September 9 2008 

fool for love

Here’s a question from Asrama dasa, Russia, about that perennial topic, men and women:

“How is it possible to avoid being befuddled in relationships with the fair sex, even based on KC. I noticed that if a man is in relationships with a woman, the man is dependant on a woman even if he thinks that he controls the situation.”

befooled in love

Answer: In an age when there is a great deal of reluctance to admit the differences between men and women, there is a reverse trend in medicine and especially psychological studies which is increasingly showing the obvious: men and women are different. Their bodies work differently, their minds work differently. Srila Prabhupada has always stuck with this despite heavy criticism from the politically correct crowd.

Befuddled is a good word when it comes to describing the effects a women has on the mind of an admiring male. Here’s a study that was done some years back providing scientific backing for what everyone has always known:

Pretty Women Make Men Stupid!

Women have known this since the beginning of time. Now psychologists at
McMaster University in Canada have figured it out, too. A beautiful woman
can make a guy stupid.

According to New Scientist, pretty women scramble men’s ability to assess
the future. Scientifically, it’s known as “discounting the future.” Seen
frequently in animals, it means preferring an immediate, lesser reward to a
greater reward in the future.

Here’s an example: If someone offered to give you $10,000 now or the same
amount five years from now, you would choose to take the money today because
there is no value in waiting. But if someone were to offer you $10,000 today
or $50,000 in five years, you would probably opt to wait for the higher
amount. This is called “rational discounting.” If you were to take the
$10,000 today, it’s called “irrational discounting.”

The study: McMaster University researchers Margo Wilson and Martin Daly
wanted to find out if sexual mood influenced discounting behavior. They
showed 209 male and female students pictures of attractive and
not-so-attractive people of the opposite sex. Each was then offered a chance
to win a prize. They could accept a check for between $15 and $35 tomorrow
or one for $50 to $75 at some point in the future.

The results for the men: After a man viewed pictures of women who were of
average attractiveness, they made a rational decision about the prize money
and accepted the larger amount to be received in the future. But when they
had just seen pictures of beautiful women, they discounted the future value
of the reward in an irrational way and opted instead for the immediate and
smaller cash outlay. In other words, after seeing a very attractive woman,
the men were more likely to make dumb choices

The results for the women: Viewing the photographs of men–whether they were
sexy hunks or just run-of-the-mill guys–had no effect on women’s ability to
make rational decisions.

Why the difference? Wilson and Daly don’t know, but they suspect that
viewing pictures of pretty women is mildly arousing for men. If that’s the
case, it would activate neural mechanisms associated with cues of sexual
opportunity. Tommaso Pizzari, an evolutionary biologist at Leeds University,
offered another possible explanation to New Scientist: “If there’s the
prospect of getting a very attractive partner it may pay a man to take more
risks than if an average partner was available.”

The research findings were published in the journal Biology Letters.

So there you go. It appears that men are wired in such a way that the sight of a beautiful woman boggles his brain

  boggled brain

and impells him to act for his immediate gratification; whereas women keep their sights set on the longer term goal — home, family, security etc. This is a big topic of course, and I don’t want to be simplistic. But the essence of male/female relationships is stated frequently in the Vedas-by sex impulse the conditioned soul becomes entangled in the material world.

SB 5.5.8 “The attraction between male and female is the basic principle of material existence. On the basis of this misconception, which ties together the hearts of the male and female, one becomes attracted to his body, home, property, children, relatives and wealth. In this way one increases life’s illusions and thinks in terms of “I and mine.”‘We all know that the Vedas advise only limited association between the sexes because sex attraction is the binding force for keeping the conditioned souls in the material world. Instead of seeing themselves as servants of the supreme enjoyer Krsna, the deviant souls see themselves as the enjoyer, and attempt to eliminate Krsna altogether.

The only way to avoid being bewildered is to raise one’s consciousness to the spiritual platform. Then one is not subjected to the impulses of the senses and the tricks of the mind and the illusions of the intellect. Instead of being subordinate to the senses, mind and intellect, we have to rise above them, and submit our intelligence to the guidance of the Supersoul, Krsna. Then even when maya is acting very powerfully upon our material ‘selves’ we can remain aloof and take shelter at His lotus feet, as His eternal servant. Without seeing oneself as an eternal servant of the Lord, it is not possible to remain free of the influence of maya.

Therefore Srila Prabhupada devised a strong daily program of sadhana which if followed strictly, will keep us immunised against the contaminations of maya. We cannot avoid men and women associating together, but it should be done very carefully and in a restrained atmosphere. If everyone, men and women, are engaged in chanting and preaching Krsna consciousness strongly, then the bewilderment will be reduced to insignificance. If we neglect this program, then maya will capture us for sure.

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