Greatly inspiring brahmacharya (celibacy) quotes
Posted by Gopal on April 4, 2009
- The article updated last on 22nd Apr, 2013.
- Yahoo-groups for brahmacharya aspiransts: for males only and for females only.
- Read other brahmacharya articles here, here, here and here
- My views on marriage have completely changed in last 2 years. My latest view is that every spiritual aspirant should get married to an intellectually and spiritually compatible spouse after crossing the age of 25 provided one can find such a spouse and is emotionally and financially strong and then after having 1-2 kids before 29-30 or 32-33, both spouses should practise lifelong celibacy. (Under the age of 30 is Ramakrishna Mission’s upper age limit for monk aspirants, set by Swami Vivekananda himself and also the age when Buddha started his quest for spiritual realization and 32-33 is the upper age limit in the writings of Swami Sivananda for starting lifelong celibacy. Anyone doing it later than 33 will not be able to achieve full spiritual realization without the direct grace of a Self-Realized sage.) Such spiritual householder’s life will ensure that our most disciplined and spiritual people maintain their progeny line and help propagate their high quality desirable genes to next generation. If both spouses are spiritual, maintaining celibacy for whole life after 1-2 kids before 29-30 or 32-33 is quite in the range if they both sincerely follow insights and techniques shared on this blog apart from the technique of avoiding any completely private meeting with each other which Gandhiji also followed with respect to Kasturba Gandhi after his lifelong celibacy vows in 1906 and which is what even Sannyasins follow with respect to every member of opposite gender. I whole-heartedly endorse such a spiritual householder’s life over Sannyas for every spiritual aspirant on account of its greater benefits for society without any damage to one’s prospects for spiritual realization.
- 12 years’ unbroken brahmacharya (celibacy) and kundalini awakening
- Why at least 12 years of unbroken brahmacharya (celibacy)?
- Perfect brahmacharya (celibacy) and Ajna Chakra
- Kundalini continues to fall down to 3rd or lower chakras due to break of brahmacharya (celibacy)
- Spiritual aspirant must practice brahmacharya (celibacy) for at least 12 years for kundalini awakening
- Have a spiritual attitude towards opposite gender.
- Wake up during brahmamuhurtha.
- Practise brahmacharya (celibacy) at mental level also by using these means.
- Have greatly inspiring goals to channel your energies.
- Practise visual celibacy with full sincerity and “better safe than sorry” approach for at least first 20 years of continuous celibacy practice.
- Use daily auto-suggestion and regular reading of greatly inspiring brahmacharya quotes to strengthen the brahmacharya sanskara (impression of subconscious mind) and resolve for whole life.
- Eat only sattvic food.
- Balance male and female energies in order to awaken sushumna channel and have a natural, blissful state of brahmacharya.
- Good techniques to make dreams brahmacharya-friendly
- Brahmacharya practice – dealing with bad days
- Use reward system of brahmacharya-friendly sense pleasures to keep the mind happy in the initial phase (first 6 years) of brahmacharya practice.
- How to bounce back from brahmacharya failure and take steps to ensure unbroken brahmacharya practice from now on?
I alphabetically sort below names for the convenience of the readers. The sorting is done only in below table: the contents may not be sorted as per the sorted names below.
- Quotes by Baba Lokenath (a 19th century enlightened sage)
- Quotes by Dadasri (an enlightened sage from Gujarat)
- Quotes by Jesus Christ
- Quotes by Mahatma Gandhi
- Quotes by Osho
- Quotes by Sai Baba of Shirdi
- Quotes by Sri Adi Shankaracharya
- Quotes by Sri Anandamayi Ma
- Quotes by Sri Aurobindo
- Quotes by Sri Prabhupada, ISKCON founder
- Quotes by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
- Quotes by Sri Sri Ravishankar (the founder of “The Art of Living” organization)
- Quotes by Swami Brahmananda (an enlightened disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a Gurubhai/brother-disciple of Swami Vivekananda)
- Quotes by Swami Chidananda (a Self-Realized sage; a disciple of Swami Sivananda)
- Quotes by Swami Krishnananda (a Self-Realized sage; a disciple of Swami Sivananda)
- Quotes by Swami Samartha (Akkalkot Swami)
- Quotes by Swami Sivananda (a Self-Realized sage; the founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh)
- Quotes by Swami Turiyananda (an enlightened disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a Gurubhai/brother-disciple of Swami Vivekananda)
- Quotes by Swami Vivekananda (the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa)
- Quotes from Spiritual Scriptures and Internet
This post is a collection of greatly inspiring brahmacharya(celibacy) quotes which I use for reading of brahmacharya(celibacy) quotes for 5 min every day just after finishing my early morning meditation as well as just before night sleep. When I do this reading I also practise “Nadi Shodhana Basic“ (involving no internal or external retention) as there is no point in doing spiritual reading without doing “Nadi Shodhana Basic” pranayama. One should use time intelligently and hence, one should definitely do “Nadi Shodhana Basic” also while doing any type of spiritually reading – this is called ”killing two birds with the same arrow” in Hindi and shows how intelligently one can spend one’s time if only one applies one’s mind a bit more than one usually does . I do recommend 5-10 min of brahmacharya reading in morning as well as before night sleep for every serious spiritual aspirant in at least first 12 years of their unbroken brahmacharya practice. Why? Because lust is present in even deeper layers of our subconscious mind and hence, we need to wash our mind daily with the water of brahmacharya quotes so that the dirt of lust gets removed from the mind and our brahmacharya sanskara becomes fully strong. This rule is most important in the first 12 years of brahmacharya practice as during first 12 years, everyone faces great chances for downfall and hence, everyone needs to strengthen brahmacharya sanskara daily by reading brahmacharya quotes for 5-10 min in the morning as well as before night sleep.) Please Click here to go to quotes section directly, but in case you want to learn more about my quest for Samadhi (and hence, “akhand brahmacharya”/”unbroken celibacy”) and my approach for being in akhand brahmacharya whole life, continue reading below. And in case you have some doubts on the benefits of brahmacharya, then please do read this post as well.
Since akhand brahmacharya (unbroken celibacy) for minimum 12 years at-a-stretch is a sine-qua-non (an absolute must) for awakening Kundalini and realizing Self-bliss, every spiritual aspirant needs to use all tricks of mind to achieve this state. Brahmacharya was quite challenging even in old times when there were no glossy newspaper, magazines, television, movies and internet, so what to say of present times. The problem becomes particularly tricky in light of huge bombardment of mind in today’s world with all kinds of lust-exciting images – combine that with mind’s automatic fascination with any intense sense-pleasure and you get a perfect recipe for Action-thriller movie like Spiderman/Rambo playing inside the mind of every spiritual aspirant, where the hero faces overwhelmingly tricky situations and obstacles, which he/she must surmount at all costs to realize the eventual goal of Self-bliss.
Because, nature requires a fixed quantum of energy for any major change. For example, water has a tendency to flow downward. If it gets heated, it does not boil unless and until heat energy increases water’s temperature to 100 degree centigrade. And once that happens, water starts boiling and getting converted into vapor. Now, see the contrast between water and vapor: water flows downward, whereas vapor flows upward; water is liquid and visible to eyes, whereas vapor is gaseous and becomes invisible after merging into atmosphere. Exactly the same happen with pranic energy – when it manifests at the level of lust, the tendency of this energy is to move outward and downward, degrading our consciousness level to animal level – this state is comparable to the water state. But, when after gathering pranic energy for (at least) 12 years without any break in celibacy is achieved, the pranic energy manifests at higher levels of creativity and spiritual bliss, moving more inward and upward – compare this state to the vapor state. And compare the 12 years’ practice of unbroken celibacy to gathering enough heat to make water temperature 100 degree centrigade in order to convert it into the vapor state.
Now, the only issue is – in spiritual life, bliss comparable to (in fact, superior to, as per our yogis) lustful pleasure arises after 12 years’ unbroken, continuous celibacy, when kundalini reaches the higher centers of Agya/Sahasrar Chakras – of course, once this happens, mind loses all interest in lustful pleasure as one would naturally prefer to enjoy more intense and permanent spiritual bliss over momentary and spiritually degrading lustful pleasure. Thereafter, one becomes firmly established in effortless, natural celibacy. But, till this happens, the mind continues to feel some attraction towards lustful pleasure and is always prone to an unfortunate break in brahmacharya practice – a downfall which makes one start all over again the process of 12 years’ akhand brahamacharya practice.
In fact, the role of brahmacharya is so important that it is proper to understood it with as much clarity as possible. For this, let us have a broad understanding of the science of kundalini:
- Kundalini is the most refined form of vital energy (maha-prana) present in every being. It guides the physical, mental and spiritual evolution of all beings. Its activity is guided by nature in case of all beings except humans. In case of humans, there is freedom to guide the activity of kundalini because with humans conscious evolution through self-effort becomes possible.
- When kundalini resides in the lower 2 chakras (Muladhara and Swadhistana), the mind is primarily tamasic in nature.
- When kundalini resides in the 3rd chakra (Manipura – navel center), the mind is tamasic plus rajasic.
- When kundalini resides in the 4th chakra (anahata – heart center), the mind is sattvic plus rajasic.
- When kundalini comes to the 5th chakra (Vishuddhi – throat center), the mind is pure sattvic.
- The 6th chakra (Ajna) is also pure sattvic. Here, the duality of subject and object begins and hence, when kundalini reaches this centre, one is almost completely free from all forms of duality, including male-female duality. But, 100% freedom happens only when kundalini reaches the 7th chakra (Sahasrar).
- And when kundalini reaches the 7th chakra (Sahasrar), mind dissolves into pure consciousness and experience of samadhi (absolute oneness or pure silence) happens.
So, let us come to the point how to do away with such chances for brahamacharya break?
Brahmacharya is the movement from passion to peace and then, from peace to bliss.
Brahmacharya hai satya ka dwaar.
Isme milta hai anand apaar.
English meaning: Brahmacharya (celibacy) is the gateway to supreme truth: one enjoys infinite bliss through brahmacharya (celibacy).
Brahmacharya tips ( the list is quite comprehensive and immensely practical):
(1) Have a spiritual attitude towards opposite gender. Consider every person of opposite gender as mother, sister or daughter (father, brother or son for female aspirants) depending on the age or consider every person as Self or Consciousness. If you are already married and have children, consider the spouse as just a friend, sleep separately and practice complete brahmacharya despite being a family-person – that is a must if you want to have a decent chance for the ultimate spiritual success of Self-Realization or the good-enough spiritual success of kundalini reaching 6th centre (Ajna Chakra).
(2) Wake up during brahmamuhurtha. Waking up at 3 am or latest by 4 am (3 am – 7 am is most suited for reaching more joyous state during thoughtless awareness practice, as the entire atmosphere is free from thought vibrations and hence peaceful/sattvic, thus naturally deeper and more joyous state of thoughtless awareness – which is 100% peace/sattva – is realized during this period.”) and doing thoughtless awareness practice for as many hours as possible. Since lust is a rajasic (passionate) quality, with more increase in sattva, brahmacharya automatically becomes more easy and natural. Sushumna awakens automatically during this period and kundalini automatically ascends up the spine. Anyone aiming at full celibacy must develop the solid routine of waking up between 3 am – 4 am and utilizing time till 7 am in yoga, meditation (thoughtless awareness) and other creative activities like self-study, etc. This alone will solve more than 90% of difficulties one faces in the practise of full celibacy. No wonder, all our true sannyasins wake up during 3 am to 4 am. Most people find celibacy so hard because they sleep even in this golden period of 3 am to 7 am when the whole nature is supporting the awakening of sushumna, raising up of kundalani and hence, a natural, fast-paced evolution of our awareness. So, this rule is exceptionally important for all sadhaks. Swami Sivananda’s first instruction in “20 Important Spiritual Instructions” is: “Get up at 4 a.m. daily. This is Brahmamuhurta which is extremely favourable for Sadhana. Do all your morning spiritual Sadhana during this period from 4 a.m. to 6:30 or 7 a.m. Such Sadhana gives quick and maximum progress.” I wrote “wake up daily during 3 am to 4 am” because some effect of brahmamuhurtha is present even before 4 am and even after 6 am (Brahmamuhurtha has different definitions on internet, but one can consider 4 am to 6 am as the reasonably accurate brahmamuhurtha period). For detailed tips on how to develop early morning routine, please read “How to wake by 4 am everyday?“.
- “Whole-hearted welcome, chant and listen to the sound of chanting” technique. Please note that this is the only recommended technique to deal with brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts – rest techniques after this one are given just for the sake of completeness. This is because this technique produces equal or better results than all below techniques while taking the least amount of time and effort and can be done by everyone irrespective of physical or health situation. It involves below 2 steps:
- Whenever any brahmacharya-unfriendly thought comes to the mind, say 3-4 times “Welcome” to whole-heartedly welcome this thought. This step will ensure that you do not indulge in fighting the lustful thought directly because these thoughts will occur thousands of time and not just a couple of times till you get established in perfect celibacy. So, direct fighting is plain foolishness – what is needed is indirect, subtle diversion or conversion of the energy of lust into spiritual energy of ojas through this technique.
- Now, chant a mantra verbally and not mentally (I recommend “Gayatri mantra” or “Hare Krishna” (ISKCON) mantra unless you have some other preference or a Guru-mantra) at a medium speed (no need to make it too slow or too fast as too slow is not effective to deal with powerful passions and too fast just fuels wrong attitude of fighting rather than diverting/transforming the current state of mind) and listen to the sound of this mantra. Listening to the sound is indispensable for concentration of mind on sound – only with this concentration, lustful thought vanishes due to lack of attention from the mind. So, do not neglect this all important thing. Listen to the sound as you listen to any song played on player or youtube. Do this as long as needed to free the mind from brahmacharya-unfriendly thought.
This is a most amazing technique. Its “slow chanting” version should also be used for inducing a good sleep at night as explained in this article – “Sound and quick sleep” technique. This techniques works quite well on all days except when it is a clear case of “bad days” (climactic state of lust) for which the appropriate technique has been described in “Brahmacharya practice – dealing with bad days“.
- Use “internal breath-retention cum whole-hearted welcome” technique. [[[Please do not do this technique in last couple of hours before sleep because by increasing energy level, internal breath-retention makes it difficult to fall asleep. Use "external breath-retention cum whole-hearted welcome" technique described below in such case.]]] In the main variation of this technique, you whole-heartedly welcome the brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts in below manner: “Inhale fully and hold yourself in the state of internal breath-retention as long as possible. Once you are in the state of internal breath-retention, say 3-5 times WELCOME to welcome brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts and then in the state of internal breath-retention, try to continue doing your current work whether it is study, walking, etc. (any work which does not require the use of mouth may be done in the state of internal breath-retention) – to add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique. Whenever you feel like exhaling, exhale fully and then again inhale fully, repeating this technique. Keep on repeating this till your mind gets completely free from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts and focussed on your present task.” This technique is very effective as you are not trying to remove brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts from mind directly – rather you are welcoming these brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts. This makes the mind flexible because of your welcoming attitude, but in the state of internal breath-retention, thinking process of mind gets reduced in intensity completely because in this state prana/”vital energy” becomes quite still which in turn makes the mind still - to add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique because making the body still/motionless also helps making the mind still/thoughtless. Hence, with few times’ repetition of this technique, your mind gets completely free from all brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts. This technique uses the psychology of “your mind wants to do what you tell it not to do” combined with the power of internal breath-retention to completely free the mind from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts. This technique in my opinion is much more powerful than “external breath-retention cum whole-hearted welcome” described below primarily because internal breath-retention can be easily done for more than 20 seconds again and again for 5-10 minutes whereas external breath-retention cannot be due to it making us feel out of breath. That’s why this technique has been placed in number 1 position. The main variation is the best because we need not lose precious time away from our current work while using it. But, there are two more variations which can be used when main variation does not prove to be effective enough which can happen when brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts manifest with more than mild intensity.
- One variation to this technique is: ”Inhale fully and hold yourself in the state of internal breath-retention as long as possible. Once you are in the state of internal breath-retention, say 3-5 times WELCOME to welcome brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts and then in the state of internal breath-retention, try to watch the fantasies with a non-judgmental attitude (this attitude is also known as choiceless awareness or witnessing and under this, you do not apply label of good/bad, pleasant/unpleasant, virtuous/vicious, etc. to the thoughts in mind) – to add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique. Whenever you feel like exhaling, exhale fully and then again inhale fully, repeating this technique. Keep on repeating this till your mind gets completely free from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts.“
- One more variation to this technique is: “Inhale fully and hold yourself in the state of internal breath-retention as long as possible. Once you are in the state of internal breath-retention, say 3-5 times WELCOME to welcome brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts and then in the state of internal breath-retention, focus your attention on the midpoint between two eyebrows and chant Om or some other mantra, preferably a small one, repeatedly - to add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique. Whenever you feel like exhaling, exhale fully and then again inhale fully, repeating this technique. Keep on repeating this till your mind gets completely free from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts. This variation is also equally effective and will be liked by many people because the vibration of Om-chanting is very soothing.”
- Use “external breath-retention cum whole-hearted welcome” technique. In the main variation of this technique, you whole-heartedly welcome the brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts in below manner: “Throw out entire breath and hold yourself in the state of external breath-retention as long as possible. Once you are in the state of external breath-retention, say 3-5 times WELCOME to welcome brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts and then in the state of external breath-retention, try to continue doing your current work whether it is study, walking, etc. (any work which does not require the use of mouth may be done in the state of external breath-retention) - to add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique because making the body still/motionless also helps making the mind still/thoughtless. Whenever you feel like inhaling, inhale fully and then again throw out the breath, repeating this technique. Keep on repeating this till your mind gets completely free from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts.” This technique is very effective as you are not trying to remove brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts from mind directly – rather you are welcoming these brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts. This makes the mind flexible because of your welcoming attitude, but in the state of external breath-retention due to a very high relaxation of entire nervous system, brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts automatically come down to a very faint level of intensity which dies off completely with few times repetition of this technique and thus, your mind gets completely free from all brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts. This technique uses the psychology of “your mind wants to do what you tell it not to do” combined with the power of external breath-retention to completely free the mind from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts. The main variation is the best because we need not lose precious time away from our current work while using it. But, there are two more variations which can be used when main variation does not prove to be effective enough which can happen when brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts manifest with more than mild intensity.
- One variation to this technique is: ”Throw out entire breath and hold yourself in the state of external breath-retention as long as possible. Once you are in the state of external breath-retention, say 3-5 times WELCOME to welcome brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts and then in the state of external breath-retention, try to watch the fantasies with a non-judgmental attitude (this attitude is also known as choiceless awareness or witnessing and under this, you do not apply label of good/bad, pleasant/unpleasant, virtuous/vicious, etc. to the thoughts in mind) - to add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique because making the body still/motionless also helps making the mind still/thoughtless. Whenever you feel like inhaling, inhale fully and then again throw out the breath, repeating this technique. Keep on repeating this till your mind gets completely free from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts.“
- One more variation to this technique is: “Throw out entire breath and hold yourself in the state of external breath-retention as long as possible. Once you are in the state of external breath-retention, say 3-5 times WELCOME to welcome brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts and then in the state of external breath-retention, focus your attention on the midpoint between two eyebrows and chant Om or some other mantra, preferably a small one, repeatedly.“ - to add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique. Whenever you feel like inhaling, inhale fully and then again throw out the breath, repeating this technique. Keep on repeating this till your mind gets completely free from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts. This variation is also equally effective and will be liked by many people because the vibration of Om-chanting is very soothing.
- 5-10 min maha bandha (or uddiyana bandha) continuously. During maha bandha, one can vigorously chant some mantra also and focus the mind on the sound of mantra by trying to listen the sound – then, the effect will be more. Instead of chanting mantra, you can also give some affirmation like “I am a lifelong celibate and will always remain so” or “If this illusion/maya can give this level of joy, what a level of joy one will get by established in the Reality behind this illusion/maya?” (Set up some alarm or timer of 5-10 min so that you can focus 100% on technique.) This will transform the excess energy of lust into intellectual energy by pulling up the nerve currents up the spine towards brain centres, thus giving us more mental powers of thinking, concentration and memory. This is definitely one of the most effective techniques for dealing instantly with strong bouts of lust as it directly pulls up the nerve currents up the spine thereby calming excitation in lower centers and automatically makes the mind blank and hence free from lustful thoughts due to the natural effect of external breath-retention. So, this is one of our top recommendations for dealing with lustful thoughts.
- Practise some thoughtless awareness technique to remove such thoughts from mind. These techniques have been described in this article and this document.
- Watch some brahmacharya-friendly comedy movies/shows or read some comedy materials like jokes etc. for 10-15 minutes. This sattvic laughter caused by comedy will sublimate rajasic lust quite effectively.
- Rigorous physical exercises like running fast, jogging, dand-baithak, muscle building exercises, etc. till you feel quite tired. (Excess energy of lust will get spent usefully in physical work then.)
- Indulge in your dearest hobbies like music, swimming, dancing, painting, writing blogs/articles, etc. (Excess energy of lust will get spent usefully in enjoying your hobbies then)
- Indulge in mental work on most interesting topics (Excess energy of lust will get spent usefully in enjoying the process of learning and development then)
- Talk aloud for 10-15 min or so till you become completely exhausted – this talk can be in the form of reading a good book/magazine aloud or practising oratory skill by giving long lectures on some topics so till you are fully exhausted. (Excess energy of lust will get spent usefully in practice of reading or oratory then. )
- As a last resort, give up next meal – please read about details on the amazing power of this technique in this article.
- My guess is above things can be used to channel excess energy of anger also into constructive channels – like I feel great anger on something, I can give lecture for next 10-15 min or so on that issue aloud till I get exhausted or do physical exercises or indulge in hobbies or mental work on interesting areas. Both, lust and anger are excess energy in us which if not given a constructive channel, drag us to the sewer of crudeness and beastliness. But, when they are given a constructive channel, they will get utilized effectively in positive work.
(4) Have greatly inspiring goals to channel your energies. This is one of the most important and rather the most important thing for a brahmacharya aspirant. Brahmacharya practice is a great tapasya (penance) – to succeed at it, one needs to have greatly inspiring goals in both short-term as well as long-term. Otherwise one will not be able to motivate oneself for brahmacharya practice. Such inspiring goals can be artistic, intellectual, spiritual or social. Even if one’s goal is not lifelong celibacy, but celibacy for 1-2 years or so, one will still not do without some greatly inspiring goals. So much energy left with oneself due to celibacy needs to be channelized with perfect focus and dedication towards great goals. As a corollary to this insight, even in one’s daily routine, one should show extreme perseverance.
For instance, I have the intellectual goal to develop a phenomenal memory and spiritual goal to awaken Ajna Chakra fully by 2025 (if not full Self-Realization). Apart from these long-term goals, I also keep on maintaining greatly inspiring goals in short run. Thus, my mind gets ready for lifelong celibacy, otherwise I am not born with any high spiritual power for undertaking the giant task of lifelong celibacy.
So, please develop such greatly inspiring goals in both short-term and long-term to succeed at brahmacharya practice.
(5) Practise visual celibacy with full sincerity and “better safe than sorry” approach for at least first 20 years of continuous celibacy practice. Avoid looking at sensually exciting images in books, magazines, internet and videos. Eye should be kept in brahmacharya state, only then success in brahmacharya practice is possible for anyone. All precautions should be taken by following “better safe than sorry” approach with respect to environmental factors for at least first 20 years of continuous celibacy practice. This is because Maya is so treacherous that any over-confident step in dealing with environmental factors can destroy the whole brahmacharya penance even after many decades of continuous brahmacharya practice. Generally, if one has been practising celibacy for many years, one will not experience downfall in the first or second instance of getting exposed to wrong environment. This produces a nasty self-confidence in the spiritual aspirant and then he/she gladly exposes him/herself to wrong environment again thinking that he/she has reached a high stage and would not suffer from downfall. And then, Maya strikes hard and destroys the celibacy practice of the aspirant and aspirant is left to cry over how it can happen to him/her. In the parlance of Cricket, we can say, if spiritual aspirant is a batsman, Maya first throws 5 outswinging balls due to which batsman develops gap between bat and pad. Thereafter, Maya throws an inswinging ball which strikes down the wicket through gap between bat and pad. Thus, the great Bowler Maya cleans bold spiritual aspirant by playing very cunning tricks upon him/her. In the parlance of Tennis, we can say, Maya first have a long rally with spiritual aspirant and when spiritual aspirant is before baseline and confident that next shot from Maya will also be a forehand/backhand, Maya plays a drop-shot and the spiritual aspirant loses the rally. And this can happen even after decades of celibacy practice. So, spiritual aspirants should play safe for at least first 20 years of continuous celibacy practice vis-a-vis brahmacharya-unfriendly environment. The only safety is when Kundalini reaches Ajna Chakra or Sahasrar leading to full Self-Realization. In this stage, the production of reproductive elements stop and one remains aware even during sleep – so, these are the accurate markers to gauge whether one has reached the high stage in spirituality. Foolish exposure to wrong environments, before reaching either of these two stages of Kundalini reaching Ajna or Sahasrar, will bring a nasty downfall only. So, beware!
One of my most important recommendations for successful visual celibacy (which I myself intend to follow whole life) is explained in this section” – it consists of giving daily celibacy auto-suggestion in “write and read aloud repeatedly” mode for 5-15 rounds in the morning to strengthen brahmacharya sanksara – please read that section to learn more.
One must fully avoid intentionally looking at or talking to beautiful girls (handsome boys for female aspirants) as part of visual celibacy practice. Intentionally word here denotes willfully seeking pleasure through appreciating the beauty of opposite gender – this is totally harmful for brahmacharya aspirants because this visual pleasure directly lead to manifestation of lust at once or some time later in gross or subtle form. Innocent, aesthetic appreciation of beauty is an ideal which does not work practically in male-female context except when it is spontaneous and lasting only for moments rather than not for seconds and minutes. If the eyes fall on someone and mind appreciates his/her beauty quotient spontaneously, that is fine. Take off the eyes at once after being done with your spontaneous appreciation because the problem of mental celibacy trouble happens when we willfully look at such persons to willful seek mental pleasure. Talking to such persons when genuinely needed is not a trouble, but talking to them to seek mental pleasure is totally against the interests of brahmacharya aspirants.
An exception to this visual celibacy principle can be made for the phase in 20s when we are actively looking for life-partners or are in the process of making a family because my philosophy is all for marriages (including love marriages – love marriages fail only when we do not practise celibacy seriously even as a bachelor because then our vibes are themselves of lower quality and in a confused state making the possibility of finding the right life-partner through love-affairs out of question) and then celibacy from 29-30 onward. (Though 32-33 is the age which Swami Sivananda has given in his writings, lifelong celibacy from 29-30 onward is my personal philosophy recommended to all my admirers/friends and is in tune with Swami Vivekananda’s monastic age-limit rule for Ramakrishna Mission and the age when Buddha and Mahavira also started lifelong celibacy practice.)
- You should create a very difficult password (so that you cannot bypass the filter) and make any of your friend or firstname.lastname@example.org (ref: to http://www.guardyoureyes.org/?p=24) or email@example.com as the administrator for the filter. If you need any change in filter settings, ask your friend to make it for you rather than risking your downfall by asking him/her password for making the change yourself – this is a must till you have practised at least 20 years of continuous celibacy.
- Additional Note: In case you visit a cyber-cafe, it may not have installed any such filter to earn more money by getting more customers to visit internet for adult content. The best thing for you to do then is to pick a publicly visible place in the cyber-cafe for your internet surfing.
(6) Use daily auto-suggestion and regular reading of greatly inspiring brahmacharya quotes to strengthen the brahmacharya sanskara (impression of subconscious mind) and resolve for whole life. This will inspire you a lot and intensify your motivation. A low motivation is not enough for brahmacharya practice. Only a fully motivated person succeeds in maintaining unbroken celibacy (“akhand brahmacharya”).
Daily auto-suggestion should be given in the morning and in “write and read aloud” mode. “Write and read aloud” mode means write the auto-suggestion once and then read it aloud once and repeat this two-step process for the desired number of rounds or minutes. Writing involves touch (in using the pen) and vision whereas reading aloud involves vision and hearing – hence, all 3 most powerful senses of touch, vision and hearing get utilized in “write and read aloud” mode auto-suggestion, making it most effective. Daily auto-suggestion can be along the following lines: “Mental, visual and physical brahmacharya practice vow: I aim to practise brahmacharya mentally, visually as well as physically in both waking state and dreams with 100% sincerity till so and so date (or till my last breath).” – till so and so date is for temporary brahmacharya practice for few weeks/months/years and till my last breath is for lifelong brahmacharya practice. The number of rounds of this auto-suggestion can vary from 5 to 15 or so depending on past success level in brahmacharya practice. Since the first year is the most challenging year from physical celibacy perspective (after the first year, physical celibacy practice is much easier), in the first year one can give such auto-suggestion for 5 to 15 rounds multiple times in the day. Multiple times should be decided based on the timings when lust troubles you most vigorously. For many people, lust troubles increase a lot at night when they are free and tired (with consequent slacked will-power) after hectic day-work – I am included in this category as more than 80% of my major troubles with lust have always happened at night. In such a case, one can give auto-suggestion for 5-15 rounds in the morning to set the tone for the day and then in the evening also to take care of night time (more rounds to be used for evening auto-suggestion if the trouble of lust is much at night). OR, one can simply give such auto-suggestions only in the evening to save time and rely on morning meditation and hectic day routine to help during the day.
One should also do regular reading of greatly inspiring brahmacharya quotes. One may choose any pattern of reading depending on one’s success level of brahmacharya practice in the past. But, I think spending some time at least once every week is good for every spiritual aspirant till his/her Kundalini reaches Ajna chakra. My personal recommendation for everyone is to spend 5-10 min on brahmacharya quotes in the morning as well as before sleep for at least first 12 years of unbroken brahmacharya sadhana because first 12 years are really challenging for even people having a strong determination – of course, do practise “Nadi Shodhana Basic” also while doing this brahmacharya reading (or for that matter, any type of spiritual reading) to “kill 2 birds with the same arrow” like any intelligent person should definitely do. A calm mind in morning will get easily impressed with these strong thoughts of brahmacharya which, in turn, will substantially speed up our spiritual progress. Since the first year is the most challenging year from physical celibacy perspective (after the first year, physical celibacy practice is much easier), in the first year, one can do such 5-10 min brahmacharya quotes reading multiple times in the day. Multiple times should be decided based on the timings when lust troubles you most vigorously. For many people, lust troubles increase a lot at night when they are free after hectic day-work. In such a case, one can do 5-10 min brahmacharya quotes reading in the morning to set the tone for the day and then in the evening also to take care of night time (more minutes to be used for evening brahmacharya quotes reading if the trouble of lust is much at night). OR, one can simply do such reading only in the evening to save time and rely on morning meditation and hectic day routine to help during the day.
(7) Eat only sattvic food. This is very important for transforming the mind into sattvic state where celibacy becomes fully natural to us. Food has a direct and intimate connection with the mind and plays a vital part in the make-up of the mind. Food has been classified into 3 categories: good (sattvic), passionate (rajasic) and ignorant (tamasic), based on whether it induces good (sattvic), passionate (rajasic) or ignorant (tamasic) states of mind.
- Good diet (also known as sattvic diet in yoga): milk, cream, cheese, butter, curd, ghee, fruits, figs, vegetables, cereals like wheat, rice, barley, etc., peas, sugar-candy, gram, pulse, ginger, myrobalan, lemon, honey.
- Passionate diet (also known as rajasic diet in yoga): fish, eggs, meat, salt, chillies, chutney, asafetida, pickles, tamarind, mustard, sour things, hot, pungent things, tea, coffee, cocoa, ovaltine, white sugar, carrots, turnips, spices.
- Ignorant diet (also known as tamasic diet): garlic, tobacco, rotten things, stale things, unclean things, twice cooked things, all intoxicants, all liquors, all drugs.
Good diet (sattvic diet) calms the mind. Passionate diet (rajasic diet) excites the mind. Ignorant diet (tamasic diet) makes the mind dull and lethargic. Mark the difference in nature between a tiger which lives on flesh and a cow which lives on grass. Food exercises important influence on the mind. One should try one’s best to eat good diet (sattvic diet) only. Also, even good diet (sattvic diet) becomes passionate diet (rajasic diet) if it is eaten too quickly, without chewing it properly. And even good and passionate diets (sattvic and rajasic diets) become ignorant diets (tamasic diet) if they are taken in excess quantity.
(8) Balance male and female energies in order to awaken sushumna channel and have a natural, blissful state of brahmacharya. A question arises in the mind of everyone why celibacy is such a big challenge (at least in the first 12 years). The truth is that sexual energy is really overpowering. It needs an outlet. Most people find out an external outlet, but that does more harm than good by dissipating the physical and mental strength, apart from lowering one’s consciousness level. The problem is if one does not give an external outlet to sexual energy, it needs an internal outlet.
Our inner system has 3 main channels: Ida, Pingala and Sushmna.The qualities of these 3 channels are described below:
|Qualities represented by Ida||Qualities represented by Pingala||Qualities represented by Sushumna|
|vishwa (universal creation)||tejas (fire)||pragya (intuition)|
At a given time, one of these channels is dominant.
- When ida channel is dominant, our right brain (which has faculties of creative imagination, emotion, intuition, big picture thinking) is more active and the breath flows predominantly in our left nostril.
- When pingala channel is dominant, our left brain (which has faculties of logic, analysis, details oriented thinking) is more active and the breath flows predominantly in our right nostril.
- When sushumna channel is active, both our left and right brains act simultaneously and the breath flows evenly in both left and right nostrils. This is the time of the highest creativity. Most creative ideas dawn in the mind as flashes of intuition when sushumna channel is active. This is the time when mind feels natural state of peace and rest while being fully aware. This is the moment when it is so easy to practise concentration and thoughtless awareness meditation. This is the state in which kundalini energy automatically starts ascending up the spine – this movement leads to a very deep and abiding experience of joy.
The extra energy that a celibate has needs an internal outlet through sushumna channel. So, unless sushumna channel is made open properly by balancing male and female energies, the celibacy is well-nigh impossible to practise. Complete opening of sushumna channel takes at least 12 years of spiritual efforts. The key techniques for opening up sushumna are: practising nadi shodhana pranayama, thoughtless awareness meditation (or other types of meditation), waking up during brahmamuhurtha to practise yoga and other creative activities and practising maha bandha. But, all techniques described in this post are important to save us from downfall by cleaning the mind of all lustful sanskara till our sushumna channel is completely active. Oh! What a joy one feels when prana moves upward in sushumna! Then, one realizes what a foolishness it is to fritter our vital energies in enervating and fleeting pleasures when one has the choice to get a deep, continuous joy by opening sushumna channel and making vital energies rise up the sushumna channel. All the attraction for opposite gender exists because male and female energies are not balanced within and the sushumna channel is closed. Once sushumna is fully open after practising full brahmacharya and yoga for 12 years, one forgets all about lust and always experience a natural, blissful state of brahmacharya.
The techniques are described in a separate article here. I will improve them with further experimentation.
Bad days means the days when lust troubles are so intense that despite applying all our normal yoga techniques, the current of lust continues for hours and not just for seconds and minutes. Bad days are the most dangerous days when many aspirants become so desperate that they may experience actual break in celibacy. But, fortunately there is a very foolproof technique of “giving up next 1-2 meals” to deal with such bad days. Please read full details on this here. This technique will completely save brahmacharya aspirants on bad days and instill confidence in them that full brahmacharya practice is within their range. But, try 20-30 min “Nadi Shodhana Basic (NSB)” at a stretch (you should study during NSB practice to use time more efficiently) once or more in a day before accepting it as a bad day. This technique will remove boundary line cases of bad days and thus ensure that bad days frequency is small enough such that it does not look much embarrassing and demoralizing . This recommendation removes boundary line cases of bad days by opening up Shushumna channel (central channel in astral body) and making prana ascends up it from lower sexual centres and thus calming lust through changing the pranic flow upward. 20 min is the minimum at-a-stretch NSB that will be needed in general, but feel free to go for more like 30 min or so as well.
Aspirants should allow themselves the joy of abundant brahmacharya-friendly sense pleasures for at least first 6 years of their continuous brahmacharya practice. This is because brahmacharya is in itself a non-trivial task and we should not try to stop the mind from enjoying even brahmacharya-friendly sense pleasures, as then mind will feel very frustrated and demotivated and is very likely to non-cooperate with us and even bring major downfall to our brahmacharya practice.
The reward system may be random or may be even organised. Organised reward may be spending Rs. 100 or so every Sunday or every second Sunday (or once every 1 or 2 weeks) on some brahmacharya-friendly pleasures to celebrate one week (or two weeks) of success in brahmacharya practice (If one is married, both spouses can together have the brahmacharya-friendly pleasures as both have shown commitment to help each other in brahmacharya practice). Such pleasures are our favourite sattvic food, sweets & snacks, brahmacharya-friendly movies/comedy shows/cartoons, sight-seeing, etc. This type of reward system is very helpful in the initial phase (first 6 years) of brahmacharya practice and I whole-heartedly recommend it to all aspirants. Since the first year is the most challenging year from physical celibacy perspective (after the first year, physical celibacy practice is much easier), many aspirants will find it fruitful to reward oneself with whatever is the most fascinating brahmacharya-friendly sense-pleasure for them once or twice every week (say on every Sunday or on every Sunday and every Wednesday) till they cross the first year of unbroken brahmacharya. For smoothening brahmacharya practice over first few months (say, first 100 days), one can even go for daily reward like daily snacks/sweets or brahmacharya-friendly cartoons/videos etc. depending on time and money constraint. After crossing the first year, the reward frequency can be safely brought down to once every 2 weeks or so.
This is one of the issues on which a good guidance is needed. Serious brahmacharya break is break of physical celibacy or break of visual celibacy. In order to bounce back from such serious brahmacharya failure in a way such that unbroken brahmacharya practice is ensured from now on, please understand and practise the following instructions:
- Do not break physical celibacy even if visual and mental celibacy get completely broken due to slips. This is possible by a strong application of will-power and self-dialogue that if you end up breaking even physical celibacy, then what is left of your celibacy efforts of the past – literally nothing from spiritual perspective or even intellectual perspective if you are chasing 12-years’ continuous celibacy practice for developing good intellectual powers. When the physical urge is devastatingly strong, you can save your physical celibacy by 20-30 min “Nadi Shodhana Basic (NSB) at a stretch (during which you should study inspiring brahmacharya quotes and other spiritual literature) which may also have to supplemented in the worst type of situations by “give up next meal” technique as explained in point 10 of 12-point formula. If you can save even your physical celibacy despite getting exposed to wrong visual or physical environment, it will strengthen your will a lot for lifelong celibacy practice. We grow through stages. Saving physical celibacy is the first step – saving visual and mental celibacy are later stages. First perfect physical celibacy stage along with sincere efforts for visual and mental celibacy as well – surely you will reach the final goal of perfection in celibacy in thoughts, words and deeds one day. But, if you fail in even physical celibacy on regular basis, there is no hope left then. Hence, this is an all-important suggestion for all celibacy aspirant.
- Visual and physical environmental control from now onward. Even physical break in brahmacharya practice happens due to some visual and physical environmental triggers. So, how can one practise brahmacharya from now on without bringing changes in one’s visual and physical environment when it is so clear in the teachings of all sages that everyone, except those who are already born almost Self-Realized, is prone to break in brahmacharya practice during the first 20 years of brahmacharya practice? There have been instances when celibacy vow got broken even after 10-15 years of celibacy, for example, it happened to a monk friend of Swami Vivekananda. So, for first 20 years, apply “better safe than sorry” rule vis-a-vis all environmental factors. One has to apply lots of mind for visual and physical enviromental control and learn from the successful example of others. Here is the list of suggestions (please read section “Balance male and female energies in order to awaken sushumna channel and have a natural, blissful state of brahmacharya.” above to understand why continuously doing nadi shodhana pranayama in case of brahmacharya failure for a long time that day is so strongly recommended below: it will also help as continuously doing nadi shodhana pranayamafor a long time is a bit uncomfortable for one’s hands and is definitely a very intelligent and fully contructive self-punishment. Of course, you will have to switch the hand for closing nostrils whenever one hand gets tired of doing so – also, feel free to do some reading of spiritual literature or other good study materials some time or even all of the time while practising this technique. You need to do only nadi shodhana basic stage without involving any internal or external retention as breath retention cannot and should not be done for too long time like 30 min or more and also because with basic stage, you are fully free to do some self-study also in case you want to do.):
- If the break in brahmacharya was triggered due to intentionally seeing a particular member of opposite gender, then have a vow – if I do this mistake, I will give up next meal and/or continuously do minimum 30 min nadi shodhana pranayama – and follow this vow today for today’s brahmacharya break. Additional note: If the break is not merely visual, but also physical, in that case rather than 30 min, continuously do minimum 60 min nadi shodhana pranayama. If that member of opposite gender is none but your spouse, please try to avoid meeting him/her alone and in private place – meet him/her in the open place for any talk and not in the bedroom and try to meet when at least someone else (your kids, parents or any other person) can watch both of you. This is exactly the method which Mahatma Gandhi used whole life when he realized that he was getting repeated brahmacharya failures due to private meetings with his spouse. And there is every reason for all householder yogis to use this rule for whole life after 1-2 kids – basically, afe\ter 1-2 kids they have to behave like Sannyasins when it comes to interacting with all members of opposite gender, including their spouses.
- If the break in brahmacharya was triggered due to intentionally seeing romantic/adult pictures or movies or reading romantic/adult materials, then have a vow – if I do this mistake, I will give up next meal and/or invest the same amount of time spent in seeing romatic/adult pictures/movies or reading romantic/adult materials in continuously doing nadi shodhana pranayama – and follow this vow today for today’s brahmacharya break. So, if you spent 1 hr in seeing romantic/adult pictures/movies or reading romantic/adult materials, spend 1 hr continuously in doing nadi shodhana pranayama. Additional note: If the break is not merely visual, but also physical, in that case rather than same amount, invest twice the amount of time, which you spent in lustful activities, in continuously doing nadi shodhana pranayama. Also, use a good internet filter if you have been a victim of romantic/adult material on internet – see more in “Use internet filter – take no risk in the first 20 years of brahmacharya (celibacy) practice.” section above.
- Maintain a brahmacharya diary. Write down your lessons from positive or negative experiences in brahmacharya practice in this diary in this format: “Story: blah, blah, blah. Lesson: Blah, blah, blah.” This will help you a lot as you will know under what particular circumstances, you succeed or fail in brahmacharya practice and also, what techniques have worked the best in the past for you to deal with strong attacks of lust. Whenever you find the mind assaulted with strong bouts of lust, read your brahmacharya diary – you will get clues on how you were able to successful deal with such strong bouts of lust in the past and just use those techniques now to succeed in dealing with lust successfully. Also, never forget to read this brahmacharya diary once every month (like every 1st day of each month) as strong assault from lust has its monthly biological cycle and you need to keep all your brahmacharya lessons from past fresh in your mind to deal with this monthly cycle of strong lust successfully. In case of serious problems with lust in the past, do read your brahmacharya diary at least once every week like on every Sunday morning. This diary technique should be followed till you achieve good understanding of all the factors that bring breakdown in your brahmacharya practice. Once you mitigate these factors and reach the stage of at least 1 year of unbroken brahmacharya, you may find diary technique redundant and do away with it, but you must follow all other points of 12-point formula. Except diary technique, all other techniques explained in 12-point formula have to be followed till Kundalini reaches Ajna Chakra or Sahasrar.
- Completely read this article and the links given here very very attentively and follow all instructions given here in letter and spirit on daily basis without a single break. Then, you are guaranteed to have a sanguine success as these instructions have been gathered after an extremely thorough research of the science of yoga and human psychology. I have done so much efforts not only for myself, but for everyone – and in due time, you will realize that these efforts have produced an invaluable set of techniques for all sincere aspirants aiming at the practice of unbroken/akhand brahmacharya.
Using various websites on internet and some books, I collected the following greatly inspiring, brahmacharya quotes for my 10 min reading every day in the morning, just after finishing early morning meditation practice:
- 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. Mark the word ‘Akhanda’.
- There is another sect called “Dhiryaretas”, or those persons, who, previously a prey to lustful thoughts and deviated from Brahmacharya, later take to the practice of strict celibacy. Such a person, if he practices strict celibacy for twelve years, can acquire superhuman powers. Medha Nadi or Buddhi Nadi is formed in him. By means of this, he can have retentive memory of anything as long as he lives, and he will be in a position to learn all kinds of subjects.By observance of unbroken Brahmacharya in thought, word and deed for a period of full twelve years, one is bestowed even with the vision of God, if one aspires for it. He can solve the most abstruse and complicated problems easily. But, this kind of observance should commence before the thirty-second or the thirty-fourth year.
- In a narrow sense, Brahmacharya is celibacy. In a broad sense, it is absolute control of all the senses. The door of Nirvana (liberation) or perfection is complete Brahmacharya. Celibacy is to a Yogi what electricity is to an electric bulb. Without celibacy no spiritual progress is possible. It is a potent weapon and shield to wage war against the internal evil forces of lust, anger and greed. It serves as a gateway for the bliss beyond, and opens the door of liberation. It contributes perennial joy and uninterrupted bliss. It is the only key to open the Sushumna (the chief among astral tubes in the human body running inside the spinal column) and awaken the Kundalini (the primordial cosmic energy located in the individual).
- An Akhanda Brahmachari, who, for a period of twelve years, has not allowed even a drop of semen to come out, will enter into Samadhi without any effort. Prana and mind are under his perfect control. Bala Brahmacharya is a synonymous term for Akhanda Brahmacharya. An Akhanda Brahmachari has strong Dharana Sakti, Smriti Sakti and Vichara Sakti—power of grasping, retentive memory and power of enquiry. He need not practice Manana and Nididhyasana, reflection and meditation. If he hears the Mahavakya even once, he will at once achieve Self-realization. His intellect is pure, and his understanding is extremely clear. Akhanda Brahmacharins are very, very rare; but there are some. You also can become an Akhanda Brahmachari if you attempt in right earnest.
- People talk of celibacy; but practical men are rare, indeed. A life of continence is really beset with difficulties. It is easy to tame a tiger or a lion or an elephant. It is easy to play with a cobra. It is easy to walk over the fire. It is easy to uproot the Himalayas. It is easy to get victory in the battlefield. But, it is difficult to eradicate lust. Lack of spiritual Sadhana is the main cause for all sexual attractions. Mere theoretical abstention from sensuality will not bring you good results. You must mercilessly cut off all formalities in social life and lead a pious life. Leniency to internal lower tendencies will land you in the region of suffering. Excuse will not be of use in this respect. You must be sincere in your purpose for the sublime life of spirituality. Half-heartedness will leave you in your old state of misery.
- If these mental thought-waves subside you can attain the absolute state of highest peace and bliss. Just as soap cleanses the physical body, even so japa (repetition) of any mantra, dhyana (meditation) and kirtan (chanting), together with the practice of yama and niyama (discipline), cleanse the mind of all impurities. Just as you nourish the physical body with food, even so you will have to give food for the mind and spiritual food for the soul.Only when the modifications cease do you enter the silence. Realise this. Close the eyes, draw in the senses, still the mind, silence the thoughts, sharpen the intellect, purify the citta, meditate on Om and chant it with feeling. Enter the silence. Silence is Atman, the centre – it is in the heart-cave. When the mind runs from one object to another, the state in the interval, wherein you become mindless, is Brahman.
- As the will power in many persons has become very weak, as they had no religious discipline or training in schools and colleges when they were young, and as they are under the sway of materialistic influences, it is necessary for them to go in for seclusion for some weeks, months or years, to practise rigorous japa (repetition of God’s name) and undisturbed meditation.
- The divine light can descend only in a serene mind.
- When there is a desire in the mind, the mind is filled with Rajas. It is in an agitated condition. It is restless and unpeaceful. It will be restless till the desired object is attained. When the object is attained and enjoyed, The mind becomes thoughtless. The functions of the mind cease temporarily. It is filled with Sattva. The mind moves towards Atman. It becomes introvert. The bliss of Atman is reflected in the mind. Really there is no pleasure in the objects. It is only bliss of the Soul inside. Ignorant people attribute the pleasure to the objects. This is a serious mistake.
- DANGER OF REACTION
- You will have to be very careful of reaction. The senses that are put under restraint for some months, or for one or two years, become rebellious if you are not always vigilant and careful. They revolt and drag you out when opportunities arise. Some people, who observe celibacy for one or two years, become more passionate and waste the energy considerably in the end. Some people become incorrigible, moral wrecks also.
- You must not labour under the delusion that you have eradicated 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 may overcome you at any moment. Eternal vigilance and rigorous Sadhana are very essential.
- You may be able to stop copulation for months and years, but there should not be any sexual craving or attraction for the opposite sex. The state of mental celibacy must be kept up even amidst temptations and sickness. Then only you are safe. The senses begin to revolt during times of ailment and also when you come in contact with sense-objects.
- Even advanced aspirants who have made great progress in Yoga should be very careful. They should not mix freely with members of opposite gender. 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. 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.
- You cannot attain perfect celibacy by limited effort. Just as a machine-gun is necessary to kill a powerful enemy, so also, constant, rigorous and 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. The highest effort is necessary. Then you will have sanguine success in this direction.
- Do not court friendship with women. Do not also be very familiar with them. Familiarity with women (men for female aspirants) will eventually end in your destruction. Never, never forget this point.
- Do not mix with members of the opposite sex. Maya works through undercurrents so stealthily that you may not be aware of your actual downfall. The sexual Vasana will assume an aggravated form suddenly without a moment’s notice. You will commit adultery and then repent. Then your character and fame will vanish. Dishonour is more than death. There is no crime more heinous than this. There is no Prayaschitta for this. So beware. Be cautious.
- Do not test your spiritual strength and purity when you are a beginner on the spiritual path. Do not rush into evil associations when you are a spiritual neophyte to show that you have the courage to face sin and impurity. It will be a serious mistake. You will be running into a grave danger. You will have a quick downfall. A small fire will be very easily extinguished by a heap of dust.
- Passion is very powerful. Many aspirants fail in the tests. One has to be very careful. The aspirant will have to develop a very high standard of mental purity. Then alone he will be able to stand the test. God will place the aspirants in very unfavourable surroundings to test them. They will be tempted by young girls. Name and fame bring the householders in close contact with the aspirants. Women begin to worship them. They become their disciples. Gradually the aspirants get a nasty downfall. Instances are many. Aspirants should hide themselves and pass for quite ordinary people. They should not show their Chamatkaras.
