Brahmacharya (Devanagari: ब्रह्मचर्य behavior that leads to Brahman) is one of the four stages of life in an age-based social system as principled in ancient texts, Vedic philosophies of Hindus. Everyone were required to practice the Brahmacharya during their educational period of 14–20 years which starts before the age of puberty. Sages and Saints practiced entire life, till they left their body.
Brahmacharya is replaced by military education in schools, time has come to revert the education system back to Brahmacharya principles.
Sanatan Dharm or commonly known as Hinduism is the most ancient dharm ever known to the mankind. Later religions emerged decimating learnings of the Sanatan Dharm, are fairly new and incomparable to greatness of Hinduism. The practice of maintaining celibacy was first shown to the world in Hindu dharm texts. There are several historical facts seen in Ramayan, Mahabharat, Upnishad and Puran on the emergence of strong inner strength by following of principle which inspire individuals to abstain from marriage and s#xual relations.
Taking leaf from ancient Hindu texts, several other adharmi (religious) text also suggested that “….Veerya (virya) paat is harmful mentally and physically.”
Lalit Kumar Haribhakt openly challenges the world who calls Hindu texts and Vedic history mythology that if Hinduism is myth than existence of Soul, Mind and Body is myth. Obtaining power from Brahmacharya is myth. All modern inventions based on Vedas are myths. Should I say – Your existence is a myth. When you can feel, see and introspect yourself; you can use the items that are developed on Vedic principles then common sense would say why call it a myth. Similarly how dare you enslaved bots of western thoughts call Vedic texts as myth. Shame on you !
- 1 Swami Vivekananda on Brahmacharya, Celibacy
- 2 Increase Your Capability Manifolds: Vedas Reveal Power of Brahmacharya
- 3 Teachings of Celibacy in Mahabharat: The Knowledge of Brahmacharya Empowers Soul and Mind
- 4 What is Brahamacharya (or known as Celibacy in english)?
- 5 How Brahmacharya Help, Insights from Ancient and Recent World
Swami Vivekananda on Brahmacharya, Celibacy
Power comes to him who observes unbroken Brahmacharya for a period of twelve years. Complete continence gives great intellectual and spiritual power. Controlled desire leads to the highest results. Transform the s#xual energy into spiritual energy. The stronger this force, the more can be done with it. Only a powerful current of water can do hydraulic mining.
Inspiring Interaction of Swami Vivekanand with his Disciple
Swami Vivekananda attributed his phenomenal mental powers to a lifelong observance of brahmacharya (an extreme stage of irreversible celibacy). A few days ago, a new set of the Encyclopedia Britannica had been bought for the Math.
Seeing the new shining volumes, the disciple said to Swamiji, “It is almost impossible to read all these books in a single lifetime.” He was unaware that Swamiji had already finished ten volumes and had begun the eleventh.
Swamiji: What do you say? Ask me anything you like from these ten volumes, and I will answer you all.
The disciple asked in wonder, “Have you read all these books?”
Swamiji: Why should I ask you to question me otherwise? Being examined, Swamiji not only reproduced the sense, but at places the very language of the difficult topics selected from each volume.
The disciple, astonished, put aside the books, saying, “This is not within human power!”
Swamiji: Do you see, simply by the observance of strict Brahmacharya (continence) all learning can be mastered in a very short time — one has an unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once. It is owing to this want of continence that everything is on the brink of ruin in our country.
His childhood friend: Whatever you may say, I cannot bring myself to believe in these words. Who can come by that oratorical power of expounding philosophy which you have?
Swamiji: You don’t know! That power may come to all. That power comes to him who observes unbroken Brahmacharya for a period of twelve years, with the sole object of realising God I have practiced that kind of Brahmacharya myself, and so a screen has been removed, as it were, from my brain. For that reason, I need not any more think over or prepare myself for any lectures on such a subtle subject as philosophy. Suppose I have to lecture tomorrow; all that I shall speak about will pass tonight before my eyes like so many pictures; and the next day I put into words during my lecture all those things that I saw. So you will understand now that it is not any power which is exclusively my own. Whoever will practice unbroken Brahmacharya for twelve years will surely have it. If you do so, you too will get it. Our Shâstras do not say that only such and such a person will get it and not others!
Unlock the Secret of Tremendous Energy within Yourself
The chaste brain has tremendous energy and gigantic will power. Without chastity there can be no spiritual strength. Continence gives wonderful control over mankind. The spiritual leaders of men have been very continent and this is what gave them power.
Every boy should be trained to practice absolute Brahmacharya and then, and then alone faith and Shraddha will come. Chastity in thought, word and deed always and in all conditions is what is called Brahmacharya. Unchaste imagination is as bad as unchaste action. The Brahmacharin must be pure in thought, word and deed.
First of all, one must completely mould one’s dharmic life in solitude and must be perfect in renunciation and must preserve Brahmacharya without a break. The Tamas has entered into you — what of that? Cannot the Tamas be destroyed? It can be done in less than no time!
What we want are Western science coupled with Vedanta, Brahmacharya as the guiding motto, and also Shraddha and faith in one’s own self.
Knowledge should be acquired in that way, otherwise by educating yourself in the tol of a Pandit you will be only a human ape all your life. One should live from his very boyhood with one whose character is like a blazing fire and should have before him a living example of the highest teaching. Mere reading that it is a sin to tell a lie will be of no use. Every boy should be trained to practice absolute Brahmacharya, and then, and then only, faith — Shraddha — will come. Otherwise, why will not one who has no Shraddha speak an untruth? In our country, the imparting of knowledge has always been through men of renunciation. Later, the Pandits, by monopolising all knowledge and restricting it to the tols, have only brought the country to the brink of ruin. India had all good prospects so long as Tyagis (men of renunciation) used to impart knowledge.
But whatever be the order of genesis, the celibate teachers of the Shrutis and Smritis stand on an entirely different platform from the married ones which is perfect chastity, Brahmacharya.
Founders of all good undertakings, before they launch on their desired work, must attain to the knowledge of the Atman through rigorous self – discipline. Otherwise defects are bound to occur in their work.
Our motherland requires for her well-being some of her children to become such pure-souled Brahmacharins and Brahmacharinis.
Power of Brahmacharya: Teach the boys the system of Brahmacharya
In order to attain to ideal Brahmacharya one has in the beginning to observe strict rules regarding chastity. For minimum 12 years, one should keep oneself strictly aloof from the least association with the opposite s#x as far as possible. When spiritual aspirants are established in the ideal of Sannyasa and brahmacharya, they will be able to mix on an equal footing with worldly men without any harm. But in the beginning 12 years, if they do not keep themself within the barriers of strict rules, they will all go wrong.
People here (in USA) have found a new type of man in me. Even the orthodox are at their wit’s end. And people are now looking up to me with an eye of reverence. Is there a greater strength than that of Brahmacharya — purity, my boy?
Describing the Indian ideal of Brahmacharya in the student’s life, Swami Vivekananda said: “Brahmacharya should be like a burning fire within the veins!”
The Sanskrit name for a student, Brahmacharin, is synonymous with the Sanskrit word Kamajit (One who has full control over his passions.) Our goal of life is Moksha; how can that be ever attained without Brahmacharya or absolute continence? Hence it is imposed upon our boys and youth as an indispensable condition during their studentship.
While the purpose of life in the West is Bhoga (enjoyment); hence much attention to strict Brahmacharya is not so indispensably necessary with them as it is with us. The downgrade of family values in the west resulted in disrespection of elders, drug abuse, domestic violence and hike in crime. Material enjoyment in the name of partying, open display of physical attraction and love affairs led to such degradation in the family lives of west that today they are doing research on ancient texts of India are reverting to the ancient Hindu way of Brahmacharya.
Respecting Elders and Gurus is the Key to Unleash Power Within
Obedience to the Guru without questioning, and strict observance of Brahmacharya — this is the secret of success.
In his Raja Yoga, the Swami explains that through brahmacharya s#x energy is converted into a higher form of psychic energy called ‘ojas.’ (Ojas, literally meaning the ‘illuminating’ or ‘bright’ is the highest form of energy in the human body. In the spiritual aspirant who constantly practises continence and purity, other forms of energy are transmuted into ojas and stored in the brain, expressing as spiritual and intellectual power). He says, “The yogis say that part of the human energy which is expressed as s#x energy, in s#xual thought, when checked and controlled easily becomes changed into ojas, and as the Muladhara (lowest of the six centers of consciousness) guides these, the yogi pays particular attention to that centre. He tries to take up all his s#xual energy and convert it into ojas.
