The celibacy increases the spiritual awareness

Brahmacharya

by Swami Sivananda from the book Divine Knowledge

Brahmacharya, literally translated, means “Achara”, behavior through which one attains “Brahman”, the Absolute. It is life in the absolute. It is the movement towards God or Atman.

Brahmacharya is purity in thought, word and deed. In a narrower sense, Brahmacharya is celibacy and sexual abstinence.

Brahmacharya is not just about being unmarried. It is strict abstinence not only from sexual intercourse, but also from self-sterotic manifestations, masturbation, homosexual acts, and all forms of sexual practices. Furthermore, a constant abstinence from reflecting on erotic ideas and voluptuous dreams must be included.

In a narrow sense, Brahmacharya is celibacy. In a broader sense it means the absolute control of all senses. The gateway to nirvana, perfection, is complete brahmacharya.

Brahmacharya is to the yogi what electricity is to a light bulb. Rapid spiritual progress is possible with Brahmacharya.

A true Brahmachari will feel no difference in touching a woman (a man), a piece of paper, a log or a stone. Only a true brahmachari can cultivate bhakti. Only a true brahmachari can practice yoga. Only a true Brahmachari can attain Jnana.

Brahmacharya is intended for both sexes, men and women. Great yoga masters like Bhishma, Hanuman, Lakshmana, Mirabai, Sulabha and Gargi were all Brahmacharins.

The life energy

One of the students of Dhanvantari (founder of Ayurveda) went to his teacher (after completing his full training in Ayurveda) and asked him: "Oh Bhagavan, I ask you, now tell me the secret of health." Dhanvantari replied, “The sex energy is truly Atman. The secret of health lies in maintaining this vital force. Whoever wastes this energy cannot achieve physical, mental, moral and spiritual development. "

Virya, sex energy, is God in motion. Virya is dynamic will. Virya is soul power. Virya is the essence of life, thought, intelligence and consciousness.

The life energy, Virya, that sustains your life, that is the Prana of Pranas, that shines in your shining eyes, that shines in your shining cheeks, is a great treasure for you.

Just as sugar is everywhere in sugar cane or butter is in milk, so sexual energy is everywhere in the body. It exists in a subtle form throughout the body. It is accumulated in the sexual organs and (under the influence of sexual pleasure and arousal) worked into a gross form

Sexual arousal and its negative consequences

When a person is passionately aroused, the prana is set in motion. The life force, the prana, moves the sexual fluids.

When the seed is lost in the sexual act, the prana becomes unsteady. Man gets nervous. Then the mind cannot work properly either. Man becomes fickle. Mental weakness occurs.

Once lost, Virya cannot be regained in a lifetime, even if one consumes loads of tonics and tonics.

Satisfaction in sexual intercourse is both exhausting for the female system and a burden on male vitality. The resulting nerve tension is indeed considerable. Because women's systems are more sensitive and irritable, they are often more affected than men.

Need of brahmacharya

How can one expect to be strong and healthy when the energy that is accumulated in many ways with great difficulty is being wasted on a daily basis? It is impossible to be strong and healthy unless men and women, as well as boys and girls, do their utmost to preserve their sexual energy.

Pure air, pure water, healthy food, physical exercise, outdoor games - all of these contribute to maintaining good health, strength and a high level of strength and vitality. Indeed, there are many ways to gain health and strength. These possibilities are undoubtedly essential. But brahmacharya is the most important of all. It is the means of maintaining true humanity.

The benefit from the practice of Brahmacharya

The practice of celibacy does not contain any dangers such as diseases, undesirable effects, complexes or neuroses, which western psychologists wrongly attribute to it. Western psychologists have no practical knowledge of the subject. They have the wrong and ill-founded notion that unexplored sexual energy takes on various forms of phobias, neuroses, etc. These complexes are due to other causes.

On the contrary, even a small amount of self-control or a little practice of abstinence is an ideal ‘remedy’. There is inner strength and peace of mind. It strengthens the mind and nerves. It helps preserve physical and mental energy. It increases memory, willpower and the strength of the brain. There is tremendous power, strength and vitality. It renews the system or the physical condition, rebuilds cells and tissues, stimulates digestion and gives the strength to face difficulties in the daily struggle for life. A person in complete control of sexual energy gains powers that are unattainable in any other way.