- The moss that is momentarily displaced in a tank resumes its original position in the twinkling of an eye. Similarly, Maya envelops even the wise, if they are careless even for a minute. Therefore, sleepless vigilance is necessary in the spiritual path. The proverb goes: “There is many a slip between the cup and the lip.” Before you begin to eat the fruit of wisdom, the monkey Maya will snatch it away from your hand. Even if you swallow it, it may get stuck to your throat. Therefore you will have to be ever vigilant and careful till you attain Bhuma or the highest realization. You should not stop your Sadhana falsely thinking that you have reached the goal.
- A true Brahmachari in thought, word and deed has wonderful thought-power. He can move the world. If you develop strict celibacy, Vichara Sakti and Dharana Sakti will develop. Vichara Sakti is the power of enquiry. Dharan’a Sakti is the power of grasping and holding the Truth. If a man persistently refuses to yield to his lower nature and remains a strict celibate, the sexual energy is deflected upwards to the brain and is stored up as Ojas Sakti. Thereby the power of the intellect is intensified to a remarkable degree. The intellect becomes sharp and clear by continence. Continence increases infinitely the power of retentive memory. The strict celibate has keen and acute memory even in old age.A man who has the power of Brahmacharya can turn out immense mental, physical and intellectual work. He has a magnetic aura around his face. He can influence people by speaking just a few words or even by his very presence. He can control anger and move the whole world. Look at Mahatma Gandhi! He had acquired this power by constant and careful practice of Ahimsa, Satyam and Brahmacharya—non-violence, truth and celibacy. He influenced the world through this power alone. Through Brahmacharya and Brahmacharya alone can you get physical, mental and spiritual advancement in life.It is worth repeating that a true Brahmachari possesses tremendous energy, a clear brain, gigantic will-power, bold understanding, retentive memory and good Vichara Sakti. Swami Dayananda stopped the carriage of a Maharaja. He broke the sword with his hands. This was due to his power of Brahmacharya. Jesus, Sankara, Jnana Deva and Samarth Ramdas were all Brahmacharins.It is worth repeating that a true Brahmachari possesses tremendous energy, a clear brain, gigantic will-power, bold understanding, retentive memory and good Vichara Sakti.
- Practice of Brahmacharya gives good health, inner strength, peace of mind and long life. It invigorates the mind and the nerves. It helps to conserve physical and mental energy. It augments memory, will force and brain power. It bestows tremendous strength, vigour and vitality. Strength and fortitude are obtained.The eye is the window of the mind. If the mind is pure and calm, the eye also is calm and steady. He who is established in Brahmacharya will have lustrous eyes, a sweet voice and a beautiful complexion.
- Wet dream and voluntary copulation—A vital difference. A sexual act shatters the nervous system. The whole nervous system is shaken or agitated during the act. There is excessive loss of energy. More energy is wasted during coition. But it is not so when emission occurs during the dreaming state. In a wet dream, it may be the outflow of the prostatic juice only. Even if there is loss of the vital fluid, there is not much draining. The actual essence does not come out during wet dreams. It is only the watery prostatic juice with a little semen that is discharged during nocturnal pollutions. When nocturnal emission takes place, the mind which was working in the inner astral body suddenly enters the physical body vehemently in an agitated condition. That is the reason why emission takes place suddenly.The night discharge may not stimulate the sexual desire. But a voluntary copulation, in the case of a sincere aspirant is highly detrimental to his spiritual progress. The Samskara created by the act will be very deep; and it will intensify or strengthen the force of the previous Samskaras that are already imbedded in the subconscious mind and will stimulate the sexual desire. It will be like pouring ghee in the fire that is slowly getting extinguished. The task of obliterating this new Samskara will be an uphill work. You should completely give up copulation. This mind will try to delude you in a variety of ways by giving wrong counsel. Be on the alert. Do not hear its voice, but try to hear the voice of the conscience or the voice of the soul or the voice of discrimination.
- Youth with bloodless faces. A good lot of energy is wasted during copulation. Bad memory, premature old age, impotence, various sorts of eye diseases and various nervous diseases are attributable to the heavy loss of this vital fluid. It is greatly shocking indeed to see many of our youth walking with tottering steps, with pale, bloodless faces owing to loss of this vital fluid, instead of jumping hither and thither with agile, nimble steps with vigour and vitality like the squirrel. Some people are so passionate and weak that even the thought or sight or touch of a woman causes discharge of semen. Pitiable is their lot! What do we see in these days? Boys and girls, men and women, are drowned in the ocean of impure thoughts, lustful desires and little sensual pleasures. It is highly deplorable indeed. It is really shocking to hear the stories of some of these boys. Many college boys have personally come to me and narrated their pitiable lives of gloom and depression brought about by heavy loss of semen resulting from unnatural means. Their power of discrimination has been lost owing to sexual excitement and lustful intoxication. Why do you lose the energy that is gained in many weeks and months for the sake of the little, momentary sensual pleasure?
- Modern medical opinion. Eminent European medical men also support the statement of the Yogins of India. Dr. Nicole says: “It is a medical and physiological fact that the best blood in the body goes to form the elements of reproduction in both the sexes. In a pure and orderly life, this matter is reabsorbed. It goes back into circulation ready to form the finest brain, nerve and muscular tissues. This vital fluid of man carried back and diffused through his system makes him manly, strong, brave and heroic. If wasted, it leaves him effeminate, weak and physically debilitated and prone to sexual irritation and disordered function, a wretched nervous system, epilepsy, and various other diseases and death. The suspension of the use of the generative organs is attended with a notable increase of bodily and mental and spiritual vigour.“
- If the spermatic secretion in men is continuous, it must either be expelled or be reabsorbed. As a result of the most patient and persevering scientific investigations, it has been found that 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 thinks that the conservation of this element is essential to strength of body, vigour of mind and keenness of intellect. Another writer, Dr. E.P. Miller, says: “All waste of spermatic secretions, whether voluntary or involuntary, is a direct waste of the 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.“
- The future well-being of India rests entirely on Brahmacharya and Brahmacharya alone. It is the duty of Sannyasins and Yogis to train students in Brahmacharya, to teach Asana and Pranayama and disseminate the knowledge of Atman far and wide. They can do a lot in improving the situation as they are whole-time men. They should come out of their caves and Kutirs for Loka-Sangraha.
- If our motherland wants to rise high in the scale of nations, her children, both male and female, should study the important subject of Brahmacharya in all its bearings, understand its supreme importance and observe the great Vrata strictly. In conclusion, I fervently pray, with folded hands, that you all should sincerely struggle hard to control passion—the enemy of peace and prosperity—by Sadhana. A true Brahmachari is the real mighty emperor of this world. My silent adorations to all Brahmacharins! Glory unto them!
- My dear brothers! Remember that you are not this perishable body of flesh and bones. You are the immortal, all pervading, Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman. Thou art Atman. Thou art living truth. Thou art Brahman. Thou art absolute consciousness. You can attain this supreme state only by leading a life of true Brahmacharya. The spirit of Brahmacharya must pervade your entire life and all your actions.
- People talk of Brahmacharya, but practical men are rare indeed. A life of continence is really beset with difficulties. But the path becomes smooth for a man of iron determination, patience and perseverance. We want real, practical men in the field, men who are practical Brahmacharis, men who can impress people by their strong physique, ideal lives, noble character and spiritual strength. Mere idle talk is of no use whatsoever. We have had enough of idle talkers in the field and on the platforms. Let some practical men come forward and lead the youngsters by their exemplary, lives and spiritual aura. Let me remind you once more! Example is better than precept.
- The sex energy has not been sublimated thoroughly. The vital being or Pranamava Kosa has not been regenerated and purified perfectly. This is the reason why impure thoughts enter your mind. Do more Japa and meditation. Do selfless service in some form for the society. You will soon attain purity.
- Learn to cleanse your mind with the water of purity or celibacy, with the soap of divine love. How can you expect to become pure internally by merely washing the body with soap and water? Internal purity is more important than external purity. Continue the life of Brahmacharya. Herein lies your spiritual progress and realization. Do not give a new lease of life to this dire enemy lust by repetition of the sinful act.
- Keep the mind fully occupied. Intense musing on the objects of sense does more harm to the inner spiritual life than actual sense-gratification. If the mind is not rendered pure by Sadhana, mere mortification of the external senses will not produce the desired effect. Although the external senses are mortified, their internal counterparts, which are still energetic and vigorous, revenge upon the mind and produce intense mental disturbance and wild imagination.
- Brahmacharya is the only key to open the Sushumna and awaken Kundalini. It brings glory, fame, virtue and Mana-Pratishtha. The eight Siddhis and the nine Riddhis roll under the feet of the true celibate. They are ever ready to obey his command. The Lord of Death flees from him. Who can describe the magnanimity, majesty and glory of a true Brahmachari!
- Even among electrons, there are bachelor electrons and married electrons. Married electrons manifest in pairs. Bachelor electrons exist singly. It is these bachelor electrons only that create magnetic force. The power of Brahmacharya is seen in electrons also. Friend, will you learn some lessons from these electrons? Will you practice Brahmacharya and develop power and spiritual force? Nature is your best teacher and spiritual guide.
- Brahmacharya is a divine word. It is the sum and substance of Yoga. Through Avidya, this is forgotten. The importance of Brahmacharya was emphasised by our great Rishis. It is the supreme Yoga, which Lord Krishna emphasises repeatedly in His “Immortal Song”. In Chapter VI, Sloka 14, it is very clearly stated that the vow of Brahmacharya is necessary for meditation: Brahmacharivrate Sthitah. In Chapter XVII, Sloka 14, He says that Brahmacharya is one of the requisites for the austerity of the body. Now, we have another statement made in Chapter VIII, Sloka 11, that Yogis practice Brahmacharya in order to attain the goal spoken of by the Knowers of the Vedas. A similar statement is also found in the Kathopanishad.
- Brahmacharya is a sine qua non of spiritual life. It is a great desideratum. It is of vital importance. Without perfect Brahmacharya, you cannot have substantial spiritual progress. Abstinence or continence is the corner-stone on which the pedestal of Moksha stands. If the corner-stone 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.
- The practice of Brahmacharya is the most important qualification for the spiritual aspirant, no matter what his chosen path may be—Karma Yoga, Upasana, Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga or Vedanta. The discipline of complete abstinence is demanded from all aspirants. A true Brahmachari only can cultivate Bhakti. A true Brahmachari only can practice Yoga. A true Brahmachari only can acquire Jnana. Without Brahmacharya, no spiritual progress is possible.
- From sex energy to spiritual energy:
- The sexual energy must be transmuted into spiritual energy or Ojas Sakti by the practice of Japa, prayer, meditation, study of religious books, Pranayama and Asanas. You must develop devotion and a burning desire for liberation. You must constantly meditate on the pure, immortal, sexless, bodiless, desireless Atman. Then only the sexual desire will be annihilated.
- If the sexual energy is transmuted into Ojas or spiritual energy by pure thoughts, it is called sex sublimation in western psychology. Sublimation is not a matter of suppression or repression, but a positive, dynamic, conversion process. It is the process of controlling the sex energy, conserving it, then diverting it into higher channels, and finally, converting it into spiritual energy or Ojas Sakti. The material energy is changed into spiritual energy, just as heat is changed into light and electricity. Just as a chemical substance is sublimated or purified by raising the substance through heat into vapour which again is condensed into solid form, so also, the sexual energy is purified and changed into divine energy by spiritual Sadhana.
- Ojas is spiritual energy that is stored up in the brain. By entertaining sublime, soul-elevating thoughts of the Self or Atman, by meditation, Japa, worship and Pranayama, the sexual energy can be transmuted into Ojas Sakti and stored up in the brain. This stored up energy can then be utilised for divine contemplation and spiritual pursuits.
- Anger and muscular energy can also be transmuted into Ojas. A man who has a great deal of Ojas in his brain can turn out immense mental work. He is very intelligent. He has lustrous eyes and a magnetic aura in his face. He can influence people by speaking a few words. A short speech of his produces a tremendous impression on the minds of the hearers. His speech is thrilling. He has an awe-inspiring personality. Sri Sankara, an Akhanda Brahmachari, worked wonders through his power of Ojas. He did Digvijaya and held controversies and heated debates in different parts of India with learned scholars through his power of Ojas. A Yogi always directs his attention to the accumulation of this divine energy by unbroken chastity. In Yoga, it is called Oordhvaretas. An Oordhvareta Yogi is one in whom the seminal energy has flown upwards into the brain as Ojas Sakti. There is now no possibility of the semen going downwards by sexual excitement.
- Inflict self-punishment if the mind runs towards lustful ideas. Give up night meals. Do twenty Malas more of Japa. Always wear a Kaupin or Langoti.
- Fasting controls passion. Fasting destroys sexual excitement. It calms the emotions. It controls the Indriyas also. Passionate young men and ladies should take recourse to occasional fasting. It will prove highly beneficial. Fasting is a great Tapas. It purifies the mind. It destroys a great multitude of sins. Shastras prescribe Chandrayana Vrata, Krichara Vrata, Ekadasi Vrata and Pradosha Vrata for the purification of the mind. Fasting controls particularly the tongue, which is your deadly enemy. When you fast, do not allow the mind to think of delicious dishes, because then you will not derive much benefit. Fasting overhauls the respiratory, circulatory, digestive and urinary systems. It destroys all the impurities of the body and all sorts of poisons. It eliminates uric acid deposits. Just as impure gold is rendered pure by melting it in the crucible again and again, so also, the impure mind is rendered purer and purer by fasting again and again. Young, robust Brahmacharins should observe fasting whenever passion troubles them. You will have very good meditation during fasting, as the mind is calm. The chief object in fasting is to practice Dhyana rigorously during that period as all the Indriyas are calm. You will have to withdraw all the Indriyas and fix the mind on God. Pray to God for guiding you and throwing a flood of light on the path. Say with Bhav: “O God! Prachodayat, Prachodayat. Guide me, guide me. Trahi, Trahi. Protect me protect me. I am Thine, my Lord!” You will get purity, light, strength and knowledge. Fasting is one of the ten canons of Yoga. Avoid excessive fasting. It will produce weakness. Use your commonsense. Those who are not able to observe a full fast can fast for nine or twelve hours and can take milk and fruits in the evening or at night.
- Get up before 4 a.m.
- Night pollution generally occurs in the fourth quarter of the night. Those who are in the habit of getting up from bed between 3 and 4 a.m. and doing Japa and Dhyana can never fall a victim to nocturnal pollutions. Make it a point to get up at least at 4 a.m. regularly. Sleep on a coarse bed. Use rough mats.
- Sleep on the left side. Allow the Solar Nadi, Pingala, to work throughout the night through the right nostril. In acute cases, sleep on the back until recovery.
- More here: http://www.dlshq.org/download/brahmacharya.htm
- 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 sexual 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.
- Swami Vivekananda attributed his phenomenal mental powers to a lifelong observance of brahmacharya.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!
- The chaste brain has tremendous energy and gigantic will power. Without chastity there can be no spiritual strengthContinence gives wonderful control over mankind.The spiritual leaders of men have been very continent and this is what gave them power.
- I heard him say on his wonderful power of retentive memory in this manner. “If a person can be continent for twelve years, he can have extraordinary memory. One must be celibate and keep his brahmacharya absolutely even in his dream.“
- From Mrs. George Roorbach’s reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda at Camp Taylor, California, in May 1900:“In my first speech in this country, in Chicago, I addressed that audience as ‘Sisters and Brothers of America’, and you know that they all rose to their feet. You may wonder what made them do this, you may wonder if I had some strange power. Let me tell you that I did have a power and this is it — never once in my life did I allow myself to have even one sexual thought. I trained my mind, my thinking, and the powers that man usually uses along that line I put into a higher channel, and it developed a force so strong that nothing could resist it.”
- If one is a slave to his passions and desires, one cannot feel the pure joy of real freedom.
- During the period of sickness, abstain from anger and from lust — even if you are householders.
- This hideous world is Maya. Renounce and be happy. Give up the idea of sex and possessions. There is no other bond. Sex and money are the only living devils. All earthly love proceeds from the body. No sex, no possessions; as these fall off, the eyes open to spiritual vision. The soul regains its own infinite power.
- Is there any sex-distinction in the Atman (Self)? Out with the differentiation between man and woman—all is Atman! Give up the identification with the body, and stand up!
- The satisfaction of desire only increases it, as oil poured on fire makes it burn more fiercely.
- Our difficulty in life is that we are guided by the present and not by the future. What gives us a little pleasure now drags us on to follow it, with the result that we always buy a mass of pain in the future for a little pleasure in the present.
- Soul has no sex, it is neither male nor female. It is only in the body that sex exists, and the man who desires to reach the spirit cannot at the same time hold sex distinctions. (CW ,V.4, P.176)
- 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 religious life in solitude, 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.
- As we get further and further away from the animal state, our sense-pleasures become less and less; and our enjoyment, in a rapidly increasing consciousness of scientific and psychological knowledge, becomes more and more intense; and “knowledge for the sake of knowledge”, regardless of the amount of sense-pleasures it may conduce to, becomes the supreme pleasure of the mind.
- All the misery of the world is caused by this slavery to the senses. Our inability to rise above the sense-life—the striving for physical pleasures, is the cause of all the horrors and miseries in the world.
- The lower the organism, the greater is its pleasure in the senses. Think of the lowest animals and the power of touch. Everything is touch. … When you come to man, you will see that the lower the civilization of the man, the greater is the power of the senses. … The higher the organism, the lesser is the pleasure of the senses. A dog can eat a meal, but cannot understand the exquisite pleasure of thinking about metaphysics. He is deprived of the wonderful pleasure which you get through the intellect. The pleasures of the senses are great. Greater than those is the pleasure of the intellect. When you attend the fine fifty-course dinner in Paris, that is pleasure indeed. But in the observatory, looking at the stars, seeing . . . worlds coming and developing — think of that! It must be greater, for I know you forget all about eating. That pleasure must be greater than what you get from worldly things. You forget all about wives, children, husbands, and everything; you forget all about the sense-plane. That is intellectual pleasure. It is common sense that it must be greater than sense pleasure. It is always for greater joy that you give up the lesser. This is practical religion — the attainment of freedom, renunciation. Renounce!
- Every bit of pleasure will bring its quota of pain, if not with compound interest.
- It is a land of dreams; it does not matter whether one enjoys or weeps; they are but dreams, and as such, must break sooner or later.
- He whose joy is only in himself, whose desires are only in himself, he has learned his lessons.
- Everything in this life is fraught with fear. It is renunciation alone that makes one fearless.
- And if this Maya is so beautiful, think of the wondrous beauty of the Reality behind it.
- The lower the organisation, the greater the pleasure in the senses. Very few men can eat a meal with the same gusto as a dog or a wolf. But all the pleasures of the dog or the wolf have gone, as it were into the senses. The lower types of humanity in all nations find pleasure in the senses, while the cultured and the educated find it in thought, in philosophy, in arts and sciences. Spirituality is a still higher plane. The subject being infinite, that plane is the highest, and the pleasure there is the highest for those who can appreciate it. So, even on the utilitarian ground that man is to seek for pleasure, he should cultivate religious thought, for it is the highest pleasure that exists. Thus religion, as a study, seems to me to be absolutely necessary.
- 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.
- In our everyday life we find that the less the sense-enjoyments, the higher the life of the man. Look at the dog when he eats. No man ever ate with the same satisfaction. Observe the pig giving grunts of satisfaction as he eats; it is his heaven, and if the greatest archangel came and looked on, the pig would not even notice him. His whole existence is in his eating. No man was ever born who could eat that way. Think of the power of hearing in the lower animals, the power of seeing; all their senses are highly developed. Their enjoyment of the senses is extreme; they become simply mad with delight and pleasure. And the lower the man also, the more delight he finds in the senses. As he gets higher, the goal becomes reason and love. In proportion as these faculties develop, he loses the power of enjoying the senses.
- 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.
- Teach the boys the system of Brahmacharya.
- In order to attain to ideal Brahmacharya one has to observe strict rules regarding chastity in the beginning. For minimum 12 years, one should keep oneself strictly aloof from the least association with the opposite gender 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?
- What can be a higher end than God? God Himself is the highest goal of man; see Him, enjoy Him. We can never conceive anything higher, because God is perfection. We cannot conceive of any higher enjoyment than that of love, but this word love has different meanings. It does not mean the ordinary selfish love of the world; it is blasphemy to call that love. The love for our children and our wives is mere animal love; that love which is perfectly unselfish is the only love, and that is of God. It is a very difficult thing to attain to. We are passing through all these different loves — love of children, father, mother, and so forth. We slowly exercise the faculty of love; but in the majority of cases we never learn anything from it, we become bound to one step, to one person. In some cases men come out of this bondage. Men are ever running after wives and wealth and fame in this world; sometimes they are hit very hard on the head, and they find out what this world really is. No one in this world can really love anything but God. Man finds out that human love is all hollow. Men cannot love though they talk of it. The wife says she loves her husband and kisses him; but as soon as he dies, the first thing she thinks about is the bank account, and what she shall do the next day. The husband loves the wife; but when she becomes sick and loses her beauty, or becomes haggard, or makes a mistake, he ceases to care for her. All the love of the world is hypocrisy and hollowness.
- 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. 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.
- Obedience to the Guru without questioning, and strict observance of Brahmacharya — this is the secret of success.
- A man who wants to be a perfect Yogi must give up the sex idea. The soul has no sex; why should it degrade itself with sex ideas? Later on we shall understand better why these ideas must be given up. The mind of the man who receives gifts is acted on by the mind of the giver, so the receiver is likely to become degenerated. Receiving gifts is prone to destroy the independence of the mind, and make us slavish. Therefore, receive no gifts.
- Competitions for life or sex-gratification are only momentary, unnecessary, extraneous effects, caused by ignorance. Even when all competition has ceased, this perfect nature behind will make us go forward until everyone has become perfect. Therefore there is no reason to believe that competition is necessary to progress. In the animal the man was suppressed, but as soon as the door was opened, out rushed man. So in man there is the potential god, kept in by the locks and bars of ignorance. When knowledge breaks these bars, the god becomes manifest.
- “The women in America are very sentimental and have a mania for romance. I am, however, a strange sort of animal who hasn’t any romantic feeling, and therefore they could not sustain any such feeling toward me and they show me great respect. I make all of them call me “father” or “brother”. I don’t allow them to come near me with any other feeling, and gradually they have all been straightened out. . . ”
- In his Raja Yoga, the Swami explains that through brahmacharya sex 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 sex energy, in sexual 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 sexual 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.
- Of all renunciations, the most natural, so to say, is that of the Bhakti-Yogi. Here there is no violence, nothing to give up, nothing to tear off, as it were, from ourselves, nothing from which we have violently to separate ourselves. The Bhakta’s renunciation is easy, smooth flowing, and as natural as the things around us. We see the manifestation of this sort of renunciation, although more or less in the form of caricatures, every day around us. A man begins to love a woman; after a while he loves another, and the first woman he lets go. She drops put of his mind smoothly, gently, without his feeling the want of her at all. A woman loves a man; she then begins to love another man, and the first one drops off from her mind quite naturally. A man loves his own city, then he begins to love his country, and the intense love for his little city drops off smoothly, naturally. Again, a man learns to love the whole world; his love for his country, his intense, fanatical patriotism drops off without hurting him, without any manifestation of violence. An uncultured man loves the pleasures of the senses intensely; as he becomes cultured, he begins to love intellectual pleasures, and his sense-enjoyments become less and less. No man can enjoy a meal with the same gusto or pleasure as a dog or a wolf, but those pleasures which a man gets from intellectual experiences and achievements, the dog can never enjoy. At first, pleasure is in association with the lowest senses; but as soon as an animal reaches a higher plane of existence, the lower kind of pleasures becomes less intense. In human society, the nearer the man is to the animal, the stronger is his pleasure in the senses; and the higher and the more cultured the man is, the greater is his pleasure in intellectual and such other finer pursuits. So when a man gets even higher than the plane of the intellect, higher than that of mere thought, when he gets to the plane of spirituality and of divine inspiration, he finds there a state of bliss, compared with which all the pleasures of the senses, or even of the intellect, are as nothing. When the moon shines brightly, all the stars become dim; and when the sun shines, the moon herself becomes dim. The renunciation necessary for the attainment of Bhakti is not obtained by killing anything, but just comes in as naturally as in the presence of an increasingly stronger light, the less intense ones become dimmer and dimmer until they vanish away completely. So this love of the pleasures of the senses and of the intellect is all made dim and thrown aside and cast into the shade by the love of God Himself.
- If the performance of Yajnas is the corner-stone of the work-portion of the Vedas, as surely is Brahmacharya the foundation of the knowledge-portion.
- The nerve centre at the base of the spine near the sacrum is most important. It is the seat of the generative substance of the sexual energy and is symbolised by the Yogi as a triangle containing a tiny serpent coiled up in it. This sleeping serpent is called Kundalini, and to raise this Kundalini is the whole object of Raja-Yoga. The great sexual force, raised from animal action and sent upward to the great dynamo of the human system, the brain, and there stored up, becomes Ojas or spiritual force. All good thought, all prayer, resolves a part of that animal energy into Ojas and helps to give us spiritual power. This Ojas is the real man and in human beings alone is it possible for this storage of Ojas to be accomplished. One in whom the whole animal sex force has been transformed into Ojas is a god. He speaks with power, and his words regenerate the world. The Yogi pictures this serpent as being slowly lifted from stage to stage until the highest, the pineal gland, is reached. No man or woman can be really spiritual until the sexual energy, the highest power possessed by man, has been converted into Ojas. No force can be created; it can only be directed. Therefore we must learn to control the grand powers that are already in our hands and by will power make them spiritual instead of merely animal. Thus it is clearly seen that chastity is the corner-stone of all morality and of all religion. In Raja-Yoga especially, absolute chastity in thought, word, and deed is a sine qua non. The same laws apply to the married and the single. If one wastes the most potent forces of one’s being, one cannot become spiritual. All history teaches us that the great seers of all ages were either monks and ascetics or those who had given up married life; only the pure in life can see God.
- The circle of vision has become so narrow, so degraded, so beastly, so animal! None is desiring anything beyond this body. Oh, the terrible degradation, the terrible misery of it! What little flesh, the five senses, the stomach! What is the world but a combination of stomach and sex? Look at millions of men and women — that is what they are living for. Take these away from them and they will find their life empty, meaningless, and intolerable. Such are we. And such is our mind; it is continually hankering for ways and means to satisfy the hunger of the stomach and sex. All the time this is going on. There is also endless suffering; these desires of the body bring only momentary satisfaction and endless suffering. It is like drinking a cup of which the surface layer is nectar, while underneath all is poison. But we still hanker for all these things. What can be done? Renunciation of the senses and desires is the only way out of this misery. If you want to be spiritual, you must renounce. This is the real test. Give up the world — this nonsense of the senses. There is only one real desire: to know what is true, to be spiritual. No more materialism, no more this egoism, I must become spiritual. Strong, intense must be the desire. If a man’s hands and feet were so tied that he could not move and then if a burning piece of charcoal were placed on his body, he would struggle with all his power to throw it off. When I shall have that sort of extreme desire, that restless struggle, to throw off this burning world, then the time will have come for me to glimpse the Divine Truth.
- The Hindu drank in with his mother’s milk that this life is as nothing — a dream! In this he is at one with the Westerners; but the Westerner sees no further and his conclusion is that of the Chârvâka — to “make hay while the sun shines”. “This world being a miserable hole, let us enjoy to the utmost what morsels of pleasure are left to us.” To the Hindu, on the other hand, God and soul are the only realities, infinitely more real than this world, and he is therefore ever ready to let this go for the other.
- Then, of course, every faculty has been given to us by God for some use. Therefore the monk is wrong in not propagating the race — a sinner! Well, so also have been given us the faculties of anger, lust, cruelty, theft, robbery, cheating, etc., every one of these being absolutely necessary for the maintenance of social life, reformed or unreformed. What about these? Ought they also to be maintained at full steam, following the varied-experience theory or not? Of course the social reformers, being in intimate acquaintance with God Almighty and His purposes, must answer the query in the positive. Are we to follow Vishvâmitra, Atri, and others in their ferocity and the Vasishtha family in particular in their “full and varied experience” with womankind? For the majority of married Rishis are as celebrated for their liberality in begetting children wherever and whenever they could, as for their hymn-singing and Soma-bibbing; or are we to follow the celibate Rishis who upheld Brahmacharya as the sine qua non of spirituality? Then there are the usual backsliders, who ought to come in for a load of abuse — monks who could not keep up to their ideal — weak, wicked. But if the ideal is straight and sound, a backsliding monk is head and shoulders above any householder in the land, on the principle, “It is better to have loved and lost.” Compared to the coward that never made the attempt, he is a hero. If the searchlight of scrutiny were turned on the inner workings of our social reform conclave, angels would have to take note of the percentage of backsliders as between the monk and the householder; and the recording angel is in our own heart.
- But then, what about this marvellous experience of standing alone, discarding all help, breasting the storms of life, of working without any sense of recompense, without any sense of putrid duty? Working a whole life, joyful, free — not goaded on to work like slaves by false human love or ambition? This the monk alone can have. What about religion? Has it to remain or vanish? If it remains, it requires its experts, its soldiers. The monk is the religious expert, having made religion his one métier (a field of work; occupation, trade, or profession) of life. He is the soldier of God. What religion dies so long as it has a band of devoted monks? Why are Protestant England and America shaking before the onrush of the Catholic monk? Vive (long live) Ranade and the Social Reformers! — but, O India! Anglicised India! Do not forget, child, that there are in this society problems that neither you nor your Western Guru can yet grasp the meaning of — much less solve!
- The lower the animal, the more is its enjoyment in the senses, the more it lives in the senses. Civilisation, true civilization, should mean the power of taking the animal-man out of his sense-life — by giving him visions and tastes of planes much higher — and not external comforts.
- Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “Whoever can give up the sex idea, can spurn at the world”. He who has given up the sense enjoyments, the outgoing tendencies of whose mind have been stopped, know for certain that God is not far away from such a heart, His shadow has already fallen there, He can no longer keep Himself away from such a devotee who cares not, for anything else. Then he feels an ecstatic joy in every pore of his body. So intense is the joy that caught in it he loses all outward consciousness. He goes into trance and enjoys this ineffable joy in one continuous stream of consciousness. If that highest bliss is to be attained at enjoyed without any break, the desire for the fleeting pleasures of sense-objects which ultimately lead man to terrible miseries should be mercilessly eschewed-not that kind of hypocritical renunciation which lasts for a day or two but the wholesale uprooting of even the last vestige of such desires. If anyone succeeds in doing this, He will feel that what he was so long enjoying was but an infinitesimal part that ocean of bliss filtering in through one other of the sense-organs, and that now through very cell of his body he is enjoying this infinite bliss – that this flesh-and-blood body has been changed and transfigured into something divine to be a worthy receptacle for the divine Bliss. Can perversity go any further than this foregoing this infinite Bliss for petty sense-enjoyments?
- The Ojas – The “Ojas” is that which makes the difference between man and man. The man who has much Ojas is the leader of men. It gives a tremendous power of attraction. Ojas is manufactured from the nerve – currents. It has this peculiarity: it is most easily made from that force which manifests itself in the sexual powers. If the powers of the sexual centres are not frittered away and their energies wasted (action is only thought in a grosser state), they can be manufactured into Ojas. The two great nerve currents of the body start from the brain, go down on each side of the spinal cord, but they cross in the shape of the figure 8 at the back of the head. Thus the left side of the body is governed by the right side of the head. At the lowest point of the circuit is the sexual centre, the Sacral Plexus. The energy conveyed by these two currents of nerves comes down, and a large amount is continually being stored in the Sacral Plexus. The last bone in the spine is over the Sacral Plexus and is described in symbolic language as a triangle; and as the energy is stored up beside it, this energy is symbolised by a serpent. Consciousness and subconsciousness work through these two nerve – currents. But superconsciousness takes off the nerve – current when it reaches the lower end of the circuit, and instead of allowing it to go up and complete the circuit, stops and forces it up the spinal cord as Ojas from the Sacral Plexus. The spinal cord is naturally closed, but it can be opened to form a passage for this Ojas. As the current travels from one centre of the spinal cord to another, you can travel from one plane of existence to another. This is why the human being is greater than others, because all planes, all experiences, are possible to the spirit in the human body. We do not need another; for man can, if he likes, finish in his body his probation and can after that become pure spirit. When the Ojas has gone from centre to centre and reaches the Pineal Gland (a part of the brain to which science can assign no function), man then becomes neither mind nor body, he is free from all bondage. The great danger of psychic powers is that man stumbles, as it were, into them, and knows not how to use them rightly. He is without training and without knowledge of what has happened to him. The danger is that in using these psychic powers, the sexual feelings are abnormally roused as these powers are in fact manufactured out of the sexual centre. The best and safest way is to avoid psychic manifestations, for they play the most horrible pranks on their ignorant and untrained owners. To go back to symbols. Because this movement of the Ojas up the spinal cord feels like a spiral one, it is called the “snake”. The snake, therefore, or the serpent, rests on the bone or triangle. When it is roused, it travels up the spinal cord; and as it goes from centre to centre, a new natural world is opened inside us — the Kundalini is roused.
- The Yogi alone has the Sushumna open. When this Sushumna current opens, and begins to rise, we get beyond the sense, our minds become supersensuous, superconscious — we get beyond even the intellect, where reasoning cannot reach. To open that Sushumna is the prime object of the Yogi. According to him, along this Sushumna are ranged these centres, or, in more figurative language, these lotuses, as they are called. The lowest one is at the lower end of the spinal cord, and is called Mulâdhâra, the next higher is called Svâdhishthâna, the third Manipura, the fourth Anâhata, the fifth Vishuddha, the sixth Âjnâ and the last, which is in the brain, is the Sahasrâra, or “the thousand-petalled”. Of these we have to take cognition just now of two centres only, the lowest, the Muladhara, and the highest, the Sahasrara. All energy has to be taken up from its seat in the Muladhara and brought to the Sahasrara. The Yogis claim that of all the energies that are in the human body the highest is what they call “Ojas”. Now this Ojas is stored up in the brain, and the more Ojas is in a man’s head, the more powerful he is, the more intellectual, the more spiritually strong. One man may speak beautiful language and beautiful thoughts, but they, do not impress people; another man speaks neither beautiful language nor beautiful thoughts, yet his words charm. Every movement of his is powerful. That is the power of Ojas.
- Lord Chaitanya was an ideal sannyasi. No woman could approach the Lord even to offer respects. Women’s seats were accommodated far away from the Lord. As an ideal teacher and acarya, He was very strict in the routine work of a sannyasi.
- Butter and fire must be kept apart. Otherwise the butter will melt. You cannot stop it.
- Lord Caitanya was an ideal sannyasi, and when He was at Puri His feminine devotees could not even come near to offer their respects. They were advised to bow down from a distant place. This is not a sign of hatred for women as a class, but it is a stricture imposed on the sannyasi not to have close connections with women. One has to follow the rules and regulations of a particular status of life in order to purify his existence. For a sannyasi, intimate relations with women and possession of wealth for sense gratification are strictly forbidden. The ideal sannyasi was Lord Caitanya Himself, and we can learn from His life that He was very strict in regards to women. Although He is considered to be the most liberal incarnation of Godhead, accepting the most fallen conditioned souls, He strictly followed the rules and regulations of the sannyasa order of life in connection with association with woman.
- Lord Chaitanya: “I cannot tolerate seeing the face of a person who has accepted the renounced order of life but who still talks intimately with a woman. So strongly do the senses adhere to the objects of their enjoyment that indeed a wooden statue of a woman attracts the mind of even a great saintly person.”
- Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said: “My mind is not under My control. It does not like to see anyone in the renounced order who talks intimately with women. I am a sannyasi, and I certainly consider Myself renounced. But not to speak of seeing a woman, if I even hear the name of a woman, I feel changes in My mind and body. Therefore who could remain unmoved by the sight of a woman? It is very difficult.”
- He (Lord Caitanya) never even heard the prayers of the deva-dasis offered in the temple of Jagannatha because a sannyasi is forbidden to hear songs sung by the fair sex.
- Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was most strict in such dealings, especially after He accepted the sannyasa order. Indeed, no woman could come near Him to offer Him respect.
- Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, sannyasira alpa-chidre bahu kari’ mane. An ordinary grhastha, or… Grhastha only, If he talks with woman nobody will blame. He is grhastha. But if a sannyasi talks with woman very intimately, oh, immediately people will take note of it. Sannyasira alpa-chidre bahu kari’ mane. That is the practice. He should be very cautious. So a devotee, a sannyasi, they have got very, very great responsibility. People will very easily criticize them.
- For a sannyasi to talk with women, to mix with women, is very restricted. So he was very much careful about Him, about this matter. Even some of the women who were wives of His disciples and devotees, they could not come near Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They would offer their obeisances from a distant place. They were not forbidden, but that was the system.
- Prabhupada said that this was his Godbrothers’ main argument against Westerners’ taking sannyasa: they would not be able to maintain the strict vows. He said that a German Godbrother of his had also caused disruption by his intimate dealings with women.”What can I do?” Prabhupada said sadly. “I am working with all third-class men-fools and rascals. Things are going on simply by Krsna’s mercy.” “One who falls from sannyasa,” Prabhupada replied, “is called vantasi, one who vomits and then eats it.”
- As long as a living entity is not completely self-realized-as long as he is not independent of the misconception of identifying with his body, which is nothing but a reflection of the original body and senses-he cannot be relieved of the conception of duality, which is epitomized by the duality between man and woman. Thus there is every chance that he will fall down because his intelligence is bewildered.
- Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never even joked with others’ wives. As soon as He saw a woman coming, He would immediately give her ample room to pass without talking. He was extremely strict regarding the association of women.
- A saintly person should never touch a woman. In fact, he should not even let his foot touch a wooden doll in the shape of a woman. By bodily contact with a woman he will surely be captured by illusion, just as the elephant is captured by the she-elephant due to his desire to touch her body. (Srimad Bhagvatam 11.8.13)
- “My dear Govinda,” He said, “you have saved My life. If I had touched the body of a woman, I would certainly have died. (Chaitanyamrita 13.85)
- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada several times, told a story to demonstrate how strict Sarasvati Thakura actually was in dealing with women.The wife of O.B.L. Kapoor, who was also the harernama disciple of Sarasvati Thakura, requested to see him in private to speak with him. At that time he was old enough to be her grandfather, and was a very senior, respected, naistik brahmacari-guru, but still he said, “No, I cannot see you alone.Whatever you have to say, do so in the company of others.”Dr. Kapoor revealed how Sarasvati Thakura gave harernama to his wife, without even seeing her face, because there was a screen placed between them.
- Do not associate with women. On the other hand, when a woman is engaged in sadhana-bhakti, she should not associate with men. Associating with the opposite sex is very inauspicious for the advancing devotee. (Bhaktyaloka by Thakura Bhaktivinoda)
- The wife should also always endeavor for spiritual perfection with the help of subordinate women such as her sister and daughter. There is no illicit conduct in this, so there will not be any association with women. Therefore, whether one is a householder or a renunciate-all practitioners should totally give up the association with women. The devotees should carefully give up the above mentioned sanga in the form of association. (Bhaktyaloka)
- The brahmacäré system of life is especially advantageous in that it increases the power of memory and determination. It is specifically mentioned in this connection that because Närada was a naishthika-brahmacäré he could remember whatever he heard from his spiritual master and would never forget it. One who can remember everything perpetually is called shruta-dhara. A shruta-dhara brahmacäré can repeat verbatim all that he has heard, without notes and without reference to books. The great sage Närada has this qualification.
- Celibacy makes one’s determination strong; therefore, from the very beginning Krishna states that the yogi does not engage in sex. If one indulges in sex, one’s determination will be flickering.Refraining from sex enables one to be very determined and powerful. It is not necessary to do anything else. This is a secret people are not aware of. If you want to do something with determination, you have to refrain from sex. Regardless of the process—be it hatha-yoga, bhakti-yoga, jnäna-yoga, or whatever—sex indulgence is not allowed.
- The entire material world is existing because of sex, but how long does this sex pleasure last? A few minutes only. A man who is wise does not want pleasure that lasts only a few minutes but pleasure that continues perpetually. Nitya means “eternal,” and änanda means “bliss.” The Vedas state that those who are intelligent are not interested in transient pleasure but in eternal pleasure. They know their constitutional position; they know they are not the body. The pleasures of the body are transient and are sought by rascals.
- Sex is animalistic. It is not love but lust. Sex means the mutual satisfaction of senses, and that is lust. All this lust is taking place under the name of love, and out of illusion, people mistake this lust for love.
- “It is better that I have a male secretary. Govinda dasi should join her husband in helping to preach in Hawaii. People may criticize me, saying that I am too closely connected with a woman. Of course, I do not find any difficulty personally, nor any complaint with her service. But we must consider the public’s opinion.” Prabhupada explained that a sannyasi’s character must be beyond fault and cited the popular example of “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.” Prabhupada described how Lord Caitanya had always acted in an exemplary manner and was the ideal sannyasi. Then, speaking in a hushed tone so that what he said would not be overheard by Govinda dasi, Prabhupada handed me a letter which he wanted me to mail. It was addressed to his disciple Purusottama in New York. Prabhupada explained that he was calling Purusottama to Los Angeles to replace Govinda dasi. It was better that I mailed the letter, because he doubted whether she would do so. After Purusottama came, he would gradually induce her to go to Hawaii.
- Sri Ramakrishna was uncompromising on the need for celibacy for God-realization. He used to tell devotees, “To be able to realize God, one must practise absolute continence. Sages like Sukadeva are examples of an ‘urdhvareta’ (a person of unbroken and complete continence). Their chastity was absolutely unbroken.A man practising unbroken brahmacharya for twelve years develops a special power. He grows a new inner nerve called the nerve of memory. Through that nerve he remembers all, he understands all.When a man succeeds in the conservation of his sexual energy, his intellect reflects the image of Brahman. The man who carries this image of Brahman in his heart is able to accomplish everything – he will succeed wonderfully in whatever action he engages himself.
- The loss of reproductive elements dissipates a person’s strength. But there is no harm in nocturnal emission. That reproductive element is from food. After nocturnal emission, a man retains enough to succeed. But he must not lose it voluntarily. What remains after nocturnal emission is very refined. The Lahas stored pots of molasses with holes in the bottom. After a year it was found that the molasses had turned into crystals, like sugar candy. Whatever liquid there was had come out through the holes.
- Sri Ramakrishna (to Mahima): “What you were saying about men of continence is correct. One cannot hold these spiritual teachings without practising brahmacharya. Someone said to Chaitanya Deva, ‘You give the devotees so much instruction. Why aren’t they able to make much progress?’ He replied, ‘They squander it all by breaking brahmacharya. That’s why they’re not able to hold on to spiritual instruction.’ If you fill a leaky pail with water, the water trickles out little by little.”
- “It is very harmful for a spiritual aspirant to discharge vital elements. He has to be very careful not to even look at a woman (man for female aspirants). Even if she is a devotee, he must leave that place. Even to see the picture of a woman might cause the discharge of vital elements in a dream, if not in his waking hours. Even if a sannyasin has mastered his senses, he should not talk with a woman, as an example to mankind. Even if she is a devotee, he must not talk with her very long.” (Note that in case of female aspirants also, sexual dreams lead to pollution of mind and thus, spiritual practice gets disturbed. Also, this type of discharge for male aspirants happen when he is in the first 12 years of celibacy practice as the mind may not be spiritually pure while looking at the picture or woman even if in the normal course of life. Since it cannot be practised in letter, aspirants should understand it in spirit as not casting lustful glances on attractive members of opposite gender or even their pictures).
- Mani sits on the floor at his feet. Thakur talks with Mani, expressing his anger and disgust for those treading the path of God while at the same time cohabiting with their wives.
- Sri Ramakrishna: “Are you not ashamed of yourself! You have children and you still cohabit with your wife. This is the conduct of an animal! Have you no aversion to saliva, blood, excreta, urine? Whoever contemplates the lotus feet of God sees even the most beautiful woman as ash from a cremation fire. To enjoy a body which will not last and which contains all kinds of impurities – worms, pus, phlegm and so on! Don’t you feel ashamed of yourself?” - Saturday, 15 December 1883 (Mani is pseudonym of Master Mahashaya here. His lifetime: March 12, 1854-June 4, 1932) – he was 29 years 9 months old that time.
- Sri Ramakrishna (to Balaram) — Maya is only ‘lust and greed’. By living in the midst of them for a few days, one loses spiritual awareness but feels that all is well. A scavenger carries a pot of excreta and in course of time, doesn’t feel any repulsion for it. One gradually acquires love and devotion for God by practicing the chanting of the Lord’s name and glories.
- If you want to realize God, you will have to be a brahmachari. Without practising brahmacharya, one cannot concentrate steadily on God. From brahmacharya comes intellectual conviction and then comes faith in the power of Brahman. Without this faith, one cannot feel that he is living in Brahman. Practise japam (repetition of the holy mantra) and meditation day and night. This is the way one can get rid of attachment to lust and gold.
- Unless you are very cautious about ‘lust,’ you cannot attain the knowledge of Brahman. In the company of a young woman, even a man without desire develops a feeling of passion.
- When a man succeeds in the conservation of his sexual energy, his intellect reflects the image of Brahman, even as a glass gives a perfect image when its back is painted with mercury solution. The man who carries this image of Brahman in his heart is able to accomplish everything–he will succeed wonderfully in whatever action he engages himself.
- “As long as you have even a little consciousness of ‘I,’ you are under the jurisdiction of the Primal Power – and unable to set yourself free.
- On attaining samadhi, ‘I-ness’ disappears and one has the inner consciousness of Brahman.
- Sri Ramakrishna and principle of yoga – ‘lust and greed’ are impediments to yoga – You ask me why you don’t develop deep dispassion. There is a reason for it. You have a strong desire for sense enjoyments, your mind is filled with pravritti. I say the same to Hazra. In the countryside before they bring water to the fields, they make mud ridges on all four sides of the field so that water can’t flow out. They are mud ridges, but they have water outlets here and there. There are holes. Water is brought with full force to the field, but it goes out through the holes. Our desires are like these holes, these outlets. You may be practicing japa (repetition of God’s name) and austerities, but at the back of your mind, you have desires for sense enjoyments. From the outlets of desire, everything leaks out. “One catches fish with a bamboo trap. Ordinarily bamboo is straight, but when bent to the ground, it acts as a fish trap. Desire for sense enjoyments is the fish, so the mind remains bent toward the world. If there is no desire, the mind naturally orients upward, toward the Lord.Do you know how? Like the needles of a scale. Because of the weight of ‘lust and greed,’ the upper needle does not align itself with the lower needle. Thus one strays from the path of yoga. Haven’t you seen the flame of a lamp? It flickers by just a puff of air. The state of yoga is like the flame of a lamp where there is no wind. Our mind is spread out in different directions. A part of it has reached Dacca, a part Delhi and another part Coochbehar. You have to collect this mind and concentrate it to a point. If you want a cloth worth sixteen annas, you have to pay this amount to the cloth merchant. Even if there is a slight obstacle, yoga is not possible. If the telegraph wire is broken, howsoever small the break may be, it will not convey your message.
- They who are beginners have to live with great discrimination. One has to live through everything saying, `not this, not this.’ In the beginning total renunciation. After God has been realized, one may enjoy. But at first complete renunciation. For beginners, uncompromising renunciation. Nachiketa did not accept anything. Yama said, `Have a kingdom.’ — `No, sir,’ — `wife, son, long life?’ Even to this the same reply, `No sir. I want nothing. Only the knowledge of the Self, just this I want.’
- The nearer you come to God, the more tranquility you feel. Peace, peace, profound peace. The nearer you approach the holy Ganges, the cooler you feel.A dip in it is even more soothing. On attaining the knowledge of Brahman, attachment to the world and enthusiasm for ‘lust and greed’ vanishes. You attain perfect peace. A piece of burning wood produces a crackling sound and gives out heat. When it is consumed and has turned to ash, all sound ceases. As soon as you get rid of attachment, the restlessness for ‘lust and greed’ vanishes. Finally you attain tranquility.
- Sri Ramakrishna: “Those through whom God will teach mankind must renounce the world. It is essential for religious teachers to renounce ‘lust and greed.’ Without it, their teaching
s are not accepted. It is not enough for them to renounce inwardly. They must also renounce outwardly. Only then can they teach mankind. If they don’t, people will think that they are being asked to renounce ‘lust and greed,’ while they secretly enjoy them. “An Ayurvedic physician prescribed some medicine to a patient and said, ‘Please come again another day and I will tell you about diet.’ That day, there were a number of jars of molasses in his room. The patient lived quite far away. He came another day. The physician said to him, ‘Be careful about your diet. Molasses is not good for you.’ When the patient had left, somebody asked the physician, ‘Why did you cause him the trouble of coming here again, all that way? You could have said this to him the first day.’ The physician laughed and said, ‘There is a reason. I had some jars of molasses in my room that day. If I had asked him to give up molasses, he wouldn’t have trusted me. He would have thought, He has so many jars of molasses in his room, he must surely be eating some of it. In that case it can’t be so bad. Today I have hidden the jars; he will now believe me.’ “I have seen the religious teacher of the Adi [Brahmo] Samaj. I hear that he has married two or three times. And that he has grown sons. Such are religious teachers! If these people say that only the Lord is real and all else is an illusion, who will believe them? You can guess very well what kind of disciples they will have.
- Full renunciation is for sannyasins. They shouldn’t even see the picture of a woman. Women are like poison for them. They must keep at least ten cubits away or, if that’s not possible, at least one cubit. Even if a woman is a great devotee, a sannyasin shouldn’t talk to her for long. “A sannyasin should live in a place where he doesn’t even see the face of a woman, or very rarely. “Money is also a poison for sannyasins. When you have money, you quickly fall prey to anxiety, pride, physical comfort, anger, and so forth. Rajas increases. When there is rajoguna, it leads to tamoguna. So a sannyasin shouldn’t touch money. ‘Lust and greed’ make you forget God. Why such difficult rules of conduct for a sannyasin? They are there for the instruction of humanity as well as for his own good. Even if a sannyasin lives unattached, having controlled his senses, he should renounce ‘lust and greed’ in order to teach mankind. People will muster the courage for renunciation only if they see the one hundred percent renunciation of a sannyasin. Then only will they endeavour to renounce ‘lust and greed.’ If a sannyasin doesn’t impart this instruction of renunciation, who else will? One should lead a householder’s life only after attaining God. It is like keeping butter in water after it has been churned. Janaka led the life of a householder only after attaining the knowledge of Brahman.
