Greatly Inspiring Brahmacharya (Celibacy) Quotes

Compiled by Gopal Krishna


[Continued from Ramakrishna paramahamsa Part 1 ]

  1. A genuine man of renunciation doesn't like anything but the Lord. When he hears worldly talk, he gets up and leaves. He only listens to Godly matters. The genuine renouncer talks of nothing but the Lord. The bee sits only on flowers, for it drinks honey. It likes no other thing.

  2. They who live only with 'lust and greed' - who don't think of God even once - are bound souls. What great work can they perform? They are like mangoes pecked by crows. Such mangoes cannot be offered to the gods. Eating them yourself is also risky.

  3. Bound souls, worldly people, are like silkworms. They could come out of their cocoons if they wished, but they have built their own homes and maya does not allow them to escape. And it all ends with death. Liberated souls are not under the control of 'lust and greed'. Some clever silkworms cut their cocoons and come out. But they are very few. Because of maya (attachment), one remains forgetful. Few attain spiritual awakening, few are not deluded by the magic of maya, are not subject to the control of 'lust and greed.' When the pot containing ashes from the maternity room falls on one's feet, the 'damn, damn' word of the magician can do no harm. One can see exactly what the magician is doing.

  4. A young man sadly asked Sri Ramakrishna: "Sir, how can I get rid of lust? I strive so hard, still I suffer from restlessness due to passion and bad thoughts." Sri Ramakrishna: "Do you think I am free from it? At one time I believed that I had conquered lust. Then one day when I was seated in the Panchavati, I suddenly had such an onrush of lust that it was hard for me to maintain control! Immediately I began crying, rubbing my face in the dust, and saying to the Divine Mother: 'I have made a big mistake, Mother. I shall never again think that I have conquered lust.' Only then did it subside."

  5. Do you know, you boys are now passing through a flood tide of adolescence? You can't stop it. Can an embankment or a breakwater stop a tidal wave? The overflowing water breaks through and rushes forward, and then the water stands as high as a bamboo over the paddy fields. There is a saying, 'Mental sin is not considered to be a sin in this Kaliyuga.' If a bad thought happens to arise once or twice in the mind, why should you go on brooding about it? Sometimes those feelings come and go. They are natural to the body; consider them to be physical functions like the call of nature. Do people worry when they have an urge for the call of nature? Similarly, consider those feelings to be insignificant, trifling, and worthless, and don't think of them anymore. Pray to God intensely, chant His name, and meditate on Him. Don't pay any heed to whether those feelings come or go. Gradually, they will come under control.

  6. Sri Ramakrishna: "'Lust and greed' are the cause of bondage. 'Lust and greed' mean worldliness. In fact it is 'lust and greed' that keep one from seeing God." Saying this, Thakur [the Lord] covers his face with a hand towel and says, "Can you see me now? This is a veil. When the veil of 'lust and greed' is removed, one attains consciousness-bliss. Just see. Whoever has given up the joy of lust has renounced the joy of the world. God is very near to this person." Some of the devotees are standing, others are sitting, as they silently listen to these words. (To Kedar, Vijay, and others) "He who has given up the pleasure of lust has given up the pleasures of the world. This 'lust and greed' is truly the veil. You show off such big moustaches, and you are still immersed in it. Tell me truly. Search your mind and see if it isn't so."

  7. Those who live amidst 'lust and greed' aren't able to understand because of their inebriation.

  8. Chess players often don't know if a move is right until the game has continued for some time. But onlookers from a distance can see and understand the game better.

  9. In the state of a paramahamsa one becomes like a child. A five-year-old does not distinguish between a man and a woman. Even so, the paramahamsa has to be careful to set a good example.

  10. Why was Keshab Sen not able to teach people? Keshab Sen [3] was associated with 'lust and greed.' It hindered his teaching of humanity. That is what Thakur is saying. Sri Ramakrishna: " ... "He (Keshab Sen) tried to take care of both the worldly and the spiritual. So he couldn't achieve very much."

