When I spoke on this topic at the first meeting, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Auditorium, a lady came to me and said,” I am very upset. I am very angry with you. Sex is a scandalous subject. Sex is a sin. Why did you speak about it at such length? I really despise sex.”
Now, you see, this lady despises sex although she is a married woman with sons and daughters. How can she love the husband who leads her into sex? How can she love those children who have been born out of sex? Her attitude to life is permeated with poison; her love will remain poisonous. And so, there is bound to be a basic and deep rift between this woman and her husband. There will also be a fence of thorns between her and her children because the latter, to her, are the fruits of sin. The relationship between her and her husband is sin-oriented; she is haunted by an unconscious guilt complex where sex is concerned. Can one live in harmony with sin?
Those who slander sex have disturbed everyone’s marital life. Instead of affording any kind of deliverance, this disruptive attitude against sex has had deeply injurious effects. The man who meets with an invisible barrier between himself and his wife can never feel content with her: he will look around for other women; he will go to prostitutes. All the women in the world could have been like sisters and mothers to him had he received full gratification at home, but because of its absence, he will now see all women as potential wives, always after something. It is but natural; it had to be so. He finds poison, repulsion, and talk of sin where he ought to have been blessed with bliss, with ecstasy and serenity. His basic needs are not met at home and so he roams everywhere, searching for satisfaction in every nook and corner. And what has a man not invented to meet those basic needs! You would be amazed if we tried to list all the devices he has come up with.
Man has gone out of his way to devise many, many tricks but he has never thought carefully about the basic drawback. Now that which was a lagoon of love has become a pool of sex, and the pool is poisoned. And when there is an acute sense of sin, of poison; when there is a feeling of hesitation between husband and wife, this guilty approach ends the possibility of any growth in their lives together.
As I understand it, if a husband and wife can try to appreciate sex in harmony and with an understanding love towards each other, with a feeling of pure joy and without any sense of gloom, then their relationship can be transformed, elevated. And after this, it is possible that the wife, the same wife, will be there, but she will be in the form of a mother!
I have heard that Gandhi’s wife, Kasturba, once went to Ceylon with Gandhiji and his party. In his welcoming speech, the host said how very fortunate they were to be honored by the presence of Gandhiji’s mother, who was accompanying Mr. Gandhi on his trip and was seated beside him. Gandhiji’s secretary was floored. The mistake was his; beforehand, he ought to have introduced the members of the party to the organizers. But then it was too late: Gandhiji was already facing the mike and had begun his speech. The secretary feared the rebuke he might get from Gandhiji afterward, but he did not know that Gandhiji would not be angry with him at all, because the woman who is able to change from wife into mother is very rare indeed.
Gandhiji said,” It is a happy coincidence that the friend who introduced me has, by mistake, spoken the truth. In the last few years, Kasturba has truly become my mother. At one time she was my wife, but now she is my mother.”