- It’s not good for a sannyasin to even sit and talk to a woman devotee (female aspirants should consider it in reverse – do not sit or talk to a male aspirant unless really needed). It harms not only him, but others – they don’t learn from it. It doesn’t help them. A sannyasin lives to teach others.
- [Female aspirants should consider this quote in reverse.] Sitting or talking with women for a long time is also described as a kind of sexual intercourse. There are eight kinds of intercourse: Listening to a woman and enjoying her conversation is one kind. Talking about women is another kind. To whisper to a woman in private is also a kind of intercourse. Another kind is to keep a memento of a woman and enjoy it. Touch is another kind. That’s why you shouldn’t touch the feet of your guru’s wife if she’s young. These are all rules of conduct for a sannyasin.
- [Hearing about women, speaking about them, playing with women, watching them, speaking to them secretly, thinking of sexual intercourse, determination towards it and the actual accomplishment; these are the eights kinds of sexual intercourse.]
- After begetting one or two children, a husband and wife should live as brother and sister.
- [Female aspirants should consider this quote in reverse.] “Haripada has come under the influence of a Ghoshpara woman who doesn’t leave him alone. He said, ‘She takes me on her lap and feeds me, as if I were Gopala.’ I cautioned him that such a filial attitude brings about a downfall.
- “You know, even if one has attained Bhagavan, one should keep a distance from women. And it is extremely harmful to frequent women of bad motives and be fed by them. They rob you of spirituality.
- “You can safeguard your love of God only by being very cautious. Bhavanath, Rakhal and others once cooked their own food. They had just started eating when a baul came and sat with them, saying that he would also like to eat. I said, ‘There is not enough to eat, but if anything is left, we will keep it for you.’ This angered him and he left. On the Vijaya festival day people allow anybody to feed them with their own hands. It is not right. You must only eat from the hands of a pure devotee.
- “You must be very cautious about women. Don’t listen to them when they display their Gopala bhava (motherly attitude toward a boy) to you. There is the proverb: ‘A woman can devour even the three worlds.’ When some women see an attractive young man, they set various kinds of snares to trap him. And this they call their Gopala bhava!
- “They who have felt dispassion since their youth, they who wander about yearning for Bhagavan, they who have not entered family life, indeed belong to a separate class. They are pure aristocrats. In their deep dispassion they remain fifty cubits away from women lest the latter should bring a change in their attitude. If, however, they fall into the clutches of a woman, they no longer remain blue-blooded. Their attitude changes and they come down to a lower level of spirituality. They who have the right kind of dispassion from an early age belong to a higher spiritual ideal (‘abode’). They have an extremely pure attitude. They never allow a single stain to touch them.”
- The sadhaka (aspirant) must be very cautious. He should remain far away from women. He should not associate frequently even with a woman of great devotion. When you are climbing up onto the roof, you must not sway. If you are unsteady, there is a danger of falling. The weak should hold onto a support when they climb. There is no danger after one has attained Bhagavan’s vision. One becomes fearless to a great extent. Once you have reached the roof, you have reached the goal; you can dance there. But you must not dance on the steps. And he who has climbed up to the roof, no longer needs to renounce what he formerly renounced. The roof is made of bricks, lime and brick dust; the steps are made of the same material. After the vision of Bhagavan, one realizes that the body of the woman about whom he had to be so cautious is the body of Bhagavati (Mother of the Universe). Thereafter he worships her as the Mother and there is no great risk of falling.
- (To Mahendra Mukherji and other devotees) “Not everybody is attracted to God. There has to be a special receptivity. You have to have the right samskaras to feel such attraction. If that were not so, why should you be the only one to come here out of so many residents of Baghbazar? The ones without good tendencies don’t come. The Malaya breeze turns every tree into sandalwood. But the shimul, the ashwattha, the banyan, and some others are not transformed.
- “You don’t lack money. When a person falls from yoga, he takes birth in a prosperous family. This enables him to renew his spiritual practices for the realization of God.”
- Mahendra Mukherji: “Why does a person fall from yoga?”
- Sri Ramakrishna: “Perhaps while contemplating God, he suddenly develops a desire for enjoyment. This craving makes him fall from yoga. In the next life he will have the same spiritual tendencies.”
- Mahendra: “Then what is the way out?”
- Sri Ramakrishna: “There is no liberation as long as you nurse some desire for enjoyment.”
- [Female aspirants should consider this quote in reverse.] The young men are in the stage of practicing spiritual disciplines. Their only practice now must be renunciation. A sannyasin must not even see a picture of a woman. I tell them, ‘Even if a woman is a devotee, do not sit beside her and talk. Speak very briefly, while standing.’ Even after attaining perfection, you have to do this. It is both for your own protection and for setting an example. When women come here, I also say to them after a while, ‘Now go and visit the temples.’ If they don’t leave when I say this, I myself leave. Seeing me do this, others will learn.
- M. — Yes, sir. I have recently read in Prabodh Chandrodaya (a Sanskrit play) about discrimination.
Sri Ramakrishna — Yes, discrimination. Just think, what is there in money or in a beautiful body? Think over it, in the body of a beautiful woman (a handsome man for female aspirants) also there are mere bones, flesh, fat, urine and excreta, all these. Why does a man (woman) give his (her) mind to such a thing and lose sight of the Lord? Why does he (she) forget the Lord?
- MASTER (to Girish and the others): “In meditation I see the inner traits of these youngsters. They have no thought of acquiring house and property. They do not crave sex pleasure. Those of the youngsters who are married do not sleep with their wives. The truth is that unless a man has got rid ot rajas and has acquired sattva, he cannot steadily dwell in God; he cannot love God and realize Him.”
- Ramakrishna Paramahansa – A man cannot see God unless he gives his whole mind to Him. The mind is wasted on ‘lustand gold’. Take your own case. You have children and are occupied with the theatre. The mind cannot he united with God on account of these different activities. As long as there is bhoga, there will be less of yoga. Furthermore, bhoga begets suffering. It is said in the Bhagavata that the Avadhuta chose a kite as one of his twenty-four gurus. The kite had a fish in its beak; so it was surrounded by a thousand crows. Whichever way it flew with the fish, the crows pursued it crying, ‘Caw! Caw!’ When all of a sudden the fish dropped from its beak, the crows flew after the’fish, leaving the kite alone. “The ‘fish’ is the object of enjoyment. The ‘crows’ are worries and anxiety. Worries and anxiety are inevitable with enjoyment. No sooner does one give up enjoyment than one finds peace. “What is more, money itself becomes a source of trouble. Brothers may live happily, but they get into trouble when the property is divided. Dogs lick one another’s bodies; they are perfectly friendly. But when the householder throws them a little food, they get into a scrap.
- Discrimination and dispassion.One is able to renounce the attachment to ‘lust and greed’ by the yoga of practice. The Gita says this. Practice brings extraordinary strength to the mind. Then you don’t find it difficult to subdue the senses, to control passions like lust and anger. For instance, a tortoise doesn’t bring out its limbs once it has drawn them inside its shell, even if you cut it into four pieces with an axe. Differentiating between the real and the unreal in this manner is discrimination. Dispassion means a distaste for worldly things. This does not come about all of a sudden. It has to be practiced daily. To begin with, you have to renounce ‘lust and greed’ in the mind. Then, God willing, you can renounce them externally as well as internally.
- Worldly people remain bound to ‘lust and gold’ of the world. They are bound hand and foot. And they think that they can find happiness only in ‘lust and gold’ of the world and feel secure in it. They know not that they will die in that alone. When a worldly man is on his deathbed, his wife says to him, ‘You are departing. What have you done for me?’ Besides, maya is such that on seeing a lamp burning for long the bound man says, ‘Oil will get consumed, lower the wick.’ And here he is lying on the deathbed!
- If you are attached to ‘lust and greed,’ you develop pride of learning, pride of wealth and high position – all these things … Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees) — Do you know what happens when you live as a householder? A lot of your mental powers are unnecessarily expended. This wastage of mental powers can be made up only by embracing sannyasa. Your father gives you your first birth. Your second birth is when your sacred thread ceremony is performed. And the third one is when you enter monastic life. “ ‘Lust and greed.’ These indeed are the two obstacles. The attachment to a woman leads one away from the path to the Lord. A man is unable to realize what has brought his downfall. When I went to the Fort, I hardly knew that I was going down a slope. When the carriage reached the Fort, I observed how far down I had come. Ah, She doesn’t let man know! Captain said, ‘My wife is spiritually wise.’ When an evil spirit possesses a person, he does not know that he is possessed. He just says, ‘I am all right.’ (Everybody sits perfectly still.) “It is not only lust which is a danger in family life. There is anger, too. When you are thwarted in your desire, you get angry.” M. — When a cat reaches out to snatch fish from my plate, I can’t do anything about it. Sri Ramakrishna — Why not? You must beat it once, there is no harm in that. The householder must hiss [threaten], but never pour venom. Reason? One must not harm anybody. However, you have to make a show of anger to save yourself from the enemy or hewill hurt you. But one who has renounced need not even hiss.
- Sri Ramakrishna: “Lovelorn! Oh, you have to be mad for God to attain Him! “This does not happen if the mind dwells on ‘lust and greed.’ What joy is there in lust? One feels ten million times that joy from a vision of God. One feels the joy of union with the Atman in every pore.”
- When a person gets even a drop of God’s ecstatic love, ‘lust and greed’ become so insignificant! When you get a drink sweetened with sugar candy, how can you care for one mixed with molasses? When you pray to God with a yearning heart, when you chant His name and glories incessantly, you gradually develop that kind of love for Him.
- The Brahmo devotee:Lust and anger are the real enemies. What can we do about them?” Sri Ramakrishna: “Turn the six enemies around – towards God. Have lust for union with the Atman. Show anger to those who are an obstacle in the way to God. Have greed to attain Him. If you have to say, ‘Me and mine,’ say it in relation to Him – as, for example, ‘My Krishna or my Rama.’ If you have pride, let it be like the pride of Bibhishana who said, ‘I have bowed to Rama. This head shall never bow to anybody else.’”
- Instruction to Nityagopal: Complete prohibition of the company of women for the tyagi (man of renunciation)
- After eating, Thakur takes him to the semi-circular verandah in the western corner of the room near the Ganges. He talks to him.
- A great woman devotee, thirty or thirty-two years old, occasionally visits Sri Ramakrishna. She has great devotion to him. She also has great motherly affection for Nityagopal because of his wonderful states of mind. She often takes him to her house.
- Sri Ramakrishna (to Nityagopal) — Do you visit her?
- Nityagopal (childlike) — Yes, I do go. She takes me home with her.
- Sri Ramakrishna — Beware, holy man! Go to her once or twice. Not very often, or you will fall! ‘Lust and greed’ constitute maya. A holy man must remain very far away from women. Everybody has a fall in their company – even Brahma and Vishnu struggle for life in their company.
- The devotee listens to all this.
- M. (to himself) — How strange! Thakur sometimes says that this devotee is in the state of a paramahamsa. Even in this high state there is risk! Thakur has made such difficult rules of conduct for a sadhu. He runs the risk of downfall if he associates himself with women. If one does not have such a high ideal, how can one be liberated? That woman is unique in devotion. Even then, there is risk! Now I understand why Sri Chaitanya awarded such hard punishment to the Younger Haridas. Even though Mahaprabhu (Sri Chaitanya) forbade him, the younger Haridas talked with a young widow. Haridas was a sannyasi (monk), of course. So Mahaprabhu left him. What punishment! How hard the rule for a sannyasi! And what love Sri Ramakrishna has for this devotee! Lest some misfortune should befall him later on, he promptly cautions him in advance. The devotees are struck dumb! ‘Beware, holy man.’ This grave warning is heard by them all.
- There is a view that a man doesn’t attain spiritual awakening until his desire for worldly enjoyments is over. But what is there to enjoy? The pleasures of ‘lust and greed’ are momentary – this moment they exist and the next moment they disappear. What is there in ‘lust and greed’? Its enjoyment is like eating a hog-plum that is all stone and rind. Eat it and you get colic. The moment you swallow sweet sandesh, it is gone.
- A person who wishes to renounce must have great will power.
- One does not realize God unless ‘lust and greed’ have vanished from the mind. The fire of spiritual wisdom first burns up lust, anger and other such enemies. Later it destroys the sense of I-ness. Lastly, it brings about a great turmoil [in the body].
- Sri Ramakrishna — He has seen the plight of worldly people who are forgetful of God. That is why he is developing renunciation for these things. Need one whose mind is freed from the attachment to ‘lust and greed’ worry about anything? “Oh, how strange! I had to perform so much repetition of the Name and meditation to get rid of these desires. How is it that he has absolutely freed his mind from desire so quickly? Is it so easy to get rid of lust? Oh, what a sensation I felt in my chest even six months after starting my spiritual practices! I would lie under a tree and weep. I cried to the Divine Mother, ‘Mother! If I experience the feeling of lust, I will cut my throat with a knife!’ (To the devotees) “If the mind is free from ‘lust and greed,’ what else remains to be attained? Then one enjoys only the joy of Brahman.”
- Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): “You cannot achieve union with God when the mind dwells on ‘lust and greed.’ The mind of an ordinary person remains in the centres of awareness located at the genital, anal, and naval regions.It takes a lot of effort in spiritual discipline for the kundalini to awaken. There are three nerves – ida, pingala, and sushumna. And in the sushumna are six lotuses, the lowest being the muladhara. Then there are svadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddha, and ajna. These are the six spiritual centres. “When the kundalini awakens, after it has crossed the lotuses of muladhara, svadhisthana, and manipura, it reaches the anahata lotus located at the heart. It stays there. The mind is then withdrawn from the three lower centres of anus, sex organ, and navel; it attains a spiritual consciousness and sees a light. The aspirant is speechless with wonder and exclaims, ‘What is this! What is this!’ “Having pierced six centres, the kundalini reaches the lotus of sahasrara and unites with it. When the kundalini reaches there, the aspirant passes into samadhi. “According to the Vedas, these centres are called bhumis or planes. There are seven planes. The heart is the fourth, and the lotus at anahata is twelve-petalled.“The vishuddha centre is the fifth plane. When the mind reaches there, the heart yearns only to talk of God and to hear about Him. This centre is located in the throat. It has a sixteen-petalled lotus. The person whose mind has reached this centre feels great pain to hear any worldly talk, such as talk of ‘lust and greed.’ When he hears such talk, he gets up and leaves the place. “After this comes the sixth plane, the ajna centre of two petals. When the kundalini reaches there, one has the vision of God’s form. But there is still a thin screen of separation. Like a lantern, the light can’t be touched because of a glass barrier. “Then one reaches the seventh plane, the thousand-petalled lotus. When the kundalini reaches there, samadhi comes about. The Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute Shiva resides at the sahasrara. Here He unites with Shakti – it is the union of Shiva and Shakti. “When the mind reaches the sahasrara, one becomes absorbed in samadhi. In this state all awareness of the external disappears, and the person cannot preserve his body. If milk is poured into his mouth, it runs out.
- Difference between the mind of a worldly man and a genuine renouncer. Girish (to Sri Ramakrishna) — Well sir, at times the mind rises so high – and then it falls so suddenly! Why is this? Sri Ramakrishna — This does happen when one leads a worldly life. The mind is first up, then down. First you feel so strong – and then so weak. You see, it is because one has to live amidst ‘lust and greed’. In worldly life the devotee contemplates the Lord and repeats His name – but then he gives his mind to ‘lust and greed’. He is like a housefly. Sometimes it sits on sandesh, at other times on a festering wound – and even on excreta. It is different with tyagis (those who have renounced the world). Taking their mind from ‘lust and greed,’ they give it to the Lord and only sip the sweetness of Hari’s name. A genuine man of renunciation doesn’t like anything but the Lord. When he hears worldly talk, he gets up and leaves. He only listens to Godly matters. The genuine renouncer talks of nothing but the Lord. The bee sits only on flowers, for it drinks honey. It likes no other thing.”
- They who live only with ‘lust and greed’ – who don’t think of God even once – are bound souls. What great work can they perform? They are like mangoes pecked by crows. Such mangoes cannot be offered to the gods. Eating them yourself is also risky. Bound souls, worldly people, are like silkworms. They could come out of their cocoons if they wished,but they have built their own homes and maya does not allow them to escape.And it all ends with death. Liberated souls are not under the control of ‘lust and greed’. Some cleversilkworms cut their cocoons and come out. But they are very few. Because of maya (attachment), one remains forgetful. Few attain spiritual awakening, few are not deluded by the magic of maya,are not subject to the control of ‘lust and greed.’ When the pot containing ashes from the maternity room falls on one’s feet, the ‘damn, damn’ word of the magician can do no harm. One can see exactly what the magician is doing.
- …A young man sadly asked Sri Ramakrishna: “Sir, how can I get rid of lust? I strive so hard, still I suffer from restlessness due to passion and bad thoughts.” Sri Ramakrishna: “… Do you think I am free from it? At one time I believed that I had conquered lust. Then one day when I was seated in the Panchavati, I suddenly had such an onrush of lust that it was hard for me to maintain control! Immediately I began crying, rubbing my face in the dust, and saying to the Divine Mother: “I have made a big mistake, Mother. I shall never again think that I have conquered lust.’ Only then did it subside. Do you know, you boys are now passing through a flood tide of adolescence? You can’t stop it. Can an embankment or a breakwater stop a tidal wave? The overflowing water breaks through and rushes forward, and then the water stands as high as a bamboo over the paddy fields. There is a saying, ‘Mental sin is not considered to be a sin in this Kaliyuga.’ If a bad thought happens to arise once or twice in the mind, why should you go on brooding about it? Sometimes those feelings come and go. They are natural to the body; consider them to be physical functions like the call of nature. Do people worry when they have an urge for the call of nature? Similarly, consider those feelings to be insignificant, trifling, and worthless, and don’t think of them anymore. Pray to God intensely, chant His name, and meditate on Him. Don’t pay any heed to whether those feelings come or go. Gradually, they will come under control.” …
- Sri Ramakrishna — It is illusory until you know God. The man forgets Him and utters, ‘Mine, mine.’ Bound by maya, deluded by ‘lust and gold,’ he goes down and down. The man has lost his consciousness while entangled in maya. He cannot run out of it even when there is a way. The song goes thus
- The Mahamaya has created such maya with its magic.
- That even Brahma and Vishnu have lost their consciousness. What can you, O jiva (embodied soul), understand?
- The fish makes pit and enters it. There is a way for it to come out, but it does not.
- The silkworm makes a cocoon and can escape out of it.
- But such is the work of Mahamaya that the insect gets bound within its own cocoon and dies there.
- “You people are yourself able to see that this world is transitory. Why don’t you see this very family? So many people have come and then departed, so many were born and so many died. The world now is and now it is not - it is transitory. They whom you call ‘my’ and ‘mine’ are not there as soon as you shut your eyes (in death). People do not have close relations, even so they do not go to Kashi just for the sake of their grandson. ‘What will happen to my Haru?’ There is a way out yet the fish does not escape. The silkworm dies in its own saliva it exudes. Thus the world is illusory, it is transitory.”
- Sri Ramakrishna: “‘Lust and greed’ are the cause of bondage. ‘Lust and greed’ mean worldliness. In fact it is ‘lust and greed’ that keep one from seeing God.” Saying this, Thakur covers his face with a hand towel and says, “Can you see me now? This is a veil. When the veil of ‘lust and greed’ is removed, one attains consciousness-bliss. “Just see. Whoever has given up the joy of lust has renounced the joy of the world. God is very near to this person.” Some of the devotees are standing, others are sitting, as they silently listen to these words. (To Kedar, Vijay, and others) “He who has given up the pleasure of lust has given up the pleasures of the world. This ‘lust and greed’ is truly the veil. You show off such big moustaches, and you are still immersed in it. Tell me truly. Search your mind and see if it isn’t so.” Vijay: “Sir, it is true.”
- Those who live amidst ‘lust and greed’ aren’t able to understand because of their inebriation. Chess players often don’t know if a move is right until the game has continued for some time. But onlookers from a distance can see and understand the game better.
- In the state of a paramahamsa one becomes like a child. A five-year-old does not distinguish between a man and a woman. Even so, the paramahamsa has to be careful to set a good example.
- Why was Keshab Sen not able to teach people?Keshab Sen was associated with ‘lust and greed.’ It hindered his teaching of humanity. That is what Thakur is saying. Sri Ramakrishna: “He (Keshab) – do you understand?” Vijay: “Yes, sir.” Sri Ramakrishna: ”He (Keshab Sen) tried to take care of both the worldly and the spiritual. So he couldn’t achieve very much.”
- MASTER: “I should like to have two pictures. One of a yogi seated before a lighted log, and another of a yogi smoking hemp and the charcoal blazing up as he pulls. Such pictures kindle my spiritual consciousness, as an imitation fruit awakens the idea of a real one.”The obstacle to yoga is lust and gold’. Yoga is possible when the mind becomes pure. The seat of the mind is between the eyebrows; but its look is fixed on the navel and the organs of generation and evacuation, that is to say, on ‘lust and greed’. But through spiritual discipline the same mind looks upward.“What are the spiritual disciplines that give the mind its upward direction? One learns all this by constantly living in holy company. The rishis of olden times lived either in solitude or in the company of holy persons; therefore they could easily renounce ‘lust and greed’ and fix their minds on God. They had no fear nor did they mind the criticism of others.“In order to be able to renounce, one must pray to God for the will-power to do so. One must immediately renounce what one feels to be unreal. The rishis had this will-power. Through it they controlled the sense-organs. If the tortoise once tucks in its limbs, you cannot make it bring them out even by cutting it into four pieces.
- Why did Chaitanya Deva renounce the world?Vijay: “Chaitanya Deva said to Nityananda, ‘Nitai, if I hadn’t renounced the world, people would not be helped. They would all want to live a worldly life. Nobody would try to give his whole mind to the lotus feet of God by renouncing ‘lust and greed.’” Sri Ramakrishna: Chaitanya Deva renounced the world to set an example. “A sadhu renounces ‘lust and greed’ for his own good. And then even when he has become detached, he must not allow a woman or gold near him, to set an example. A man of renunciation, the sannyasin, is a world teacher. Just seeing him gives spiritual awakening.”
- M. (humbly’): “Yes, sir. How, sir, may we fix our minds on God?”MASTER: “Repeat God’s name and sing His glories, and keep holy company; and now and then visit God’s devotees and holy men. The mind cannot dwell on God if it is immersed day and night in worldliness, in worldly duties and responsibilities; it is most necessary to go into solitude now and then and think of God. To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practises meditation in solitude (note: waking up early morning means enjoying solitude every day for first few hours and is an absolute essential for good spiritual progress.). When a tree is young it should be fenced all around; otherwise it may be destroyed by cattle.“To meditate, you should withdraw within yourself or retire to a secluded corner or to the forest. And you should always discriminate between the Real and the unreal. God alone is real, the Eternal Substance; all else is unreal, that is, impermanent. By discriminating thus, one should shake off impermanent objects from the mind.”
- One cannot be a King Janaka all of a sudden. Janaka at first practised much austerity in solitude.”Even if one lives in the world, one must go into solitude now and then. It will be of great help to a man if he goes away from his family, lives alone, and weeps for God even for three days. Even if he thinks of God for one day in solitude, when he has the leisure, that too will do him good. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. But who cries for the Lord? Now and then one must go into solitude and practise spiritual discipline to realize God. Living in the world and entangled in many of its duties, the aspirant, during the first stage of spiritual life, finds many obstacles in the path of concentration. While the trees on the foot-path are young, they must be fenced around; otherwise they will be destroyed by cattle. The fence is necessary when the tree is young, but it can be taken away when the trunk is thick and strong. Then the tree won’t be hurt even if an elephant is tied to it.“The disease of worldliness is like typhoid. And there are a huge jug of water and a jar of savoury pickles in the typhoid patient’s room. If you want to cure him of his illness, you must remove him from that room. The worldly man is like the typhoid patient. The various objects of enjoyment are the huge jug of water, and the craving for their enjoyment is his thirst. The very thought of pickles makes the mouth water; you don’t have to bring them near. And he is surrounded with them. The companionship of woman is the pickles. Hence treatment in solitude is necessary.“
- “One may wash a cup that contains garlic many times, but the smell of garlic will not leave the cup. The boys who have not touched ‘lust and gold’ are pure vessels. When a person is rubbed with the garlic of ‘lust and gold’ for a considerable time, the smell of garlic persists in him. “They are like mangoes pecked at and defiled by crows. Such a mango cannot be offered to Bhagavan. It is suspect even for personal use. It is as different as new earthen pots and the pots in which milk was once turned into curds. It is not safe to keep pure milk in vessels that once contained curds. The chances are that the milk will turn sour.“With ‘lust and greed’ always around you, how is it possible to realize God? It is very hard indeed to live unattached in their midst. In the first place, one is a slave of one’s spouse. In the second place, one is a slave to money. And in the third place, one is a slave to him whom one serves for the sake of his living.
- If you but realize God, you won’t see the world as unsubstantial. He who has realized God knows that God Himself has become the world and all living beings. When you feed your child, you should feel that you are feeding God. You should look on your father and mother as veritable manifestations of God and the Divine Mother, and serve them as such. If a man enters the world after realizing God, he does not generally keep up physical relations with his wife. Both of them are devotees; they love to talk only of God and pass their time in spiritual conversation. They serve other devotees of God, for they know that God alone has become all living beings; and, knowing this, they devote their lives to the service of others.”NEIGHBOUR: “But, sir, such a husband and wife are not to be found anywhere.”MASTER: “Yes, they can be found, though they may be very rare. Worldly people cannot recognize them. In order to lead such a life both husband and wife must be spiritual. It is possible to lead such a life if both of them have tasted the Bliss of God. God’s special grace is necessary to create such a couple; otherwise there will always be misunderstanding between them. In that case the one has to leave the other. Life becomes very miserable if husband and wife do not agree. The wife will say to her husband day and night: ‘Why did my father marry me to such a person? I can’t get enough to eat or to feed my children. I haven’t clothes enough to cover mv body or to give to my children. I haven’t received a single piece of jewelry from you. How happy you have made me! Ah! You keep your eyes closed and mutter the name of God! Now do give up all these crazy ideas.’”DEVOTEE: “There are such obstacles, certainly. Besides, the children may be disobedient. There is no end of difficulties. Now, sir, what is the way?”MASTER: “It is extremely difficult to practise spiritual discipline and at the same time lead a householder’s life. There are many handicaps: disease, grief, poverty, misunderstanding with one’s wife, and disobedient, stupid, and stubborn children. I don’t have to give you a list of them.“But still there is a way out. One should pray to God, going now and then into solitude, and make efforts to realize Him.“NEIGHBOUR: “Must one leave home then?”MASTER: “No, not altogether. Whenever you have leisure, go into solitude for a day or two. At that time don’t have any relations with the outside world and don’t hold any conversation with worldly people on worldly affairs. You must live either in solitude or in the company of holy men.“
- A man can realize God even in the world. But at the beginning he must spend a few days in solitude. He must practise spiritual discipline in a solitary place. He should take a room near his house, so that he may come home only for his meals. Keshab, Pratap, and others said to me, ‘Sir, we follow the ideal of King Janaka.’ ‘Mere words don’t make a King Janaka‘, I replied. ‘How many austerities King Janaka first had to perform in solitude — standing on his head and so on! Do something first; then you may become a King Janaka.’ You see a man writing English fluently; but could he do that at the very start? Perhaps he was the son of poor parents; he was cook in a family and earned his meals by his service. Perhaps he had to struggle hard to go on with his studies. It is after all these efforts that he can now write such fluent English.”I said to Keshab Sen further, ‘How can the worldly man be cured of his serious disease unless he goes into solitude?‘
- A man must practise some spiritual discipline in order to be able to lead a detached life in the world. It is necessary for him to spend some time in solitude — be it a year, six months, three months, or even one month. In that solitude he should fix his mind on God and pray with a longing heart for love of God. He should also say to himself: ‘There is nobody in this world who is my own. Those whom I call my own are here only for two days. God alone is my own. He alone is my all in all. Alas, how shall I realize Him?’
- M. — Will one always have to perform spiritual practices? Sri Ramakrishna — No, in the beginning you must be up and doing, but you don’t have to work so hard later on. As long as there are storms, tempests and rough water, the boat has to be steered along zigzag routes; so long does the boatman stand and hold the rudder – but he no longer does so when he is past them. When the boat rounds a bend and a favourable wind blows, he can sit down and relax and just touch the rudder. Then he prepares to hoist the sail and sits down for a smoke. There is peace when the storm and tempest of ‘lust and greed’ pass.
- Some people show signs of yoga. But even they have to be careful. ‘Lust and greed’ are the obstacles to yoga. They make one deviate from yoga and fall into worldliness – if there is still any desire for sense enjoyment.
- ’Lust and gold’ alone is maya. If maya is once recognized, it feels ashamed of itself and takes to flight. A man put on a tiger skin and tried to frighten another man. But the latter, said: ‘Ah! I have recognized you! You are our Hare.’ At that the man dressed in the skin went away smiling to frighten someone else.
- If the mind is restless, yoga is not possible. The wind of the world always distracts the flame of the mind. When the flame does not waver, one attains a perfect state of yoga. ‘Lust and greed’ are obstacles to yoga. You must discriminate: what is there in human body but blood, flesh, fat, intestines, worms, urine, faeces and so on. Why love such a body? … “Worldly people are intoxicated – inebriated with ‘lust and greed’. They have lost their awareness. That is why I am fond of the young men. ‘Lust and greed’ have not yet entered their minds. They are ‘good receptacles’ and can be of use in the Lord’s work. Worldly people are full of worthless stuff.
- “‘Lust and greed’ is maya. One attains union with God when the mind is rid of these two. The Atman, the Supreme Soul, is the magnet. The embodied soul is like a needle. When the former pulls the latter, it results in union. But if the needle is covered with dirt, the magnet can’t pull it. When, however, the dirt is removed, it is drawn again. You have to clean yourself of the dirt of ‘lust and greed.’”Mukherji: “How can we do this?”Sri Ramakrishna: “Weep for God with a longing heart. The water of your tears will wash off the dirt. And then the magnet can pull it. Only then will you attain union with God.” Mukherji: “Oh, wonderful!” Sri Ramakrishna:When you are free from lust and greed, Kumbhak (breath retention) occurs by itself. Samadhi comes after that. “And then there is the practice of meditation. Shiva manifests especially in the Sahasrara. Meditate on Him. The body is like a saucer, and the mind and intellect are like water. In this water, the sun of Sat-chit-ananda is reflected. By meditating on that reflected sun, one has the revelation of the real sun through God’s grace.” “When you can weep for God, He grants His vision. And you attain samadhi. Perfection in yoga is samadhi.
- Why family life? – when desire for enjoyment is over, one feels yearning for God and realizes Him. A devotee: “Why has He kept us in the world?”Sri Ramakrishna: “To keep the creation going. That is His will. That is His maya. God has bewitched us with ‘lust and greed.’”A devotee: “Why has He bewitched us? Why does He will this?” Sri Ramakrishna: “If He granted the bliss of God even once, no one would live a householder’s life. And that would lead to the end of creation. Rice is stocked in big bags in a warehouse. So that rats don’t find the rice, the grain dealer keeps some puffed and sweetened rice in a husking pan. The rats like the sweetened rice and eat it through the night. They don’t look for the bagged rice. But look, you can make fourteen times the volume of one seer of rice with puffed sweetened rice. How great is the bliss of God compared to the joy of ‘lust and greed!’ Contemplating His beauty, even the beauty of Rambha and Tilottama appears like ashes from a fire.” A devotee: “Why don’t we develop that yearning to realize God?” Sri Ramakrishna: “A person doesn’t feel yearning for God until the desire for enjoyment is over. Until the desire for ‘lust and greed’ is satisfied, a person doesn’t remember the Mother of the Universe. A child busy playing doesn’t look for his mother. When his play is over, he says, ‘I want to go to my mother.’ Once Hriday’s son was playing with a pigeon. He was calling out to it, ‘Come here, tee tee!’ As soon as he had enough of playing, he began to cry. A stranger came by and said, ‘Come, I’ll take you to your mother.’ The boy even climbed on the man’s shoulders to be taken. “Those who are born perfect don’t have to go through the householder’s life. They are already free from the desire for enjoyments since their birth.”
- Four classes of men attachment to ‘lust and greed’ is the sign of worldly man: Sri Ramakrishna — Four classes of human beings have been stated the bound souls, the seekers after liberation, the liberated and the ever free. The world is like the fishing net, the jiva (individual soul) like the fish and the Lord (whose maya constitutes the world) is the fisherman. When fishes fall into the fisherman’s net many of them try to tear the net to escape, i.e. they try to free themselves. They are like the men seeking liberation. However, all those who try to escape cannot run away. Only a few fishes slip out with a splash. Then people call out, ‘There goes the big fish.’ Such two or four beings are the liberated ones. Some fishes are so cautious by nature that they never fall into the net. Narada and such other saints are ever free; they never fall in the net of the world. However, most of the fish keep lying in the net unaware of the fact that they have fallen into a net and will die. Remaining in the net, they dart straight ahead taking the net along and try to hide their body into the mud. They make no attempt to escape, rather they fall deeper into the mud. They are like the bound souls. They live in the net and think, ‘We are quite happy here.’ The bound jivas remain attached to the world that is to ‘lust and greed’. They remain sunk in the sea of evil and think that they are very happy there. Those who seek for liberation and those who are liberated look upon the world as a death well, they don’t like it. So, some of them having attained jnana and the vision of Bhagavan give up their bodies. However, giving up body in this way is a far cry. “The bound creatures, the worldly men, don’t get awareness by any means. They suffer so much misery, so many trials, and so many sorrows; even then they don’t get awakening. The camel likes thorny bushes but the more it eats, the more it bleeds from its face. Even so, it continues to eat the same thorny bush and does not leave it. The worldly man suffers so much agony, so much sorrow, yet he reverts back to his old self quite soon. Perhaps his wife has died or she has proved faithless to him, yet he marries again. Perhaps he has lost his son and suffered so much of sorrow, yet he forgets all this in a few days. The mother of this boy, who was beside herself with grief, ties up her hair again and bedecks herself with jewellery. In the same way though people spend all in the marriage of their daughters, they continue giving birth to more children year after year. They lose all in litigation. Yet they again go to law! They cannot feed the children they have, neither can they educate them, nor can they look after them properly, still they beget more children every year. At times, their state can be likened to that of the snake trying to swallow the mole. The snake cannot swallow the mole, nor can it give it up. The bound soul may have realized that there is no substance in the world that it is like a hog plum that has nothing but stone and skin yet he cannot give it up. Even though he cannot turn his mind towards the Lord. A relative of Keshab Sen, fifty years old, was playing cards, as if time was not yet ripe for him to think of the Lord. The bound jiva has yet another sign. If he is lifted from worldly life to a better place, he will pine away to death. The worm of faeces feels pleasure in the excreta alone; it is only there that it thrives. If you put it in a pot of rice, it will die.” (All laugh.)
- Sri Ramakrishna — The very ego of man is maya. This egotism has veiled everything.All troubles cease when the I-ness dies. If by the grace of the Lord a man realizes, ‘I am not the doer,’ he becomes a jivanmukta. He has nothing to fear then. The maya or the I-ness is like a cloud. The sun becomes invisible even if there is a patch of cloud. As soon as the cloud passes away, one can see the sun. If by the grace of the Guru the feeling of I-ness vanishes, one realizes the Lord… You can get rid of I-ness when you have attained jnana (spiritual knowledge). On attaining jnana, you go into samadhi. Only in samadhi does I-ness disappear. But it is very difficult to attain this jnana. The Vedas say that I-ness vanishes only when the mind ascends to the seventh plane. It is only after attaining samadhi, that I-ness disappears. Where does the mind generally dwell? In the first three planes at the organs of generation and evacuation, and at the navel. Here the mind remains only attached to the world, to ‘lust and gold’. When the mind dwells in the heart, one sees the divine light. While seeing this light, one exclaims, ‘O, what is this! What is this!’ The next plane is at the throat. On this plane one likes to hear and speak only of the Lord. When the mind goes to the forehead, between the eyebrows, one sees the form of Sachchidananda. One has the desire to embrace and touch this very form, but one cannot. Though the flame in the lantern can be seen but it cannot be touched. You feel as if you are just touching it but you cannot. When the mind ascends to the seventh plane, I-ness vanishes one goes into samadhi. The ‘I’ that makes one worldly, attaches one to ‘lust and gold’ is the ‘rascal I’. Because of its intervention the jiva and the atman appear apart. If a stick is put on water, it appears to be divided into two. In reality the water is one but it appears to be two because of the stick. I-ness is the stick. Remove the stick, the water will become one as before. What is the ‘rascal I’? That which says, ‘Don’t you know me? I have so much money. Who is greater than me?’ If a thief steals ten rupees, first of all this man snatches the money from him and gives him a good beating. He doesn’t leave him even then. He sends for the watchman and handing him over to the police gets him punished. The ‘rascal I’ says, ‘Don’t you know, you stole my ten rupees. Such impertinence!’ ” ….. Vijay — How can one see the Lord? Sri Ramakrishna — Not till the mind is purified. Living amidst ‘lust and gold,’ the mind remains soiled, it remains covered with their dirt. If the needle is covered with mud, the magnet does not attract it. But when the mud and dirt are washed off, the magnet attracts. You can wash the dirt of the mind with the water of your eyes. If you weep with tears of repentance, saying, ‘O Lord, I shall never do such a thing again,’ then this dirt is washed away. Then the magnet of the Lord attracts the needle of the mind. You then go into samadhi and have the vision of the Lord. But you may try a thousand times, nothing is achieved without God’s grace. Without His grace you cannot see Him.Is it easy to gain His grace? You will have to get rid of your egoism completely. When you have the feeling that you are the doer, you cannot see the Lord.
- Unless you give up pride, you can’t attain spiritual knowledge. Water doesn’t stay on the top of a mound. It flows down quickly on all sides to the ground below.
- Surendra’s office – worldly life, the eight bonds, and the three gunas. Sri Ramakrishna: “Eight bonds bind man: shame, hatred, fear, pride of caste, suspicion, and secretiveness are all bonds. Thakur sings: “This is the grief that weighs on my heart: though You, my Mother, are here and I am wide awake, thieves of passion rob my house.” Then he sings: “In the world’s bustling marketplace, O Shyama, You fly kites that soar on the wind of hope, held fast by maya’s string.”“‘Maya’s string’ means wife and son. By rubbing the string with the paste of sensuousness, the string has become hard. Sensuousness means ‘lust and greed.’ There follows another song: “One comes to this world to play dice. I came with great hopes. But hope is in itself only a broken state. First I got the piece marked five, and age after age the twelve, the eighteen, and the sixteen. Divine Mother, last of all I got the unripe twelve piece, and I got ensnared by the five and six-mark pieces. Six and two equal eight, six and four make ten. O Divine Mother, I have no control over these. I won neither honour nor fame in this game, which I have been playing all through the night until dawn. “The piece marked ‘five,’ that is the five elements. To get ensnared in the ‘fives’ and ‘sixes’ means to fall under the control of the five elements and the six passions. To play tricks with the six piece means not to fall under the control of the six enemies. To deceive the ‘three’ piece means to be beyond the three gunas. “Sattva, rajas, and tamas, the three qualities of nature, have brought mankind under their control. They are like three brothers: if there is sattva, it can call on rajas; and if there is rajas, it can call on tamas. All three gunas are thieves. Tamas destroys, while rajas binds. Sattva, though it frees from the bonds, cannot take one to God.”Vijay (smiling): “Sattva is also a thief, isn’t it?”Sri Ramakrishna: “It can’t take one to God, but it does show the way to Him.”Bhavanath: “Oh, what wonderful words!”Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, it is a very lofty thought.” The devotees are very happy hearing these words.
- To devotees: You don’t have to renounce women altogether. It’s not wrong to sleep with your own wife. But after you’ve had children, you should live like brother and sister.
- To Bhavanath: “Keep your mind fixed on Bhagavan. He is a brave man indeed who, while living with his wife, does not have physical relations with her. Talk only about spiritual matters with your wife.” After awhile, Thakur again beckons Bhavanath and says, “Take your meal here today.” Bhavanath — As you please. Don’t worry about me. I am quite all right.
- Sri Ramakrishna: In the stage of spiritual practices, one should think of a woman (man for female aspirants) as a forest fire! Or a black cobra! In the state of perfection, after God-realization, one sees woman as the All-Blissful Mother. One then looks at each as a different aspect of the Divine Mother.” Many days ago, Thakur had warned Narayan very seriously about women. He said, “Do not let the breeze from a woman’s body touch you. Cover yourself with a thick sheet so the air will not touch you. And except for your mother, keep a distance of eight cubits, or two cubits, or at least one cubit away from women.”
- Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — There is nothing in the household life. His (Ishan’s) household life is still better. Had that not been so and if the boys had been womanizers, drug-addicts, drunkards, disobedient, there would have been no end to troubles. Everybody’s mind is Godward, the household is permeated with vidya (spiritual knowledge); it is rarely to be seen. I have seen only a couple of such homes, otherwise there are only quarrels, wrangles, violence and then disease, sorrow and poverty. Seeing so I said, ‘Mother, please give a turn just now.’ Just see, what problems Narendra is facing! His father has died. The members of his family don’t have food to eat. Job is so hard to be found. He is trying hard, but does not find any. Just see, how he is wandering about! “M., earlier you used to go (to Dakshineswar) so often, now why have your visits become fewer? It appears, you have got too much attached to your family. Is that so? “This is not anybody’s fault. All around there is ‘lust and greed.’ That is why I pray, ‘Mother, if I shall ever have to take a human body, don’t make a householder of me.’ ” Brahmin of Bhattapada — But sir, the household life has been praised in the holy books. Sri Ramakrishna — Yes, but it is very difficult.
- One easily experiences a downfall by thinking of a woman as one’s wife. Taking her as the Mother is a pure attitude.
- God is not visible to this mind, but to the purified mind! Then this mind disappears. Even one who has the least trace of attachment to sense objects does not succeed. When the mind is purified, you may call it the pure mind, or the pure Atman.
- Thakur had many women devotees, but he did not talk much about them to the men devotees. If someone went to visit women devotees, he would say, “Don’t go to her very often. You may have a fall.” Sometimes he would say, “Even if a woman rolls on the ground with love for God, you shouldn’t visit her frequently.” Let men and women devotees live separately. This will be good for both of them. And he would say further, “It isn’t good for women devotees to practice motherly feelings for men. Such an attitude could change and bring about a downfall.”
- A Particular Devotee — Sir, what is the way for worldly people? Sri Ramakrishna — Keeping the company of holy men and listening to spiritual talk. “Worldly people are intoxicated – they are inebriated with ‘lust and greed’. A drunkard gradually comes to his senses if he is fed rice water in small quantities at regular intervals. “And one must listen to the instructions of a Sadguru. There are signs of a Sadguru. One should listen about Kashi from one who has visited Kashi, who has seen it. A man of mere learning will be of no help. One should not listen to the instructions of a pundit who has not realized that the world is ephemeral. Only a pundit who has gained discrimination and dispassion has the right to instruct mankind.
- Sri Ramakrishna — The sadhu is he whose mind, prana and soul are merged in the Lord – he who has renounced ‘lust and greed’ is a sadhu. He who is a sadhu doesn’t see woman with a carnal eye – his mind is always drawn within. If he happens to be near women, he looks upon them as mother and worships them. The sadhu is always thinking inwardly of the Lord. He talks of nothing but Him. And knowing that God is present in all existence, he serves Him. Broadly speaking, these are the characteristics of a sadhu.
- The worldly man does not think of the Lord. If he has leisure, even then he indulges either in empty talk or engages himself in useless activities. Upon being asked he says, ‘I am not able to sit idle, so I am setting a hedge.’ Perhaps when the time hangs heavy on him, he starts playing cards.” (All laugh.)
- You must practise spiritual discipline a little. It will not do simply to say that milk contains butter. You must let the milk set into curd and then churn it. Only then can you get butter from it. Spiritual aspirants must go into solitude now and then. After acquiring love of God in solitude, they may live in the world. If one is wearing a pair of shoes, one can easily walk over thorns.
- Despite Ramakrishna’s childlike behaviour and unusual humility during the moments of teaching he could and did speak with a strange tone of authority, a mysterious divine power fortifying his simple words. When he spoke to Bankim Chatterji, the eminent writer of those days, he thundered like Christ on the Pharisees. His talks with Keshab, Shivanath, Pratap, Ishan and Vidyasagar are full of sparkling wisdom, striking the listeners with wonder. His words to Kedar are awfully irrevocable.
His words in the presence of Michael Madhusudan Dutta are tragically poignant. But when he speaks to Narendra who was only a boy compared to these social stalwarts already mentioned, Ramakrishna’s voice is unusually soft with affection and even with an unmistakable respect of great expectation. M. describes a scene (Kathamrita, Vol. 11, p. 202) when Ramakrishna affectionately looks at Narendra and speaks of renunciation in a tone of importunate request. – “My child, nothing will be achieved until one renounces lust and gold.”
Speaking these words, Ramakrishna was again absorbed in a divine mood. With the same compassionate look he began to sing in an inspired way: “I am afraid to speak; I am afraid not to speak; I only fear lest I should lose my darling. The mantra that I have learnt, The same I give unto you, Now it belongs to you. “Sri Ramakrishna is afraid lest Narendra should belong to somebody else.” (Kathamrita, Vol. II, p. 202).
- Swami Yogananda (then Jogindranath Roy Choudhury) asked Thakur how to get rid of lust. Thakur replied: “Repeat and repeat Hari’s Name, lust will fly out.” Jogen was not impressed. Thought he, “What a remedy! He does not know of any kriya (Tantric ritual) so he says that this will do. Can the repetition of Hari’s Name eradicate lust? Besides so many people repeat Hari’s Name. Why don’t they get rid of their lust?” Then he thought, “Since Thakur has said it why not see what is the result?” Thinking in this way he began repeating the Name with full concentration, and did in fact get clearly the results within a few days as Thakur had said. Because of differences in nature and variations in eligibility we find him in many places teaching differently to different persons – telling everyone what was needful for him. But nowhere did he prescribe anything difficult – he never asked anybody to take up anything, which was hard to practise and distinguished him from others. On the other hand he said, “You have not to take up anything unusual; you have to lead a simple life.” He himself is an example of this simplicity: no long hair, no smearing the body with ashes, no iron tongs – none of the outward signs, which distinguish sadhus from the common man – nothing like it. For them who go to him, the nearer they go the farther they find him, the more vastness they see in him. This is his wonderful uniqueness.
From left to right: Swami Trigunatita, Swami Shivananda, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Turiyananda, Swami Brahmananda, Swami Sadananda (seated below).
Ref: http://www.vedanta.org/reading/monthly/articles/2003/9.conversations_turiya_1.html ; http://www.vedanta.org/reading/monthly/articles/2003/10.conversations_turiya_2.html and http://www.vedanta.org/reading/monthly/articles/2003/11.conversations_turiya_3.html
- Continence is the most important practice in spiritual life. One who practices chastity easily attains devotion and knowledge. Lust is born in the mind. One who is freed from passions transcends this world.
- DISCIPLE: How can we get rid of anger, jealousy, and other passions?” SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “Just analyze yourselves—why should you be angry or jealous? Who are you to punish another? Learn to punish yourselves. But never say that you have conquered lust and other passions. If you do, they will be aroused. Pray to God (or Guru) that they may remain dormant.
- July 2, 1915. SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “Eating, sleeping, fear, copulation—these are the common characteristics of man and beast. We differ from the beasts in that we can discriminate between right and wrong. If one lives on a low plane of consciousness, one finds pleasure in the senses. With spiritual growth, one experiences happiness in subtler things. Then the person no longer finds enjoyment in the gross. Most people live the lives of beasts—drinking, hunting, running after a mate. If one cannot rise to a higher plane of consciousness, human birth is wasted. Meditate! Meditate! Be absorbed in His consciousness!
- There is the ocean of infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite bliss, seemingly divided by the stick of an ego which lies upon it. This ego is the first-begotten son of desire. Our cravings alone keep us separated from God. Sometime or other we must be freed from them. Root out all desires and call on Him! If He wills that the body should die, let it die while chanting His name! By worldly standards a man may be great. But he too in some life or other will have to renounce everything for God.
- “Troubles exist as long as we live in the domain of thought. There is no peace until we transcend thought itself. When one kills the mind, the senses come under control. What does it mean to kill the mind? It is to detach it from sense objects. The enlightened person has their senses under perfect control. ‘The tortoise can draw in his legs: the seer can draw in his senses. I call him illumined.’” The Swami closed his fist to illustrate how the enlightened soul draws in the senses.
- ‘Even a mind that knows the path can be dragged from the path; the senses are so unruly. But one who is wise controls the senses; the person recollects the mind and fixes it on Me. I call such a person illumined.’ As long as one expects happiness, one stays restless. But the enlightened soul ‘knows bliss in the Atman [the Self within] and wants nothing else. Cravings torment the heart; he renounces cravings. I call such a person illumined.’ Craving for happiness brings suffering in its wake.
- The illumined soul keeps himself detached from the mind and intellect and directs them to work, whereas the ordinary person identifies himself with the mind and intellect.
- June 11, 1915. It was noontime. Swami Turiyananda observed: “Is it easy to guard the mind from distracting thoughts? It demands heroic effort. Distractions constantly try to enter your mind and to take possession of you. Layers upon layers of rubbish are in the mind. What good is it merely to close eyes and ears?”
- Swami Turiyananda was lying down and I [Swami Raghavananda] was fanning him. Swami said: “Never let egotism control you. It ruins a man. He loses all discrimination—just like a drunkard. Sri Ramakrishna used to say: ‘Water does not accumulate on high ground.’ An egotistic man holds his head high.” Swami Turiyananda lifted his head to illustrate.Swami continued: “Strong is the person who is elastic like steel and does not break. Strong is the person who can live in harmony with many people and heed opinions differing from their own.“
- SWAMI TURIYANANDA: Who wants God? Practically nobody. Everyone wishes to be free from suffering and to find happiness. Pure devotion without any ulterior motive is very rare.“I knew a man who used to say he wanted nirvana. One day he asked me if he should marry again. You see, when there is an earnest longing for nirvana, even to be the emperor of emperors is a trifling thing. The very desire for nirvana brings such tranquillity to the mind. How can anybody then think of marriage!”
