By Nayaswami Dharmadevi
January 15, 2019
“Mother Teresa expressed sexuality.” These words hung in the air, with more than a little bit of tension, in the conservative Catholic Church in middle Georgia.
I was blessed to grow up with a priest who was truly a man of God and didn’t mind stirring up the congregation to get a principle across.
It was Valentine’s Day when Narayan and I happened to be visiting my mom several years ago. Father Fred invited up an older couple who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Afterward, he launched into the most compelling homily I’d ever heard.
He went on… “She expressed her sexuality when she served the poor and felt Jesus in each one of them.” Then he said, “I express my sexuality.” Again, he left the crowd with a long uncomfortable pause as they digested what their priest of over 20 years (at the time), a priest who, as all catholic priests, had taken vows of celibacy.
“I express my sexuality when I paint and feel Jesus coming through my paintbrush.” At that point you could feel the room lightening as everyone started to realize what he was trying to convey.
Paramhansa Yogananda said to his disciples on numerous occasions, “You must individually make love to God.” As a disciple, I’ve heard this quote many times but never put much thought into it. Clearly, we know Yogananda isn’t talking about the worldly “love making,” which these days you hear mentioned in just about every love song written.
So how do we “make love to God?” His quote reminded me of Fr. Fred’s sermon on sexuality. We express our sexuality through creative, inspired deeds. The sacral chakra, adjacent to the reproductive organs is the center of procreation but also of creativity.
When we feel an awakening of energy at that center, it isn’t necessarily a sign that we should go make a baby! We have been given that powerful, life-giving energy to make beauty in this world – to express God’s creative life force energy as His channels. We are God’s hands and feet on earth. We are His smiles and compassion.
Yoganandaji taught how to transform the stimulated sexual energy of the 2nd chakra for higher purposes. I believe this relates to his encouragement to make love to God. He said when you feel energy there to mentally lift it to the heart center through the agency of your willpower. After feeling the energy at the heart chakra (the center of love and compassion) for a time, to then lift it to the point between the eyebrows (the center of enlightenment or Divine awareness).
Most of us have probably experienced an awakened energy in the lower chakras. But if you have truly felt an awakening at the heart or higher centers, you know that there is no comparison. It is like Yogananda’s description of the Divine light – “like a thousand million suns!” The ecstasy of union with God surpasses any worldly ecstasy a thousand million times.
I invite you to individually make love to God by consciously drawing the God-given energy of the creative center and offering it back to Him. Ask, “God, how would you like to use me to express Your creativity?” Or say, “Make me a channel of Your peace in this world.” Or simply and perhaps most powerful of all, tell God “I love you!”