Swami Vivekananda was a non-vegetarian. When once asked by a questionner if being vegetarian is important for spiritual advance. He replied that when you reach a certain level, you automatically lose all the cravings and same goes for the desire to eat non-vegetarian foods.
However, when it came to the subject of “Sex”, he was emphatic that one has to shun it to advance. To me, this dichotomy has never made sense! How can lust of one ORGAN be different from that of another? And ultimately it is NOT about organs… it is about the MIND! Desire of ANY kind is a symptom of attachment. Attachment will not set you free. By suppressing ONE idea and clinging to another.. has ALSO not set you free! By saying that I will “detach” myself from sex – forcibly, if required – and “attach” myself to stern and disciplined celibacy…. and that alone will set me free from attachment is utter nonsense! You are changing the SUBJECT of attachment. Attachment however… remains! There is no such thing as a “better desire”!
A nun from the Catholic Church in Kerala – Sister Jesme has come “out of the closet” and has disclosed the “dirty secrets” of the Church administration. How, under the hood of nun-hood and priest-hood, and the entire celibacy thing, sexual harrassment and abuse is rampant!
We have seen it in the US as well. My thumb rule is that the guy who talks the loudest against the gays is a confirmed gay and has been screwing young boys in the church premises itself. To take the guilt off his mind he rants so much. Every gay scandal among the conservative evangelists and church leaders in the last few years demonstrated that.
According to Sister Jesme, there is harassment, sexual repression and exploitation of Nuns by Priests and of Junior Nuns by Senior nuns – in an environment where lesbianism, gay relations, and sexual exploitation runs rampant.
Her book – Amen – is meant to be her “outlet” and an expose of the “power struggles in the ‘dark confines’ of convents she had lived for about 30 years and in corridors of church administration.”
Such is the obsession of the religious with certain ideas of human conduct and the utopian ideal of Divinity and Purity that we have – in our attempt to create a Pure environment – brought about repression and artificial religiosity – which has served no one!
The trouble with the religions and the “Saintly” has been that they have moved their followers from one set of “desires” to another set… and declared that to be the solution! When all that they are offering is a temporary opiate. Nothing more. Idea is to go into your mind and at the ROOT of the equation between YOU “and” the World.. and find WHY pain occurs.
When one has figured that out.. any attachment withers away. Even the highest of all attachments – Mother’s love (for those who can understand Hindi can listen to the Ashtvakra Gita Chap 11-20, to find that Mamta is also one of the attachments that hold you from freedom). When no attachment binds you… you are free.