Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

He who looks upon a woman with desire (be it even his wife) has already committed adultery with her in his heart, for all desire is adultery. We remember that saying, but do not always remember that the converse is also true—that he who embraces a woman without desire has added nothing to the sum of his mortality. Action is then inaction. It is not by non-participation but by non-attachment that we live the spiritual life. So that he in Sahaja who merely represses desire, fails. It is easy not to walk, but we have to walk without touching the ground.

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Originally published as a chapter of The Dance of Siva: Fourteen Indian Essays, The Sunwise Turn, New York, 1918.

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