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Ayurvedic View On Sexual Activities

ayurvedic view on sexual activity

Ayurvedic values and sexual activity has often been a source of confusion. When referring to brahmacharya, the word celibacy is usually used. Strictly speaking, celibacy is not an accurate interpretation of this concept. Regulated or controlled sexual activity is a more precise explanation, although not a literal interpretation.

The concept of complete abstinence from sex (celibacy) is related to the spiritual aspects of Ayurveda. Brahma actually means study of spirit and charya is routine. So brahmacharya is routine to be followed when studying to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Being distracted by sex, or lacking the ability to control sexual desire, hampers this form of spiritual study. 
Celibacy is for those who have dedicated their lives to spiritual enlightenment and have renounced physical pleasure.

Ayurveda recognizes that sexual activity is a healthy and natural biological function for human beings. A whole branch of this discipline is related to reproduction, including formulas for a range of aphrodisiacs (vajikarana). The main aim of this specialized field is to create healthy children, within a harmonious family structure. 
According to Ayurveda, people who are emotionally committed and monogamous may engage in physical intimacy for reproductive purposes. The important role of sex between husband and wife. As an expression of their love and affection, is acknowledged.

Sexual activity, like any other area of life (such as eating and sleeping), should be governed by ethical and moral considerations and not engaged in to excess. Like eating and sleeping, sex should not be performed only because it is a pleasurable activity. 
The tri-upastambha (nutrition, restoration and reproduction) has biological functions for the body. Sensory gratification is of secondary importance. If any of these activities are engaged with the primary object of satisfying the senses, disorders and diseases can be generated. 
Just as if we eat too much we become obese, or if we sleep too much we become physically weak and mentally dull, engaging in excessive sexual activity has associated physical consequences.

The concept of brahmacharya is based on several health factors. It prevents people from contracting sexually transmitted diseases, which have many detrimental physical repercussions. Psychological disturbance is also minimized, as stress, anxiety and confusion are more easily generated in physical relationships with no long-term emotional commitment. An unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, or even the risk of one, can be especially stressful.

Brahmacharya preserves Ojas, which is essential for immunity and longevity. Ojas is directly connected to the Shukra dhatu (reproductive fluids). If an excessive amount of Shukra dhatu is lost from the body, the quality of the Ojas will be affected. A deficiency of Shukra dhatu is the cause of many physical disorders. A person who has lower than normal quantities of this vital tissue suffers from mental confusion and emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, fear, greed, anger and jealousy. Preserving the Shukra dhatu is therefore considered essential for the mental, physical and spiritual health of an individual. The Doshas, particularly Vata dosha, are aggravated by excessive sexual activity.

For these reasons brahmacharya, or regulated and ethical sexual activity, is considered equally important as the other two features of the upastambhas in maintaining health. Without the support of the upastambha the tridosha becomes weak. This results in the onset of many chronic and incurable diseases. A person with a disciplined and controlled sexual life has a good memory and intellect, determination and strong immunity. It increases sattva guna and elevates a person's spiritual level.

Following brahmacharya can enhance sexual activity. Self-discipline and control in this respect can make physical intimacy more pleasurable. It increases satisfaction, as well as the quality of Shukra dhatu. Waiting until you are in committed and monogamous relationship allows sex to be a genuine expression of caring and love. A lack of emotional closeness, rapport and trust can lead to inhibitions and tension, making sexual activity unpleasant. Brahmacharya aims for positive sexual expression as one aspect of a sincere and supportive relationship.

Adopting these concepts aims to benefit both the individual and society. If people are healthy and happy, then society as a whole functions much more effectively, efficiently and peacefully as well.  

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