Theosophy on Sexual Relations, Procreation, and Purity

Purity and Abstinence


(You may also like to read the related articles Abortion – A Spiritual Perspective and Theosophy on the Sex Problem.)


– from The Secret Book of Dzyan, quoted on p. 19 of The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2 (Anthropogenesis) by H.P. Blavatsky

“It is the speechless animal that first started sexual connection, having been the first to separate into males and females. Nor was it intended by Nature that man should follow the bestial example – as shown by the comparatively painless procreation of their species by the animals, and the terrible suffering and danger of the same in woman.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 262

“Creative powers in man were the gift of divine wisdom, not the result of sin. … Nor was the curse of KARMA called down upon them [i.e. the Atlanteans] for seeking natural union, as all the mindless animal-world does in its proper seasons; but, for abusing the creative power, for desecrating the divine gift, and wasting the life-essence for no purpose except bestial personal gratification.

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 410

“The seed of … lust, bruised the head of the seed of the fruit of wisdom and knowledge, by turning the holy mystery of procreation into animal gratification; hence the law of Karma “bruised the heel” of the Atlantean race, by gradually changing physiologically, morally, physically, and mentally, the whole nature of the Fourth Race of mankind, until, from the healthy King of animal creation of the Third Race, man became in the Fifth, our race, a helpless, scrofulous being, and has now become the wealthiest heir on the globe to constitutional and hereditary diseases, the most consciously and intelligently bestial of all animals!”

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 411

“Esotericism has never proscribed sexual or marital functions created by nature herself. Esotericism works in, with, for nature, and condemns but immorality, abuse and excess. Moreover, of all the animals, man is the most animal in his excesses; the beast has its seasons, but man has none.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, Misconceptions (article)

* By expressing an opinion against birth control and contraceptives, here and now in the 21st century, one is likely to be labelled or thought of as an out of date, out of touch bigot or something of the sort. Yet look at what the Master K.H. had to say in one of his letters regarding a certain book which attracted serious scandal in the late 1880s for its endorsement and advocating of contraception or birth control and instructing its readers how to use such methods:

‘The Fruits of Philosophy’ is infamous and highly pernicious in its effects whatever and however beneficent and philanthropic the objects that led to the publication of the work. … I have not read the work – nor ever will; but I have its unclean spirit, its brutal aura before me, and I say again in my sight the advices offered in the work are abominable; they are the fruits of Sodom and Gommorah rather than of Philosophy, the very name of which it degrades. The sooner we leave the subject – the better.”

“Among other forces which have played havoc with family-life, those let loose by Freudian Psycho-Analysis notions on sex-life and by Birth-Prevention methods are the most lethal. These two (and there are other abominations, such as test-tube children, etc.) have combined to degrade sex-life, the purity of love and the dignity of parenthood. Fortunately, no student of Theosophy who aspires to unfold his own soul-powers for the service of others would degrade himself with the false views on sex-life implicit in Psycho-Analysis and their natural concomitant – birth-prevention; and vice versa. We will, therefore, not deal with the evils created by these two, as this is written especially for aspirants to Divine Wisdom, … The tendency to look upon the woman as a machine for breeding children is as degrading to both sexes as is the tendency to look upon the sex function as a means of sensuality to be indulged in irrespective of child-bearing.”

– B.P. Wadia, The Building of the Home, p. 2, 9

“Theosophy does not merely discountenance the abuse of sex. It very definitely condemns all malpractice and indulgence. It looks upon procreation as the only legitimate function of sex. … It is of little use, however, to take the merely negative stand of condemning sex impurity and every form of sex abuse.”

– B.P. Wadia, Foreword to Living the Higher Life

“The Promethean myth is a prophecy indeed; but it does not relate to any of the cyclic Saviours who have appeared periodically in various countries and among various nations, in their transitionary conditions of evolution. It points to the last of the mysteries of cyclic transformations, in the series of which mankind, having passed from the ethereal to the solid physical state, from spiritual to physiological procreation, is now carried onward on the opposite arc of the cycle, toward that second phase of its primitive state, when woman knew no man, and human progeny was created, not begotten.