It is only the chaste man or woman who can make the ojas rise and store it in the brain; that is why chastity has always been considered the highest virtue. A man feels that if he is unchaste, spirituality goes away, he loses mental vigour and moral stamina. That is why in all the religious orders in the world which have produced spiritual giants you always find absolute chastity insisted upon. That is why the monks came into existence, giving up marriage. There must be perfect chastity in thought, word and deed; without it the practice of Raja Yoga is dangerous, and may lead to insanity. If people practise Raja Yoga and at the same time lead an impure life, how can they expect to become yogis?”
Disciple: Do you think, sir, the same consummation would be reached through the way Mataji is educating her students? These students would soon grow up and get married and would presently shade into the likeness of all other women of the common run. So I think, if these girls might be made to adopt Brahmacharya, then only could they devote their lives to the cause of the country’s progress and attain to the high ideals preached in our sacred books.
Swamiji: Yes, everything will come about in time. Such educated men are not yet born in this country, who can keep their girls unmarried without fear of social punishment.
Increase Your Capability Manifolds: Vedas Reveal Power of Brahmacharya
The importance of “Brahmacharya” is clearly explained in Yejurveda. In this modern life very few only understand this and practice it.
All Vedas and other scriptures of Hinduism lay great emphasis regarding Brahmacharya. In vedic period a student is also known as Brahmachari. By preserving the energy, strength and vitality of mind and various organs one can lead a happy, energetic and healthy life. The mind will be clear and brain will superb for a Brhmachari. It enhances the strength, life span and health since it is the mine of all virtues. Brahmacharya is the dam of all pleasures of life and only learned people keep it and their power and life increases and all sickness is destroyed. It is easy to preach and to practice is very difficult.
Never Fall into Trap of Bad Company to Practice Celibacy
One should try to be always in the company of noble people and control their senses as far as possible to get the actual reward of human life. A man is known by the company he keeps. If one always move in the company of good, learned and noble ones there is no doubt that he can be one among them one day. Company is contagious and man changes his colors accordingly sooner or later. He cannot remain unaffected for long best company means not only noble people but also good books written by great scholars, Sages, Saints, Prophets, Rishis, and Munis. These contain vast treasures of wealth and will make one so rich that the worldly riches would appear very insignificant.
The rise in crime, drug abuse, s#xual urges and inclination towards illicit relationships are attributed to the bad company that encourages and endorses individuals to behave like an animal. Following golden words of Vedas; one should stay away from such evil people who talk sweet, offer money voluntarily to make oneself habitual to crime, drug and s#x later only to entrap and fetch money, livelihood from him or her. Beware of people who pursue you using soft words only later to imbibe evil habits in you, check their background before making friendship or involving them. Do not indulge in activities with people who are strangers; the hike in crimes in this virtual social media age is also due to easy acceptance in endorsement of claims made by strangers. In most of the cases seen in recent crimes- p#dophiles, drug peddlers, terrorist recruiters utilized the network of social media sites to prey into their victims. The golden teachings of Vedas – Rigveda,Atharvaveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda are time proven and so enlightening even to this day.
One of the verses in Yajur Veda state that taught people who are actually endowed with divine powers should do two things in this world. One is that they should propagate the teachings of Brahmacharya and control of senses so that people may become strong and healthy leading a full vigorous life. Next thing is by education and practice thereof, they should teach one and all how to develop their inner strength and power so that people may enjoy their blissful life fully in all respects. In another verse it is stated that such people who abandon the company of bad people and give up all bad evil habits and keep away from immoral life increasing their vitality beget good children, they strength and glorify their race and their country.
Enhance your Leadership Quality with Brahmacharya (Celibacy)
Brahmacharya will give the power to face and solve any problems as a boat can ferry people through turbulent waters of the sea. A Brahmachari will be liked and respected in all the societies and meetings. In one verse it is explained that the age of a boy begins at twenty-sixth year and for a girl it is seventeen and up to this period they should practice Brahmacharya at any cost and can get married. Those who get education following the rules of Brahmacharya, they shine like sun are quick in all what they do, like a hawk and become the hallmark of respect, enjoying their life skipping like a deer.
In the student life it would be better to preserve their vital fluid which is the life thread, so that they can utilize their energy and strength for their education and learning. In vedic period student is imparted with all the knowledge right from the Earth to the sun and in this way all divinity reside in his body and such students in future will assets to their country and world. They will have harmony of the head, heart and hand in such a way which will be beneficial to the society as a whole. It has been truly said that if our hearts are strong, our heads are right in vain. A person without education is beast and a person without Dharma is like a beast.
Education and knowledge are like two eyes of a person which enable him to see things correctly and assess his own position. The purpose of education is to make man what he ought to be.
Learning based on west inclined training modules never help in creating leaders who can have inclusive approach, such leaders invoke competition than cohesiveness among team members. Vedic philosophy of supportiveness and cooperation debunks the western theory of surfacial way of learning leadership.
According to Vedas education on arts and material science is not enough and because major portion of achieving perfection can be achieved by studying spiritual science – which is not surfacial but deeply knowing your inner-self. The aim of life and education is that we may live a new life in the realm of self and the creation, with harmony and happiness and will become virtuous. Every second of the life should be fully utilized so that there is no room left for idling. It may be noted that “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.” Of course relaxation and enjoyment should be there along with study to keep one fit and fresh and ready to face any challenges of life.
If proper education is not given to children parents become enemies since they get isolated in society. Teachers should take utmost care for understanding to develop good character and affection along with studies. They should be taught that all women are like mother, sister or daughter according to their age and they should be protected whenever necessary. In Vedas it is also stated that:
- 1. Not to earn wealth at the cost of others pain and suffering.
- 2. It is not good to be fatigue self too much both physically and mentally.
- 3. Hard-work is the keystone to virtuous earning with the sweat of one’s own brow, not by lottery, speculation and gambling.
- 4. Don’t do anything undesirable and harmful to the society.
- 5. Acquire knowledge which can’t be stolen away by thieves than material wealth.
Yoga Sutra and Brahmacharya: Development of Brain, Body and Mind
A great scholar of ancient India Sri Pathanjali’s in his teachings explains the importance of Brahmacharya and it is studied by foreign scholars and one such famous scholar Dr. Louis an eminent physician opined that most precious atoms of the blood enter into the composition of semen (in his book Chastity). So preservation of semen by practicing continence helps the better development of brain , body, and mind. Dr. Nicholas says that the best blood in the body goes to form the elements of reproduction in both the s#xes. So if anybody waste semen he is loosing the best part of the blood and he becomes weak physically and intellegently. If preserved he becomes strong, intellectual, heroic and powerful.
Brahmacharya can be practiced by married people also. Chastity and fidelity are the foundation on which a strong and happy marital relationship stands and should be understood by husband and wife. In Srimad Bhagavatham a holy book of Hinduism it is clearly mentioned that practice of brahmacharya is also one of the important duties in married life and it is waived only for the purpose of procreation, austerity, purity, contentment and friendliness towards all. (11.18.43) Ancient Rishi of India Pathanjali also says in his Yogasutra that CONTINENCE IS LIFE AND INCONTINENCE IS EQUAL TO DEATH.
Bhagwan Shiv Shankar in the Jnanasamkalani Tantra says that ” The wise do not regard the ordinary forms of asceticism as real asceticism. Continence is the highest asceticism. He who is a continent is equal to God.”
So especially youth in whom the future of our country rests, should practice celibacy as far as possible to lead the country and countrymen to have a prosperous future.
Teachings of Celibacy in Mahabharat: The Knowledge of Brahmacharya Empowers Soul and Mind
The meaning of Celibacy is different from Brahmacharya and is not the correct synonym but there is not other term in english, so for the sake of conversation with readers who do not understand Hindi terms, we are forced to use the impure english term, Celibacy.
Teaching of sage Sanat-sujata in The Mahabharata – Udyoga Parva, sections XLII to XLVII as per translation done by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli.
Sanata-sujata said: That Brahman about which you ask me with such joy is not to be attained soon. After (the senses have been restrained and) the will has been merged in the pure intellect, the state that succeeds in one of utter absence of worldly thought. Even that is knowledge (leading to the attainment of Brahman). It is attainable only by practising Brahmacharya.