    [3. A member of Brahmo Samaj and social reformer (1838‑1884) Wikipedia ]

  11. Why did Chaitanya Deva [4] renounce the world? Vijay: "Chaitanya Deva said to Nityananda, 'Nitai, if I hadn't renounced the world, people would not be helped. They would all want to live a worldly life. Nobody would try to give his whole mind to the lotus feet of God by renouncing lust and greed.'" Sri Ramakrishna: "Chaitanya Deva renounced the world to set an example. A sadhu renounces 'lust and greed' for his own good. And then even when he has become detached, he must not allow a woman or gold near him, to set an example. A man of renunciation, the sannyasin, is a world teacher. Just seeing him gives spiritual awakening."

    [4. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534), founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Wikipedia ]

  12. One may wash a cup that contains garlic many times, but the smell of garlic will not leave the cup. The boys who have not touched 'lust and gold' are pure vessels. When a person is rubbed with the garlic of 'lust and gold' for a considerable time, the smell of garlic persists in him. They are like mangoes pecked at and defiled by crows. Such a mango cannot be offered to Bhagavan. It is suspect even for personal use. It is as different as new earthen pots and the pots in which milk was once turned into curds. It is not safe to keep pure milk in vessels that once contained curds. The chances are that the milk will turn sour.

  13. With 'lust and greed' always around you, how is it possible to realize God? It is very hard indeed to live unattached in their midst. In the first place, one is a slave of one's spouse. In the second place, one is a slave to money. And in the third place, one is a slave to him whom one serves for the sake of his living.

  14. Q: "Will one always have to perform spiritual practices?" Sri Ramakrishna: "No, in the beginning you must be up and doing, but you don't have to work so hard later on. As long as there are storms, tempests and rough water, the boat has to be steered along zigzag routes; so long does the boatman stand and hold the rudder - but he no longer does so when he is past them. When the boat rounds a bend and a favourable wind blows, he can sit down and relax and just touch the rudder. Then he prepares to hoist the sail and sits down for a smoke. There is peace when the storm and tempest of 'lust and greed' pass."

  15. Some people show signs of yoga. But even they have to be careful. 'Lust and greed' are the obstacles to yoga. They make one deviate from yoga and fall into worldliness if there is still any desire for sense enjoyment.

  16. If the mind is restless, yoga is not possible. The wind of the world always distracts the flame of the mind. When the flame does not waver, one attains a perfect state of yoga. 'Lust and greed' are obstacles to yoga.

  17. You must discriminate: what is there in human body but blood, flesh, fat, intestines, worms, urine, faeces and so on. Why love such a body?

  18. Worldly people are intoxicated, inebriated with 'lust and greed'. They have lost their awareness. That is why I am fond of the young men. 'Lust and greed' have not yet entered their minds. They are 'good receptacles' and can be of use in the Lord's work. Worldly people are full of worthless stuff.

  19. 'Lust and greed' is maya. One attains union with God when the mind is rid of these two. The Atman, the Supreme Soul, is the magnet. The embodied soul is like a needle. When the former pulls the latter, it results in union. But if the needle is covered with dirt, the magnet can't pull it. When, however, the dirt is removed, it is drawn again. You have to clean yourself of the dirt of 'lust and greed.'

  20. Mukherji: "How can we do this?" Sri Ramakrishna: "Weep for God with a longing heart. The water of your tears will wash off the dirt. And then the magnet can pull it. Only then will you attain union with God." Mukherji: "Oh, wonderful!" Sri Ramakrishna: "When you weep, suspension of breath occurs by itself. Samadhi comes after that." [5]

    [5. Ref: ]

  21. And then there is the practice of meditation. Shiva manifests especially in the Sahasrara. Meditate on Him. The body is like a saucer, and the mind and intellect are like water. In this water, the sun of Sat-chit-ananda is reflected. By meditating on that reflected sun, one has the revelation of the real sun through God's grace. When you can weep for God, He grants His vision. And you attain samadhi. Perfection in yoga is samadhi.