- Sri Ramakrishna did not have much regard for people who were immersed in sex. He used to say that they had lost all substance.The Master used to keep everything in his room in perfect order. Every object had its proper place so that even in darkness he could find what he wanted. An orderly mind is as necessary as external order.
- July 5, 1915. SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “Repression is bad. Let the mind wander wherever it pleases. Let it experience. At long last it will tire and return to God. If you repress it, its cravings will grow strong. But keep watch over your mind and intellect. Try to unite them with the Lord.” DISCIPLE: “Why doesn’t the mind have a natural tendency toward the divine?” SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “Everybody wants this to happen spontaneously. The mind will long for God in time. But first struggle; be watchful. Later on your mind will become your guru.
- “That which is good and pure in you is God. That which is evil in you is your ego. The more you think of him, the more he will increase and you will decrease. Some people are secretive. They raise a wall around themselves. That is bad. Without being sincere and open-hearted nobody can find God.”
- July 6, 1915. It was morning. A devotee had written a letter asking the following question: “Is it possible for a person in the world to attain samadhi?” SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “The worldly man engages himself in sexual intercourse. That, indeed, is his bliss of samadhi! If he doesn’t, his wife thinks she is losing her husband. Such is the world! She will beat the children and go around with a long face. Seeing all this disturbance, what can the poor man do? “What a troublesome world this is! How sex creates one bondage after another! But again, there are women who are aids to their husbands’ spiritual progress. Such women are born as parts of the Divine Mother. There are spiritual families in this world although they are very rare—the family of Balaram Bose, for instance. Every one of his people is conscious that God comes first.”
- What is worldly life? To be attached to the world and its objects. Spiritual life in the world means keeping the mind in God and performing one’s duties without attachment.”
- July 7, 1915. SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “ ‘He is the doer, I am His instrument.’ The more you become established in this idea and renounce the thought of ‘me’ and ‘mine,’ the greater will be your attainment of peace.”
- There must be self-effort. Sri Ramakrishna used to say: ‘Struggle a little! Then the guru will help you further.’ From our own experience we can confirm that if you move one step toward God, he will take ten steps toward you.
- DISCIPLE: “But if the Master wished, couldn’t he transform and elevate anyone’s consciousness?” SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “Yes, he could, but only of those who had some substance in them. The Master used to say about some people, ‘They won’t achieve much in this life.’ Unless there is self-effort, nothing can be accomplished. The illumined souls show us the path. Isn’t that a great help? But we have to walk it. If you open your hearts to us we can show you the path, because we have walked the path.”
- DISCIPLE: “We don’t understand our own minds.” SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “We can help you there. But you must have the desire to control your minds.” “Once a king came to a holy man and said: ‘Holy sir, please help me control my mind. I am so immersed in worldliness!’ The holy man replied: ‘Know this world to be ephemeral. See its worthlessness, and your mind will become detached from it.’ Then the holy man held on to a pillar and asked the king to release him. The king answered: ‘Why don’t you just let it go?’ Then he understood.” “The plate of food is set before you, but you keep your mouth closed. Do we have to force the food down your throats? This lethargy is a disease of the mind! You may ask, ‘Does not the Lord do everything for his devotee?’ The point is, first become a devotee, then he will do everything for you. But devotion is not to be had so easily. You have to surrender yourself completely to him. If you can’t do that, weep before him and say, ‘Lord, I have no devotion. I have not found you.’ People shed jugfuls of tears for riches. Learn to weep for him! Unless you do, why should God do anything for you? He does not care if you don’t care. If you can feel restless for God, know that he is very near. Then you don’t have to wait long for his vision. Analyze your mind! Find out if you really want him!”
- Repression of passions is bad. Unless the mind is directed toward a high ideal, they will find expression through other channels. Place your mind in God, then all evil will fall away by itself. That is what is meant by self-control; it arises from devotion to the Lord. Feel that you are a child of God! Why should his child be lustful? Or take the attitude: ‘I am pure! I am awakened! I am free!
- SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “Mind, intellect, and ego are in flux. One must learn to transcend them. Go beyond, and live as the witness! In the relative plane, one who has knowledge also has ignorance, one who is good also is evil. One must transcend both ignorance and knowledge.”
- The mind that becomes elated also is subject to depression. Don’t identify yourself with either! Go beyond! In the game of hide-and-seek the children are ‘safe’ when they touch the granny. Touch the granny—that is to say, somehow touch the feet of the Lord. Then you are no longer subject to the opposites of life
- You have to transcend both good and evil. However pure the mind becomes, you are not safe until you have transcended the mind itself. The sword must touch the touchstone before it turns into gold. Know that your true nature is beyond both good and evil.
- Sri Ramakrishna used to say: ‘Lust and greed are at the root of worldliness.’
- Remember how Sri Ramakrishna took a rupee in one hand and mud in the other, and then threw both away! Isn’t that a unique example? Think of the effect! The action immediately created a permanent impression in his mind. He was not satisfied with practicing discrimination only mentally.
- First detach yourselves completely from all worldly things. A piece of gold remains gold, whether it lies in mud or anywhere else. Similarly, once you have realized God, it does not matter where you live. But if anybody claims that one can be transformed without total renunciation, that person is a liar. ‘By renunciation alone one attains immortality.’ Know this: ‘You cannot find the All unless you give up all.’ With firm determination, like Nachiketa, you have to face death itself.”
- Give up the idea that you are a man or a woman. Think of yourself as the Atman [God immanent]. While I was in the West, the idea of sex was completely erased from my mind. I did not see any difference between men and women.
- This world is a slippery place. Unless one is careful one is apt to fall. If you control the tongue and the sexual instinct, you will live happily wherever you may be. How often one sees that people cannot live together in peace! They speak ill of one another or quarrel. And how many control the sex instinct?
- Remember, you cannot really do the Lord’s work unless you control your senses.
- The more dispassionate you become, the happier your life will be. That is to say, with dispassion comes immediate peace. Cravings only lead you to sorrow and misery.
- Keep holy company! It does not matter if you get specific instructions or not. A casual remark from the lips of a holy man can drive away your ignorance.
- What is meditation? It is to erase all cravings from the heart. Generally, people seek their own advantage—what they can get out of life. To renounce that is liberation.
- A real scholar is he who has all kinds of information but interprets his knowledge in a new light. He has an opinion of his own.
- Sattvic people are above thoughts of advantage and disadvantage. They keep their equanimity in the midst of happiness and sorrow.
- DISCIPLE: “Sir, isn’t realization the supreme goal? Is there anything beyond it? You seem to make a difference between realization and your state of attainment.” SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “Yes, there is a difference. There are degrees of realization. A rose is a rose, but there are four-petaled and hundred-petaled roses. Is there no difference? Swamiji gave us a higher ideal than realization for oneself; it is to expand the consciousness until you see yourself in all beings, and all beings in yourself.”
- SWAMI TURIYANANDA: “Continence is the essence of spiritual life. ‘Of all austerities, the practice of continence is supreme. He who practices it is verily a god, not a man.’ The illumined knowledge of Brahman comes naturally to a person who practices continence for thirty-two years. He who wastes this energy falls from the spiritual path and becomes dissipated.”
- The control of the passions is a necessary practice of austerity, but genuine control does not come until one has the knowledge of God. When one has attained union with Him, the mind no longer runs after flesh; the craving has completely disappeared. ‘The abstinent run away from what they desire. They carry their desires with them. When a person enters Reality, that person leaves desires behind them.’
- All people are slaves to nature. Some have a natural tendency toward inertia, others toward activity. Nature makes us helpless, and helplessly under her rule we sometimes act, sometimes become silent and lazy, and sometimes go to sleep. Nature controls us instead of our controlling nature. It is just as if a minister had usurped the king’s throne. I used to weep and pray that I would not remain under the control of nature. First be a witness to the workings of nature. Then try to realize the Reality that is beyond nature.
- Sri Ramakrishna used to pray: ‘Mother, may these children of mine surpass me in spirituality.’ There is a saying: ‘Welcome defeat at the hands of the son or disciple.
- What is samadhi? It is to raise the vital energy [prana] upward.
- ref: http://auromere.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/the-transmutation-of-sexual-energy- Question: Balzac, the famous French novelist, was of the opinion that indulgence in sex greatly hampers the high type of mental activity. According to him, “The man of genius is frigid. When he tries to lead both lives, the intellectual life and the love life, the man of genius dies, as Raphael died and Lord Byron.” So also Havelock Ellis, recognised as the world’s greatest authority on sex, maintains that to increase artistic and mental capacity and force it is necessary to restrain sexual activity. “The brain and the sexual organs,” he says, “are yet the great rivals in using up bodily energy, and there is an antagonism between extreme brain vigour and extreme sexual vigour, even though they may sometimes both appear at different periods in the same individual”. We find this evidenced in the life of some great masters of art like Beethoven and Mozart, in whose life sexual indulgence played a much smaller part than in the life of an average man. This would seem to imply that it is necessary to conserve sexual energy for the energisation and intensification of higher intellectual and aesthetic life. How far is this view justifiable ? Aurobindo: That is correct. The sex-energy can be controlled and diverted from the sex-purpose and used for aesthetic and artistic or other creation and productiveness or preserved for heightening of the intellectual or other energies. Entirely controlled, it can be turned into a force of spiritual energy also. This was well known in ancient India and was described as the conversion of retas into ojas by Brahmacharya. Retas, the sex-fluid, consists of two elements, one meant for sex-purposes, the other as a basis of general energy, and if the sex-action is not indulged and the sex-fluid is prevented from being spent away, it turns into ojas. The whole theory of Brahmacharya is based upon that by the Yogis. (This is a list of Sanskrit terms to help understand the next question: Retas=sexual fluid. Tapas=spiritual heat felt in body during Yoga concentration. Ojas=spiritual vigor which is felt after union with and immersion into cosmic energies. Tejas=spiritual light observed within. Vidyut=electrical power which courses through the body during Yoga.)
- Question: Many eminent psychologists, doctors and thinkers believe that complete sexual abstinence is dangerous and may lead to serious nervous trouble and even mental derangement. They maintain that the new form of energy produced from the sublimation of sexual energy may be harmful and may lead to perversities and morbidities. Rene Guyon, for example, points out: “When the libido is repressed, when its impetus is crushed back, it is forced to find an outlet by some other route …. But this compensation is not necessarily useful, superior and worthy of admiration. It can just as well be harmful and destructive.” How far is this true ? Aurobindo: It is a fact that sex suppressed in outward action but indulged in other ways may lead to disorders of the system and brain troubles. That is the root of the medical theory which discourages sexual abstinence. But these things happen only when there is either secret indulgence of a perverse kind replacing the normal sexual activity or else an indulgence of it in a kind of subtle vital way by imagination or by an invisible vital interchange of an occult kind; harm never occurs when there is a true effort at mastery and abstinence.
- Question: The Freudian system of psycho-analysis has attributed a large number of physical and mental disorders to suppressed sexual desire. To what extent are the assertions of this system true? Aurobindo: The psycho-analysis of Freud takes up a certain part, the darkest, the most perilous, the unhealthiest part of the nature, the lower vital subconscious layer, isolates some of its most morbid phenomena and attributes to it and them an action out of all proportion to its true role in the nature. Modern psychology is an infant science, at once rash, fumbling and crude. As in all infant sciences, the universal habit of the human mind to take a partial or local truth, generalise it unduly and try to explain a whole field of Nature in its narrow terms runs riot here. Moreover, the exaggeration of the importance of suppressed sexual complexes is a dangerous falsehood and it can have a nasty influence and tend to make the mind and vital more and not less fundamentally impure than before.
- Disciple: What happens when the human consciousness is replaced by the Divine Consciousness? Sri Aurobindo: One feels perpetual calm, perpetual strength, – one is aware of Infinity, lives not only in Infinity but in Eternity. One feels the immortality and does not care about the death of the body, and one has the consciousness of the One in all. Everything becomes the manifestation of the Brahman. For instance, as I look around the room I see everything as the Brahman – it is not thinking, it is a concrete experience, – even the wall, the book is Brahman. I see you not as X. but as a divine being in the Divine. It is a wonderful experience.
- Regarding your question about a complementary soul and marriage, the answer is easy to give; the way of the spiritual life lies for you in one direction and marriage lies in quite another and opposite. All talk about a complementary soul is a camouflage with which the mind tries to cover the sentimental, sensational and physical wants of the lower vital nature. It is that vital nature in you which puts the question and would like an answer reconciling its desires and demands with the call of the true soul in you. But it must not expect a sanction for any such incongruous reconciliation from here. The way of the supramental yoga is clear; it lies not through concession to these things, – not, in your case, through satisfaction, under a spiritual cover if possible, of its craving for the comforts and gratifications of a domestic and conjugal life and the enjoyment of the ordinary emotional desires and physical passions, – but through the purification and transformation of the forces which these movements pervert and misuse. Not these human and animal demands, but the divine Ananda which is above and beyond them and which the indulgence of these degraded forms would prevent from descending, is the great thing and that the aspiration of the vital being must demand in the sadhak.
- it is when one mixes up sex and spirituality that there is the greatest havoc. Even the attempt to sublimate it by turning it towards the Divine as in the Vaishnava madhura bhava carries in it a serious danger, as the results of a wrong turn or use in this method so often show. At any rate in this yoga which seeks not only the essential experience of the Divine but a transformation of the whole being and nature, I have found it an absolute necessity of the sadhana to aim at a complete mastery over the sex-force; otherwise the vital consciousness remains a turbid mixture, the turbidity affecting the purity of the spiritualised mind and seriously hindering the upward turn of the forces of the body. This yoga demands a full ascension of the whole lower or ordinary consciousness to join the spiritual above it and a full descent of the spiritual (eventually of the supramental) into the mind, life and body to transform it. The total ascent is impossible so long as sex desire blocks the way; the descent is dangerous so long as sex-desire is powerful in the vital. For at any moment an unexcised or latent sex-desire may be the cause of a mixture which throws back the true descent and uses the energy acquired for other purposes or turns all the action of the consciousness towards wrong experience, turbid and delusive. One must, therefore, clear this obstacle out of the way; otherwise there is either no safety or no free movement towards finality in the sadhana.
- As for the method of mastery, it cannot be done by physical abstinence alone – it proceeds by a process of combined detachment and rejection. The consciousness stands back from the sex-impulse, feels it as not its own, as something alien thrown on it by Nature-force to which it refuses assent or identification – each time a certain movement of rejection throws it more and more outward. The mind remains unaffected; after a time the vital being which is the chief support withdraws from it in the same way, finally the physical consciousness no longer supports it. This process continues until even the subconscient can no longer rouse it up in dream and no further movement comes from the outer Nature-force to -kindle this lower fire. This is the course when the sex) propensity sticks obstinately; but there are some who can eliminate it decisively by a swift radical dropping away from the nature. That, however, is more rare. It has to be said that the total elimination of the sex-impulse is one of the most difficult things in sadhana and one must be prepared for it to take time. But its total disappearance has been achieved and a practical liberation crossed only by occasional dream-movements from the subconscient is fairly common.
- Sex and sexuality and all that springs from sex and testifies to its existence had to be banned and discarded from the spiritual life, and this, though difficult, is not at all impossible and can be made a cardinal condition for the spiritual seeker. This is natural and unescapable in all ascetic practice and the satisfaction of this condition, though not easy at first to fulfil, becomes after a time quite feasible; the overcoming of the sex-instinct and impulse is indeed binding on all who would attain to self-mastery and lead the spiritual life. A total mastery over it is essential for all spiritual seekers, the eradication of it for the complete ascetic. This much has to be recognised and not diminished in its obligatory importance and its principle.
- In 1909, after his acquittal, I once invited Sri Aurobindo for lunch…. We discussed whether one can maintain brahmacharya after marriage. I was of the opinion that one can’t. He was explaining how it was in fact possible. I was curious to know whether Sri Aurobindo himself maintained it but could not muster the courage to ask him. After a while he told me, “I can see what is in your mind. You are eager to know whether I have sexual relations with my wife or not. I don’t,” he declared. “I have been able to maintain my brahmacharya even after marriage.” Manomohan Gangopadhyaya (Shruti-Smriti, Part 1, (1927), p 13)
- Disciple: In our yoga we have to discontinue the lower movement of nature as being an obstacle to Sadhana, but the Tantrics – specially the Vira Sadhakas – turn these obstacles to account and, taking help from these, they build up spiritual life. Sri Aurobindo: How? Disciple: That is my question. Sri Aurobindo: I have no objection to taking fish and even you can take wine, if it suits you, but how can the sexual act be made to help in spiritual life? In itself the sexual act is not bad as the moralists believe. It is a movement of nature which has its purpose and is neither good nor bad. But, from the yogic point of view, the sexual force is the greatest force in the world and if properly used helps to recreate and regenerate the being. But, if it is indulged in the ordinary way, it is a great obstacle for two reasons. First, the sexual act involves a great loss of vital force, it is a movement towards death, though this is compensated by creation of new life. That it is a movement towards death is proved by the exhaustion felt after it; many people feel even a disgust.
- The whole principle of this yoga is to give oneself entirely to the Divine alone and to nobody and nothing else, and to bring down into ourselves by union with the Divine Mother-Power all the transcendent light, force, wideness, peace, purity, truth-consciousness and Ananda of the supramental Divine. In this yoga, therefore, there can be no place for vital relations or interchanges with others; any such relation or interchange immediately ties down the soul to the lower consciousness and its lower nature, prevents the true and full union with the Divine and hampers both the ascent to the supramental Truth-consciousness and the descent of the supramental Ishwari Shakti. Still worse would it be if this interchange took the form of a sexual relation or a sexual enjoyment, even if kept free from any outward act; therefore these things are absolutely forbidden in the sadhana. It goes without saying that any physical act of the kind is not allowed; but also any subtler form is ruled out. It is only after becoming one with the supramental Divine that we can find our true spiritual relations with others in the Divine; in that higher unity this kind of gross lower vital movement can have no place.
- To master the sex-impulse, – to become so much master of the sex-centre that the sexual energy would be drawn upwards, not thrown outwards and wasted – it is so indeed that the force in the seed can be turned into a primal physical energy supporting all the others, retas into ojas. But no error can be more perilous than to accept the immixture of the sexual desire and some kind of subtle satisfaction of it and look on this as a part of the sadhana. It would be the most effective way to head straight towards spiritual downfall and throw into the atmosphere forces that would block the supramental descent, bringing instead the descent of adverse vital powers to disseminate disturbance and disaster. This deviation must be absolutely thrown away, should it try to occur and expunged from the consciousness, if the Truth is to be brought down and the work is to be done.
- It is an error too to imagine that, although the physical sexual action is to be abandoned, yet some inward reproduction of it is part of the transformation of the sex-centre. The action of the animal sex-energy in Nature is a device for a particular purpose in the economy of the material creation in the Ignorance. But the vital excitement that accompanies it makes the most favourable opportunity and vibration in the atmosphere for the inrush of those very vital forces and beings whose whole business is to prevent the descent of the supramental Light. The pleasure attached to it is a degradation and not a true form of the divine Ananda. The true divine Ananda in the physical has a different quality and movement and substance; self-existent in its essence, its manifestation is dependent only on an inner union with the Divine. You have spoken of Divine Love; but Divine Love, when it touches the physical, does not awaken the gross lower vital propensities; indulgence of them would only repel it and make it withdraw again to the heights from which it is already difficult enough to draw it down into the coarseness of the material creation which it alone can transform. Seek the Divine Love through the only gate through which it will consent to enter, the gate of the psychic being, and cast away the lower vital error.
- The transformation of the sex-centre and its energy is needed for the physical siddhi; for this is the support in the body of all the mental, vital and physical forces of the nature. It has to be changed into a mass and a movement of intimate Light, creative Power, pure divine Ananda. It is only the bringing down of the supramental Light, Power and Bliss into the centre that can change it. As to the working afterwards, it is the supramental Truth and the creative vision and will of the Divine Mother that will determine it. But it will be a working of the conscious Truth, not of the Darkness and Ignorance to which sexual desire and enjoyment belong; it will be a power of preservation and free desireless radiation of the life-forces and not of their throwing out and waste. Avoid the imagination that the supramental life will be only a heightened satisfaction of the desires of the vital and the body; nothing can be a greater obstacle to the Truth in its descent than this hope of glorification of the animal in the human nature. Mind wants the supramental state to be a confirmation of its own cherished ideas and preconceptions; the vital wants it to be a glorification of its own desires; the physical wants it to be a rich prolongation of its own comforts and pleasures and habits. If it were to be that, it would be only an exaggerated and highly magnified consummation of the animal and the human nature, not a transition from the human into the Divine.
- We have stated, as succinctly as is consistent with clearness, the main psychological principles on which the ancient Indians based their scheme of education. By the training of Brahmacharya they placed all the energy of which the system was capable and which could be spared from bodily functions, at the service of the brain. In this way they not only strengthened the medh? or grasping power, the dh? or subtlety and swiftness of thought conception, the memory and the creative intellectual force, making the triple force of memory, invention, judgment comprehensive and analytic, but they greatly enlarged the range, no less than the intensity, of the absorbing, storing and generative mental activities. Hence those astonishing feats of memory, various comprehension and versatility of creative work of which only a few extraordinary intellects have been capable in Occidental history, but which in ancient India were common and usual. …… This easy and unfailing illumination crowning the unfailing energy created by Brahmacharya was due to the discipline which developed sattva or inner illumination. This illumination makes the acquisition of knowledge and all other intellectual operations easy, spontaneous, swift, decisive and comparatively unfatiguing to body or brain. In these two things lies the secret of Aryan intellectual achievement, Brahmacharya and sattvic development created the brain of India: it was perfected by Yoga.
- The practice of Brahmacharya is the first and most necessary condition of increasing the force within and turning it to such uses as may benefit the possessor or mankind. All human energy has a physical basis. The mistake made by European materialism is to suppose the basis to be everything and confuse it with the source. The source of life and energy is not material but spiritual, but the basis, the foundation on which the life and energy stand and work, is physical. The ancient Hindus clearly recognised this distinction between k?ra?a and prati??h?, the north pole and the south pole of being. Earth or gross matter is the prati??h?, Brahman or spirit is the k?ra?a. To raise up the physical to the spiritual is Brahmacharya, for by the meeting of the two the energy which starts from one and produces the other is enhanced and fulfills itself.This is the metaphysical theory. The application depends on a right understanding of the physical and psychological conformation of the human receptacle of energy. The fundamental physical unit is the retas, in which the tejas, the heat and light and electricity in a man, is involved and hidden. All energy is latent in the retas. This energy may be either expended physically or conserved. All passion, lust, desire wastes the energy by pouring it, either in the gross form or a sublimated subtler form, out of the body. Immorality in act throws it out in the gross form; immorality of thought in the subtle form. In either case there is waste, and unchastity is of the mind and speech as well as of the body. On the other hand, all self-control conserves the energy in the retas, and conservation always brings with it increase. But the needs of the physical body are limited and the excess of energy must create a surplus which has to turn itself to some use other than the physical. According to the ancient theory retas is jala or water, full of light and heat and electricity, in one word, of tejas. The excess of the retas turns first into heat or tapas which stimulates the whole system, and it is for this reason that all forms of self-control and austerity are called tapas or tapasy? because they generate the heat, or stimulus which is a source of powerful action and success;secondly, it turns to tejas proper, light, the energy which is at the source of all knowledge; thirdly, it turns to vidyut or electricity, which is at the basis of all forceful action whether intellectual or physical. In the vidyutojas, or pr??a?akti, the primal energy which proceeds from ether. The retasjala to tapas, tejas and vidyut and from vidyut to ojas, fills the system with physical strength, energy and brain-power and in its last form of ojas rises to the brain and informs it with that primal energy which is the most refined form of matter and nearest to spirit. It is ojas that creates a spiritual force or virya, by which a man attains to spiritual knowledge, spiritual love and faith, spiritual strength. It follows that the more we can by Brahmacharya increase the store of tapas, tejas, vidyut and ojas, the more we shall fill ourselves with utter energy for the works of the body, heart, mind and spirit.
- In its human action on the mental and vital level sex is not altogether an undivine principle; it has its nobler aspects and idealities and it has to be seen in what way and to what extent these can be admitted into the new and larger life. All gross animal indulgence of sex desire and impulse would have to be eliminated; it could only continue among those who are not ready for the higher life or not yet ready for a complete spiritual living. In all who aspired to it but could not yet take it up in its fullness sex will have to be refined, submit to the spiritual or psychic impulse and a control by the higher mind and the higher vital and shed all its lighter, frivolous or degraded forms and feel the touch of the purity of the ideal. Love would remain, all forms of the pure truth of love in higher and higher steps till it realised its highest nature, widened into universal love, merged into the love of the Divine. The love of man and woman would also undergo that elevation and consummation; for all that can feel a touch of the ideal and the spiritual must follow the way of ascent till it reaches the divine Reality. The body and its activities must be accepted as part of the divine life and pass under this law; but, as in the other evolutionary transitions, what cannot accept the law of the divine life cannot be accepted and must fall away from the ascending nature.
- There is one problem raised by sex for those who would reject in toto the obligations imposed by the animality of the body and put forward by it as an insistent opposition in the way of the aspirant to a higher life: it is the necessity of the prolongation of the race for which the sex activity is the only means already provided by Nature for living beings and inevitably imposed upon the race. It is not indeed necessary for the individual seeker after a divine life to take up this problem or even for a group who do not seek after it for themselves alone but desire a wide acceptance of it by mankind as at least an ideal. There will always be the multitude who do not concern themselves with it or are not ready for its complete practice and to these can be left the care for the prolongation of the race. The number of those who lead the divine life can be maintained and increased as the ideal extends itself, by the voluntary adhesion of those who are touched by the aspiration and there need be no resort to physical means for this purpose, no deviation from the rule of a strict sexual abstinence. But yet there may be circumstances in which from another standpoint, a voluntary creation of bodies for souls that seek to enter the earth-life to help in the ,Creation and extension of the divine life upon earth might be found to be desirable. Then the necessity of the physical ;procreation for this purpose could only be avoided if new means of a supraphysical kind were evolved and made available. A development of this kind must necessarily belong to what is now considered as the sphere of the occult and the use of concealed powers of action or creation not known or possessed by the common mind of the race. Occultism means rightly the use of the higher powers of our nature, soul, mind, life-force and the faculties of the subtle physical consciousness to bring about results on their own or on the material plane by some pressure of their own secret law and its potentialities, for manifestation and result in human or earthly mind and life and body or in objects and events in the world of Matter. A discovery or an extension of these little known or yet undeveloped powers is now envisaged by some well known thinkers as a next step to be taken by mankind in its immediate evolution; the kind of creation spoken of has not been included among these developments, but it could well be considered as one of the new possibilities. Even physical science is trying to find physical means for passing beyond the ordinary instrumentation or procedure of Nature in this matter of propagation or the renewal of the physical life force in human or animal beings; but the resort to occult means and the intervention of subtle physical processes, if it could be made possible, would be a greater way which could avoid the limitations, degradations, incompleteness and heavy imperfection of the means and results solely available to the law of material force. In India there has been always from the earliest times a widely spread belief in the possibility and reality of the use of these powers by men with an advanced knowledge of these secret things or with a developed spiritual knowledge and experience and dynamic force and even, in the Tantras, an organised system of their method and practice. The intervention of the Yogi in bringing about a desired birth of offspring is also generally believed in and often appealed to and the bestowal on the child so obtained of a spiritual attainment or destiny by his will or his blessing is sometimes asked for and such a result is recorded not only in the tradition of the past but maintained by the witness of the present. But there is here still the necessity of a resort to the normal means of propagation and the gross method of physical Nature. A purely occult method, a resort to supraphysical processes acting by supraphysical means for a physical result would have to be possible if we are to avoid this necessity: the resort to the sex impulse and its animal process could not be transcended otherwise. If there is some reality in the phenomenon of materialisation and dematerialisation claimed to be possible by occultists and evidenced by occurrences many of us have witnessed, a method of this kind would not be out of the range of possibility. For in the theory of the occultists and in the gradation of the ranges and planes of our being which Yoga-knowledge outlines for us there is not only a subtle physical force but a subtle physical Matter intervening between life and gross Matter and to create in this subtle physical substance and precipitate the forms thus made into our grosser materiality is feasible. It should be possible and it is believed to be possible for an object formed in this subtle physical substance to make a transit from its subtlety into the state of gross Matter directly by the intervention of an occult force and process whether with or even without the assistance or intervention of some gross material procedure. A soul wishing to enter into a body or form for itself a body and take part in a divine life upon earth might be assisted to do so or even provided with such a form by this method of direct transmutation without passing through birth by the sex process or undergoing any degradation or any of the heavy limitations in the growth and development of its mind and material body inevitable to our present way of existence. It might then assume at once the structure and greater powers and functionings of the truly divine material body which must one day emerge in a progressive evolution to a totally transformed existence both of the life and form in a divinised earth-nature.
- For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb; there are some eunuchs of men; and there be eunuchs, which made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive let him receive. – from Bible (Math. xix. 12)
- “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’ but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
- 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 practises unbroken brahmacharya, what is there unattainable in this world? By the power of the unbroken brahmacharya, one will become just like myself.
- In his celebrated work “Vivekachudamani,” Sri Sankaracharya, one of the brightest stars in the philosophical and religious firmament of India, has this advice for spiritual aspirants: “If, indeed, thou hast a craving for liberation, shun sense-objects from a good distance as thou wouldst do poison, and always cultivate carefully the nectar-like virtues of contentment, compassion, forgiveness, straight-forwardness, calmness and self-control.”
- Darkness and the mass of evils produced by darkness no longer exist when the sun has risen. Similarly, when one has tasted undifferentiated bliss, no bondage or trace of suffering remains.
- To be free from bondage the wise man must practise discrimination between self and non-self. By that alone he will become full of joy, recognising himself as Being, Consciousness and Bliss.
- One should become aware of oneself, indivisible and perfect like Space itself, when free from identification with such things as one’s body, senses, functions, mind and sense of doership, which are all the products of one’s own ignorance.
- As long as there is life in your body, your people may have concern for you, but once the life-breath ebbs out of your body, even your own wife will run away from you.
- Enticed by the physical glamour of a woman (or a man), do not lose your senses; the body is nothing but a conglomeration of flesh, do not forget this any time.
- Who indeed is your beloved and who indeed is your son? Strange indeed are these family bonds; who belongs to you and to whom you belong? whence did you come, Oh brother! Reflect on the truth of it all.
- The extremely dispassionate man achieves samadhi. A person in samadhi experiences steady enlightenment. He who is enlightened to the Truth achieves liberation from bondage, and he who is truly liberated experiences eternal joy.
- It is owing to people’s worldly desires, their desires for scriptures, and their desires concerning their bodies that they do not achieve realisation.
- Give up identification with this mass of flesh as well as with what thinks it a mass. Both are intellectual imaginations. Recognise your true self as undifferentiated awareness, unaffected by time, past, present or future, and enter Peace.
- Only he who is free from the terrible hankering after the senses which is so hard to overcome is fit for liberation, and no-one else, not even if he is an expert in the six branches of scripture.
- Childhood skips off on sport and play. Youth flies off in pursuits of fleeting sense pleasures. As one grows older he is drowned in worry about the security and future of his wife and children. One’s whole life gets spent in some kind of worry or other. And at no stage does man find time to lift his thoughts to God.
- The company of the good weans one away from false atttachments; when attachment is lost, delusion ends; when delusion ends, the mind becomes unwavering and steady. An unwavering and steady mind is merited for Jeevan Mukti ( liberation even in this life).
- When youth is gone, where is lust and its play? Where is the lake when its waters have dried up? Where are the kinsfolk when riches are gone ? When Truth is realised, where is the snare of Samsara?
- The pleasures and riches of worldly life are deceptive appearances. Understanding that they are all but a passing-show, be detached and dispassionate, cultivate renunciation and seek Brahman.
- Day and night, dawn and dusk, winter and spring, all these are flitting across the stage of the world. While time thus is frolicking and befooling us, our life span is also running out; yet we do not , even a little, give up the clinging to our desires, nor do we let the desires loosen their grip on us.
- What is Self-Control? A firm hold on the lust of the eyes and the outward powers.
- Who is a jivanmukta (an enlightened sage)? Just as there is the firm belief that ‘I am the body,’ ‘I am a man,’ ‘I am a priest,’ ‘I am a serf,’ so he who possesses the firm conviction that ‘I am neither priest nor serf nor man, but stainless Being, Consciousness, Bliss, the Shining, the inner Master, Shining Wisdom,’ and knows this by direct perception, he is a jivanmukta.
- In solitude live joyously. Quieten your mind in the Supreme Lord. Realise and see the All-pervading Self every where. Recognise that the finite Universe is a projection of the Self. Conquer the effects of the deeds done in earlier lives by the present right action. Through wisdom become detached from future actions (Agami). Experience and exhaust “Prarabdha” the fruits of past actions. Thereafter, live absorbed in the bhav – “I am Brahman” !
- It is the very nature of the magnanimous to move of their own accord towards removing others’ troubles. Here, for instance, is the moon who, as everybody knows, voluntarily saves the earth parched by the flaming rays of the sun.
- The study of the Scriptures is useless so long as the highest Truth is unknown, and it is equally useless when the highest Truth has already been known.
- (ref: http://www.sankaracharya.org/vivekachudamani1.php) The first step to Liberation is the extreme aversion to all perishable things, then follow calmness, self-control, forbearance, and the utter relinquishment of all work enjoined in the Scriptures. Then come hearing, reflection on that, and long, constant and unbroken meditation on the Truth for the Muni. After that the learned seeker attains the supreme Nirvikalpa state and realises the bliss of Nirvana even in this life.
- Sense-objects are even more virulent in their evil effects than the poison of the cobra. Poison kills one who takes it, but those others kill one who even looks at them through the eyes.
- The shark of hankering catches by the throat those seekers after Liberation who have got only an apparent dispassion (Vairagya) and are trying to cross the ocean of samsara (relative existence), and violently snatching them away, drowns them half-way.
- He who has killed the shark known as sense-object with the sword of mature dispassion, crosses the ocean of Samsara, free from all obstacles.
- Know that death quickly overtakes the stupid man who walks along the dreadful ways of sense-pleasure; whereas one who walks in accordance with the instructions of a well-wishing and worthy Guru, as also with his own reasoning, achieves his end – know this to be true.
- So for a seeker after Liberation the infatuation over things like the body is a dire death. He who has thoroughly conquered this deserves the state of Freedom.
- The aspirant should carefully practice this (meditation) that reveals his natural bliss until, being under his full control, it arises spontaneously, in an instant when called into action.
- While practicing Samadhi there appear unavoidably many obstacles, such as lack of inquiry, idleness, desire for sense-pleasure, sleep, dullness, distraction, tasting of joy, and the sense of blankness. One desiring the knowledge of Brahman should slowly get rid of such innumerable obstacles.
- Blessed indeed are those virtuous persons who at first have this consciousness of Brahman and then develop it more and more. They are respected everywhere.
- Recognise that the pleasures of sense-objects (samsar) are riddled with pain.Seek the Self with consistent endeavour.
- The spiritual life starts with your recognition that as long as you keep going headlong in the pursuit of sense satisfaction and pleasure, you are not going to move one step. So all will be academic and theoretical. Our aspiration, our wanting spiritual life will only be in theory—a fancy and a feeling. You have not started. So the beginning stage itself of the spiritual life is a turning away from sense experience and sense indulgence and starting to move in the opposite direction. It is perhaps precisely for this reason that Maharshi Patanjali put brahmacharya right at the very commencement of his eight-stage Raja Yoga and not at any later stage. It is one of the five vows that constitute the first stage. If he had thought that it was only important or essential at a later stage, he would have brought it in at the third or fourth stage. But no, he did it at the very beginning.
- The third key to success is also something that I myself have used right from the very beginning, and I think it is the ultimate answer. The real secret of success in brahmacharya, the real key, is what I’m just now going to state. The moment you begin to think that I am Atman, unborn, nameless, formless, I have neither body nor mind, I am Satchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute), Self-sufficient, I am of the very nature of Bliss Absolute–if you thus totally shift your consciousness to your reality, to your essential, eternal, true identity, then, finished! Brahmacharya is no longer a problem. The problem of brahmacharya ceases to exist except only once in a while due to old impressions. If some factor outside of you happens to act as a stimulus, then an idea may come. Mind you, it is not only what your mental-intellectual mechanism thinks about yourself, it is also your feeling about yourself. If both your thinking and feeling are elevated to such a height, elevated to that dimension–it’s not only a question of height, it’s a different dimension altogether–and you move into that dimension, this lower dimension ceases to be of importance, ceases to have any impact upon you. It is there; it may function, but you are not at all affected by it in any way. Once you start cultivating staying put in the consciousness of your own essential identity, then brahmacharya is no longer a problem. It is solved. So the ultimate key to success in brahmacharya is atma bhava, to become absolutely convinced that you are something totally beyond body, mind, senses etc. The mind, due to its habitual wrong thinking, may periodically bring in a contrary idea that “I am so and so.” Be indifferent to it. Dismiss it as nonsense. Refuse to entertain it. Don’t pay any attention to it. Just be. Abide in your own Self. This is the master key more than anything else.
- Actually, the vast, vast majority of human beings are human animals only; they are totally rooted in body consciousness. So the yogi says that their consciousness only revolves in the lowest three centers, that is food, sex and lower elimination. If some higher awakening comes and they develop compassion for others, a spirit of service, wanting to make others happy, then the consciousness occasionally manifests itself in the fourth center, the center of feeling.If the consciousness persists in the upward trend of spiritual evolution and ideal living, it can come to the vishuddha chakra where one can have many subjective experiences, visions etc., but still the experiences come and go and the consciousness moves up and down, up and down. If consciousness rises further to the ajna chakra, one tends to be more and more stable, established, because it is the center of the mind, the psyche. But it is only when consciousness comes to the sahashrara that there is no longer a chance of a downfall. One is above body consciousness. One is not aware of oneself as a body. One does not think or feel or conceive of oneself as a physical entity at all. There is no moving down. Consciousness is firmly established. But until then there is always a need to be vigilant.
- Man is a mixture of three ingredients: first, an animal with all the physical propensities and sense urges that one shares in common with animals; second, the rational, logical human level; and third, the dormant Divinity, the sleeping God within. The whole of the spiritual life is a gradual elimination, eradication, of the animal within, and the refinement or purification and education of the entire human nature so that it stops its movement in all other directions and starts taking on an ascending vertical direction. Once the human nature is given an upward turn, one simultaneously starts awakening the sleeping Divinity with the help of all one’s spiritual practices.If one knows that the spiritual process, the spiritual life, is the elimination of the animal, the refining and directing upwards of the human, and the awakening and unfoldment of the Divine, then all spiritual practices, including the role that brahmacharya plays, fall into their right place.
- Brahmacharya or celibacy is a rational process of preserving and conserving precious energy so that it can be utilized in other very essential and indispensable functions. And if it is preserved like this, it can be converted, just as tangible, gross water is converted into subtle steam. Then it can do wonders. A river may not have much power in it by itself. You may be easily able to row or swim across it. But, if it is dammed up and its waters conserved, then it has the power, when properly channelled, to turn huge turbines and produce electricity. The hot sun, even in summer, does not normally cause a fire, but if you concentrate its rays through a lens, those rays will immediately burn whatever they are focused on. That is what celibacy actually is.
- This cosmic force manifests in our own system as prana (vital energy, life force). And prana is the precious reserve of the seeker. Any sense activity or sense experience consumes a lot of prana. And the activity that consumes the greatest amount of prana is the sex act. Gurudev has put it very strongly: “It shatters the entire nervous system.” Because it creates great excitement, great agitation, and such an intensity of feeling that as an aftermath it leaves the person exhausted and depleted.The highest of all goals in human life–spiritual attainment–requires the maximum available pranic energy on all levels: mental, intellectual and emotional. It is through prana that one has to restrain one’s senses. It is through prana that one has to still the restless activity of the mind. It is through prana that one has to centralize all the scattered rays of the mind and make it one-pointed in concentration. It is through prana that one has to direct the concentrated mind upon the object of meditation.Prana is required for spiritual reflection and discrimination. The thinking must be sharp and the intellect penetrating. To understand the inner implications of a guru’s instructions requires a special type of intelligence. You may be a very intellectual person, and you may immediately grasp the language meaning of something the guru is telling you, but if the guru is speaking of a abstruse subject not within the normal range of your ordinary human experience, you require a special subtle type of understanding. And that understanding develops through brahmacharya.So as I said, all these various practices require the use of prana, and celibacy insures that an abundance of pranic reserve is available to the seeker. So viewed from this angle, it is a rational and very positive process.
- This is the rationale behind celibacy. If you conserve this vital energy and divert it to the spiritual process of contemplation, philosophical study and reflection, and meditation, it becomes successful, because you have concentrated your force and you are able to direct the concentrated force by focusing it upon your spiritual practices. If it is preserved, concentrated and diverted into a specific channel, it works wonders
- Vedanta long ago probed into this subject of the human situation, and the sages saw clearly that 999 persons out of every 1000 or 9,999 out of every 10,000 were completely caught up in a state of “I am this body.” They knew of their identity only as a physical entity, a being with hands and feet and ears and eyes, eating, drinking, sleeping, talking, doing things. So they are totally body- bound. Their consciousness is held upon the level of the physical body. This is the situation. But the goal of the spiritual seeker is Cosmic Consciousness, which is their inner reality beyond time, space, name and form. So, when you juxtapose their present state of consciousness and the experience they wish to attain, you can just imagine how impossible this would be if they go on perpetuating this total identification with the physical body and all its processes. Among all these bodily processes, most have become mechanical. Most people are not intensely aware of eating, drinking, sleeping, voiding. All these things have become automatic. But the one process that most of them purposefully engage in, with great desire for it–wanting it, thinking about it, planning for it and going after it–is sex enjoyment, which means that this is a process that concentrates their entire consciousness, entire mind, entire attention upon the physical, their physical identity. From one angle the sex act is the acme of physicality or animality. It is a process that perforce directs your entire attention upon the physical, and even more, the full focusing of your desire and intention upon that part of your physical nature that you share in common with the entire animal kingdom. Is this going to be in any way helpful for attaining Cosmic Consciousness? So here is a human being, the crown, and glory of God’s creation, high above all the rest of the living species, going down to the gross, physical, material animal level and giving oneself totally to it–seeking it, wanting it, going after it, doing everything one can in order to obtain it, indulging in it, and wanting to have it always available. That means that one is voluntarily binding oneself down to a level of physical consciousness. If you are a spiritual seeker, can you not see that you are working against yourself? You have to liberate your consciousness from the lesser levels and go on lifting it to progressively higher and higher levels of finer and more refined states. For if the whole of the spiritual process of illumination and enlightenment is a process of rising into a higher state of consciousness, it automatically implies liberating yourself from a lower state of consciousness. If you want to move northward it means moving away from the south. And one of the things that helps you to free yourself from being caught in this physical level is celibacy. Cosmic Consciousness, Absolute Consciousness, is a far cry if you don’t recognize the necessity of liberating yourself from your total identification with the body.
- So brahmacharya is neither repressing sexuality nor avoiding sexuality. It is just bypassing sexuality–making use of this sexual potential for some thing ten times, a hundred times greater. Therefore, the question of repression and suppression is a misnomer. It is due to a lack of proper understanding of what the real spiritual quest is. If it is understood, then these terms will not be used. We are not just human beings; we are more than human beings. Our human status is only a pale reflection of what we really are.
- If you want to understand the practice of celibacy through an analogy that is within the thought forms of today, consider an athlete whose great ambition is to win a gold medal at the Olympics. He will willingly put himself into the hands of a trainer, and if the trainer says, “No more late night revelry, no more sex, no more junk food, no more alcohol,” the athlete readily agrees. He says: “I’ll agree to this and more also if you want it.” Why? Because he wants the gold medal. And no one raises an eyebrow, no one is outraged. Why? Because the gold medal justifies all these so-called “inhibitions.” You cannot say that he’s doing violence to or repressing himself, because he is not looking at it that way. He is willing to do anything that the trainer demands of him. It is not imposed upon him by other people. We understand why he is doing it and we accept it.On the contrary, what appears to be a sort of denial is actually giving full self-expression to a higher dimension of your being into which you have now placed yourself. So, far from denying self-expression, it is giving full expression to yourself because you are no longer identified with the lesser aspect of your total personality. You are identified with the higher aspect. It is a sort of a liberation and evolution to a higher level. It is something positive, creative, and not anything negative. It is not a denial but an actual expression of yourself in the form of a keen aspiration and a noble ambition.
- For example, the Ramakrishna Mission keeps a person as a pre-probationer for one full year. Then he goes through a probationary period for a minimum of eight years. Only then is he eligible to request that he be a full monastic swami. So this type of taking in, sifting and observing would perhaps obviate many of these lapses and aberrations. You only allow a person to undertake that vow after a certain period in the spiritual life. However, even when all the conditions I have mentioned are fulfilled, extreme caution must be exercised until a stage is reached where brahmacharya is one’s normal and natural condition.
- if the mind is diverted into higher things, automatically brahmacharya becomes easy. You can succeed in brahmacharya if the mind is totally taken up by something so wonderful, so big, it absorbs you and elevates you, and the mind is simply gripped by it. When you want an infinitely higher enjoyment, then you say: “My discarding this is not any discarding. My discarding the smaller enjoyments of the physical aspect of my being is not at all any renunciation to boast about.” On the contrary, you are being shrewd and wise because you want to go after something infinitely more wonderful. It is like throwing away pieces of glass if someone says, “I’ll replace them with diamonds.” That is another way of looking at the whole phenomenon of celibacy from the point of view of the spiritual life and the highest attainment of illumination and enlightenment.
- Power of Brahmacharya.
- It is this force of brahmacharya that is the invaluable force that gives success in sravana (hearing), manana (reflection) and nididhyasana (concentration). It gives success in the practice of the nine modes of Bhakti—Sravana, kirtana, smarana, archana, vandana, pada-sevana, dasya, sakhya, and atma-nivedana. It makes possible the successful practice of Raja Yoga—yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. It makes for a fruitful practice of asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, kriya leading into samadhi of the Hatha Yoga system. It is this force that brought forth Ravindranath Tagore, Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Beethoven, Bach, Albert Schweitzer, Joan of Arc and Mother Theresa. It is this marvellous force that brought forth sage Valmiki and all the other great towering figures in history. Their miracle was because of this secret of conservation, preservation, sublimation and sublime application towards a higher purpose.
- The profligate who wastes his vital power and becomes a nervous wreck falls prey to various diseases. He is like the foolish multi-millionaire’s son who throws away his money in drinking, gambling and other extravagances, purchasing a dozen cadilacs, houses and land in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Isles of Capri and Monte Carlo and then afterwards becoming bankrupt and reduced to a beggar, why? Whatever was given to him was squandered. It was lost. Not knowing its value, he became reduced to abject poverty. What a deplorable, pitiable state!
- Energy and strength are necessary for all processes and all activities. The higher the activity, the greater the need of energy. Diesel can drive certain vehicles. Petrol can only drive certain vehicles. Neither diesel nor petrol can make an aeroplane fly, they have to have high octane fuel for making aeroplanes fly. Therefore, crude energy is enough for physical functions. A more subtle type of energy is necessary for intellectual functions—going to the university and studying for a law, science or nuclear science degree. An altogether different type of highly refined, extremely subtle force is necessary for the process that takes you across the barrier of the relative and launches you into the Absolute. Dhyanavastha—it is that subtlest of the subtle, most refined process that brings you face to face with the Supreme Reality—God-realization. It is the stage of Yoga next to Super-consciousness or samadhi, where Purusha (Spirit) attains awareness of His own ever-free, independent, all-perfect nature distinct from prakriti (matter). And therefore, it is only one step next to the threshold of Super-consciousness, Self-realization, Aparoksha Anubhuti. For that process, you can just imagine how subtle and how refined the mind has to be. And so the gross potential has to be first of all refined. It is like mining ore from the bowels of the earth. The ore contains gold, but it is not gold. It has to be refined and sifted until pure gold is brought out. So the biological sex-force has to be transmuted into a subtle psychic spiritual force called ojas.
- Brahmacharya, or continence, the other great rule, is as difficult to understand as satya or ahimsa. In every case of moral judgment, common-sense and a comprehensive outlook are necessary. Many students of yoga think thatbrahmacharya is celibacy or the living of an unmarried life. Though this may be regarded as one definition of it, which has much meaning, yoga morality calls for brahmacharya of the purest type, which has a deeper significance. Yoga considers brahmacharya from all points of view, and not merely in its sociological implication. It requires a purification of all the senses. Oversleeping and gluttony, for instance, are breaks in brahmacharya. It breaks not merely by a married life, but by overindulgence of any kind, even in an unmarried life, such as overeating, talkativeness and, above all, brooding upon sense-objects. While one conserves energy from one side, it can leak out from another side. Oversleeping is a trick played by the mind when we refuse to give it satisfaction. Overeating and overtalking are, results of a bursting forth of untrained energy. Contemplation on objects of sense can continue even when they are physically far from oneself.
- Brahmacharya is to conserve force for the purpose of meditation. ‘Do you feel strong by the conservation of energy,’ is the question? Brahmacharya is tested by the strength that one recognizes within. The virtue is not for parading it outside, but for the utilization of the conserved power towards a higher purpose. Unnecessary activity of the senses wastes energy. The Chhandogya Upanishad says that in purity of the intake of things there is purity of being. In the acts of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching, we have to contact only pure things. Any single sense left uncontrolled may nullify the effects of control over the other senses. As the Mahabharata points out, we become that with which we associate ourselves, which we serve for a long time and which we want or wish to become, by constant thinking. Brahmacharya is therefore an act of all-round self-control. The brahmacharin is always cautious. And no one should have the hardihood to imagine that he is wholly pure and safe.
- The practice of brahmacharya as a vow of abstinence from all sense-indulgence, particularly in its psychological aspect, and a rigid fixity in personal purity, generates a unison in the vibratory functions of the body, nerves and mind, and the brahmacharin achieves what he may look upon as a marvel even to himself. Brahmacharya is often regarded as the king of principles, which embodies in itself all other virtues or moral values. In its observance, care has, however, to be taken to see that it comprises not merely avoiding of sense-indulgence and mental reverie but also freedom from the complexes that may follow, as well as satisfactions which one may resort to as a consequence of frustration of desire.
