Semitic religions such as Islam and Christianity consider masturbation to be a sin. What about Hinduism? Please give some authentic quotes for the answers.
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A glass can be looked on as half empty or half full. I think it is best to rephrase this question by asking instead - What does Hinduism say about continence?
Swami Nikhilananda in his writings on Hindu ethics says:
"Besides the objective duties based on the castes and stages of life, there are laid down the common duties of men, the sadharanadharma, which are the foundation of the moral life. Manu, the lawgiver, enumerates these common duties as follows: steadfastness (dhairya), forgiveness (kshama), good conduct (dama), avoidance of theft (chauryabhava), control of the senses (indriyanigraha), wisdom (dhi), learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absense of anger (akrodha)...the aim of Hindu ethics is to enable a man ultimately to conquer his lower self and attain freedom from passion, desire, and attachment."
"All Hindu philosophers regardless of their conceptions of the supreme end of man, admit the empirical reality of the individual, endowed with volition, desire, will, conscience or consciousness of duty, emotion, etc. The goal of Hindu ethics is to train these faculties in such a way that they shall lead the individual to the realization of Moksha, or Liberation. Therefore all the schools of philosophy have described the virtues and their opposites in detail. It is expected of the moral agent that he should follow the former and shun the latter. We propose to discuss the virtues and their opposites according to the classification of Nyaya and of Patanjali's system."
"Vatsyayana, in his commentary on the Nyaya aphorisms, classifies will as impious (papatmika) and auspicious (subha). The impious will leads to unrighteousness (adharma), and the auspicious will, to righteousness (dharma). Righteousness, it is necessary to add, is conductive to the Highest Good, whereas unrighteousness produces evil. The purpose of ethics is to subdue the impious and to manifest the righteous will."
"Unrighteousness may take three forms, namely, physical, verbal, and mental, depending upon the condition of its functioning. Physical unrighteousness manifests itself asa cruelty (himsa), theft (steya), and sexual perversion (pratisiddha maithuna); verbal unrighteousness, as falsehood (mithya), rudeness (katukti), insinuation (suchana), and gossip (asambaddha); mental unrighteousness, as ill-will (paradroha), covetousness (paradravyabhipsa), and irreverance (nastikya)."
"Patanjali...describes the virtues that must be cultivated...chastity or continence..."
"The practice of continence, highly extolled by all the philosophers and mystics of India, implies, besides the literal meaning of the vow, abstention from lewdness in thought, speech, and action through any of the sense-organs. Through the practice of this virtue, one develops the capacity for subtle spiritual perception."
So Mastrubation is not a sin in Hinduism but its only allowed in "Grihastya Jeevan".
Note 1 :- A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.*.
*Note 2:- Vātsyāyana the writer of Kama Sutra was hindu/Indian making it Hindu treatise which doesn't means to be a religious text. Religious text are which represent God not sex. And hindu text doesn't means religious text only. There are so many text which are presented as hindu text but that doesn't make them religious just because they are hindu. *
Note 3:- This post doesn't trying to attack on anyone’s religious values at all but its more of fact based post. Hinduism was always one of the more open religion then any other religion, it just became strict and strict by time.
Hinduism does not deal with social situations like Western religions do.
There are no chapters on how to deal with women, how to marry, how to divorce, how to have sex, whether to have drugs, whether to have alcohol etc etc. There are no 10 commandments.
There have been various books or literature on topics like society, class, sex etc, but that's on the side. They are again theories written by many people along the way.
Interestingly, if you see India as it is today, there is a lot of ingrained rules on how to live, marry, divorce. A kind of Hindu law. But all of those have come from centuries of learning, shaping, relearning, adapting, adopting, copying, debating, conflicting, dispelling, removing, curtailing, picking, dropping and how you like it.
As a society it slowly adopts what's best in the current context. Look at child marriage - It was prevalent 2 centuries ago. Now it is unheard of. Sati - prevalent 100 years ago. Now - unheard of. Women at work - unheard of 100 years back. 33% reservation for women in parliament - Now.
So, in a way, the religion has found a non-prescriptive way of dealing with internal change. And the core of it is is a simple idea
" Nobody is wrong. Nobody is right".
This concept is the basis of all values that came from India.
==> Debate, conflict, understand, Agree, Accept, Change and keep doing that in circles.
The one thing people outside of India may have noticed is that Indians are always fighting war of words with each other. Now thats the fundamental value that societies need to adapt, and to change.
In a short way, Masturbation was also debated in India by Vatsayana, and he was the first to say OK to it. I dont think, any conflicting ideas have come since then.
The Hindu concept of Masturbation is neither dogmatic nor based on superstition. It accepts the fact that it is a natural phenomenon, the normal urge for the gratification of body & mind. There is scientific evidence & medical approval on this. Only point to be noted is that this should not be practiced too frequently, too much indulgence is similar to any other addiction which leads us to lack of concentration & abhorrence from duty. Otherwise it is healthy, enjoyable & ecstatic bliss for conjugal relationship.
protected by Community♦ May 29 '15 at 12:39
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