Dhritarashtra said: You say that the knowledge of Brahman dwells of itself in the mind, being only discovered by Brahmacharya; that is dwelling in the mind, it requires for its manifestation no efforts (such as are necessary for work) being manifested (of itself) during the seeking (by means of Brahmacharya). How then is the immortality associated with the attainment of Brahman?
Sanata-sujata said: Though residing in and inherent to the mind, the knowledge of Brahman is still unmanifest. It is by the aid of the pure intellect and Brahmacharya that, that knowledge is made manifest. Indeed, having attained to that knowledge, Yogis forsake this world. It is always to be found among eminent preceptors. I shall now discourse to you on that knowledge.
The power of Mahabharat is bestowing great teachings to the human race for generations to come.
Nature of Brahmacharya (Celibacy)
Dhritarashtra said: What should be the nature of that Brahmacharya by which the knowledge of Brahman might be attained without much difficulty? O regenerate one, tell me this.
Sanata-sujata said: They, who residing in the abodes of their preceptors and winning their goodwill and friendship, practise Brahmacharya austerities, become even in this world the embodiments of Brahman and casting off their bodies are united with the Supreme Soul. They that in this world desirous of obtaining the state of Brahman, subdue all desires, and endued as they are with righteousness, they succeed in dissociating the Soul from the body like a blade projected from a clump of heath. The body, O Bharata, is created by these, viz., the father and the mother; the (new) birth, however, that is due to the preceptor’s instructions is sacred, free from decrepitude, and immortal.
The four steps of Brahmacharya
Discoursing upon Brahman and granting immortality, he who wraps all persons with (the mantle of) truth, should be regarded as father and mother; and bearing in mind the good he does, one should never do him any injury. A disciple must habitually salute his preceptor with respect, and with purity (of body and mind) and well-directed attention, he must betake to study. He must not consider any service as mean, and must not harbour anger. Even this is the first step of Brahmacharya. The practices of that disciple who acquires knowledge by observing the duties ordained for one of his class are regarded also as the first step of Brahmacharya.
A disciple should, with his very life and all his possessions, in thought, word and deed, do all that is agreeable to the preceptor. This is regarded as the second step of Brahmacharya. He should behave towards his preceptor’s wife and son also in the same way as towards his preceptor himself. This also is regarded as the second step of Brahmacharya.
Bearing well in mind what has been done to him by the preceptor, and understanding also its object, the disciple should, with a delightful heart think: ‘I have been taught and made great by him.’ This is the third step of Brahmacharya.
Without requiring the preceptor by payment of the final gift, a wise disciple must not betake to another mode of life; nor should he say or even think of in his mind: ‘I make this gift.’ This is the fourth step of Brahmacharya.
He attains the first step of (knowledge of Brahman which is) the object of Brahmacharya by aid of time; the second step, through the preceptor’s prelections; the third, by the power of understanding; and finally, the fourth, by discussion.
The learned have said that Brahmacharya is constituted by the twelve virtues, the Yoga-practices are called its Angas, and perseverance in Yoga-meditation is called its Valam and one is crowned with success in this in consequence of the preceptor’s aid and the understanding of the sense of the Vedas. Whatever wealth a disciple, thus engaged, may earn, should all be given to the preceptor. It is thus that the preceptor obtains his highly praise-worthy livelihood. And thus also should the disciple behave towards the preceptor’s son.
Thus stationed (in Brahmacharya), the disciple thrives by all means in this world and obtains numerous progeny and fame. Men also from all directions shower wealth upon him; and many people come to his abode for practising Brahmacharya. It is through Brahmacharya of this kind that the celestials attained to their divinity, and sages, highly blessed and of great wisdom, have obtained the region of Brahman. It is by this that the Gandharvas and the Apsaras acquired such personal beauty, and it is through Brahmacharya that Surya (the sun) rises to make the day. As the seekers of the philosopher’s stone derive great happiness when they obtain the object of their search those mentioned above (the celestials and others), on completing their Brahmacharya, derive great happiness in consequence of being able to have whatever they desire.
He’ O king, who devoted to the practice of ascetic austerities, betakes himself to Brahmacharya in its entirety and thereby purifies his body, is truly wise, for by this he becomes like a child (free from all evil passions) and triumphs over death at last. Men, O Kshatriya, by work, however pure, obtain only worlds that are perishable. He, however, that is blessed
with Knowledge, attains, by the aid of that Knowledge,
to Brahman which is everlasting. There is no other path (than Knowledge or the attainment of Brahman) leading to emancipation.
The Eight Breaks of Brahmacharya (Celibacy)
There are eight kinds of breaks, so to say, in the current of unbroken Brahmacharya practice. You should avoid them through great care, sincere exertion and vigilant attention. Then only will you be perfectly successful in the practice of Brahamacharya. The various aspects of Brahmacharya was compiled by Swami Shivananda, The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh.
Darshan – looking at a member of the opposite s#x with carnal desire.
Sparsha – desire to touch, embrace or be near a person of the opposite s#x.
Keertan – praising his or her qualities to your friends.
Keli – amorous sport with the opposite s#x.
Guhya Bhaashan – talking privately to a member of the opposite s#x.
Sankalpa – lustful thought of the opposite s#x.
Adhyavasaaya – strong desire for carnal knowledge.
Kriya Nivritti – s#xual enjoyment.
Only one who is free from the entire above can be called a perfect Brahmachari. A real Brahmachari, who is seeking God earnestly, and who is engaged in spiritual practices, should avoid these breaks ruthlessly. A break in any one of these vows is a break in Brahmacharya. This point should be well borne in mind.
Rules for Brahmacharis
Anyone from any caste/creed/race can attain Brahmacharya and become Brahmachari. Doing immense research on Vedic texts and attaining Vedic wisom, Manu*, the grat Hindu law-giver, says: “The Brahmacharis, as long as they are in school life, must get into the habit of controlling their senses by abstaining from alcohol, meat, perfumes, flower garlands and the company of the opposite s#x. They should avoid violence. They should give up Rajasic food, oil, eye-paste, gambling, gossip, lies, looking at the opposite s#x, striking each other, and sleeping with others.”
HariBhakt Rider*: Please take note of this, that during british and mughal rule; several manuscripts were made to malign Hindu values and Sanatan Dharm principles. So whenever referring or reading about Manu, it is necessary to cross check its authenticity comparing it with ancient text.
The student should never, not even in his dreams, let go of his Veerya (semen). If he does it willingly, he fails in his duty. It is death to him. It is a sin. He is a fallen victim. By means of proper Sadhana (austere practices) he should try to preserve the Veerya. By the practice of Brahmacharya alone can he get physical, mental and spiritual progress.
How Can You Practice Bramhacharya Even in Your Current Life
The following rules would be very useful to those who are trying to observe Brahmacharya in thought, word and deed.
Give up evil company, loose talks, cinemas and televisions, and newspapers and magazines dealing with s#x and love. Do not mix freely with the opposite s#x. If this is found unavoidable in the course of the daily duties of life, a male can mentally address a member of the opposite s#x as ‘mother’. A female can address a male as ‘father’. Sri Ramakrishna used to look upon all women as forms of the Divine Mother. Anadamayi Ma, the well-known saint of Bengal who lived during recent times, used to address all elderly males as ‘Pitaji’ (father) or ‘Baba’.
Keep your head bowed down while you walk in the street.
Minimise your needs. Do not look into the mirror often. Lead a rigorous, disciplined life.
Avoid looking at the mating of insects, animals and birds.
Do not ride too much on a bicycle.
Root out love of leisure and ease. Overcome laziness and always be engaged in some useful work. Let the mind be always occupied in the study of spiritual literature or some active work along useful lines. Let there be no time for idle pleasure.
Let the work you do be a source of joy. Find pleasure in your work. Let it not be done under compulsion. The mind turns away from that which it does not like, and then takes recourse to other objects for getting pleasure. You should work freely and happily, so that there may not be occasions for the mind to resort to unhealthy practices. Work for the sake of God. Then all work will become interesting. Take to hard physical labour but do not exhaust yourself. Do your work as a hobby. Then you can do it happily.
Do Sirshasana, Sarvangasana and Siddhasana. Practise deep breathing and Bhastrika Pranayama. Take long walks. Take part in games and sports.
Take cold baths if you can. Do not use perfumes and fashionable dress. Do not attend dance or music parties. Do not sing worldly songs. You may take part in Kirtan and Bhajan without trying to display your musical talent.