“That state will return to it and to the world at large, when the latter shall discover and really appreciate the truths which underlie this vast problem of sex. It will be like “the light that never shone on sea or land,” and has to come to men through the Theosophical Society.* That light will lead on and up to the true spiritual intuition. Then (as expressed once in a letter to a theosophist), “the world will have a race of Buddhas and Christs, for the world will have discovered that individuals have it in their own powers to procreate Buddha-like childrenor demons.” “When that knowledge comes, all dogmatic religions, and with these the demons, will die out”.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 415

* Today we would be better off saying “the Theosophical Movement” rather than “Society” since the Theosophical Movement at large now consists of various different branches, organisations, and associations around the world, and not just one Society. It is apparent that the Masters were of the opinion that the Theosophical Movement has what it takes to reverse the deadly and destructive grip of the Sex Problem over mankind. It is for us to ask ourselves “How?”.

“From the highest Heavenly Man, the upper Adam who is “male female” or Androgyne, down to the Adam of dust, these personified symbols are all connected with sex and procreation [i.e. in the later and distorted Kabbalah]. With the Eastern Occultists it is entirely the reverse. The sexual relation they consider as a “Karma” pertaining only to the mundane relation of man, who is dominated by Illusion, a thing to be put aside, the moment that the person becomes “wise.” They considered it a most fortunate circumstance if the Guru (teacher) found in his pupil an aptitude for the pure life of Brahmacharya. Their dual symbols were to them but the poetical imagery of the sublime correlation of creative Cosmic forces.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 458

“Brahmacharya [i.e. absolute celibacy and chastity, from a spiritual basis and motive] … is an infallible sovereign remedy doing good to those who practise it. And medical men will earn the gratitude of mankind, if instead of devising artificial means of birth control they will find out the means of self-control. The union is meant not for pleasure but for bringing forth progeny.”

– Mahatma Gandhi, quoted in “A Social Cancer: Artificial Birth Control,” The Theosophical Movement magazine

“The real adepts as we are reliably informed – are the most happy of mankind, since their pleasures are connected with the higher existence, which is cloudless and pangless. The earliest among the changes felt by the true Chela is a sense of unmixed joy to be rid of the carking cares of common life, and to exist in the light of a supremely great Ideal. Not that any true adept would say aught against the naturalness and sacredness of pure sexual relationships; but that, to become an adept one must expand the finite into the Infinite, the personal into the Universal, man into Parabrahm – if one so choose to designate that Thing Unspeakable.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, “Mr Isaacs” (article)

“Sexual intercourse is a right and proper thing when used for its right object as intended by nature, i.e., the propagation of children. But, if indulged in simply for personal and sensual gratification, it becomes like any other passion, and as regards this you can decide for yourself.”

– William Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 174

“With burning indignation at the enthralment of womanhood in marriage, Victoria Woodhull arose to proclaim freedom. The concentrated forces within and around her withstood insult, calumny, and threats. What her exact utterances were, or what she meant herself, it is not easy now to discover. If she indeed preached free love, she only preached woman’s damnation. If she merely tore down social veils, and rifled whited sepulchres, she did the human race a service. Man has fallen to so material a level that it is impossible to suppress sexual passion – but its exaltation is manifestly his ruin. …

“After this, in the spiritualistic field, many lesser lights stood forth. Some openly advocated sexual freedom, and were surrounded by influences of the most dangerous order. The peace and happiness of many a home have been wrecked by these teachings, never more to return. …

“The apotheosis of passion, from the bitter fruit of which man has everlasting need to be redeemed, is the surest sign of moral degradation. Liberty to love according to the impulse of the senses, is the most profound slavery. From the beginning nature has hedged that pathway with disease and death. Wretched as are countless marriages, vile as are the man-made laws which place marriage on the lowest plane, the salvation of free-love is the whisper of the snake anew in the ear of the modern Eve.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, Modern Apostles and Pseudo-Messiahs (article)

* Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) was an American leader of the woman’s suffrage movement as well as being a Spiritualist and magnetic healer. The “Free Love” movement, begun in the latter half of the 19th century, promoted the utmost sexual freedom for individuals along with a call for the abolishment of any and all restrictions and legislations relating to such matters.