  22. Why family life? - when desire for enjoyment is over, one feels yearning for God and realizes Him. Q:"Why has He kept us in the world?" Sri Ramakrishna: "To keep the creation going. That is His will. That is His maya. God has bewitched us with 'lust and greed.'"

  23. A devotee: "Why has He bewitched us? Why does He will this?" Sri Ramakrishna: "If He granted the bliss of God even once, no one would live a householder's life. And that would lead to the end of creation."

  24. Rice is stocked in big bags in a warehouse. So that rats don't find the rice, the grain dealer keeps some puffed and sweetened rice in a husking pan. The rats like the sweetened rice and eat it through the night. They don't look for the bagged rice. But look, you can make fourteen times the volume of one seer of rice with puffed sweetened rice. How great is the bliss of God compared to the joy of 'lust and greed!' Contemplating His beauty, even the beauty of Rambha and Tilottama appears like ashes from a fire.

  25. A devotee: "Why don't we develop that yearning to realize God?" Sri Ramakrishna: "A person doesn't feel yearning for God until the desire for enjoyment is over. Until the desire for 'lust and greed' is satisfied, a person doesn't remember the Mother of the Universe. A child busy playing doesn't look for his mother. When his play is over, he says, 'I want to go to my mother.' Once Hriday's son was playing with a pigeon. He was calling out to it, 'Come here, tee tee!' As soon as he had enough of playing, he began to cry. A stranger came by and said, 'Come, I'll take you to your mother.' The boy even climbed on the man's shoulders to be taken. Those who are born perfect don't have to go through the householder's life. They are already free from the desire for enjoyments since their birth."

  26. Four classes of human beings have been stated: a) the bound souls; b) the seekers after liberation; c) the liberated; d) the ever-free.

  27. The world is like the fishing net, the jiva (individual soul) is like the fish (a), and the Lord (whose maya constitutes the world) is the fisherman. When fishes fall into the fisherman's net many of them try to tear the net to escape, i.e. they try to free themselves. They are like the men seeking liberation (b). However, all those who try to escape cannot run away. Only a few fishes slip out with a splash. Then people call out, 'There goes the big fish.' Such two or four beings are the liberated ones (c). Some fishes are so cautious by nature that they never fall into the net (d). Narada and such other saints are ever free; they never fall in the net of the world.[6]

    [6. ]

  28. However, most of the fish keep lying in the net unaware of the fact that they have fallen into a net and will die. Remaining in the net, they dart straight ahead taking the net along and try to hide their body into the mud. They make no attempt to escape, rather they fall deeper into the mud. They are like the bound souls. They live in the net and think, 'We are quite happy here.' The bound jivas remain attached to the world that is to 'woman and gold'. They remain sunk in the sea of evil and think that they are very happy there.

  29. Those who seek for liberation and those who are liberated look upon the world as a death; they don't like it. So, some of them having attained jnana and the vision of Bhagavan give up their bodies. However, giving up body in this way is a far cry.

  30. The bound creatures, the worldly men, don't get awareness by any means. They suffer so much misery, so many trials, and so many sorrows; even then they don't get awakening. The camel likes thorny bushes but the more it eats, the more it bleeds from its face. Even so, it continues to eat the same thorny bush and does not leave it.

  31. The worldly man suffers so much agony, so much sorrow, yet he reverts back to his old self quite soon. Perhaps his wife has died or she has proved faithless to him, yet he marries again. Perhaps he has lost his son and suffered so much of sorrow, yet he forgets all this in a few days. The mother of this boy, who was beside herself with grief, ties up her hair again and bedecks herself with jewellery. In the same way, people spend all in the marriage of their daughters, while they continue giving birth to more children year after year. They lose all in litigation, yet again they go to law! They cannot feed the children they have, neither can they educate them, nor can they look after them properly, still they beget more children every year.

