Life and Times of an Urban Yogi

Part 1—Spirituality and Sexuality

My aversion to organised religion has of late mutated into a dislike for all religious dogmas. At the same time, the vacuum left by religion has been filled up by an intense spirituality. Here I make a clear distinction between religion and spirituality, in that, in the former one aims to understand/realise/love/obey God through codified practices and the rigors pertaining to the religion, whereas in the latter one approaches God by ones own terms. On reflection, I feel the overused term “God” is itself inappropriate in the context of spirituality, since it liberates you from the need for a God. I find spirituality more intense and private and less invasive and hence much more attractive. It does not encroach into the belief systems of your friends and loved ones and you can practice it in private without being a disturbance to others.
My attraction to Tantric practices was perhaps a natural progression. I started off by devouring books by Feuerstein and others. But having no guru, I stumbled along the path to sadhana. I have been particularly attracted to the extreme forms of Tantra, especially the Aghora path. The mortality of the physical world/self has convinced me that if a God exists He/She is least concerned about the dualities around you. Good and evil, truth and falsehood ultimately has no meaning, since however we live we will die one day and in death lay equality. And in transcending this duality will we understand the true meaning of life. Hence the Tantric path, which sees the divine equally in a flower, a blue sky, an act of service, a mountain of excrement, a sexual orgy and even a terrorist act, appealed to me instantly. I do not know how much I have progressed in this path to understanding—perhaps I am still at the starting line—but my efforts have had two curious inward results.
My intense spirituality has awakened a torrent of inner voices that constantly whisper the answers to the most fundamental questions, like the place and composition of Man, the Self and Cosmos, Time and Matter, Causality and Creation, Relationship and Enquiry and most of all, Love and Knowledge. The explanations have been startlingly mathematical/scientific and in consonance with my scientific background.
Of all the dualities I have grappled with, the duality of Love and Knowledge was the most difficult. You see, Love is a great conquering thing. Although it was Knowledge that I sought, it was Love that I often found myself gravitating towards. Like a great wheel turning inside me. This convinced me that we have within us the compendium of all existence and non-existence distilled to the finest essence. It is only how we tap it. How we must never stop in our internal burrowing. Our questioning and discrimination. I have wondered whether these voices are truly mine. But they must be I concluded, for I alone exist. I the substratum; the I of me that is the I of you.
And in that point, this deepest “I”, Love and Knowledge colluded and coalesced. There is the Realisation. This meeting point of all infinities. This boundless Nothingness. This Silence.
Being a family man does severely constrict your efforts, but private space is still not difficult to carve out. Midnights are ecstasies. The world sleeps and I surge.
The second consequence—and a far more serious one—was that I discovered that intense spirituality is accompanied with intense sexuality. They are like conjoined twins. At once I realised the critical importance of a Guru (I have often wondered why the shastras emphasise in unequivocal terms the need for a Guru). It is like a hundred hungry beasts let loose inside you. Nothing is out of bounds. Nothing is too revolting. Perhaps this is how you transcend dualities. You become the exact opposite of a stormy sea, where the surface is in turmoil and the fish swim calm in its depths. You still are a dutiful husband ferrying the children and helping with the chores; a responsible employee, meeting deadlines, a concerned father helping with the lessons, a filial son, a helpful friend… Every evening, you even manage to look bored in front of the TV set.
But inside…

(To be Continued…)


~ by urban yogi on March 9, 2008.

3 Responses to “Life and Times of an Urban Yogi”

  1. Intense, interesting thoughts Hari.
    I have been drawn to spirituality for years now; just that we operate on different doctrines. What really resonated with me was the essentiality of having a Guru in one’s life. I was grappling with that for very long; when I realised I didn’t need an earth Guru, but could turn to one on the etheric plane-that’s when I reached out to Ramakrishna Paramhans.
    Would like to read the “to be continued” bit.

    More power to your mighty pen!


  2. Hi Natasha,

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Yes, indeed, Sri Ramakrishna was one of the greatest Tantric yogi & mystic saint of India. His life has been one of great inspiration for me. Although an unseen guru is better than no guru at all, still I feel that there are moments when we need this physical reassurance…


  3. Dearest Hari,
    Duality is an experience that is awakening…one of the oldest Indian Philosophies explains a lot, “Samkhya”. Much of Vedanta and yoga is based on this enumerating philosophy which sounds almost atheistic, but dig below the surface and at once you realize it is actually the coming together of love and knowledge but not as One. Acceptance of duality seems more my path than oneness with the One. Purusha cannot be experienced, the moment you do, ‘You’ becomes..and Purusha is no longer…ironically, but no words to describe.
    The demons, the intensity, the craving and the ecstasy are all paths of our alchemical journey…it is the alembic in which we boil, containing the alembic without bursting is what turns that lead…our prime materia into GOLD…
    All this dear Hari, are my humble experiences, as I journey intensely along this chosen path, very much a full life all 3 energies, rajasic, tamasic and saatvic…I wish you all the best and do keep writing the inspiring blog and even more inspiring Hari’s mind…the youtube is mind blowing….I am deeply honoured to meet a friend like you.

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