Do not smoke or take drugs or alcohol. They are harmful to the body and mind. Avoid non-vegetarian food.
Give up tea, coffee, pungent foods and excess of sweets and sugar. Take them moderately if you cannot give them up altogether. If possible, fast once a week. Take only milk and fruit on that day. Do not take milk without mixing a little ginger with it. Avoid pungent, stimulating dishes, sauces, savouries and pastries.
What is Brahamacharya (or known as Celibacy in english)?
Brahmacharya is purity in thought, word and deed. In a special sense it is celibacy or control of the s#x desire in thought, word and deed.
Brahamacharya includes character building, or the right moulding of character. It is a must in spiritual life. It is said that knowledge is power, but real power lies in character. As a power, character is superior to knowledge.
Brahmacharya is the very foundation of Yoga. Just as a house that is built on a weak foundation will surely collapse, so also you will fail in meditation if you are weak in Brahmacharya.
Without Brahmacharya it is not possible to possess good concentration of mind, a good memory, and a strong will- the main essentials for God-realisation.
Brahmacharya is the most vital subject for those who wish to attain success in material and spiritual life. Without it a boy or a girl cannot be successful, either in studies, in sports, in worldly activities, or in spiritual practices.
The well known Rishi Yajnavalkya says: “Brahmacharya is abstaining from s#xual pleasure for ever, under all conditions and in all places, either physically, mentally or verbally.”
Physical Brahmacharya is control of the physical organs, while mental Brahmacharya is control of lustful thoughts. Mental control is indeed much more difficult than physical control, but through sincere exertion one can get established in mental Brahmacharya perfectly. Always maintain the ideal, then the final goal can be realised soon. There is no doubt about this.
Brahmacharya is absolutely necessary for the attainment of peace and God- vision. It is a fresh spring flower whose each petal gives off fragrance of freedom. It is a powerful weapon for waging war against the internal demons of lust, anger, greed and jealousy.
Veerya (Semen) – the vital fluid
God is Rasa. Rasa is Veerya, the vital fluid or semen. You can attain eternal bliss and peace by preserving the Veerya. Brahmacharya means control of the Veerya. The vital force or Veerya is preserved only by one who is established in the practice of Brahmacharya. The vital fluid or semen is lost and wasted during s#xual indulgence.
From food comes juice or chyle; from chyle comes blood and flesh; from flesh comes fat; from fat comes bones; from bones come marrow. Lastly, from marrow comes semen. The Veerya comes out of the very marrow concealed in the bones. It is found in a subtle state in all the cells of the body. Mark here how precious the semen is! It is the last essence of food. It is the essence of essences.
As the vital force is the most precious substance in the physical body, it should be carefully preserved. Its wastage means loss of physical and mental energy.
It is said that a drop of semen comes out of forty drops of blood. According to Ayurveda it comes from eighty drops of blood.
Just a sugar pervades the entire sugarcane and butter pervades milk, so also semen pervades the whole body. Just as buttermilk is thinned after the butter has been extracted, so also the semen is thinned by its wastage. The more the wastage of the semen, the more the physical and mental weakness.
Ojas Shakti – s#x-sublimation
When semen is preserved, it gets reabsorbed by the body and stored in the brain as Ojas Shakti or spiritual power. The seminal energy is changed into spiritual energy. This is called the process of s#x-sublimation. The Ojas Shakti is used for spiritual Sadhana by the Yogi.
The vital force is closely linked with the nervous system. Hence, it is vitally necessary to preserve it carefully if one desires to have strong nerves.
In the Yoga Shastra it is stated: “The falling of semen brings death; the preservation of it gives life.” The semen is the real vitality in man. It is the hidden treasure in him. It gives a glow to the face, strength to the intellect and well being to the entire system. Girls, too, suffer great loss through having unchaste thoughts and giving way to lust. Vital nervous energy is lost. There is a corresponding loss of Veerya in them as well.
The Srutis state that a man’s full life span is a hundred years. This can be achieved only if a person is established in perfect Brahmacharya. It is through the attainment of good conduct only that one can live to a ripe old age and be ever happy and peaceful. Even if all other qualities may be lacking, good conduct alone will ensure longevity.
You must have pure character, otherwise you will lose your vital energy or Veerya. An early death will be the result.
Another important point to remember is that the secret of long life lies in the choice of pure food and drink, chastity, temperance, sobriety and a cheerful and optimistic outlook on life. So, gluttons, drunkards and those given to idleness and laziness, cannot hope to have long life.
According to psychological and natural laws, the length of human life, or any life, should be at least five times the period necessary to reach full growth. The horse grows for a period of about three years and lives to be about twelve or fourteen. The camel grows for eight years and lives to be forty. Man grows for about twenty to twenty-five years. If all accidents are counted out, his normal duration of life should be not less than one hundred years.
This tallies very well with the advice of the Hindu Holy Scriptures that Brahmacharya should be practised for the first twenty-five years. During the period of growth there is not to be any loss of the vital fluid.
There are some rare cases where people have attained longevity and high intellectual powers despite their loose, immoral ways. This is obviously due to their past Karma. But they would have been still more powerful and brilliant through the practice of Brahmacharya.
The Ideal Brahmachari
The word ‘Brahmachari’ is used in two senses. Firstly, there is the student Brahmachari, who marries and becomes a householder after completing his study. He is in the first of the four stages of life described in Hindu law books. The second type of Brahmachari is the lifelong celibate and is called an Akhanda (unbroken) Brahmachari.
Brahmacharis of this latter type are very rare. Matted hair, application of ash and wearing a loincloth cannot make one a true Brahmachari. The Akhanda Brahmachari is one who has not allowed a single drop of semen to be wasted for an unbroken period of twelve years. Such a person can have the vision of God without effort. He achieves the goal of life. He glows with effulgence.
The seminal energy of an Akhanda Brahmachari has been converted into Ojas Shakti or spiritual energy through the process called s#x-sublimation. Such a person can turn out a great deal of mental work. He is very intelligent. He has a magnetic aura on his face. His eyes shine brightly.
Peace of mind, fearlessness, a strong will, good memory and power of concentration, keen application to work- these are the fruits of Brahmacharya.
Brahmacharya in active life
The practice of Karma Yoga or selfless service will not be possible without Brahmacharya. If the Veerya (semen) is lost, the Prana gets unsteady. If the Prana gets agitated, one becomes nervous. Then the mind also cannot work properly and the person becomes fickle-minded. This is mental weakness.
Brahmacharya brings material and spiritual progress. It is a powerful weapon for waging war against the demons of lust, anger, greed and jealousy. It gives great energy, a clear brain, strong will, retentive memory and good power of enquiry.
Lack of Brahmacharya brings about loss of memory, a weak will, nervous disorders, tension, lack of the power of concentration, and physical diseases.
The ignorant man is an instrument in the hands of his thoughts and Karmas. Man, the master of his destiny, has lost his divine glory and becomes a slave, a tool in the hands of s#x and ego. s#x and ego are the products of ignorance. Knowledge of God destroys these two enemies.
Some Western psychologists wrongly believe that if one does not indulge in s#x, then there is a danger of developing some kind of ‘complex’ in the mind; they feel that some undesirable results, such as diseases, may appear. This is an ill-founded doubt. These complexes are due to other causes. They are morbid states due to excessive jealousy, hatred, anger, worry and depression.
In fact, the opposite is true. Even a little practice of self-restraint is an ideal ‘pick-me-up.’ It gives inner strength and peace of mind. It invigorates the mind and nerves. It helps one to save physical and mental energy. It helps to increase memory, will power and brain power. It bestows immense strength, vigour and vitality. It gives new life to the system, rebuilds the tissues and cells, energises digestion, and gives one power to face difficulties in the daily battle of life. A perfect Brahmachari can shake the whole world, can top the waves of the ocean, like Lord Jesus. Like Jnana Dev, he can blow up mountains and command the five elements. There is nothing in the three worlds that cannot be achieved by such a person.
A well disciplined life, study of scriptures, Satsang, Japa, meditation, Pranayama, Sattwic and moderate diet, daily self-analysis and introspection, practice of right conduct- all these will pave the way towards the attainment of perfection in Brahmacharya. Most people lead a life without any kind of discipline and religious ideals, with the result that they are always filled with fears, cares, worries and anxieties. Through diverse desires, they get entangled and create numerous problems for themselves.
