“Brahmacharya is the basis for morality. It is the basis for eternal life. It is a spring flower that exhales immortality from its petals.” –Swami Sivananda
Over the years some of the most popular articles on OCOY.org have been those on Brahmacharya. Swami Nirmalananda (Abbot George Burke) decided to collect these into a book, and added more articles by yogis and medical experts, which we feel will be of immense value to aspiring yogis.
The Benefits of Brahmacharya: A Collection of Writings About the Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Benefits of Continence is now available as an ebook (on sale for 99¢) and as a paperback, on Amazon and other online bookstores.
Brahmacharya is conservation and mastery of all the energy systems and powers of our being. Sexuality is usually considered the main focus of brahmacharya because it has such a powerful grip and influence on the human being. It is considered that if sex is mastered, all the senses will be mastered as well.
The conservation and application of energy is the main determinant of success or failure in spiritual endeavor. Diffusion and dissipation of energy always weakens us. Hence brahmacharya is a vital element of Yoga, without which we cannot successfully pursue the greater life of Higher Consciousness.
Two forms of brahmacharya
There are two forms of brahmacharya: 1) Absolute abstention from any form of sexual activity in mind and body. This is the mandatory brahmacharya not only of the monastic, but also of the unmarried–male or female. 2) Absolute control of any form of sexual activity in mind and body on the part of both husband and wife. Marriage is not a license for uncontrolled sexual activity–as the mood takes (seizes) either the husband or wife. Rather it must be always under the intelligent will of them both.
In this volume, Swami Nirmalananda has collected valuable writings from a number of authorities on the various beneficial aspects of self-control related to sexuality: Swami Sivananda and Swami Chidananda of Rishikesh, Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Gandhi, Swami Jagadishwarananda, Dr. Edwin Flatto, Dr. Raymond Bernard, as well as his own articles on the subject.
This unique collection of articles provides important information and perspectives on how brahmacharya contributes to the well-being of all levels of our lives – physical, psychological, and social/moral – and as an indispensable foundation for progress on the liberating path of Yoga. And most importantly, the aspirant will discover practical recommendations for achieving success in brahmacharya.
“Far from denying self-expression, [brahmacharya] 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.” –Swami Chidananda, Divine Life Society
Get The Benefits of Brahmacharya: A Collection of Writings About the Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Benefits of Continence as an ebook (on sale for 99¢) and as a paperback, on Amazon and other online bookstores.