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Senses, Sex, & Love Q&A

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QUESTION: In the Fifth Canto, Bharata considers sex among the “active” senses (i.e. the masculine senses). Why is it not considered a “perceptive” (feminine) sense experience?

Thank you, this is an excellent question that will clarify many things for many people.

Sex has two aspects: procreation and pleasure. The procreative aspect is its masculine side. The pleasure aspect is its feminine side. This may sound weird, but I will explain.

“Masculine” means “coming out.”
“Feminine” means “going in.”

The aspect of sex that “comes out” is the baby. It’s the result that pops out into the world, via sex. Hence procreation is the masculine aspect of sexuality.

The aspect of sex that “goes in” includes all of the sensations involved, and the effect they have on our mind. In other words, its all the pleasure. This is why pleasure is the feminine aspect of sexuality.

Returning to Bharata’s categorization of things, he considers “rati” an active sense. We can translate that as “sex” but that smart people like you will have the intelligent question you just asked. When other teachers (other than Bharata) explain this same topic, they often use a word like praja where bharata says rati. This makes it a bit more clear because praja specifically refers to “creating a baby.”

Why did Bharata use the word rati? This word implies the whole “cupidity” of sexuality. It is similar to the “libido” concept. As we know, libido is a direct result of testosterone, and testosterone is made primarily in testicles, which, as we all know, is a male organ. So, he is really talking about the same thing. To make this context clear, he compounded the word rati with visarga. That word, visarga, sets a very masculine context for rati, because it means “what is pushed out.”

The feminine aspect of sex, illustrated in the female experience of sex, is not highly localized to one particular mental function. It is spread out almost equally amongst them all. Probably it is most concentrated in what Bharata calls sparśa – the feminine/perceptive mental function for tactile sensation.


Questions: Should we aspire to focus on the needs of the people we love, and not our own needs? Should we try to give them what they want, even when we don’t enjoy it? Should we give, even when they do not reciprocate and it does not feel fair?

Actually the answer is, “You have a deep misconception about love.”

Your misconception is that you are imagining love to not be a dyad (a unit of two things).

If you truly realized that love is a dyad, you would not be able to ask these questions.

Let’s imagine some other dyads that are easier to grasp, and then see if looking at them helps us understand the love dyad.

Since I am using a computer right now, this example springs to mind: the computer is in a dyad with the user. Do you think that if the user suffers, the computer will not also suffer? Conversely if the computer suffers, do you think the user will not suffer? Do you think it is likely for one to prosper without the other?

Another example, maybe a better one, is the mother-child dyad. If the child suffers, is the mother flourishing? If the mother suffers, does the child flourish?

Let’s go for an extremely simple example before we stop. Lets consider the proton and electron in hydrogen to be a dyad. If either one of the two destroys itself or leaves, do you think the hydrogen molecule continues to exist?

Now that we have explored what dyads are, can you still ask the questions you are asking??? I don’t think so. They would answer themselves before you finish asking them.

If you are my servant and I am your master. If I command you to clean my room, but if I have mistreated you so poorly that you are uneducated and malnourished and on the threshold of dying…. have I really prospered at all? Does the master actually prosper by harming the servant?

Please ask yourself this until the answer is perfectly clear.

In fact, the master prospers by serving the servant! Just as the servant prospers by serving the master.

Furthermore, would a good servant neglect their own health out of so-called “love” for their master? If you are my master and I am your servant, and it is time for your lunch but I am bedridden with malaria because I was too careless about my own health… how am I performing as a servant? Lousy.

I hope you understand this topic now.




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