- Conservation of Energy for Brahma-Sakshatkara.
- Here is the basic foundation of the great admonition by the Yoga teacher that we have to conserve energy. We generally understand Brahmacharya to be celibacy, a very poor translation of the word, and a misdirected meaning also. By celibacy we mean abstinence from marriage, and we associate or identify celibacy with Brahmacharya or continence in the light of the requirement of Yoga, especially as mentioned by Patanjali. But, nothing of the kind is Brahmacharya. It is not non-marriage, and it is not celibacy in its popular meaning. A person who has not married need not necessarily be a Brahmacharin. And a person who has married need not cease to be that. Because, what we have to be careful in noting in this context is the intention behind this instruction, and not merely the following of it in social parlance. The intention is the conservation of energy, and the directing of the whole of one’s personality towards the great objective of universal consciousness. And the energy of the system is required for any kind of concentration, not merely for God-realization or Brahma-Sakshatkara. We require energy even to solve a mathematical problem. Even to build a bridge across a large river, even to study the minute particles of nature in a physical research laboratory, one requires a tremendous concentration of mind. Even to walk on a wire in a circus requires concentration. So, wherever there is a necessity to hold one’s breath and concentrate one’s attention, as in walking on a very narrow passage, tremendous energy is required, concentration is necessary. A two-feet wide bridge without any protection on either side and spanning a stream flowing in a deep gorge below—we know how we will walk on that bridge, holding our breath and thinking only of that narrow passage and nothing else. Certainly we will not be thinking any other distracting thought in our mind. Like that, the fixing of the mind on the great ideal of Yoga requires a complete surrender of oneself, in every part of one’s being, in the form of concentration. This cannot be done, says Yoga, if we have got other interests.
- So, a lack of Brahmacharya means nothing but the presence of interests other than the interest in Yoga. The distracting object may be anything. If we have got a strong interest in something which distracts our attention, the energy goes. Any kind of leakage of energy in any direction, caused by any object or any event or context, is a break in Brahmacharya. A burst of anger is a break in Brahmacharya, though one does not normally think so. No one condemns a man because he is angry. We may even think him to be a wonderful person in spite of his burst of anger, but the truth is that he has failed utterly in his Brahmacharya. He is broken down totally. Because most people are tradition-bound, they go by the beaten track of social tradition and custom, and think that religion is nothing but what society sanctions. But, it is not like that. Religion is not merely the requirement demanded by a Hindu society or a Christian organization. It has nothing to do with these things. What the universe expects us to manifest from our side, in respect of it, is the great religion of mankind, the religion of God or the religion of the universe. Nobody is going to save us, merely because we are religious in the eyes of the people. In that case, we may well go to dogs with all our religion. What will help us, what will guide us, what will take us by the hand and lead us along is the great law which we obey, in the manner in which we are required to obey it, under the circumstances of our relationship with all things in the universe. So, in every way, we have to conserve our energy without any kind of distraction.
- The presence of brahmacharya in the mind, the body and the speech results in wonderful power of mind, wonderful power of body and wonderful power of the speech.
- If ever there is an occasion for a severe testing of your resolve of brahmacharya, if there is strong sexual attraction and inclination, then one should fast two to three times. When the force of unfolding karma is very strong, fasting can stop them. Fasting does not destroy these sexual passions completely
- After attaining the bliss of the Self , the pleasures of sex become and redundant, just as a cup of tea looses its sweetness after having had a sweet dessert. The higher the order of bliss the less appealing the routine of the physical aspects of sexual pleasures. The enjoyment of food is not prohibited. There is no good to be attained in the enjoyment of sexual impulses. Know that it is merely an aspect of imaginations.
- Questioner: Psychology says that once you have had your fill of ice cream to the point of full satisfaction, you do not feel like eating it again. Dadashri: That is not possible in this world. On the contrary, you will feel like eating again. But, if somebody keeps feeding you something that you do not like at all, again and again, then it will induce vomiting and the intake will stop. In sexuality, the more a person enjoys it, the more burning becomes his desire for it. By not getting involved in the sexual act, one may become uneasy and unsettled for a month or two. However loss of familiarity is the key. With the loss of familiarity one will forget sexuality totally. It is not possible for a person enjoying sex to get rid of the desire for it. Hence, research of the scriptures done by people in our country, has led to the discovery that the path of brahmacharya is the best. The best cure is to become unfamiliar with sex. Once you stay away from sex for one or two years, then you forget all about it. That is the nature of the mind. If it goes near it, it will become restless. The mind has been separated from its familiarity. If ‘You’(the Self) stay separate from it, then the mind stays away from it and therefore it will forget it forever. It will never remember it again. It will not go there even if you want it to. Do you understand that? It is like if you stayed away from your friend for two years then your mind will forget him.
- Sex is such a thing that one day’s sexuality would not let one attain any meaningful concentration on anything for three days. There would be instability in the concentration, focus and task at hand. When one abstains from all forms of sexuality for a month, his stability in concentration and focus is greatly improved.
- After the unbearable heat of a day why is it that the cattle soak in the dirty muddy waters? The deep desire for coolness from heat makes them forget the stench of the dirty muddy water. Similarly modern day humans who suffer from the constant struggles and tensions of daily life at work and at at home, seek a diversion from the fire of such tensions and a release through sex and forget its consequences over and over again! After terminating the enjoyment of a sexual act, even the strongest of man becomes a temporary weakling and appears near dead! What did he gain from it?
- Atmasookh…the bliss of the Self versus Vishayasookh… the pleasure of sex. After attaining the bliss of the Self , the pleasures of sex become and redundant, just as a cup of tea looses its sweetness after having had a sweet dessert. The higher the order of bliss the less appealing the routine of the physical aspects of sexual pleasures. The enjoyment of food is not prohibited.There is no good to be attained in the enjoyment of sexual impulses. Know that it is merely an aspect of imaginations.
- Man has the wrong belief of pleasure existing in sex. Now, if you experience greater happiness and pleasure in something other than sex, then you would not seek pleasure in sex. There is no happiness in sex but there is no other option for the humans in worldly interactions. Otherwise who would knowingly open the lid of a gutter? If there were happiness in sex, Chakravatis (kings of continents) with so many queens, would not have set out in search of real happiness. With Gnan, Self-realization you attain eternal bliss.
- Sexual impulse…Vishaya…impedes the bliss of the Self. It makes a human being plunge into the garbageheap of the five senses with senseless fervour. Human birth has the potential for the realization of the supreme bliss of true freedom but alas, out of sheer ignorance of this potential, one gets stuck in ever increasing pile of garbage of sexuality and its consequences of life after life. Even animals do not prefer such garbage.
- Vishaya…sexual inclination is not a consequence of intellect. It is a consequence of the distorted mind.Therefore, with the help of buddhi it can be overcome and conquered.
- It is not possible for man to stay niralumb…independant and not wanting anything.Only a Gnani Purush… the Awakened One can stay niralumb. All the rest have asked for a wife, son etc.,in their previous lives according to their buddhi…prevailing intellect. They had just asked for…desired a womanbut along with comes the entire entourage of mother-in-law, father in law, brother in law, sister-in law, uncles, andaunts from her side !! Wait a minute, he says, ” I had only wanted a wife ! ” Did you not know that she was going to bring with her a whole gang of other relations ?” This is called bebhaanpanu…ignorance of the self. Not an iota ofthe thought of the consequences of the desire of sex !! And thereafter his life is like the ox that goes round and round labouring at the grain mill !
- Vishaya…sexuality is poison. Once identified as a poison would anyone touch it ?If there is anything that needs to be feared in this world, it is this poison of Vishaya. It is worse than all the snakes and fearful animals of this world. And yet the ignorant of this world consider it the potion of supreme pleasure! Where is the end of ignorance and its opinions?
- Vishaya…sexuality is vikruti…non self, not necessary for the bliss of the Self.It is simply a toy of the mind!
- Vishaya…sexual culmination is sundaas…excretory toilet. But, because he becomestanmayakaar…doer of the act…ie, “I am having fun in this act “, he lays new causal seeds for more of the same and its associated consequences mentioned above, life after life.
- Indeed, the Atma…Soul is eternally asexual and in brahmacharya.The Soul has never enjoyed vishaya…sexAtma is sookshmatum…the subtlest of the subtle, whereas vishaya…sex is sthoola…gross.The subtle can never interact, enjoy the gross.
- More here.
- The Chandogya Upanishad says, “Only those who (observe) brahmacharya will attain to Brahman (Supreme Reality). For them there is freedom to act as they wish in all the worlds.Now, what people call yajna (sacrifice), that is really brahmacharya. What people call worship (Ishta), that is really brahmacharya. What people call Vedic sacrifice, that is really brahmacharya. For only through brahmacharya does one understand the Atman (the Self). (8.4.3, 8.5.1-2)
- The Prasnopnishad stresses the same point. When six highly evolved aspirants approach sage Pippalada seeking the Highest Brahman, the Rishi tells them, “Stay here another year observing austerity, brahmacharya and faith. Then you may ask questions as you please and, if I know, I will surely explain all to you.” (1.2)
- Srimad Bhagavatam has this to say, “The highest form of tapas (austerity) is the abstinence from sexuality and not in the performance of body-torturing rites. Heroism lies in the conquest of one’s sensual, lustful nature and not in mere combativeness. And Truth is seeing God in everything and not mere factual speech.” (126.96.36.199)
- In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna exhorts spiritual aspirants to be “fearless, serene, restrained in mind and established in the vow of continence” and meditate on Him to reach the goal. (6.14). He says that a person aspiring to enter the “Imperishable Principle” should lead a life of continence and asceticism. Such a person is assured of liberation at thetime of death. (8.11-12).Sri Krishna also warns about the pitfalls of progressive degeneration if one does not control lust and anger. “It is lust, it is anger, born of Rajoguna, insatiable and prompting man to great sin. Know this to be the enemy in man’s spiritual life. .Knowledge is overcast by this eternal foe of the aspirant after knowledge. Therefore, controlling the senses at the beginning itself, slay this foul enemy, the destroyer of all knowledge and realization.” (3.37-41)
- Swami Yatiswarananda, a former Vice-President of the Ramakrishna Order, says, “In the higher forms of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, great stress has been laid on the observance of perfect brahmacharya in thought, word and deed. You find it in the ‘Sermon on the Mount’, in the ‘Vinaya Pitaka’ of Buddhism and in the Upanishads, in the Gita and in the Bhagavatam. A socially accepted form of moral life alone is not enough for a spiritual aspirant. He must attain perfection in moral virtues, especially brahmacharya.
- 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. - The Mahabharata
- A wise man should avoid lust 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. - Lord Buddha
- And those students who find that world of God through chastity, theirs is that heavenly country; theirs, in whatever world they are, is freedom. - Chhandogya Upanishad
- These sexual propensities, though they are at first like ripples, acquire the proportions of a sea on account of bad company. - Narada
- Sensuality destroys life, lustre, strength, vitality, memory, wealth, great fame, holiness and devotion to the Supreme – Gita
- It is only traveling on the waves of celibacy that one reaches the level of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The awakening of Kundalini can only happen if we have celibacy under absolute control. The awakening of the is beset with practicing absolute celibacy for a continuous period of 12 years. Mahavira practiced celibacy for a continuous period of 12 years. Gautama Buddha followed and absolute celibacy was also practiced by Jesus Christ for reaching the status they finally achieved in life… becoming an enlightened one! The practice of absolute celibacy directly leads towards gaining enlightenment within this life. Brahmacharya Vrata does not mean sexual inactivity. It must be practiced mentally to gain purity of thought so that absolute control over the five senses and the mind can be established with shall lead one towards attaining the stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
- The Yoga-Sutra packs many things into each of its verses, but reserves a separate verse for celibacy. Then the scripture goes on to refer to celibacy again in other verses. THE GREAT AUSTERITY Celibacy is actually one of the major austerities. The Yoga-Sutra lists “austerities” (tapas) among the three basic actions of yoga. (The other two activities of yoga are “Self-Study” and “Devotion to the Lord.”) Austerities are given first place in the Sutra. So one truly interested in yoga and God-knowledge will be very interested in austerities. The only other austerity that is on a par with celibacy is meditation itself. >Effective traditional austerities include celibacy, fasting, solitude, silence, pranayama, holding an asana, and meditation itself. Another austerity that needs to be mentioned today: Restraining yourself from playing “fashion saddhu” and dressing yourself up in religious garb to get attention and notoriety. That would be a worthwhile austerity for some. But among all austerities, sexual continence is arguably the most important. It inaugurates profound changes in the physical and astral bodies of the aspiring yogi. Chastity dramatically improves his concentration and meditation. It founds the storehouse of his merit and accumulates shakti, sometimes called “ojas.”
- The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a key fourteenth-century text, says those who practice brahmacharya need no longer fear death.
- In the Mahabharata again, you will find, in the Santi Parva: “Many are the branches of Dharma, but Dama is the basis of them all’.
- Kabir: ‘mun ka chalta tan chale taakaa sarvasva jaaya.’ ( The one who follows the lead of his mind looses everything ).
- “The one who has conquered sexual passion has conquered the whole world” – Srimad Rajchandra (a Gujarati sage, a spiritual counsellor to Mahatma Gandhi)
Bhagavad Gita’s warning:Thinking about sense-objectsWill attach you to sense objects;Grow attached, and you become addicted;Thwart your addictions, it turns to anger;Be angry, and you confuse your mind;Confuse your mind, you forget the lesson of experience;Forget experience, you lose discernment;Lose discernment, and you miss life’s only purpose.
A Buddhist sutra
We moan for rest, alas! but, rest can never find;
We know not whence we come, now where we float away.
Time and again we tread this round of smiles and tears;
In vain we pine to know whither our pathway leads,
And why we play this empty play
Rise, dreamer from your dream, and slumber not again!
- In one place Gandhiji said, “I want to think, but thoughts do not come.” Ramana Maharshi read this statement and said, “He has Atma Jnana. An ordinary man struggles to control his thoughts and fails, whereas a Jnani has to persuade himself in order to engage in thoughts.”
- Thoughts are the last things to overcome. So long as thoughts are there, Atma Jnana is not there. Thought has to die a natural death. When the mind becomes unmind, then one doesn’t see duality whatsoever. So long as the mind is there, duality is there, because thought is in duality. You think OF some object. Therefore your meditation is not real meditation. The meditation has to stop; but how does it stop? Only through meditation. Through thought alone thoughtlessness can come, and then you see the futility of thought. That is the way. So long as there is thought, the thought itself is real and the things of which it thinks are also real. When you think of something it is real for you. Of how many things do we think? The whole world is dependent upon thought only.
- Ramkrishna Paramahansa says, “For the one who observes the state of celibate for 12 years, the channel (medha nadi) becomes active. Due to this, the intellect becomes very sharp and the person becomes talented. His intellect can comprehend the subtle very easily. Only with the help of such subtle intellect one see God”.
- Swami Vishnu-devananda (disciple of Swami Sivananda). This energy is very difficult to conquer. Every sage and saint and Yogi in the Himalayas has had problems. It is not only you who has this problem. Because they go into the Himalayan caves, do you think it means the problem goes away? It multiplies rather. So don’t worry about this feeling. Sublimate it. Each time, repeat your Mantra and if this feeling comes even then, offer it as an offering to God. If anyone says that he has conquered sex, he is not true to himself nor true to the world. It takes till the last breath. You never know when Maya will attack you. Even if you are a hundred-years-old, it still can overcome your thinking.
- Christ was known as a celibate. His statement, “Some are eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven” very plainly refers to celibacy. It also refers to the Kingdom of Heaven within that is attained through celibacy. (“The kingdom of heaven is inside you,” He says elsewhere.) Christ speaks beautifully of celibacy again in His Parable Of The Three Brides. One “bride” uses up the “oil” in her lamp and is thus unable to “receive the bridegroom” — of Christ Consciousness.
- ‘Love and lust are as far asunder as a flower garden is from a brothel.’ – Henry David Thoreau
- The physicist who established the three laws of motion, Isaac Newton, put a stop to any and all sexual activity throughout his 84 years. One of history’s greatest thinkers did give some insight into his sex life (or lack thereof) in a message to philosopher John Locke, according to Newton biographer James Gleick. “The way to chastity is not to struggle with incontinent thoughts but to avert the thoughts by some ploy, or by reading, or by meditating on other things,” Gleick quotes Newton.
- Those who waste the fluid are tyrannized by Kal [the negative power]. Those who waste the fluid lose all. Those who waste the fluid suffer greatly…He who wastes the fluid always suffers. He who wastes the fluid gets into extreme troubles…He who does not control the fluid is degraded….By self control one gets everything. – from “Pran Sangli” of Guru Nanak
- ‘Just after the act, both the partners feel extreme drainage of energy, still no one understands the importance of celibacy.’ – Saint Kabir
- Brahmacharya is undertaken by the yogi — the one seeking to to completely still his mind so as to experience the Divinity directly within. The yogi seeks to eliminate all “vrittis,” or fluctuations of consciousness. Vrittis include thoughts, memories, and sensations. Thinning the mental and bodily vrittis is the most difficult human attainment and brings him surely to samadhi — union with God. The yogi sees right away that sex thoughts and thrills are just another vritti, and one of the grosser ones at that. The vitiating effect of sexual incontinence makes one unable to concentrate well, or bear the strain of yogic meditation, or to hold the transcendental perceptions. Celibacy and sex restraint, on the other hand, improves concentration dramatically. It is thus “fuel” of concentration and meditation.
- The first thing you do, when you become a monk (serious spiritual aspirant), is to take a vow of celibacy. Thus celibacy is both the best entry level austerity, and also a necessary companion of the whole trip. Along with meditation and the devotional attitude, celibacy is one austerity that brings rapid results. According to the yogic scriptures and the experience of saints, brahmacharya is essential to the attainment of samadhi. And samadhi is the real goal of meditation, yoga and spiritual practices.
- All of the profound spiritual traditions point to “desire” as the enemy of spiritual enlightenment. In the great parade of desires, sexual desire is the pre-eminent leader. It is even responsible for bringing each new embodiment. (Beings are reborn from the astral plane primarily because of lust.)
- One of the impacts of sin is to veil the way to higher life. This is why the divine masters such as Buddha, Christ, and Sankara always demanded celibacy for an aspirant right from the beginning. Sexual sin has a huge impact in confusing the seeker, and veiling the path to God. One lacks the merit to even hear of true or effective teachings. Sexual immorality even prevents one from having an elegant and prosperous material life, let alone the higher life of saints. On the other hand, celibacy generates merit for the bettering of life, the creation of favorable circumstances, and even the unveiling of the Divine Mystery.
- In the Bhagavad-Gita the divine incarnation Krsna states that lust covers up a man’s wisdom and discriminative faculties, and compares lust and anger to the smoke that covers up the light of a flame, then turns and compares lust to an insatiable fire that destroys man. Arjuna asks Krishna why men continue in a state of evil:
- “Now then, by whom led, does a man, O descendant of Vishnu, practice sinfulness, as though unwilling and impressed by force?”
- “It is lust, it is anger, born of the quality of rajas. Know this to be the great devourer, great sin, and the enemy on earth. As by smoke fire is enveloped, and the looking glass by rust, as the womb envelopes the fetus, so by lust discriminative knowledge is enveloped. Enveloped is wisdom by this constant enemy of the wise in the form of desire, which is insatiable as a flame.“ – Bhagavad-Gita 3:36-38
- CELIBACY AS TECHNICAL NECESSITY – Beyond providing the simple merit that leads one to higher secrets, and beyond its proof of devotion, celibacy has huge technical implications in meditation and the gaining of samadhi. The meditator and yogi is attempting a very difficult feat: that of reversing his life force back up the spine instead of down, opening up perception of the higher Reality. The sex drive itself is the great “locomotive engine” pulling the life force down the spine and out the senses. Without slowing the juggernaut of the outgoing sex drive, there is little hope of reversing the outgoing senses and accomplishing yogic pratyahara. When the spiritual man pursues celibacy or even sexual restraint, he gives a blow to the nose of the foremost “desire demon” keeping him bound to the world-illusion. The wise yogi instead first pools, then reverses that energy, actually utilizing it as the “engine of enlightenment” to pull the life force up the spine. But you cannot do this unless you begin to restrain it. Perfection is not necessary for the development of substantial progress. Even the attempt to restrain yourself from sex thrills brings great merit and new spiritual progress. Gradually the sex energy becomes like a rocket ship lifting you easily to the higher states. So stored up sexual energy, along with devotion, powers the flight to samadhi.
- In the Jnana-Sankalini Tantra, Shiva says, ‘Torturing the body is no austerity–Brahmacharya is the best austerity. A man of unbroken continence is no man but a god’.
- “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs–how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world–how he can please his wife– and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world–how she can please her husband.” Corinthians I 7.32-34
- Every single time we satisfy our lusty desires it is like adding fuel to the fire. Gratification of sex desire awakens more sex desire every single time. It is very addictive and as soon as you give in to the addiction it becomes harder to stop. It is like alcoholism and drug addiction; you have to stop it altogether because every sip of liquor or experience of the drug bears the tremendous danger of falling back into the addiction with even more force than before.
- Lust is a weird thing. It hangs a lure before you as if it is unlimited happiness, but when we try for it, we seem to be advancing towards that, which makes us more agitated. Then suddenly it is all gone and we see that happiness is now out of grasp and far away. Yet it seemed as if we missed it only by a whisker, so we try again to get it, thinking, “This time I will get it.” Again maya pulls the lure before we can get it and again we notice it has gone farther away. The whole cycle repeats.
So half lust, quarter lust, 1% lust, or 0.0001% lust — lust is lust.
Making it habitual is like opening the door to it. But even if we give one atom of space, it will make way soon and force us to occupy the door. Like the camel which sneaked into its owner’s tent. At first he gave only enough room for its head, but it used that room to barge in with so much force that the owner had to give more and more room. Eventually he had to give so much room that he eventually left the tent and had to stand in the hot sun! So in the lust matter its either zero or 100%, nothing in between.
- “Brahmacharyena Tapasa Deva Mrityumupagnata. 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 valour. The great Bhishma, the grandfather of the Pandavas and the Kauravas, conquered death by Brahmacharya. It is only Lakshman, the ideal Brahmachari, who put down Meghanada, the man of inestimable prowess, the conqueror of the three worlds, the son of Ravana. Even Lord Rama could not face him. It is through the force of Brahmacharya that Lakshman was able to defeat that 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 the value of Brahmacharya and that is the reason why they sang in beautiful verses about the glory of Brahmacharya.” – Swami Sivananda
- The scriptures declare emphatically: “Ayustejo Balam Veeryam Prajna Sreescha Yashastatha, Punyamcha Sat-Priyatvamcha Vardhate Brahmacharyaya” – By the practice of Brahmacharya, longevity, glory, strength, vigour, knowledge, wealth, undying fame, virtues and devotion to the truth increase.
- Playfulness : People who are in the grip of lust cannot be genuinely playful. When you are genuinely playful, then there is not lust there.
- Generosity : When you realize that you are here only to give and give, and you feel that you are very generous, lust is sublimated. Lust makes one possessive and not generous.
- Moderate to less intake of food
- Remembrance of death
- Divine Romance
- Cold water baths
- Undertaking creative challenges
2. LOVE AND LUST
Doubt cannot come where there is a sense of closeness. Doubt needs a distance to appear. You never doubt something that is dear to you, close to you.
In love even an object gains life. Stones speak to you, trees speak to you, the sun, the moon and the whole creation becomes alive, Divine. In lust even a living being becomes a mere object. You want to use even people like objects. Here are some salient attributes of love and lust. They are so different yet so close!
3. Lust and anger
If someone’s lust is interrupted they get angry and start hating. Hatred in the world today is not out of love, it is out of lust. Love is playfulness and in lust there is cunningness and manipulation. Shiva, the embodiment of innocence and love was meditating. His meditation was disturbed by an arrow of flowers from the lord of lust. As soon as Shiva woke up he opened his third eye and the lord of lust, Manmatha (one who churns the mind) was reduced to ashes. Everybody celebrated by throwing colors on each other realising that life is full of colours.
We play many roles in our life. If all the roles get mixed up it becomes dark, like when you mix all the colours. The wise play each role distinctively side by side, like colors displayed side by side form a rainbow.
4. The whole world is made up of love
The whole world is made up of love and everyone is made up of love. All is God. All is love. But then what is the purpose? Where is life heading? Life is heading towards perfection. Why? Is it not already perfect? No! Because love has six distortions – anger, lust, greed, jealousy, arrogance and delusion.
Anger is no better than lust, it’s worse than lust. Jealousy is worse than anger. That is why it is called ‘Vikara’. Vikara means distortions. The whole creation is made up of nature, and distortion of nature – Prakriti and Vikriti. Anger is not our nature; it is distortion of our nature. Jealousy is not our nature; it is distortion of our nature. You know why anger, greed, jealousy, lust, etc are impure? It is because they do not allow the Self to shine through.
Sin is that which does not bring the spirit inside to shine forth fully. Sin is not your nature; you are not born out of sin. Sin is like wrinkles in the cloth, it needs proper ironing. You know why lust is a sin? Because in lust you do not consider the other person as life, you do not honor the life, instead you use them like an object. You make them an object of your enjoyment so you are somewhere over-shadowing or not looking at the Self in the other person.
This is the only reason why lust is sinful. Love is the reverse of it. In love there is surrender, you see the other person as Divine. You elevate the matter into the level of spirit. For example, you worship an idol – a stone, it is matter. When you are worshipping the idol, it becomes a living reality. You are giving life to it. You elevate it to the level of God. This is moving towards perfection.
Anger is a sin because when you are angry you have lost the centeredness, you have lost the sight of the Self. Again, your focus is not on the Divine, infinite. You have made things small as objects again. So anger is a sin. Jealousy is a sin. Guilt is a sin. Why? In guilt you are not recognizing the Self as the only doer in the world. You are limiting the small mind to an action which has happened, or which has happened through somebody.
5. Playing your part.
Be thankful for the qualities you have been bestowed upon as they are not your own making. In the same way, it depends on the part that you have been given to play. Say, in a drama, you are given the part of a villain, and you play that role perfectly. A villain always knows that when I am playing the role of a villain, it’s just a role I am playing. I’m very sincere to my role.
There is a saying in Sanskrit, Durjanam Prathamam Vande Sajjanam Tadanantaram. First, worship the bad person, and then the good man. The bad man is falling and giving you an example, “don’t do what I did.” Do not hate a criminal in jail, because he’s a criminal. In prison, if there is a criminal, he is an embodiment of God. He has done you a greater service. Don’t ever hate a drug addict, because he has given you such a beautiful lesson, and he has been given that role. He is just performing his role that way.
When you understand these basic laws of truth, then your inner perfection becomes so stable that nothing on this planet can shake your inner perfection. Nothing can shake you. Your knowledge of a mistake comes to you when you are innocent! The knowledge of a mistake dawns in the moment when you are ‘out of the mistake’.
However the past has been, whatever mistake has happened, do not consider yourself to be a sinner or the maker of that mistake. In the present moment you are new again, pure and clear.
Mistakes of the past are past. When this knowledge comes, that moment you are again perfect. Often, mothers scold their children and afterwards feel so guilty. Then they go on regretting, “Oh, poor thing. I got so angry and annoyed at this kid, poor child! I should not have done this.” Then you prepare yourself to get angry again. Okay, you got angry with your kid once or twice. Why? Because of lack of awareness! Awareness was missing so the anger came up, it happened.
That’s what Krishna tells Arjuna, “Arjunaa, you think you are not going to do what you are supposed to do? I tell you, you will do it. Even if you don’t want, you are going to do it!” In a very clever way He puts it: “You better surrender to me directly.”
He says: “Drop everything. Surrender to Me, and do what I say”. Then He says: “Well, I have told you whatever I have to say, now you think it over and do what you like, you do whatever you want to do, do however you like”. But then He said, “but remember, you will do only what I want”.
These last few sentences of Krishna were so confusing, and people have struggled to make sense out of them. There are thousands of commentaries trying to make sense out of these few words, three contradicting statements. First He says, Surrender everything, I’ll do everything for you, or just do as I say. Then he says: Think, think and see what is right for you, do whatever you feel is right. And then in the third statement he says: But remember (anyway) you will do only what I want you to do.
All of our wanting to do, ‘doership’, is there to eliminate the tamas or inertia in you. Once inertia is eliminated, then you are in activity. When you are acting, you become a witness to the acting. Then you know you are not doing. Things are happening through you. This is the final level of realization. You can see this in every action of yours. Have you noticed this? You are busy ‘doing’ when you accomplish something. In the beginning you think, “Oh! I have accomplished.” But your accomplishment becomes more and more and more and as time goes by, you will begin to feel, “no, it’s all happening. I did not do anything, I did not accomplish.”
A writer will feel, “I did not write, it just started flowing, it started happening.” All the creative work in the world – whether painting, dance, drama, music, anything – has all come from that unknown corner. It just spontaneously started happening. You are not the doer. The best sculptor will say, “I didn’t do it, it just started happening.” The best painter will say the same thing; the best music composer would say the same thing.
I tell you, the same is true for criminals too. You ask the worst criminal, “did you do this?” He will reply, “No, it happened! What could I do?” Knowledge of the Self is the only thing that can take you from imperfection to perfection.
- Those who want to perform national service, or to have a gleam of the real religious life, must lead a celibate life, whether married or unmarried.
- Life without Brahmacharya appears to me to be insipid and animal-like. The brute by nature knows no self-restraint. Man is man because he is capable of, and only in so far as he exercises, self-restraint. What chiefly distinguishes man from the beast is that man from his age of discretion begins to practice a life of continual self-restraint. God has enabled man to distinguish between his sister, his, mother, his daughter and his wife. What formerly appeared to me to be extravagant praise of Brahmacharya in our religious books seems now, with increasing clearness every day, to be absolutely proper and founded on experience. I hold that a life of perfect continence in thought, speech and action is necessary for reaching spiritual perfection. And a nation that does not possess such men is poorer for the want. Brahmacharya is impossible without complete control of all senses. My own experiment shows that occasional fasting is very helpful in subduing animal passions.
- Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his autobiography that when he was about 34 years old, he heard the Inner Voice saying that the observance of total celibacy was indispensable for further spiritual progress. Gandhiji was already doing selfless service, observing, mouna on Sundays, daily praying, reading Bhagavad Gita and sticking to yama and niyama: satyam, ahimsa, brahmacharya etc. All that was already there. But now he was convinced: “further progress is not possible unless I have TOTAL brahmacharya.”Gandhiji consulted his wife Kasturba, who agreed with his proposal. He was 34 or 35 years old and from that age until 79, for more than 40 years, he observed strict brahmacharya. This observance is the reason that his achievement is so great.
- Gandhi said fathering and supporting children robbed him of precious energy during a time when he wanted to devote himself more completely to public service. However, over a period of many celibate years-admittedly struggling with the practice and even breaking his vow on several occasions-Gandhi discovered that the benefits of brahmacharya far exceeded birth control. His home life became more “peaceful, sweet, and happy,” he developed a new measure of self-restraint, and he found increasing reserves of time and energy to devote to humanitarian and spiritual pursuits. “I realized that a vow, far from closing the door to real freedom, opened it,” he wrote in his autobiography. “What formerly appeared to me to be extravagant praise of brahmacharya in our religious books seems now, with increasing clearness every day, to be absolutely proper and founded on experience.”
- By Swami Sivananda (founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh): Look at Mahatma Gandhi! He had acquired this power by constant and careful practice of Ahimsa, Satyam and Brahmacharya—non-violence, truth and celibacy. He influenced the world through this power alone. Through Brahmacharya and Brahmacharya alone can you get physical, mental and spiritual advancement in life.
- From that day when I began brahmacharya, our freedom began. My wife became a free woman, free from my authority as her lord and master, and I became free from the slavery to my own appetite, which she had to satisfy. No other woman had any attraction for me in the same sense that my wife had. I was too loyal to her as husband and too loyal to the vow I had taken before my mother to be slave to any other woman. But the manner in which my brahmacharya came to me irresistibly drew me to woman as the mother of man. She became too sacred for sexual love. And so every woman at once became sister or daughter to me.
- NECESSITY OF CONTINENCE (ref: http://www.rkvenkat.org/chastity.html - GUIDE TO HEALTH, Part 1, Ch 9.)Many are the keys to health, and they are all quite essential; but one thing needful, above all others is brahmacharya. Pure air, pure water, and wholesome food certainly contribute to health. But how can we be healthy if we expend all the health that we acquire? How can we help being paupers if we spend all the money that we earn? There can be no doubt that men and women can never be virile or strong unless they observe true brahmacharya.What, then, is brahmacharya? It means that men and women should refrain from carnal knowledge of each other. That is to say, they should not touch each other with a carnal thought, they should not think of it even in their dreams. Their mutual glances should be free from all suggestion of carnality. The hidden strength that God has given us should be conserved by rigid self-discipline, and transmitted into energy and power–not merely of body, but also of mind and soul.
- Meshes of Sensuality. But what is the spectacle that we actually see around us? Men and women, old and young, are caught in the meshes of sensuality. Blinded for the most part by lust, they lose all sense of right and wrong. I have myself seen even boys and girls behaving as if they were mad under its fatal influence. For the sake of a momentary pleasure, we sacrifice in an instant all the stock of vital energy that we have laboriously accumulated. The infatuation over, we find ourselves in a miserable condition. The next morning we feel hopelessly weak and tired, and the mind refuses to do its work. So the days pass and years, until at length old age comes upon us, and find us utterly emasculated in body and in mind.
- The Law of Nature. But the law of nature is just the reverse of this. The older we grow, the keener should our intellect be; the longer we live, the greater should be our capacity to communicate the benefit of our accumulated experience to our fellow-men. And such is indeed the case with those who have been true brahmachâris. They have no fear of death, and they do not forget God even in the hour of death; nor do they indulge in vain desires. They die with a smile on their lips, and boldly face the day of judgment. They are true men and women; and of them alone can it be said that they have conserved their health.
- We hardly realize the fact that incontinence is the root-cause of most of the vanity, anger, fear, and jealousy in the world. If our mind is not under our control, if we behave once or oftener every day more foolishly than even little children, what sins may we not commit consciously or unconsciously? How can we pause to think of the consequences of our actions, however vile or sinful they may be?
- True Brahmachâris. But you may ask: “Who has ever seen a true brahmachâri in this sense?” …The race of true brahmachâris is by no means extinct; but if they were commonly to be met with, of what value would brahmacharya be? Thousands of hardy laborers have to go and dig deep into the bowels of the earth in search of diamonds, and at length they get perhaps merely a handful of them out of heaps and heaps of rock. How much greater, then, should be the labor involved in the discovery of the infinitely more precious diamond of a brahmachâri?
- What about the Married? We have already seen what is the highest state for us to attain. We should keep this ideal constantly before us, and try to approach it to the utmost of our capacity. When little children are taught to write the letters of the alphabet, we show them the perfect shapes of the letters, and they try to reproduce them as best they can. In the same way, if we steadily work up to the ideal of brahmacharya, we may ultimately succeed in realizing it.
- Fatal Merry-Making. Married people should understand the true function of marriage, and should not violate brahmacharya except with a view to progeny.
- Sensuality – A Poison. But this is so difficult under our present conditions of life. Our diet, our ways of life, our common talk, and our environments are all equally calculated to rouse animal passions; and sensuality is like a poison eating into our vitals. Some people may doubt the possibility of our being able to free ourselves from this bondage. This is written not for those who go about with such doubting of heart, but only for those who are really in earnest, and who have the courage to take active steps for self-improvement. Those who are quite content with their present abject condition will find this tedious even to read; but I hope it will be of some service to those who have realized and are disgusted with their own miserable plight.
- Advice to the Unmarried. From all that has been said, it follows that those who are still unmarried should try to remain so; but if they cannot help marrying, they should defer it as long as possible.
- Sexual Enjoyment. I can affirm, without the slightest hesitation, from my own experience as well as that of others, that sexual enjoyment is not only not necessary for, but is positively injurious to health. All the strength of body and mind that has taken long to acquire is lost all at once by a single dissipation of the vital energy. It takes a long time to regain this lost vitality, and even then there is no saying that it can be thoroughly recovered. A broken mirror may be mended and made to do its work, but it can never be anything but a broken mirror.
- Health and Morals. As has already been pointed out, the preservation of our vitality is impossible without pure air, pure water, pure and wholesome food, as well as pure thoughts. So vital indeed is the relation between health and morals, that we can never be perfectly healthy unless we lead a clean life. The earnest man, who forgetting the errors of the past, begins to live a life of purity, will be able to reap the fruit of it straightaway. Those who practice true brahmacharya, even for a short period, will see how their body and mind improve steadily in strength and power, and they will not, at any cost, be willing to part with this treasure.
- How Married People can Observe Brahmacharya. It is not enough to observe the laws of health as regards air, water and food… They should be constantly engaged in good work during the day. They should read such books as fill them with noble thoughts and meditate over the lives of great men, and live in the constant realization of the fact that sexual enjoyment is the root of much misery. Whenever they feel a craving for sexual indulgence, they should bathe in cold water, so that the heat of passion may be cooled down, and be refined into the energy of virtuous activity. This is a difficult thing to do, but we have been born to wrestle with difficulties and conquer them; and he who has not the will to do so can never enjoy the supreme blessing of true health.
- MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH (ref: http://www.rkvenkat.org/chastity.html) – VOW OF BRAHMACARYA (CH. 3.8) The great potentiality of brahmacharya daily became more and more patent to me.A perfect observance of brahmacharya means realization of Brahman… Every day of the vow has taken me nearer the knowledge that in brahmacharya lies the protection of the body, the mind, and the soul. For brahmacharya was now no process of hard penance; it was a matter of consolation and joy. Every day revealed a fresh beauty in it. But if it was a matter of ever-increasing joy, let no one believe that it was an easy thing for me. Every day I realize more and more that it is like walking on the sword’s edge, and I see every moment the necessity for eternal vigilance.
- Necessity of Restraints. Brahmacharya means control of the senses in thought, word, and deed. There is no limit to the possibilities of renunciation, even as there is none to those of brahmacharya. Such brahmacharya is impossible of attainment by limited effort. For many, it must remain only as an ideal.An aspirant after brahmacharya will always be conscious of his shortcomings, will seek out the passions lingering in the innermost recesses of his heart and will incessantly strive to get rid of them. So long as thought is not under complete control of the will, brahmacharya in its fulness is absent… Let no one think that it is impossible because it is difficult. It is the highest goal, and it is no wonder that the highest effort should be necessary to attain it.
- TO THE ASPIRANTS AFTER BRAHMACARYA (p. 402) I must utter a warning for the aspirants after brahmacharya. Though I have made out an intimate connection between diet and brahmacharya, it is certain that mind is the principle thing. A mind consciously unclean cannot be cleansed by fasting. Modifications in diet have no effect on it. The concupiscence of the mind cannot be rooted out except by intense self-examination, surrender to God, and lastly, grace. But there is an intimate connection between the mind and the body, and the carnal mind always lusts for delicaccies and luxuries. To obviate this tendency, dietetic restrictions and fasting would appear to be necessary. The carnal mind, instead of controlling the senses, becomes their slave, and therefore, the body always needs clean, non-stimulating foods and periodical fasting. Those who make light of dietetic restrictions and fasting are as much in error as those who stake their all on them. My experience teaches me that, for those whose minds are working towards self-restraint, dietetic restrictions and fasting are very helpful. In fact, without their help, concupiscence cannot be completely rooted out of the mind.
- FROM YERAVADA MANDIR (ref: http://www.rkvenkat.org/chastity.html) CHAPTER 3. BRAHMACHARYA OR CHASTITYThe man who is wedded to Truth and worships Truth alone, proves unfaithful to her if he applies his talents to anything else. How then can he minister to the senses? A man whose activities are wholly consecrated to the realization of Truth, which requires utter selflessness, can have no time for the selfish purpose of begetting children and running a household. Realization of Truth through self-gratification should appear a contradiction in terms.If we look at it from the standpoint of ahimsâ (non-violence), we find that the fulfillment of ahimsâ is impossible without utter selflessness. Ahimsâ means Universal Love. If a man gives his love to one woman, or a woman to one man, what is there left for all the world besides? It simply means: “We two first, and the devil take all the rest of them.” As a faithful wife must be prepared to sacrifice her all for the sake of her husband, and a faithful husband for the sake of his wife, it is clear that such persons cannot rise to the height of Universal Love, or look upon all mankind as kith and kin. For, they have created a boundary wall round their love. The larger their family, the farther are they from Universal Love. Hence, one who would obey the Law of ahimsâ cannot marry, not to speak of gratification outside the marital bond. The very thought that all the women in the world are his sisters, mothers, or daughters, will at once ennoble a man and snap his chains… If the foregoing argument is appreciated, a consideration of the physical benefits of chastity becomes a matter of secondary importance. How foolish it is intentionally to dissipate vital energy in sensual enjoyment! It is a grave misuse to fritter away for physical gratification that which is given to man and woman for the full development of their bodily and mental powers. Such misuse is the root cause of many a disease.
- Brahmacharya, like all other observances, must be observed in thought, word and deed. We are told in the Gita, and experience will corroborate the statement, that the foolish man, who appears to control his body, but is nursing evil thoughts in his mind, makes a vain effort. It may be harmful to suppress the body, if the mind is at the same time allowed to go astray. Where the mind wanders, the body must follow sooner or later.It is necessary here to appreciate a distinction. It is one thing to allow the mind to harbour impure thoughts; it is a different thing altogether if it strays among them in spite of ourselves. Victory will be ours in the end, if we non-cooperate with the mind in its evil wanderings.
- We experience every moment of our lives, that often while the body is subject to our control, the mind is not. This physical control should never be relaxed, and in addition we must put forth a constant endeavour to bring the mind under control. We can do nothing more, nothing less. If we give way to the mind, the body and the mind will pull different ways, and we shall be false to ourselves. Body and mind may be said to go together, so long as we continue to resist the approach of every evil thought.
- The observence of brahmacharya has been believed to be very difficult, almost impossible. In trying to find a reason for this belief, we see that the term brahmacharya has been taken in a narrow sense. Mere control of animal passion has been thought to be tantamount to observing brahmacharya. I feel, that this conception is incomplete and wrong. Brahmacharya means control of all the organs of sense. He who attempts to control only one organ, and allows all the others free play, is bound to find his effort futile. To hear suggestive stories with the ears, to see suggestive sights with the eyes, to taste simulating food with the tongue, to touch exciting things with the hands, and then at the same time to expect to control the only remaining organ is like putting one’s hands in the fire, and expecting to escape being burnt. He therefore who is resolved to control the one must be likewise determined to control the rest. I have always felt, that much harm has been done by the narrow definition of brahmacharya. If we practise simultaneous self-control in all directions, the attempt will be scientific and possible of success. Perhaps the palate is the chief sinner. That is why in the Ashram we have assigned to control of the palate a separate place among our observances. Let us remember the root meaning of brahmacharya. Charya means course of conduct; brahmacharya conduct adapted to the search of Brahma, i.e., Truth. From this etymological meaning arises the special meaning, viz. control of all the senses. We must entirely forget the incomplete definition which restricts itself to the sexual aspect only.
- CHAPTER 4. CONTROL OF THE PALATE Control of the palate is very closely connected with the observance of brahmacharya. I have found from experience that the observance of celibacy becomes comparatively easy, if one acquires mastery over the palate. Food has to be taken as we take medicine, that is, without thinking whether it is palatable or otherwise, and only in quantities limited to the needs of the body. Just as medicine taken in too small a dose does not take effect or the full effect, and as too large a dose injures the system, so it is with food. It is therefore a breach of their observance to take anything for its pleasant taste. It is equally a breach to take too much of what one finds to one’s taste. The body is injured every time that one over-eats, and the injury can be partially repaired only by fasting. We must not be thinking of food all the twenty-four hours of the day. The only thing needful is perpetual vigilance, which will help us to find out very soon when we eat for self-indulgence, and when in order only to sustain the body. This being discovered, we must resolutely set our faces against mere indulgence.
- SELF-RESTRAINT V. SELF-INDULGENCE (ref: http://www.rkvenkat.org/chastity.html) DUTY OF CHASTITY (P. 36) We exaggerate the difficulty of chastity and voluntary poverty and impute extraordinary merit to them, reserve them for mahâthmas and yogis and rule the latter out of ordinary life, forgetting that real mâhâthmas and yogis are unthinkable in a society where the ordinary level is brought down to the mud-bank. On the principle, that evil like the hare travels faster than good which like the tortoise though steady goes slow, voluptuousness of the West comes to us with lightning speed, and with all its variegated enchantment dazzles and blinds us to the realities of life. We are almost ashamed of chastity, and are in danger of looking upon self-imposed poverty as a crime in the face of the Western splendor that descends upon us from minute to minute through the cable, and day to day through the steamers that discharge their cargo on our shores… We often prate about spirituality as if it had nothing to do with the ordinary affairs of life, and had been reserved for anchorites lost in the Himalayan forests or concealed in some inaccessible Himalayan cave. Spirituality that has no bearing on and produces no effect on everyday life is ‘an airy nothing.’ Let young men and women know that it is their duty, if they would purify the atmosphere about them and shed their weakness, to be and remain chaste and know, too, that it is not so difficult as they have been taught to imagine.
- In Confidence, Young India, 13 Oct 1920. The word in Sanskrit corresponding to celibacy is brahmacharya, and the latter means much more than celibacy. Brahmacharya means perfect control over all the senses and organs. For the perfect brahmachâri nothing is impossible. But it is an ideal state which is rarely realized. It is almost like Euclid’s line which exists only in imagination, never capable of being physically drawn. It is nevertheless an important definition in geometry yielding great result. So may a perfect brahmachâri exist only in imagination. But if we did not keep him constantly before our mind’s eye, we should be like a rudderless ship. The nearer the approach to the imaginary state, the greater the perfection.I hold that a life of perfect continence in thought, speech, and action is necessary for reaching spiritual perfection. And the nation that does not possess such men is the poorer for the want.
- Advice to Parents.Parents furnish an object lesson which the children easily grasp. By reckless indulgence in their passions, they serve for their children as models of unrestrained license… I have not a shadow of doubt that married people, if they wished well to the country and wanted to see India become a nation of strong and handsome full-formed men and women, would practice perfect self-restraint.
- To the Newly-Married. I tender this advice even to the newly married. It is easier not to do a thing at all than to cease doing it, even as it is easier for a life abstainer to remain teetotaler than for a drunkard or even a temperate man to abstain. To remain erect is infinitely easier than to rise from a fall. It is wrong to say that continence can be safely preached only to the satiated. There is hardly any meaning, either, in preaching continence to an enfeebled person. May I point out to parents that they ought not to fall into the argumentative trap of the rights of partners? Consent is required for indulgence, never for restraint; this is an obvious truth.
- Rules for Brahmacharya.I place before the readers a few simple rules which are based on the experience not only of myself, but of many of my associates:
- Boys and girls should be brought up simply and naturally in the full belief that they are and can remain innocent.
- All should abstain from heating and stimulating foods, condiments such as chillies, fatty, and concentrated food such as fritters, sweets and fried substances.
- Husband and wife should occupy separate rooms and avoid privacy.
- Both body and mind should be constantly and healthily occupied.
- Early to bed and early to rise should be strictly observed.
- All unclean literature should be avoided. The antidote for unclean thoughts is clean thoughts.
- Theatres, cinemas, etc., which tend to stimulate passion should be shunned.
- Nocturnal dreams need not cause any anxiety. A cold bath every time for a fairly strong person is the finest preventive in such cases. It is wrong to say that an occasional indulgence is a safeguard against involuntary dreams.
- Above all, one must not consider continence even as between husband and wife to be so difficult as to be practically impossible. On the contrary, self-restraint must be considered to be the ordinary and natural practice of life.
- A heartfelt prayer every day for purity makes one progressively pure.
- What is Brahmacharya? (Young India, 5 Jun 1924) A friend asks: “What is brahmacharya? Is it possible to practice it to perfection? If possible, do you do so?” The full and proper meaning of brahmacharya is search of Brahman. Brahman pervades everything and can, therefore, be searched by diving into and realizing the inner self. This realization is impossible without complete control of the senses. Brahmacharya thus means control in thought, word, and action, of all the senses at all times and in all places. A man or woman completely practicing brahmacharya is absolutely free from passion. Such a one, therefore, lives nigh unto God, is God-like.
- My Strivings after Brahmacharya. I have no doubt that it is possible to practice such brahmacharya in thought, word, and action to the fullest extent.
- Healthy Soul in Healthy Body. I believe that a healthy soul should inhabit a healthy body. To the extent, therefore, that the soul grows into health and freedom from passion, to that extent the body also grows into that state.
- Ordinary Meaning of Brahmacharya. The ordinary accepted sense of brahmacharya is the control in thought, word, and action of animal passion… It has been thought to be very difficult to practice this brahmacharya. This control of the carnal desire has been so very difficult, has become nearly impossible, because equal stress has not been laid on the control of the palate. It is also the experience of our physicians that a body enfeebled by disease is always a favorite abode of carnal desire, and brahmacharya by an enfeebled race is difficult to practice naturally.
- Physical Culture. One, who would practice complete control of all the senses, must needs welcome the waning of the flesh. With the extinction of attachment to the flesh, comes the extinction of the desire to have muscular strength. But the body of a true brahmachâri is bound to be exceptionally fresh and wiry. This brahmacharya is something unearthly. He who is not swayed by carnal desire even in his sleep, is worthy of all adoration. The control of every other sense shall be ‘added unto’ him.
- How to Eradicate Evil Thoughts? So long as the mind is engaged in a perpetual struggle against evil thoughts, there is no reason to despair. When the eye offends, it should be closed. When the ears offend, they should be stopped. It is best always to walk with down-cast eyes. They will have no occasion to go astray. All haunts of filthy talk or unclean music should be avoided. There should be full control of the palate. One of the rules for control of the palate is to abjure completely or, as much as possible, all condiments. A more difficult rule is to cultivate the feeling that the food we eat is to sustain the body, never to satisfy the palate. There is, however, a golden rule for gaining control of the carnal desire. It is the repetition of the divine word Rama or such other Mantra. Whichever Mantra is selected, one should be identified with it whilst repeating it.
