A Brahmachari should avoid looking at a woman with lustful eyes. He should not have a desire to touch her or go near her with evil intention. He should not play, cut jokes or talk with her. He should not praise a woman’s qualities within himself or to his friends. He should not talk to her secretly. He should not think of a lady. He should not have a carnal desire to have sexual enjoyment. ABrahmachari should, without fail, avoid sexual intercourse. If he breaks any of the above rules, he violates the vow of Brahmacharya.
For protecting the semen, it is essential to wear always a strip of (black-coloured) cloth over the private part; for there will be no night emission and growth of testicles. It is befitting for a celibate to wear always wooden sandals as thereby the semen will be conserved, eyes will be benefited, life prolonged and holiness and lustre will increase.
The vow of celibacy will give you sure protection against temptation. It is a strong weapon to attack lust. If you do not take a vow of celibacy, the mind will tempt you at any moment. You will have no strength to resist the temptation and you will become a sure victim. He who is weak and effeminate is afraid of taking the vow. He brings in various excuses and says: “Why should I be bound by a vow? My will is strong and powerful. I can resist any sort of temptation. I am
doing Upasana. I am practicing will culture.” He repents in the long run. He has no control over the senses. That man only in whom the subtle desire for the object to be renounced lurks in the corners of his mind brings in such sort of excuses. You must have right understanding, discrimination and dispassion. Then only your renunciation will be lasting and permanent. If renunciation is not the outcome of discrimination and dispassion the mind will be simply waiting for an opportunity to get back the object that has been renounced.
If you are weak, take a vow of celibacy for a month and then extend it to three months. You will gain some strength now. You will be able to prolong the period to six months. Gradually you will be able to extend the vow for one or two or three years. Sleep separately and do rigorous Japa, Kirtan and meditation daily. You will hate lust now. You experience freedom and indescribable joy. Your partner in life also should do Japa, meditation and Kirtan daily.
You may be able to stop copulation for months and years, but there should not be any sexual craving or attraction for ladies. Evil thoughts also should not arise when you look at a lady, when you are in the company of ladies. If you succeed in this direction, then you are established in perfect Brahmacharya. You have crossed the danger zone. There is no harm in looking at a woman, but you must have a chaste look. You must have Atma Bhava. When you look at a young lady you can think within yourself: “Prostrations unto thee, O mother. Thou art an image or manifestation of Mother Kali. Do not tempt me. Do not allure me. I have understood now the secret of Maya and Her creation. Who has created these forms? There is an omnipotent, all-pervading and all-merciful Creator behind these names and forms. This is all decaying false beauty. The Creator or God is Beauty of beauties. He is an embodiment of undecaying beauty. He is fountain-head of beauty. Let me realise this Beauty of beauties by meditation.” You will have to cultivate feelings of devotion, admiration and awe when you look at a beautiful form by remembering the Creator of this form. Then you will not be tempted. If you are a student of Vedanta, think and feel: “Everything is Self only. The names and forms are illusory. They are Mayaic pictures. They have no independent existence apart from the Self.”
Aspirants should not indulge in talk about ladies. They should not think about ladies. Bring the image or your Ishta Devata in your mind, if thought of a lady crops up. Repeat the Mantra vigorously. If sexual feelings arise in your mind when you look at the mating of animals and birds or at the bare bodies of ladies it indicates that lust is still lurking in your mind.
Even advanced aspirants who have made great progress in Yoga should be very careful. They should not mix freely with ladies. 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.
Remembrance of the skeleton and dead body of a woman, will induce Vairagya in your mind. The body has come out of the filthy discharge. It is full of impurities. In the end it is reduced into ashes. If you remember this, Vairagya will dawn in your mind. Attraction for ladies will gradually vanish. If you place before your mind the sickly figure of a lady, or the picture of a very old lady you will develop Vairagya. Remember pains of Samsara, the unreality of objects and the bondage that comes from attachment to wife and children. Try any method that suits you best. One should try to get Viveka or discrimination between the real Self and the unreal,
impure body. He should hammer the mind and point out to the mind the defects of a sexual life, viz., loss of energy, innovation of senses, disease, birth and death, attachment and various sorts of miseries, etc., the parts of the body of a woman, viz., flesh, blood, bone, excrete, urine, pus, phlegm, etc. He should always think of the ever-pure immortal Atman and the glory of the spiritual life, viz., the attainment of immortality, eternal bliss, supreme peace. Gradually the mind will be weaned from looking at a woman however beautiful she might be. The mind will shudder to look at her with evil thought.
An aspirant complains: “As I continue meditation. layer after layer of impurities are rising from the subconscious mind. Sometimes they are so strong and formidable that I am bewildered as to how to check them. I am not perfectly established in truth and Brahmacharya. The old habits of speaking lies and lust are still lurking in me. Lust is troubling me vigorously. The very idea of women agitates my mind. My mind is so sensitive that I amnot able to hear or think of them.
As soon as the thought comes in the mind, my Sadhana gets disturbed and also the peace of the whole day is spoiled. I advise my mind, coax it, frighten it, but it is of no avail. My mind revolts. I do not know how to control this passion. Irritability, egoism, anger, greed, hatred, attachment, etc., are still lurking in me. Lust is my chief enemy and it is a very strong one too. I request you to be kind enough to advise as to how to destroy the same.”
When the impurities emerge from the subconscious mind and come to the surface of the conscious mind with formidable force, do not try to resist them. Repeat your Ishta Mantra. Do not think of your defects or evil qualities much. It is enough if you introspect and find out your defects. Do not try to attack the evil qualities. Then they will show their long faces. Do not worry yourself often: “I have got so many defects and weaknesses.” Cultivate Sattvic virtues. Through meditation and by the development of positive qualities, through Pratipaksha Bhavana method all the negative qualities will die of themselves. This is the right method.
Passion will subside by protracted Japa and meditation and Chintana on Atman. Do not try to run away from ladies. Then Maya will chase you terribly. Try to see the Self in all forms and repeat the formula ‘Om Eka Satchidananda Atma’ often. Remember that the Atman is sexless. Mental repetition of this formula will give you strength.
You should remain far away from ladies in the beginning of your practice. After you are perfectly moulded and well-established in Brahmacharya, you should test your strength by moving with ladies very cautiously for some time. If your mind is very pure now also, if there is no sex-idea, if the mind ceases to act through the practice of Uparati, Sama and Dama, remember you have gained real spiritual strength and made considerable progress in your Sadhana. You are safe now. You should not stop your Sadhana thinking that you are a Jitendriya Yogi. If you stop it you will have a hopeless fall. Even if you are a Jivanmukta and a dynamic Yogi, you should be very careful when you move with worldly persons.
Thirsty aspirants who are treading the path of Self-realisation who are householders and forty years of age should give up contact with the partners in life. They should observe perfect physical Brahmacharya, if they want rapid spiritual progress and Self-realisation in this very birth. There are no half way measures in the spiritual path.