“Personally I am not a disbeliever in woman, for the greatest living occultist I know is a woman – H.P. Blavatsky. … The fact is that the bodies of men and women alike are only instruments through which the real person, which is neither “she” nor “he,” works out its ends in obedience to laws. Hence if the Ego escapes it escapes not as man or woman but as soul. It is the soul, the real, that is in the toils – either in male or female form – and not woman as such nor man as such.

“The constant considering these bodies as anything but illusion is error and leads us to make arbitrary distinctions that are misleading and that bind us to earth lives.

“There will always be forms of male and female sort to be inhabited by beings so long as the age lasts. In far distant ages, millions of years to come, other conditions will prevail perhaps, but it will make no difference to us because we being spirits always, will have to go through the natural material conditions, whatever they are, that prevail in any age. …

“I have stated part of the true doctrine. It will be for you to say in yourself if it is true or not. But certainly no light will be found on the sex problem or any other relating to Man until we are considered as spirits every one and until the false and illusory character of “body” removed as a conception from the mind.”

– William Q. Judge, Letter of 15th May 1888 to Mrs J.V. Whitaker

“The question is often asked, “Why should celibacy and chastity be a sine qua non rule and condition of regular chelaship, or the development of psychic and occult powers?” The answer is contained in the Commentary. When we learn that the “third eye” was once a physiological organ, and that later on, owing to the gradual disappearance of spirituality and increase of materiality (Spiritual nature being extinguished by the physical), it became an atrophied organ, as little understood now by physiologists as the spleen is – when we learn this, the connection will become clear. During human life the greatest impediment in the way of spiritual development, and especially to the acquirement of Yoga powers, is the activity of our physiological senses. Sexual action being closely connected, by interaction, with the spinal cord and the grey matter of the brain, it is useless to give any longer explanation. Of course, the normal and abnormal state of the brain, and the degree of active work in the medulla oblongata, reacts powerfully on the pineal gland, for, owing to the number of “centres” in that region, which controls by far the greater majority of the physiological actions of the animal economy, and also owing to the close and intimate neighbourhood of the two, there must be exerted a very powerful “inductive” action by the medulla on the pineal gland. All this is quite plain to the Occultist, but is very vague in the sight of the general reader.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 295-296

* From the article “The “Third-Eye” of Shiva” in the February 2014 issue of The Theosophical Movement magazine:  “Pineal gland is connected with spiritual visions, while pituitary body with pure psychic visions. Spinal Cord in man connects the Brain with the generative organs. Practical Occultism founded on the Esoteric Philosophy recognizes the direct and intimate connection subsisting between the Pineal Gland and the genitalia. These two are creative poles, and when one is positive and active, a proportionate negative and passive condition is produced in the other. When the North Pole of the Pineal Gland is active, it creates children of ideas and thoughts; when the South Pole of the generative organ is active, children of flesh are created. The Pineal Gland is the Heart of the Mind – the seat of Love without any trace of lust, the seat of Compassion without any trace of passion. In the ordinary individual both the Pineal Gland and the genitalia are active by turns, and therefore, he is a mixture of lust and love, of passion and compassion. The function of pineal gland is also affected by consumption of alcohol and drugs, which prevents the development of the “third-eye” or spiritual intuition. As one advances on spiritual path, abstinence from drugs and drinks, as also, observance of celibacy become absolutely necessary.”

This is what Theosophy teaches and when we stop to think about the fact that it was the increasing materiality and sensuality of human beings that resulted in the obscuration and deterioration of the Third Eye and its faculties in the first place, it becomes plainly obvious that its reawakening or “re-opening” is dependent on the decrease of that materiality and sensuality on the part of the spiritual aspirant. The material man always paralyses and blocks out the spiritual man. Although it is an unpopular and unwelcome teaching for many, it is nevertheless the case that spirituality and sensuality do not mix, can never mix, have never mixed, and will never mix. (See The Voice of the Silence, p. 13) A disastrous Karmic fate lies at the end of such a road.

“It would be a ceaseless, a maddening struggle for almost any married man, who would pursue true practical Occultism, instead of its theoretical philosophy. For he would find himself ever hesitating between the voice of the impersonal divine love of Humanity, and that of the personal, terrestrial love. And this could only lead him to fail in one or the other, or perhaps in both his duties. Worse than this. For, whoever indulges after having pledged himself to OCCULTISM in the gratification of a terrestrial love or lust, must feel an almost immediate result; that of being irresistibly dragged from the impersonal divine state down to the lower plane of matter. Sensual, or even mental self-gratification, involves the immediate loss of the powers of spiritual discernment; the voice of the MASTER can no longer be distinguished from that of one’s passions or even that of a Dugpa; the right from wrong; sound morality from mere casuistry.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, Occultism versus the Occult Arts (article)

“In our theosophical opinion, such casual union on momentary impulse is essentially bestial. It is no longer love but lust, leaving out of account every higher feeling and quality.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, Diagnoses and Palliatives (article)

* In this same article, “Diagnoses and Palliatives,” HPB defends Leo Tolstoy’s book “The Kreutzer Sonata” and comments on both it and the principles of abstinence it promotes in the following words. Where the book is quoted from, the italics are applied to the text by HPB herself in order to emphasise certain points:

“It is not “monasticism” but the law of continence as taught by Jesus (and Occultism) in its esoteric meaning – which most Christians are unable to perceive – that he [i.e. Tolstoy] preaches. Nothing can be more moral or more conducive to human happiness and perfectibility than the application of this law. It is one ordained by Nature herself. Animals follow it instinctively, as do also the savage tribes. Once pregnant, to the last day of the nursing of her babe, i.e., for eighteen or twenty months, the savage squaw is sacred to her husband; the civilised and semi-civilised man alone breaking this beneficent law. Therefore, speaking of the immorality of marriage relations as at present practised, and of unions performed on commercial bases, or, what is worse, on mere sensual love, Pozdnisheff elaborates the idea by uttering the greatest and the holiest truths, namely, that:

“For morality to exist between men and women in their daily life, they must make perfect chastity their law. In progressing towards this end, man subdues himself. When he has arrived at the last degree of subjection we shall have moral marriages. But if a man as in our Society advances only towards physical love, even though he surrounds it with deception and with the shallow formality of marriage, he obtains nothing but licensed vice.” . . .

“Then again there is this sentence:-

“I did not at that time understand that the words of the Gospel as to looking upon a woman with the eyes of desire did not refer only to the wives of others, but especially and above all to one’s own wife.” . . .

“Think what a perversity of ideas there must be, when the happiest, the freest condition of the human being, that of (mental) chastity, is looked upon as something miserable and ridiculous. The highest ideal, the most perfect condition to be attained by woman, that of a pure being, a vestal, a virgin, provokes, in our society, fear and laughter.”

“The Biblical sin of Onan. Involuntary and natural, or physiological is not held as sin, if one is irresponsible, though it is a wall against progress; but mental Onanism is 1000 times worse than the physical. You can hardly have control over your nerves – You CAN over your thoughts & imagination. IT IS WORSE THAN THE VERY (NATURAL) ACT.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, Letter of 23rd February 1887

* “Onanism”: The emission of the sexual seed or fluid for no legitimate or productive purpose, as per the character of Onan in the Old Testament. The implication, also made elsewhere, is that involuntary emission, such as may occur during sleep, is not considered a “sin” or a misdeed esoterically, whereas deliberate Onanism, as an act of self-pleasuring, is.

“If told that this mode of procreation, which the whole world of being has now in common on this earth, is but a passing phase, a physical means of furnishing the conditions to, and producing the phenomena of life which will alter with this, and disappear with the next Root-Race – they would laugh at such a superstitious and unscientific idea. But the most learned Occultists assert this because they know it.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, p. 406

“Do not believe that lust can ever be killed out if gratified or satiated, for this is an abomination inspired by Mara. It is by feeding vice that it waxes strong, like to the worm that fattens on the blossom’s heart.”

