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I want to know how promiscuity affects us? How it binds? What are the after affects of making many sexual partners? I think Runanbandha sheds light on this? I want to know the hinduism point of view?

  • Nice question that you asked. Between our religion support Polygamy – user9554 Aug 6 '17 at 17:28
  • Are you asking more in the context of Hinduism, or just generally? There have been scientific studies done on how the number of sexual partners people have affects them. – John Aug 6 '17 at 18:21
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    @SreeCharan Dear intellectual, I am asking about Hinduism point of view. How this is cross posting? Cross posting is when answers gonna be the same. Answers here gonna be entirely different. Moreover, see the details, it is not longer replica. – Mr. Sigma. Aug 7 '17 at 3:23
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    @SreeCharan Do's and Don't changes from religion to religion. Don't take their exacts words without thinking much. – Mr. Sigma. Aug 7 '17 at 3:40
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    multiple partners or multiple wives? – Rickross Aug 7 '17 at 5:31
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I have created a separate answer since the question seems to have changed from "Is promiscuity permissible?" to "What are the karmic effects of promiscuity?"

Because social mores have changed since ancient times, this seems to be a topic which isn't well discussed in the ancient texts. So, below are some excerpts from modern thinkers. In the quotes square brackets "[]" are parentheses from the original text, parentheses "()" are my changes, italics are my addition for words not commonly used in English, and bold emphases are added by me.

The following passage from Dr. Satya Prakash Choudhary discusses multiple relationships during a single lifetime rather than multiple concurrent relationships.

In each life, we have mother, father, brothers, sisters, spouse, children and so on. We are born in a family as a result of undischarged debts of past lives. Constantly we are creating accounts, debiting and crediting. We are creating Karmic debts with all those with whom we interact. The Karmic debts [rna] lead to bondage or attachment [bandha]. These Karmic attachments pull us into the wheel of existence again and again. Rnanubandha [the bond that results from Karmic debts] is at the root of repeated lives.

Karma leads to rna and rna leads to Karma . It works both ways. If you have given something to somebody in some life, the memory is stored in your causal body. That person will be your debtor in this birth. If you have taken in the past, it will be taken from you in some birth. If you have given in the past it will come back to you later. The causal body stores the memory of all of one's rnanubandhas of countless births. (Until) all the karma stored in the causal body is burnt away or exhausted, there is no liberation from rebirth. Human life is nothing but a memory of rnanubandha, the story of the countless karmas that we make, and live through. Every relationship reflects some rnanubandha. The people with whom we have very strong rnanubandha become our parents, spouse, children and co-borns in this life. In most relationships it is our rna that ensures a complementary fit, just like a lock and key.

The citta [unconscious mind] holds these emotional memories or subliminal impressions that drive one to act or seek. They are more like vague impressions rather than clear memories. The memory of Karmic debts may be sweet or bitter. Sweet memories of karmic debts lead to a 'happy' relationship and bitter memories to an 'unhappy' relationship. In reality most of the karmic debts are mixed, a mixture of sweet and bitter memories. That is why most relationships are of a mixed nature.

Two people can be mutually attracted to one another only if there was some relationship between them in some previous life. When you meet a person to whom you were related in a previous life, the stored impressions/memories or rnanubandha stir up your emotions and you may start "feeling" for the person. Every longstanding relationship leads to certain deep impressions. Any act when done repeatedly can become a habit. Every habit leaves an impression. These impressions are the samskaras that are more like an inclination. The very strong ones are the vasanas, which compel us to act or seek again. But if we have no more debt [rna] with the other person, it just remains a fleeting thought, an inclination or an impulse only.

Sometimes even though the karmic debt is discharged, the old samskaras [the subliminal impressions of past acts] can generate an irresistible inner urge to enter into a relationship. We eventually end up creating a fresh account, a further karmic debt that is not advisable. But if there is undischarged karmic debt, it results in a relationship naturally. When the karmic accounts are settled, once there is no more debt, the relationship ends. But if the rnanubandha is very strong, it results in a long-standing relationship like marriage.

This is the cause of every relationship, how it is born and how it ends. But nothing is permanent. No karmic debt can be everlasting. Eventually it has to end when the debt is discharged, when the account is balanced. In this impermanent world change is the law of life. Countless wombs have we passed through. Innumerable mothers, fathers, spouses and children have we been with. It is hard to interact with another being who has not been a parent, brother, sister, spouse, child, friend or associate in some other life. But when a karmic debt is over, the attachment might still be there. We still cling on. When rna [debt] is over, the relationship has to end, but anubandha [emotional bondage or emotional attachment] might still make us cling to the person. Like the fan that turns for a while even after the power supply has been switched off, the attachment doesn't die for some time. Once the rna is over, nothing can sustain the relationship. Hence any further remnants of emotional attachment [anubandha] are bound to produce only suffering and misery.

