Meher Baba's analysis of physical sexuality goes beyond
moralistic judgment. In his cosmology there is no personal
"Satan," eternal hell, or absolute evil. Given the ultimate goal
of God-realization, "good" is anything that frees consciousness
to experience divine love; "evil" is anything which obstructs
spiritual freedom. Baba views sexuality from this perspective,
noting the spiritual limitations and possibilities in male-female
relationships. To the extent that sexual contact reflects lust for
sensation, it is a roadblock; to the extent that it is an
expression of selfless love, it becomes more consistent with
The craving for sexual sensation is a serious obstacle to
spiritual development, but originates from understandable
motives. Baba points out that identification with the male-female
polarity is the most powerful experience of duality, that
we reincarnate as both male and female, and that sexual
a result of the effort which the mind makes to unite
with its own unconscious part.
But a purely physical solution to compensate for fragmentation
is impossible because,
paradoxical though it may seem, the form of the
opposite sex prevents the true understanding of
experience associated with the opposite sex. (4)
Baba thus states that relationships motivated primarily by
physical desire tend to choke the development of real love.
This spiritual roadblock is intensified by sexual promiscuity, in
the temptation to explore the possibilities of mere sex
contact is formidable. . . . In promiscuity the suggestions
of lust are necessarily the first to present themselves
to the mind, and the individual is doomed to react to people
within the limitation of this initial perversion and thus close
the door to deeper experiences. (5)
The problem of sensual desire can haunt the aspirant all along
the spiritual path in both obvious and subtle forms. Baba
advances two different kinds of solutions, the first occurring
when a seeker gets fed up with both indulgence and repression
and learns detachment.
When the aspirant becomes fully awake to the
inevitable bondage and suffering entailed by craving,
he begins voluntarily to disburden himself of craving
through intelligent understanding. (6)
Perhaps a more palatable solution is the sublimation of
This lust must be converted into love. What is lust,
but a craving to satisfy physical senses, and love is
the craving of the Soul. (7)
In all practicality, Baba advises a committed aspirant to follow
either strict celibacy or marriage, whichever is more natural. He
suggests lifetime celibacy only for those serious pilgrims to
whom restraint comes easily, its value lying
in the habit of restraint and the sense of detachment
and independence which it gives. (8)
In parallel, Baba points out the immense possibilities for
spiritual growth in a totally committed two-person relationship:
The value of marriage lies in lessons of mutual
adjustment and the sense of unity with the other. . . .
In one sense married life may be looked upon as
the intensification of most human problems. As
such it becomes the rallying ground for the forces
of bondage as well as the forces of freedom, the
factors of ignorance as well as the factors of light. . . .
In married life two souls get linked in many ways,
with the result that they are called upon to tackle
the whole complex problem of personality rather
than any simple problem created by some isolated
In the beginning of married life the partners are
drawn to each other by lust as well as love, but
with conscious and deliberate cooperation they
can gradually lessen the element of lust and
increase the element of love. Through this process
of sublimation lust ultimately gives place to deep
love. By the mutual sharing of joys and sorrows the
partners march on from one spiritual triumph to
another, from deep love to ever deeper love, till the
possessive and jealous love of the initial period is
entirely replaced by a self-giving and expansive love.
In fact, through the intelligent handling of marriage a
person may traverse so much of the spiritual path
that it needs only a touch by the Master to raise him
into the sanctuary of eternal life. (10)
(4) DISCOURSES, 3 : 81.
(5) Ibid., 1 : 146-147.
(6) Ibid., p. 144.
(7) Quoted in "The Answer: Conversations with Meher Baba,"
ed. Naosherwan Anzar (Bombay, 1972), p. 2.
(8) DISCOURSES, 1 : 145.
(9) Ibid., pp. 145, 149-150.
(10) Ibid., p. 155.
THE MASTERY OF CONSCIOUSNESS, Meher Baba, ed. Allan Y. Cohen, pp. 42-44
1977 © by Ira G. Deitrick
Quotes from Meher Baba © 1977 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust