Swami Sivananda Saraswati


Practice of Brahmacharya

Source (very large file): Divine Life Society

Source: Divine Life Society

Swami Sivananda

Section 3: Techniques of Sex Sublimation

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In the Practice of Brahmacharya, what is wanted is elimination of lust, but not suppression. Suppression of the sex urge is not eradication. You can never be free of that which is suppressed. The suppressed sex desire will attack you again and again and will produce wet dreams, irritability and restlessness of mind.

Repression or suppression of the sexual desire will not help you much. If lust is suppressed, it will again manifest with redoubled force when a suitable opportunity arises, when the will becomes weak, when Vairagya wanes, when there is slackening in meditation or Yogic Sadhana, when you become weak owing to an attack of disease.

Do not try to run away from women. Then Maya will chase you terribly. Try to see the Self in all forms and repeat the formula "Om Ek Sat-Chit-Ananda Atma" very often. Remember that Atman is sexless. Mental repetition of this formula will give you strength.

Ignorant people adopt foolish methods to kill the Indriyas. They fail eventually. Many foolish aspirants amputate the organ of reproduction. They think that lust can be eradicated by such a procedure. What a great foolish act! Lust is in the mind. If the mind is subdued, what can this external fleshy organ do? Some swallow tons of nux vomica to kill this organ. They fail in their attempts to be centred in brahmacharya. The state of their mind remains the same, though they become impotent by taking nux vomica.

What is wanted is a judicious control of the Indriyas. The Indriyas should not be allowed to run riot in sensual grooves. They should not be allowed to throw us ruthlessly into the deep pit of worldliness, like the turbulent horse carrying away the rider wherever it likes.

Brahmacharya means control, but not suppression, of the sex desire or sex force. The mind should be rendered pure by meditation, Japa, Kirtan and prayer. If the mind is filled with sublime divine thoughts by meditation, Japa, prayer and study of holy scriptures, the sex desire will be devitalised or de-energised by the withdrawal of the mind. The mind also will be thinned out.

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From sex energy to spiritual energy

The sexual energy must be transmuted into spiritual energy or Ojas Sakti by the practice of Japa, prayer, meditation, study of religious books, Pranayama and Asanas. You must develop devotion and a burning desire for liberation. You must constantly meditate on the pure, immortal, sexless, bodiless, desireless Atman. Then only the sexual desire will be annihilated.

If the sexual energy is transmuted into Ojas or spiritual energy by pure thoughts, it is called sex sublimation in western psychology. Sublimation is not a matter of suppression or repression, but a positive, dynamic, conversion process. It is the process of controlling the sex energy, conserving it, then diverting it into higher channels, and finally, converting it into spiritual energy or Ojas Sakti. The material energy is changed into spiritual energy, just as heat is changed into light and electricity. Just as a chemical substance is sublimated or purified by raising the substance through heat into vapour which again is condensed into solid form, so also, the sexual energy is purified and changed into divine energy by spiritual Sadhana.

Ojas is spiritual energy that is stored up in the brain. By entertaining sublime, soul-elevating thoughts of the Self or Atman, by meditation, Japa, worship and Pranayama, the sexual energy can be transmuted into Ojas Sakti and stored up in the brain. This stored up energy can then be utilised for divine contemplation and spiritual pursuits.

Anger and muscular energy can also be transmuted into Ojas. A man who has a great deal of Ojas in his brain can turn out immense mental work. He is very intelligent. He has lustrous eyes and a magnetic aura in his face. He can influence people by speaking a few words. A short speech of his produces a tremendous impression on the minds of the hearers. His speech is thrilling. He has an awe-inspiring personality. Sri Sankara, an Akhanda Brahmachari, worked wonders through his power of Ojas. He did Digvijaya and held controversies and heated debates in different parts of India with learned scholars through his power of Ojas. A Yogi always directs his attention to the accumulation of this divine energy by unbroken chastity.

In Yoga, it is called Oordhvaretas. An Oordhvareta Yogi is one in whom the seminal energy has flown upwards into the brain as Ojas Sakti. There is now no possibility of the semen going downwards by sexual excitement.

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The secret of sex sublimation

According to Yogic science, semen exists in a subtle form throughout the whole body. It is found in a subtle state in all the cells of the body. It is withdrawn and elaborated into a gross form in the sexual organ under the influence of the sexual will and sexual excitement. An Oordhvareta Yogi not only converts the semen into Ojas, but checks through his Yogic power, through purity in thought, word and deed, the very formation of semen by the secretary cells of the testes or seeds. This is a great secret. Allopaths believe that even in an Oordhvareta Yogi, the formation of semen goes on incessantly and that the fluid is reabsorbed into the blood. This is a mistake. They do not understand the inner Yogic secrets and mysteries. They are in the dark. Their Drishti or vision is concerned with the gross things of the universe. The Yogi penetrates into the subtle hidden nature of things through Yogic Chakshu or the inner vision of wisdom. The Yogi gets control over the astral nature of semen and thereby prevents the formation of the very fluid itself.

The body of a man who is truly an Oordhvaretas has the scent of a lotus. A man who is not a Brahmachari, in whom gross semen is formed, may, on the other hand, smell like a buck goat. The semen dries up in those who practice Pranayama seriously. The semen-energy ascends up to the brain. It is stored up as Ojas Sakti or spiritual energy and comes back as Amrita or nectar.

The process of sex sublimation is extremely difficult. It demands constant and protracted Sadhana and perfect discipline. That Yogi who has achieved perfect sublimation has perfect control over lust. Complete sublimation is achieved through ceaseless meditation on Atman and Self-realization. That Yogi or Jnani who has attained the highest Nirvikalpa Samadhi, in whom the seeds of Samskaras are fried in toto, can claim to be a perfect Oordhvaretas or one who has complete sex sublimation. There is no fear of his downfall. He is perfectly safe. He will be absolutely free from impurity. This stage is a very high stage. A microscopic minority only have attained this sublime exalted state. Sankara, Dattatreya, Jnana Deva of Alandi and others reached this stage.

There is another sect called "Dhiryaretas", or those persons, who, previously a prey to lustful thoughts and deviated from brahmacharya, later take to the practice of strict celibacy. Such a person, if he practices strict celibacy for twelve years, can acquire superhuman powers. Medha Nadi or Buddhi Nadi is formed in him. By means of this, he can have retentive memory of anything as long as he lives, and he will be in a position to learn all kinds of subjects.

By observance of unbroken brahmacharya in thought, word and deed for a period of full twelve years, one is bestowed even with the vision of God, if one aspires for it. He can solve the most abstruse and complicated problems easily. But, this kind of observance should commence before the thirty-second or the thirty-fourth year.

That Yogi who has disciplined himself through ceaseless protracted Sadhana, continuous meditation, Pranayama and Atmic Vichara, the practice of Sama, Dama, Yama and Niyama, is also safe, although he has not attained the stage of perfect sex sublimation. Women will hold no attraction for him. He has thinned out his mind. The mind is starved to death. It cannot raise its hood. It cannot hiss.

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Total sublimation is difficult, yet not impossible

The process of sex sublimation is very difficult, and yet, it is most necessary for the aspirant in the spiritual path. It is the most important qualification for the Sadhaka, be he in the path of Karma Yoga, Upasana, Raja Yoga or Vedanta. It is a fundamental prerequisite for an aspirant. If one has this qualification or merit, all other merits will come and cling to him. All good qualities will come by themselves. You must achieve this at any cost. You will surely attempt this in future births. But why not now?

The total annihilation of the sexual desire is the ultimate spiritual ideal. Complete sublimation alone will make you free. But, perfect sublimation can hardly be achieved within a day or two. It demands continuous struggle with patience and perseverance for some time. Even the householders should keep the above ideal before them and try to realize it gradually. If the state of perfect sublimation is attained, there will be purity in thought, word and deed. No sexual thought will enter the mind at any time.

It is through constant Vichara and Brahma-Bhavana that the mind has to be weaned from lustful thoughts and tendencies. You must remove not only the sexual craving and the sexual impulses, but also the sex attraction. Think of the miseries that you get from a married life with its various entanglements and bondage. Make the mind understand by repeated autosuggestion and hammering that sexual pleasure is false, worthless, illusory and full of pain. Place before the mind the advantages, bliss, power and knowledge of a spiritual life. Make it understand that the exalted, eternal life is in the immortal Atman. When it hears constantly these suggestions, it will slowly leave off its old habits. The attraction for sex will slowly die. Then only real sex sublimation will take place. Then only you will become an Oordhvareta Yogi.

There are two kinds of force in the mind, namely, hostile or antagonistic force and friendly or favourable force. Passion is a hostile force that drags you down. Pure reason is a favourable force that elevates you and transmutes you into Divinity. Develop, therefore, my child, pure reason to get unalloyed bliss and supreme Brahmic knowledge. Passion will die by itself.

Sex sublimation is within your reach if you wish to attain it. The path is quite clear, straight and easy if you understand it and if you apply yourself with patience, perseverance, determination and strong will, if you practice discipline of the Indriyas, right conduct, right thinking, right acting, regular meditation, assertion, auto-suggestion and enquiry of "Who am I?". Atman is sexless. Atman is Nirvikara. Feel this. Can there be any trace of lust or impurity in the etemal, pure Atman?

Glory to those Yogis who have attained Oordhvaretas or full sex sublimation and who are resting in their own Svarupa! May we all practice perfect celibacy through the practice of Sama, Dama, Viveka, Vichara, Vairagya, Pranayama, Japa and Dhyana and reach the goal of life! May the Indweller of our hearts grant us spiritual strength to control the Indriyas and the mind! May we all become full Oordhvareta Yogis like Sankara and Jnana Dev of yore! May their blessings be upon us all!

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Is celibacy possible?

It is quite possible for a man to practice celibacy while remaining in the world, albeit there are various sorts of temptations and distractions. Many have achieved this in times of yore. There are many even at the present moment also. A well disciplined life, a Sattvic and moderate diet, study of religious scriptures, Satsanga, Japa, Dhyana, Pranayama, daily introspection and enquiry, self-analysis and self-correction, Sadachara, practice of Yama and Niyama, physical, verbal and mental Tapas in accordance with the teachings of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Gita - all will pave a long way in the attainment of this end. People have an irregular, unrighteous, immoderate, irreligious, undisciplined life. Hence they suffer, and fail in the achievement of the goal of life. Just as the elephant throws sand on its own head, so also, they themselves bring difficulties and troubles on their own heads on account of their foolishness.

Those who practice brahmacharya generally complain that they get mental fatigue owing to continence. This is only a deception of the mind. You get sometimes a pseudo-hunger, whereas, when you actually sit for dinner, you have no real good appetite and you do not take any food. So also, there is a false mental fatigue. If you observe brahmacharya, you will have immense mental strength. You will not be able to feel it always. You will manifest it when the occasion arises, in the same way as a wrestler manifests his physical strength in the arena, though he feels as normal man in ordinary times.

Continence is not harmful. It conserves energy. It gives immense strength and peace. Sexual indulgence leads to moral and spiritual bankruptcy, premature death, and loss of faculties, talents and capacities.

The practice of celibacy is not attended with any danger or any dire disease or undesirable result such as the various sorts of complex which are wrongly attributed to it by the Western psychologists. They have no practical knowledge of the subject on hand. They have got a wrong, ill-founded imagination that the ungratified sex energy assumes in disguise the various forms of complex such as the touch phobia. The complex is due to some other causes. It is a morbid state of mind due to excessive jealousy, hatred, anger, worry and depression brought about by various causes.

On the contrary, even a little self-restraint or a little practice of continence is an ideal pick-me-up. It gives inner strength and peace of mind. It invigorates the mind and nerves. It helps to conserve physical and mental energy. It augments memory, will-force and brain-power. It bestows tremendous strength, vigour and vitality. It renovates the system or constitution, rebuilds the cells and tissues, energises digestion and gives power to face the difficulties in the daily battle of life. The special virtues of endurance and bravery are intimately connected with the cultivation of chastity. A perfect celibate can move the world, can stop the ocean-waves like Lord Jesus, can blow up mountains, can command nature and the five elements like Jnana Dev. There is nothing in the three worlds that cannot be achieved by him. All Siddhis and Riddhis roll under his feet.