If a person leads a celibate life, including in a relationship and only occasionally having sexual intercourse for reproductive purposes, he can father healthy, bright, strong, beautiful, and self-sacrificing children. The ascetics and redeemers in ancient India, when married, followed this excellent rule very carefully for this reason and also taught by example and practice how one can live like a brahmachari in professional and family life.

The process of sexual sublimation

When the sexual energy is transformed into spiritual energy through pure thoughts, it is called sexual sublimation in western psychology. Just as a chemical substance is sublimated or purified when it is converted into steam by heating, which then solidifies again, so also sexual energy is purified and converted into divine energy through spiritual sadhana and the cultivation of sublime and uplifting thoughts of the self or the atman transformed.

Sublimation is not a question of suppression or repression, but rather a positive and dynamic process of transformation. Material energy is converted into spiritual energy, just as heat is converted into light and electricity. When the reproductive energy is controlled, transformed and sublimated, you will acquire tremendous brain power, Ojas. Ojas is spiritual energy that is stored in the brain. Through sublime thoughts, meditation, japa, worship and pranayama, the sexual energy can be transformed into Ojas Shakti. Just as oil rises in the wick and burns with a blazing light, just as virya, the sex energy, flows upwards through the practice of yoga sadhana and is converted into tejas or ojas. This Ojas is very helpful for you for long, deep meditation. It is stored in the brain. It helps contemplation. It is useful even at an advanced age. You will have a good memory. You can write books and do a tremendous amount of brain work.

An Urdhvareto Yogi is a person in whom the sexual energy flows up to the brain, is stored as Ojas Shakti and is used for the purposes of contemplation in the practice of Dhyana. He transforms the sex energy into ojas. It's a big secret.

Allopaths believe that even in an Urdhvareto Yogi, semen formation continues uninterrupted and that the fluid is reabsorbed into the blood. That is a mistake. They do not understand the inner yogic secrets and mysteries. You are in the dark. Your view relates only to the gross things in the universe. The yogi penetrates the subtle hidden nature of things through yogic vision and the inner vision of wisdom. The yogi gains control over the astral nature of the sex energy and thereby prevents the formation of the fluid itself.

The body of a person who is truly an Urdhvaretas smells of roses. On the other hand, a person who is not a brahmachari and in whom the gross seed is formed may have the odor of a billy goat.

The process of sexual sublimation is very difficult, and yet it is extremely necessary to the aspirant on the spiritual path. It is the most important requirement for the Sadhaka on the path of Karma Yoga, Upasana, Raja Yoga or Vedanta. It must be achieved at all costs. The person in whom the sexual thought is deeply rooted can never dream of understanding Vedanta and realizing Brahman, not even in a hundred thousand births. The truth cannot be where there is passion.

Sexuality is an illusion

The sexual is just a thought. It's just my imagination. It is a mental kalpana. The body is made up of the five elements. There is no sexuality in the elements. If you think carefully about this point, you can slowly eliminate sexual thoughts.

To the scientist, a man and a woman are just an accumulation of electrons. For a tiger he or she is an object of prey. To a person of distinction, he or she is a composite of flesh, bones, urine, feces, pus, sweat, blood, phlegm, etc. Only to a passionate man or woman is he or she an object of pleasure.

There is neither sexuality nor sexual vasanas in Atman. The Atman is Nitya Shuddha, eternally pure. You are this Nitya Shuddha Atman. See the Atman in all men and women. Always remember this sexless Atman, then you will become steadfast in Brahmacharya. This is the strongest and most effective method.

Sexuality and spiritual life

Sexual satisfaction is a major obstacle on the spiritual path. The lure of the flesh is your invulnerable enemy. He definitely blocks the spiritual practices. The sex drive must be controlled through the cultivation of sublime divine thoughts and regular meditation. There must be complete sublimation of the sexual energy. Only then is the aspirant safe.

