Swami Vivekananda (born Narendra Nath Datta) was one of the foremost disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. After Sri Ramakrishna’s passing, because of his dynamic personality, Vivekananda became the center of the monastic disciples and eventually formed the Ramakrishna Order. He spread Sri Ramakrishna’s message through the Ramakrishna Mission in India and the Vedanta Societies in the West.
Brahmacharya should be like a burning fire within the veins!
By the establishment of continence energy is gained. The chaste brain has tremendous energy and gigantic will-power. Without chastity there can be no spiritual strength. Continence gives wonderful control over mankind. The spiritual leaders of men have been very continent, and this is what gave them power. Therefore the Yogi must be continent.
Complete continence gives great intellectual and spiritual power. The Brahmachârin must be sexually pure in thought, word, and deed. Lose regard for the body; get rid of the consciousness of it so far as possible.
Even he, born of a foreign nationality and living in a foreign land, can understand the meaning of our Brahmacharya as the only way to the attainment of spirituality, and belies that it is not even in these days rare in India, whilst the hypocritical heroes of our own household are unable to see anything else than carnal relationship in the matrimonial union! “As a man thinketh in his mind, so he seeth outside.”
Every one wants to command, and no one wants to obey; and this is owing to the absence of that wonderful Brahmacharya system of yore.
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.
In order to attain to ideal Brahmacharya one has in the beginning to observe strict rules regarding chastity. Not only should one keep oneself strictly aloof from the least association with the opposite sex, but also give up the company of married people even.
Is there a greater strength than that of Brahmacharya–purity, my boy?
Save the spiritual store in your body by observing continence.
The Sanskrit name for a student, Brahmacharin, is synonymous with the Sanskrit word Kamajit. 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.
You have now to make the character of Mahavira [Hanuman] your ideal. See how at the command of Ramachandra he crossed the ocean. He had no care for life or death! He was a perfect master of his senses and wonderfully sagacious. You have now to build your life on this great ideal of personal service. Through that, all other ideals will gradually manifest in life. Obedience to the Guru without questioning, and strict observance of Brahmacharya–this is the secret of success.