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Chapter Eight: The Glory of Brahmacharya

Swami Sivananda youngThere cannot be any language without vowels. You cannot draw a picture without a canvas or a wall. You cannot write anything without paper. Even so, you cannot have health and spiritual life without brahmacharya. It is the basis for morality. It is the basis for eternal life. It is a spring flower that exhales immortality from its petals. It is the substratum for a life of peace in the Atman. It is the firm support for Brahmanishtha, which is eagerly longed for by sages, aspirants and yogic students. It is the shield for waging war against the internal asuras–lust, anger and greed. It serves as a gateway to the bliss beyond. It opens the door of moksha. It contributes to perennial joy, to the uninterrupted and undecaying bliss. Brahmacharya is the only key to open the sushumna and awaken Kundalini. It brings glory, fame, virtue and strength of mind. The Lord of Death flees from him. Who can describe the magnanimity, majesty and glory of a true brahmachari!

Brahmacharyena Tapasa Deva Mrityumupagnata. The Vedas declare that by brahmacharya and tapasya the devas have conquered death. 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.

Just as the oil comes up in a wick and burns with glowing light, so also, the virya or semen flows up by the practice of yoga sadhana and is converted into tejas or ojas. The brahmachari shines with a Brahmic aura in his face. Brahmacharya is the bright light that shines in the house of the human body. It is the blossomed flower of life around which the bees of strength, patience, knowledge, purity and dhriti wander about humming hither and thither. In other words, he who observes brahmacharya will be endowed with the above qualities. The scriptures declare emphatically:

Ayustejo Balam Veeryam Prajna Sreescha Yashastatha

Punyamcha Sat-Priyatvamcha Vardhate Brahmacharyaya

By the practice of brahmacharya, longevity, glory, strength, vigor, knowledge, wealth, undying fame, virtues and devotion to the truth increase.

Secret of health and longevity

There are indeed many ways to gain health and strength, but brahmacharya is the most important of all. Without brahmacharya, all your exercises are nothing. It is the master-key for opening the realms of health and happiness. It is the corner-stone of the edifice of bliss and unalloyed felicity. It is the only specific that keeps up true manliness.

The preservation of semen is the secret of health and longevity, and of all success in the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual planes. He who has even a little bit of brahmacharya will tide over a crisis of any disease very easily. If it takes a month for an ordinary man for recovery, this man will be completely all right in a week.

The shrutis declare a full life or age of one hundred years for a man. This you can attain only by the establishment of brahmacharya. There are instances of men who have attained longevity and intellectual powers despite their loose, immoral ways. But they would have been still more powerful and brilliant had they possessed a good character and continence as well.

After Dhanvantari had taught all the details about Ayurveda to his disciples, they enquired about the keynote of this medical science. The Master replied, “I tell you that brahmacharya is truly a precious jewel. It is the one most effective medicine–amrita indeed–which destroys diseases, decay and death. For attaining peace, brightness, memory, knowledge, health and Self-realization, one should observe brahmacharya, which is the highest dharma. Brahmacharya is the highest knowledge; brahmacharya is the greatest strength. Of the nature of brahmacharya is verily this Atman and in brahmacharya it resides. Saluting brahmacharya first, the cases beyond cure, I cure. Aye, brahmacharya can undo all the inauspicious signs.”

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, vigor 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.

Celibacy promotes concentration

By the establishment of continence, vigor is obtained. The yogi gets siddhi or perfection by attaining perfect mental and physical brahmacharya. Brahmacharya helps him in gaining divine knowledge and other siddhis. When there is purity, the rays of the mind are not dissipated. Focussing of the mind becomes easy. Concentration and purity go together. Although a sage speaks a few words only, a deep impression is produced in the minds of the hearers. This is due to his ojas shakti, which is conserved by the preservation of semen and its transmutation.

A true brahmachari in thought, word and deed has wonderful thought-power. He can move the world. If you develop strict celibacy, vichara shakti and dharana shakti will develop. Vichara shakti is the power of enquiry. Dharana shakti 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 seminal energy is deflected upwards to the brain and is stored up as ojas shakti. 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 shakti. Swami Dayananda stopped the carriage of a Maharaja. He broke a sword with his hands. This was due to his power of brahmacharya. Jesus, Shankara, Jnana Deva and Samarth Ramdas were all brahmacharins.

Have you realized, my dear friends, the importance of brahmacharya? Have you recognized, my dear brothers, the true significance and glory of brahmacharya? How can you expect to be strong and healthy if the energy that is acquired through various means with great difficulty and at great price is wasted daily? It is impossible to be strong and healthy unless males and females, boys and girls, try their level best to keep up brahmacharya or the vow of celibacy.

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.

Through brahmacharya get over the miseries of mundane life and attain health, strength, peace of mind, endurance, bravery, material progress, psychic advancement and immortality. One who has a perfect control over the sexual energy attains powers unobtainable by any other means. Therefore, dissipate not your energy in sensual pleasures. Conserve your energy. Do noble deeds and practice meditation. You will soon become a superman. You will commune with God and attain Divinity.

Next chapter in Practice of Brahmacharya

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Chapters for Practice of Brahmacharya

Introduction: Practice of Brahmacharya

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Read about the meanings of unfamiliar terms in A Brief Sanskrit Glossary

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