See a complete list of questions and answers on Celibacy by Dhananjay here, by topic and date
Questions and Answers
Harmful Effects of Masturbation
Q. Are the chakras of one who masturbates frequently empty or simply energy deficient?
A. Prana (vital energy responsible for life) depletes heavily through masturbation. Hence all chakras weaken and become susceptible to toxification.
Q. Is having sex with one's wedded wife less depressing and weakening than losing semen in other forms like masturbation, etc?
A. Masturbation is an unnatural activity (as the purpose of the sexual act is procreation). Hence the effects are undesirable. Sexual relations with one's spouse when limited to procreation with a life of brahmacharya give the best results leading to excellent health & strength (of the body/mind) and speedy spiritual progress towards self-realization. The benefits of such a life cannot be weighed in words. It's effects are matchless. With sexual relations carried out for recreation, these effects dilute to a large extent and health, strength and spiritual progress slow down rapidly (though it may appear lesser than a life of masturbation). Loss of bindu (seed) always leads to debility of the body/mind and causes bondage to maya. Hence one hundred percent brahmacharya is to be eventually established if the bliss of the Atman is to be savored.
Q. I am 25 year old boy. I had the habit of masturbation for 12 years but I have stopped it now for the last 12 months. I find semen in my urine when I go to discharge urine or when I sit; I feel the semen leaking in-pipe. Is this a feature of the prostate? I worry now, because this leakage did not occur when I had the habit of masturbation.
A. Lead a lifestyle comprising of early morning wake up with yogasana, pranayama and meditation as described in earlier answers. Play a sport or regularly exercise. Give adequate mental work to the brain. It is not possible to practice brahmacharya merely by refraining from masturbation. A life of yoga is equally important. Once such a life is incorporated, the problem will resolve.
Q. I experienced postive changes in my health condition and courage after performing brahmacharya and making a promise to the Lord that I will not masturbate. I am 29 now and will marry in 2 or 3 years. I said to my mother that I will take up yoga before 34, as recommended by Swami Sivananda, but my mother said that this should wait until the age of 45. She is also saying that if I start earlier than that, I will do injustice to the girl by not fulfilling her dreams of married life. Also the girl's parents will complain that even though my parenta knew about my intentions, they let the marriage go ahead. In my childhood I heard many of my relatives (married females) complaining to their parents about their husbands not being active in the act, and the husbands got scoldings from both sides.
A. Adhere to the practice with honesty and devotion to the Lord. At the right time, you will find a suitable wife who will help you evolve. Do not worry much about the future as all this is decided by the Lord. Our’s is to follow our dharma (duty) and leave the rest to HIM. Marrying early is the right approach. Whether a person takes up brahmacharya at 29 or 45 is decided by HIM and not us. Immaterial of what we want or don’t, HIS decision alone transpires.
Q. I am 19 years old and never had sex but I masturbated a lot. Now I am trying my best to be a brahmchari. But sometimes there is feeling that I never had sex and I should try it at least once before choosing the path of lifetime brahmcharya. Also another question: What is the difference between brahmcharya before marriage and brahmcharya after marriage?
A. When sexual relations are limited to one’s lawful wife for the sake of progeny (children) only, it is brahmacharya in marriage. Any other form of sexual contact outside the precinct of marriage or before marriage will end in sorrow and unwanted karma. Hence one should not indulge in sexual activity of any kind with any woman other than one’s lawful wife, and that too for progeny. When brahmacharya is practiced in thought, word and deed with all women, taking them as mothers or sisters before marriage, it is brahmacharya before marriage.
Q. For people like me who have lost tremendous amount of semen by masturbation, how can there still be any hope? Is it going to be a downside path as too much of the semen has been lost?
A. The earlier the practice of brahmacharya is taken up, the better and faster are the results. The possibility to achieve the state of kaivalya (self-realization) through a life of unbroken brahmacharya and yoga in the current birth becomes strong if such practice is started before the age of 32~34, say the scriptures as a general pointer. Beyond this age, the quality of prana in the vital fluid starts rapidly reducing and conservation and transmutation may not yield the results which accrue from starting earlier. The past is gone and beyond change. It is the present and future which are to be remodeled for maximum benefit. Hence brahmacharya should be practiced as soon as one gets to know of the same and work honestly with devotion to God. There is neither a need nor any benefit by thinking of the past. If one’s efforts are honest and sincere, God sends his blessings.
Q. For serious porn/masturbation addicts, can they seek western treatment, or is a yogic lifestyle enough? The yogic lifestyle seems to be slow and gradual. For someone who has a strong urge to masturbate every hour, watch porn in public places, and has become a terrible sexual addict, will yogic lifestyle change them soon? Is it even possible?
A. “Nâsti yoga samam balam” – “There is no strength equal to that which comes from Yoga” says the Bhagavad Gita. This refers to mental and spiritual strength of the finest degree which is refreed to as ‘veerya’. Hence it follows that there is no treatment or rectifying process that can be more thorough and lasting than yoga. When a life of abrahmacharya (incontinence) has been indulged in for decades and millions of births, is it not unreasonable to expect speedy results in a few days or months? Does this not defy the laws of nature? One should first develop patience and perseverance and surrender to the Almighty through diligent practice. Then, success slowly dawns after many years. Since the path of yoga goes to the very bottom of the cause behind ‘abrahmacharya’ which is ‘agnyana’ (ignorance) and roots it out completely, it also follows that the process is slow. Western treatments do not root out the cause, but only the effects, leading to temporary and impermanent solutions, and so it follows that the problems do not get cured and soon recurr.
Q. I am 29 years old and I have wasted almost 16 years to pornography and masturbation. I must have lost terrible amounts of semen. If I start brahmacharya, is there any possibilty of recuperation, or is the damage done due to so much waste of semen irreversible?
A. Take up a life of yoga and brahmacharya in thought, word and deed. The ill-effects of your past lifestyle will slowly unwind and help you come out of the trap. The results will depend on the honesty with which brahmacharya is practiced.
Q. For past 2 years, I have been reading on and off on brahmacharya from Swami Sivananda. I have experienced that for about 14 days, I am able to control myself; but from the 15th day onwards I get super restless and am unable to concentrate on God. However, if I release the tension by masturbation and porn again, I am able to concentrate on God. Can this be done? Or is it sinful?
A. Gradually increase the period of brahmacharya and strive for longer and longer periods of practice. Do not indulge in a willful break of brahmacharya. Our efforts should be one hundred percent. Willfully breaking brahmacharya amounts to failure, indulged with full cognition and awareness. This should be avoided.
Q. Swami Sivananda recommends japa mantra to aid in replacing evil samskaras. Can I chant japa on 'Saranam Ayyappa' as my favourite deity has been Lord Ayyappa? (It's an irony that a devotee of Ayyappa like me has been drenched in the cesspit of masturbation and pornography despite having made the trip to Sabarimala for 2 years.)
A. A life of yogic practices and lifestyle will be required if brahmacharya is to become established and natural. Mere japa (chanting the Lord’s name) will not suffice for a beginner, as his bhakti (devotion) is obscured by past karma. The complete yogic lifestyle and practices are necessary to break and dissolve this past karma. Go through each and every past answer slowly and absorb the essence. Applying these principles and methods with devotion to God will help one to make brahmacharya the default mode of lifestyle.