- IN ITS WIDER MEANING. (Navjivan, 26 Feb 1925) Brahmacharya appears to be difficult because we do not control the other senses. Take for example organ of taste which leads the rest. Zoologists tell us that brahmacharya is observed by the lower animals, as for instance cattle, to a greater extent than by human beings, and this is a fact. The reason is that cattle have perfect control over the palate, not by will but by instinct. They subsist on mere fodder, and of this, too, they take a quantity just sufficient for nutrition. They eat to live, do not live to eat; while our case is just the reverse… The taste depends upon hunger. Even sweets will not be as tasteful to one who is not hungry, as a slice of dry bread is to another who is really so. We prepare food in various ways with a variety of spices in order to be able to load the stomach, and wonder when we find brahmacharya difficult to observe.
- Use and Misuse of Eyes. We misuse and corrupt the eyes which God has given us, and do not direct them to the right things.
- Use and Misuse of Clothes. Clothes are meant just to cover the body, protect it against heat and cold, not to beautify it. If a child is trembling with cold, we must send him to the fireside to warm himself or out into the street for a run, or into the field for work. It is only thus that we can help him to build a splendid constitution. By keeping the child confined in the house, we impart a false warmth to his body. By pampering his body, we only succeed in destroying it.
- Obstacles in the Way of Brahmacharya. So much for the clothes. Then again, the light conversation carried on in the house creates a very harmful impression on the child’s mind. The things which he sees around him also tend to corrupt him. The wonder is that we have not sunk to the lowest depths of barbarism. Restraint is observed in spite of conditions which render it well-nigh impossible. A gracious Providence has so arranged things that man is saved in spite of himself. If we remove all these obstacles in the way of brahmacharya, it not only becomes possible but also easy to observe.
- Touching a Woman. Brahmacharya does not mean that one may not touch a woman, even one’s sister, in any circumstances whatsoever. But it does mean that one’s state of mind should be as calm and unruffled during such contact as when one touches, say, a piece of paper. A man’s brahmacharya avails for nothing if he must hesitate in nursing his sister who is ill. He has to be as free from excitement in case of contact with the fairest damsel on earth, as in contact with a dead body.
- TRUE CELIBACY. (Young India, 25 Jun 1925) A man who consciously sins with his mind, even though he may not sin with his body, is not a celibate. One who cannot remain unmoved at the sight of a woman, however beautiful she may be, is not a celibate. One who keeps his body under control from sheer necessity, does well, but is not a celibate. We may not degrade sacred words by a loose use of them. True celibacy has important results which can be verified. It is a difficult virtue to practice. Many attempt it, but few succeed.
- Plea for Humility. It must be taken for granted that those who cultivate truth, ahimsa, brahmacharya, must be humble. Truth without humility would be an arrogant caricature. He who wants to practice truth knows how hard it is. The world may applaud his so-called triumphs. Little does the world know his falls. A truthful man is a chastened being. He has need to be humble. A man who wants to love the whole world including one who calls himself his enemy, knows how impossible it is to do so in his own strength. He must be as mere dust before he can understand the elements of ahimsa. He is nothing if he does not daily grow in humility as he grows in love.
- God Triumphs in Us, Never We. A man who would have his eye single, who would regard every woman as his blood sister or mother, has to be less than dust. He stands on the brink of a precipice. The slightest turn of the head brings him down. He dare not whisper his virtue to his very own. For, he knows not what the next moment has in store for him. For him, “pride goeth before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.” Well has the Gita said: “Passions subside in a fasting man, not the desire for them. The desire goes only when man sees God face to face.” And no one can see God face to face who has aught of the ‘I’ in him. He must become a cypher if he would see God. Who shall dare say in this storm-tossed universe: “I have won?” God triumphs in us, never we.
- Ours is Merely to Make the Attempt. Let us not lower the values of these virtues so that we may all be able to claim them. What is true of the physical world, is true of the spiritual. If, in order to gain a worldly battle, Europe sacrificed several million lives during the late War, itself a transitory event, what wonder that in the spiritual battle millions have to perish in the attempt so that one complete example may be left to the world. It is ours merely to make the attempt in the uttermost humility. The cultivation of these higher virtues is its own reward. He who cashes any of them loses his soul. Virtues are not to trade with. My Truth, my Ahimsa, my Brahmacharya are matters between myself and my Maker. They are not articles of trade. Any man who dares to trade with them will do so at his peril. The world has no standard, no means wherewith to judge these things. They defy scrutiny and analysis. Let us, therefore, cultivate them for our own purification.
- ROYAL ROAD TO SELF-REALIZATION. (Young India, 1926) I am being inundated with letters on brahmacharya and means to its attainment. Let me repeat in different language what I have already said or written on previous occasions. Brahmacharya is not mere mechanical celibacy; it means complete control over all the senses and freedom from lust in thought, word, and deed. As such it is the royal road to self-realization or attainment of Brahman. The ideal brahmachâri has not to struggle with sensual desire or desire for procreation; it never troubles him at all. The whole world will be to him one vast family; he will center all his ambition in relieving the misery of mankind and the desire for procreation will be to him as gall and wormwood. He who has realized the misery of mankind in all its magnitude will never be stirred by passion. He will instinctively know the fountain of strength in him, and he will ever persevere to keep it undefiled. His humble strength will command respect of the world, and he will wield an influence greater than that of the sceptered monarch.
- Attraction Between Man and Woman. But I am told that this is an impossible ideal, that I do not take count of the natural attraction between man and woman. I refuse to believe that the sensual affinity referred to here can be at all regarded as natural; in that case the deluge would soon be over us. The natural affinity between man and woman is the attraction between brother and sister, mother and son, or father and daughter. It is that natural attraction that sustains the world. I should find it impossible to live, much less carry on my work, if I did not regard the whole of womankind as sisters, daughters, or mothers. If I looked at them with lustful eyes, it would be the surest way to perdition.
- Procreation–A Natural Phenomenon. Procreation is a natural phenomenon indeed, but within specific limits. A transgression of those limits imperils womankind, emasculates the race, induces disease, puts a premium on vice, and makes the world ungodly. A man in the grip of the sensual desire is a man without moorings. If such a one were to guide society, to flood it with his writings and men were to be swayed by them, where would society be? And yet we have the very thing happening today.
- Purpose of Marriage. Supposing a moth whirling round a light were to record the moments of its fleeting joy and we were to imitate it, regarding it as an exemplar, where would we be? No, I must declare with all the power I can command that sensual attraction even between husband and wife is unnatural. Marriage is meant to cleanse the hearts of the couple of sordid passions and take them nearer to God. Lustless love between husband and wife is not impossible. Man is not a brute. He has risen to a higher state after countless births in brute creation. He is born to stand, not to walk on all fours or crawl. Bestiality is as far removed from manhood, as matter from spirit.
- Means of Attainment. In conclusion I shall summarize the means to its attainment.
- The first step is the realization of its necessity.
- The next is gradual control of the senses. A brahmachâri must needs control his palate. He must eat to live, and not for enjoyment. He must see only clean things and close his eyes before anything unclean. It is thus a sign of polite breeding to walk with one’s eyes towards the ground and not wandering about from object to object. A brahmachâri will likewise hear nothing obscene or unclean, smell no strong, stimulating, things. The smell of clean earth is far sweeter than the fragrance of artificial scents and essences. Let the aspirant to brahmacharya also keep his hands and feet engaged in all the waking hours in healthful activity. Let him also fast occasionally.
- The third step is to have clean companions–clean friends and clean books.
- The last and not the least is prayer. Let him repeat Râmanâma with all his heart regularly every day, and ask for divine grace. None of these things are difficult for an average man or woman. They are simplicity itself. But their very simplicity is embarrassing. Where there is a will, the way is simple enough. Men have not the will for it and hence vainly grope. The fact that the world rests on the observance, more or less, of brahmacharya or restraint, means that it is necessary and practicable. [The original Gujarati article appeared in Navjivan, 4-4-1926. This is a translation by Mahadev Desai.]
- THE LAW OF CONTINENCE (Young India, 25 Aug 1927) Let no one desirous of leading a pure and chaste life think that the practice of it is not worth pursuing because the expected result is not attained in a moment. And let no one expect perfection of body after successful practice of continence even for a long time. The majority of us, who endeavor to follow the rules laid down for observing continence, labor under three handicaps. We have inherited imperfect bodies and weak wills from our parents, and by an incorrect life we find ourselves to have further debilitated both our bodies and wills. When a writing advocating purity of life attracts us, we begin the reformation. Such reformation is never too late.But we must not expect the results described in such writings; for, those results are to be expected only from a strictly regulated life from early youth. And the third handicap we labor under is, that in spite of the exercise of all the artificial and outward restraint, we find ourselves unable to restrain and regularize our thoughts. And let every aspirant after a pure life take from me that an impure thought is often as powerful in undermining the body as an impure act. Control over thought is a long, painful and laborious process. But I am convinced that no time, no labor and no pain is too much for the glorious result to be reached. The purity of thought is possible only with a faith in God bordering on definite experience.
- “So dear to Heaven is saintly chastity
- That when a soul is found sincerely so,
- A thousand liveried angles lackey her” –Milton
- By the use of the term continence is meant the voluntary and entire abstinence from sexual indulgence in any form and having complete control over the passions by one who knows their power, and who but for his pure life and steady will, not only could but would indulge them.
- The advantages of a strictly continent life are: The nervous system is invigorated and strengthened. The special senses–the sight, hearing, etc., are strong, delicate, and acute. The digestive system is kept normal and man knows not what a sick day is… The brain is enlarged and perfect, memory grows strong, and the perceptive and reflective faculties increase in power. The soul in its exercise reaches up and commingles with the Spirit of God. The reproductive element is preserved in all its life-renewing and life-giving power until full ripeness of years.
- The following are to be strictly avoided by those whose desire it is to lead a pure, chaste, and continent life:
- Tobacco in all its forms. All manner of alcoholic liquors. Tea, coffee, and chocolate. Late suppers and over-eating. Sweetmeats, candies, etc. White bread when it is possible to get the graham. Pork and all fat and salt meats, sausages, pickles, etc. Salt except in moderate quantities, pepper, mustard, spices, vinegar, and other condiments. Mince and other pies and all manner of pastry.
- All constriction of dress about the body.
- Feather beds and pillows and heavy bed covering. Unventilated and unlighted bedrooms. Remaining in bed in the morning after waking. Uncleanliness of the body, Turkish and Russian baths.
- Idleness and inaction of body and mind. Companions of doubtful or bad natures. Irresolute will.
- Drugs and patent medicines. Quack doctors.
- The things below enumerated you are requested to observe, use and enjoy, if you would live a healthy life, a continent life, a happy and a long life: The cultivation of a firm and determined will. The active morning and evening exercise of the religious sentiments. In the right and faithful observance of these laws man will find all the requirements necessary to the growth of perfect health, purity of body, nobleness of soul, and, above and over all, continence.
- A man who wants to control his animal passions easily does so if he controls his palate. I fear this is one of the most difficult vows to follow…. I may say this: unless we take our minds off from this habit (slavery to the palate), and unless we shut our eyes to the tea shops and coffee shops and all these kitchens, and unless we are satisfied with foods that are necessary for the proper maintenance of our physical health, and unless we are prepared to rid ourselves of stimulating, heating, and exciting condiments that we mix with our food, we will certainly not be able to control the over-abundant, unnecessary, and exciting stimulation that we may have. If we do not do that, the result naturally is, that we abuse ourselves and we abuse even the sacred trust given to us, and we become less than animals and brutes. Eating, drinking, and indulging in passions we share in common with the animals; but have you ever seen a horse or a cow indulging in the abuse of the palate as we do? Do you suppose it is a sign of civilization, a sign of real life that we should multiply our eatables so far that we do not know where we are; and seek dishes until at last we have become absolutely mad and run after the newspaper sheets which give us advertisements about these dishes?
- WALLS OF PROTECTION (Harijan, 15 June 1947) Let us ask ourselves what wall should be erected to protect Brahmacharya. The answer seems clear. It is not Brahmacharya that needs walls of protection. To say this is easy enough and sounds sweet. But it is difficult to understand the import of the statement and more so to act accordingly. It is true that he who has attained perfect Brahmacharya, does not stand in need of protecting walls. But the aspirant undoubtedly needs them, even as a young mango plant has need of a strong fence round it. A child goes from its mother’s lap to the cradle and from the cradle to the push-cart–till he becomes a man who has learnt to walk without aid. To cling to the aid when it is needless, is surely harmful. Brahmacharya is one out of the eleven observances. It follows, therefore, that the real aid to Brahmacharya are the remaining ten observances. The difference between them and the walls of protection is that the latter are temporary, the former permanent. They are an integral part of Brahmacharya.
- A Perfect Brahmachari. Self-indulgence and hypocrisy are sins to be avoided. The true Brahmachari will shun false restraints. He must create his own fences according to his limitations, breaking them down when he feels that they are unnecessary. The first thing is to know what true Brahmacharya is, then to realize its value and, lastly, to try to cultivate this priceless virtue. I hold that true service of the country demands this observance.
- ASHRAM OBSERVANCES IN ACTION, Ch. 4 of 12: Brahmacharya or chastity, pp. 48-57. This observance does not give rise to ever so many problems and dilemmas as ahimsa does. Its meaning is generally well understood, but understanding it is one thing: practising it is quite another thing and calls forth all our powers. Many of us put forth a great effort but without making any progress. Some of us even lost ground previously won. None has reached perfection. But everyone realizes its supreme importance. My striving in this direction began before 1906 when I took the vow. There were many ups and downs. It was only after I had burnt my fingers at times that I realized the deeper meaning of brahmacharya. And then I found that expositions made in books cannot be understood without actual experience, and wear a fresh aspect in the light of it. Even in the case of simple machine like the spinning-wheel, it is one thing to read the directions for plying it, and it is another thing to put the directions into practice. New light dawns upon us as soon as we commence our practice. And what is true of simple tangible things like the wheel is still more true of spiritual states.
- A brahmachari is one who controls his organs of sense in thought, word and deed. The meaning of this definition became somewhat clear after I had kept the observance for some time, but it is not quite clear even now, for I do not claim to be a perfect brahmachari, evil thoughts having been held in restraint but not eradicated. When they are eradicated, I will discover further implications of the definition.
- Ordinary brahmacharya is not so difficult as it is supposed to be. We have made it difficult by understanding the term in a narrow sense. Many of us play with brahmacharya like fools who put their hands in the fire and still expect to escape being burnt. Very few realize that a brahmachari has to control not one but all the organs of sense. He is no brahmachari who thinks that mere control of animal passion is the be-all and end-all of brahmacharya. No wonder if he finds it very difficult. He who attempts to control only one organ and allows all the others free play must not expect to achieve success. He might as well deliberately descend into a well and expect to keep his body dry. Those who would achieve an easy conquest of animal passion must give up all unnecessary things which stimulate it. They must control their palate and cease to read suggestive literature and to enjoy all luxuries. I have not the shadow of a doubt that they will find brahmacharya easy enough after such renunciation.
- Some people think that it is not a breach of brahmacharya to cast a lascivious look at one’s own or another’s wife or to touch her in the same manner; but nothing could be farther from the truth. Such behaviour constitutes a direct breach of brahmacharya in the grosser sense of the term. Men and women who indulge in it deceive themselves and the world, and growing weaker day by day, make themselves easily susceptible to disease. If they stop short of a full satisfaction of desire, the credit for it is due to circumstances and not to themselves. They are bound to fall at the very first opportunity.
- In brahmacharya as conceived by the Ashram those who are married behave as if they were not married. Married people do well to renounce gratification outside the marital bond ; theirs is a limited brahmacharya. But to look upon them as brahmacharis is to do violence to that glorious term.
- Such is the complete Ashram definition of brahmacharya. However there are men as well as women in the Ashram who enjoy considerable freedom in meeting one another. The ideal is that one Ashramite should have the same freedom in meeting another as is enjoyed by a son in meeting his mother or by a brother in meeting his sister. That is to say, the restrictions that are generally imposed for the protection of brahmacharya are lifted in the Satyagraha Ashram, where we believe that brahmacharya which ever stands in need of such adventitious support is no brahmacharya at all. The restrictions may be necessary at first but must wither away in time. Their disappearance does not mean that a brahmachari goes about seeking the company of women, but it does mean that if there is an occasion for him to minister to a woman, he may not refuse such ministry under the impression that it is forbidden to him.
- Woman for a brahmachari is not the ”doorkeeper of hell” but is an incarnation of our Mother who is in Heaven. He is no brahmachari at all whose mind is disturbed if he happens to see a woman or if he has to touch her in order to render service. A brahmachari’s reaction to a living image and to a bronze statue is one and the same. But a man who is perturbed at the very mention of woman and who is desirous of observing brahmacharya, must fly even from a figurine made of metal.
- I now come to a point of vital importance which I have reserved for treatment towards the end of the discussion. We are told in the Bhagavadgita (II : 59) that ‘‘when a man starves his senses, the objects of those senses disappear from him, but not the yearning for them; the yearning too departs when he beholds the Supreme’‘, that is to say, the Truth or Brahma (God). The whole truth of the matter has here been set forth by the experienced Krishna. Fasting and all other forms of discipline are ineffective without the grace of God. What is the vision of the Truth or God? It does not mean seeing something with the physical eye or witnessing a miracle. Seeing God means realization of the fact that God abides in one’s heart. The yearning must persist until one has attained this realization, and will vanish upon realization. It is with this end in view that we keep observances, and engage ourselves in spiritual endeavour at the Ashram. Realization is the final fruit of constant effort. The human lover sacrifices his all for his beloved, but his sacrifice is fruitless inasmuch as it is offered for the sake of momentary pleasure. But the quest of Truth calls for even greater concentration than that of the human beloved. There is joy ineffable in store for the aspirant at the end of the quest. Still very few of us are as earnest as even the human lover. Such being the facts of the case, what is the use of complaining that the quest of truth is an uphill task? The human beloved may be at a distance of several thousand miles; God is there in the tabernacle of the human heart, nearer to us than the finger nails are to the fingers. But what is to be done with a man who wanders all over the wide world in search of treasure which as a matter of fact is buried under his very feet ?
- The brahmacharya observed by a self-restraining person is not something to be despised. It certainly serves to weaken the force of the yearning for the ”fleshpots of Egypt.” One may keep fasts or adopt various other methods of mortifying the flesh, but the objects of sense must be compelled to disappear. The yearning will get itself in readiness to go as this process is on. Then the seeker will have the beatific vision, and that will be the signal for the yearning to make its final exit. The treasure supposed to be lost will be recovered. He who has not put all his strength into his effort has no right to complain that he has not ”seen” Brahma. Observing brahmacharya is one of the means to the end which is seeing Brahma. Without brahmacharya no one may expect to see Him, and without seeing Him one cannot observe brahmacharya to perfection. The verse therefore does not rule out self-discipline but only indicates its limitations.
- KEY TO HEALTH, Ch. 10 of 10: brahmacharya. (1942). Brahmacharya literally means that mode of life which leads to the realization of God. That realization is impossible without practicing self-restraint. Self-restraint means restraint of all the senses. But ordinarily brahmacharya is understood to mean control of sexual organs. This becomes natural for the man who exercises self-restraint all round. It is only when observance of brahmacharya becomes natural to one that he or she derives the greatest benefit from it. Such a person should be free from anger and kindred passion. The so called brahmachâris, that one generally comes across, behave as if their one occupation in life was the display of bad temper.
- One notices that these people disregard the ordinary rules of brahmacharya and merely aim at and expect to practise physical brahmacharya. They fail to achieve their object. Some of them become almost insane while others betray a sickly appearance. They are unable to prevent the discharge and if they succeed in restraining themselves from sexual intercourse, they think that they have attained all that was needed. Now mere abstention from sexual intercourse cannot be termed brahmacharya. So long as the desire for intercourse is there, one cannot be said to have attained brahmacharya. Only he who has burnt away sexual desire in its entirety may be said to have attained control over his sexual organs. There is something very striking about a full-fledged brahmachâri. His speech, his thought, and his action, all bespeak possession of vital force.
- Such a brahmachâri does not flee from the company of women. He may not hanker after it nor may he avoid it even when it means rendering of necessary service. For him the distinction between men and women almost disappears. No one should distort my words and use them as an argument in favor of licentiousness. What I mean to say is that, a man whose sexual desire has been burnt up ceases to make a distinction between men and women. It must be so. His conception of beauty alters. He will not look at the external form. He or she whose character is beautiful will be beautiful in his eyes. Therefore, the sight of women called beautiful will not ruffle or excite him. Even his sexual organs will begin to look different. In other words, such a man has so controlled his sexual instinct that he never gets erections. He does not become impotent for lack of the necessary secretions of sexual glands. But these secretions in his case are sublimated into a vital force pervading his whole being. It is said that an impotent man is not free form sexual desire. But the cultivated impotency of the man, whose sexual desire has been burnt up and whose sexual secretions are being converted into vital force, is wholly different. It is to be desired by everybody. It is true that such a brahmachâri is rare to find.
- I took the vow of brahmacharya in 1906. In other words, my efforts to become a perfect brahmachâri started 36 years ago. I cannot say I have attained the full brahmacharya of my definition, but in my opinion I have made substantial progress towards it. If God wills it, I might attain even perfection in this life. Anyway, there is no relaxation of efforts nor is there any despondence in me. I do not consider 36 years too long a period for effort. The richer the prize, the richer the effort must be. Meanwhile, my ideas regarding the necessity for brahmacharya have become stronger. Some of my experiments have not reached a stage when they might be placed before the public with advantage. I hope to do so some day if they succeed to my satisfaction. Success might make the attainment of brahmacharya comparatively easier.
- But the brahmacharya on which I wish to lay emphasis in this chapter is limited to the conservation of sexual secretions. The glorious fruit of perfect brahmacharya is not to be had from the observance of this limited brahmacharya. But no one can reach perfect brahmacharya without reaching the limited variety.
- And maintenance of perfect health should be considered almost an utter impossibility without the brahmacharya leading to the conservation of the sexual secretions. To countenance wastage of a secretion which has the power of creating another human being is, to say the least, an indication of gross ignorance. A firm grasp of the fact that sex is meant to be used only for procreation and not for self-indulgence, leaves no room whatsoever for indulging in animal passion. Assimilation of the knowledge that the vital fluid is never meant for waste should restrain men and women from becoming crazy over sexual intercourse. Marriage will then come to have a different significance and the way it is treated at present will appear disgusting. Marriage ought to signify a union of heart between two partners. A married couple is worthy of being considered brahmachâris if they never think of sexual intercourse except for the purposes of procreation. Such an intercourse is not possible unless both parties desire it. It will never be resorted to in order to satisfy passion without the desire for a child. After intercourse which has been performed as a matter of duty, the desire to repeat the process should never arise.
- What I am saying may not be taken as copy book wisdom. The reader should know that I am writing this after a long personal experience. I know that what I am writing is contrary to the common practice. But in order to make progress we have often to go beyond the limits of common experience. Great discoveries have been possible only as a result of challenging the common experience or commonly held beliefs. The invention of the simple match stick was a challenge to the common experience, and the discovery of electricity confounded all preconceived notions.
- What is true of physical things is equally true of things spiritual. In the early days there was no such thing as marriage. Men and women, as in the case of animals, mated promiscuously. Self-restraint was unknown. Some advanced men went beyond the rut of common practice and discovered the Law of Self-Restraint. It is our duty to investigate the hidden possibilities of the Law of Self-Restraint. Therefore, when I say it is the duty of every man and woman to take the marital relations to the state indicated by me it is not to be dismissed as utterly impracticable. If human life is molded as it ought to be, conservation of vital fluid can become a natural thing for everyone.
- The sexual glands are all the time secreting the reproductive elements. This secretion should be utilized for enhancing one’s mental, physical, and spiritual energy. He who would learn to utilize it thus, will find that he requires very little food to keep his body in a fit condition. And yet he will be as capable as any of undertaking physical labour. Mental exertion will not tire him easily nor will he show the ordinary signs of old age. Just as a ripe fruit or an old leaf falls off naturally, so will such a brahmachâri, when his time comes, pass away with all his faculties intact. Although with the passage of time the effects of the natural wear and tear must be manifest in his body, his intellect instead of showing signs of decay should show progressive clarity. If all this is correct, the real key to health lies in the conservance of vital energy.
- I give here the rules for the conservation of vital force as I know them.
- Sexual desire has its root in one’s thought. Therefore, complete control over thought is necessary. The way to achieve it is this. Never let your mind remain idle. Keep it filled with good and useful ideas. In other words keep thinking of whatever duty you have on hand. There need be no worry about it, but think out how can you become an expert in your department and then put your thoughts into action. There should be no waste of thoughts. Japa (repetition of God’s name) is a great support when idle thoughts haunt you. Contemplate God in the form you have pictured Him unless you know Him as formless. While japa is going on, no other thoughts should be allowed to enter one’s mind. This is the ideal state. But if one cannot reach it and all sorts of uninvited thoughts invade one’s mind, one should not become disheartened. Nâmajapa should be continued faithfully and in the confidence that ultimate victory is bound to follow.
- As with our thoughts, so with our reading and talking. These should be healthy and clean. Erotic literature should be avoided. Idle, indecent talk leads to indecent action. It is obvious that one who does not wish to feed his animal passions will avoid occupations which tend to include them.
- Like the mind, the body must also be kept well and usefully occupied, so that the fatigue of the day may lead to refreshing dreamless sleep. As far as possible, work should be in open. Those who for some reason or the other, cannot undertake physical labour, should make it a point to take regular exercise. In my opinion, a brisk walk in the open is the best form of exercise. During the walk the mouth should be closed and breathing should be done through the nose. Sitting or walking, the body must be held erect. To sit or stand otherwise is a size of laziness and laziness is the enemy of self-restraint. Yogic exercises–asanas–are also useful. This much I can say from my personal experience that one who keeps his hands and feet, eyes and ears, healthily occupied does not have much difficulty in controlling the animal appetite. Everyone can test this for himself.
- A Sanskrit text says that a man becomes what he eats. A glutton who exercises no restraint in eating is a slave to his animal passions. One who has not been able to control his palate, will never be able to control the other senses. If this is true, it is clear that one should take just enough food for the requirements of the body and no more. The diet should be healthy and well-balanced. The body was never meant to be treated as a refuse bin holding the foods that the palate demands. Food is meant to sustain the body. His body has been given to man as a means of self-realization. Self-realization means realization of God. A person who has made this realization the object of his or her life, will never become a slave to the animal passion.
- Man should look upon every woman as his mother, sister, or daughter. No one ever entertains impure thoughts with regard to his mother, sister, or daughter. Similarly, women should look upon every man as her father, brother, or son.
- I have given more hints than these in my other writings, but they are all contained in the five given above. Anyone who observes them should find it easy to overcome what has been called the greatest of all passions. A person, who has real desire for brahmacharya, will not give up the effort because he or she regards the observance of these rules as impossible or at least within the reaches of one in a million. The effort is a joy in itself. To put it in another way, the joy of possessing perfect health is not to be compared with any other, and perfect health is unattainable by slaves. Slavery of one’s animality is perhaps the worst of all.
- A few words about contraceptives will not be out of place here. The practice of preventing progeny, by means of artificial methods, is not a new thing. In the past such methods were practiced secretly and they were crude. Modern society have given them respectable place and made improvements. They have been given a philanthropic garb. The advocates of contraceptives say that sexual desire is a natural instinct–some call it a blessing. They therefore say that we should not suppress the desire even if it were possible. Birth control by means of self-restraint is, in their opinion, difficult to practice. If a substitute for self-restraint is not prescribed, the health of innumerable is bound to suffer through frequent pregnancies. They add that if births are not regulated, over population will ensue; individual families will be pauperized and their children will be ill fed, ill clothed, and ill educated. Therefore, they argue, it is the duty of scientists to devise harmless and effective methods of birth control. This argument has failed to convince me. The use of contraceptives is likely to produce evils of which we have no conception. But the worse danger is that the use of contraceptives bids fair to kill the desire for self-restraint. In my opinion it is too heavy a price to pay for any possible immediate gain. But this is not the place to argue my point. Those who would like to pursue this subject further should procure the booklet called Self-Restraint v. Self-Indulgence, read and digest what I have said therein and then do as their heads and heart may dictate. Those who have not the desire or the leisure to read the booklet will, if they follow my advice, avoid contraceptive as poison. They should try their best to exercise self-restraint. They should take up such activities as would keep their bodies and minds fully occupied and give a suitable outlet to their energy. It is necessary to have some healthy recreation when one is tired by physical labour. There should not be a single moment of idleness for the devil to creep in. In this way, true conjugal love will be established and directed into healthy channels. Both the partners will make a progressive rise in their moral height. The joy of true renunciation, once they come to know it, will prevent them from turning to animal enjoyment. Self-deception is the greatest stumbling block. Instead of controlling the mind, the fountain of all animal desire, men and women involve themselves in the vain endeavor to avoid the physical act. If there is a determination to control the thought and the action, victory is sure to follow. Man must understand that woman is his companion and helpmate in life and not the means of satisfaction of his carnal desire. There must be a clear perception that the purpose of human creation was wholly different from that of the satisfaction of the animal wants. Brahmacharya will come easy to anyone who controls his palate.
These quotes have been collected from the book “Spiritual teachings of Swami Brahmananda” published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras in 1933. I bought this book from amazon.com.
- Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “He who has totally given up carnal enjoyments for the sake of God has already covered three-fourths of his journey.” Is it easy to renounce all enjoyments? Only if a man has God’s grace and has done severe tapas (spiritual discipline) in his past life, can he acquire the strength required for renunciation. Purify your mind in such a way that vile thoughts may not rise in it at all.
- Our shastras (religious scriptures) say that by observing brahmacharya for twelve years very strictly, God becomes easy to realise. This is very difficult. I can tell you from my own experience I have learned that no true meditation is possible without real brahmacharya. It is very difficult to get control over the sukshma vasanas (subtle passions), so the rules for sannyasins are very strict. The sannyasin should not even look at a woman. By seeing one, a picture is formed in the mind. When we see anything beautiful to the senses, our natural instinct is to enjoy it. So we unconsciously enjoy in our mind. This is very injurious. If a sadhu sees a woman in a dream or gets night pollution, he has to make prayaschittam (repentance). He has to take little food the next day or no food at all and he has to make penance by making japam for thousands of times. Without brahmacharya the mind will not gain the power to meditate. The mind will be thinking of this or that and will not think of His feet. You will not get the correct imagination. When you develop brahmacharya you will see everything in a different light. Everything will look fresh to you. By observing brahmacharya, ojas is aroused in you. Science also says the same thing.
- Renunciation being the vital factor in attaining peace and happiness, everything should be given up for the sake of God. Unbroken brahmacharya (continence) is also requisite for one seeking the Lord. A man without continence is no better than an animal. Discrimination is the trait which distinguishes man from the brute. Man can realise God if he strives for it, but the brute cannot, being a complete slave of the senses.
- Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “He who has denied himself for the sake of God has a strong and undisputed claim on Him.” … Oh, how inexpressible that joy! How boundless that bliss! He alone knows it who has had that supreme experience. Compared to it, worldly pleasures, so dear to most people, become insipid and worthless.
- First of all, be firm in your devotion to the practice of brahmacharya (continence). Everything else will come by itself. Perfection in continence cannot be attained without sadhana (spiritual practices); and without perfect continence, realisation of God is impossible. Unless God is realised, real bliss cannot be had, and without real bliss, human life will be spent in vain. You are all young boys – with pure minds and noble aspirations. I beg of you, my dear ones, do a little sadhana and you will see how shraddha (faith) and bhakti (devotion) will be roused within you. You will become heirs of immortal bliss; you will be blessed with the vision of your ishtam (chosen ideal), with the vision of God. You will then attain to the ultimate goal of human life.
- All worldly pleasures become insipid to him who gets a taste of Divine bliss. What is there in the world? Be it name or fame, wealth or children – nothing can bring peace to man. These only add to his misery and anxiety. Why have you come here, leaving your family and home? Is it to increase your burden or to lessen it? All the objects of enjoyment that you see before you vanish the moment you breathe your last. To speak the truth, they only tend to take you into greater and greater darkness. Do you want to tread the path of darkness or light? When you have once got a glimpse of the light, you should not turn your face from it. Do not look at the things of the world. If you do so, you will get lost in them. So great is the influence of desires that if they once leave an impression on your mind, they will drag you down lower and lower; yet they will not let you feel your downward course. The only way to be saved from these dangers is to offer yourself solely to God.
- Without strict brahmacharya, it is not possible for anyone to hold fast to great ideals. To secure the full development and vitality of body, brain and mind, brahmacharya is essential. Those who observe strict brahmacharya develop a strong memory and a remarkable capacity for understanding. By means of brahmacharya, a special nerve is developed which brings about these wonderful powers. Do you know why our great teachers have laid so much emphasis on brahmacharya? It is because they knew that if a man fails in this respect, everything is lost. The strict brahmacharin does not lose his vitality. He may not look like a pahalwan (a great athlete) but the development of his brain is so fine that his capacity for grasping supersensuous things is remarkable.
- There are certain rules which a brahmacharin must observe. He must avoid exciting food, over-sleep, over-exercise, laziness, bad company and evil conversation. If you indulge in idle talk your brain gets excited, you cannot control your thoughts, and you suffer from sleeplessness and other troubles.
- The control of appetite is also essential for brahmacharya practice. Otherwise you will be subject to many troubles. Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “Keep your bhudi (stomach) and mudi (brain) cool.” It means you can do effective work only if your head and stomach remain calm and cool. The glutton who has no control over his appetite brings ruin on his body and mind. Eating too much of such foods as garlic, onion, or chilli, excites the system, and one finds it extremely hard to control the mind. I believe that those who want to lead a spiritual life should pay special attention to what they eat and drink. It is desirable to take only nutritious and easily digestible food. There is no good in overloading the stomach.
- Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “You may eat as much as you like during the day, but you must eat only sparingly at night.”
- Great strength can be acquired through the practice of brahmacharya (continence). A true brahmacharin can do the work of twenty-five men.
- Unless one spends some time in solitude, one cannot understand the workings of the mind and realise the Truth. It is very difficult to grow spiritually along any particular line in the midst of tumult and confusion.
- One great thing to be considered is kripa (divine grace). The breeze of His grace is always blowing. Only unfurl your sails and you will have it. How can you catch the breeze if you keep your sails furled? Hoist them now and do not delay any longer. Give up your desires for worldly enjoyments, your hankering for name and fame, and fully resign yourself to the Lord. It is quite impossible to enjoy worldly pleasures and at the same time realise God. You cannot serve both God and mammon at the same time. If you want to realise God, you must renounce worldly pleasures. If, on the other hand, you desire to enjoy temporal pleasures, you will have to give up God. Do not keep your feet in two boats, as they say. If you do, you will only make yourself miserable. You must have a clear conception of your life’s ideal. Decide now what life you want to lead. Should it be this fleeting life of transient pleasures or the everlasting life of eternal bliss?
- When once you get established in meditation, you will come to know how sweet is the bliss of it. Days and nights pass away unnoticed. You feel that you are floating in an ocean of infinite bliss. Do not speak about your experiences to everybody, least of all to those of a contrary nature. It may hinder your growth. But if you exchange your experiences with one of a like nature with yours and in harmony with your temperament, you may be helped in your progress. Both of you are travellers on the same path. Perhaps your companion has already walked along it and is aware of its dangers and difficulties. Benefitted by his experiences, you may be able to avoid those dangers and difficulties.
- Unless you can fix your mind on God, you will find it very difficult to keep yourself pure in this world. Mahamaya (The Divine Mother) sports in diverse ways and it is not easy to withstand the innumerable temptations created by Her. Lust, anger, greed are almost invincible; to conquer them is no child’s play. Through the strength of the Lord alone, not by any other means, can you cut the meshes of Maya and make yourself free.
- You must have a routine for spiritual practices. Nistha (steadfastness) is a very important factor; without it no great achievement is possible. Your steadfastness should be of such a nature that, wherever and under whatever circumstances you may be, the rules that you have laid down for yourself must be observed at any cost. For your meditation, your study, your reflection, your sleep, you must have certain definite hours. If you lead an irregular life, you cannot succeed in anything. Whether it is physical or mental development, the only way to attain is through a strictly regular life.
- So long as your mind is not controlled there is great need to observe certain definite rules. Without them you can never get mastery over your mind. The natural tendency of the mind is to shirk work; but when you have made a routine, you must tell your mind, “You are subject to this rule now; whether you like it or not, you must observe it.” In this way, you should try to bring the mind under control. When you have succeeded in this, you need not observe any more rules. They will fall off of their own accord.
- Life is fast flowing away like a stream. The day that is once gone can never be recalled. So make the best use of your time. Crying out, “Alas! Alas!!” at the last moment will be of no avail. Therefore be up and doing. Make up your mind to realise your goal or die in the attempt. Death is certain. It may come today or tomorrow. If you lose your life in trying to attain God, it is no loss, but a positive gain.
- Try to fix your mind on the Lord and firmly resolve to realise Him. What happiness is there in this world? It is all nothing but sorrow and misery. Treat it as worthless. You must go beyond all sorrow and misery. If you get a glimpse of God, you will have Infinite Bliss; and sensuous pleasures will lose all charm for you. When you once come to the Lord, there will be no room for fear or anxiety. Give up all things of the world and dwell on Him and Him alone.
- The Lord has given man both Vidya(knowledge) and Avidya (ignorance). Vidya means discrimination and renunciation. With it man may attain the grace of the Lord; while avidya, which means lust, anger, greed, egoism and envy, degrades man to the level of the brute. The culture of vidya destroys avidya and makes man fit for Supreme Bliss; but the growth of avidya strengthens the idea of “I” and “mine”, and binds him more and more to the world. He is taken further and further away from God, and has to bear many sorrows and difficulties. Man possesses not only vidya and avidya, but also the power to discriminate between the two. On the nature of his choice depends the success or failure of his life.
- As you think, so you become. With the help of discrimination and renunciation, realise God, and become heir to Infinite Bliss. If you run after worldly things, you may no doubt enjoy sensuous pleasures for a time; but you may be sure your future will be dark and gloomy and you will have to pass through endless suffering. The world is so constituted that, if you want pleasure, you must undergo pain. Whether you like it or not, you cannot have the one without the other.
- An aspirant should not feel dejected in spirit, brooding on his failures and mistakes. However great a sin a man may have committed, it is a sin only to the limited vision of man; from the absolute standpoint, from the standpoint of God, it is nothing at all. A single glance of the Lord sets at nought all the sins of millions of births. The heavy punishments prescribed for sin in the Scriptures are merely to maintain social order and to make people refrain from the evil ways of life. God, our Father, is ever merciful to us. He is ever loving to His children. His Name removes all evils. Therefore, there is no cause for dejection if we call upon Him sincerely.
- For various reasons brahmacharya is most essential. If you have the desire to turn your mind to God and realise Him, perform spiritual practices based on brahmacharya.
- Do you know what Nag Mahashaya used to say? “It is easier to earn fame than to renounce it. He who can renounce it is a really great man.” He also said: “An anchored boat does not move forward.” He meant, a man whose mind is deep-rooted in lust and gold cannot move Godward unless he can free himself from their deluding influence through austere sadhana. God and pleasure-seeking cannot go together. If you want the one you have to banish the other.
- It is good to remain unmarried. Those who keep brahmacharya gain extraordinary powers. Only through such men do supernatural or divine powers manifest themselves.
- DEVOTEE – These ideas about brahmacharya are known only among brahmin boys. As young boys they are called brahmacharis, but now it has become a mere farce. Maharajji, cannot these ideas be made known to all castes? THE SWAMI – Yes, but brahmacharya should be accompanied by sadhana (spiritual practice). Otherwise brahmacharya cannot stand.
- What Sri Ramakrishna has taught us by His own life is that there is no other path to attain God by through tyaga (renunciation). By running after sense enjoyments, man becomes degraded to the level of the brute. If you want to be a man, practise renunciation; love and realise Him. Renouncing momentary pleasures fits you for Supreme Happiness. By renunciation is meant giving up all sense pleasures of this life. Take shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord; become mad with love and devotion for Him. Look at the life of Sri Ramakrishna and be a man in the best sense of the term.
- There is nothing without, everything is within. The music without is trivial compared with the music within. Oh, the charm of it, the sweetness!
- You are young boys, innocent and guileless. Worldliness has not yet left its impress on your mind. If you will be up and doing now, you can escape from the clutches of the trials and tribulations of worldly life. See that your principles are fixed even now. If it is not done now, it will never be done. Mere skipping on the surface will be of no avail. Hold to your ideal; hold fast, and never loosen your grip. To the man who has accepted God as the be-all and end-all of life, who has forsaken all desires and cravings for sensual enjoyments – to him God is very near. Such a man binds God with the ties of his love as Yasoda and the Gopis did.
- You are all brahmacharins (unmarried). You will not marry, you have pledged your life to God, sacrificing pleasures, enjoyments and all for His sake. But bear in mind that it is very hard to lead a pure and unsullied life. It is not so easy as you young boys take it to be. Do you know what it is like? It is like walking on the edge of a drawn sword. Every moment there is the chance of a fall, of being sliced to pieces. Perfect continence is the only condition of success in this life. And it is difficult, nay impossible, to practise absolute purity without love and faith in God. You have to live in a world full of passions and enjoyments. Every day you have to see before you more than ninety-nine per cent of people running mad after sensual pleasures; there is constant risk of your mind being contaminated with evil thoughts. If your mind becomes tainted by them, there is no hope for you. Those who want to lead a life of brahmacharya (continence) should always engage their minds in thinking good thoughts, studying good books and in discussing elevating subjects. They must spend their time in worship of God, service of holy men, in the company of pious people, and in the practice of meditation and other kinds of spiritual discipline. This is the only way to mould one’s character.
- Hear me, my boys. You are all born of good families and are well educated. You have had enough of study, argument and discussion; why care for more? Now compose your mind and fix it on God. Say to your mind: “Plunge into the ocean of God.” You have given up the world. If again you remain busy with trash and do not dedicate yourself to God, you will lose both this world and the next. Through the grace of the Lord you have got noble thoughts and aspirations. Make the best use of this Divine grace. Do not sacrifice the infinite bliss of God for the sake of the ephemeral pleasures of the world. Pray to the Lord, “Grant me, O Lord! the necessary strength to overcome all the obstacles that stand in my way to You.”
- Do you know the object of satsang (company of holy men)? The experiences of holy men are a great help to a sadhaka. When you visit a new place, if you have the help of a good guide, you will be able to see within a short time all that is worth seeing there; also you will be saved from the dangers and difficulties into which strangers are likely to fall. Similarly, from the company of advanced sadhaks you will be able to gather many valuable hints, and your spiritual struggle will be very much simplified. The intelligence of an ordinary person does not go very far. Life is short and many things have to be done. So you must find out the best way of doing your work within as short a time as possible. Hence the need of holy company.
- It is a great mistake to hold God responsible for your sufferings. You chose a path according to your own will and pleasure, and now enjoy the consequence of your choice. How can you blame God? For a moment’s pleasure you forgot everything else; you did not pause to consider right and wrong. If you put your hand into the fire it will naturally get burned. Is it the fault of the fire? No. You alone are responsible for it. Sri Ramakrishna used to say: “A lamp is burning. Some may read Bhagavatam (Sacred Scriptures) by its light, while others may forge a document or do some other mischief. The lamp is not to blame for it.” The Lord has placed before man the two paths – good and evil. Choose as you please.
- Without tormenting yourself, work hard, my boy, then you will find joy. In the beginning you are to drudge on as if you were learning the alphabet. Do not worry, do not complain, gradually peace will come. Do you know how I behave with those who always complain that they are not finding peace or joy? For the first two or three years after their initiation I give no reply, nor do I pay heed to them. After that, when they meet me, they tell me that they are making some progress and also finding some joy and peace. A man must try steadily for some time before he can expect a peaceful state of mind. Therefore I ask you to struggle for a period of at least three years without any break; then you can have a claim to joy and not earlier. You will not do anything and yet you want to succeed. Is it not absurd? Nothing great can be achieved by trickery or idleness. If you really want peace, if you truly desire to realise God, then work steadily and wait. Spiritual realisation is a question of time. Yours is to struggle and to wait. The mother bird knows well when to open the egg. So the Divine Mother reveals Herself to the devotee when the time is ripe. Work and wait.
- In this period of struggle and sadhana the aspirant must always be alert. He must follow certain fixed rules of conduct and never deviate from them. He must observe perfect continence and eat only such foods as have a soothing effect on his body. He will have to be under the direct guidance of one who understands. He must not exert his brain too much in meditation. Otherwise he is sure to suffer; his brain will become heated; he will feel giddy, and other brain troubles will follow. Meditation in the primary stage being regular warfare with the mind – the mind constantly going outward and the sadhaka trying to drag it back to the feet of the Lord – there is every possibility of the brain becoming overheated. The aspirant should prevent this. In the beginning of his sadhana he should apply himself to pranayama (control of breath) and other hatha-yoga exercises. He should proceed slowly and steadily in the spiritual path. Then these preliminary struggles will disappear one by one until finally he will attain to the state of real meditation. Then even though he meditates for long hours at a stretch, he will feel as refreshed both in body and mind as after deep sleep. He will also feel great joy within.
- A beginner should sit beside holy men and listen to them with profound attention and retain their words of counsel in his memory. But it must not end there. He must try to realise what he learns from them. Bear in mind that neither talking, nor learning, nor study, will lead you to realisation, unless you practise what you hear and learn. Practice in life is not at all possible without brahmacharya or absolute continence. Hence brahmacharya is very necessary. Many attempt to realise God by studying the Scriptures; but they do not know that without brahmacharya no one can catch the spirit of the scriptures, much less realise God.
- DISCIPLE – As to the best way of directing the mind inward to God, Sri Ramakrishna has prescribed occasional retirement into solitude – for a day or a month or for a year, as opportunity may permit; you prescribe the company of the holy. Now which of the two are we to follow – holy company or solitude? THE SWAMI – Both are true and both are to be followed. In the primary stage a man should not suddenly retire into solitude. To do so involves great danger. Many in their effort to cut off human associations have gone mad; hence great caution is necessary. It is only when a man has made some progress in the spiritual path that he can retire into solitude without danger. True solitude can be found nowhere in this world. Time, space and causation are too small to give it. It is beyond mind, beyond intellect. It can be felt only in samadhi (super-consciousness). It is identical with the Most Tranquil.
- Another thing: as regards karma (work), you must never give it up wholly. Without it your very existence would be impossible. It can also lead you, in the end, to God-realisation. Man does not know when karma began, but he knows where it ends. Verify, with God-realisation all the shackles of karma fall off; then, no more work remains to be done. But until that state is reached you are within the bounds of karma and you have to work. By doing your karma for the sake of karma you will attain to the greatest Good.
- You can develop your mind and make it steady in either of two ways – by retiring to a solitary retreat and making the mind absolutely unsusceptible to any change through concentration and meditation or by continually thinking good thoughts and developing love and attachment toward God. The mind is like a milch (milk) cow which gives a larger supply when fed well. Give the mind more food and you will find it giving you better service in return. And what constitutes the food of the mind? Meditation and concentration, prayer and worship, and all such practices.
- There is a class of sadhakas who let loose their mind and keep a strong watch over its movements. The mind, after roaming here and there, nowhere finds lasting peace, consequently returns back to God and takes refuge in Him. The fact is, if you look after the mind, the mind will look after you. This being the case, it behoves you to keep a vigilant eye on the movements of the mind and analyse them with the utmost care and scrutiny. For this mental analysis no place is more suitable than a solitary retirement. It is for this purpose that the Rishis of old always selected the Himalayan retreats or the bank of the Ganges to carry on their spiritual practices. The mind has to be purged of all attachment; it must be made transparent or it will not be able to catch the reflection of God. True renunciation consists in giving up all attachment for worldy objects to which the mind is bound. When the mind is once freed from this shackle it will not be affected in the least, even though it is placed in the midst of numberless objects of sense. Hence the value of struggle. A man who has no struggle in his life is lifeless. But he who bravely faces any obstacle that comes in his way will have the reward of everlasting peace.
- The most favourable time for meditation is the time of samyama, the hour when the day closes and night commences, and when the night closes and day breaks. At these hours Nature is calm and at rest. This is the reason why early rising forms an essential factor in the religous life of a man. At this time the sushumna nadi (the central nerve within the spinal cord) sets to work and as a result the breath passes through both nostrils – the usual course which is generally through one only, either the ida or the pingala disturbing the mind. Certain yogins always watch for the time when the sushumna starts to function and when it is actually at work, at once they will sit for meditation, leaving aside whatever they may be engaged in.
- DISCIPLE – How shall I steady the mind, Sir? THE SWAMI – By regular daily practice you can make the mind firm and steady. And for this practice early morning is the best time. Before meditation reading from any of the holy Scriptures will make concentration easier. After meditation half an hour’s silent rest is necessary; for at the time of meditation you may not derive the desired effect; it may come a little later. Therefore it is said that if immediately after meditation you divert your attention abruptly to secular affairs, it will not only do you great harm in general, but also it will deter the growth of your mind towards spiritual realisation in particular.
- Japam and meditation, these are the food of the mind; and their practice is what constitutes the first and foremost necessity of man. If, in the beginning, you are not able to carry on your japam and meditation in the right way, even then you must not give up the practice altogether. By practice alone you can gain a good deal. Daily two hours’ japam and meditation and then half-and-hour’s rest is what is required of everybody. Solitary retirement is also a great help to the spiritual aspirant. Simply by sitting silently in the secluded nook of a garden or on the solitary bank of a river, or on the lonely outskirt of a vast, open field, or shut up within your own closet, you can profit much. You must make a routine before you commence your spiritual practices. And you must not take upon yourself any work which may stand in the way of following the routine.
- Engage yourself heart and soul in sadhana. Plunge into your spiritual practices. Oh, the joy of it! If you once have a taste of that joy, all else will lose its savour for you. Then, wherever and in whatever circumstances you may be placed by Providence, you will not relish anything except sadhana. True, in the very beginning you cannot have that joy; but believing in the words of your Guru, if you persist in sadhana for some time, the joy of it will descend upon you unsought.
- Always perform your sadhana with unswerving steadfastness and do not let a single day pass by without it. Whether you wish or not, sit down on your asanam at the appointed hour every day. If you can carry on your practices for three years with such unerring regularity, I assure you that love and attachment for God will grow in you and you will feel yourself nearer to Him. Then you will be prompted from within to call upon Him and Him alone; you will not be able to turn your mind in any other direction. It is at this stage that the joy of sadhana is felt by an aspirant in his heart.
