Importance of Brahmacharya!
By Sri Swami Sivananda
Practice of Brahmacharia! (full version)
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 sexual impulse in man. Psychologists and clinical students have made careful investigations into the phenomena of normal and abnormal sexual life among the civilised populations of the present day.
2. The close connection of the subject of sex 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 sex-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.”
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.
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!
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 sexual enjoyment. A Brahmachari should, without fail, avoid sexual 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 sexual 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 sexual 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 sex-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 sexual 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 sexual 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 sexless. 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 sex-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.
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 sexual 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 sexual 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 sexless, all-pervading Soul. Constantly make the endeavour. The sex-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 sexless 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.
1. Brahmacharya is freedom from sexual 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 sexual 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 sexless Atman. Destroy the sexual 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 sexual 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.”
1. Brahmacharya is abstaining from all kinds of Maithuna or sexual 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 sexual 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 sexual 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.
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