In some cases, one of the two people involved grows out of the relationship once the rna [debt] is discharged. But the other refuses to move on, due to emotional attachment [anubandha]. The second person suffers tremendously because any further attachment leads to misery and suffering only. Sometimes there is bitterness also after separation. This bitterness can sow the seeds for future karma! When the karmic debts are over, when a couple has to part ways, as far as possible, it should be done with the least negative feelings. They should part in an amicable way to avoid further seeds of new karma. Easier said than done.

The karma that brings two people together into marriage can also be of many types. I will mention a few below:

  • Bitter enemies can be born as husband and wife and always fight, criticize, deceive one another, block the other's progress and make each others' lives miserable.
  • Two people who have created negative karma between them come back as man and wife and lead a life of suffering together, fighting with one another.
  • Two people who have created both positive and negative karma between them come back as man and wife and have a mixed life causing both happiness and unhappiness to one another.
  • Two people who have created positive karma between them in previous lives come back as man and wife and lead a relatively happy life helping and supporting each other.
  • One who has taken a lot in some life has to give in the present life. In such a case, one of them will always be giving [money, love, care, etc.] and the other receiving.
  • Two souls who are evolving spiritually come as husband and wife, help each other in their evolution and benefit one another. This is the purpose of marriage.
  • A couple who has been husband and wife may come back as husband and wife again if their rnanubandha is very strong. If the rnanubandha is very strong and their destinies [lives] are so strongly interlinked, usually both die almost at the same time. If one dies first, generally the other also dies within a few hours or days or weeks. The souls are so strongly identified with one another that towards the end of a successful married life, they behave as if they are one.
  • Sometimes [rarely] a very highly evolved being or soul, or spirit or even an avatar [an incarnation of a deity] is born as two people to accomplish a mission. After the accomplishment of the mission, they merge back into one. Though very rare, such a divine couple can take birth at times. Such a high soul may be born as two separate individuals as husband and wife, brothers, guru and disciple, etc.

Thus the anubandha [emotional bond] between husband and wife or between any two people can take many forms. The patterns of rna and karma are myriad, exceedingly intricate and perplexing. It is because of rnanubanda that you are a child to your parents, spouse to your spouse and parent to your child. A broader understanding of the concept of 'rna' at a cosmic level unravels the interdependence of all life. Whosoever or whatsoever comes to you, comes because of some rna. So a wise person treats every living being with kindness. As a famous Indian saint remarked, "Without rnanubandha no creature comes to you. God will be certainly pleased if you give water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry and clothes to the naked. Be kind and considerate to all creatures. "

(source)

According to Sadhguru, "You pick up runanubandha in many ways, but sexual relationships have maximum impact in terms of the amount of memory that they leave, compared to any other kind of touch, or any substance you come in touch with." (source) More explicitly on the subject of sex blogger Devansh Mittal says,

The temptation towards the Sex is not actually for Sex or for a woman’s body or a man’s body. It is for something else. It is actually for the unique experience of “Timelessness”, “Egolessness” and “To stay in Present”. Though in Sex or Orgasm, one experiences it very momentarily, but yes one wants to experience it. This is one’s basic desire to be free from the agonies of the past and the tensions of the future and totally stay in present, which gets fulfilled in Sex momentarily.

Living in present for long time is not an easy job. One needs to practice a lot of introspection, understanding of oneself has to be evolved within, a lot of practice of meditation is also required. For this a lot of energy is required within. For Self Evolution a lot of energy is required within and this energy has to be directed in the right direction. Sex is a thing in which one loses maximum amount of energy outside, which otherwise has a possibility to be utilized within for constructive purposes. In Sex one loses so much of energy, to get a very momentary pleasure. If the similar or even more intense and long lasting pleasure is available through some other means and that also without losing energy, then one wouldn’t be ready to lose so much energy in Sex. When one doesn’t know any other way, then one is inclined to lose energy in Sex and then regrets later.

When one doesn’t know any other way, this energy keeps boiling inside and keeps coming out in one form or the other. When this energy is not released neither inside nor outside then it has the potential to make you mad as well.

(source)

I don't think it is likely to find an authoritative answer in the ancient texts, so hopefully you can harmonize the above with your own understanding But from above writings it is concluded Promiscuity binds us very ardently that no act can such immensely & thus result in repeated births & sufferings. Good luck & namaste.

  • Thanks for your well researched & good answer. You have defined Runanbandha very well but didn't link runanbandha with promiscuity clearly. I will accept your answer once you explain the link between these twos. :-) – Mr. Sigma. Aug 16 '17 at 14:59
  • The link is between the two longer quotes: "You pick up runanubandha in many ways, but sexual relationships have maximum impact in terms of the amount of memory that they leave, compared to any other kind of touch, or any substance you come in touch with." – Rubellite Yakṣī Aug 16 '17 at 15:02
  • Thanks to you! I enjoy researching. I only regret that I couldn't find more authoritative sources. – Rubellite Yakṣī Aug 16 '17 at 15:04
  • You can try - "Aghora: at the left hand of god." It is available in PDF. – Mr. Sigma. Aug 16 '17 at 15:07
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In Sanatana Dharma there is no restriction on multiple partners - the restriction is only on illicit relationship outside wedlock. A man can have as many wives as he wants - a perusal of the Puranas reveals the same. But in ancient Bharatavarsha the union between husband and wife was only at the time of ovulation - sex in Hinduism is not for pleasure - Kamasutra of Vatsayana notwithstanding.

