Courage for Social Change – Addressing the Issue of Rape

Sadhguru and Kiran Bedi discuss the cause of rape and what steps society has to take to fix these dreadful crimes.

Sadhguru and Kiran Bedi discuss the cause of rape and what steps society has to take to fix these dreadful crimes.

Kiran Bedi: Sixty percent of India is in its villages – its panchayats, families, mahilamandals, and district administrations. If we look at Uttar Pradesh for example, a lot of wrong has happened there, unfortunately. Every time someone has violated a woman’s body, we only talk about the law – we don’t talk about the source, the schooling, the family, the community where it’s come from. How long will we remain only reactionary? Aren’t prevention and response two sides of the same coin if we want a better society?

Sadhguru: There is no question about that. At the same time, punishment can be done easily – prevention is a long-term project. The social commitment right now is short-span. When something horrible happens, people react, and tomorrow morning everything goes on as before. If you want to get into prevention, it is a lifelong commitment to create a society of a certain kind. Marching on the streets for one day and lighting candles is not enough for prevention. Prevention is a lifelong commitment. That commitment has to be made.

In their own way, the media and everyone else are trying to churn up a certain level of emotion towards this, which on one level is good, but it also creates a bad image for the nation outside the country. Whatever ugly events have happened in UP – you see the comments of the leaders. That’s the mindset.

Kiran Bedi: They have been saying, “Boys will be boys. They also sometimes make mistakes, so try and forgive them.” They have been very awful.

Sadhguru: As a nation, as a people, all of us should have the courage to address these questions within our minds and within our society, with our children. In earlier times, in this country, by the time a girl was 12, 13, she would be married. A boy would be married by the time he was 15, 16. But now the whole dynamics have changed. Girls are marrying over 18, 20 years of age, men are marrying over 25 years of age on an average, many of them later.

We need to understand that there is a human physiology, there are hormonal forces working within a young person. The peak of hormonal activity is somewhere between 14 and 25. This is the time they are supposed to maintain their discipline and not look at the girls, and the girls not look at the boys – this is not going to work. Do we have the courage to go back to the old system? Not possible. Are we willing for pre-marital relationships? We have not decided on that. We have left society in confusion. Aberrations are happening because we are unwilling to address fundamental issues.

Kiran Bedi: But it’s linked a lot with caste.

Sadhguru: That is next. But is it not a fact that for a normal human being, somewhere between 14 and 25 is the peak of his hormonal drive. If he knows something beyond he may be beyond that, that’s different. Otherwise, how do you expect someone to be disciplined, especially for this generation who are on internet and seeing things and being exposed to the whole world. You have to make a decision now whether you are going to change the fundamental texture of your society.

Kiran Bedi: Isn’t upbringing critical in this? Is giving birth to children your right? Is it not your responsibility to see that boys and girls are brought up equally, with a sense of responsibility?

Sadhguru: That is a different aspect. What I am saying is there is an anomaly in this whole thing. We are not addressing the fundamental sexual drive in the society.

Kiran Bedi: But that’s world-over.

Sadhguru: No. In many other countries, they are free to do what they want when they are 18. Here, you are not because our mind cannot come to terms with that, because we believe in a certain way. I am not saying this is right or wrong. We are at a crossroads. At a crossroads is where people hit each other. This needs to be looked at with some courage to change, whichever way is best.

Editor's Note: This article is based on an excerpt from the August 2014 issue of Forest Flower. Pay what you want and download. (set ‘0’ for free). Print subscriptions are also available.

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5 years 11 months ago

kaya nahin teri nahin teri
mat kar meri meri
yeto do din ki zindgani
jaisa patthar upar paani
yeto hovegi phulvari
jaisa rang tarang milave
yeh to palak bichhe ur jaave
ante koi kaam nahi aave
sun baat kahun parmani
waha ki kya karta gumani
tumko badi hai bemani
kahat kabira sun nar gyani
yah seekhat jadabhimani
tere ko baat kahi samjhani

5 years 11 months ago

The idea is to turn boys into "good, respectable and responsible", boys who in the long run will evolve to be disciplined law abiding citizens. As Sadhguru says, we are at the cross roads where the fast life with its fast vices of modernization is clashing with our age old value systems which prevented such things from happening to a great extent. While the guilty must be punished, much needs to be done to go to the root cause and environment that creates such crimes.......