In the case of young children, pure non-stimulating food, games and daily exercises are very important for keeping up Brahmacharya.
What Ramayan Taught Us About Celibacy
There is one narration in Ramayan which prove that celibacy help in giving birth to Gods (birth of Gods do not happen as the filth process that we see in today’s materialistc world, they take avatars); so celibacy does give birth to Gods and non-celibacy to evil beings. Sumantra, the charioteer and one of the misters of King Dasharatha, having heard all about the king’s desire to perform a Vedic ritual, said this in confidence to king, “Oh, king, I will tell an early legend, an early legendary narration that I listened…
“Oh, king, I have earlier heard of this present advice given to you by Vedic scholars, as godly Sage Sanatkumara has once narrated an account about the arrival of your sons in the presence of other sages, and sage Sanat Kumara said… He said that “Sage Kashyapa has a son known as Vibhaandaka, and his son will be the renowned Sage Rishyasringa, and that Sage Rishyasringa will grow up in forests, and will always be dwelling in forest…
Here the word used by Sumantra is tava putra aagamam , it renders as ‘the arrival of your sons’, meaning that sons of King Dasharatha arrive from Heavens, but not through an ordinary parturition. Even earlier in time to that of Dasharatha, Sage Sanatkumara predicted the ‘arrival’ of Vishnu as Rama. The birth-event associated with Rishyasringa’s name is that he is born with a horn on the crown of his head. Thus he is named as Rishyasringa, i.e., R^iSi the Sage; shR^i~Nga horn; a Sage with a horn on his forehead at his birth time. This being the mythological import, he is an acme among sages, as shR^i~Nga also means a peak.
“Not knowing others, that Brahman the best, namely Rishyasringa, will always be abiding his father and he will follow celibacy of two kinds Brahmanical vows namely vratitva , praajaapatya …
Not knowing others that Brahman the best, will always be abiding his father, lest his renowned celibacy always praised by the Brahmans, will be hindered.
The word dvaividhyam also means two kinds of celibacy, vratitva and prajaapatyam. One, as a bachelor and the other after marriage, voluntarily distancing away from his wife on certain forbidden days like full moon and new moon days, during daytime, eclipses, and other astronomical occurrences and some more. This kind of self-imposed celibacy is one way of observing sustained family planning methods, instead of resorting to medicaments. Here, this word is more nearer to mean ‘hindrance’, than to mean the ‘two way celibacy’ as deciphered by some commentators.
“In the world he becomes famous for his celibacy, oh king, and he will always be praised by Brahmans, and thus time will pass on with that kind of his conduct…
Sage Rishyasringa looses no time with his servitor-ship to the Sacrificial Fire and also to his celebrated father, and during this period alone there will be a famed and very strong kingRomapaada, a valiant in Anga country… But by a violation of righteousness of that king there will be a shocking and devastating famine in that country… While the famine is besetting that king Roamapada will be afflicted with grim, and on summoning Brahmans and learned scholars he will address them…
” ‘All of you are well versed in rituals and knowers of the world history… order me how to how the purification from sin will be…
” ‘Thus said by king those scholarly Brahmans and Vedic scholars will say to the king, ‘oh, king, son of Sage Vibhaandaka, namely Rishyasringa, is to be fetched by all methods…
“Oh! King, having brought Sage Rishyasringa and honouring him well with good care, procedurally give him your daughter Shanta in marriage to that Vedic Brahman and the son of Sage Vibhaandaka… On listening them the king becomes thoughtful about the idea by which it is possible to bring that self-controlled sage to his place…Then that intellectual king decides along with ministers, to dispatch clergymen and ministers, honouring them well, and then sends them.
How Brahmacharya Help, Insights from Ancient and Recent World
1. What Is Brahmacharya?
1. It is only within recent years, practically the last forty, that the scientific attention has been brought to bear upon the subject of the nature and evolution of the s#xual impulse in man. Psychologists and clinical students have made careful investigations into the phenomena of normal and abnormal s#xual life among the civilised populations of the present day.
2. The close connection of the subject of s#x with religion, both in social evolution and individual psychology, renders the study of chastity an extremely important chapter in the past and future sociology of the race.
3. The gratification of every worldly desire is sinful. Man was created for a life of spiritual communion with God. Moral goodness consists in renouncing all sensuous pleasures, in separating from the world, in living solely after the spirit, in imitating the perfection and purity of God. Sensuality is inconsistent with wisdom and holiness. The great business of life is to avoid impurity.
4. Man has degraded himself to a great degree by becoming a puppet of passion. He has become an imitative machine. He has lost his power of discrimination. He has sunk into the most abject form of slavery. What a sad state! What a lamentable plight indeed! If he wishes to regain his lost divine state and Brahmic glory, his whole being must be completely transmuted by entertaining sublime divine thoughts and practice of regular meditation. Transmutation of s#x-desire is a very potent, efficacious and satisfactory way to realise eternal Bliss.
5. Brahmacharya is the vow of celibacy in thought, word and deed, by which one attains Self-realisation or reaches Brahman. It means control of not only the reproductive Indriya but also control of all senses in thought, word and deed. The door to Nirvana or perfection is complete Brahmacharya. Complete celibacy is the master-key to open the realms of elysian Bliss. The avenue to the abode of Supreme Peace begins from Brahmacharya or purity.
6. “Rasad raktam tato mamsam mamsanmedhah prajayate; Medasosthi tato majja majjayah sukrasambhavah—from food comes juice or chyle, from chyle blood, from blood flesh, from flesh fat, from fat bones, from bones marrow and lastly from marrow semen.” Semen is the quintessence of food or blood. One drop of semen is manufactured out of 40 drops of blood according to the medical science. According to Ayurveda it is elaborated out of 80 drops of blood. Just as sugar is all-pervading in the sugar-cane, butter in milk, so also semen is pervading the whole body. Just as the butter-milk is thin after butter is removed, so also semen is thinned by its wastage. The more the wastage of semen the more is the weakness. In Yoga Sastras it is said: “Maranam bindupatanat jivanam bindu-rakshanat—falling of semen brings death; preservation of semen gives life.” Semen is the real vitality in man. It is the hidden treasure for man. It imparts Brahma-Tejas to the face and strength to the intellect.
7. If the spermatic secretion in men is continuous, it must either be expelled or reabsorbed. As a result of the most patient and persevering scientific investigations, whenever the seminal secretions are conserved and thereby reabsorbed into the system, it goes towards enriching the blood and strengthening the brain. Dr. Dio Louis taught that the conservation of this element is essential to the strength of body, vigour of mind and keenness of intellect. Another writer Dr. E.P. Miller writes: “All waste of spermatic secretions, whether voluntary or involuntary, is a direct waste of life-force. It is almost universally conceded that the choicest element of the blood enters into the composition of the spermatic secretion. If these conclusions are correct then it follows that a chaste life is essential to man’s well-being.”
2. Glory of Brahmacharya
1. Abstinence or continence is the corner-stone or foundation on which the pedestal of Moksha stands. If the foundation is not very strong, the superstructure will fall down when there is heavy rain. Even so if you are not established in Brahmacharya, if your mind is agitated by evil thoughts, you will fall down. You cannot reach the summit of the ladder of Yoga or the highest Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
2. “Brahmacharyena tapasa deva mrityumupaghnata—The Vedas declare that by Brahmacharya and penance the Devas have conquered death.” How did Hanuman become a Mahavir? It is with this weapon of Brahmacharya that he acquired unsurpassable strength and velour. The great Bhishma, the grandfather of Pandavas and Kauravas conquered death by Brahmacharya It is only Lakshmana, the ideal Brahmachari who put down the man of inestimable prowess, the conqueror of three worlds, Meghanada, son of Ravana. Even Lord Rama could not face him. It is through the force of Brahmacharya that Lakshmana was able to defeat the invincible Meghanada. The valour and greatness of emperor Prithviraj was due to the strength of Brahmacharya. There is nothing in the three worlds that cannot be attained by a Brahmachari. The Rishis of yore knew fully well of the value of Brahmacharya and that is the reason why they have sung in beautiful verses about the glory of Brahmacharya.