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A foolish argument of the Epicureans

Some ignorant people say: "It is not right to check passion. We must not go against nature. Why has God created young beautiful women? There must be some sense, in His creation. We should enjoy them and procreate as many as possible. We should keep up the progeny of the line. If all people become Sannyasins and go to forests, what will become of this world? It will come to an end. If we check passion, we will get disease. We must get plenty of children. There is happiness in the house when we have abundant children. The happiness of married life cannot be described in words. It is the be-all and end-all of life. I do not like Vairagya, Tyaga, Sannyasa and Nivritti." This is their crude philosophy. They are the direct descendants of Charvaka and Virochana. They are life-members of the Epicurean school of thought. Gluttonism is their goal of life. They have a very large following. They are friends of Satan. Admirable is their philosophy!

When they lose their property, wife and children, when they suffer from, an incurable disease, they will say, "O God, free me from this horrible disease. Forgive me my sins. I am a great sinner."

Passion should be checked at all costs. Not a single disease comes by checking passion. On the contrary, you will get immense power, joy and peace. There are also effective methods to control passion. One should reach Atman, which is beyond nature, by going against nature. Just as a fish swims upstream against the current in a river, so also, you will have to move against the worldly currents of evil forces. Then alone can you have Self-realization. Passion is an evil force; and it should be checked if you want to enjoy undecaying Atmic bliss. Sexual pleasure is no pleasure at all. It is a mental delusion. It is attended with dangers, pain, fear, exertion and disgust. If you know Yoga or the science of Atman, you can very easily control the dire malady, which is passion. God wants you to enjoy the bliss of Atman, which can be had by renouncing all these pleasures of this world. These beautiful women and wealth are the instruments of Maya to delude you and entrap you into her nets. If you wish to remain always as a worldly man with low thoughts, debasing desires, you can by all means do so. You are at perfect liberty. You can marry three hundred and fifty wives and procreate as many children. Nobody can check you. But you will soon find that this world cannot give you the satisfaction you want, because all objects are conditioned in time, space and causation. There are death, disease, old age, cares, worries and anxieties, fear, loss, disappointment failure, abuse, heat, cold, snake-bites, scorpion-stings, earthquakes and accidents. You cannot at all find rest of mind even for a single second. As your mind is filled with passion and impurity, your understanding is clouded and your intellect is perverted now. You are not able to understand the illusory nature of the universe and the ever-lasting bliss of Atman.

Passion can be effectively checked. There are potent methods. After checking passion, you will enjoy real bliss from within - from Atman. All men cannot become Sannyasins. They have various ties and attachments. They are passionate and cannot, therefore, leave the world. They are pinned to their wives, children and property. Your proposition is wholly wrong. It is Asambhava. It is impossible. Have you ever heard in the annals of the world's history that this world became vacant as all men became Sannyasins? Then, why do you bring in this absurd proposition? This is an ingenious trick of your mind to support your foolish arguments and satanic philosophy, which has passion and sexual gratification as its important tenets. Do not talk like this in future. This exposes your foolishness and passionate nature. Do not bother yourself about this world. Mind your own business. God is all-powerful. Even if this world is completely evacuated when all people retire to the forests, God will immediately create crores of people by mere willing, within the twinkling of an eye. This is not your look-out. Find out methods to eradicate your passion.

Marriage cannot be taken as an indispensable factor in everyone's life. Rather, a true aspirant should definitely keep himself far, far away from the fetters of a married life. For him, marriage constitutes a curse; while at the same time, for a man of a lustful disposition for whom it is extremely difficult to get over carnal passions, it is a sort of a fence and a protecting vault to his moral recklessness. Marriage is, therefore, prescribed for those - and it applies to the majority of mankind - who are not yet ready for a life of absolute self-restraint and thus is to be regarded by them as a sacrament, and certainly not as a licence to self-indulgence.

Every one born in this world need not necessarily marry. Marriage is meant to regulate one's life in the world. But for the institution of marriage in society, life would become irregular and beastly. But, where there is no passion in the heart, where the desire for God is strong, where there is a longing for spiritual pursuits, marriage is not compulsory. Such a man can lead a Naishthik Brahmachari's life.

Parents should not force marriage on their sons. They should not stamp out the spiritual Samskaras of their children. Many young men in whom there is a spiritual awakening write to me in pitiable words: "Dear Swamiji, my heart throbs for higher spiritual things. I have no interest in worldly matters. The surroundings are not favourable. I am entangled in the meshes of marriage. My parents forced me, much against my will, to marry. I had to please my old parents. They threatened me in various ways. I now weep. What shall I do now?" Young boys, who have no idea of this world and this life, are married when they are eight or ten years of age. We see children begetting children. There are child-mothers. A boy of about eighteen has three children. What a horrible state of affairs! Early marriages have wrought early loss of semen. There is physical and mental degeneration. There is no longevity. All are short-lived. Frequent child-bearing destroys the health of women and brings in a host of other ailments.

You have adopted various habits from the West in matters relating to dress and fashion. You have become a creature of vile imitation. They, in the West, do not marry unless they are able to maintain a family decently. They have got more self-restraint. They first secure a decent station in life, earn money, save something and then only think of marriage. If they have not got sufficient money, they remain bachelors throughout their lives. They do not want to bring forth beggars into this world just in the same manner as you do. He who has understood the magnitude of human suffering in this world will never dare to bring forth a single child from the womb of a woman.

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Nature of the love between husband and wife

The love between husband and wife is mainly physical, selfish and hypocritical. It is not constant. It is of an ephemeral and changing nature. It is carnal passion only. It is sexual appetite. It is tinged with lower emotions. It is of bestial nature. It is finite. But divine love is infinite, pure, all-pervading and everlasting. There is no question of divorce here.

In reality, there is no internal union between husband and wife in the vast majority of cases. Savitri and Satyavan, Atri and Anasuya are very, very rare in these days. As husbands and wives are externally united only for selfish ends, there is only some show of smile and external love. It is all mere show only.

As there is no real union in their heart of hearts, there is always some kind of friction and rupture, wry faces and hot words, in every house. If the husband does not take his wife to the cinema, there will be fighting in the house. Can you call this real love? It is mercenary, commercial business. On account of lust, men have lost their integrity, independence and dignity. They have become the slaves of women. What a pitiable spectacle you see! The key is with the wife, and even for two rupees, the husband has to stretch his hands to her. Still he says, under delusion and intoxication of passion, "I have a sweet, loving wife. She is really a Mira! She can be really worshipped!"

In mercenary love, there cannot be any real happiness between the two, the lover and the beloved. If the husband is in a dying condition, the wife takes the bank passbook and walks to her mother's house quietly. If the husband loses his job for some time, the wife shows wry faces, speaks harsh words and does not serve him properly with any love. This is selfish love. There is no real affection from the core of the heart. So there is always quarrel, fighting and Asanti in the house. Husbands and wives are not really united. They pull on anyhow, dragging a dreary, cheerless existence.

Passion is not love at all. It is an animal instinct. It is carnal love. It is of a beastly nature. It is shifting. If the wife loses her beauty on account of some incurable malady, she gets divorced and the husband marries a second wife. This state of affairs is going on in the world.

A husband loves his wife not for the sake of his wife, but for the sake of his own self. He is selfish. He expects sensual pleasure from her. If leprosy or smallpox destroys her beauty, his love for her ceases. When the wife dies, the husband is drowned in sorrow, not because of the loss of his loving partner in life, but because he cannot get sexual pleasure now.

When your wife is young and beautiful, you admire her curly hair, rosy cheeks, fine nose, shining skin and silvery teeth. When she loses her beauty on account of some chronic incurable malady, she no longer holds any attraction for you. You marry a second wife. Had you loved your first wife with Atma-Bhav, had you a comprehensive understanding that the Self in you and in your wife was the same, your love for her would have been pure, unselfish, lasting, undecaying and unchanging. Just as you love old sugar-candy or old rice the more, so also, you would love your wife more and more, even when she becomes old, as you have Atma-Bhav through Jnana. Jnana only will intensify Prem and make it lasting.

Physical love is animalism. Love of the body or skin is passion. It is passion exalted and refined. It is gross and sensual. Passion for the flesh or body is not pure or real love. It is only Moha or infatuation born of ignorance. You do wicked deeds and kill your soul on account of this passion.

Even our sisters of ill fame show for some time abundant love, sweet smile and honeyed words towards their customers. This they do as long as they can extract money. Can you call this love and real happiness? Just tell me frankly. There is cunningness, diplomacy, crookedness and hypocrisy here. There is no element of sacrifice in this love.

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To be a celibate? Or to be a householder?

It is only for passionate people that the Grihastha Ashram or householder's life is prescribed, because they cannot control their lust. If one is born with sufficient spiritual Samskaras, inborn Viveka and Vairagya, like Sankara or Sadasiva Brahman, he will not enter the Grihashtha Ashram. He will at once take to Naishthik Brahmacharya and then embrace Sannyasa. The Srutis also endorse this. Says the Jabala Upanishad: "Renounce the world on the very day you get Vairagya".

To some, marriage hinders the spiritual progress; to others, it helps. For Raja Bhartrihari, it was a hindrance; for saint Tukaram, it was a help. Man reaches the same goal in the long run. Let the run be the shortest. Let the short cut be preferred to the long walk. That is what man always wants.

A life of celibacy is a hundred times better than the life of a Grihasthi. I believe in celibacy, for it is the thing that unfolds the hidden power in man. Brahmacharya is the straight road to God-realization; marriage is a serpentine route. The former is more preferable than the latter, but man takes to the latter route on account of his lower passions.

The realization of the Self, however, is not denied even to a Grihasthi just because he has the burden of a family on his shoulders. Saint Tukaram was married twice and had children; yet, he reached Vaikuntha in a Vimana or an aerial car. If your outlook on worldly life is simple, true and honest, if your would-be partner is one who is pious and one who will obey you in all matters, there is no harm in marrying. But if the married life is more likely to prove burden, a curse on one, why should one marry and entangle oneself in chains that can never be cut asunder?

If you want to observe strict celibacy, do not marry. Do not allow yourself to be duped by saying, "I will observe strict celibacy after marriage." Afterwards it will offer you its own arguments for giving up this vow of celibacy. Your Dharma is to realize God.

You had enough of sense and sex gratification in all your previous bodies of various animals. Animal life is meant for satisfaction of the lower appetites of sex and tongue, but human life is meant for a higher purpose. Why do you, oh man, burn the sandalwood tree for serving the purpose of charcoal? This human life is very precious, envied even by the gods. One life lost means one golden opportunity to become God is lost.

Sensual pleasure is tantalizing. As long as a person does not possess the object of desire, so long there is enchantment. After obtaining possession of the object, he finds that he is entangled in it. The bachelor thinks of his marriage day in and day out, but enjoyment does not, and cannot, bring satisfaction to him. Far from it, it only aggravates and intensifies the desire and makes the mind more restless through passion and craving. He realizes that he is in imprisonment. This is Mayaic jugglery. This world is full of temptations.

You cannot get bliss in the objects of the world. It is only materialistic poison. Further, marriage is a lifelong imprisonment. It is the greatest bondage of the earth. The bachelor who was once free is the yoke and his hands and feet are chained. This is the experience of all married people, invariably as it were. Therefore, do not marry if you can help it. Escape will be difficult after marriage. Realize the glory of a life in the spiritual path and the great difficulties, anxieties, worries and troubles of a married life. Develop intense Vairagya. Assert your birthright of God-consciousness. Art thou not Brahman itself in truth?

A wife is a sharp knife to cut the life of the husband. If the gold necklace and Benares silk sarees are not supplied, the wife frowns at the husband. The husband cannot get his food at the proper time. The wife lies down in bed under the false pretext of acute abdominal colic. You can see this spectacle in your own house and daily experience. Indeed I need not tell you much. Therefore, be wedded to Santi and have Vairagya, the worthy son, and Viveka, the magnanimous daughter and eat the delicious divine fruit of Atma-Jnana, which can make you immortal.

A wife is only a luxury. It is not an absolute necessity. Every householder is weeping after marriage. He says: "My son is ailing from typhoid. My second daughter is to be married. I have debts to clear. My wife is worrying me to purchase a gold necklace. My eldest son-in-law died recently".

Do not marry. Do not marry. Do not marry. Escape will be difficult after marriage. Marriage is the greatest bondage. Woman is a source of constant vexation and trouble. What did Buddha, Pattinattu Swami, Bhartrihari and Gopichand do? Did they not live in peace and comfort without a woman?

Lust is the greatest enemy on earth. It devours a man. A great deal of depression follows the sexual act. You have to exert a lot in earning money to please your wife and satisfy her wants and luxuries. You commit various sorts of sins in acquiring money. You mentally share her pains and sorrows and the pains and miseries of your children as well. You have to worry in a thousand and one ways in running the family. As two minds cannot agree, there will always be quarrels in the house. You have to unnecessarily multiply your wants and responsibilities. Your intellect gets spoiled. On account of heavy loss of the seminal fluid, you will suffer from diseases, depression, weakness and loss of vitality. Consequently, you will have an early death. Therefore, become an Akhanda Brahmachari or a lifelong celibate. Free yourself from all miseries, worries and troubles.

In the presence of light, you cannot have darkness. In the presence of sensual pleasures, Atmic bliss cannot exist. Worldlings want sensual pleasures and Atmic bliss at the same time, in one and the same cup. This is an absolute impossibility. They cannot renounce worldly, sensual pleasures. They cannot have real Vairagya in their heart of hearts. They will talk a lot. Worldly men imagine that they are happy because they get a few ginger biscuits, some money and woman. What more is wanted for them, poor creatures? More beggars are brought forth into the world through lust. All worldly pleasures appear as nectar in the beginning, but become virulent poison in the end. When one gets entangled in married life, he can hardly break the different ties of Moha. Therefore, give up clinging to this illusory life. Be fearless. Control the Indriyas and the mind. You will develop Vairagya. You will be perfectly established in brahmacharya.

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The Akhanda Brahmachari

If you can remain as an Akhanda Brahmachari, an unbroken celibate, for a period of twelve years, you will realize God immediately without any further Sadhana. You will have achieved the goal of life. Mark the word 'Akhanda'.

Seminal energy is a potent Sakti. Semen is Brahman Itself. A Brahmachari who has practiced unbroken celibacy for full twelve years will attain to the Nirvikalpa state the moment he hears the Mahavakya, "Tat Tvam Asi", because his mind will be extremely pure, strong and one-pointed.

An Akhanda Brahmachari, who, for a period of twelve years, has not allowed even a drop of semen to come out, will enter into Samadhi without any effort. Prana and mind are under his perfect control. Bala Brahmacharya is a synonymous term for Akhanda Brahmacharya. An Akhanda Brahmachari has strong Dharana Sakti, Smriti Sakti and Vichara Sakti - power of grasping, retentive memory and power of enquiry. He need not practice Manana and Nididhyasana, reflection and meditation. If he hears the Mahavakya even once, he will at once achieve Self-realization. His intellect is pure, and his understanding is extremely clear. Akhanda Brahmacharins are very, very rare; but there are some. You also can become an Akhanda Brahmachari if you attempt in right earnest.

You will have to be very careful of reaction. The Indriyas that are put under restraint for some months, or one or two years, become rebellious if you are not always vigilant and careful. They revolt and drag you out when opportunities arise. Some people who observe brahmacharya for one or two years become more passionate and waste the energy considerably in the end. Some become incorrigible moral wrecks also.

Mere matted hair and application of ashes to the forehead and the body cannot make one an Akhanda Brahmachari. That Brahmachari who has controlled the physical body and the physical Indriyas, but who constantly dwells on sexual thoughts, is a confirmed hypocrite. He should never be trusted. He may become a menace at any time.

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Do not be too familiar with anybody. Familiarity breeds contempt. Do not multiply friends. Do not court friendship with women. Do not also be very familiar with them. Familiarity with women will eventually end in your destruction. Never, never forget this point. Friends are your real foes.

Do not mix with members of the opposite sex. Maya works through undercurrents so stealthily that you may not be aware of your actual downfall. The sexual Vasana will assume an aggravated form suddenly without a moment's notice. You will commit adultery and then repent. Then your character and fame will vanish. Dishonour is more than death. There is no crime more heinous than this. There is no Prayaschitta for this. So beware. Be cautious.

Bhagavan Dattatreya has compared woman to a burning pit of fire and man to a pot of ghee. When the latter comes in contact with the former, it perishes. Therefore, abandon her.

If you happen to live in a Dharmashala or public inn, if there is a single woman in your neighbouring room, leave the place at once. You do not know what will happen. It is always advisable to leave the danger zone immediately, however strong you may be through the practice of Tapas and meditation. Do not expose yourself to temptation.

Do not test your spiritual strength and purity when you are a beginner on the spiritual path. Do not rush into evil associations when you are a spiritual neophyte to show that you have the courage to face sin and impurity. It will be a serious mistake. You will be running into a grave danger. You will have a quick downfall. A small fire will be very easily extinguished by a heap of dust.

You should remain far away from women in the beginning of your practices. After you are perfectly moulded and well established in brahmacharya, you can test your strength by moving with ladies very cautiously for some time. If your mind is very pure then also, if there is no sex idea, if the mind ceases to act through the practice of Uparati, Sama and Dama, remember that you have gained real spiritual strength and made considerable progress in your Sadhana. You are safe now. You should not stop your Sadhana thinking that you are a Jitendriya Yogi. If you stop it, you will have a hopeless fall.

Even advanced aspirants who have made great progress in Yoga should be very careful. They should not freely mix with women. They should not foolishly imagine that they have become great adepts in Yoga. A great saint of repute had a downfall. He freely mixed with women and made women-disciples, whom he allowed to massage his legs. As the sex energy was not completely sublimated and turned into Ojas, as lust was lurking in a subtle form in his mind, he became a victim to passion. He lost his reputation. The sexual desire was only suppressed in him, and when a suitable opportunity came, it again assumed a grave form. He had no strength or will power to resist the temptation.

Another great soul, who was regarded by his disciples as an Avatar, became a Yoga-Bhrashta. He also freely mixed with ladies and committed a serious lapse. He became a prey to lust. What a sad misfortune! Aspirants climb with great difficulty by the ladder of Yoga and they are irrecoverably lost for ever on account of their carelessness and spiritual pride.

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Havoc played by mental images

The presence of, or recollection of, a woman usually excites unholy ideas in the minds of recluses who have abandoned this world and devoted themselves to spiritual exercises and thus deprives them of the fruit of their austerity. It is very difficult to understand the presence of subtle lust in the minds of others, particularly in spiritual recluses, though the look, tone, gestures, gait and behaviour may give a clue.

Note carefully how Raja Bhartrihari had cried during his Sadhana stage: "O my Lord! I left my wife, my territory. I live on leaves, fruits and roots. The earth is my sofa. The blue sky is my canopy. The quarters are my clothes. Yet, my passion has not left me." Such is the power of passion.

Jerome writes to the virgin Eustochium about his struggle for abstinence and the power of lust: "Oh, how many times when in the desert, in that vast solitude which, burnt by the heat of the sun, offers but a horrible dwelling to monks, I imagined I was among the delights of Rome! I was alone. My limbs were covered by a wretched sack and my skin was as black as the Ethiopian's. Every day I wept and groaned, and if I was unwillingly overcome by sleep, my lean body lay on the bare earth. I say nothing of my food and drink, for in the desert, even invalids have no drink but cold water. Well, I who out of fear of hell had condemned myself to this prison, companion of scorpions and wild beasts, often seemed in imagination among a band of girls. My face was pale with fasting and my mind within my frigid body was burning with desire; the fire of lust would still flame up in a body that already seemed to be dead." Such is the power of lust.

The mind is the seed of the world. It is the mind that creates this world. There is no world quite apart from the mind. The images of all objects are contained in the mind. The mind plays with these images when it cannot get the objects and does great havoc. If you constantly think of the image of the Lord, the images of objects will die by themselves.

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The forbidden fruit - God's test for the spiritual aspirant

God places some temptations before the aspirant to test his spiritual strength. He gives him also strength to conquer the temptations. The strongest temptation in this world is lust. All the saints passed through temptations. Temptations are profitable. People are instructed and strengthened.

Even Buddha was tested for his mental purity. He had to face temptations of every sort. He had to face Mara. It was only then, and not till then, that he had illumination under the Bodhi tree in Gaya. Satan tempted Jesus in a variety of ways. Passion is very powerful. Many aspirants fail in the tests. One has to be very careful. The aspirant will have to develop a very high standard of mental purity. Then alone he will be able to stand the test. God will place the aspirants in very unfavourable surroundings to test them. They will be tempted by young girls. Name and fame bring the householders in close contact with the aspirants. Women begin to worship them. They become their disciples. Gradually the aspirants get a nasty downfall. Instances are many. Aspirants should hide themselves and pass for quite ordinary people. They should not show their Chamatkaras.

Although Rishi Visvamitra was practising severe austerities, he was carried away by his turbulent senses when he came across the celestial nymph sent by Indra to disturb his Tapas. If Visvamitra and Parasara who were living on leaves, air and water were victims of lust, what should be the fate of worldly people who are living on rich food? If they can control their passion, the Vindhya mountain will float on the ocean, fire will burn downwards.

The sex instinct is most powerful. The sex urge is formidable. It may conceal itself in underground compartments in the mind and assail you when you are not vigilant. It will attack you with redoubled force. Visvamitra fell a victim of Menaka. Another great Rishi became a prey to Rambha. Jaimini got excited by false woman Masa. A powerful Rishi was excited by the sight of the mating of a fish. A householder aspirant carried away even his Guru's wife. Many aspirants are not aware of this secret urge, a treacherous enemy. They think that they are quite safe and pure. When they are put to test, they become hopeless victims. Always remain alone, meditate and slay this urge.

Money and woman shine more brightly than God for an ignorant, passionate man. Maya is powerful. Adam fell on account of one loose moment. Eve tempted on account of one desire. The forbidden fruit will ripen before the human eyes in no time. A post will look like the illustrious Deva and make you bow in utter submission before it. Beware of Maya and its meshes. The chains of gold can be cut asunder, but not the silken meshes of Maya. A single unguarded moment is sufficient to capsize the whole casket of pearls, down into the dark abyss of passion and lust.

The moss that is momentarily displaced in a tank resumes its original position in the twinkling of an eye. Similarly, Maya envelops even the wise, if they are careless even for a minute. Therefore, sleepless vigilance is necessary in the spiritual path. The proverb goes: "There is many a slip between the cup and the lip." Before you begin to eat the fruit of wisdom, the monkey Maya will snatch it away from your hand. Even if you swallow it, it may get stuck to your throat. Therefore you will have to be ever vigilant and careful till you attain Bhuma or the highest realization. You should not stop your Sadhana falsely thinking that you have reached the goal.

He who lives in seclusion is more exposed to temptations and danger. He will have to be very careful and vigilant. The mind will be tempted to do anything as there is nobody to witness its evil action. All suppressed evil Vrittis will be waiting for an opportunity to attack him with redoubled force. He is just like a man who is put in a big bag with a tiger, a serpent and a bear. The enemies anger, lust and greed will take you unawares. When you walk alone in the spiritual path, they will attack you like the thieves who attack a lonely passenger in the dense forest. Therefore, be always in the company of the wise. Do not go astray.

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A gentleman who has given up smoking and drinking wants to practice brahmacharya, though married. His wife has no objection, but he himself finds this discipline hard; especially, the trouble seems to be in the control of the sense of sight. "The street is my chief enemy", he said to me recently. This means that the eyes are attracted by well-dressed ladies.

Another aspirant says, "While I practiced vigorously Pranayama, Japa and meditation, my mind was not polluted even if I saw half-nude young ladies. But when I left the practice, I was not able, to control my sight and I was attracted by well-dressed ladies in the streets and half-nude pictures pasted in front of picture-houses. The sea-beach and Mall Road are my enemies."

Those who practice brahmacharya should control the sexual gazing impulse. This kind of impulse is a great menace, as it stimulates curiosity and sexual desire. Vasanas grow from lustful look.

Looking at a woman will create a desire to talk to her. Talking to a woman will create a desire to touch her. Eventually you will have an impure mind and will fall a victim. Therefore, never look at a woman. Never talk to a woman in privacy. Do not be familiar with any woman.

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Mind the feeling behind the look!

There is no harm in looking at a beautiful object; but you will have to develop the Divine Bhav. You will have to feel that everything is a manifestation of God. Purify your thoughts and feelings. Purity is Brahman. Thou art pure in essence. Thou art an embodiment of purity, O Ram. Repeat mentally the formula, "Suddhoham, Suddhoham. I am purity, I am purity", and attain that state of pristine, matchless purity.

You have no lustful look when you see your mother or sister although they are beautiful, well-dressed and decorated with ornaments and flowers. You look at them with affection and pure love. This is Suddha Bhavana. There are no lustful ideas. You will have to develop such a pure love or Bhavana when you look at other women also. If there is impurity behind the gaze, it tantamounts to adultery. Looking at a woman with a lustful heart is tantamount to sexual enjoyment. It is one form of Maithunam. That is the reason why Lord Jesus says, "If you have a lustful look at a woman, you have already committed adultery in your heart."

There is no harm in looking at a woman, but you must have a perfectly chaste look. You must have Atma-Bhav. When you look at a young lady, you can think within yourself: "Prostrations unto Thee, O Mother. Thou art an image or manifestation of Mother Kali. Do not tempt. Do not allure me. I have understood now the secret of Maya and her creation. Who has created these forms? There is an omnipotent, all-pervading and all-merciful Creator behind these names and forms. This is all decaying, false beauty. The Creator or God is Beauty of beauties. He is an embodiment of undecaying beauty. He is the fountain-head of beauty. Let me realize this Beauty of beauties through meditation." You will have to cultivate feelings of devotion, admiration and awe when you look at an alluring form by remembering the Creator of that form. Then you will not be tempted. If you are a student of Vedanta, think and feel: "Everything is Self only. The names and forms are illusory. They are Mayaic pictures. They have no independent existence apart from the Self."

If one should not look at a woman, how did the Rishis of yore impart Atma-Jnana to ladies? Why did they keep them in their constant company for service?

The dictum, "Do not look even at the picture of a woman", is for passionate people who have no self-control. Yajnavalkya taught Atma-Vidya to his wife Maitreyi. Raikva had the daughter of King Janasruti to serve him. He was a Naishthik Brahmachari.

Even in a Jivanmukta or a liberated sage, the eyes will move towards the objects through the force of habit. But, he can withdraw them completely and make them mere empty sockets if he wills. When he sees a woman, he does not see her outside himself. He sees the whole world within himself. He feels that the woman is his own Self. He has no sex idea. There are no evil thoughts in his mind. He feels no sexual attraction towards her. Whereas, a worldly man sees the woman outside himself. He entertains lustful thoughts. He has no idea of Self. He is attracted towards her. This is the difference between the vision of a Jnani and that of a worldly man. There is no harm in looking at women, but you must not entertain evil thoughts.

There is no harm in looking at a beautiful woman. You can admire the beauty of a girl just as you admire the beauty of a rose, the beauty of the sea, the stars or any other natural scenery. Think that the beauty of your wife belongs to Nature and Nature's Lord, Isvar. Whenever you see a lady, put this question to your mind: "Who is the creator of this beautiful form?" At once, a sense of wonder, a sense of admiration and a sense of devotion will arise in your mind. It is only when you dart a lustful, unchaste look at a woman that you commit sin. You commit adultery at heart. Only when you entertain lustful thoughts, bondage and misery come.

The beauty that you perceive in the faces of the ladies is the beauty of the Lord. You can have admiration in this manner. There is no harm in so doing.

Woman is a symbol of beauty. She is a symbol of power. She talks to you in the language of silence: "I am a representative of Adi Sakti. See God in me. See Mother Kali in me. Realize God in and through me. Worship God as an embodiment of beauty. Adore Him as an embodiment of power. Recognise His omnipotence." Again and again think that the beauty of the face is the beauty of the Lord. Godly feeling will arise in you when you look at a woman. Study the Tenth Chapter of the Gita, Vibhuti Yoga, again and again.

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How to counter impure thoughts

Impure thoughts that arise at the sight of a woman will gradually vanish when you grow in purity through regular Japa and meditation. It takes some time to destroy the old vicious Samskaras and overhaul the mental factory. Again and again raise pure counter-thoughts in the mind. Bring up the image of the Lord. Again and again try to feel Atma in women by forgetting the sex idea and create disgust in your mind by an analysis of the parts of which the body is composed.

Whenever the mind runs towards attractive women with lustful thoughts, have a definite clear-cut photo in the mind of the flesh, bone, urine, faecal matter and perspiration of which women are composed. This will induce disgust and Vairagya in the mind. You will never again commit the sin of unchaste look at a woman. It takes some time, no doubt. Ladies also can practice the foregoing method and keep a mental picture of men in just the same way.

You should develop not only disgust in your mind, but also fear in order to get rid of the sex idea. Are you not extremely frightened when a cobra comes in front of you? This must be the state of your mind when lustful thoughts enter your mind. Then only the sex attraction will gradually die.

Inflict self-punishment if the mind runs towards women with lustful ideas. Give up night meals. Do twenty Malas more of Japa. Always wear a Kaupin or Langoti.

Do not look at a woman with an evil eye. If she is old, treat her as your mother; if she is young, as your sister; and if very young, as your child. You may fail to develop the Bhav that all women are your mothers and sisters a hundred and one times. It does not matter. Stick to your practice tenaciously. You are bound to succeed eventually.

When you walk on the road, do not look hither and thither like a monkey. Look at the tip of your right big toe and walk gently with a Gambhir attitude. Or look at the ground and walk. This is a great help in maintaining brahmacharya. You can look at the tip of the nose also.

O child of the Immortal Essence! Thou hast walked for a long time with lustful eyes. Apply the collyrium of discrimination and the pigment of Vichar. You will have a new magnanimous vision. The whole world will appear to you as a mass of crystallised bliss. You will find no evil, no ugliness.

There is no denying, however, that lust is a powerful force to overcome. Somebody asked Raja Yudhishthira, "O Yudhishthira, when you look at your mother Kunti, is your look absolutely chaste?" Yudhishthira replied, "I cannot say that my look is entirely pure." Such is the force of lust.

You may say outwardly: "I regard her as my mother. I consider her as my sister." Though you may not do anything outwardly on account of religious fear or Loka-Lajja, mentally you are not what you should be. The mind will run in wrong directions. It will be doing havoc silently. Various kinds of evil thoughts and desires will arise in your mind. Desire or thought is more than the act. When you are put to test silently, you will fail hopelessly. You will not be able to have physical control even.

There is nothing, however, that a Sadhaka cannot achieve if he sets his mind to it. The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory of success. Try, try, try again. Train yourself not to look at a woman for some time. If you are unable to do this and find your looks straying up to a woman with lustful purpose, raise in your mind the image of a corpse or a skeleton or wrinkled, diseased old woman and keep it till you are filled with disgust. This will enable you to succeed finally in subduing passion. At the same time, take refuge in Devi's lotus-feet. Pray to Her constantly for strength to withstand and conquer the onslaughts of passion. Look upon every woman as Sri Devi Herself and do mental prostration to her at sight, repeating, "Om Sri Durga Devyai Namah." By vigilant and constant Sadhana like the above, you can gradually eradicate the powerful enemy.

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Diet plays a prominent part in keeping up brahmacharya. Purity of food brings in purity of mind. That power which connects the body and the mind is present in the food that we take. Various kinds of food have varying effects on the mind. There are certain kinds of food that make the mind and the body very strong and steady. So it is absolutely essential that we should take pure and Sattvic food. Food has a very close connection with brahmacharya. If proper attention is given to the purity of the food that we take, brahmacharya becomes quite easy.

The influence of foodstuffs on the brain cells, emotion and passion is remarkable. There are different compartments in the brain and each food produces its own effect on each compartment and on the general system. A confection of sparrow produces an aphrodisiac effect. It directly stimulates the reproductive organs. Garlic, onions, meat, fish and eggs stimulate passion. Mark how elephants and cows that live on grass are quiet and peaceful and how tigers and other carnivorous animals that live on meat are turbulent and ferocious. Instinct or the voice from within will guide you in the selection of articles of diet that are conducive to the keeping up of brahmacharya. You can also consult some elderly and experienced persons.

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Sattvic food

Cheru, Havis Annam, milk, wheat, barley, bread, ghee, butter, dried ginger, green gram, potatoes, dates, plantains, curd, almonds and fruits are all Sattvic articles of food. Cheru is a mixture of boiled white rice, ghee, white sugar and milk. Havis Annam is also a similar preparation. This is very useful for spiritual aspirants. Milk is a perfect food by itself, containing as it does, the different nutritive constituents in a well balanced proportion. This is an ideal food for Yogins and Brahmacharins. Fruits are great energy producers. Bananas, grapes, sweet oranges, apples, pomegranates and mangoes are wholesome and nutritious.

Dry fruits such as grapes, raisins, dates and figs, sweet fresh fruits such as bananas, mangoes, Sapotas, melons, limes, pineapples, apples, wood apples and sweet pomegranates, sugar and sugar-candy, honey, sago, arrowroot, milk, butter and ghee of cows, tender coconut water, coconut, almonds, pistachio nuts, Toor Dhal, Ragi, barley, maize, wheat, rice of red paddy whose bran is only partly removed and rice of good smell or sweet taste, and all preparations from any of these grains, and white pumpkin are Sattvic articles for keeping up brahmacharya.

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Forbidden food

Highly seasoned dishes, hot curries, Chutnies, chillies, meat, fish, eggs, tobacco, liquor, sour articles, oil of all kinds, garlic, onions, bitter things, sour curd, stale food, acids, astringents, pungent stuffs, roasted things, over-ripe and unripe fruits, heavy vegetables and salt are not at all beneficial. Onions and garlic are worse than meat.

Salt is the worst enemy. Too much salt excites passion. Even if you do not take salt separately, the system will derive the necessary quantity of salt from other foodstuffs. All foodstuffs contain salt. Giving up of salt helps you in controlling the tongue and thereby the mind and all the other Indriyas.

All kinds of peas and beans, both fresh and fried, black grain, Bengal gram, horse gram, sprouted grains, mustard, all sorts of chillies, asafoetida, lentils, brinjals, lady's finger, cucumbers, Malabar nightshades, both white and red, bamboo shoots, papaw fruit, drumsticks, all varieties of gourd such as white gourd, snake gourd and squash gourd, radish, leeks, mushrooms of all kinds, things fried in oil or ghee, pickles of all sorts, fried rice, sesame seeds, tea, coffee, cocoa, all kinds of vegetables, leaves, roots, fruits and foodstuffs that create wind or indigestion, grief, pain or costiveness or other sickness, pastry preparations, foods that are dry and burning, foods that are bitter, sour, saline, over-hot and pungent, tobacco and its preparations, foods and drinks containing liquor or narcotic drugs such as opium and bhang, food preparations which are stale or have become cold subsequent to their removal from the hearth or which have lost their natural taste, smell, colour or form, or which are remnants after being eaten away by other persons, animals, birds or insects, or which contain dust, hair, straw or other rubbish, and milk of buffalo, goat or sheep should be avoided as they are either Rajasic or Tamasic by nature. Lemon juice, rock salt, ginger and white pepper can be used in moderation.

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Mitahara or moderation in diet

Mitahara is moderation in food. Take wholesome Sattvic food half-stomachful. Fill a quarter with pure water. Allow the remaining part free. This is Mitahara. Brahmacharins should always take Mitahara only. They should be very careful about their night diet. They should never overload the stomach at night. Overloading is the direct cause for nocturnal emissions.

A glutton can never dream of becoming a Brahmachari. Control of tongue is a sine qua non if you want to control lust, if you want to observe the vow of brahmacharya. The tongue must be controlled first. Then it will be easy to control the passion. There is intimate connection between the tongue and the organ of generation. Tongue is an organ of knowledge. It is born of the Sattvic portion of the water-Tanmatra. The organ of generation is an organ of action. It is born of the Rajasic portion of the water-Tanmatra. They are sister organs as the source is the same. If the tongue is stimulated with Rajasic food, at once the reproductive organ also gets excited. There should be selection and restriction in diet. The food of a Brahmachari must be simple, bland, spiceless, non-irritating and non-stimulating. Moderation in food is very necessary. Stuffing the stomach is highly deleterious. Fruits are highly beneficial. You should take food only when you are really hungry. The stomach will deceive you sometimes. You may have false hunger. When you sit for taking meals, you will have no appetite and no relish. Dietetic restrictions and fasting are very useful auxiliaries in controlling the camel mind and in the attainment of brahmacharya. You should not ignore them or make light of them on any account.

