment will come when sex simply disappears. When it disappears on its own, it leaves behind it such a glow, such grace, such beauty.

Don’t force it to disappear otherwise it will leave behind many wounds and you will always remain with those wounds. Let it go by itself. Simply be a watcher and don’t be in a hurry. Nature is good, nature is beautiful; you – be natural.

Unless you become supernatural, don’t fight with nature. Let the higher come in.

And this is my attitude about everything: don’t fight with the lower, pray for the higher. Work for the higher and let the lower be left untouched. If you start fighting with the lower you will have to remain there with the lower; you cannot move from there. Be natural so that nature does not disturb you and you are left alone to rise higher. Pray for the higher, meditate for the higher, try for the higher and leave nature as it is. Soon the supernature will arise. Out of nature comes the supernature, and then there is grace, then there is beauty, then there is incomparable beatitude.

From another dimension it will be good for you to know: sex belongs to the body, love belongs to the subtle body, prayer belongs to the center, to the very ground of your being. Sex belongs to the periphery, prayer belongs to the center, and between the center and the periphery is love. Buddha is prayerful compassion; he has reached the center. Before you reach the center, just moving in between from the periphery to the center, you will be loveful, very, very deeply loving. On the periphery you will be lustful, you will be sexual. And it is the same energy. On the periphery sex is a need, between the periphery and the center love is the need. The energy is the same but you have changed, so the need changes. At the center, prayer, compassion is the need – the energy is the same. So Buddha is not starved of sex; the same energy has become compassion.

A man of love is not starved of sex, the same energy has become love. So the question of needs has to be understood.

The need exists in the body, but if you move from the body, deeper, the need changes. The need follows you. If you are filled too much with sexual imagery, fantasy, that shows only that you exist on the periphery. Move from there. You go on working on the periphery. For millions of lives you have been working there and the need has not been fulfilled. It cannot be fulfilled. No need can be fulfilled – remember this. You eat; after eight hours, six hours, you are again hungry. No need can be fulfilled. It is a temporary fulfillment. You have sex – after a few hours again you are ready. Needs cannot be fulfilled because they move in a circle.

Move higher than your needs. I am not saying fight with the needs; allow them, enjoy them while you are there. Why fight? – Enjoy. Don’t create guilt because the more guilt you create, the more suppression, the more difficult it will be for you to move from there. Enjoy it while you are there. If you love, you have sex, enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty, and don’t feel a sinner. Sin well! If you are sinning then at least be efficient.

I am reminded of Luther. Pecca Fortiler, a disciple, asked Luther, ‘What to do? I cannot stop sinning.’ Luther said, ‘Sin stronger.’ Absolutely right. I have never felt very much sympathy with Luther’s thoughts, but about this I am absolutely with him: stronger, sin stronger. If you cannot stop then why bother? ‘Sin stronger’ because only at the extreme is transformation possible. Lukewarm people are never transformed.

Never be lukewarm. That is the only stupidity you can go on committing.

Because when you are boiling one hundred percent, only then does the evaporation happen. Lukewarm, you can remain lukewarm for many, many lives and nothing will happen. Move to the extreme. If you are in sex, move into it totally. Don’t create any conflict, don’t withhold anything. And meanwhile go on working. Let sex be there on its own. You go on working for awareness.

Meditate more and more and by and by you will see that the same energy is changing, transforming. 

When you change, the energy changes because energy belongs to you. When your standpoint changes, the energy has to change its level. When your plane of being changes, then energy has to follow you. It is your energy.

When you move towards the center, by and by, you will suddenly realize that sex is disappearing and love is gaining strength. You are becoming more and more loving. Now love is not a lust. Love is not like fire, it is a very cool light.

Sex is fiery, it is fire. It is like a hot sun. Love is like a cool moon; it gives you light, but very cool, calm. A silence pervades love. Then, by and by, sex will become more distant, more distant, more distant, and the same energy will be moving in love. You will not feel starved. Rather, on the contrary, you will feel more fulfilled, because love fulfills more. It is the higher form of sex, and every time you go higher, you feel more fulfilled because higher forms are more subtle energies. They are not gross, they are more subtle. They fulfill, they give you more. Then go on rising into awareness. A day comes when suddenly you are rooted in the center, centered. Now love also takes a new dimension; it becomes compassion.

What is the difference? In sex you are concerned with yourself, not concerned with the other at all. You simply use the other. That’s why sexual partners continuously fight, because an inner feeling is there, ‘The other is using me.’

Sexual partners cannot come to a point of harmony. They will have to fight again and again, because the woman thinks the man is using her – and she is right!

Nothing is wrong in it. And the man thinks the woman is using him. And whenever somebody uses you as a means you feel hurt; it seems like an exploitation. The man is concerned with his own sex, the woman is concerned with her own sex – neither is moving towards the other. The movement is not there. They are two selfish people, self centered, exploiting each other. If they have to talk about love and sing and be poetic, that is just allurement, persuasion, seduction – but they are not concerned with the other. Once the man has used the woman, he turns over and goes to sleep, finished – a thing to be used and thrown away.

In America they have made plastic women and plastic men. They work perfectly well. A plastic woman, if you play with her breasts, the breasts get an erection, they become warm. You can make love to a plastic woman and it is as fulfilling as any woman; even more because there is no fight, no conflict. Finished, you can throw the woman and go to sleep. That’s all that people are doing. Whether the woman is plastic or real makes no difference. And the woman goes on using the man.

Whenever you use another as a means it is immoral. The other is an end in himself, but the other becomes an end in himself only in the second stage of your being, when you love. Then you love, other. Then you are not using him or her. Then the other is important, significant. The other is an end in himself or herself. You are grateful. No exploitation is possible in love; you help the other. It is not a bargain. You enjoy helping, you enjoy sharing and you are grateful that the other gives you an opportunity to share.

Love is subtle. The grosser realm of sex is left. The other has become an end but still there is a need, a subtle need. Because when you love a person a subtle expectation is hidden somewhere that the other should love you, even though unconsciously. It follows like a shadow that the other should love you. There is still a need to be loved – better than sex but still an expectation. And that expectation will be the jarring note in love. It is not yet perfect.

Compassion is the highest quality of love, the highest purity. Now expectation is also not there. The other is not a means, the other is an end. And now you don’t expect anything, you simply give whatsoever you can give. Expectation has completely gone. A Buddha is a total giver. He goes on giving, he enjoys giving.

It is simple sharing. Now it has become compassion – the same energy and the same need on different planes of being. That’s why sex disappears in a Buddha, because it reappears as compassion.


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