According to Vedic religion sex is divine and is the basis of creation and preservation. The manifested universe itself is a product of the union between the male and female parts of the Supreme Being. Creation itself is symbolized in the Siva linga-yoni cult as a continuous sexual union between Purusha and Prakriti. Bharata, the progenitor of the Hindus was born from a sexual union between sage Viswamitra and Menaka, the celestial nymph in the court of Indra. Vatsayana's Kamasutra viewed sex as an ennobling act rather than a degrading one. Sexual union is primarily duty (dharma), then pleasure (kama), and finally liberation (moksha). References to sexual intercourse as a sacrifice are found in the Chandogya Upanishad (5.8.1-2), and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (6.2.13 and 6.4.2-3).
But in Vedic religion sex was not forced upon the woman. Woman in Vedic religion was considered as sacrificial fire into which semen is poured as libation from which arise the children. The sublime intentions of sex prescribed by the Vedic religion are now grossly profaned by the so-called godmen for the satisfaction of their gross animal instinct: Invisible Injustices.
Following are some such godmen brought to the public notice so far: Godman Asaram Bapu, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Swami Premamnanda of Sri Lanka who came to Tamil Nadu, Swami Amrita Chaitanya known as Santosh Madhavan, Swami Sadachari performing rituals for top dignitaries of the country but caught for running brothel, Sant Rampal, at whose ashram were found bodies of five women and 18-month-old child, Nithyananda Paramahamsa who disappeared five days after charges of rape, Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot involved in large-scale sex racket in Delhi and Mumbai, Swami Chinmayanand of Uttar Pradesh a former Union minister and still-member of the Bharatiya Janata Party accused of raping a woman at his ashram in Haridwar, Swami Kaushlendra Prapannachari, also known as Falahari Maharaj or Baba who was arrested for allegedly raping a 21-year-old law student from Chhattisgarh, Narayan Sai, Asaram’s son accused of rape and Baba Parmanand of Barabanki sexually abused childless women on the pretext of curing their infertility. Almost all of them are found guilty of rape and murder.
The strangest thing about this country is that still thousands and lakhs follow these godmen blindly and seem to approve religiously of their animal sex behaviours. According to reports at least 30 people were killed and 250 injured in the mob violence in Haryana after Ram Rahim was convicted of rape. People seem to take for granted that the powerful in religion and politics are allowed such sexual behaviours under the garb of performing religious rituals. According to Sanjay Srivastava, professor of Sociology at Delhi University seeking consent for sex becomes redundant in an ashram where godmen with all his paraphernalia presides.
All godmen have sprawling ashram premises in many locations in the country and abroad, lead an ethereal life, have thousands of devotees at their beck and call, posses so much of unaccounted assets, wield enormous political clout and are virtual millionaires mostly by the generous donations of the blindly following devotees who are submissive in front of the guru because they take the diktats of a guru as the word of god. Indian psyche is basically Vedic and hence people belonging to other religions also have complete devotion and trust in the gurus to initiate spiritual healing. Hence sexual exploitation of vulnerable disciples cuts across all religions. According to Rajat Mitra a criminal psychologist some of the godmen are serial rapists and chronic attention seekers.
The politicians and lawyers in our country too protect the culprits of heinous sexual crimes, the godmen as well as their political affiliates. The Karnataka high court stayed the proceedings against Nithyananda and his associates in the trial court till it heard a discharge petition filed. The court directed the petitioner and the rape victim that they can no longer implead in the case and will only remain as witnesses. Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in UP decided to withdraw the kidnapping and rape case of the former Union minister and still member of BJP. Securing conviction on Asaram wasn’t easy. Tenacious perseverance of the family of the minor rape victim and the nine witnesses secured conviction of Asaram. They were under tremendous political and bureaucratic pressure, intimidated and even attacked, in order to compel them to turn hostile. Of the nine witnesses, two were attacked, and three died under mysterious circumstances. Asaram tried a dozen times to get bail: six by the trial court, three by the Rajasthan High Court and three by the Supreme Court. Even trial court judge Madhusudan Sharma, who awarded him the life sentence, was accorded the highest level Z+ category security. The Deputy CM and two other ministers of J&K were supporting the accused of Kathua gang rape. Similarly is the case in the Unnao rape case: Invisible Injustice.
Residences of most godmen have become den of sex crimes. According to Sanjay Srivastava (professor at Delhi University), many yogis, maulvis, fakirs, gurus, swamis, pastors and priests make mystical claims and hold devotees as sexual predators. Voyeurism, paraphilia, sexual rituals, paedophilia and rape are their standard operating procedures. They adopt the loose Indian esoteric tradition of tantra to exploit gullible women and children.
According to BBC report, rape in ancient India was a form of marriage. M any Indian men and women refuse to believe that sexual violence is a serious problem. And most political parties don't appear to recognize rape as a crime. There are enough disrespectful references to women in Indian scriptures: “There is no creature more sinful, than woman; she is poison, she is snake.” (Mahabharata, Book 13 Section 40 Ch13,Vrs 40). Other texts say, “Women are living lies.” Hindutua ideology places a lot of emphasis on India’s most beloved epics and historical stories. Sadly at the heart of these mythological stories lie lurid tales of sex that glorify rape. The God Vishnu is said to have raped Tulsi/Vrinda by assuming the guise of her husband. Yet this horrible act is justified and glorified, because Hindutvavadis in power believe that Tulsi’s husband, Shankachuda/Jalandhar, was invincible in war unless her chastity was first violated.
According to Matsya Purana 49.17-28 God Brihaspati, the Guru of all Indian Gods, raped his own pregnant sister-in-law Mamata. But Brihaspati is still a God in the Indian minds. None of the Indian Gods were ever punished for raping women. Even now every rape in Indian stories is given a clean chit. As a former Chief Minister said it is just normal what macho men do. Indian mythology conditions people to rape. Besides rape, all kinds of sordid sex activities like sex between siblings, parents and children and even with human and animal corpses were considered normal in some old Indian Scriptures; such national narratives conditions people to think that rape is normal in a state of imbalanced sex ratio; where women have little or no cultural respect reports of phenomenal number of rapes per year is not shocking. As time goes on this oppressive atrocities against women in India will get only worse until there is an international outcry against the present government supported and perverted Hindutvavadis ( https://www.thedailybeast.com/whats-really-behind-indias-rape-crisis).
In short there seems to be an obvious implicit sanctioning of the presently rampant rape and murder crimes happening every day in different parts of India: Invisible Injustice.
(The writer is retired Professor at XIM Bhubaneswar. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org)(Published on 07th May 2018, Volume XXX, Issue 19)