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Fasting - a purificatory exercise

Fasting controls passion. Fasting destroys sexual excitement. It calms the emotions. It controls the Indriyas also. Passionate young men and ladies should take recourse to occasional fasting. It will prove highly beneficial. Fasting is a great Tapas. It purifies the mind. It destroys a great multitude of sins. Shastras prescribe Chandrayana Vrata, Krichara Vrata, Ekadasi Vrata and Pradosha Vrata for the purification of the mind. Fasting controls particularly the tongue, which is your deadly enemy. When you fast, do not allow the mind to think of delicious dishes, because then you will not derive much benefit. Fasting overhauls the respiratory, circulatory, digestive and urinary systems. It destroys all the impurities of the body and all sorts of poisons. It eliminates uric acid deposits. Just as impure gold is rendered pure by melting it in the crucible again and again, so also, the impure mind is rendered purer and purer by fasting again and again. Young, robust Brahmacharins should observe fasting whenever passion troubles them. You will have very good meditation during fasting, as the mind is calm. The chief object in fasting is to practice Dhyana rigorously during that period as all the Indriyas are calm. You will have to withdraw all the Indriyas and fix the mind on God. Pray to God for guiding you and throwing a flood of light on the path. Say with Bhav: "O God! Prachodayat, Prachodayat. Guide me, guide me. Trahi, Trahi. Protect me protect me. I am Thine, my Lord!" You will get purity, light, strength and knowledge. Fasting is one of the ten canons of Yoga.

Avoid excessive fasting. It will produce weakness. Use your commonsense. Those who are not able to observe a full fast can fast for nine or twelve hours and can take milk and fruits in the evening or at night.

During fasting, the internal digestive organs such as the stomach, the liver and the pancreas take rest. Epicureans, gluttons and those who are tireless eaters do not allow rest for these organs even for a few minutes. Hence, these organs get diseased soon. Diabetes, albuminuria, dyspepsia and hepatitis are all due to overfeeding. After all, man wants very little on this earth. Ninety per cent of the people in this world take more food than what is absolutely necessary for the body. Overeating has become their habit. All diseases take their origin in overeating. An occasional complete fast is a great desideratum for all to keep up good health, relieve the internal organs and maintain brahmacharya. Diseases that are pronounced incurable by allopaths and homoeopaths are cured by fasting. Fasting develops will-power. It increases the power of endurance. Manu, the Hindu law-giver, prescribes in his code the remedy of fasting for removal of the five capital sins also.

It is better to drink a large quantity of water, either tepid or cold, according to temperament and inclination, during fasting. It will flush out the kidneys and remove the poison and all sorts of impurities in the body. In Hatha Yoga it is termed as Gata-Suddhi or purification of the flesh-pot, the physical body. You can add half a teaspoonful of soda bicarbonate to the water. Those who fast for two or three days should not break their fast with any solid food. They should take some kind of fruit juice, either sweet orange juice or pomegranate juice. They should sip the juice slowly. You can take an enema daily during fasting.

Fast for a day to start with. Then slowly increase the number of days according to your strength and capacity. In the beginning you may feel a slight weakness. The first day may be very tiring. You will feel real Ananda, bliss, on the second or the third day. The body will be very, very light. You can turn out more mental work during fasting. Those who are in the habit of fasting will rejoice. On the first day, the mind will tempt you in a variety of ways to eat something or the other. Stand firm. Be bold. Curb the mind at once when it hisses or raises its hood. Do more Japa of Gayatri or any Mantra during fasting. Fasting is more a spiritual Kriya than a physical Kriya from the viewpoint of health. You will have to utilise the fasting days for higher spiritual purposes and in the contemplation of God. Always entertain thoughts of God. Dive deep into the problems of life such as the why and the wherefore of the universe. Enquire: "Who am I? What is this Atman or Brahman? What are the ways and means to attain Knowledge of God? How to approach Him?" Then realize your Nijananda state and rest in purity for ever and ever.

My dear brothers! Will you start the fasting Tapasya from the very second you read these lines?

Peace be unto all beings!

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Many young men are troubled by wet dreams or nocturnal emissions and spermatorrhoea. This dire disease, spermatorrhoea, has eaten away the very core of the heart of many brilliant youth, who were once very promising students during the beginning stages of their educational career. This terrible scourge has sapped the vitality or the very essence of many students and even grown-up people and has made them physical, moral and spiritual bankrupts. This deadly curse has stunted the growth of many young people and made them bemoan their past ignorant, vicious habits. This wretched malady has blighted the hopes of many a young person and brought despair, gloom, shattered health and dilapidated constitution.

I receive numerous letters of pathetic tales of dissipated, lost youth. The recent trend in the increase of vulgar, cheap and aphrodisiac literature and obscene films, both Indian and Western, had added to the miseries of misguided youth. Loss of the vital energy creates great fear in their mind. The body becomes weak, memory fails, the face becomes ugly and the young man is not able to remedy his pitiable condition due to shame. But there is no cause for despair. Even if a few of the hints in the following pages are observed, he will develop the correct attitude to life and will lead a disciplined spiritual life and ultimately attain supreme bliss.

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Difference between physiological pollution and pathological pollution

Spermatorrhoea is involuntary seminal discharge. Nocturnal discharge, night pollution, Svapna-Dosha, wet dream are all synonymous terms. Ayurvedic doctors call this disease Sukra-Megha. This is due to the evil habits in youth. In severe cases, discharges occur in daytime also. The patient passes semen along with urine during micturition. If there is occasional discharge, you need not be alarmed a bit. This may be due to heat in the body, or the pressure of loaded bowels or bladder on the seminal bags. This is not a pathological condition.

Night pollution is of two kinds, namely, physiological pollution and pathological pollution. In physiological pollution, you will be refreshed. You should not be afraid of this act. You should not mind if the discharge of semen is very occasional. You need not worry about it. This is also a slight flushing of the apparatus or a periodical cleansing through a slight overflow from the reservoir in which the semen is stored up. This act may not be attended with evil thoughts. The person may not be aware of the act during the night. Whereas, in pathological pollution, the act is accompanied by sexual thoughts. Depression follows. There is irritability, languishment, laziness, inability to work and concentrate. Occasional discharges are of no consequence, but frequent nocturnal pollutions cause depression of spirits, debility, dyspepsia, low spirits, loss of memory, severe pain in the back, headache, burning of the eyes, drowsiness and burning sensation at urination or during the flow of semen. The semen becomes very thin.

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Causes and consequences

Wet dreams and spermatorrhoea may be due to various causes like constipation, a loaded stomach, irritation-producing or wind-producing food, impure thoughts and long self-abuse done in ignorance.

Seminal weakness, nocturnal emissions, lascivious dreams and all other effects of an immoral life will surely lead one to a miserable state of living if not checked by proper medicines. But these medicines cannot produce a permanent cure. One can get temporary relief during the time one takes the medicine. Even doctors of the West admit that such medicines cannot effect a permanent cure. The moment the medicine is discontinued, the patient will find his disease all the worse. In some cases, the patient becomes impotent by the use of drugs. The only effective permanent cure can be had through the system of ancient Yoga. Nasti Yogat Param Balam. There is no strength higher than that of Yoga. The different methods given in this book will enable you to get success if practiced regularly.

Do not be carried away by the pompous advertisements made by quacks and charlatans. Lead a simple natural life. You will become all right soon. Do not spend any money in buying the so-called patent medicines and specifics. They are worthless. Quacks try to exploit the credulous and the ignorant. Do not go to the doctors. Endeavour to qualify yourself as your own doctor. Understand the laws of nature, the principles of hygiene and health. Do not tresspass against the laws of health.

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A warning against evil sex habits and outbursts of anger

Avoid all kinds of self-abuse. They drain away your vital energy and leave you like a dead man or like the sugar-cane from which the juice has been extracted. Veerya is indeed a priceless possession. Do not waste it for the sake of a momentary excitement and sensation.

Give up the evil habit at once. You will be entirely ruined if you continue the practice. Open your eyes. Wake up now. Become wise. Shun evil company. Do not cut jokes with women. Practice chaste look. Up to this time you were blind and ignorant. You were in the dark. You had no idea of the disastrous effects of this evil practice. You will lose your eyesight. You will have dimness of vision. You will have shattered nerves.

Do not look at the reproductive Indriya. Do not also touch the generative organ with your hands now and then. This will aggravate your Kama Vasana. When it gets erection, do Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha. Repeat 'Om' mentally several times with meaning. Think of purity. Do twenty Pranayamas. The cloud of impurity will pass off soon.

Sexual excesses and outbursts of anger and hatred should be given up. If the mind is kept cool and calm at all times, you will have wonderful health, strength and virility. Energy is depleted by fits of anger. The cells and tissues are filled with morbid poisonous materials when one loses his temper and entertains deep hatred. Various sorts of physical ailments crop up. The blood becomes hot and thin, and consequently, night pollution results. Various sorts of nervous diseases are attributable to excessive loss of the seminal energy and frequent fits of explosive anger or wrath.

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Importance of proper food and evacuation

Most of the diseases take their origin in overeating. Observe moderation in diet. Avoid late suppers. The evening meal should be light and eaten before 6 or 7 p.m. If possible, take milk and fruits only at night. No solid or liquid should be taken after sunset. When you take milk, mix ginger essence in it. Or boil crushed ginger with milk before taking the milk. Give up hot Chutnies, garlic, onion and pungent foodstuffs. Hot curries, chillies and Chutnies make the semen watery and lead to frequent wet dreams. Take bland, soothing, non-irritating simple food. Give up smoking, liquor, tea, coffee, meat and fish.

When there is any inclination for micturition at night, immediately get up to empty the bladder. A loaded bladder is the cause for wet dreams. Before retiring to bed, answer the calls of nature. If there is severe constipation and the bowels are loaded, they will press the vesiculae seminalis, and consequently, there will be discharges at night.

To relieve constipation, the use of the enema is most essential. The use of laxatives is not of much benefit as it creates heat in the body.

Never stop the urge to answer calls of nature. If worms are present in the bowels, remove them by a dose of worm powder in the night and take a purgative of castor oil the following morning. This will keep the bowels regular.

Sometimes, the discharges take place on account of excess of heat in the body, excess of walking or travel, eating a large quantity of sweetmeats or chillies and salt. Give up tea, coffee, chillies, excess of sweets and excess of sugar. Avoid dainty dishes, sauces, savouries and pastries. Have occasional fasts, say, once a week. Do not drink even water on those fasting days. Do not ride too much on the bicycle.

Chew pieces of the yellow variety of Harad or myrobalan very often. When there is frequent discharge, dissolve two pinches of camphor in a cup of milk and take it occasionally at night. Take half a seer of milk in the early morning and half a seer at night.

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Get up before 4 a.m.

Night pollution generally occurs in the fourth quarter of the night. Those who are in the habit of getting up from bed between 3 and 4 a.m. and doing Japa and Dhyana can never fall a victim to nocturnal pollutions. Make it a point to get up at least at 4 a.m. regularly. Sleep on a coarse bed. Use rough mats.

Sleep on the left side. Allow the Solar Nadi, Pingala, to work throughout the night through the right nostril. In acute cases, sleep on the back until recovery.

If you are a married man, sleep in a separate room. You should never allow your wife to massage your legs at night. This is a dangerous practice.

For protecting the semen, it is essential to wear always a strip of cloth over the private part; for, there will be no night emission and growth of testicle. Therefore, always wear a Langoti or Kaupin or loin cloth. You will not get inflammation or any other disease of the testicles. This will help you in keeping up brahmacharya. Wear a wet Kaupin at night when you go to bed, if the disease is very troublesome.

It is befitting for a celibate to wear always wooden sandals as thereby the semen will be conserved, eyes will be benefited, life prolonged and holiness and lustre increased.

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Take to the Name of the Lord

Practice Japa and meditation in the morning, as soon as you get up, for an hour or two. Also, do this before sleeping at 10 p.m. This is a great purifier. This will strengthen the mind and the nerves. This is the best remedy. Repeat the Mantra: "Punarmamaitu Indriyam. Let my lost strength be restored."

Pray to the sun in the early morning before sunrise: "O Lord Suryanarayana, the eye of the world, the eye of the Virat Purusha! Give me health, strength, vigour and vitality." Do Suryanamaskara in the early morning. Repeat the twelve Names of the sun at sunshine: "Mitraya Namah. Ravaye Namah. Suryaya Namah. Bhanave Namah. Khagaya Namah. Pushne Namah. Hiranyagarbhaya Namah. Marichaye Namah. Savitre Namah. Adityaya Namah. Bhaskaraya Namah. Arkaya Namah." Bask in the sun.

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The benefits of a hip bath

Take cold hip baths by sitting in a tub of water and keeping the legs outside the tub. This is very invigorating and energising. A cold hip bath tones and soothes the nerves of the genito-urinary system and stops nocturnal discharges in an efficacious manner. This is a general nervine tonic as well, as all the nerves are braced up.

The hip bath can be conveniently managed at home in a big zinc tub. Aged persons and convalescents can use lukewarm water. Wipe the parts with a dry towel and put on warm clothing.

