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What Srila Prabhupada Says About Illicit Sex
Srila Prabhupada expected his disciples to be honorable and keep the promises they made at initiation. When devotees wrote to him that they were not following some of the four rules, Prabhupada never said it was "all right." He said, "You promised at initiation that you would avoid these sinful activities. So you must keep your promise." Srila Prabhupada was convinced that the process of bhakti-yoga gave sufficient protection to any of his followers as long as they actually followed. But Prabhupada was aware of the weakness of human nature, and he knew that his devotees would sometimes fall down. Lord Krsna also acknowledges that devotees make mistakes, especially in the beginning, and He encourages us not to be defeated. Prabhupada comments:
An ordinary man with firm faith in the eternal injunctions of the Lord, even though unable to execute such orders, becomes liberated from the law of karma. In the beginning of Krsna consciousness, one may not fully discharge the injunctions of the Lord, but because one is not resentful of this principle and works sincerely without consideration of defeat and hopelessness, he will surely be promoted to the stage of pure Krsna consciousness.—Bg. 3.31 purport
The same meaning is found in the well-known verse in the Ninth Chapter, api cet su-duracarah, "Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination." Prabhupada writes, "Material contamination is so strong that even a yogi fully engaged in the service of the Lord sometimes becomes ensnared, but Krsna consciousness is so strong that an occasional falldown is at once rectified. . . No one should deride a devotee for some accidental falldown from the ideal path" (Bg. 9.30 purport).
Another example of Prabhupada's compassion is when he advised persons who had fallen from sannyasa to become respectable grhasthas. Although, technically speaking, that is not to be recommended, Prabhupada said the most important thing was to situate yourself in a strong position for fighting may a. Srila Prabhupada was lenient and compassionate, but in none of these statements does he endorse immoral sex. He does not say that we should keep on confessing our wrongs week after week. One who does this is a pseudodevotee.
Prabhupada usually advised anyone who felt inclinations for sex life to enter the grhastha-asrama and act in an honorable way.
I understand that sometimes you feel urges and frustration. In the material world the sex urge is the binding force for material existence. A determined person tolerates such sex urges as one tolerates the itching sensation of eczema. If one cannot control the sex urge, then he can legitimately marry Immoral sex life and spiritual advancement are incompatible. Your full engagement in Krsna consciousness and constant chanting will save you from all inconveniences. —Letter, 1/22/68
In this letter Prabhupada offered me two choices: Either forget sex by engaging twenty-four hours a day in Krsna consciousness or enter grhastha life. But he forbade the third choice, immoral sex.Prabhupada wants us to become victorious, and he thinks that it is definitely in our power to do so. He forgives us for occasional mistakes. We should not become guilt-ridden if we have a sex problem that we cannot overcome completely. We should keep trying; we should keep on engaging in devotional service.But we should not comfort ourselves that everything is all right if we cannot shake sex addiction. It has been clearly stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that one cannot go back to Godhead as long as he has sinful addiction. Neither should we point to the bad examples of those who practice illicit sex and claim, "Everyone is doing it." Krsna consciousness is a science, and the material nature also operates under strict laws. We will get the results of our activities.