Brahmacharya – Celibacy

Brahmacharya – Celibacy

by Chandra Om

Brahmacharya is not merely the life of celibacy and spiritual study, but the purification of all the senses. The practice of brahmacharya is the vow of abstinence for all sense objects, in particular mentally. Overeating, oversleeping, overtalking and dwelling on, or longing for sense objects are all breaks in brahmacharya. Purity and freedom from lust in thought, word and deed is an essential part of the vow, however. It is freedom from sexual thoughts and sexual urges.

One of the purposes of brahmacharya is saving or conserving energy. The loss of sexual fluids and prana leads to death and its retention enhances life. Yogis do not waste the sexual fluids or prana, but conserve them to transform them into Cosmic energy to lift the consciousness. The Yogi established in brahmacharya, acquires tremendous energy and great will power.

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Brahmacharya is full control of all the senses and prompted by the attitude that you see Divinity in everything. Without celibacy no lasting or permanent spiritual progress is possible. It opens the door of liberation and is the key to awakening Shushumna Nadi (the main astral tube in the human body).

The yogi takes vows of celibacy and renunciation of worldly ties and ambitions, to accelerate the purification of the psychic channels (nadis), and to awaken the dormant energy within shushumna nadi, for the purpose of being of service in the material world of constant distractions.

The practice of brahmacharya brings supreme health, vitality, strength, inner peace, sharp intellect and long life. All of the nerves are strengthened and stimulated. Physical, mental and psychic energies are conserved and redirected to Divine pursuits and spiritual advancement. The supreme prana begins to shine though all gates of the body. One can always observe the physical characteristics of a brahmachari. Look how the eyes shine! The inner peace! The beastly nature is absent. The blood is strong (one drop of sexual fluid is formed from 40 drops of blood).

Those rooted in worldly desires and sexual pursuits cannot understand, and Sadhakas should never openly discuss these topics with the worldly minded who do not wish to hear such things. Remember—sexual desires are stronger than any other samskaras (tendencies).

Observe the mind—what thoughts arise when the senses experience sexual photos, images and movies? Hear vulgar words or read things that excite passions and desires? What begins as a ripple of a sexual thought or imagining soon becomes an uncontrollable ocean.

Observe the qualities of the one who is engaged in sexual thoughts and actions. Easy to excite, irritable, lacking in concentration, inability to balance, fickle, lazy, fearful, with a tendency toward explosive anger over trifling things. When the mind is excited by passion, the prana is set in motion and falls downward, becoming agitated and unsteady. The body and mind refuse to work together in harmony. There is physical and mental lethargy, and not one bit of self control. How is the state of mind when you are reading the holy Gita, the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, or gazing upon a picture of Lord Jesus or Lord Krishna?

Be like a child. Do not see sexual identities. Look upon all beings as children of God and as your own Self. View all beings through the pure eyes of the Lord. Lord Jesus said, “If you have a lustful look, you have already committed adultery in the heart.” See the Divine Mother in all women, the Holy Father in all men.

Hanuman, Lakshmana, Ananda Mayi Ma, Lord Jesus, Parahamsa Yogananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Sivananda, Swami Radha, Swami Kailashananda, Mother Teresa and Mirabai were all celibates. Only a true celibate can cultivate ultimate bhakti and success in yoga.

Indulgence in the sexual act is highly exhausting to the female system and a drain upon their vitality as in the case of man. The nervous strain it imposes is very great indeed. The female system, being more delicate and sensitive, is often more affected than that of the male.

The yoga science teaches that sexual fluid exists in a subtle form thoughout the cells of the entire body, and is withdrawn and transformed into a gross form in the sexual organs under the influence of sexual will and sexual excitement. A brahmacharya, or celibate yoga student, learns, under the guidance of the Guru, to convert the sexual fluid into a Divine fluid (Ojas) that moves into the brain, and ultimately eliminates the formation of the fluid entirely. This all begins with purity.

The purpose of human life is Self-realization. Spiritual attainment of full identification with the indweller of all hearts requires intense control of the senses and maximum prana. It is through the prana that you will eventually control the mind into one pointed concentration. Prana is required for proper discrimination here in this physical realm. Intelligence alone will do very little. To grasp the more subtle and abstruse matters on which the Guru speaks requires brahmacharya. Celibacy ensures a proper abundance of prana.

The human birth is the highest in this material realm of creatures. Most human behavior has become automatic—most do not give much concentration to eating, sleeping or moving. But what takes intense concentration? The sex act. For the sex act, one must truly channel their concentration into an endeavor and this is deeply binding to the reinforcement of the physical realm and identification with the physical form, involved in such base behavior, like the lower animals. Is this going to be helpful in any way to your attaining of Supreme Consciousness?

Brahmacharya is not repressing or avoiding sexuality—it is bypassing it—making use of the base sexual potential for something far greater. There is not male or female, body or sex once the consciousness shifts to and remains identified with its true, Immortal nature. The mind may occasionally bring in an idea other than that—be indifferent to it. Refuse to entertain it.

Physical brahmacharya must be practiced first. Mental purity will soon follow. Moral strength is the backbone of spiritual success. Be firm and resolute. Keep sattvic diet consisting mostly of fruits. This will calm the emotions, decrease lower passions and control the senses. The body will develop a sweet smell. Be steadfast in your vows. It is difficult to eradicate lust, but it can be done. Lack of consistent spiritual Sadhana and the guidance of a Guru is the main cause for all breaks in brahmacharya.

Theoretical abstinence will do almost nothing. You must engage in practical application, with no leniency allowed for lower tendencies. Half-hearted efforts will create a worse state than the original one. Have faith in God. Keep talking to God, in your heart and mind and pray for Divine assistance. You are bound to succeed if your faith is absolute.

Premarital sex, adultery and sex for the purpose of pleasure are exploitations of the innate process of procreation—to play our part in the Cosmic beloved’s dream—to give a soul an opportunity to come into this realm for the highest goal of Self-realization.

Sense pleasures require no high degree of perception and identification with them is the downfall of man. Brahmacharya is the conservation of life force for the purpose of God-realization. It is a vow of complete self control. Success in yoga is not possible without brahmacharya.