Or stand up to your navel in a river, lake or tank for half an hour. Repeat 'Om' or the Gayatri or any other Mantra. Rub the lower part of the abdomen or belly with a coarse Turkish towel or a piece of Khadi cloth several times. This can be practiced twice daily, morning and evening, in the summer season.

Cold douches, spinal douches and cold shower bath are of immense use in the practice of brahmacharya. Shower baths can be easily installed at home by fixing the spray apparatus to the tap.

Sirshasana, Sarvangasana, Siddhasana, Sukha-Purvak Pranayama and Uddiyana Bandha are all very effective in eradicating spermatorrhoea. Practice them and realize the incalculable benefits. Practice deep-breathing and Bhastrika Pranayama. Take long walks. Take part in sports.

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Some helpful suggestions

Complete cure may take at least one to six months, according to the intensity of the disease. If the disease is of long standing, the cure may take a long time, as Nature's processes are slow, though sure. Whenever you are haunted by sensual thoughts, you should try to replace them by holy thoughts about your favourite deity.

Let any disease be there. Ignore it. Deny it. Think and meditate on the pure Self. Keep yourself fully occupied. Do not give room for the mind to think of the body or the disease. This is the treatment for any kind of disease. Sing Hari's Name in a variety of ways. When you are tired, take to the study of religious books. Do selfless service. Run in the open air. Swim in the river. Remove the stones and pebbles lying on the roads. Write down your Ishta Mantra in a notebook for one hour.

Purify the mind by cultivating devotion to God. Do Japa and meditation. Study spiritual books. Pray to God. Observe brahmacharya. Do not mix unnecessarily with women. See only the Divine Mother in them. Develop Atrna-Bhava in all.

Avoid cinema, novels, newspapers, bad company, evil talks. Do not look into the mirror frequently. Do not use scents or fancy clothings. Do not attend dance or music parties. Do not look at mating of animals and birds.

Root out love of leisure and ease. Overcome laziness and always keep the body and mind engaged in some useful work. Keeping the mind constantly engaged is one of the great secrets of brahmacharya. Lead a disciplined, rigorous life. Do not brood over the disease too much. It will pass off. When bad thoughts appear in the mind, repeat the Name of God and pray to Him. Ultimately, the Lord's divine grace and helping hand is the sure antidote for all diseases. Rely on God. Be devoted to purity and piety. Cherish sublime thoughts. Read sacred literature. Naught shall assail you.

This weakness will pass away. Do not be anxious, worried and depressed over it. Depressing thoughts are dangerous. Worry will only weaken you more. Learn lessons from the past and be benefited therefrom. Do not brood over the past and be weakened. Change your angle of vision. Practice enquiry. Meditate on the advantages of celibacy. Think of the lives of Akhanda Brahmacharins like Hanuman, Bhishma and others. Think of the evils of a sensual life - loss of health, shame, disease and death. Cultivate discrimination. You are the child of the Lord of the universe. The bliss is within you. There is not an iota of pleasure in sense objects. Dissociate yourself from the body; identify yourself with the Lord. If your mind is pure and healthy, your body too will be pure and healthy. Therefore, forget the past and take to a new, better life of virtue and spirituality, love of God and aspiration for the higher divine life. Learn to find taste in divine life. Do more Sadhana with greater intensity. You will be a completely changed and blessed person.

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You cannot have perfect celibacy unless you follow the auxiliaries. You have to take particular care about your diet and the company that you keep. Anything that brings impure thoughts in the mind is bad company. Oh aspirants! Fly away from the company of worldly-minded persons. Get away from the bustle of cities and tumultuousness of the world. Those who talk of worldly affairs will quickly pollute you. You mind may waver and begin to wander. You will have a downfall.

Do not read amorous novels or fiction. Do not visit the cinema and the theatre. And do not make friendship with undesirable boys. What you need is a complete change of your vision, your attitude towards the other sex. Behold the Divine Mother in every woman and consider every woman as your own mother.

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Control of the palate

First, dietary control. There is an intimate connection between self-control and control of the palate or tongue. He who has controlled the tongue has already controlled all the other organs.

Delicious Rajasic food excites the organ of generation. Give up meat, fish, liquor, smoking. Meat can make a scientist, but never a philosopher, a sage or a Sattvic Person. Meat excites the passions.

Gradually give up salt and tamarind. Salt excites passion and emotion. Salt excites and strengthens the Indriyas. Renunciation of salt brings in a cool condition of the mind and the nerves. It helps meditation. You will suffer a bit in the beginning. Later on you will enjoy a saltless diet. Practice at least for six months. In this way, you will be able to realize your own Svarupa quickly. All that is wanted of you is sincere and earnest effort. May Sri Krishna give you courage and strength to tread the path of spirituality and attain the goal of life!

Do not overload your stomach at night. The night meals should be very light. Half a litre of milk or some fruits will constitute a good regimen or menu at night.

Both for brahmacharya and tongue-control, take a few Tulasi leaves early in the morning. In the evening take Neem leaves. Start with one leaf, increase it to ten, one per day. Take ten for a couple of months; then you can increase it to twenty. This is very good.

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Avoid bad company

Obscene pictures, vulgar words, and novels which deal with love stories excite passion and produce ignoble, mean, undesirable sentiments in the heart. Whereas, the sight of a good picture of Lord Krishna or Lord Rama or Lord Jesus and hearing of the sublime songs of Surdas, Tulasidas and Thyagaraja induce noble sentiments and sincere devotion in the heart, produce a divine thrill and tears of joy and Prem, and elevate the mind to Bhava Samadhi instantaneously. Do you see clearly the difference now?

What is the state of your mind when you attend a ball or nautch party or when you read "The Mysteries of the Court of London"? What is your state of mind when you attend the Satsanga party of Swami Jayendrapuriji Maharaj of Benares or when you are at Rishikesh on the banks of the Ganga in a secluded place or when you study the soul-elevating classical Upanishads? Compare and contrast your mental states. Remember, friend, that there is nothing so utterly ruinous to the soul as evil company. Aspirants should shun ruthlessly all sorts of evil company. They should not listen to the stories concerning women, the luxurious ways of rich persons, pungent food, vehicles, politics, silken clothing, flowers, scents and so on, because the mind gets easily excited. It will begin to imitate the ways of luxurious persons. Desires will crop up. Attachment will also come in.

The cinema produces an evil tendency in man. He cannot remain even for a day without attending a show. His eyes want to see some half-nude pictures and some kinds of colours; and his ears want a little music. Young girls and boys become passionate when they see the actors in the films kissing and hugging. Those who want to develop themselves in the spiritual line should entirely shun the cinema. They should not attend even the so-called religious films. They are not really religious films. It is a kind of trick to attract people and collect money. What is the spiritual calibre of the actors there? Spiritual people only can bring out impressive stories with good morals that can elevate the minds of the spectators.

Put an end to going to exciting films if you have got that habit. Do not witness vulgar sensuous scenes wherever it may be. Do not indulge in seeing naked pictures. All these tend to increase passion and deplete Veerya. You should strictly avoid these.

Novel-reading is another evil habit. Those who are in the habit of reading novels that deal with passion and love cannot remain even for a single second without novel-reading. They always want their nerves to be tickled with some sensational feelings. Novel-reading fills the mind with base, lustful thoughts and excites passion. It is a great enemy of peace.

Many people have started circulating libraries for distribution of novels on a small subscription basis. They have not at all realized how much harm they are doing to the country. It is better they chalk out another vocation to eke out their livelihood. They spoil the minds of young men by the distribution of these worthless novels, which help to excite their passion. The whole atmosphere is polluted. Severe punishment is awaiting them in the Yama Loka.

Do not read novels. They taint the mind. Novels are the chains of Western civilization to capture the victim unaware in its glittering fetters. Do not read those journals which excite you lower instincts.

Immoral songs produce a very bad, deep impression in the mind. Aspirants should run away from places where vicious songs are sung.

Strive your best to divert your mind and eyes from external objects that prompt sexual desires. Give up the sort of reading, conversation, imagination and associations that are likely to stimulate the sexual desire. Do not converse with those who are eager to convey irritating news and disturb your mental poise. Live with spiritual advanced men and stop reading all books except those that are directly spiritual.

When thoughts of lust arise in the mind, do not wrestle with them. The best method is to ignore them. If you are not successful in doing so, be in the company of someone who is superior to you spiritually, who is more advanced than you spiritually. If you go into seclusion, the mind will chase you and down you in sensual thoughts. You will lose your balance. Be careful. The sensual thoughts will pass away with a little vigilance.

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Watch the thoughts

An evil thought enters the mind and there comes an erection of the Indriya. Is this not a marvel? Because this occurs very often, it does not appear to you as a miracle or a marvel. You have ignored this vital point on account of your ignorance.

Mind is a great electricity battery. It is a big dynamo indeed. It is a powerhouse. The nerves are insulated wires to transmit the electric currents, nerve impulses, to various organs, tissues and the extremities, hands, legs and feet.

There is a vibration of thought in the mind owing to the vibration of psychic Prana. This force of thought is transmitted with a tremendous lightning speed along the nerves to the organs. The physical body is fleshy mould prepared by the mind in accordance with the Samskaras and Vasanas for its own experience and enjoyment. The mind sways the organs of an undisciplined passionate man who has boisterous revolting Indriyas. It becomes an obedient faithful servant of a trained, developed Yogi.

An ever-vigilant Brahmachari should always watch his thoughts very carefully. He should never allow even a single bad thought to enter the gate of the mental factory. If his mind is ever fixed on his Dhyeya or Lakshya or object of meditation, there is no room for the entry of an evil thought. Even if an evil thought has entered the trapdoor of the mind, he should not allow the mind to assume a mental state with this idea. If he falls a victim, the thought-current will be transmitted to the physical body. Burning of the Indriyas and the physical nervous system will follow. This is a serious condition.

The bad thought should be nipped in the bud by supplanting counter divine thoughts. It should not be allowed to penetrate the physical body. If your will is strong, the evil thought can be driven at once. Pranayama, vigorous prayer, Vichara, Atmic contemplation, Saguna meditation and Satsanga can nip the evil thoughts in the bud at the threshold of the mental factory. The combat will be keen in the beginning. When you become purer and purer, when your will-power develops, when you develop more Sattva or purity and when you have a habitual meditative mood, you will be established in physical and mental brahmacharya. Understand the power of thought and utilise it profitably. Understand the ways of the mind. Learn how to use the pure will. Become a vigilant, dexterous watchman of your thoughts. Curb them before they raise their heads out of the mind through skill and wisdom.

It is the mind that really does all actions. A desire arises in your mind and then you think. Then you proceed to act. The determination of the mind is put into action. First there is Sankalpa or thought and then comes action. Therefore, do not allow the sexual thoughts, to enter the mind.

That which is thought of is spoken by the tongue. That which the tongue speaks of, the organs of action do. That is the reason why it is said in the Vedas: "Let my mind think of auspicious things." Entertain sublime divine thoughts. The old evil sexual thought will gradually vanish, just as the old nail in a plank goes away by inserting over it a new nail.

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Seek Satsanga or good company

The glory of Satsanga or association with the wise saints, Yogins, Sannyasins and Mahatmas is indescribable. The glory and power of Satsanga is described in various ways in the Bhagavata, the Ramayana and other scriptures. Even a moment's company with wise people is quite sufficient to overhaul the old vicious Samskaras of worldly-minded people. The magnetic aura, the spiritual vibrations and the powerful thought-currents of developed adepts produce a tremendous influence on the minds of worldlings. The personal contact of Mahatmas is a blessing in reality for worldly persons. Service of saints purifies the minds of passionate men rapidly. Satsanga elevates the mind to magnanimous heights. Just as a single matchstick bums huge bundles of cotton in a few seconds, so also, the company of saints burns all ignorance, all thoughts and Samskaras of passion and evil actions within a short time. This is the reason why Sankara and others have spoken so highly of Satsanga in all their books.

If you cannot get good Satsanga in your own place, you can visit places of pilgrimage like Rishikesh, Benares, Nasik, Prayag, Haridwar. Study of books written by realized persons will also be tantamount to Satsanga. The only potent specific for inducing burning Vairagya and desire for liberation is Satsanga.

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Cultivate Viveka and Vairagya

One should try to get Viveka or discrimination between the real Self and the unreal impure body. The aspirant should point out to the mind the defects of a sexual life, namely, loss of energy, enervation of the senses, disease, birth and death, attachment and various sorts of miseries. He should remind himself again and again about the parts of the body of woman - flesh, blood, bone, excreta, urine, pus and phlegm. These ideas should be hammered into the mind repeatedly. The aspirant should always think of the ever-pure immortal Atman and the glory of the spiritual life, namely, the attainment of immortality, eternal bliss and supreme peace. Gradually the mind will be weaned from looking at a woman, however beautiful she might be. The mind will shudder to look at a woman with an evil thought. Ladies also should undergo the above practices to get themselves established in purity.