- DISCIPLE – Maharaj, I have been trying in various ways to bring my senses under control but all are of no avail; will you tell me how I can succeed in my attempt? THE SWAMI – “I will conquer lust, I will conquer anger, greed” – if you try in this way, you will never conquer them; but if you concentrate your mind on God, the senses will of themselves be curbed without much effort on your part. Sri Ramakrishna used to say, the more you proceed eastwards, the further are you from the west; you have not to spend any energy to accomplish this. Take up this direct method; call upon God and pray to Him; then the senses will lose their venomous sting in no time.
- Regarding moral conduct, observe these two rules; speak the truth always, and honour and worship all women as mother. Nothing more need you trouble yourself with now. The observance of these two rules will make all other moral rules living through your life.
- DISCIPLE – Generally we find that the mind, after making some progress along the spiritual path cannot advance further: what makes it stop, venerable Sir? THE SWAMI – The weakness of the mind is solely responsible for this mental torpor. According to its capacity the mind moves on to a certain point, then stops; it cannot advance more. All minds are not of the same capacity, although all can be and must be developed. Sri Ramakrishna has said that through brahmacharya the mind can be strengthened more and more; and a strong mind never wavers even when overtaken by lust and anger. To such a mind these passions are trifles. It is firmly convinced that these can do it no harm.
- DISCIPLE – What is the distinction between the true vision of God and hallucination? How to distinguish them, Sir? THE SWAMI – From the true vision of God results a lasting bliss; one’s own mind knows it instinctively.
- THE SWAMI – (Seeing a small broken bottle) That bottle has been broken. This shows a bad habit of mind. You work with an unsettled mind. I fear you think of a hundred other things while engaged in work. But secular or sacred, nothing great can be achieved with an unsteady mind. Whether it is a lofty undertaking or a humble one, it must be done with the utmost care and attention. Let me tell you, those who are steady in secular work are also steady in their spiritual exercises.
- If you desire to do work in the right manner, you must hold these two great principles in view. In the first place you must possess a profound regard for the work undertaken, and secondly you must be quite indifferent to the fruits thereof. Then alone can you do work in the proper way. This is called the secret of karma-yoga. And you can avert all disinclination for work if you only consider it as belonging to God. It is when you forget this secret that you become disturbed in mind; with a disturbed mind, you will not succeed either in advancing spiritually or in secular work.
- Under the impulse of name and fame, it is indeed easier to do a magnificient work, but through such work you cannot appraise the value of a man as he really is. In order to do so, you have to examine his daily actions; for it is the ordinary actions of a man which reveal the real man. Through such actions alone can you know how far the man has developed his character. A true karma-yogin (selfless worker) will lose himself heart and soul in any undertaking, even though it is of a most inferior kind. He is never actuated by the least desire of winning cheap popular applause.
- Who cannot do a work if it is his own choice? Where then lies the difference between a karma-yogin and an ordinary layman? A karma-yogin must welcome any work that may fall to his share and gradually adjust himself to all requirements. Simply carrying on some work is not sufficient; it must be done disinterestly – in the holy Name of the Lord. A karma-yogin must keep three-fourths of his mind fixed on God, and with the remaining one-fourth he should do whatever he has to do. Follow this rule, then alone can you do your work in proper manner; your mind too will become expanded and you will feel great joy in you. But on the other hand, if you work forgetting God, egotism and pride will easily get the better of you and quarrels and dissensions will ensue, disturbing the equanimity of your mind. Therefore I tell you, whether at work or not, never forget God. To maintain this attitude, you must stick to your sadhana (spiritual discipline) by all means.
- In the primary stage of your sadhana you should go on increasing your japam and meditation slowly and steadily, little by little. If today you spend an hour, a few days later, devote still more, and so on. In this way you should lengthen the time of your spiritual practice, more and more every day. But in momentary enthusiasm you must never increase your japam and meditation by leaps and bounds. If you violate this law, I warn you, you will suffer badly: the reaction from the sudden increase will be too severe for you to bear unmoved; consequently you are likely to undergo terrible depression of mind. Then you will have no more inclination for japam and meditation. It is an arduous task to lift up a depressed mind and turn it back to sadhana once again.
- In the beginning of your sadhana you must not let yourself be swayed by any desire for enjoyment. For you, now is the time for complete abstinence, for controlling all desires. By the grace of the Lord when you are once well established in this practice, then you will have no more fear of being stained by desires, should they rise in your mind at any time.
- Again, those who have embraced the life of a monk after giving up their home and all, for them it is most unworthy to be actuated by the desire to exercise authority over others. For a monk such a motive is the root-cause of falling again into bondage. Therefore you must be very careful about this pitfall. Whatever you may do or see, look upon it as belonging to God and upon yourself as an instrument in His hand. Remember the words of the Gita, “Being deluded by egotism, man calls himself the doer.”
- Lying is yet another great sin. Even a drunkard or a man who frequents places of ill fame can be trusted, but not the one who lies. It is the blackest of all sins in this world.
- You must never find fault with others nor criticize them. Such a habit is extremely detrimental to one’s own good. By thinking of the evil qualities of others day and night, they will be impressed upon your own mind; and that, at the cost of the good tendencies that you may possess. So there is no good in fault-finding! Rather, sing His glory and mix heartily with all and rejoice. But who will listen to this advice? It is very bad for sadhus to sit in groups to find fault with others and launch a malicious crusade against them. None but the low-minded takes part in such shameful actions! Always cultivate the habit of looking at the goodness of a man and doing him honour and praising him, even though only a slight trace of goodness is to be found in him. Take it from me, my boy, if you do not show due regard for other’s greatness, your mind will never expand, nor will you ever be called great for others.
- Man is composed of both good and bad tendencies; so do not slight another because only the evil ones are visible to you; but, considering him as your own counterpart, try to rectify him and by love draw him towards the good. Then only do you deserve to be called a man. What is the use of crying down a fellow-being!
- DISCIPLE – Maharaj, on some days during my meditation my mind of itself becomes calm and steady, while on others I cannot make it so,, try as I may; it runs about to and fro; how to make it steady, Sir? THE SWAMI – As you see ebb and flow in the tide of the Ganges, my son, even so is the case with everything in this world. Your sadhana too has its ebb and flow. In the beginning, however, this is not to be wondered at. But stick to your sadhana. If you can carry it on for some time, the ebb and flow will stop and your mind will flow in a smooth and unobstructed current. When you are perturbed in mind and do not feel calm, then also you must sit for your usual daily exercises, and try to bring the mind under control through discrimination. The mind does not become steady all at once. You have to struggle and struggle every moment. Through struggle the mind and senses and intellect, all will surely come under control.
- Remember, my child, since you are a sadhu, you are expected to be calm and gentle and modest and fair-spoken; goodness must flow out through every word you utter, every action you perform, through your behaviour and movements. By their contact with you, others must attain peace of mind and be drawn towards God and goodness.
- For a year or two you will have to exert your mind to the limit of its power; thereafter meditation will become natural to you. If any day you are hard pressed with work, that day you may sit for meditation only once, or may finish it in a few minutes, say, in ten or fifteen minutes. In the event of greater pressures, fix your mind on God for a moment, then bow down to Him and close your meditation. You can do this in exceptional cases, but not always.
- Renunciation alone can give you peace. Renounce all for His sake. Make God your own and pray to Him: “Thou art my father, Thou art my mother, Thou art my brother, Thou art my sister, Thou art my all.” Giving up all thoughts of enjoyment in this life, when you are able to pass day and night in constant thought of Him and prayer to Him, you will feel infinite joy and become a man. That joy cannot be conveyed through words. The human heart is too small to hold it. When that state of joy is attained, His grace, His love and His presence will always be felt by you.
- What is the good of running after fleeting pleasures when you can attain eternal peace and happiness? Renouncing everything, you have taken refuge at His lotus feet with the noble aspiration of realising Him; see therefore that your life is not spent in vain.
- Like the Buddha one should be bold. Behold, what a mighty renunciation he made! To realise God he gave up all his royal comforts without a thought. What a severe course of discipline he underwent! When, in spite of all, he could not realise God, he took his bath in the sacred Nirajana (a rivulet near Bodha Gaya), sat for the last time with this resolve: “Let this body go; but until I have attained illumination, I will not rise.” And the illumination came!
- In answer to a devotee’s question concerning samsara (worldly activities), Sai Baba observed:
- The Shadripus (the six enemies – lust, anger, covetousness, delusion, pride & jealousy) are all delusive. They make the unreal appear as real. If a rich man wears a gold ornament, the poor man gets jealous, and thinks he must have one. This is lobha (greed). All are like this. So one must conquer the six enemies. If they are conquered, waves of passion will not arise. Else they will enslave you. If they are subordinated and reason made the commandant, then the delusive pleasures and pains will no longer hold sway over you.
- Sakharam Hari alias Bapusaheb Jog was the uncle of the famous Varkari Vishnubuva Jog of Poona. After his retirement from Govt. Service (He was a Supervisor in the P.W. Department) in 1909 A.D., he came and lived in Shirdi with his wife. He had no issue. Both husband and wife loved Baba and spent all their time in worshipping and serving Baba. After Megha’s death, Bapusaheb daily did the arati ceremony in the Masjid and Chavadi till Baba’s maha-samadhi. He was also entrusted with the work of reading and explaining Jnaneshwari and Ekanathi Bhagawat in Sathe’s Wada to the audience. After serving for many years, Jog asked Baba – “I have served you so long, my mind is not yet calm and composed, how is it that my contact with Saints has not improved me? When will You bless me?” – Hearing the Bhakta’s prayer Baba replied – “In due time your bad actions (their fruit or result) will be destroyed, your merits and demerits will be reduced to ashes, and I shall consider you blessed, when you will renounce all attachments, conquer lust and palate, and getting rid of all impediments, serve God whole-heartedly and resort to the begging bowl (accept sannyas).” After some time, Baba’s words came true. His wife predeceased him and as he had no other attachment, he became free and accepted sannyas before his death and realized the goal of his life.
- ref: http://www.saibaba.org/lhossb/lhossb12.html
- A very rich man Gulzar was residing near Malegaon. On hearing about the powers and leelas of Sai Baba, he decided to go to Shrdi to get Brahma Jnana from Baba. He engaged a tonga for the journey. After reaching Shirdi, he approached Baba, and asked him to teach him Brahma Jnana without delay, as he had engaged a tonga for the journey. Baba told him, “Friend, do not get worried. I will show you Brahman just now. All my transactions are for cash only and no account. All who come to me are with selfish desires. Very few ask for Brahma Jnana like you.” So saying, Baba diverted the topic. He called for a boy and asked him to get five rupees as loan from Nandu Marwadi. The boy returned after sometime stating that the house was locked. Baba sent him to some other house, with the same result. He sent him to two more places, but without success. Then Baba looked at Gulzar who had come for Brahma Jnana and said, “There are fifty currency notes of five rupees denomination in your pocket. Attaining Brahma Jnana urgently is not materialistic. I have been sending the boy to get a loan of five rupees, with the intention that you should observe. You did not volunteer to give that five rupees to me, that too as a loan,even though you have a lot of money. Such a miser cannot understand Brahma Jnana. You were in a hurry because, if there was delay the tongawala would charge you more.”
- Baba then added, Oh friend! Brahma Jnana means realisation of Self (Atma). There is no difference between Atma and God. If you want to realise Atma in your body, then you have to surrender to God the following five things: (1) five pranas (2) five senses (3) mind (4) intellect and (5) ego. All these are inside a person. It is easy to surrender the enternal things. But to surrender those which are inside a person is very difficult. It is like walking on the edge of a sharp knife. Those who cannot surrender even the external things are deemed to be fully under delusion. Such persons cannot understand the five inside matters.
- (ref: ?http://www.saibaba.org/lhossb/lhossb12.html) – A person who wants Self-realisation or Atma Jnana, should be careful in the following matters:
- A strong desire should be there for moksha or freedom from worldly matters.
- One should have detachment from all things of this world and also desires about the other world ( paraloka ).
- All the senses of a man are accustomed to seeing external things only. One should make these senses see the self or Atma.
- When he cannot divert his mind from bad and undesirable things and not be able to control his mind, he cannot get Atma-Sakshatkara even if he gets Jnana.
- One should always speak the truth under all circumstances and remain a bachelor.
- Man should choose only that which will do him good and not that which gives him pleasure. Worldly matters give pleasure. Spiritual matters do him good. Instead of going for temporary or momentary pleasures, one should prefer spiritual matters only, which do good to him.
- Man should have under control, the mind and sensory organs. If he goes for pleasures, the senses also will keep the mind occupied with these matters and there will not be any room for spiritual matters.
- He must keep his mind pure. He should do his duties in a proper and satisfactory way, without expecting reward for his actions. Then the mind will be pure. Knowledge comes out from a purified mind and increases detachment, leading to self-realisation. Unless greed, delusions and desires are removed, man cannot get Jnana.
- If all the above-mentioned thing are practised rigorously he will achieve results. After this stage, the need for a ‘Guru’ arises. A Guru should be one who has attained Atma-Jnana, otherwise no useful purpose will be served.
- The first eight are one’s own efforts. To this, if the help of a Sadguru is also there, then God’s blessings will also be there. Knowledge of the Vedas, or riches or great intelligence will not get us Atma-Jnana.”
- Unless, a man leads a life of truth, penance and insight, a life of celibacy, he cannot get God-realization.
- Unless you get rid completely of your avarice or greed, your will not get the real Brahma. How can he, whose mind is engrossed in wealth, progeny and prosperity, expect to know the Brahma, without removing away his attachment for the same?
- The teachings of a Guru are of no use to a man, who is full of egoism, and who always thinks about the sense-objects. Purification of mind is absolutely necessary; without it, all our spiritual endeavors are nothing, but useless show and pomp.
- When Nanasaheb was once sitting in the Masjid with Mhalasapati and others, a Mahomedan gentlemen from Bijapur came with his family to see Baba. Seeing gosha (veiled) ladies with him, Nanasaheb wanted to go away, but Baba prevented him from doing so. The ladies came and took the darshan of Baba. When one of the ladies removed her veil in saluting Baba’s feet and then resumed it again, Nanasaheb, who saw her face, was so much smitten with her rare beauty that he wished to see her face again. Knowing Nana’s restlessness of mind, Baba spoke to him after the lady had left the place as follows – “Nana, why are you getting agitated in vain? Let the senses do their allotted work, or duty, we should not meddle with their work. God has created this beautiful world and it is our duty to appreciate its beauty. The mind will get steady and calm slowly and gradually. When the front door was open, why go by the back one? When the heart is pure, there is no difficulty, whatsoever. Why should one be afraid of any one if there be no evil thought in us? The eyes may do their work, why should you feel shy and tottering?” – Chapter 49 of Shri Sai Satcharitra.
- Objects of senses are harmful. With Viveka (discrimination) as our charioteer, we will control the mind and will not allow the senses to go astray. With such a charioteer we reach the Vishnupada – the final abode, our real home from which there is no return.
- Qualifications for Brahma-Jnana or Self-Realization. All persons do not see or realize the Brahman in their life-time. Certain qualifications are absolutely necessary.
- Mumuksha or intense desire to get free. He, who thinks that he is bound and that he should get free from bondage and works earnestly and resolutely to that end;and who does not care for any other things, is qualified for the spiritual life.
- Virakti or a feeling of disgust with the things of this world and the next. Unless a man feels disgusted with the things, emoluments and honors, which his action would bring in this world and the next, he has no right to enter into the spiritual realm.
- Antarmukhata (introversion). Our senses have been created by God with a tendency to move outward and so, man always looks outside himself and not inside. He who wants self-realization and immortal life, must turn his gaze inwards, and look to his inner Self.
- Catharsis from (Purging away of) sins. Unless a man has turned away from wickedness, and stopped from doing wrong, and has entirely composed himself and unless his mind is at rest, he cannot gain self-realization, even by means of knowledge.
- Right Conduct. Unless, a man leads a life of truth, penance and insight, a life of celibacy, he cannot get God-realization.
- Preferring Shreyas, (the Good) to Preyas (the Pleasant). There are two sorts of things viz., the Good and the Pleasant; the former deals with spiritual affairs, and the latter with mundane matters. Both these approach man for acceptance. He has to think and choose one of them. The wise man prefers the Good to the Pleasant; but the unwise, through greed and attachment, chooses the Pleasant.
- Control of the mind and the senses. The body is the chariot and the Self is its master; intellect is the charioteer and the mind is the reins; the senses are the horses and sense-objects their paths. He who has no understanding and whose mind is unrestrained, his senses unmanageable like the vicious horses of a charioteer, does not reach his destination (get realization), but goes through the round of births and deaths; but he who has understanding and whose mind is restrained, his senses being under control, like the good horse of a charioteer, reaches that place, i.e., the state of self-realization, where he is not born again. The man, who has the understanding as his charioteer (guide) and is able to rein his mind, reaches the end of the journey, which is the supreme abode of the all-pervading, Vishnu (lord).
- Brahma is the only ‘Reality’ and no one in this world, be he a son, father or wife, is really ours.
- Be entirely prideless and egoless and your spiritual progress will be rapid.
- Abandon lust, wrath and avarice as they lead to self-destruction.
- Perfect happiness itself is Brahma.
- Do not entertain the sense of doership in doing good.
- Do not be a slave to your desires. Control them by ‘Naamjapa”.
- Let things happen as they will. Our good lies only in meditating on Him.
- Even a well-read person who is not free from the desire of the fruit of his actions, is useless and cannot get self-realisation.
- Eat very little. Do not sleep much. Have dhyan on what is read and think only of Him.
- Mukti is impossible to persons addicted to lust.
- The path of Brahma Gyan or self-realization is as hard as treading on the edge of a razor.
- The teachings of a Guru are of no use to a man who is full of ego and who always thinks about the sense objects.
- To get knowledge of the self, dhyana (meditation) is necessary.
- The best way to receive is to give.
- The wise ones do not grieve for death, the fools do.
- This joy and this sorrow is due to opinion which is mere illusion and is ruinous.
- Lust, anger, greed, pride, attachment and jealously are all delusive.
- Unless a man discharges satisfactorily and disinterestedly the duties of his life, his mind will not be purified.
- Unless egoism and greed is dropped, avarice got rid of, and the mind made desireless, self-realisation is not possible.
- We come here (in this world) alone and have to leave alone.
- Wealth should be the means to work out Dharma.
- What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get.
- It is only in the purified mind that viveka and vairagya grows and leads one to self-realisation.
- If anyone does any evil unto you, do not retaliate.
- You should be blessed when you will renounce all attachments, conquer lust and serve God.
- His remembrance drives always sins, afflictions and distress.
- If anyone utters ten words at us, let us answer with one word, if we reply at all.
- If others hate us, let us simply take to “naamjapa” and avoid them.
- Detach yourself from passions and desires, or else they will enslave you.
- Concerning ahimsa, recall this peremptory answer given by Baba to H. S. Dikshit, who had asked if it was all right to kill a poisonous snake: “No. We should never kill it. Because it will never kill us unless it is ordered by God to kill us. If God has so ordered, we cannot avoid it.
- Sai Baba heartily recommended Satsanga (the company of the good) as an important aspect of every devotee’s sadhana: “Satsanga i.e. moving with the virtuous is good. Dussanga i.e. moving with evil-minded people is evil and must be avoided.”
- With reference to lust, Sai Baba once commented tersely, “A person who has not overcome lust, cannot see God i.e. attain God-realization.”
- Mr. Thakur.
- Mr. V.H.Thakur, B.A., was a clerk in the Revenue Department and he once came to a town named Vadgaum near Belgaum (S.M. Country) along with a Survey party. There he saw a Kanarese Saint (Appa) and bowed before him. The Saint was explaining a portion from the book “Vichar-Sagar” of Nischaldas (a standard work on Vedanta) to the audience. When Thakur was taking his leave to go, he said to him, “you should study this book, and if you do so, your desires will be fulfilled, and when you go to the North in the discharge of your duties in future, you will come across a great Saint by your good luck, and then he will show you the future path, and give rest to your mind and make you happy”.
- Then, he was transferred to Junnar, where he had to go by crossing Nhane Ghat. This Ghat was very steep and impassible, and no other conveyance, than a buffalo was of use in crossing it. So he had to take a buffalo-ride through the Ghat, which inconvenienced and pained him much. Thereafter, he was transferred to Kalyan on higher post, and there he became acquainted with Nanasaheb Chandorkar. He heard much about Sai Baba from him and wished to see Him. Next day, Nanasaheb had to go to Shirdi, and he asked Thakur to accompany him. He could not do so as he had to attend the Thana Civil Court for a civil case. So Nanasaheb went alone. Thakur went to Thana, but there the case was postponed. Then, he repented for not accompanying Nanasaheb. Still he left for Shirdi and when he went there, he found that Nanasaheb had left the place the previous day. Some of his other friends, whom he met there, took him to Baba. He saw Baba, fell at His Feet and was overjoyed. His eyes were full of tears of joy and his hair stood on end. Then after a while the omniscient Baba said to him – “The path of this place is not so easy as the teaching of the Kanarese Saint Appa or even as the buffalo-ride in the Nhane Ghat. In this spiritual path, you have to put in your best exertion as it is very difficult“. When Thakur heard these significant signs and words, which none else than he knew, he was overwhelmed with joy. He came to know, that the word of the Kanarese Saint had turned true. Then joining both hands and placing his head on Baba’s Feet, he prayed that he should be a accepted and blessed. Then Baba said – “What Appa told you was all right, but these things have to be practised and lived. Mere reading won’t do. You have to think and carry out what you read, otherwise, it is of no use. Mere book-learning, without the grace of the Guru, and self-realization is of no avail“.
Baba Lokenath’s biography is available on wikipedia. His quotes on brahmacharya and other spiritual matters are given below:
- I have seen only My self. I am bound by my own karma. The materialistic world is bound by the tongue and the sex organ. He who can restrain these two is fit to attain enlightenment.
- ref: http://www.loknathyoga.com/-mahayogi-sri-loknath-brahmachari.html – Baba Sri Loknath Brahmachari did not disclose much about the secret of his higher Yoga practice. Nevertheless, from his speech we have come to know that he spent nearly 50 years in Samadhi and achieved the highest level, a human body can achieve. During his Samadhi state, Guruji Bhagaban Ganguly could not sleep or eat properly, because, he used to take care of them day after day, year after year. During winter, their body was covered with ice and in daytime, in summer the ice melted down from the body. Baba Shri Loknath assumed his favourite posture Gomukhasana. Once he said that his blood became thick during this time and body was covered with extra layers of skin. This skin had removed when he left this area and came down to the plain land.
- The difference between Bhog and Upabhog is like that between the husband of a woman and her lover. Upabhog is illicit pleasure; pleasure without proper control and without the sanction of the scriptures. When you transgress the injunctions of the scriptures and enjoy the life of senses – that is Upabhog. Upabhog can never give you mental peace and happiness. However, you can attain spiritual peace of mind through Bhog, which is pleasure with a sense of control and in accordance with the shaastras. Through Bhog, you can even experience His Divine Grace.
- Any such deed that brings you a sense of repentance and grief after it is done is a sin; any action that creates a peaceful and happy state of mind is a virtue.
- Darkness disappears with the rising sun. The thief runs away when the householder awakens. Likewise, contemplate on the higher qualities and the lower instincts in you will run away, and your body will become the temple of the Divine.
- Everything that exists in the Cosmos, I feel it existing within my self; I have become like that vast limitless expanse existing in eternity.
- Renunciation comes through acceptance of everything that life has to offer to you; detachment comes through your love for the Divine.
- Your eyes cannot see beyond the skin of a person – so you judge him by his spoken words and his external form. I see Him in everybody. Hence, whatever I see, good or bad, it is He. He is pure and perfect. Therefore, whomever I see, appears pure and perfect to me. Everything is beautiful to me.
- My child, never miss the opportunity to meet the realized saints, for their blessings and presence will inspire deeper devotion and love for the divine and Guru . Satsang, being in the company of the holy ones, who live the truth is the greatest blessing of the Lord.
- In His life, Baba Lokenath was a perfect disciple, humbly surrendered at the lotus feet of His beloved Guru. Baba was granted enlightenment of the highest order after 80 years of intense austerities in the jungles of the lower plains and in the snow-covered regions of the Himalayas. His compassion was evident after He became enlightened, when Baba discovered that He had surpassed His Guru. Despite having led Lokenath to the exalted state, Guru Bhagwan Ganguly had not yet attained liberation. Lokenath was stricken with sadness and filled with compassion when He realized this. He wept for His Master. Understanding Lokenath’s tears, Guru Bhagwan smiled tenderly and reassured his disciple there was only cause for joy. Guru Bhagwan announced that He would shed his old body soon and then return quickly to Lokenath as a disciple. Lokenath could then lead him to enlightenment. Upon hearing Guru Bhagwan’s plan, Lokenath was overwhelmed with gratitude and agreed. Weeping with joy, Lokenath prostrated at His Master’s feet.
- Guru Bhagwan knew the magnitude of enlightenment Lokenath was to attain. For a period of thirty to forty years, the Guru guided Lokenath in the practices of the necessary yogic disciplines and hatha yoga. When Baba became interested in practicing raja yoga, His Gurudev tested His perfection of hatha yoga. After demonstrating that He could cook sweet rice pudding in a pot placed between His upper thighs, Lokenath began lessons in raja yoga. Lengthy and rigorous vows of fasting were regularly observed for thirty to forty years. Under the guidance of His beloved Guru, Baba withstood repeated, almost inconceivable austerities.
- These yoga practices were a comprehensive training for Baba’s soul. When Lokenath asked about the need to study scripture, His Gurudev replied that He should not waste time acquiring borrowed knowledge from books. Instead, Guru Bhagwan advised him to utilize the practice of yoga, “If You know who You are, You will come to know everything. There is nothing in this external, manifested world which is not within you. Believe My words; there is no truth without, because your atman is ‘sarvatbhutatman,’ the Atman seated in the hearts of all creatures. In You is the dormant seed form of all the knowledge, power and wealth of this entire creation. Why should You leave the diamond and waste time on pieces of glass?”
- Recalling His time in the Himalayas, Baba Lokenath said, “While in samadhi, heaps of snow would cover My body and would melt away. In that sublime state I had no feeling of the existence of My body. I was in that state of samadhi for a long time. Then, finally the effortless state of the Ultimate Truth was revealed. In that state of consciousness, there was no difference between me, the rest of the cosmos and all its manifestations. The inner and the outer all merged into each other as an expression of ultimate bliss, absolute joy. There is no state beyond this to be achieved in human life with total effort and divine grace.“
- Everything that exists in the infinite creation exists within Myself. The whole Universe is within Me. I am existence beyond space, time and causation. My existence is without beginning or end. I exist in eternal expansion. These words are not meant to be shared. That is the reason you see Me spending time with the householders, granting their mundane demands. Do not think when I am busy with you all in worldly matters, that I lose touch with that blissful state. No. Whoever achieves that state can never fall from it. Nothing can ever again be seen in isolation. Everything is seen as the expression of the One. In variety is the taste of Unity.
- A Social System Where Love Rules – People from all walks of life came to Baba for guidance. They not only came for spiritual guidance, but for help with the complex problems of daily life. Baba was deeply interested in every problem and suggested appropriate actions. His suggestions always proved a blessing to both the seeker and to society at large. Baba advocated love and mutual respect among all classes, as well as interdependence, without exploitation of any class.
- Conscious Awareness. To the question, “What is the path to a happy and peaceful life?” Baba spontaneously replied, “Do whatever you like, but do it consciously, with a sense of awareness.” The questioner, however, continued, “If You give Me permission to do as I please, then what would You say if I hit somebody’s head with a stick?” Baba smiled and replied, “Do it and see. I asked you to perform all actions consciously. Once you become conscious and aware, you will find that your conscience will prevent you form hurting anyone.” The evils in society are perpetrated because awareness is absent. All evil actions are the result of unconsciousness.
- To seekers of truth and bliss Baba gave another fruitful instruction. “If you intend to become spiritual, you must analyze your actions and thoughts each day before you go to bed at night. You must assess the good actions and evil actions and come to a firm resolution not to repeat evil actions anymore.” A seeker should try to practice all activities in a state of awareness. This is the most important “abhyasa-yoga” or spiritual practice for the aspirant. Most recurring actions that flow from lust, anger, greed, jealousy and the like manifest only in a state of unawareness. The seeds of these tendencies lie dormant in the subconscious layers of the mind.
- Be Angry but Do Not Become Blind with Anger. Baba also says, “Be angry but do not become blind with anger.” Never allow anger to possess you. Then it blinds you. When anger is given free rein, it bursts out and causes damage — not only to the person at whom the anger is directed, but also, more seriously, at all levels of being to the one who is angry. Let anger become conscious. Step back, be a witness to anger and its mechanisms, to what is appropriate and inappropriate in the situation. The show of appropriate anger in daily life may be inevitable. The parent chastising a child, the teacher reprimanding the student, may call out a display of anger in protective guidance. No one should be consumed by anger. Remain a vehicle of appropriate and conscious expressions of anger, always working for the highest possible good. Then anger cannot possess or damage the mind or body, or thwart the purposes of the soul.
- Practice What You Preach. As a world teacher, Baba always followed the maxim, ‘First, practice yourself; then preach.’ He often repeated this principle to His devotees. It was a principle the He followed perfectly. For example, Baba taught the path of desireless action and the importance of self-help. When local landowners presented the land for construction of the ashram and proposed their intention to donate funds to build the cottage, Baba objected. With the help of the villagers, He personally worked on the construction of His own small cottage, at the same time inspiring everyone never to feel ashamed to do menial work, since all work is service to the Divine.
- If ever you should feel a sense of gratitude toward me, give some alms to the poor. Whatever you may give to the poor, neglected and downtrodden brethren of yours with true love, I shall always receive it.
by him. I am including other spiritual quotes below:
At Girnar, Swami Samarth was known as “Chanchal Bharati” (a wandering mendicant). A devotee, Sevadas came for darshan. As an earnest aspirant, he sought help and guidance on the spiritual path. Swami Samarth advised him, “For spiritual progress, Chitta Shuddhi (purity of heart) is essential. It is achieved by dedicated action without craving for fruit thereof. Our duties are to be discharged in a spirit of selflessness and as part of worship. Through this, egoism slowly vanishes and vision broadens and the heart becomes expansive. Once the mind is purified, you must seek a Sadguru and, surrendering to him, serve him. Listening to, reflecting and contemplating deeply on the spiritual truths, are then the logical steps to follow. Thus, erroneous notions and wrong beliefs disappear. Nescience is removed. Thus is realized the knowledge of Brahman.”
- Everyone should understand one’s own limitations and not aspire for unmerited spiritual experience. One should first strive to earn the adhikara – the merit for what he can aspire for. The experience of a vision of Bhrahman is not for any and everyone. It requires an arduous, austere penance, a totally purified heart and genuine merit. How can ordinary eyes which cannot even gaze at the Sun stand the radiance of Brahman with the effulgence of billions of Suns? Cultivation of a purified heart and total detachment – these are the prerequisites for higher spiritual experiences. Through Sakara to Nirakar, stagewise should be one’s spiritual ascent.
http://www.swamisamarth.com/downloads/englishliterature/SwamiSamarth.pdf) – When Sripad (Sripad SriVallabh is considered as an earlier incarnation of Swami Samartha) became sixteen year old, his parents started thinking about his marriage. That’s when Sripad reminded them, “I am born to be an ascetic, not for marriage. I want to be free from worldly attachments or to enjoy worldly pleasures. I am married to all the yogas in this universe. For the accomplishment of the yoga’s, I would like to travel to the north.”
- Who is the mother? Who is the son? It is all an ephemeral relationship.
How many mothers and fathers have you had in your precious lives? It is
beyond all count. There is only one Eternal Mother. You really belong to
Her. She is the Mother, Father and everyone to you and all. Develop
attachment only to that and not to any earthly physical relationships which
are like bubbles, which may burst any moment. Strive for shreyas,
lasting and eternal good, not for preyar, momentary pleasures and
- Story of Wamanboa Brahmachari
- Shri Wamanboa Brahmachari was a resident of Wambori village in
Ahmednagar District. He was a devotee of Lord Dattatreya from his youth.
He served in a number of jobs in varying capacities and met many holy
men, sadhus, fakirs, etc., but he did not feel satisfied with his life.
- One day while he was in Pune with his mother, a brahmin came and
said in the course of conversation, “A life without the grace of a
sadguru is a totally wasted life“. Wamanboa asked him
where he could find a sadguru. The brahmin repliedd, “Go to Akkalkot and
get the darshan of Shri Swami Samarth; he is the avatar of Guru
Dattatreya, manifest in human form”. On hearing this, Wamanboa at once
decided to go to Akkalkot. He went there in the yeat 1872. Sri Swami
Samarth had gone to Honde at that time. Wamanboa went to Honde but could
not reach the village because the river which was to be crossed was in
floods. He felt very disappointed. But from his side of the river on the
other bank he could see the celestial figure of Sri Swami Samarth, and
prostrated to him where he was. Swami Samarth himself came near him
walking across the river. Wamanboa prostrated at his feet again with a
deep thrill of joy, his heart overflowing with gratitude for Swamiji’s
solicitude and compassion towards him. Swamiji said, “You are my child.
Be with me, serve me. I bless you. You will surely attain
Brahmanishta. Renounce the world completely“. Shri Wamanboa at
once threw away all his clothes and belongings, and was left only with a
kaupin. Sri Swami Samarth then gave him a kandalu (water-pot of a sadhu)
as a token of initiation and his blessings.
- Shri Wamanboa Brahmachari was a resident of Wambori village in
- Around 1876, Wamanboa’s health deteriorated. He had all sorts of
complications and was unable to bear the sufferings. He sent a letter to
Swamiji praying that he should cure him by his grace. There was neither a
return message from Swami Samarth nor did he find any improvement in his
condition. He felt that suicide would be the best relief for him and went to
drown himself in the Surasagar lake. Just at that moment, when he was about
to jump into the lake, Sri Swami Samarth suddenly manifested himself, caught
hold of him and slapped him on his face. Swamiji admonished him saying, “You
want to escape from paying off your debts. You had incurred heavy debts in
your former life. All the present suffering of yours is settlement of this
old account. What you sowed in your previous life, you have to reap in this
one. Even Mahapurushas cannot escape deha prarabdha,
(karma), even if they had purified themselves completely by austerities in
the present life. By committing suicide, do you think you can escape from
your suffering? After suicide it will be far worse; and unsettled accounts
will haunt you life after life, increasing manifold as if with compound
interest. Have forbearance. Let not your faith be shaken by these physical
ills and ailments. Such faint-heartedness does not befit a man of your
spiritual stature. Life is meant for achieving a far nobler purpose and goal
than to be merely thrown into and allowed to stagnate in a waterly grave.
Seek thy self and attain it.” Further, Swami Samarth said, “Do
you think I did not know about your suffering? But you must know that it is
all a cleansing and purifying process – the gold has to be put in fire and
hammered on the anvil before it frees itself of its dross and attains purity
and shines resplendently. The hardships thrown on man by destiny are by way
of a similar process, meant to cleanse the mind, heart and the self of man,
so that the divinity innate in him will get manifest in its fullness and he
will become worthy of being God’s child”.
- After the Samadhi, Swamiji appeared before Sri Balappa Maharaj
to console him.
- Sri Balappa Maharaj being deeply attached to Sri Swami Samarth found
his grief unbearable at the latter’s passing away. Although he showed
some courage at the beginning of the final rites, yet as they progressed
he could not bear to witness them and broke down completely. He felt he
would not be able to continue to live without the Master and should also
follow in his wake. He refused to take food or water, however much
others pressed him. On the third day of the fast, lo! Sri Swami Samarth
himself appeared in front of Sri Balappa Maharaj, holding kamandalu in
his hand. Balappa bent down and touched the Master’s feet. Swamiji
raised him with his own hands and said with the affection and love of a
million mothers, “My son! do not grieve. It does not befit you.
I gave you my precious padukas. You try to see me in them. I am ever
present with you. I continue to accept your loving services daily.
Transcend your attachment to my physical form and comprehend my true
the all pervading Absolute Consciousness. My
blessings are always with you.” Saying this the form dissolved
into the all pervading space. Sri Balappa Maharaj became convincingly
aware of the immortal and eternal nature of Sri Swami Samarth and was
filled with new courage and confidence.
- Sri Balappa Maharaj being deeply attached to Sri Swami Samarth found
- Since the day of Swami Samarth’s arrival in Cholappa’s house, Cholappa became his close and devoted disciple who served the Swami faithfully and with devotion. Even then Swami Samarth put him to severe tests and created problems for him. He used to insult and trouble Cholappa, would annoy Cholappa’s wife and tax their patience to the extreme. Yet Cholappa remained a staunch devotee, never wavering in his faith. He won the master’s favor and grace completely. He won the master’s love; he became so dear to him that the Swami, a Maha Vairagi lamented like a child when Cholappa died.
- Every Thursday Sri Swami Samarth was given a special bath. He was seated on a wooden stool, his body besmeared with perfumes and scented oil, and bathed in hot water. After bath, he was garlanded, worshipped and lights were waved to him (aarti). On his forehead, saffron and musk marks were applied. There was the usual rudraksha mala and sphatika mala worn round his neck. After the bath, he was seated on a throne – Simhasana.
Sri Swami Samarth used to chant the name of God (namajapa) all the time. He would bless the visitors, offer them dates, sugarcandy and sweets as ‘prasad’.
Children were particularly favoured with sweets. To the poor and the needy, Swami Samarth sumptuously offered food and gifts. During Diwali and other festivals, he used to offer special gifts to his devotees. During Muharram, Id and other festivals Swami Samarth would offer gifts to fakirs, avaliyas and others who regularly visited Akkalkot for Swamiji’s darshan and blessings. Many Parsees and Christians too visited Akkalkot for similar grace and favour.
- Swami Samarth had a majestic figure and imposing personality. His looks were always commanding. There was omniscience in his eyes.
With an air of freedom in his appearance, manners and ways, he never seemed to care for physical comforts. His actions too sometimes seemed childish and strange. He used to always mutter something to himself. At times, he used to address stones and trees as if they were his kith and kin.
He spoke very little, never gave any sermons nor wrote anything. But his darshan was sufficient – just a glance of his was enough – to be a beneficial shower; enough to impart all kinds of spiritual teachings. His silence was a sermon and cleared all doubts of his devotees. He visited temples, maths, mandirs, dargahs and pirs. But he himself was beyond temples, mosques and churches. He was an Avadhoot – a God-man and in fact God Himself. The Muslims used to revere him as a great avalia.
- Shri Swami Samartha’s messages to His disciples -
- Do not even see the face of a lazy person.
- Sweat and toil to earn your livelihood.
- Do not use drugs. They derail your thinking process.
- The one who follows ‘Dharma’ (Path of righteousness) always triumphs.
- One who seeks Master’s company should be unmindful of shame.
- Shri Swami Samartha’s teaching for performing all actions without expectations of fruits -Shri Swami Samartha says to one of His devotees, “Go on dong action without expecting any rewards. This will lead you to realization.”
- Have firm belief that it is god alone who is immanent in every seen and unseen thing in this universe. This will help you maintain purity of the mind.
- Do not offer spiritual knowledge or advice to every person you meet. Assess the worth of the person and then only offer spiritual advice depending on his merits.
- Be always engaged in practicing your Dharma. Then you will triumph in every field.
- Whenever you come across an able guide on the spiritual path try to gain as much knowledge and advice from him as possible. No master will share the knowledge on his own, as no farm will yield crops on its own.
- While following spiritual practice if you gain spiritual powers then do not fall prey to the lure of using them to show miracles.
- Bookish knowledge alone will not lead you to self-realization. Try to put the acquired knowledge in to practice.
- Swami always insisted that, “Knave people are social problems and we should get rid of them quickly.” He wanted all the people to do Relentless Efforts. He used to say, “Stay away from lazy person”,” Always do hard work like bull”. If someone is seating idle without any work and thinking pointlessly, then Swamiji used asked,”Hey, don’t you have bull with you?” Swamiji said, “Do hard work and earn your own bread and butter.” He gave teaching of ‘karmayog’(Path of Action).
- Swamiji always told his disciples, always listen to and follow saints. Just throw away the proud. Worship god and chant his name. Be satisfied in what you have got. God resides in every human being. Don’t ever hurt any animal.
- Mind is an immense power station. Samarth advised to chant to make it strong and stay away from bad habits. We should try to follow the advices given by Swami Samarth. Patience, tenderness, truth are some of his good qualities. He had knowledge of everything still he never interfered in natural rules.
- Always overcome any differences and lead a good life.
- Always think in all directions and good for others.
- Always earn money by effort and use it for your own success. Also help others too.
- Learn to forgive.
- Everything is going to end. People should understand this and work relentlessly.
Taken from books: (work in progress)
- The Essential Sri Anandamayi Ma: Life and Teaching of a 20th Century Indian Saint – Paperback (Oct. 25, 2007) by Anandamayi Ma and Joseph A. Fitzgerald
- At Varanasi Ma was practically inundated by crowds of darshan seekers. Whatever had remained of Her “private” life was swallowed up by Her duties to those who sought spiritual solace from Her. Bholanath (Ma’s husband) had to adjust himself to a life that included few of the normal aspects of a householder’s existence. In December, 1928, Anandamayi Ma decided that the time has come to intensify Bholanath’s sadhana. She told him to go for solitary meditation to Tarapeeth, a sacred site whose cremation grounds are ideally suited for yogic practices.
- Warning people not to depend on book learning, Ma taught in a simple, homely language, often by means of parables, just as did Ramakrishna.
- Sex makes man a fool.
Truth is that sex makes man a fool, gives him the idea that he is the master of it, while he is only a slave. And the slavery has to be broken — he has to be pulled out of this ditch. But if he thinks that that ditch is a palace then you cannot pull him out. You cannot even persuade him to come out of it; hence, the condemnation of sex by all the religions.But they overdid it, and they forgot the ninety-nine percent dangers just for the one percent. It could have been done very easily without taking the risk of ninety-nine percent falsehood. But they saw the danger of man being simply a means, and that is the lowliest position possible; you are just a means, not an end. You are being used by some unknown force of which you have no idea.The man living on the instinctive level only has an hallucination of love. That hallucination is created by nature, by biology, chemistry. You have in your body drugs which are released when you are making love, and you start moving into euphoria. That is one of the reasons why people who become addicted to drugs slowly slowly become uninterested in sex.
People become addicted to sex. And a very strange thing about addiction is that if you have the drug, it is nothing; if you don’t have it, you are missing. You never think what you are missing because when you have it, it is nothing.. Each time you have it you feel that it is just a futile effort, nothing comes out of it. You don’t move a single inch in evolution. You just jump for a moment in the air and with a thump you fall back on the ground.
- Desires never fulfill anyone. Buddha has said it is not the nature of desire to be fulfilled. Fulfillment comes only by desirelessness. Now, this is one of the most important paradoxes — if you drop desiring, you will be fulfilled. The more you desire, the more you are getting into desire, the farther and farther away you go from your possibility of fulfillment. One desire creates many more desires… then many more desires, millions more. It is like a tree. First it is one, then many branches, then many small offshoots, and on and on it goes. The person has asked, I FEEL STUCK….
Everybody who has been living in desire feels stuck. The problem is that if you don’t try to fulfill your desire, you remain unfulfilled. If you try, even if you get the goal of your desire, then you remain unfulfilled — then too, nothing changes. This is the nightmare of life.
- Osho on Repressed Sexuality. And my own observation is, the moment you accept something totally, the very acceptance brings a revolution, a radical change. It is your energy — accept it. It will make you stronger. Reject it, it keeps you weak. Fighting with your own energy is dissipating it. And fighting with your sex will take so much of your time and so much of your energy — then when are you going to look at God who is knocking on your door?Old age is the last opportunity given to you: before death comes, prepare. And how does one prepare for death? By becoming more meditative.If some lurking desires are still there, and the body is getting old and the body is not capable of fulfilling those desires, don’t be worried. Meditate over those desires, watch, be aware. Just by being aware and watchful and alert, those desires and the energy contained in them can be transmuted. But before death comes, be free of all desires. When I say be free of all desires I simply mean be free of all objects of desires. Then there is a pure longing. That pure longing is divine, that pure longing is God. Then there is pure creativity with no object, with no address, with no direction, with no destination — just pure energy, a pool of energy, going nowhere. That’s what buddhahood is.
- Sex keeps you unconscious. I don’t call sex a sin, I simply call it stupid. I am not saying that you will suffer hell – what more hell do you need to suffer? You are already suffering in it. And what does it go on giving to you? It just keeps you engaged – engaged in the other so that you can avoid yourself. That is its basic stupidity: it keeps you ignorant because it keeps you ignoring yourself.
It is as if you are standing on the road and I am sitting on the treetop. I say to you, ”A bullock cart is coming down the road.” You say, ”I don’t see any bullock cart. There is no bullock cart.” But I can see; my perspective is greater because I am on a height. You will only see the bullock cart when it comes very close to you, and then after a few yards it will disappear again. And I will say to you, ”It has not disappeared. It is still there on the road.” You will say, ”It is no longer there, it is gone.”
The higher you rise, the more you can see. And when you reach the ultimate height, Buddhahood, you can see everything. Then there is no past and no future; then there is only present. And in that clarity, sex is the most stupid thing because it keeps you in bondage the longest. I am not condemning it, I am simply stating a fact. It is your bondage. It keeps you unconscious. It does not allow you to see what you are doing. You are possessed by it.
That’s why I call it stupid: it keeps you unconscious, it keeps you in a kind of possession. It is hormonal, it is chemical. It is not you; it is just your biology that goes on forcing you to do certain things. If you watch, you will be surprised: What are you doing? And why are you doing? If you watch you will be surprised: What are you gaining out of it? What have you gained up to now? And in your saner moments you know perfectly well what I am saying, you understand it; but those saner moments are very superficial – they come and go – and soon you are back in the same trap again.
- Osho – Transforming Lust with Awareness gives indescribable Bliss. Passion creates many things in you. It creates fever, it makes you more unconscious — more unconscious than you already are. It drags you deeper into the mud. And with passion come hatred, illusion and desire — and then you are distracted from your nature. Your nature is poisoned, your innocence is poisoned. You lose all simplicity, all humbleness.
Beware of the poisoning by passion. Be warm, be loving — that is a totally different phenomenon — but don’t be full of lust. Warmth is possible with your consciousness. A Buddha is very warm, a Jesus is very warm, very loving. Passion has disappeared. Passion has become transformed into compassion. Their compassion showers on you like flowers. Just as passion poisons you, compassion purifies you. Compassion is nectar if passion is poison. The energy that is involved in passion can be released into compassion.Try, when you are angry, to be conscious, and you will be surprised — you are in for a great surprise. If you become conscious, anger disappears. And suddenly you have found a key, you have stumbled upon a secret. When sex dominates you and you are full of lust, close your eyes, sit silently and meditate on this energy that is surrounding you, this lust that is surrounding you like a cloud. Just watch it, see it.I am not saying be against it, because if you are against it you have already taken a standpoint. Now you cannot watch.For watching, the necessary step, the most necessary, is not to take any prejudice, not to conclude beforehand. Just remain silently watchful, neither for nor against. And within minutes you will be surprised that that great storm of lust is over. And when the storm is over, the silence that is left behind is so profound, is so great, such a blessing that you may not have felt it ever. No sexual experience can give you that beauty that will come if you watch your lust and through watchfulness the lust disappears. Then a silence comes to you which is virgin, which belongs to the beyond, which belongs to the other shore.
- Osho – Repression of any kind is destructive to body, to the mind, to the soul. Repression of any kind is destructive to the body, to the mind, to the soul. Energies have to be transformed, not repressed. Energies are your potential wealth, raw; you have to polish them, then they can become great diamonds. These same energies, sexual energies, can become your spiritual liberation. Repressed you will be in a bondage.
I am not saying to become indulgent; that is going to the other extreme. Buddha will also not support your indulgence. He is absolutely for the middle way, the golden mean. Neither be repressive nor be indulgent. Be watchful, be alert; be friendly to your energies, sympathetic. They are your energies; don’t create a rift, otherwise you will always be in conflict, and to fight with your own energies is an unnecessary dissipation. Fighting with your own energies, you are fighting with yourself: you cannot win. You will be simply wasting the whole opportunity of life. Be aware, don’t repress, don’t indulge. Be aware, be natural. Let energies be accepted and absorbed, and then the same energies, crude energies, become so refined, passing through awareness, that great flowers bloom in your being — lotuses of enlightenment.
- Osho – Sleepy person knows only a few sensations of the body food, sex. Question – Beloved Master, What is Happiness?
Osho – Jayananda, it depends. It depends on you, on your state of consciousness or unconsciousness, whether you are asleep or awake. There is one famous maxim of Murphy. He says there are two types of people: One, who always divide humanity in two types, and the other, who don’t divide humanity at all. I belong to the first type…. Humanity can be divided in two types: the sleeping ones and the awakened ones — and, of course, a small part in between.Happiness will depend on where you are in your consciousness. If you are asleep, then pleasure is happiness. Pleasure means sensation, trying to achieve something through the body which is not possible to achieve through the body, forcing the body to achieve something it is not capable of. People are trying, in every possible way, to achieve happiness through the body.
The body can give you only momentary pleasures, and each pleasure is balanced by pain in the same amount, in the same degree. Each pleasure is followed by its opposite because body exists in the world of duality, just as the day is followed by night and death is followed by life and life is followed by death. It is a vicious circle. Your pleasure will be followed by pain, your pain will be followed by pleasure.But you will never be at ease. When you will be in a state of pleasure you will be afraid that you are going to lose it, and that fear will poison it. And when you will be lost in pain, of course, you will be in suffering, and you will try every possible effort to get out of it — just to fall again back into it. Buddha calls this the wheel of birth and death. We go on moving in this wheel, clinging to the wheel… and the wheel moves on. Sometimes pleasure comes up and sometimes pain comes up, but we are crushed between these two rocks.But the sleepy person knows nothing else. He knows only a few sensations of the body — food, sex. This is his world; he goes on moving between these two.These are the two ends of his body: food and sex. If he represses sex he becomes addicted to food: if he represses food he becomes addicted to sex. Energy goes on moving like a pendulum. And whatsoever you call pleasure is, at the most, just a relief of a tense state. Sexual energy gathers, accumulates; you become tense and heavy and you want to release it.The man who is asleep, his sexuality is nothing but a relief, like a good sneeze. It gives you nothing but a certain relief. A tension was there, now it is no more there; but it will accumulate again. Food gives you only a little taste on the tongue; it is not much to live for. But many people are living only to eat; there are very few people who eat to live.The story of Columbus is well-known. It was a long trip. For three months they saw nothing but water. Then one day Columbus looked out at the horizon and saw trees. And if you think Columbus was happy to see trees, you should have seen his dog! That’s why the Siberian dogs are the fastest in the world: because the trees are so far apart. But this is the world of pleasure. The dog can be forgiven, but you cannot be forgiven.It depends on people what can be called happiness. To the sleeping, pleasurable sensations are happiness. He lives from one pleasure to another pleasure. He is just rushing from one sensation to another sensation. He lives for small thrills. His life is very superficial; it has no depth, it has no quality. He lives in the world of quantity.Then the people who are in between, who are neither asleep nor awake, who are just in a limbo, a little bit asleep, a little bit awake. You sometimes have that experience in the early morning: still sleepy, but you can’t say you are asleep because you can hear the noise in the house, your wife preparing tea, the noise of the samovar or the milkman at the door or children getting ready to go to school. You can hear these things, but still you are not awake. Vaguely, dimly these noises reach to you, as if there is a great distance between you and all that is happening around you.