The total extinction of sexual desire is the ultimate spiritual ideal. Therefore, always cultivate sublime divine thoughts. The old sexual thoughts will gradually disappear, just as an old nail is driven out of a board when a new nail is driven over it. The yoga student must be pure in thought, word and deed. Perfect sublimation can hardly be achieved in one. It demands a constant struggle with patience and perseverance over a long period of time. Spouses can also have the described ideal in mind and try to gradually realize it. When the state of perfect sublimation is reached, there will be purity in thought, word and deed. Then no sexual thought will enter.

The sex drive is a creative force. Direct the sexual energy to the higher spiritual channel. Then it is sublimated. It is converted into divine energy. Unless you are inspired by spiritual thoughts, it is difficult to control the sexual instinct.

The importance of proper nutrition

Proper nutrition plays an essential role in maintaining brahmacharya. There are different areas in the brain, and each food has its own effect on the respective area and on the entire organism. Some foods have an aphrodisiac effect. It directly stimulates the genital organs. Garlic, onion, meat, fish and eggs stimulate the passion.

Give appropriate attention to food. Be moderate in your diet. Eat rich foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, salads, legumes, and dairy products. Occasional fasting controls the passion, calms the emotions, rules the indriyas, and supports brahmacharya.

theory and practice

People talk about brahmacharya; but indeed rare are those who practice it; a life of abstinence is indeed fraught with difficulties. It is easy to tame a tiger, lion, or elephant. It's easy to play with a cobra. It's easy to walk over fire. It is easy to see the Himalayas. It is easy to win on the battlefield. But it is difficult to overcome lust.

You don't need to despair about it at all. Trust in God, his name and his grace. You just have to win if you believe in Him.

Human effort alone will not be enough. Divine grace is necessary. Lust cannot be completely removed from the mind unless by the grace of God. God helps those who help themselves.

Lack of spiritual sadhana is the main reason for all sexual attractions. Mere theoretical abstinence from sensuality will not bring you good results. You must mercilessly sever all formalities of social life and lead a pious life. Indulgence to lower inner tendencies will bring you into the realm of suffering. Excuses are of no use either. You must be sincere in your pursuit of the exalted life in spirituality. Half-heartedness will leave you in your old state of misery.

There are four processes in the practice of Brahmacharya. First, master the sexual impulse and the sexual vasanas. Then practice maintaining sexual energy. Close all openings that allow energy to escape. Then direct the retained energy into the correct spiritual channels through japa, kirtan, selfless service, pranayama, study, vigilance, self-analysis, contemplation and vichara. Then transform or sublimate the sexual energy. Let them become ojas or brahma-tejas through continued meditation or brahma-chintana.

The risk of a backlash

You have to be very careful about the backlash. The senses that are being pressured for a few months or for a year or two will rebel if you are not vigilant and careful at all times. They revolt and throw you off track when the opportunity arises. There are people who hold brahmacharya for a year or two, then become even more passionate and end up wasting the energy considerably. There are also those who become unteachable, immoral bundles of nerves.

One must not be fooled into thinking that if one adjusts one's diet a little, practices pranayama, and does a little japa, lust is completely controlled. Temptation, Mara, can overtake you at any moment. Eternal vigilance and uncompromising sadhana are very essential.

It may be possible not to have sexual intercourse for months and years, but there must also be no more sexual desire or desire. Sexual thoughts are also not allowed to arise when one is in company.

The state of mental brahmacharya must be maintained even under temptation and sickness. Only then are you safe. The senses begin to revolt in times of suffering and also when one comes into contact with sense objects.

One cannot attain perfect Brahmacharya with limited effort. Just as a machine gun is necessary to kill a powerful enemy, constant, rigorous, and powerful sadhana is necessary to eliminate that powerful enemy, lust. You mustn't be puffed up with pride over your little success in abstinence. If you are put to the test, you will fail hopelessly. You must always be aware of your inadequacies and ceaselessly strive to get rid of them.The greatest effort is necessary. Only then will you have complete success in this direction.