A Viveki does not note any difference between a male and a female. The same Tattvas - passion, anger, greed and Moha - that are present in a man are found in the female also. It is only a lustful man who is filled with burning passion that finds imaginary differences. The differences are all mental creations or Kalpita Bheda.

Nothing can tempt you in this world if you develop Vairagya, if you subdue your Indriyas, and if you shun the unreal, impermanent sensual enjoyments and pleasures of this fleeting world as dung, as poison. You will have no attraction for women and other earthly objects. Lust will be unable to take hold of you. You will have eternal peace and infinite bliss.

Constantly remember: "Through the grace of God, I am becoming purer and purer, every day. Pleasures come but not to stay. Mortal flesh is only clay. Everything will pass away. brahmacharya is the only way." Develop Viveka and Vairagya.

Aspirants should study Bhartrihari's "Vairagya Satakam" and other works on Vairagya. This will induce Vairagya in the mind. Remembrance of death and the pains of Samsara also will help you to a considerable extent. It will not be out of place here to draw the reader's attention to some Buddhist monks who always keep a human skull with them. This is to cause Vairagya in them and to remind them of the impermanent and perishable nature of human life.

A philosopher once kept in his hands the skull of a lady and began to philosophize thus: "O skull! Some time back you tempted me with your shiny skin and rosy cheeks. Now, where are thy charms? Where are those honeyed lips and lotus-like eyes now?" Thus he developed intense Vairagya. If you analyze the different parts of the human body and keep a picture of flesh and bones before your mind's eye, you will have no attachment at all for your body or the body of a female. Why not try this method?

Remembrance of the skeleton and the dead body of a woman will induce Vairagya in your mind. The body has come out of the filthy discharge. It is full of impurities. In the end, it is reduced to ashes. If you remember this, Vairagya will dawn in your mind. Attraction for women will gradually vanish. If you place before your mind the sickly figure of a woman or the picture of a very old woman, you will develop Vairagya. Remember the pains of Samsara, the unreality of objects, and the bondage that comes from attachment to wife and children. Try any method that suits you best.

Sit down and think, calmly and honestly, what beauty there is in a woman whose body is composed of flesh, bones, nerves, fat, marrow and blood. Where is the beauty in the same woman when she becomes old? Look at the condition of the eyes and the body of a woman after an attack of fever for seven days! What is the state of her beauty? Where is the beauty if she does not take bath for a week? The stink is abominable. Look at the senile woman aged eighty five who is sitting at the corner, with rotten eyes, shrunken cheeks and skin! Analyze the parts of a woman, realize their true nature.

Woman is the greatest cause of delusion. Women are the flames of vice. They are burning fire, which destroys man like a dry straw. They burn from a long distance; so they are more dangerous than fire. The lovely damsel is like a poisonous drug that destroys life by causing lustful intoxication and clouding the power of discrimination. This mysterious world began with woman and has woman for its sustenance. How, without renunciation of woman, is it possible to attain the eternal bliss of Brahman? The bodies of those handsome damsels who are so much fondled by foolish men are taken to the cemetery after their Pranas depart. Beasts and worms feed upon their flesh. Jackals and kites tear off their skin. Without renunciation of woman, it is impossible to have Self-realization.

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A note of clarification

Ladies should not be offended when they read these lines. I have only reproduced the teachings of Sankaracharya and Dattatreya. I only want to impress upon both the sexes the force and the glory of brahmacharya and the evil effect of lust. I have great regard and admiration for women.

Brahmacharya should be practiced by both men and women. Women also can keep a mental picture of the component parts of the body of a male in order to create in themselves disgust for the physical body of a male and to develop Vairagya.

Mere condemning of lust is not sufficient to wean the mind from sexual craving. Remember this point well. Lust is potent. Lust is virulent. Lust is formidable. Lust is uncontrollable by persons of weak will. One should be aware also of the ways of Maya, which entangle him in her net or snare. A woman should be aware of the charms of a man which entice her and make her a prey to man and man should be aware of the charms of a woman which entice him and make him a prey to woman. A woman is a temptress for man and a man is a tempter for woman. Man also has much charm in him to entrap a woman. Man appears more beautiful in the eyes of a woman than a woman in the eyes of a man. Man also tries to entrap a woman by his dress, ties and bows, by his smile, outward show of affection, glances, gestures, flowery words, various ways of dressing his hair and other tricks.

Lust is a potent force, very difficult to be got rid of. That is the reason why the Sastras and saints censure and condemn women in order to create dispassion and discrimination in men and wean them from lustful tendencies and aggressive attacks. Sri Sankara, Sri Dattatreya, Sri Rama, Sri Tulasidas have all criticised women not out of hatred, prejudice or dislike, but out of compassion for elevating people from the quagmire of Samsara. Their criticism of women implies and includes criticism of man also. Their criticism aims at weaning the minds of worldly persons from sexual sin and creating disgust for sexual pleasure, and dispassion for worldly objects. This is misunderstood by people.

The same scriptures and saints who censure women in one place praise them in another. They say, "Women should be honoured. They are Ardhanginis. They are manifestations of Sakti or the energy of the Lord. Only those who honour women can attain prosperity." Therefore, O women! Try to know the heart of the scriptures and the saints and become wise.

The minds of young people are saturated with impure Samskaras and Vasanas owing to vicious company and the false modern civilization. Even the company or talk of a woman is quite sufficient to drag the mind into vicious thoughts. So, I have to place before the minds of the vast majority such a mental picture that the very company of women will do havoc. When I say that a woman is only a leather bag, I do not hate women in any way. It is only to produce disgust and induce Vairagya. Really, a woman should be adored as Mother Sakti. She is the creatrix, generatrix and nourisher of the universe. She must be revered. In India, religion is preserved and maintained only through the devotional element in women. Devotion is a fundamental characteristic of Hindu ladies. Hate lust, but not women.

In the beginning, till you acquire Vairagya and Viveka, you must treat the company of woman as poison. When you obtain Viveka and Vairagya, then lust cannot take hold of you. You will see and realize, "Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma. All is Brahman only." You will have Atma-Drishti. The sex idea will then vanish.

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A vow is a great help

A vow of celibacy will give you sure protection against temptation. It is a strong weapon to attack lust. If you do not take a vow of celibacy, the mind will tempt you at any moment. You will have no strength to resist the temptation and you will become a sure victim. He who is weak and effeminate is afraid of taking the vow. He brings in various excuses and says, "Why should I be bound by a vow? My will is strong and powerful. I can resist any sort of temptation. I am doing Upasana. I am practising will culture." He repents in the long run. He has no control over the senses. That man only, in whom the subtle desire for the object to be renounced lurks in the corners of the mind, brings in such sort of excuses. You must have right understanding, discrimination and dispassion. Then only your renunciation will be lasting and permanent. If your renunciation is not the outcome of discrimination and dispassion, the mind will be simply waiting for an opportunity to get back the object that has been renounced.

If you are weak, take a vow of celibacy for a month and then extend it to three months. You will gain some strength now. You will be able to prolong the period to six months. Gradually you will be able to extend the vow to one or two or three years. Sleep separately and do vigorous Japa, Kirtan and meditation daily. You will hate lust now. You will experience freedom and indescribable joy. Your partner-in-life also should do Japa, meditation and Kirtan daily.

O Mohan, you have done an unpardonable crime in breaking the vow of celibacy. How can there be religion or spirituality where there is passion? You are an old man. Why should you repeat shamelessly that old ignoble act, bringing this excuse: "Old Vasanas are powerful; circumstances are strong." Nobody will hear your answer. You will have to curb your passion whenever it raises its hood. May Lord Siva give you strength to control this dire enemy and to continue the spiritual Sadhana.

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Will culture and auto-suggestion

If you can render your will pure, strong and irresistible by eliminating desires, by eradicating Raga-Dvesha, by reducing your wants and by practising Titiksha, passion will die. Will is a powerful enemy of passion.

Lust takes its origin from impure resolution. Indulgence strengthens it. When you resolutely turn away from it, it vanishes and dies.

Sit alone in your meditation room. Close your eyes. Slowly repeat again and again the following formulae. Let the mind dwell on the significance of the formulae also. Saturate the mind and intellect with these ideas. Your whole system - flesh, blood, bones, nerves and cells - should powerfully vibrate with the following ideas:

[After each line repeat, "Om, Om, Om."]

I am all-purity, Suddhoham
Sexless Atman I am
There is neither lust nor sexual Vasana in Atman
Lust is mental Vikara; I am a Sakshi of this Vikara
I am Asanga
My will is pure, strong and irresistible
I am fully established in physical and mental brahmacharya
I am feeling the purity now

You can have a sitting at night also. Sit for ten minutes in the beginning. Gradually increase the period to half an hour. Keep up the Bhav during work also.

Write down on a piece of paper, in bold types, the word "Om Purity" six times. Keep the paper in your pocket. Read it several times during the course of the day. Fix it also in a prominent place in your house. Have the word image "Om Purity" clearly before the mind. Remember several times daily the Brahmachari-saints and their powerful actions. Think over the multifarious advantages of a pure life of brahmacharya and the disadvantages and evils of an impure life. Never leave the practice. Be regular and systematic. Gradually you will become purer and purer and ultimately you will become an Oordhvareta Yogi. Be patient.

Daily feel: "Through the grace of God, I am becoming better and better, every day, in every way". This is auto-suggestion. This is another effective method.

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Change the Drishti or angle of vision

You should entertain the Mother-Bhav or Isvari-Bhav or Atma-Bhav towards females. Women also should entertain Pitha-Bhav or Isvar-Bhav or Atma-Bhav towards males.

Sister-Bhav will not suffice. You may fail. Keeping of sister-Bhav in man and brother-Bhav in women will not help much in the eradication of sex attraction and impure thoughts. The sister-Bhav has deceived and deluded many. Pure love will degenerate at any moment into passion when one is careless and non-vigilant. Cobra-Bhav only will help the Sadhakas to a very great extent. After cobra-Bhav comes mother-Bhav in man and father-Bhav in women. Then lastly comes Atma-Bhav in both. Real struggling aspirants only can realize this well, but not dry philosophers.

The cultivation of the Bhav is very difficult. You may fail to develop the Bhav that all women are your mothers and sisters one hundred and one times. It does not matter. Stick to your practice tenaciously. You are bound to succeed eventually. You will have to destroy the old mind and build a new mind. Nevertheless you will have to do it if you want to attain immortality and eternal bliss. You will surely succeed if you are fiery in your resolve and if you have an iron determination. The Bhav will gradually manifest by constant practice. Soon you will be established in that Bhav. Now you are safe.

A man or a woman should practice self-analysis and self-examination. They should have a proper understanding of the ways in which lust operates and plays, and the things and emotions which excite passion and the manner in which one falls a victim to the other. Then only control of lust is possible.

The mind will again try to do some mischief inwardly. It is very diplomatic. It is very difficult to find out its ways and secret underground operations. It demands a subtle intellect, and careful repeated introspection and vigilant watch. Whenever the mental image of a woman crops up in your mind with evil thoughts, repeat mentally, "Om Durga Devyai Namah" and do mental prostrations. Gradually, old evil thoughts will die. Whenever you see any woman, entertain this Bhav and repeat mentally this Mantra. Your Drishti or look will become chaste. All women are manifestations of the World Mother. Destroy the idea that a woman is an object of enjoyment and substitute the idea that she is an object of worship and a manifestation of Mother Durga or Kali.

Change the Bhav, change the mental attitude. You will have heaven on earth. You will be established in brahmacharya. This is an important method for becoming a true Brahmachari. See Atman in all women. Reject all names and forms and take only the underlying essence, Asti-Bhati-Priya or Sat-Chit-Ananda. All names and forms are unreal. They are unreal like shadows, water in the rnirage and blueness in the sky.

For a scientist, a woman is a mass of electrons only. For a Vaiseshika philosopher of Rishi Kanada's school of thought, she is a conglomeration of atoms - Paramanu, Dvyanu, Tryanu. For a tiger, she is an object of prey. For a passionate husband, she is an object of enjoyment. For a crying child, she is an affectionate mother who gives milk, sweets and other indulgences. For a jealous sister-in-law or mother-in-law, she is an enemy. For a Viveki or a Vairagi, she is a combination of flesh, bone, urine, faecal matter, pus, perspiration, blood and phlegm. For a full-blown Jnani, she is Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman.

