“The highest pleasure in terms of matter is sex pleasure. The whole world is moving under its spell, and a materialist cannot work at all without this motivation. But a person engaged in Krishna consciousness can work with greater vigor without sex pleasure, which he avoids. That is the test in spiritual realization. Spiritual realization and sex pleasure go ill together. A Krishna conscious person is not attracted to any kind of sense pleasure due to his being a liberated soul.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 5.21 Purport)
“I notice that in the bhakti-yoga culture, one of the restrictions is on sex. They refer to it as ‘illicit sex.’ Basically, only engage in it for procreation. If you desire children, to continue the family line, to beget a son who will save you from a hellish condition in the afterlife, you have license.
“Otherwise, any kind of interaction in that area falls into the illicit category. My question is specifically about the marriage institution. I see that you encourage it. By ‘you’, I mean your culture. The parampara, as you refer to it, which is the disciplic succession. They pass on these traditions to future generations.
“Marriage is the grihastha-ashrama, but there is still restraint on sex activity. Wouldn’t it be healthy for the relationship, though? Marriage is quite difficult. People are individuals, after all. You put free-thinkers together, there is bound to be conflict every now and then. Why not allow the two participants to develop a closeness in whatever way best suits them?”
The individual is free to do as they wish. That is concomitant with individuality. That nature can never be destroyed, as it is part of an existence itself. From the Bhagavad-gita [2.20], we get confirmation that the existence continues. Both forwards and backwards, no one can ever destroy you.
If that is the case, why do people approach spiritual leaders? Why are there visits to tirthas, which are pilgrimage spots known for the higher concentration of saintly people? Why are people in need of help, if everything is going well?
The truth is that people are struggling. They do not understand the root cause due to the fact that no one has told them. If I am unable to swim, I cannot very well rescue someone who is struggling in the water. A person trained in the field is capable of helping others.
The genuine saint has the answer. They know for certain that the struggles in life are due to forgetfulness of God. The Almighty. The origin of everything. The one person who never goes through the birth-death cycle. The all-attractive one. The most knowledgeable.
Whatever the preferred description, the way out of trouble is to remember Him. In this regard, there are opposing forces, i.e. that which will help me to forget God. The strongest force in that category is sex life. It is the best way to continue to forget my spiritual identity and my relationship to the source of spirit.
It is for this reason that saints like His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada declare that spiritual life and sex life go ill-together. One is forgetting the temporary body and the other is being fully engrossed in that consciousness.
If while practicing spiritual life the urges for sex interaction can be limited, then success will arrive sooner. It is a simple formula. Do whatever is beneficial in Krishna consciousness, which is another way to describe the eternal religion, sanatana-dharma.
बलं बलवतां चाहं
कामो ऽस्मि भरतर्षभ
balaṁ balavatāṁ cāhaṁ
kāmo ‘smi bharatarṣabha
“I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles, O Lord of the Bharatas [Arjuna].” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.11)
Sex life following religious principles is equivalent to the Supreme Lord. He gave man the seed-potency for a reason. Likewise the female has the ability to nurture and provide a field for the seed to grow. Every gift from nature should be utilized for the satisfaction of the Almighty. From there everything auspicious will arrive.
Using every gift of nature,
Female with potential to nurture.
And man giving the seed,
To continue population a need.
But otherwise sex life restricted,
Since with spiritual advancement conflicted.
Better from body dynamic to be free,
And more clearly the soul to see.