Relations between husband and wife were primarily and mainly for procreation. Promiscuity especially with partners outside marriage is a sin punishable with a stay in any of the 27 narakas depending on the intensity. This has been highlighted in Garuda Purana where it is stated that a woman selling her vagina (yoni) will suffer the tortures inflicted by the Yamadhootas.

In Shiva Purana Mahatmyam there is a passing refrence to this in the chapter Chanchula's Vairagya as under:

योषितां जारसक्तानां नरके यमकिंकरा | संतप्तलोहपरिघं शिपन्ति स्मरमन्दिरे || ३५ ||

The meaning can roughly be as "A licentious woman who has relations with a number of paramours, on her death the messengers of Yama (God of Death) will bind and take her to Hell where a red hot iron pestle would be inserted repeatedly into her vagina.”

Regarding licentious men this story is silent, except insofar as in verses 28 and 29 the following is said:

अथ विप्रः कुमतिर्बिन्दुगो वृषिलीपतिः | कालेन निधनं प्राप्तो जगाम नरकं खलः || २८ || भुक्त्वा नरकदुःखानि बह्वहानि स मूढघीः | विन्ध्येsभवत्पिशाचो हि गिरौ पापी भयङ्करः || २९ ||

The meaning would roughly be as "In due course, with passage of time, death claimed Binduga and he was pushed to Hell. After suffering untold tortures in Hell for many a years, the Brahmin of low intellect became a frightful human flesh eating demon (Pishacha) residing in the Vindhya Mountain."

In due course, I would try to see what details are as per Garuda Purana and update this reply.

One should also look up the Upanishads as there are many moral tales therein which may carry a reply to the above question - will try to source the same.

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Like hunger and thirst, libido is a natural driving force. Repressing the sex drive is unnatural. Ethical sexual activity may be pursued, but like anything enjoyable it can lead to attachment. For example, if your only drive is to bring yourself or a partner to climax, then you are attached to an outcome rather than enjoying the dance as it happens. And, of course, exploiting an individual for sexual (or emotional) gratification (even if you are both exploiting each other) is unethical (this is lust and will strengthen maya).

With these things in mind, I cannot see any problem with polyamory within Sanatana Dharma. In fact, considering the emphasis on non-attachment and freedom from expectations, polyamory should be easier to practice among Hindus than cultures where Abrahamic faiths dominate.

According to Vedic Index of Names and Subjects, Volume 1; Volume 5

A Vedic Indian could have more than one wife. This is proved clearly by many passages in the Rigveda; Manu, according to the Maitrāyani Saṃhitā, had ten wives; and the Śatapatha Brāmaṇa explains polygamy by a characteristic legend. Moreover, the king regularly had four wives attributed to him.

I should also add that it depends on what stage in life you are at. If you are a brahmacharya your dharma is to learn. Certainly you can learn from these encounters, just as an infant learns that falling down hurts. A grihastha is expected to take care of a family. This can include multiple wives. But, the nature of family is attachment. Family is part of maya. We learn from maya, but if you have multiple relationships, it may be harder to learn non-attachment later in life. However, having multiple lessons on the same topic, may make learning easier. It depends on your nature.

As a vanaprastha your dharma is to begin seeking moksha. If you are still pursuing kama at this stage, no matter how many partners you have, you've stuck yourself to a previous stage. If you are a sannyasa and you are still following carnal desires, then something has gone wrong.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that modern sexual repression in India (as well as the law forbidding multiple marriages) is a holdover from British occupation.

  • You should cite sources. This seems a complete opinion based answer. I want to know whether there can be Karmic effects or not with polyamory? You are answering based on desires or pleasures or modern ethical point of view. I want to know the answer based on eternal law's point of view. – Mr. Sigma. Aug 7 '17 at 3:38
  • Is the added reference satisfactory? If you'd like references to the rest of what I've written I'll have to do some digging. I haven't directly read what I've written. Rather it is the logical conclusion of other things I've read. – Rubellite Yakṣī Aug 13 '17 at 15:25
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    Yes, you can add some references. I really appreciate your logic & rational thinking but eternal laws doesn't work according to our logic or rationale. Moreover, The references by him also not satisfactory is the reason I didn't accept the answer. So I was looking more into the reason in terms of cause - effect duality. But I think I have got something known as Runanbandha based on which I will try to write an answer. – Mr. Sigma. Aug 13 '17 at 18:02
  • I see now that you have edited the question. So, you aren't wondering "is it permissible" but rather "what will happen if," correct? If that is true, I'll need to rewrite my answer. – Rubellite Yakṣī Aug 16 '17 at 12:14
  • As you have rewritten another answer to suit the current version of the post rather than first one, Do you think this answer will be helpful? The question has changed entirely to a Karmic concept. – Sarvabhouma May 10 '18 at 3:06

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