  32. At times, their state can be likened to that of the snake trying to swallow the mole. The snake can neither swallow the mole nor give it up. The bound soul may have realized that there is no substance in the world – that it is like a hog plum that has nothing but stone and skin yet he cannot give it up. Even though, he cannot turn his mind towards the Lord. A relative of Keshab Sen, fifty years old, was playing cards, as if time was not yet ripe for him to think of the Lord.

  33. The bound jiva has yet another sign. If he is lifted from worldly life to a better place, he will pine away to death. The worm of faeces feels pleasure in the excreta alone; it is only there that it thrives. If you put it in a pot of rice, it will die.

  34. The very ego of man is maya. This egotism has veiled everything. All troubles cease when the I-ness dies. If by the grace of the Lord a man realizes, 'I am not the doer,' he becomes a jivanmukta. He has nothing to fear then. The maya or the I-ness is like a cloud. The sun becomes invisible even if there is a patch of cloud. As soon as the cloud passes away, one can see the sun. If by the grace of the Guru the feeling of I-ness vanishes, one realizes the Lord.

  35. You can get rid of I-ness when you have attained jnana (spiritual knowledge). On attaining jnana, you go into samadhi. Only in samadhi does I-ness disappear. But it is very difficult to attain this jnana. The Vedas say that I-ness vanishes only when the mind ascends to the seventh plane. It is only after attaining samadhi, that I-ness disappears.

  36. Where does the mind generally dwell? In the first three planes at the organs of generation and evacuation, and at the navel. Here the mind remains attached to the world, to 'lust and gold'.

  37. When the mind dwells in the heart, one sees the divine light. While seeing this light, one exclaims, 'O, what is this! What is this!' The next plane is at the throat. On this plane one likes to hear and speak only of the Lord. When the mind goes to the forehead, between the eyebrows, one sees the form of Sachchidananda. One has the desire to embrace and touch this very form, but one cannot. Though the flame in the lantern can be seen, it cannot be touched. You feel as if you are just touching it but you cannot. When the mind ascends to the seventh plane, I-ness vanishes; one goes into samadhi.

  38. The 'I' that makes one worldly, that attaches one to 'lust and gold', is the 'rascal I'. Because of its intervention the jiva and the atman appear apart. If a stick is put on water, it appears to be divided into two. In reality the water is one but it appears to be two because of the stick. I-ness is the stick. Remove the stick, the water will become one as before.

  39. What is the 'rascal I'? That which says, 'Don't you know me? I have so much money. Who is greater than me?' If a thief steals ten rupees from a man, first of all this man snatches the money from him and gives him a good beating. He doesn't leave him even then. He sends for the watchman and handing him over to the police gets him punished. But the 'rascal I' says, 'Don't you know, you stole my ten rupees. Such impertinence!'

  40. Vijay: "How can one see the Lord?" Sri Ramakrishna: "Not till the mind is purified. Living amidst 'lust and gold,' the mind remains soiled, it remains covered with their dirt. If the needle is covered with mud, the magnet does not attract it. But when the mud and dirt are washed off, the magnet attracts. You can wash the dirt of the mind with the water of your eyes. If you weep with tears of repentance, saying, 'O Lord, I shall never do such a thing again,' then this dirt is washed away. Then the magnet of the Lord attracts the needle of the mind. You then go into samadhi and have the vision of the Lord."

  41. You may try a thousand times but nothing is achieved without God's grace. Without His grace you cannot see Him. Is it easy to gain His grace? You will have to get rid of your egoism completely. When you have the feeling that you are the doer, you cannot see the Lord.

  42. Unless you give up pride, you can't attain spiritual knowledge. Water doesn't stay on the top of a mound. It flows down quickly on all sides to the ground below.

top of page