3. The Srutis declare: “Naayam Atma balaheenena labhyah—This Atman is not attainable by a weak man.” In the Gita you will find: “Yadichhanto brahmacharyam charanti—That desiring which Brahmacharya is performed” (Chap. VIII-11). “Trividham narakasyedam dvaram nasanamatmanah; kamah krodhastatha lobhastasmad etat trayam tyajet—O Arjuna! Triple is the gate of the hell, destructive of the Self; lust, wrath and greed: therefore let man renounce these three” (Chap. XVI-21). “Jahi satrum mahabaho kamarupam durasadam—Kill this powerful enemy, passion, by the observance of Brahmacharya” (Chap. III-43).
4. Just as the oil come in a wick burns with glowing light so also the Veerya or semen flows up by the practice of Yoga Sadhana and is converted into Tejas or Ojas. The Brahmachari shines with Brahmic Aura in his face. Brahmacharya is the bright light that shines in the house of human body. It is the fully-blossomed flower of life around which the bees of strength, patience, knowledge and purity and Dhriti wander about humming hither and thither. In other words he who observes Brahmacharya will be endowed with the above qualities. Scriptures declare emphatically: “Ayustejo balam veeryam vidya shrih kirtireva cha; punyam cha satpriyatvam cha vardhate brahmacharyaya—By the practice of Brahmacharya, longevity, glory, strength, vigour, knowledge, wealth, undying fame, virtues and devotion to Truth increase.”
5. Brahmacharya is the basis for the attainment of Kaya Siddhi. Complete celibacy must be observed. This is of paramount importance. By the practice of Yoga the semen becomes transmuted into Ojas-Sakti. The Yogi will have a perfect body. There will be charm and grace in his movements. He can live as long as he likes (Iccha Mrityu). That is the reason why Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: “Tasmat yogee bhava Arjuna—Therefore, become a Yogi, O Arjuna.”
6. Women who are chaste can be called as Brahmacharinis. Through the force of Brahmacharya only, many women of yore have done miraculous deeds and shown to the world the power of chastity. Nalayani, by the power of chastity has stopped the rising of the sun to save her husband’s life. Anasuya has turned the Trimurtis—Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara as babies when they wanted Nirvana Bhiksha. It is through the power of chastity only, she was able to turn the Great Deities as babies. Savitri has brought back the life of Satyavan, her husband, from the noose of Yama by her chastity. Such is the glory of womanhood. Such is the power of chastity or Brahmacharya. Women who lead a householder’s life with chastity can also become an Anasuya, Nalayani or Savitri.
7. Real culture is establishment of perfect physical and mental Brahmacharya. Real culture is the realisation of identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul through direct experience. For a passionate worldly minded man the terms: ‘Self-realisation,’ ‘God, Self Vairagya, renunciation, death, burial ground,’ are very revolting and terrifying, because he is attached to objects. The term singing, dancing, talks of ladies are very pleasing. The attraction for objects will gradually vanish if one begins to think seriously of the unreal nature of the world.
8. If one clearly understands the serious damages that come through an impure life and if he determines to attain the goal of life by leading a pure life, he must keep his mind busily engaged in Divine thoughts, concentration, meditation, study and service of humanity.
3. Brahmacharis Should Avoid Lust
1. Bhartrihari says: “For food, I have what begging brings and that too tasteless and once a day; for bed, the earth; and for attendant, the body itself; for dress, I have worn out blanket made up of hundred patches; still alas! lust does not leave me.”
2. A gentleman who had given up smoking, drinking, though married, wants to practice Brahmacharya. His wife has no objection, but he himself finds hard this discipline, especially the trouble seems to be in the control of sight. “The street is my chief enemy,” he said to me recently. This means that the eyes are attracted to well-dressed ladies. An aspirant says: “While I practiced vigorously Pranayama, Japa and meditation, my mind was not polluted even if I saw half-nude young ladies. But when I left the practice I was not able to control my sight and I was attracted by well-dressed ladies in the streets and half-nude pictures that are pasted in front of picture houses. The sea beach and Mall Road are my enemies.”
3. Jerome writes to the virgin Eustochium about his struggle for abstinence and the power of lust: “Oh, how many times when in the desert, in the vast solitude which, burnt by heat of the sun, offers but a horrible dwelling to monks, I imagined among the delights of Rome: I was alone. My limbs were covered by a wretched sack, and my skin as black as an Ethiopian’s. Every day I wept and groaned, and if I was unwillingly overcome by sleep, my lean body lay on the bare earth. I say nothing of my food and drink, for in the desert even invalids had no drink but cold water. Well, I who out of fear of hell had condemned myself to this prison, companion of scorpions and wild beasts, often seemed in imagination among a band of girls. My face was pale with fasting; my mind within my frigid body was burning with desire; the fire of lust would still flame up in a body that already seemed to be dead.” Such is the power of lust.
4. There is no hope for you to have Self-realisation or knowledge of the Self if you are not well established in Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya is the master-key to open the realms of eternal bliss. Brahmacharya is the very foundation of Yoga. Just as a house that is built on a rotten foundation will surely fall down, so also you will fall down from your meditation if you have laid no proper foundation, viz., the attainment of perfect Brahmacharya. You may meditate for a period of twelve years and yet you will have no success in Samadhi if you have not destroyed the subtle lust or the craving-seed that lingers in the innermost recess of your heart. You will have to search out carefully this dire enemy—lust, that lies hidden in the various corners of your heart. Just as the fox hides itself in the bush, so also this lust hides itself in the substratum and corners of the mind. You can detect its presence only if you are vigilant. Intense self-examination is very necessary. Just as powerful enemies can be conquered only if you attack them from all sides, so also you can keep the powerful senses under control if you attack them from all sides, from within and without, from above and from beneath.
5. You must not labour under the delusion that you have eradicated the lust completely by adjusting the diet a bit, by practicing Pranayama and by doing a little Japa, and that you have nothing more to do. Temptation or Mara may overcome you at any moment. Eternal vigilance and rigorous Sadhana are very essential. You cannot attain perfect Brahmacharya by limited effort. Just as a machine gun is necessary to kill a powerful enemy, so also constant, rigorous, powerful Sadhana is necessary to annihilate this powerful enemy, lust. You must not be puffed up with pride for your little achievement in celibacy. If you are put to test you will hopelessly fail. You must be ever conscious of your shortcomings and you must constantly strive to get rid of them. Highest effort is necessary. Then only you will have sanguine success in this direction.
6. It is easy to tame a wild tiger or a lion or an elephant. It is easy to play with the cobra. It is easy to walk over the fire. It is easy to devour fire and drink the waters of ocean. It is easy to uproot the Himalayas. It is easy to get victory in the battlefield. But it is difficult to eradicate lust. But you need not despair even a bit. Have faith in God, in His Name and in His grace. Lust cannot be completely rooted out of the mind except by the grace of the Lord. You are bound to succeed if you have faith in Him. You can destroy lust in the twinkling of an eye. The Lord makes a dumb man to speak and a lame man to ascend a steep hill. Mere human effort alone will not suffice. The Divine Grace is needed. God helps those who help themselves. If you do total self-surrender, Mother Herself does the Sadhana. Regular meditation and Japa of Mantra, Sattvic diet, Satsanga, practice of Pranayama, Sirsha and Sarvanga Asanas, study of religious books, Vichara or enquiry into the nature of Atman or ‘who am I,’ seclusion for three months on the banks of any holy river, will entirely annihilate lust, however powerful the old Samskaras and Vasanas may be. Positive always overcomes negative. You need not be discouraged at any rate. Plunge yourself seriously in meditation, kill Mara and come out victorious in the struggle. Shine as a brilliant Yogi. Thou art ever pure Atman. Feel this, O Visvaranjan!
4. How to Keep Up Brahmacharya
1. A Brahmachari should avoid looking at a woman with lustful eyes. He should not have a desire to touch her or go near her with evil intention. He should not play, cut jokes or talk with her. He should not praise a woman’s qualities within himself or to his friends. He should not talk to her secretly. He should not think of a lady. He should not have a carnal desire to have s#xual enjoyment. A Brahmachari should, without fail, avoid s#xual intercourse. If he breaks any of the above rules, he violates the vow of Brahmacharya.
2. For protecting the semen, it is essential to wear always a strip of (black-coloured) cloth over the private part; for there will be no night emission and growth of testicles. It is befitting for a celibate to wear always wooden sandals as thereby the semen will be conserved, eyes will be benefited, life prolonged and holiness and lustre will increase.