The Voice of the Silence, p. 18

~ Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK ~

You may also like to read Abortion – A Spiritual Perspective and Theosophy on the Sex Problem.



  1. Hello from Slovenia. I was always interested in theosophy. Hovever i was always wondering what is theosophical view about homosexuality. I am a gay man and i feel that this question is ignored. I would also like to say that your website is very informative. The description of the sevefold nature of man is my favoured! Thank you for your comment!

    • Hello Bojan, thank you for your question and comment. It’s good to know that you find the site informative and useful!

      The subject of homosexuality is not “ignored” as such but the reason for it not being specifically mentioned in such articles as this is because nothing is said about it in the Theosophical literature. This is probably partly because homosexuality was hardly ever written about or even discussed at that time, i.e. the late 19th century. Even by the mid 20th century it was still quite a taboo topic.

      Thus we cannot say in detail or with any quotes or references what the proper Theosophical view is about homosexuality.

      We can make a few deductions and comments though, based on other things that are said in the Theosophical teachings:

      (1) Since the legitimate and natural purpose of the sexual act is for procreation, it is apparent that sexual relations between two people of the same gender are neither legitimate nor natural. But it is also the case that sexual relations between heterosexual people are not legitimate or natural either, unless they are with the intent of bringing a child into the world.

      (2) There are numerous causes and reasons for homosexuality. Some people are “transgender,” i.e. they feel strongly and consistently that they are a woman trapped in a man’s body or vice versa. In many of these cases it would not be unreasonable to conclude that the soul had been incarnated for several of its most recent previous lifetimes as one particular gender and now, finding itself embodied in the opposite gender, naturally feels uncomfortable and out of place, as its skandhas (see have become very feminised or very masculinised, as the case may be. Many Hindus accept this as the metaphysical reason behind the transgender issue. No-one can be “blamed” for this, nor can it be considered “wrong” or immoral. It is simply Karma yet no doubt often a very painful Karma.

      (3) Other homosexuals do not feel like this and yet they are still attracted to the same gender. This is less easy to make sense of Theosophically but, like everything else, it must be some sort of Karmic effect.

      (4) In many cases a person cannot help being homosexual and thus no judgment, blame, or criticism, is to be attached. It becomes much more serious from the occult perspective, however, when homosexual activity is engaged in. However much we may sympathise with homosexual people and however little we may wish to cause any offence to anyone, we still have to state that sexual relations between two men or two women are not natural and are an abuse of the sexual organs and sexual faculty, which in itself is something sacred and holy, as is shown in the quotes in the article above. Of course, people cannot be much blamed for their actions if they are not aware within themselves that those actions are wrong…it is only when knowledge is attained, that greater ethical and Karmic responsibility comes about…but nonetheless a wrong is still a wrong.

      (5) There are homosexual people who deliberately live chaste and celibate lives, in some cases because they themselves have concluded or realised that homosexual relations are not a good thing to pursue. They most probably cannot help being homosexual in their thoughts, feelings, and attractions – not in this life, at least – but they can help ACTING on those.

      Finally, whether one is homosexual or heterosexual or anything else, one can free and liberate oneself from sexual desire and attraction by freeing and liberating one’s MIND, THOUGHTS, and IMAGINATIONS, from anything of a sexual, sensual, passionate, or lustful nature. With this maintained, sexual desire and attraction then fades out and dies out.

      This is achieved through self-discipline in mastering, purifying, and controlling one’s thoughts and one’s senses (i.e. what one allows oneself to look at, listen to, etc.) and in applying the method advised by the ancient Indian sage Patanjali in his famous Yoga Aphorisms (2:33):

      “In order to exclude from the mind questionable things, the mental calling up of those things that are opposite is efficacious for their removal.”

      Even if you do not agree with this answer, I hope you will not be offended by it. The soul – the inner being – has no gender and is above and beyond all of these things. Let us identify ourselves with IT and give all our attention and energies to the higher things of life!

  2. Thank you for your answer but i disagree with almost everything you said. Best wishes from Slovenija.

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