If you can remain as an Akhanda Brahmachari, an unbroken celibate, for a period of twelve years, you will realize God immediately without any further Sadhana. You will have achieved the goal of life. In a narrow sense, Brahmacharya is celibacy. In a broad sense, it is absolute control of all the senses.
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It is quite possible for a man to practice celibacy while remaining in the world, albeit there are various sorts of temptations and distractions. Many have achieved this in times of yore. There are many even at the present moment also. A well disciplined life, a Sattvic and moderate diet, study of religious scriptures, Satsanga, Japa, Dhyana, Pranayama, daily introspection and enquiry, self-analysis and self-correction, Sadachara, practice of Yama and Niyama, physical, verbal and mental Tapas in accordance with the teachings of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Gita - all will pave a long way in the attainment of this end.
People have an irregular, unrighteous, immoderate, irreligious, undisciplined life. Hence they suffer, and fail in the achievement of the goal of life. Just as the elephant throws sand on its own head, so also, they themselves bring difficulties and troubles on their own heads on account of their foolishness. Those who practice brahmacharya generally complain that they get mental fatigue owing to continence.
This is only a deception of the mind. You get sometimes a pseudo-hunger, whereas, when you actually sit for dinner, you have no real good appetite and you do not take any food. So also, there is a false mental fatigue. If you observe brahmacharya, you will have immense mental strength. You will not be able to feel it always. You will manifest it when the occasion arises, in the same way as a wrestler manifests his physical strength in the arena, though he feels as normal man in ordinary times.
Continence is not harmful. It conserves energy. It gives immense strength and peace. Sexual indulgence leads to moral and spiritual bankruptcy, premature death, and loss of faculties, talents and capacities. The practice of celibacy is not attended with any danger or any dire disease or undesirable result such as the various sorts of complex which are wrongly attributed to it by the Western psychologists.
They have no practical knowledge of the subject on hand. They have got a wrong, ill-founded imagination that the ungratified sex energy assumes in disguise the various forms of complex such as the touch phobia.
The complex is due to some other causes. It is a morbid state of mind due to excessive jealousy, hatred, anger, worry and depression brought about by various causes. On the contrary, even a little self-restraint or a little practice of continence is an ideal pick-me-up. It gives inner strength and peace of mind. It invigorates the mind and nerves. It helps to conserve physical and mental energy.
It augments memory, will-force and brain-power. It bestows tremendous strength, vigour and vitality. It renovates the system or constitution, rebuilds the cells and tissues, energises digestion and gives power to face the difficulties in the daily battle of life. The special virtues of endurance and bravery are intimately connected with the cultivation of chastity. A perfect celibate can move the world, can stop the ocean-waves like Lord Jesus, can blow up mountains, can command nature and the five elements like Jnana Dev.
There is nothing in the three worlds that cannot be achieved by him. All Siddhis and Riddhis roll under his feet. A foolish argument of the Epicureans Some ignorant people say: "It is not right to check passion. We must not go against nature. Why has God created young beautiful women? There must be some sense, in His creation. We should enjoy them and procreate as many as possible.
We should keep up the progeny of the line. If all people become Sannyasins and go to forests, what will become of this world? It will come to an end. If we check passion, we will get disease. We must get plenty of children. There is happiness in the house when we have abundant children. The happiness of married life cannot be described in words. It is the be-all and end-all of life. I do not like Vairagya, Tyaga, Sannyasa and Nivritti.
They are the direct descendants of Charvaka and Virochana. They are life-members of the Epicurean school of thought. Gluttonism is their goal of life. They have a very large following. They are friends of Satan.
Admirable is their philosophy! When they lose their property, wife and children, when they suffer from, an incurable disease, they will say, "O God, free me from this horrible disease. Forgive me my sins. I am a great sinner. Not a single disease comes by checking passion.
On the contrary, you will get immense power, joy and peace. There are also effective methods to control passion. One should reach Atman, which is beyond nature, by going against nature. Just as a fish swims upstream against the current in a river, so also, you will have to move against the worldly currents of evil forces.
Then alone can you have Self-realization. Passion is an evil force; and it should be checked if you want to enjoy undecaying Atmic bliss. Sexual pleasure is no pleasure at all. It is a mental delusion. It is attended with dangers, pain, fear, exertion and disgust. If you know Yoga or the science of Atman, you can very easily control the dire malady, which is passion. God wants you to enjoy the bliss of Atman, which can be had by renouncing all these pleasures of this world.
These beautiful women and wealth are the instruments of Maya to delude you and entrap you into her nets. If you wish to remain always as a worldly man with low thoughts, debasing desires, you can by all means do so. You are at perfect liberty. You can marry three hundred and fifty wives and procreate as many children.
Nobody can check you. But you will soon find that this world cannot give you the satisfaction you want, because all objects are conditioned in time, space and causation.
There are death, disease, old age, cares, worries and anxieties, fear, loss, disappointment failure, abuse, heat, cold, snake-bites, scorpion-stings, earthquakes and accidents. You cannot at all find rest of mind even for a single second. As your mind is filled with passion and impurity, your understanding is clouded and your intellect is perverted now. You are not able to understand the illusory nature of the universe and the ever-lasting bliss of Atman. Passion can be effectively checked. There are potent methods.
After checking passion, you will enjoy real bliss from within - from Atman. All men cannot become Sannyasins. They have various ties and attachments. They are passionate and cannot, therefore, leave the world. They are pinned to their wives, children and property. Your proposition is wholly wrong. It is Asambhava. It is impossible. Then, why do you bring in this absurd proposition? This is an ingenious trick of your mind to support your foolish arguments and satanic philosophy, which has passion and sexual gratification as its important tenets.
Do not talk like this in future. This exposes your foolishness and passionate nature. Do not bother yourself about this world. Mind your own business. God is all-powerful. Even if this world is completely evacuated when all people retire to the forests, God will immediately create crores of people by mere willing, within the twinkling of an eye.
This is not your look-out. Find out methods to eradicate your passion.
Swami Sivananda Saraswati
It is quite possible for a man to practice celibacy while remaining in the world, albeit there are various sorts of temptations and distractions. Many have achieved this in times of yore. There are many even at the present moment also. A well disciplined life, a Sattvic and moderate diet, study of religious scriptures, Satsanga, Japa, Dhyana, Pranayama, daily introspection and enquiry, self-analysis and self-correction, Sadachara, practice of Yama and Niyama, physical, verbal and mental Tapas in accordance with the teachings of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Gita - all will pave a long way in the attainment of this end. People have an irregular, unrighteous, immoderate, irreligious, undisciplined life. Hence they suffer, and fail in the achievement of the goal of life.
PRACTICE OF BRAHMACHARYA
Sense impulses and biological urges are common to animal and man alike. Sex is one of the prominent, most important and absolutely essential aspects of human, animal as well as plant life. While this aspect of life is regulated by nature in plants and by instinct in animals, in man it is left to his common-sense, intelligence and his developed reason to control and regulate the same. The vast and ancient scriptures of the world offer human society specific rules and regulations in this respect. But alas, in the present-day world, and more particularly among the educated class, in all walks of society and in all age groups, norms of conduct laid down by the scriptures are flouted with so much impunity that we see, all around us, the number of physical, mental and moral wrecks increasing every day. Swami Sivananda came on the Indian scene, in the early thirties, to blast this ignorance of the people by offering the hoary wisdom of the ancients through the media of his simple English writings. It is well known that spiritual treatises apart, the great Master, whose love for mankind knew no bounds, wrote a number of books concerning health, hygiene and medicine.