Religion and Sex
Religion and Sex
In Hinduism Brahma is like what God is to Christians he is responsible for creating the world. The difference is that he is not worshipped by the people. He is said to be, “the lord of all creatures and beyond worship, and there are hardly any temples dedicated to him” . People within the highest level of the Hindu caste system call themselves Brahman named after the Hindu god Brahma. Brahma originally had five heads but, “one was cut off by Shiva after he slandered him” . Brahma belongs to the “triad of great gods” . The triad is also referred to as tirmurti. The other two gods within the triad are Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma’s specialties within the triad are “ritual and liturgy” .
Shiva as noted earlier is also apart of the triad of the great gods. He is, “often spoken of as the lord of the beasts” . Shiva being the third tirmurti is a “deity whom all opposites meet and become resolved in a fundamental unity.” When a group of men came to seek absolution from their sins, “Shiva dove into the earth as a bull and various parts of his body protruded and became the five Kadars” . However it is not that temples that Shiva is within it is the landscape. Shiva has great power which is, “directly associated with his sexual abstinence” . It takes years of Parvati penance before he accepts her into himself. However Shiva’s son Skanda is born out of himself and not Parvati because his semen would have burned her insides. It was said that Shiva’s, “seed was to hot for Parvati to carry in her womb,… it was then carried to and placed in the river Ganges … out of this Skanda was born” . He is the source of both Good and evil and is believed to have 5 faces.
Parvati is a goddess the wife of Shiva. Together they are, “the two principles of the universe” . Parvati feels that her only duty is to bear a child for Shiva however he does not feel this way stating, “I’m not a householder I need no son” . It is not until after, “Parvati did severe penance for Shiva… that he accepted her into himself.” When they finally do have children they do not have them together, “Skanda is born of Shiva and Ganesha is born from the body of Parvati” . The relationship between Parvati and Shiva has a classical representation of husband of wife. This is due to the fact, “in this pairing the god is represented as dominant, the goddess as dutifully subordinate and the pairing as a unit is benign.”
The word Shakti, “literally means energy or force” . This can be used to represent the secretions of either a male or female depending on the perspective it is taken from. In Tantra, “vaginal fluids are considered Shakti” . However in Hinduism the semen of the man is considered Shakti. When speaking a Shakti in terms of vaginal secretion it takes into account, “ that the notion of the goddess is a kind of force” . The Shakti of the goddess is worshipped. Since Shakti is energy it is also hot. As seen with the Shakti of Shiva, “this had to be put into the river Ganges.” . The water is able to cool it.
Linga is associated with things that resemble the male phallus, such a mountain or a rock. During the Hindu pilgrimage, “a rock that protrudes from the earth representing a linga is decorated as the people celebrate” . Worshippers are able to have intimacy with the linga by, “ placing raisins, nuts they can touch the linga to worship themselves” . The ling is considered hot and “the worshippers pour water over the linga to cool it.” Within the context of Hinduism, “the ling can be seen as chaste, as symbolizing sexuality in a contained and potential state rather than sexuality in release.” Since it can be seen as chaste it is also an important symbol of restraint.
Part B: The Life Cycle of a Hindu Adherent
In Hinduism every person goes through a recurring life cycle of birth, death, rebirth until moksha (liberation) is reached. The word moksha speaks of, “release, deliverance, emancipation