It is mentioned in Vedas that when a girl reaches puberty and becomes of marriageable age, she is first fornicated by Chandra (the Moon God), then by the Gandharva (Celestial Beings skilled in music and dance) then by Agni (the God of Fire). Finally, she becomes worthy of being consummated by a man (husband).
We would immediately jump to the conclusion that this is demeaning to women. But let us try to understand the real meaning of this. It is necessary to keep the eyes, heart, and mind open while reading Vedic literature, and many a time, the intellect is also put to the test. This indicates that if you delve deeper into it, its unuttered meanings can only be quickly noticed and understood.
All these things are metaphors – A girl reaching puberty means the sexual desires in her have developed. The Mind is the Moon. Therefore, when a girl reaches adolescence, she is first fornicated by the Moon, which means the desires of sexual indulgence first take root in the mind itself. After that, the girl starts liking all things related to men, and her mind starts fantasizing about men. Gandharva, the Celestial Being, is the singer of sweet melodies. Thus, the Gandharva is the Deity of Tones. The idea that the Gandharva fornicates the girl after the Moon means the speech and words ignites sexual desires in the girl. If a man is speaking, the girl wishes to continue listening to him. Eventually, a huge fire of lust slowly builds up inside the girl, and then Agni, the God of Fire, enjoys the girl after the Gandharva. The stimulated fire of lust within her makes her befitting to be mated by a man, and he consummates the lust-filled girl.
We know that love between man and woman is nothing but the flowing of yin and yang together. And this love can have great spiritual significance. The attraction of man and woman for each other brings them together to flow their latent energies into the stream of love and life. That is why a man feels relaxed with a woman, and a woman feels at ease with a man. Separated and alone, they feel tense and anxious; coming together, they feel as light as feathers, weightless. Why? Because of something in them, some subtle energy has become alive and moving, and as a result, they feel at home and happy.
Sexual desire is a natural attitude. Attractions between women and men are natural and instinctive. In this world, women and men are the Prakriti (Female Creative Energy) and Purush (Source of Consciousness), respectively. Lust is a Godly creation, and there are certain social rules laid down in society so that human beings do not transgress their limits of lustful desires. They have little to do with considerations of virtues and vices. Different nations have diverse ethical standards, and their religious systems are not unanimous concerning relations between men and women. To understand this, one has to read the book Method of Ethics by Spencer. He has given examples of various standards of ethics existing across many countries. One would be appalled and horrified by reading about some of these. For example, in some countries, there are such customs that, if there are guests in the house, a young woman from the household is temporarily gifted to welcome the guests and keep them pleased and contended. The young daughter-in-law of the house is sent to the guest’s bedroom at night to serve him. Is this way of hospitality to the guests followed in developed countries a commendable one?