5 years 11 months ago

Youth in Indian society are very repressed and have absolutely no freedom in expressing their sexuality while they are at their peak (age 16 through 25). Men and women in this age group are not even allowed to talk or interact with each other socially and a physical relationship is absolutely frowned upon, leading up to an 'arranged marriage' where one is forced to enter a relationship with a stranger who is picked by a parent (so the parent can cash a filthy dowry check). In many countries in the north and south americas, europe, africa and asia, it is not so. People are free to choose a physical relationship with whomever they please. Indians would think they are sticking to their self proclaimed moral high ground because they've prevented sexually charged youth from entering physical relationships with the opposite sex. Well, all these rape incidents are just a result of youth who have gradually become mentally ill in a highly repressed society and its absolutely fake stance on moral superiority.

5 years 11 months ago

Sexuality is aggravated with the mixed strata in the society.

One side people call them modern and outgoing, other side
there are still villages which are yet to get the basics.
Now both these people mingle in globalization in this time,
unlike our past.

One side there are people encouraging public show of
affection calling ‘modern’ and ‘liberal’ other side people are urging to behave
decently in public.

Media , Internet (Availability of all kinds of data, media
across globe) , society, Movies with explicit so called 'BOLD' scenes, keep on driving young minds, Modern or illiterate.

The attraction between Male and Female is natural, if you
are not making a leeway to this when it is time, then make an alternate
Say for example, you control their access to internet, so
called 'outgoing' activities without basic understanding of opposite
attractions, so called 'Modern' society and 'boldness' in Media,
irrelevant drinking, partying in dark rooms etc,, etc,., other set of people
unable to get all these are watching as well.

None of these where originally a part of our country and
none of this are any way of civilized life, it is brutal, low grade,
non-original to Bharat and vulgar aberrations of either Inferiority or
Sexuality, somewhere they are happy to imitate something they find respectable
and supreme, or somewhere their sexuality springs in and they just need
acceptable reasons to misbehave.

There are also Male chauvinist who consider this to be the
power or domination, which is only a certain percentage on the huge number.

Ideally it is mainly the sexual aberrations as by many
factors mentioned above.

when we have a cultural background at one side and delayed marriage
in current days which also needs to be backed appropriately and other side
globalization of country, Media and easy availability of x
content to majority of population, so called modernization of city bred which doesn’t have a basic balance, decency or manners, ultimately it is disguise of inferiority leading to copy something which is not Indian and technically extremely harmful to our social setup, otherwise disguise of sexuality, these things will over and over happen under different name tags, unfortunately.

This is the country which have detailed study about sex
education such as Kamasutra and kokkoham, whatever distortion happening here is due to aping someone else without understanding the basics. Some people are foolishly trying to talk about the flaws in Indian system, encouraging to have free Physical relationships should first look into records of violence against women in those countries.

India is the one among very few countries which in its
originality celebrated women, be it godly deities to basic decoration,
beautification items, women/feminine were celebrated, now all these are frowned upon as old fashioned, and self-molestation is celebrated as modernization…hilarious.

This mirage needs to be broken.

Only when all such roots of the issue are addressed, law can
take it under control. Simply increasing the severity of punishment will not
help for long. It is like cutting the branches.

5 years 10 months ago

I have felt a genuine and enormous devotion to Sadhguru since I first became aware of his presence 2 years ago. His teachings and compassion have helped me through terrible terrible times.

I live not in India, but in Ireland. -I was raped repeatedly as a child and abused in many many other ways during my life.

I feel so extraordinarily disturbed by Sadhguru's words in the above excerpt.

I not so lacking in humility or respect that I would challenge his words, yet I cannot either remain silent...

I feel such extraordinary grief to read that someone could imagine rape being caused by a combination of hormones and a sexually inhibited culture. Because, on my journey it seems to have been made evident to me that rape has nothing at all to do with sex.

The degree of unconsciousness that a human being must exist in, in order to wreak such torture as rape upon another human being is extraordinary. To rape another human being is an act of deep deep darkness and destruction.

If I use my hand to caress you, what you will feel is the the gentleness of the caress.

If I use my hand to beat you, what you will feel is the violence of the beating.

Would you compare the caress with the beating?

Would you think, that because I used my hand to caress you and that same hand to beat you that somehow the two experiences were comparable?