3. The vow of celibacy will give you sure protection against temptation. It is a strong weapon to attack lust. If you do not take a vow of celibacy, the mind will tempt you at any moment. You will have no strength to resist the temptation and you will become a sure victim. He who is weak and effeminate is afraid of taking the vow. He brings in various excuses and says: “Why should I be bound by a vow? My will is strong and powerful. I can resist any sort of temptation. I am doing Upasana. I am practicing will culture.” He repents in the long run. He has no control over the senses. That man only in whom the subtle desire for the object to be renounced lurks in the corners of his mind brings in such sort of excuses. You must have right understanding, discrimination and dispassion. Then only your renunciation will be lasting and permanent. If renunciation is not the outcome of discrimination and dispassion the mind will be simply waiting for an opportunity to get back the object that has been renounced.
4. If you are weak, take a vow of celibacy for a month and then extend it to three months. You will gain some strength now. You will be able to prolong the period to six months. Gradually you will be able to extend the vow for one or two or three years. Sleep separately and do rigorous Japa, Kirtan and meditation daily. You will hate lust now. You experience freedom and indescribable joy. Your partner in life also should do Japa, meditation and Kirtan daily.
5. You may be able to stop copulation for months and years, but there should not be any s#xual craving or attraction for ladies. Evil thoughts also should not arise when you look at a lady, when you are in the company of ladies. If you succeed in this direction, then you are established in perfect Brahmacharya. You have crossed the danger zone. There is no harm in looking at a woman, but you must have a chaste look. You must have Atma Bhava. When you look at a young lady you can think within yourself: “Prostrations unto thee, O mother. Thou art an image or manifestation of Mother Kali. Do not tempt me. Do not allure me. I have understood now the secret of Maya and Her creation. Who has created these forms? There is an omnipotent, all-pervading and all-merciful Creator behind these names and forms. This is all decaying false beauty. The Creator or God is Beauty of beauties. He is an embodiment of undecaying beauty. He is fountain-head of beauty. Let me realise this Beauty of beauties by meditation.” You will have to cultivate feelings of devotion, admiration and awe when you look at a beautiful form by remembering the Creator of this form. Then you will not be tempted. If you are a student of Vedanta, think and feel: “Everything is Self only. The names and forms are illusory. They are Mayaic pictures. They have no independent existence apart from the Self.”
6. Aspirants should not indulge in talk about ladies. They should not think about ladies. Bring the image or your Ishta Devata in your mind, if thought of a lady crops up. Repeat the Mantra vigorously. If s#xual feelings arise in your mind when you look at the mating of animals and birds or at the bare bodies of ladies it indicates that lust is still lurking in your mind.
7. Even advanced aspirants who have made great progress in Yoga should be very careful. They should not mix freely with ladies. They should not foolishly imagine that they have become great adepts in Yoga. A great saint of repute had a downfall. He freely mixed with ladies made lady disciples and allowed them to shampoo his legs. As the s#x-energy was not completely sublimated and turned into Ojas, as lust was lurking in a subtle form in his mind, he became a victim. He lost his reputation. The s#xual desire was only suppressed in him and when a suitable opportunity came, it again assumed grave form. He had no strength or will-power to resist the temptation.
8. Another great soul who was regarded by his disciples as an Avatara became a Yoga-bhrashta. He also freely mixed with ladies and committed serious crimes. He became a prey to lust. What a sad misfortune! Aspirants climb with great difficulty by the ladder of Yoga and they are irrecoverably lost for ever on account of their carelessness and spiritual pride.
9. Remembrance of the skeleton and dead body of a woman, will induce Vairagya in your mind. The body has come out of the filthy discharge. It is full of impurities. In the end it is reduced into ashes. If you remember this, Vairagya will dawn in your mind. Attraction for ladies will gradually vanish. If you place before your mind the sickly figure of a lady, or the picture of a very old lady you will develop Vairagya. Remember pains of Samsara, the unreality of objects and the bondage that comes from attachment to wife and children. Try any method that suits you best.
10. One should try to get Viveka or discrimination between the real Self and the unreal, impure body. He should hammer the mind and point out to the mind the defects of a s#xual life, viz., loss of energy, innovation of senses, disease, birth and death, attachment and various sorts of miseries, etc., the parts of the body of a woman, viz., flesh, blood, bone, excrete, urine, pus, phlegm, etc. He should always think of the ever-pure immortal Atman and the glory of the spiritual life, viz., the attainment of immortality, eternal bliss, supreme peace. Gradually the mind will be weaned from looking at a woman however beautiful she might be. The mind will shudder to look at her with evil thought.
11. An aspirant complains: “As I continue meditation. layer after layer of impurities are rising from the subconscious mind. Sometimes they are so strong and formidable that I am bewildered as to how to check them. I am not perfectly established in truth and Brahmacharya. The old habits of speaking lies and lust are still lurking in me. Lust is troubling me vigorously. The very idea of women agitates my mind. My mind is so sensitive that I am not able to hear or think of them. As soon as the thought comes in the mind, my Sadhana gets disturbed and also the peace of the whole day is spoiled. I advise my mind, coax it, frighten it, but it is of no avail. My mind revolts. I do not know how to control this passion. Irritability, egoism, anger, greed, hatred, attachment, etc., are still lurking in me. Lust is my chief enemy and it is a very strong one too. I request you to be kind enough to advise as to how to destroy the same.”
12. When the impurities emerge from the subconscious mind and come to the surface of the conscious mind with formidable force, do not try to resist them. Repeat your Ishta Mantra. Do not think of your defects or evil qualities much. It is enough if you introspect and find out your defects. Do not try to attack the evil qualities. Then they will show their long faces. Do not worry yourself often: “I have got so many defects and weaknesses.” Cultivate Sattvic virtues. Through meditation and by the development of positive qualities, through Pratipaksha Bhavana method all the negative qualities will die of themselves. This is the right method.
13. Passion will subside by protracted Japa and meditation and Chintana on Atman. Do not try to run away from ladies. Then Maya will chase you terribly. Try to see the Self in all forms and repeat the formula ‘Om Eka Satchidananda Atma’ often. Remember that the Atman is s#xless. Mental repetition of this formula will give you strength.
14. You should remain far away from ladies in the beginning of your practice. After you are perfectly moulded and well-established in Brahmacharya, you should test your strength by moving with ladies very cautiously for some time. If your mind is very pure now also, if there is no s#x-idea, if the mind ceases to act through the practice of Uparati, Sama and Dama, remember you have gained real spiritual strength and made considerable progress in your Sadhana. You are safe now. You should not stop your Sadhana thinking that you are a Jitendriya Yogi. If you stop it you will have a hopeless fall. Even if you are a Jivanmukta and a dynamic Yogi, you should be very careful when you move with worldly persons.
15. Thirsty aspirants who are treading the path of Self-realisation who are householders and forty years of age should give up contact with the partners in life. They should observe perfect physical Brahmacharya, if they want rapid spiritual progress and Self-realisation in this very birth. There are no half way measures in the spiritual path.
5. Mental Discipline (Bhava) in Brahmacharya
1. It is the mind that really does all actions. A desire arises in your mind and then you think. Then you proceed to act. The determination of the mind is put into action. First there is Sankalpa or thought and then comes action. Therefore do not allow the s#xual thoughts to enter the mind. No space is empty at any time. This is the law of nature. If one thing is removed from a place immediately another comes to fill its place. The same law holds good in the case of the inner mental world also. Therefore it is necessary to entertain sublime divine thoughts to replace evil thoughts. As you think, so you become. This is the immutable psychological law. The vicious mind is gradually divinised by entertaining divine thoughts.
2. Vasanas grow from lustful look. You have no lustful look when you see your mother or sister although they are well-dressed and decorated with ornaments and flowers. You look at them with affection and pure love. This is Suddha Bhavana. There are no lustful ideas. You will have to develop such a pure love or Bhavana when you look at other ladies also. Looking at a woman with lustful heart is tantamount to s#xual enjoyment. It is one form of Maithuna. That is the reason why Lord Jesus says: “If you look at a woman with lustful heart, you have already committed adultery in your hears.” Though the first seven kinds of Maithuna do not cause the actual loss of semen, yet the semen is separated from the blood and tries to escape when opportunity comes either in dreams or in other ways. In the first seven kinds man enjoys mentally.
3. You should have the Bhava that ladies are manifestations of World Mother. They should be adored. This practice is for a beginner in the spiritual path. Later he should develop the Atma Bhava, i.e., that everything is Self. Otherwise he will begin to hate ladies and will not develop cosmic love. The above mental picture is kept up to annihilate lust. It is a mental discipline.
