A friend of mine went searching for a particular teacher. He was interested to track the old roots of wild, south Indian preferably Dravidian tantra and advaita.
He found exactly who he was looking for – a Dravidian advaita teacher of an ancient tantric lineage.
Naturally, the fellow was doing as his ancestors had done, sitting in the shade of a wide banyan tree.
Conversation ensued, and over the next few days, my friend was treated to a feast of ancient lore and deep philosophical discussion.
It was a delight to hear of this lineage. We both enjoyed the traditional and fresh expressions of understanding that he had encountered, ignoring our companions a bit rudely.
At some point, my friend commented that in many general and some specific areas, this taste of an ancient teaching had been remarkably similar to what he had encountered around this school.
"Practice too?" I inquired.
"No." He replied. "That was the one startling difference."
"How so?" I asked, intrigued, always interested to discover new methods.
"Well, he spoke of some methods and rituals, but from the moment of his attainment, no sex."
"Did he care to share why?"
"I asked, and he said not all lineages have the same insistence, but in his lineage, it is mandatory. He says that without this condition, the teachings he preserves and continues would have died out thousands of years ago."
There was obviously more to this. I waited in respectful patience, or perhaps hurried him with further questions. Whatever the details, he shared the story.
"The first master of the guru's lineage was apparently a little overwhelmed by his attainment. He was, here and there, a little irresponsible with his powers.
At some point, the Gods got a little annoyed and had a meeting to discuss the issue. Agreeing that something should be done to teach a lesson, but not knowing what lesson, or how it should be delivered, the Gods eventually turned to a Goddess for help.
The Goddess listened to their issue, agreed that a lesson had to be taught and that she would deliver it.
Appearing before the guru, she danced a dance of sublime seduction. Even though he was past all need, all craving for sex, he was disturbed. This was, after all, a Goddess working him over.
She evoked his arousal and, far far worse, his ejaculation. Just with her dance.
The guru was, as the English would say, unmanned.
From that point on, he taught that no-sex was essential to the survival of his teaching."
I digested this for a while. This variation on a story I had heard often had got my attention.
I knew from my own experience that chastity is a comfortable and perfectly available option once the lean-pig hunger of sexuality stops. Even if sex continues for teaching, fun or any other reason, ejaculation is optional, and some choose to never do that.
I considered what difference it would make to my life and teaching if I had inherited or developed such an insistence myself. My first impression would be that it would be a lot easier.
Easier because … well, because …
Suddenly I saw the why, the reason behind this far away guru's no-sex insistence.
I rejoined the conversation, which had barely paused while i had swum in thoughts.
"So, was he enjoying his irresponsibility?"
"Like what?" My friend, not sharing my particular curiosity, was a little confused.
"Well, you notice the difference between his lifestyle and mine?"
My friend looked around the quaint 3rd world cottage I inhabit. "Not that different."
"Not that, and sure, if we had proper African heat in winter here, I could enjoy a banyan tree too. I mean the difference that comes from his no-sex thing."
He looked at one of the companions we were almost ignoring, a Dakini he has known as long as he has known me. She was smiling, obviously a step or two ahead of us males.
"The difference is…" He said, looking from her smile to mine "You get bossed about by them."
"Yes. They keep me on the straight and narrow." This got a laugh from the Dakini, who then got involved in discussing more interesting things with my daughter.
"According to the Dravidian guru, you are vulnerable to them."
"Yes. When I get irresponsible, they are there to slap me immediately. Hence I do not push things so far that divine intervention is required. At least not yet."
"And he is safe from that kind of trouble …" my friend mused.
"He is safe from much more than that."
"Well, as you know, I take my direction from the Dakinis." This earned me a derisive comment from one of our unnamed companions, which I choose not to repeat. "More or less, anyway." Another derisive comment which I manfully ignored.
"Your friend in India, however, gets to decide how he teaches, who he teaches, the context that suits him and so on. If he had…" I smiled at the source of derisive comments "If he had such wonderful supports and guides for his teaching, he would do …"
"A hell of a lot more, for sure." My friend replied. "He really has some very cool stuff, and a strong energy, but he is not interested in traveling or being very welcoming. It is kind of a pity …"
"I don't know about that." I interrupted. "He is right about it being essential to the survival of his lineage, to the preservation of knowledge and method."
"But, now, with the world enjoying these teachings, he could do so much more."
"Well, for now at least, his no-sex thing seems to be keeping him safe. I am sure if that has to change, the right Goddess will be there to sort things out."