Even a new born infant understands the difference between a caress and a beating. And unless an infant or a child was taught differently by others, he or she would never consider that because it was a hand that created the caress and the same hand that created the beating that these two things were somehow comparable.

No child would consider a beating to be a 'caressing abuse.'

And so it is with a rape. 'Sexual abuse' is not about sex, it is simply choosing to use the sexual parts of the body to create violence instead of choosing to use a gun, or a whip, or a fist, or any other kind of weapon.

If a gang of four men were to corner a woman, to pull out her hair, to break her teeth and to take turns to shoot her

...we would feel extraordinarily appalled. We would consider these people to be madmen.

So why do we not even consider that the rapists who cornered a woman, who pulled out her hair, who broke her teeth, who terrorised her and then took turns to rape her madmen? What is this if it is not madness? Why do we treat the situation differently? Why do we look for explanations?

It seems to me that it is only because we have not yet admitted to ourselves the extraordinary violence of rape that it still persists across all societies on our planet.

To rape someone is to wreak desolation upon their entire being. -To be raped is to be violated so deeply and on so many levels that life after rape is akin to a living death. Life after rape is to be here in the world and yet not here in the world because your soul does not even have the refuge of the body anymore. Your entire being has been assaulted and the possibility that has been imposed upon you, is that your body can be taken over again by anyone who chooses to do so.

The terror of this possibility is unendurable. And so very, very often the only way the victim can survive at all is if the brain suppresses every single aspect of the violent experience.

In the past, in moments of enormous pain I have called out to Sadhguru in the night. I have prayed to him to be with me and to help me to find healing for my terrible wounds.

The child inside me who was attacked and attacked has trusted him ever since she found him. But now she is no longer sure of her guardian.

I wish now that Sadhguru were here so he could explain to me, why he explained sexual abuse in such a way or what it was I did inside myself to maybe misinterpret his words.

The child inside me wishes to be reassured that the guru she has loved so much really does understand the true nature of the appalling violence she experienced so very many times.

I send this message with sincerity

5 years 10 months ago

May God heal your soul and give you peace. Keep the faith it will save you for sure. God bless you with love and courage.

5 years 10 months ago

I feel Sadhguru's answers are often contextual. And, the excerpt above is from his talk on the topic "Making of A Nation" with a retired Police Officer. I wish you check an old blog post at:…. Do watch the video. I would call that "Sadhguru's Answer to you". Also, you could check this URL: Following is an extract from the same:
"With new dispensation at the helm in Delhi we are spared from daily quota of scams but the nation is reeling under the trauma of sexual assaults on women, and children are not spared either. The mindset of various political leaders has not helped at all. The barbaric acts of sexual violence have left society numb and helpless. Understanding the mental make-up of a rapist is a complex process. A whole lot of rethink on many levels of our social life, values, social structures and gender related education and awareness need to be addressed.
Protecting our girl child is of vital importance in nurturing a healthy society. A society that does not respect or take care of its women cannot progress or prosper. Hope the coming years will be towards the blossoming of the feminine."
Just be with Him always. He will steer clear everything out of your way.

I have come across several stupid things in my life, until he walked in. According to my understanding of what was given in an Isha book, the spiritual practice that one is initiated into will ensure that one knows sweetness in life and does build the courage to come through any misery untouched. It is true. I'm stating this out of my personal experience. Just do your spiritual practice and bask in His Grace ever...

5 years 7 months ago

Deeply saddened of your bad personal experience. The context that is being described here, is extremely different from your personal trauma. What is being said is in all due respect and care to the women, in extremely and entirely different situation, it has to be said by all possible means/tones, because feminine women just mean "well being" in any country and culture. And once a bad event happens it is a scar for life time for women of any upbringing, but until that bitter happening majority of people, just don't care. so it is said in a certain way that it sinks in, please don't relate something personal and painful and totally different case here. As well this cant be taken to every single case that happens, this is about general majority.

4 years 11 months ago

I'm partially agree with your statement !! you are saying because youth have not freedom to interact with opposite sex so, they become mentally ill and start this make any sense ?? those who rape they already from there upbringing have this evil mind set,it is not about having lack of freedom and another most important thing is even now still India is at very good moral rate compare with all the countries you mention above !!! i agree that some point you mention above is necessary to improve but absolutely not all