Abstinence or continence is the corner-stone or foundation on which the pedestal of Moksha stands. If the foundation is not very strong, the superstructure will fall down when there is heavy rain. Even so if you are not established in Brahmacharya, if your mind is agitated by evil thoughts, you will fall down. You cannot reach the summit of the ladder of Yoga or the highest Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
“Brahmacharyena tapasa deva mrityumupaghnata—The Vedas declare that by Brahmacharya and penance the Devas have conquered death.” How did Hanuman become a Mahavir? It is with this weapon of Brahmacharya that he acquired unsurpassable strength and velour. The great Bhishma, the grandfather of Pandavas and Kauravas conquered death by Brahmacharya It is only Lakshmana, the ideal Brahmachari who put down the man of inestimable prowess, the conqueror of three worlds, Meghanada, son of Ravana. Even Lord Rama could not face him. It is through the force of Brahmacharya that Lakshmana was able to defeat the invincible Meghanada. The valour and greatness of emperor Prithviraj was due to the strength of Brahmacharya. There is nothing in the three worlds that cannot be attained by a Brahmachari. The Rishis of yore knew fully well of the value of Brahmacharya and that is the reason why they have sung in beautiful verses about the glory of Brahmacharya.
The Srutis declare: “Naayam Atma balaheenena labhyah—This Atman is not attainable by a weak man.” In the Gita you will find: “Yadichhanto brahmacharyam charanti—That desiring which Brahmacharya is performed” (Chap. VIII-11). “Trividham narakasyedam dvaram nasanamatmanah; kamah krodhastatha lobhastasmad etat trayam tyajet—O Arjuna! Triple is the gate of the hell, destructive of the Self; lust, wrath and greed: therefore let man renounce these three” (Chap. XVI-21). “Jahi satrum mahabaho kamarupam durasadam—Kill this powerful enemy, passion, by the observance of Brahmacharya” (Chap. III-43).
Just as the oil come in a wick burns with glowing light so also the Veerya or semen flows up by the practice of Yoga Sadhana and is converted into Tejas or Ojas. The Brahmachari shines with Brahmic Aura in his face. Brahmacharya is the bright light that shines in the house of human body. It is the fully-blossomed flower of life around which the bees of strength, patience, knowledge and purity and Dhriti wander about humming hither and thither. In other words he who observes Brahmacharya will be endowed with the above qualities. Scriptures declare emphatically: “Ayustejo balam veeryam vidya shrih kirtireva cha; punyam cha satpriyatvam cha vardhate brahmacharyaya—By the practice of Brahmacharya, longevity, glory, strength, vigour, knowledge, wealth, undying fame, virtues and devotion to Truth increase.”
Brahmacharya is the basis for the attainment of Kaya Siddhi. Complete celibacy must be observed. This is of paramount importance. By the practice of Yoga the semen becomes transmuted into Ojas-Sakti. The Yogi will have a perfect body. There will be charm and grace in his movements. He can live as long as he likes (Iccha Mrityu). That is the reason why Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: “Tasmat yogee bhava Arjuna—Therefore, become a Yogi, O Arjuna.”
Women who are chaste can be called as Brahmacharinis. Through the force of Brahmacharya only, many women of yore have done miraculous deeds and shown to the world the power of chastity. Nalayani, by the power of chastity has stopped the rising of the sun to save her husband’s life. Anasuya has turned the Trimurtis—Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara as babies when they wanted Nirvana Bhiksha. It is through the power of chastity only, she was able to turn the Great Deities as babies. Savitri has brought back the life of Satyavan, her husband, from the noose of Yama by her chastity. Such is the glory of womanhood. Such is the power of chastity or Brahmacharya. Women who lead a householder’s life with chastity can also become an Anasuya, Nalayani or Savitri.
Real culture is establishment of perfect physical and mental Brahmacharya. Real culture is the realisation of identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul through direct experience. For a passionate worldly minded man the terms: ‘Self-realisation,’ ‘God, Self Vairagya, renunciation, death, burial ground,’ are very revolting and terrifying, because he is attached to objects. The term singing, dancing, talks of ladies are very pleasing. The attraction for objects will gradually vanish if one begins to think seriously of the unreal nature of the world.
If one clearly understands the serious damages that come through an impure life and if he determines to attain the goal of life by leading a pure life, he must keep his mind busily engaged in Divine thoughts, concentration, meditation, study and service of humanity.