4. When you are in the company of ladies, try to identity yourself with the s#xless, all-pervading Soul. Constantly make the endeavour. The s#x-idea will gradually vanish and with it the attraction and lust also.
5. You should entertain the mother Bhava or Isvari Bhava or Atma Bhava towards women. Sister Bhava will not suffice. You may fail. Ladies also should entertain Pitru Bhava or Isvara Bhava or Atma Bhava towards males. Enquire ‘who am I?’ There is no lust in the s#xless Atman.
6. One student writes to me “The impure flesh and skin appears to me as very pure and good. I am very lustful. I try to develop the Bhava of mother. I prostrate before a lady mentally, thinking that she is an image of Goddess Kaali and yet my mind is externally lustful. What shall I do now? I want to have a glimpse of a beautiful lady.” Obviously Vairagya and discrimination have not dawned in his mind. The old vicious Samskaras and Vasanas are very powerful.
7. The cultivation of the Bhava is very difficult. You may fail to develop the Bhava that all women are your mothers and sisters one hundred and one times. It does not matter. Stick to your practice tenaciously. You are bound to succeed eventually. You will have to destroy the old mind and build a new mind. But you will have to do it if you want to attain immortality and eternal bliss. You will surely succeed if you are fiery in your resolve and if you have iron determination. The Bhava will gradually manifest by constant practice. You will be soon established in that Bhava. Now you are safe.
8. The mind will again try to do some mischief inwardly. It is very diplomatic. It is very difficult to find out its ways and secret underground operations. It demands subtle intellect and careful repeated introspection and vigilant watch. Whenever the mental image of a lady crops up in your mind with evil thoughts, repeat mentally: “Om Durga Devyai Namah,” and do mental prostration. Gradually old evil thoughts will die. Whenever you see any lady entertain this Bhava and repeat mentally this Mantra. Your Drishti or look will become chaste. All ladies are manifestations of World Mother. I wish, you practice the same Sadhana with your wife also. Make mental prostration and repeat the same Mantra mentally. You must give up the idea of wife. It is high time now. Then you will have quick progress in spirituality. You must become a perfect Brahmachari now. She also must observe fast on Ekadasi. Do not say now: “Swamiji, What will I do? I am a householder.” This is a lame excuse. How long do you want to remain as a passionate householder? Is it till the end of life? Is there not a nobler mission in life than eating and sleeping? Do you not want to enjoy the eternal bliss of the Self? You have tasted enough of the mundane pleasures. You have passed the stage of a householder. I can excuse you if you are a young man, but not now. As soon as a son or daughter is born, the wife becomes your mother, because you yourself are born as a son or a daughter. Now get ready for the stage of Vanaprastha and mental Sannyasa while remaining in the world. Colour your heart first. This will be a noble life indeed. Prepare yourself. Discipline the mind. Real Sannyasa is mental non-attachment. Real Sannyasa is destruction of Vasanas, ‘I-ness,’ ‘mine-ness’, selfishness and Moha for children, body, wife and property. You need not retire into the Himalayan caves. Attain the above state of mind. Live in the world with family and children amidst peace and aplenty. Be in the world, but be out of the world. Give up worldliness. This is real Sannyasa. This is what I really want. Then you will become a King of kings. I am shouting at the top of my voice like this for many years. But only a few persons follow my teaching.
9. Thou art very dear to me, O Krishna, because thou art treading the path of Truth. Thou art sincerely struggling. Thou art on the path of Self-realisation too. Hence I am giving you this advice.
6. Sadhana for Success in Brahmacharya
1. Brahmacharya is freedom from s#xual thoughts and desires. It is control of all Indriyas in thought, word and deed. It is for both men and women. Bhishma, Hanuman, Lakshmana, Mira Bai, Sulabha, Gargi are all Brahmacharins. Sri Sankara says: “Brahmacharya or spotless chastity is the best of all penances. Such a celibate is God indeed.”
2. Through Brahmacharya get over the miseries of mundane life and attain health, strength, peace of mind, endurance, bravery, material progress, psychic advancement, clear brain, gigantic will-power, bold understanding, retentive memory, abundant energy, power to face difficulties in daily battle of life and Immortality. One who has perfect control over s#xual energy attains powers unattainable by any other means.
3. By the practice of Siddhasana, Sirshasana, Sarvangasana, Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, Maha Mudra, Yoga Mudra, Nauli, etc., a Hatha Yogi transmutes his seminal energy into Ojas-Sakti. By the practice of Navavidha Bhakti (Sravana, Kirtana, Smarana, Padasevana, Archana, Vandana, Sakhya, Dasya, Atmanivedana) and Japa, a Bhakta destroys the impurity of his mind and fixes it on God.
4. By the practice of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana, a Raja Yogi conquers lust and attains Kaivalya. A Jnana Yogi becomes pure by Viveka, Vairagya, Vichara, Sama, Dama and Titiksha. Constantly think of the s#xless Atman. Destroy the s#xual Vasana. See Atman in all. Reject the names and forms and take the underlying Essence—Sat-chit-ananda.
5. Anything that brings impure thoughts in the mind is bad company. Fly away from the worldly-minded persons. You will be far away from the danger zone. The magnetic aura and powerful thought-currents of developed adepts produce a tremendous influence on the minds of lustful people. Have constant Satsanga.
6. Give proper attention to food. Have Mitahara. Take Sattvic food. Pungent articles, garlic, onions, meat, fish, alcohol. etc., kindle passion. Fasting checks passion, calms emotions, controls Indriyas and helps Brahmacharya. Avoid long fasts.
7 Remember the pains of Samsara. Think of the component parts of body, viz., flesh, bone, blood, excreta, urine pus, etc. Have a strong desire for liberation. This will decidedly help you to destroy lust. Develop ‘Mother’ Bhava towards all ladies.
8. Have cold hip bath. Get up at 4 a.m. Do not think of a lady. Do not look at a lady. Avert the s#xual thoughts by sublime Divine thoughts. Keep the mind fully occupied. Render your will pure, strong, irresistible. When once the Veerya is lost, it can never be recouped by taking any amount of Badam, nervine tonics, milk, cheese, etc. Veerya, when preserved, serves as a master-key to open the realms of Divine Bliss and to obtain all sorts of higher achievements in life.
9. Constantly remember: “Through the Grace of God, I am becoming purer and purer every day, in every way.” “Pleasures come but not to stay. Mortal flesh is only clay. Everything will pass away. Brahmacharya is the only way.”
7. Golden Words of Great Protectors on Brahmacharya
1. Brahmacharya is abstaining from all kinds of Maithuna or s#xual enjoyment forever, in all places and in all conditions, physically, mentally and verbally.
2. Thinking of a woman or her picture, praising a woman or her picture, sporting with a woman or her picture, glancing at a woman or her picture, secretly talking to a woman, thinking of a sinful action towards a woman actuated by sensuality, determining upon the sinful action, and bodily action resulting in the discharge of semen are the eight characteristics of copulation; and Brahmacharya is quite contrary to all these eight indications.
3. Know that in this world there is nothing that cannot be attained by one who remains from birth to death a perfect celibate In one person, knowledge of the four Vedas, and in another, perfect celibacy—of these, the latter is superior to the former who is wanting in celibacy.
4. Brahmacharya or spotless chastity is the best of all penances; a celibate of such spotless chastity is not a human being, but a god indeed. To the celibate who conserves the semen with great efforts, what is there unattainable in this world? By the power of the composure of the semen, one will become just like myself.
5. And those students who find that world of God through chastity, theirs is that heavenly country; theirs, in whatever world they are, is freedom.
6. A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a burning pit of live coals. From the contact comes sensation, from sensation thirst, from thirst clinging; by ceasing from that, the soul is delivered from all sinful existence.
7. These s#xual propensities, though they are at first like ripples, acquire the proportions of a sea on account of bad company.
8. Sensuality destroys life, lustre, strength, vitality, memory, wealth, great fame, holiness and devotion to the Supreme.
9. Death is hastened by letting out semen from the body; life is saved and prolonged by preserving it.
10. There is no doubt that people die prematurely by letting the semen out of the body; knowing this, the Yogi should always preserve semen and lead a life of strict celibacy.
11. Caution in diet is of threefold value, but abstinence from s#xual intercourse is of fourfold value. The Sannyasi had, and has, a rule never to look at a woman.
12. Let not a Brahmin see a woman naked.