It feels as if it is still a part of the dream. It is not a part of the dream, but you are in a state of in-between. The same happens when you start meditating. The nonmeditator sleeps, dreams; the meditator starts moving away from his sleep towards awakening. He is in a transitory state. Then happiness has a totally different meaning: it becomes more of a quality, less of a quantity; it is more psychological, less physiological.He enjoys music more, he enjoys poetry more, he enjoys creating something. He enjoys nature, its beauty. He enjoys silence. He enjoys what he had never enjoyed before, and this is far more lasting. Even if the music stops, something goes on lingering in you. And it is not a relief.The difference between pleasure and THIS happiness is: it is not a relief, it is an enrichment. You become more full, you become a little overflowing. Listening to good music, something is triggered in your being, a harmony arises in you — you become musical. Or dancing, suddenly you forget your body; your body becomes weightless. The grip of gravitation over you is lost. Suddenly you are in a different space: the ego is not so solid, the dancer melts and merges into the dance. This is far higher, far deeper than the joy that you gain from food or sex. This has a depth. But this is also not the ultimate. The ultimate happens only when you are fully awake, when you are a buddha, when all sleep is gone and all dreaming is gone, when your whole being is full of light, when there is no darkness within you. All darkness has disappeared and with that darkness, the ego is gone. All tensions have disappeared, all anguish, all anxiety. You are in a state of total contentment. You live in the present; no past, no future anymore. You are utterly herenow.This moment is all. Now is the only time and here is the only space. And then suddenly the whole sky drops into you. This is bliss. This is REAL happiness. Seek bliss, Jayananda; it is your birthright. Don’t remain lost in the jungle of pleasures; rise a little higher. Reach to happiness and then to bliss.Pleasure is animal, happiness is human, bliss is divine. Pleasure binds you, it is a bondage, it chains you. Happiness gives you a little more rope, a little bit of freedom, but only a little bit. Bliss is absolute freedom. You start moving upwards; it gives you wings. You are no more part of the gross earth; you become part of the sky. You become light, you become joy. Pleasure is dependent on others. Happiness is not so dependent on others, but still it is separate from you. Bliss is not dependent, is not separate either; it is your very being, it is your very nature. To attain it is to attain to God, to nirvana.Source: from Osho Book “Dhammapada Vol 10″
- If you have really experienced the inner light, sex will disappear. Love will happen to you, but sex will disappear; sexuality will disappear. Love, a very loving personality, will take its place. There will be no desire for sex. If the desire for sex remains, you have not experienced the inner light. Then the inner light is just a projection of the mind.
- What happens with your sex energy depends on how you use it. What it can become does not depend on it alone, but on your understanding and on how you live your life. Have you not observed that it becomes brahmacharya, the state of celibacy when it is transformed? bramhacharya is not hostile to passion; brahmacharya is the purification, the transcendence, the sublimation of passion. In the same way, the energy that manifests itself in violence becomes peace, serenity and tranquility. It is only a question of transformation.
- Love is the creative refinement of sex energy. And so, when love reaches perfection, the absence of sex automatically follows. A life of love, an abstinence from physical pleasures is called brahmacharya, and anyone who wishes to be free from sex must develop his capacity to love. Freedom from sex cannot be achieved through supersession. Liberation from sex is only possible through love.
- Both are easy: it is perfectly easy to go unconscious in sex, to completely forget what is going on, to get intoxicated is easy. To control sex, to force it to stop, to prevent yourself is also easy. But in both you miss. The one who indulges misses, the celibate misses too. The real brahmacharya happens when you stand in the middle between these two, then you are only watching. Then you will find that sex arises in the body and reverberates in the body; in the mind a shadow briefly falls and departs. You remain standing far away. How can sexual desire be in you? How can any desire be in you? You are nothing but the observer.
- Sex is there: do not condemn it. Accept it. Do not create a division in your being, between parts of your being. Anger is there: accept it. Greed is there, or whatsoever: accept it. I do not mean be greedy. Rather on the contrary, the moment you accept you go beyond, because acceptance creates a unity, and when you are united within you have the energy to go beyond.
- The mechanism of sex is so much a momentary phenomenon that it only functions momentarily; if you do not cooperate at the right moment, it stops. At the right moment your cooperation is needed, otherwise it cannot work. It is only a momentary mechanism, and if you do not cooperate with it, it will stop by itself.
- First the energy will try its best to be released sexually, because that is its usual outlet, its usual center. So one must first be aware of one’s downward “doors.” Only awareness will close them; only noncooperation will close them. Sex is not so forceful as we feel it to be. It is forceful only momentarily: it is not a twenty-four-hour affair, it is a momentary challenge.
- Real awareness always leads you beyond sex, and celibacy happens on its own accord. Because to be in sex you have either to be identified with the male or identified with the female. A real celibate is one who has gone beyond, who is neither.
- Remember, to translate BRAHMACHARYA as “celibacy” is not right. The word BRAHMACHARYA simply means living like a god, living with the experience of the Brahma, the absolute, living meditatively. If I am to translate BRAHMACHARYA I Will translate it as “the life of meditation”.
- Meditation brings a kind of celibacy, but not vice versa. A celibacy without meditation is nothing but sexual repression. And your mind will become more and more sexual, so whenever you sit to meditate your mind will become full of fantasies, sexual fantasies.
- When you become violent, non-violence comes in. When you become non-violent, violence waits behind. They go together. All dualities go together. When sex disappears, celibacy disappears too — remember it. If you start claiming that you have become a celibate then sexuality still exists, and any day it can explode. You are sitting on a volcano. When sex has gone what is the meaning of celibacy? Then it is simply meaningless, the word is meaningless. ‘Celibacy’ can carry any meaning only in reference to sex. Buddha says: When both dualities are gone you are simply in the middle — silent, calm, pure. The Way is attained. The Way is the middle Way.
- Celibacy should be brought very slowly. All that brings you again and again to sexuality has to be dropped slowly, in steps. And once you start enjoying the energy that becomes available, when you are not obsessed with sex, just that pure energy becomes a dance in you — that is called enriching. Now, your energy is not wasted. Your energy goes on showering on yourself. Remember, there are two types of celibates. One: who has simply forced celibacy upon himself — he is a wrong type, he is doing violence to himself. The other: who has tried to understand sexuality, what it is, why it is; who has watched, observed, lived through it, and, by and by, has become aware of its futility; by and by, has become aware of a deep frustration that comes after EACH sexual act.
- Kabir says: Repression is not BRAHMACHARYA. Repressing your desires and destroying your desires is not the way of celibacy, because if you repress your desires you will remain hung-up with them. Whatsoever is repressed, you have to repress it again and again and again, and whatsoever is repressed, you have to sit on it continuously; otherwise there is fear — if you move somewhere else, it may bubble up again. Repression can never bring freedom. Repression makes you a slave. Repress anything, and that will become your master.
- Love has its own meditation. But you do not know love; you know only sex and you know the misery of wasting energy. Then you get depressed after it. Then you decide to take a vow of BRAHMACHARYA, celibacy. And this vow is taken in depression, this vow is taken in anger, this vow is taken in frustration. It is not going to help. A vow can be helpful if taken in a very relaxed, deeply meditative mood. Otherwise you are simply showing your anger, your frustration and nothing else, and you will forget the vow within twenty-four hours. The energy will have come again, and just as an old routine you will have to release it.
- Brahmacharya cannot be taught. Only meditation can be taught. Brahmacharya is the result. As meditation ripens, brahmacharya comes to fruit by itself. All effort is to be put into meditation. One who puts his effort directly into brahmacharya will sit suppressing sex in the name of brahmacharya. And brahmacharya is not happening – it is only superficial – within the being the worms of desire are crawling.
- Lust means how to use something for your happiness; love means your happiness is not at all concerned. Really, lust means how to get something out of it and love means how to give something. They are diametrically opposite. If you see a beautiful face and you feel love toward the face, the immediate feeling in your consciousness will be how to do something to make this face happy, how to do something to make this man or this woman happy. The concern is not with yourself, the concern is with the other.In love the other is important; in lust you are important. In lust you are thinking how to make the other your instrument; in love you are thinking how to become an instrument yourself. In lust you are going to sacrifice the other; in love you are going to sacrifice yourself. Love means giving; lust means getting. Love is a surrender; lust is an aggression.
- I am not against sex, but I am against sexuality. And let me make a distinction: when you feeling very sexual and being possessed by the person, this is not the moment to do anything. Close your doors, meditate on your sexuality. Let it arise, let it come out of the dark night within you. Out of the jungle, let it spread — you watch, you simply watch, you become an unmoving flame of awareness. Soon you will see it has settled again, and your consciousness is burning brighter than ever. You have absorbed it, it has become nectar.
- To me, if sex is the creative force in the world, it must be nearest to the creative center of the world — whatever name you give to it. Creative energy must be closest to creation, to the creative source of it all. People should be taught the art of converting sexual energy into spiritual enlightenment.
- In the sexual act you have a certain thrill, a moment of forgetfulness, a moment of oblivion. You feel good — for a few seconds, only for a few seconds, you drop out of this routine world. Sex gives you a door to escape into some other world — which is non-tense; there is no worry; you are simply relaxed and melting. But have you observed? After each sexual act you feel frustrated. Sex creates neurosis, it is neurotic, because it can never satisfy you. Now, go to the madhouses of the world and just watch the mad people, and you will always find that somewhere or other there is a sexual problem. That’s what Freud says, that ALL pathology is somehow connected with sex. Too much sex obsession becomes neurotic. If you live in the body, you are bound to become neurotic. You have to go a little deeper and higher than the body.
- In sex there may be relaxation. In sex there may be physiological health and hygiene. But there is no growth. You remain animal. With love you become human. With love you become upright. With love you stand erect on earth. With sex you are again animal, you are horizontal on the earth, just moving like other animals, crawling. With love you are erect, vertical.
- Awareness is the true path. Neither indulge nor renounce, but be aware. Do whatsoever you are doing — do it with full awareness.
- Friendship is the highest form of love and sex is the lowest form of love.
- The thirtieth year is perfectly the right time. That leaves you — because you are from the West — at least fifty to sixty years to work upon yourself, to find yourself, and to find the innermost mysteries of existence. In fact, now begins the real life; up to now you were a slave. Now, boundaries are dropping and the whole sky is becoming available to you with all its stars. Don’t be an old fool. And if you can become wise while you are young, just thirty, thank God. Be grateful to existence that he is allowing you so much time to explore much that is not available to any other animal, which is only available to man. And the more time you have to explore it, the deeper will be your insight, the greater will be your consciousness and tremendous will be your splendor. You will not die an ugly death; you will die with a grace and with a smile on your face.Nityanando, you are fortunate that life need not be empty for you. If sex is going, say goodbye to it. It was good when it was there; it is better when it is gone. Now begins a totally different space of experiencing. Now begins a new adventure, more free, more individual, more unfettered. And the sky is so vast to explore… and on each step there are miracles and miracles.So sing and dance and meditate. And life is immensely beautiful: it has all that Gautam Buddha experienced and more, because twenty-five centuries have passed; man has become far more mature, and evolution has gone higher. We can produce greater Gautam Buddhas with more dimensions to them.
- And, if you become meditative, you will come to realize a new fact. That fact is that it is not sex that gives you bliss, it is not sex that gives you the ecstasy. Rather, it is a thoughtless state of the mind and total involvement in the act that gives you a blissful feeling.Once you understand this then sex will be needed less and less, because that thoughtless state of mind can be created without it — that’s what meditation means. And that totality of being can be created without sex. Once you know that the same phenomenon can happen without sex, sex will be needed less and less. A moment will come when sex will not be needed at all.Remember, sex is always dependent on the other. So in sex, a bondage, a slavery remains. Once you can create this total orgasmic phenomenon without any dependence on anybody else, when it has become an inner source, you are independent, you are free.That’s what is meant when, in India, we say only a BRAHMACHARI, an absolutely celibate person, can be free — because now he is not dependent on anybody else, his ecstasy is his own.Sex disappears through meditation, but this is not destroying the energy. Energy is never destroyed; only the form of the energy changes. Now it is no longer sexual, and when the form is no longer sexual, then you become loving.So, really, a person who is sexual cannot love. His love can only be a show. His love is just a means towards sex. A person who is sexual uses love just as a technique towards sex. It is a means. A sexual person cannot really love, he can only exploit the other; and love becomes just a way to approach the other.A person who has become non-sexual, and the energy is moving within, has become auto-ecstatic. His ecstasy is his own. Such a person will be loving for the first time. His love will be a constant showering, a constant sharing, a constant giving.
- Sex has become synonymous with life in the West. It is not; it is only a very small part. It has something tremendously important to contribute but it is not all the story. It is just the beginning. It will be even more correct to say it is just the preface, not even the beginning. But my feeling about you is that you are ready to go into some new space – higher, better, superior, more graceful. And when this conflict with sex disappears and you accept the stage you are in, much love will arise in you. And it will not be sexual love – it will have a different quality: it will be more like friendship, more like prayer, more like creating music, singing a song, looking at the sunset. It will have all those qualities. It will be more aesthetic, less sexual. The sexual love remains a little coloured with violence; it remains a little crude. It can’t be very soft; it can’t have grace and dignity. It is anger; it is our animal heritage.
- That idea of being a macho will create trouble for you. Drop this machismo, and forget all about it. And there is no problem; you are creating it. Put more and more of your effort into meditation. You will be surprised: the energy that goes into sex will start going into meditation, and sooner or later you will be having the same kind of orgasmic experiences through meditation as people have through sex.The sexual orgasm is bound to take too much energy out of you. It is a sheer wastage. It gives very little and takes very much. In the meditative orgasm, with no energy investment from your side the same quality – deeper, higher, profounder – happens. Later on you will find yourself more energetic than before. The meditative orgasm will leave you with more energy, with more vibrant energy than before. And this is possible.
- We are weaklings, not because we have less energy than a Buddha: we have the same quanta of energy, everyone is born with the same energy quanta, but we are accustomed to dissipating it. It simply moves away from us and never comes back. It cannot come back! Once it is out of you, it can never come back – it is beyond you.A word arises in me: I speak it out; it has flown away. It is not going to come back to me, and the energy that was used in producing it, that was used in throwing it away, is dissipated. A word arises in me: I don’t throw it out; I remain silent. Then the word moves and moves and moves, and falls into the original source again. The energy has been reconsumed.Silence is energy. Brahmacharya is energy. Not to be angry is energy. But this is not suppression. If you suppress anger, you have used energy again. Don’t suppress – observe and follow. don’t fight – just move backwards with the anger. This is the purest method of awareness.
- Love is a very silent flow, nonaggressive, almost passive; it is a very silent breeze. Sex is passion, violence, aggression, with force, with strong energy – it attacks. The heart and the sex center can join together, then love becomes passionate. If heart is not joined with the sex center then love becomes compassionate. Then love is there in its total purity and only then, when there is no passion in it, is love pure. It is silent, passive, nonaggressive. You can invite it but it will not knock at your door. It will not even ask to be invited. You can persuade it to come, it can become your guest, but it will not come uninvited.
- I have watched many people die. It rarely happens that a person dies with God on his mind. Almost always, nine out of ten people die with sex on their minds when they die, and that becomes the beginning of another life. Sex on the mind becomes the beginning of another sex life.But it has to be so if you have not been working hard to go beyond it, to go beyond its grip. If you have not been struggling hard to release yourself from its clutches, then it is going to be so.
- You know it. If this house is suddenly on fire, you will be more aware. You know that your awareness goes up and down. At certain moments you are more aware; at certain moments, less aware. So it is possible to create the situation of being more aware.That’s why awareness became the basis of meditation. And with awareness came the surprise that as you become aware, thoughts disappear. When you are fully aware, there are no thoughts, and suddenly time has stopped. Time can be there inside only with the movement of thoughts.
- Witnessing means no choice, choiceless awareness. This is one of the most fundamental keys for all the diseases of the human mind. If you can become a witness, the opposites fight against each other, with each other, and both are dead, both disappear. But if you choose one thing over the other, you cannot be a witness.
- Unless you know something which cannot be sold and cannot be purchased, unless you know something which is beyond money, you have not known real life. Sex is not beyond money — love is. Transform your sex into love, and transform your love into prayer — so one day even kings like Bimbisara may feel jealous of you. Become a Mahavira, a Buddha, become a Christ, a Zarathustra, a Lao Tzu. Only then have you lived, only then have you known the mysteries of life!
- Money and sex are the lowest, and people are living only in the world of money and sex — and they think they are living. They are not living, they are only vegetating, they are only dying. This is not life. Life has many more kingdoms to be revealed, an infinite treasure which is not of this world. Neither sex can give it to you, nor money.
- The sexual orgasm is very momentary, and whatsoever is momentary brings frustration in its wake, brings misery and unhappiness and sadness and repentance. But the quality of being orgasmic can become a continuity in you, a continuum — it can become your very flavor. But it is possible only through meditation, not through sex.
- Question – Beloved Master, Why am I Tired of Sex?
Osho – Sandhan, sex is tiring — and that’s why I say to you: Don’t avoid it. Unless you know its stupidity you will not be able to get rid of it. Unless you know its sheer wastage, you will not be able to transcend it.It is good that you have started feeling tired — that is natural. Sex simply means energy being dissipated downwards. The energy has to move upwards, then it is nourishing. Then it opens inexhaustible treasures in you — aes dhammo sanantano. But if you go on and on into sex like a maniac, soon you will find yourself utterly exhausted, wasted. What is the point of remaining in it if you are feeling tired? Get out of it! And I am not saying repress it. When you are feeling much energy for it and you try to get out, there will be repression. But when you are exhausted and tired and you see the futility of it, you can come out of it without repression. And to come out of sex without repression is to be free of it. Freedom from sex is a great experience. Freedom from sex makes your energies available for meditation, for samadhi.
- Yes, it has to be transcended one day because this is also a duality — man/woman — the same duality as between positive and negative, birth and death, summer and winter. It has to be transcended. One has to come to a point from where nothing disturbs your coolness, nothing distracts you from your center.But the way to come to it is not repression, Nanda Kishor. The first step is acceptance: it is natural. Accept it as part of your nature, as part of your biology. And then try to understand it, watch it, observe it, witness it. Slowly slowly, as your witnessing will grow, you will go beyond it. One day you will not find any difference between a man and a woman: you have gone beyond sexuality. That is true BRAHMACHARYA, true celibacy, but it is not what has been told to you.
- When one becomes pure — through nonviolence, nonpossessiveness, authenticity — when one becomes more and more pure, the focus of consciousness shifts from the body to the being. The being can remain absolutely alone.The body needs togetherness; and your innermost soul needs aloneness. That is the problem. Your innermost soul can remain alone — it is a Himalayan peak standing alone against the sky. Your innermost soul grows when it is alone, but your body needs relatedness. The body needs crowds, warmth, clubs, societies, organizations; wherever you are with many people the body feels good. In a crowd your soul may feel starved because it feeds on aloneness, but your body feels good. In aloneness your soul feels perfect, but the body starts feeling hungry for relationship.But when somebody has attained to aloneness and the focus of consciousness has changed…. That’s what yoga is all about: how to change the focus from the body to the soul, from matter to nonmatter, from the visible to the invisible, from the known to the unknown — from the world to God. Howsoever you phrase it is immaterial. It is a change of focus. When the focus has completely changed, the yogi is so happy in his aloneness, so blissful, that that ordinary hankering of the body to be with others by and by disappears.When the purity is attained there arises in the yogi a disillusionment for his own body: now he knows that the paradise that he has been seeking cannot be attained through the body, the bliss that he has been dreaming about is not possible through the body. It is impossible for the body: through the limited you are trying to reach the unlimited.Through matter you are trying to reach the eternal, the immortal. Nothing is wrong in the body: your effort is absurd. Don’t be angry with the body; the body has not done anything to you. It is just as if someone is trying to listen through the eyes — now nothing is wrong with the eyes: eyes are made to see, not to listen. The body is made of matter; it is not made of the immaterial. It is made of death. It cannot be immortal. You are asking the impossible. Don’t ask that.That is the point of disillusionment: the yogi simply understands what is possible and what is not possible with the body. That which is possible is okay; that which is not possible he does not ask. He is not angry. He doesn’t hate the body. He takes every care of it because the body can become a ladder; it can become a door, It cannot become the goal, but it can become the door.A disillusionment for his own body — and when this disillusionment happens: “… a disinclination to come in physical contact with others.” Then the need to be in physical contact with others, by and by, withers away. In fact this is the right moment when you can say the man has come out of the womb, not before it.In a yogi this urge to be in relationships disappears — and with this urge, he is really born. We in India have called him “twice-born,” dwij. This is his second birth, the real birth. Now he is no longer in need of anybody; he has become a transcendental light. Now he can float above the earth; now he can fly in the sky. He is not earth-rooted now. He has become a flower — not a flower, because even a flower is earth-rooted… he has become the fragrance of the flower. Completely free. Moves into the sky with no roots in the earth. His desire to come in contact with others’ bodies disappears.
- I would also like you to go beyond sex, because going beyond sex is a tremendously beautiful experience of freedom – freedom from the body, freedom from that continuous obsession. When sex really disappears, without any repression, when it disappears through meditation, for the first time it gives you the taste of total freedom. You don’t need anybody any more; you are out of the grip of biology.In fact when sex has disappeared you become a man for the first time, because with sex you remain part of the animal world.
- Question : In the Awakening of the Kundalini, in the opening of the passage, Isn’t there an increase in Sexual Power?Osho : The increase in sexual power and the opening of the kundalini passage are simultaneous – not the same, but simultaneous. The increase in sexual power will be the thrust to open up the higher centers; so sexual power will increase. If you can be aware of it and not use it sexually – if you do not allow it to be released sexually – it will become so intense that the upward movement will begin.First the energy will try its best to be released sexually, because that is its usual outlet, its usual center. So one must first be aware of one’s downward ”doors.” Only awareness will close them; only noncooperation will close them. Sex is not so forceful as we feel it to be. It is forceful only momentarily: it is not a twenty-four-hour affair, it is a momentary challenge.If you can be noncooperative and aware, it goes. And you will feel more happiness than when sexual energy is released from the downward passage. Conservation of energy is always blissful: wastage of energy is only a relief, it is not blissful. You have unburdened yourself; you have alleviated something that was troubling you. Now you have become unburdened, but you have also become emptied.The feeling of emptiness that is overtaking the whole Western mind is just because of sexual wastage. Life seems to be empty. Life is never empty, but it seems to be empty because you have been simply unburdening yourself, just relieving yourself. If something is conserved it becomes a richness: if your upward door is open and energy goes upward, not only do you feel relieved, not only is the straining point relieved, but it is not vacant. In a way it is fulfilled; it is overflowing.The energy has gone upward, but the basic center has not become empty. It is overflowing, and the overflowing energy goes upward, up toward the brahma randhra. Then, near the brahma randhra, there is neither an upward movement nor a downward movement. Now the energy goes to the cosmic: it goes to the all; it goes to the brahman – the ultimate reality. That is why the seventh chakra is known as the brahma randhra – the door to the brahman, the door to the divine.Then there is no ”up” and no ”down.” It will feel like something is penetrating, thrusting upward – and a moment will come when one will feel as though that something is no longer there, that it has gone. Now it is overflowing into the passage. The petals of the sahasrar are just a symbol for the feelings that occur when energy overflows.The overflowing is a flowering, just like a flower itself is an overflowing. You will feel that something has become a flower; the door is open, and it will go outward. It will not be felt inwardly; it will be felt outwardly. Something has opened like a flower, like a flower with a thousand petals. It is just a feeling, but the feeling corresponds to the truth.The feeling is a translation and interpretation. The mind cannot conceive of it, but the feeling is just like a flowering. The closest, the nearest thing that we can say is that it is like a bud opening. It is felt like that. That is why we have conceived of the opening of the sahasrar as a thousand-petaled lotus.So many petals – so many! And they go on opening, they go on opening… the opening is endless. It is a fulfillment; it is a flowering of the human being. Then you become just like a tree, and everything that was in you has flowered. Then all you can do is to offer this flower to the divine. We have been offering flowers, but they are broken flowers. Only this flower can be a real offering.
- Question : How does one overcome the pull toward Sex so that the Kundalini Can go upward?Osho : Energy has been going downward through the sex center continuously for many births, so when any energy is created it will first try to move downward. That is why meditation sometimes will create more sexuality in you than you have ever felt before. You will feel more sexual because you have generated more energy than you previously had.When you have conserved something, the old, habitual passage is ready to release it. The mechanism is ready, the old passage is ready. Your mind only knows one passage – the lower one, the sexual passage – so when you are meditating the first movement of your life energy will be downward. Just be aware of it.Do not struggle with it; just be aware of it. Be aware of the habitual passage, be aware of sexual images; let them come. Be aware of them, but do not do anything about the situation; just be aware of it. The sexual passage cannot operate without your cooperation, but if you cooperate with it even for a single moment, it can start functioning.So do not cooperate with it: just be aware of it. The mechanism of sex is so much a momentary phenomenon that it only functions momentarily; if you do not cooperate at the right moment, it stops. At the right moment your cooperation is needed, otherwise it cannot work. It is only a momentary mechanism, and if you do not cooperate with it, it will stop by itself.Time and time again, energy is created through meditation. It continues to move downward, but now you are aware of it. The old passage is cut – not suppressed. Energy is there and it needs to be released, but the lower door is closed: not suppressed – closed. You have not cooperated with it, that’s all.You have not positively suppressed it, you have only negatively not cooperated with it. You have just been aware of what is happening to your mind, to your body. You are just aware; then energy is conserved. Then the quantity of the energy becomes more and more intense and an upward thrust becomes necessary. Now the energy will go upward; by its very force, a new passage will be thrown open.When energy goes upward you will be more sexually attractive to others, because life energy going upward creates a great magnetic force. You will become more sexually attractive to others, so you will have to be aware of this. Now you will attract persons unknowingly, and the attraction will not only be physical; the attraction will be etheric.Even a repulsive body, a nonattractive body, will become attractive with yoga. The attraction is etheric; and it is so magnetic that one has to be constantly aware of it, constantly aware. You will be attractive… and the opposite sex will be irresistably drawn to you. There are subtle vibrations that are created by your etheric body: you have to be aware of them.The type of attraction that will be felt by the opposite sex will differ – it will take so many different forms – but basically it will be sexual. At its root, it will be sexual. But you can help these people. Even if they are attracted to you sexually, they have become attracted to a sexual energy that is moving upward. And they too are not ordinary sexual beings: upwardmoving sexual energy has become an attraction, a magnet. So you can help them; if you do not become involved, then you can help them.
- In sex, meditation happens. A moment comes when you are reaching the climax, a moment comes just before ejaculation or orgasm when mind stops. You become pure energy, bioenergy, just a stream of energy, no-mind. No-mind is meditation. But if you become stuck just in sexual meditation you will not grow. Nothing is wrong in it, but you have to grow beyond it because this sexual meditation depends on the other and anything that depends on the other cannot make you ultimately free; you will remain dependent. Right meditation means a moment where mind ceases, you have become one energy – but not moving towards the other, not moving in any direction, but simply remaining in yourself. That will become samadhi. Meditation moving towards the other becomes a sexual act; meditation moving nowhere, remaining inside, becomes samadhi.
- Since every male has a female body within him and every female has a male body within her, if by coincidence a woman gets a husband who is identical with the male body within her, or if a man marries a woman who is identical with the female body within him, then only is a marriage successful; otherwise not. This is why ninety-nine percent of marriages are failures: because the intrinsic rule of success is not known yet. As long as we are unable to ascertain the right alliance between the respective energy bodies of two persons, marriages are bound to remain a failure no matter what steps we take in other directions. Successful marriages can only be possible if absolutely clear scientific details concerning these various inner bodies are achieved. A boy or a girl who has reached up to the point of the awakening of the kundalini finds it very easy to choose the right partner in life. With the full knowledge of all his bodies within, one can make the right choice outwardly. Prior to this it is very difficult. Therefore, those who knew insisted that the child should be made to develop his first four bodies in the first twenty-five years by maintaining brahmacharya, and then only could he marry – because whom should he marry? With whom does he want to spend the rest of his life? Whom is he seeking? What man does a woman seek? She seeks the man within her. If by coincidence the right connections are made, then both the man and woman are satisfied; otherwise, dissatisfaction remains and a thousand perversions result from this. The man then goes to a prostitute or seeks the woman next door. His distress grows day by day, and this misery is bound to increase with the growth of man’s intellect.
- Love is the happiness of the other; sex is happiness of your own, the other has to be used. In love the other’s happiness has become even more significant than your own. Lovers are each other’s servants, sex partners are each other’s exploiters.
- Sex is horizontal. When you are totally aware, sex becomes vertical. And that vertical movement of sex is kundalini. If sex moves horizontally, then you go on reproducing others and reproducing yourself. If the energy begins to move upward, vertically, you just go out – out of the wheel of Existence: as the Buddhists say, out of the wheel of life. This is a new birth – not in a new body, but in a new dimension of Existence. This Buddhists have called Nirvana. You can call it MOKSHA – liberation – or whatsoever you like to call it.
- Buddha is not lacking anything. Rather, on the contrary, something new has come to his life. It is not that he has no sex hormones. They are there. So what has happened to him? His consciousness has deepened, and his consciousness has entered even into the sex cells. Now the sex cells are there, but they cannot behave independently. Unless the center orders them to act, they cannot act. They will remain inactive. In an impotent person sex cells are not. In a Buddha they are there and more strong than in an ordinary person – stronger, because never used, not used. Energy is accumulated in them, they are bubbling with energy, but consciousness has penetrated into the cells now. Now the consciousness is not only a starting point: it has become the master.
- If you become conscious, you will lose your sexual desire and lust. If you become conscious, then there will be no sexual desire inside.
- It happens, when you are on a fast, that your sex desire will die, because now a more foundational thing is at stake. Food is for your survival, sex is for the survival of your race. It is a distant phenomenon, not related with you. Sex is food for the race, not for you. You will die, but through sex humanity can live. So it is not really your problem; it is a racial problem. You can even leave it, but you cannot leave food because that is your problem. It is concerned with you. So if you go on a fast, by and by sex will disappear; it will become more and more distant.
- Any time natural instinct is transcended, you grow. You have made a volitional decision, so your being will grow and you will acquire an essence.
- This process is alchemical: observe anger, and anger is transformed into light; observe sex, and sex is transformed into light. Observe any inner phenomenon which creates heat. Observe it, and through observation it becomes light. And if your every heat phenomenon is transformed into light, you will come to feel the inner moon. And when there is no heat left, then you have accumulated the nectar of the full moon. And through this nectar you become immortal. Not in this body, not with this body: you become immortal because you transcend life and death both. Then you are naivedya: then you are a food offering to the Divine – to the Total.
- Unconsciousness is such a drug; consciousness is such an effort. When you learn something, you have to be conscious every moment. That consciousness is felt as a strain. It is not, but because we are always behaving in a mechanical way, it seems to be. The person who is thinking in terms of spirituality must think in terms of awareness – more and more awareness. Awareness comes only when you go on facing new factors.
- Sex is there: do not fight it; try to understand it. But we are fighting with ourselves. Either we are identified with the mind or we are fighting with the mind. In both the cases we are the losers. If you are identified, then you will indulge in anger, in sex, in greed, in jealousy. If you are fighting, then you will create anti-attitudes. Then you will create inner divisions. Then you will create inner polarities. And you will be divided – no one else, because the anger is your anger. Now if you fight it, you will have double anger – anger plus this angriness against anger – and you will be divided. You can go on fighting, but this fight is just absurd. It is as if I am trying to fight my right hand with my left hand. I can go on fighting. Sometimes my right hand will win, sometimes my left hand will win – but there is no victory. You can play with the game, but there is neither defeat nor victory.
- If you are really aware, you will transcend. Awareness is not a method for transcendence. AWARENESS IS TRANSCENDENCE. This constant awareness of your mind dissolves your greed, your anger, your sex, your hate, your jealousy, by and by. They dissolve automatically. There is no effort to dissolve them, not even any intention to dissolve them, not any longing to dissolve them. They are there, so rather than an intention to dissolve them, acceptance is more helpful.
- Think of sex, and mind is absorbed. No need to concentrate – it concentrates. No need to make any effort – mind flows easily. Really, we don’t know anything else except sex by which we can understand what concentration means. So it happens always that whenever a person can concentrate on any other thing, sex will not be a problem for him – whenever! Even if he is just a scientist, a research-worker, working in his lab, if he can concentrate on his work then sex will not be a problem in his life at all. But if you cannot concentrate on anything else, then your mind will be flowing through the channel of sex constantly. One thing must be understood: when you are thinking about sex, you are totally absorbed. There is no wavering. You even forget that you are thinking about sex – you may remember afterwards. Even this much wavering is not there. You forget that you are different and that this procession of sexual thoughts and images is different. You become one with them. This is what is meant when bhaktas say, ”the constant remembering of the Divine – without you, without ’I’.” The same phenomenon occurs, only the object changes. It is not sex now; the object becomes Divine. And unless the Divine becomes as absorbing as sex is naturally, you cannot flow upward. So the upward flow is an effort: you have to pull yourself together for it. The downward flow is easy. That’s why, whenever you feel tense, sex becomes a relaxation, a relief – because every tension means that you have been pulling yourself together towards something which is not natural. Then if you can relax to the downward flow, you will feel a relief. So in the West particularly, sex has become just a relief – just a relief from tensions. It is, and it is because when you flow downward no effort is needed. So sex is used by many, really by ninety-nine percent of people, as a tranquillizer. If you move in sex then you can sleep well. Why? Because when the mind is flowing downward your whole body is relaxed. Unless you are relaxed in the same way when your mind is going upward, you are not a religious person at all.
- A really free consciousness will not be sensual but will be sensitive – deeply sensitive and sensuous. Really, when a Buddha sees a flower, he sees the flower in its totality, in its total beauty, in its total aliveness. The colour, the fragrance, everything, Buddha sees in its totality. He will never think again about this flower – he will never be sensual. He will not hanker again to see it more and more, repeatedly. He will never think again about this flower – not because he is not sensuous, but because he is totally sensuous, and he has lived this experience so deeply that there is no need to repeat. The need to repeat comes because you cannot live any moment totally – so you eat, and again you have to think to repeat it; you love, and you have to think to repeat it. You are less concerned with living than you are concerned with repetition. This repetitive hankering is sensuality.
- One part is biological, hereditary; another is sociological. There is sex: become aware that the unconscious instinct is forcing your body mechanism towards a particular object, towards a particular act. But don’t fight it because that fight is again, from the sociological part of the unconscious which says that sex is sin. Be aware of both, be conscious of both: there is sex, and there is the concept that sex is sin. Both are coming from some place you don’t know – from a deep darkness within. Be conscious – don’t do anything! Just remain conscious. Try to be in an alert state. Don’t fight with the sex, don’t condemn it – don’t go to indulge in it. Simply remain conscious of the fact that something is happening inside. If you can remain conscious of the fact that something is happening inside. If you can remain with the fact without dong anything, you will feel that your consciousness is growing and penetrating the dark realm of the unconscious.
- If you are alert, two things happen: the energy that was going to be used as indulgence or as suppression will become part of your alertness. Your alertness will be strengthened through that energy. That energy will move to your alertness; you will become more alert. That energy will become a fuel to your consciousness. You will be more conscious, and for the first time the unconscious will not be able to force you. For the first time unconsciousness will be incapable of manipulating you. And once you know the feeling of this freedom, that the unconscious cannot manipulate you – without any fight, without any struggle, without any conflict – then your consciousness has become stronger. And, by and by, the filed of consciousness will grow and the field of unconsciousness will shrink. your human iceberg will have gained one part more: you will be two parts conscious, eight parts unconscious. This is a long journey, and by and by you will become three parts conscious, seven parts unconscious. As you gain more it is just like reclaiming land from the ocean. The unconscious is a vast ocean; you have to reclaim land inch by inch. But the moment you reclaim land, the ocean shrinks back. A day comes, just like it came to a Buddha or to a Jesus, when you are conscious all the ten parts and the unconscious has disappeared. You are just light inside and no darkness. This is the flowering. And for the first time you become aware of your immortality. for the first time you are not now a seed. For the first time now for you there is no becoming – you have become a being. If this expression can be allowed: You have become a being! Now you are a being! In this enlightened state of being, there is no suffering, no conflict, no misery. You are filled with bliss. Inside you are bliss, outside you are compassion. You have become sensitive to everything. Because of that sensitivity, a Buddha is compassion outside; inside a deep silent pool of bliss and outside a compassion. Buddha’s lips are smiling with a deep bliss, and his eyes are filled with tears – in a deep compassion. That’s why you can work both ways. If you grow in consciousness, you will grow in compassion; if you grow in compassion, you will grow in consciousness. But to grow in compassion is very The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1 233 Osho CHAPTER 17. TOWARDS A TOTAL FLOWERING OF CONSCIOUSNESS difficult – because you can again deceive. So the only right path is to grow in consciousness, then compassion comes as a shadow. Otherwise you can deceive and your compassion can just be a facade, a deception. Your compassion can again be an unconscious act. Then it is sentimental, emotional – not existential. Then you can weep, you can sympathize and you can serve. But this is going to be again an unconscious thing. The surest and most certain path is to grow in consciousness.
- You might have heard that the seventh chakra in yoga is sahasrardal kamal – the one-thousandpetalled lotus on the seventh chakra in your head. That seventh chakra is the last stage, the peak, the Everest of consciousness. The first chakra is muladhar – the sex center, and the last chakra is sahasrar. Sex is the most unconscious thing in you, and the sahasrar is the most conscious. These are the two poles. We live around the sex center, move around it. Whatsoever we do is related with sex, howsoever distant it may look. Your earning money, your accumulating wealth, may not look at all related with sex, but they are related. The more wealth you have, the more sex you can have; it becomes more possible. The more power you have, the more sex you can have; it becomes more possible. You may forget completely, and ends may become means and means may become ends; that’s another thing. One person can go on accumulating wealth for his whole life, and he may completely forget for what he is doing it. But every power search is for sex. We move around the center of sex, we are bound to because unless we grow in consciousness we cannot go beyond it. That is the most unconscious-rooted center, the lowest, and for that reason the deepest and the most unconscious. The higher you move in consciousness, the further you go from sex. And then there is a flowering of a different type. The whole energy moves to the seventh – sahasrar. And when the whole energy comes to the seventh chakra, it becomes a flower – one-thousand-petalled. Mm? – this is a beautiful imagery. It means with unlimited, infinite petals, the flower opens.
- THE UNCONSCIOUS can be transformed only through awareness. It is difficult, but there is no other way. There are many methods for being aware, but awareness is necessary. You can use methods to be aware, but you will have to be aware. Of course, there are many methods for being aware – mm? – that is a different thing. There are many ways to create light – but light will have to be created. You can create a fire and there will be no darkness. And you can use a kerosene lamp and there will be no darkness, and you can use electricity and there will be no darkness. But whatsoever the case, whatsoever the method of producing light, light has to be produced. So light is a must, and whatsoever I will say in reference to this question will be about methods to produce awareness. They are not alternatives, remember. They are not alternatives to awareness – nothing can be. Awareness is the only possibility for dispelling darkness, for dispelling unconsciousness.
- But how to create awareness? I talked about one method which is the purest: to be aware inside of whatsoever happens on the boundary line of the unconscious and to the conscious – to be aware there. Anger is there. Anger is produced in darkness; anger has roots in the unconscious. Only branches and leaves come into the conscious. Roots, seeds, the energy source, are in the unconscious. You become aware only of faraway branches. Be conscious of these branches. The more conscious you are, the more you will be capable of looking into darkness. Inner darkness, unconsciousness, is the same. Look into it. But you can look only if you are not active. If you begin to act, your mind is distracted. Don’t act inside. Anger is there – don’t act, don’t condemn, don’t appreciate, don’t indulge in it, and don’t suppress it. Don’t do anything – just look at it! observe it! Understand the distinction. What happens ordinarily is quite the reverse. If you are angry, then your mind is focused on the cause of anger outside – always! Someone has insulted you – you are angry. Now there are three things: the cause of anger outside, the source of anger inside, and in between these two you are. Anger is your energy inside, the cause which has provoked your energy to come up is outside, and you are in between. The natural way of the mind is not to be aware of the source, but to be focused on the cause outside. Whenever you are angry you are in deep concentration on the cause outside. Mahavir has called KRODHA – anger – a sort of meditation. He has named it ROUDRA DHYAN – meditation on negative attitudes. It is! – because you are concentrated. Really, when you are in deep anger you are so concentrated that the whole world disappears. Only the cause of anger is focused. Your total energy is on the cause of anger, and you are so much focused on the cause that you forget yourself completely. That’s why in anger you can do things about which, later on, you can say, ”I did them in spite of myself.” You were not. For awareness you have to take an about-turn. You have to concentrate not on the cause outside, but on the source inside. Forget the cause. Close your eyes, and go deep and dig into the source. Then you can use the same energy which was to be wasted on someone outside – the energy moves inwards. Anger has much energy. Anger is energy – the purest of fires inside. Don’t waste it outside. Take another example. You are feeling sexual: sex is again energy, fire. But whenever you feel sexual, again you are focused on someone outside, not on the source. you begin to think of someone – of the lover, of the beloved, A-B-C-D – but when you are filled with sex your focus is always on the other. You are dissipating energy. Not only in the sexual act do you dissipate energy, but in sexual thinking you dissipate it even more because a sexual act is a momentary thing. It comes to a peak, the energy is released, and you are thrown back. But sexual thinking can continuously be there. You can continue it in sexual thinking, you can dissipate energy. And everyone is dissipating energy. Ninety percent of our thinking is sexual. Whatsoever you are doing outside, inside sex is a constant concern – you may not even be aware of it. You are sitting in a room and a woman enters: your posture changes suddenly. Your spine is moire erect, your breathing changes, your blood pressure is different. You may not be aware at all of what has happened, but your whole body has reacted sexually. you were a different person when the woman was not there; now again you are a different person. An all-male group is a different group, and all-female group is a different group. Let one male come in or one female, and the whole group, the whole energy pattern, changes suddenly. You may not be conscious of it, but when your mind is focused on someone, your energy begins to flow. when you feel sexual, look at the source, not at the cause – remember this. Science is more concerned with the cause and religion is more concerned with the source. The source is always inside; the cause is always outside. With cause you are in a chain reaction. With cause you are connected with your environment. With source you are connected with yourself. So remember this. This is the purest method to change unconscious energy into conscious energy. Take an about-turn – look inside! It is going to be difficult because our look has become fixed. We are like a person whose neck is paralyzed, and who cannot move and look back. Our eyes have become fixed. We have been looking outside for lives together – for millennia – so we don’t know how to look inside. Do this: whenever something happens in your mind, follow it to the source. Anger is there – a sudden flash has come to you – close your eyes, meditate on it. From where is this anger arising? Never ask the question: who has made it possible? who has made you angry? That is a wrong question. Ask which energy in you is transforming into anger – from where is this anger coming up, bubbling up, what is the source inside from where this energy is coming? Be concerned with from where anger is bubbling up, from where the sex desire has come in. Follow it, take steps backwards. Meditate silently and go with anger to the roots. It is difficult but it is not impossible. It is not easy. It is not going to be easy because it is a fight against a long, rooted habit. The whole past has to be broken, and you have to do something new which you have never done before. It is just the weight of sheer habit which will create the difficulty. But try it, and then you are creating a new direction for energy to move. You are beginning to be a circle, and in a circle energy is never dissipated. My energy comes up and moves outside – it can never become a circle now; it is simply dissipated. If my movement inwards is there, then the same energy which was going out turns upon itself. My meditation leads this energy back to the same source from where the anger was coming. It becomes a circle. This inner circle is the strength of a Mahavir. The sex energy, not moving to someone else, moves back to its own source. This circle of sex energy is the strength of a Buddha.
- The science of japa says that when you become a hearer of your own sound, then you have reached. Then you have completed the japa. And there is much in it. When you see a sound, for example, ”Ram”, your peripheral apparatus is used in creating it, your vocal apparatus. Or it you create a mental sound, then your mind is used to create it. But when you become alert about it, that alertness is of the center, not of the periphery. If I say ”Ram”, this is on the periphery of my being. When I listen to this sound ”Ram” inside, that is from my center – because awareness belongs to the center. If you become aware in the center, now you have the light with you. you can dispel unconsciousness.
- The basic natural possibility of muladhar chakra is the sex urge of the physical body. The very first question that arises in the mind of the seeker is what to do in regard to this central principle. Now there is another possibility of this chakra, and that is brahmacharya, celibacy, which is attainable through meditation. Sex is the natural possibility and brahmacharya is its transformation. The more the mind is focused upon and gripped by sexual desire, the more difficult it will be to reach its ultimate potential of brahmacharya.
- Now this means that we can utilize the situation given to us by nature in two ways. We can live in the condition that nature has placed us in – but then the process of spiritual growth cannot begin – or we transform this state. The only danger in the path of transformation is that there is the possibility that we may begin to fight with our natural center. What is the real danger in the path of a seeker? The first obstacle is that if the meditator indulges only in nature’s order of things he cannot rise to the ultimate possibility of his physical body and he stagnates at the starting point. On the one hand there is a need; on the other hand there is a suppression which causes the meditator to fight the sex urge. Suppression is an obstacle on the path of meditation. This is the obstacle of the first chakra. Transformation cannot come about with suppression. If suppression is an obstruction, what is the solution? Understand-ing will then solve the matter. Transformation takes place within as you begin to understand sex. There is a reason for this. All elements of nature lie blind and unconscious within us. If we become conscious of them, transformation begins. Awareness is the alchemy; awareness is the alchemy of changing them, of transforming them. If a person becomes awake toward his sexual desires with his total feelings and his total understanding, then brahmacharya will begin to take birth within him in place of sex. Unless a person reaches brahmacharya in his first body it is difficult to work on the potentiality of other centers.
- If you run away from sex in fright how will you ever reach brahmacharya? Sex was the opening given by nature and brahmacharya is the quest that has to be undertaken through this very opening. If you see in this perspective there is no need to beg from anywhere; understanding is what is required. All of existence is there for the purpose of understanding. Learn from anybody, hear everyone, and, finally, understand your own self within.
- Sex serves no greater purpose than a sneeze. A tension is thrown out, a load is unburdened. When the energy is thrown out a load is unburdened. When the energy is thrown out you feel dissipated. To relax is one thing, to feel dissipated is quite another. Relaxation means the energy is within and you are resting, and to feel dissipated means energy is thrown out and you lie exhausted. You are weakened with the loss of energy and you think you are relaxing.
- The external union can only be momentary. Very briefly it gives a period of happiness, then the sorrow of separation is infinitely greater. And this sorrow brings about a fresh yearning for the same pleasure which again proves to be momentary; then again there is the parting which is long and painful. So the outer pleasure can only be momentary whereas the union within abides forever. Once it takes place it never breaks. Therefore, as long as the union within does not take place there is sorrow and pain. A current of happiness begins to flow within as soon as the inner union takes place. This pleasure is similar to that which is experienced momentarily in the outer union that takes place during lovemaking – a union which is so infinitesimal in its duration that it is over almost before it has begun. Many times it is not even experienced; it happens with such swiftness that it is not experienced at all. From the viewpoint of yoga, when inner intercourse becomes possible the instinct for outer intercourse immediately disappears. The reason is that this inner union is completely satisfying and fulfilling.
- Remember, I say again and again that sex is the basic duality, and unless you transcend sex the Brahman cannot be achieved. All other dualities are just reflections and reflections of this basic duality. Birth and death – again a duality. They will disappear when you are neither male or female. When you have a consciousness which goes beyond both, birth and death disappear, matter and mind disappear, this world and that world disappear, heaven and hell disappear. All dualities disappear when the basic duality within you disappears, because all dualities are simply echoing and re-echoing the basic division within you.
- If you allow your unconscious to come nearer to your conscious, too much sex-obsession will disappear. If you are a man and you deny your unconscious, you are denying your inner woman; then you will be attracted to outer women too much. It will become a perversion because then it is a substitute. The inner femininity has been denied; now the outer femininity becomes obsessive to you. You will think and think about it; now your whole mind will become sexual. If you are a woman and you have denied the man, then ’man’ will take possession of you. Then whatsoever you do or think, the basic color will remain sexual.
- So much fantasy about sex is because you have denied your inner other. So now this is a compensation. Now you are compensating for something which you have denied to yourself. And look at the absurdity: the more you get obsessed with the other sex the more you feel afraid; the more you deny the inner the more you suppress it; and the more you suppress it the more you become obsessed.
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The external union can only be momentary. Verybriefly it gives a period of happiness, then the sorrow of separation is infinitely greater. And thissorrow brings about a fresh yearning for the same pleasure which again proves to be momentary;then again there is the parting which is long and painful. So the outer pleasure can only bemomentary whereas the union within abides forever. Once it takes place it never breaks.
Therefore, as long as the union within does not take place there is sorrow and pain. A current ofhappiness begins to flow within as soon as the inner union takes place. This pleasure is similar tothat which is experienced momentarily in the outer union that takes place during lovemaking – aunion which is so infinitesimal in its duration that it is over almost before it has begun. Many times itis not even experienced; it happens with such swiftness that it is not experienced at all.From the viewpoint of yoga, when inner intercourse becomes possible the instinct for outerintercourse immediately disappears. The reason is that this inner union is completely satisfyingand fulfilling.
One should also do regular reading of greatly inspiring brahmacharya quotes.
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