Passion will arise when you think of the body of a female. When you are in the company of ladies, think of the one immortal pure Self of Atman that is hidden in the bodies of the ladies. Constantly make the endeavour. The sex idea will gradually vanish, and with it, the attraction and lust also. This is the most potent method to eradicate passion and the sex idea, Mentally repeat the formula, "Ek Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman." This will lead to the annihilation of passion and to the Vedantic realization of unity or oneness also.

There is neither sex nor sexual Vasana in Brahman. Brahman is Nitya-Suddha, eternally pure: By constant thinking on that sexless Atman, you will be established in brahmacharya. This is the most powerful and effective method. This is the best kind of Sadhana for those who know the right technique of Vichara. But, only advanced students in the path of Jnana Yoga can rely on the method of Brahma Vichara alone for the destruction of passion. For the vast majority of persons, a combined method is very congenial and healthy. When the enemies are very powerful, a combined method of lathis, pistols, shot-guns, machine-guns, submarines, torpedoes, bombs and poisonous gases is used for the destruction of the enemies. So also, in the destruction of this powerful enemy, passion, a combined method is absolutely necessary.

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The regular practice of select Yogasanas and Pranayama exercises will help considerably in one's effort to check the sexual impulse. Sirshasana and Sarvangasana will help you a lot in making you an Oordhvaretas. They are also termed as Vipareeta Karani Mudras. They are specially designed by our Rishis of yore such as Gheranda, Matsyendra and Goraksha to make us Oordhvaretas. And by Pranayama, the mind gradually proceeds from the gross to the subtle. It therefore exercises a wholesome check upon sexual irritation. When some evil thought disturbs your mind, at once take to Padmasana or Siddhasana and practice Pranayama. The thought will leave you immediately.

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This Asana is highly eulogized by Yogins for the practice of brahmacharya. It will help one in controlling his passion and checking nocturnal discharges and in making him an Oordhvareta Yogi. This Asana is useful for sitting during Japa and meditation.

Place the left heel at the anus. Keep the right heel at the root of, or just above, the generative organ. Keep the trunk, neck and head straight. Place the hands on the right heel.

Sit for half an hour to start with and then slowly increase the period to three hours. Sitting for three hours in one Asana is termed Asana Jaya or mastery over Asana.

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This is the king of all Asanas. The advantages that are derived from this Asana are incalculable and indescribable. This is specially designed for stopping nocturnal discharges and helping the flow of semen towards the brain in the form of Ojas Sakti or spiritual energy.

Spread a folded blanket on the ground. Make a finger-lock and keep it over the blanket. Now place the top of your head between the two hands. Slowly raise the legs up without any jerk till they become vertical. Get the help of a wall in the beginning of your practice or ask one of your friends to catch hold of your legs. After due practice, you will be able to keep up balance. When the Asana is over, bring down the legs very, very slowly. When you remain in the Asana, breathe only through the nose.

Irregular Kumbhaka, Rechaka and Puraka - retention, exhalation and inhalation - will make your Asana unsteady.

Do this Asana when your stomach is empty or light. Many chronic, incurable diseases of the stomach, bowels, lungs, heart, kidneys, genito-urinary system, ears and eyes are cured by the regular practice of this Asana.

When you find your legs tossing, retain the breath for a short time. Then the legs will become steady.

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This is an important pose, which can help you assuredly in the practice of brahmacharya. The digestive, circulatory and nervous systems are at once toned up in a mysterious manner by the practice of Sirshasana and Sarvangasana. This is no Arthavada or Rochak Sabdha or mere eulogy, my dear friends! Practice and feel the beneficial influence yourself. This is the best remedy for wet dreams and various other diseases. There is a healthy glow in the eyes of the practitioner and a peculiar lustre, charm, beauty and magnetic aura in his face.

Spread a blanket on the ground. Lie on the back quite flat. Slowly raise the legs. Lift the trunk, hips and legs. Support the back with the hands on either side. The whole weight of the body will now rest on the shoulders and elbows. Keep the legs steady. Press the chin against the chest firmly. Breathe slowly, only through the nostrils. Begin with five minutes and try to remain in the Asana as long as you can.

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This must be practiced soon after Sarvangasana. It will relieve stiffness of the neck and all crampy conditions of the cervical region caused by long practice of Sarvangasana. This gives a natural massage to the congested parts of the neck and shoulders. Further, it ensures that the student derives the maximum benefits from his practice of Sarvangasana.

Sit in Padmasana over the blanket by keeping the right foot over the left thigh and the left foot over the right thigh. Then lie flat on the back. Stretch the head back so that the top of your head rests on the ground firmly on one side and the buttocks only on the other, thus making a bridge of the trunk. Place the hands over the thighs or catch hold of the toes. You will have to give a good twist to the back. Matsyasana is the destroyer of many diseases. This is very useful for general health also.

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Place the left heel right in the centre of the perineum - the space between the anus and the external organ of generation. Put the whole weight of the body on the toes, particularly the left big toe. Place the right foot over the left thigh, near the knee. Sit carefully now, keeping the balance. If you find it difficult to practice this Asana independently, you can take the help of a bench or sit by the side of a wall. Place the hands on the sides of the hips. Breathe slowly.

The perineal space is four inches in breadth. Underneath this space lies the Veerya Nadi that carries semen from the testes. By pressing this Nadi with the heel, the flow of semen outside is checked. A steady practice of this Asana removes wet dreams and spermatorrhoea and makes one an Oordhvareta Yogi. A combination of Asanas such as Sirshasana, Sarvangasana and Siddhasana is very conducive to keeping up brahmacharya. Each has its own specific action. Siddhasana acts on the testes and its cells and prevents the formation of semen. Sirshasana and Sarvangasana help the flow of semen towards the brain. Padangushthasana acts on the spermatic duct effectively.

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Instruction on Asana practice

Physical exercises draw the Prana out. Asanas send the Prana in. Asanas are not only physical, but also spiritual. They help a long way in controlling the senses, mind and body. The body, nerves and muscles are purified. If you do Dhand and Bhaitak five hundred times a day for five years, they will not, in any way, produce any spiritual experience. Ordinary physical exercises develop only the superficial muscles of the body. One can become a sandow with a beautiful physique by practising physical exercise. But, Asanas are intended for physical as well as spiritual development.

Spread a blanket on the floor and practice Asanas over it. Use a thin pillow under the head when you do Sirshasana. Wear a Langoti or Kaupin or loin-cloth when you practice Asanas. Avoid using spectacles and too many clothes.

Those who practice Sirshasana for a long time should take some light tiffin or a cup of milk after finishing the Asana. Be regular and systematic in your practices. Those who practice by fits and starts will not derive any benefit. Regularity in the practice is very necessary if one wants to realize the maximum benefits of Asanas. Generally, people practice for two months in the beginning with great interest and enthusiasm and then leave off. This is a sad mistake.

Asanas should be done on an empty or light stomach or at least three hours after food. You can advantageously combine Japa and Pranayama during the practice of Asanas. Then it becomes real Yoga. Asanas can be practiced on the sandy beds of rivers, open airy places, and by the seaside also. If you practice Asanas and Pranayama in a room, see that the room is not congested. The room should be clean and well-ventilated.

In the beginning of the practice, do each Asana for a minute or two only and then gradually and slowly increase the period as much as you can.

Avoid too much exertion when you do all the Yogic exercises. There must be joy and exhilaration throughout your practices.

Here I have given you instructions for a few select Asanas that are very useful for maintaining brahmacharya. For detailed instructions on nearly ninety Asanas, refer to my book "Yoga Asanas".

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Mula Bandha

Press the Yoni or the space between the anus and the generative organ with the left heel. Contract the anus. Place the right heel at the root of the organ of generation. This is Mula Bandha.

The Apana Vayu, which does the function of ejection of excreta, has a natural tendency to move downwards. Through the practice of Mula Bandha, the Apana Vayu is made to move upwards by contracting the anus and forcibly drawing it upwards. Mula Bandha is highly useful for maintaining brahmacharya. This is practiced during inhalation in Pranayama and during Japa and meditation also.

Mula Bandha is a Yogic Kriya, which helps the Yogic student to take the Apana and the sex energy upwards. The tendency of the Apana is to flow downwards. This downward flow of Apana and the sex energy is checked by the practice of Mula Bandha. The Yogic student sits on Siddhasana and takes the Apana and the sex energy upwards by contracting the anus and practising Kumbhaka or retention of breath. By long practice, the downward seminal flow is checked and semen is sublimated or transmuted into Ojas Sakti or spiritual energy, which helps contemplation. This Bandha checks wet dreams and helps in maintaining brahmacharya.

Such a beneficial Yogic practice prescribed by the Rishis and Yogis of yore is misused by the people and misprescribed by some inexperienced, ignorant Yogic culturists of the present day. They teach this Kriya to the lay public to achieve their selfish ends and to have a comfortable living. They pompously advertise that people can retain the vital fluid for a long time and have intense sexual enjoyment for a protracted period through this Kriya. They teach this Bandha to the rich householders. Some of the deluded householders are allured by such statements of these Yogic charlatans - whose goal is money-making for comfortable living - and they take recourse to this Kriya. They indulge more on the strength of this Kriya, lose their vitality and come to grief and destruction in a very short period. By injudicious practice of this Kriya, the Apana is dislocated and they get various diseases like colic, constipation and piles.

These Yogic culturists have done intense harm to the public. Instead of prescribing this useful Kriya of the Rishis and Yogis of yore for the attainment of brahmacharya, and for success in Pranayama in the form of brahmacharya these deluded souls have excited the householders to become more passionate and to have more indulgence. They have brought a slur on the science of Yoga and Yogis.

They argue: "We must move according to the modern times. People want this. They like such Kriyas. They are benefited. They are more happy by practising this Kriya." Wonderful philosophy indeed! This is the philosophy of the Epicureans and the Charvakas. This is the philosophy of Virochana. This is the philosophy of flesh.

O ignorant man! Open your eyes. Wake up from the deep slumber of ignorance. Do not be carried away by the sweet speeches and indecent demonstrations of these Yogic charlatans or pseudo-Gurus. You will be ruined. Give up such practices. Preserve the vital fluid. Turn it into Ojas through Japa, Kirtan, Pranayama, Vichara. Lead a pious life. Life is meant for a higher purpose. Life is meant for Self-realization.

O Yogic culturists! Do not mislead people. Call yourselves as the noble followers or disciples of the revered Rishis of olden times. Do not prescribe these Kriyas for base ends. Be noble and magnanimous. Aim high. Become true Yogis. Sensible and cultured people will laugh at you if you disseminate Yogic knowledge in this manner. Give them knowledge of the ways to maintain brahmacharya. Make them real Yogis. People will revere you and appreciate your selfless work.

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Jalandhara Bandha

Contract the throat. Press the chin firmly against the chest. This is practiced at the end of Puraka and at the beginning of Kumbhaka. Next to this comes the Uddiyana Bandha. These Bandhas are something like three stages of one exercise.

Uddiyana Bandha

Empty the lungs by a strong and forcible expiration. Now, contract and forcibly draw up the intestines and also the navel towards the back so that the abdomen rests against the back of the body high up in the thoracic cavity.

This Bandha can be practiced in a standing posture also. In this case, bend a little forward, resting the hands on the thighs and keeping the legs a little apart. These three Bandhas are a good combination. The description of Nauli Kriya can be taken as the next stage of Uddiyana Bandha.

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Nauli Kriya
Nauli Kriya

Nauli Kriya

Uddiyana Bandha can be done in a sitting posture also, but Nauli generally is done while standing. Keep the right leg a foot apart from the left and rest your hands on the thighs, thus making a slight curve of the back. Then do Uddiyana Bandha.

Now allow the centre of the abdomen free, by contracting the left and the right side of the abdomen. You will have all the muscles in the centre in a vertical line. Keep it so as long as you can do it comfortably. Do this much only for a few days.

After some practice, you should contract the right side of the abdomen and allow the left side free. Here you will have all the muscles on the left side only. Again, contract the left side and allow the right side free. By having such gradual practices, you will understand how to contract the muscles of the central, left and right sides of the abdomen.

Now comes the final stage of Nauli Kriya. Keep the muscles in the centre. Slowly bring them to the right side and then to the left side in a circular way. Do this several times from the right to the left and then do it in the reverse order, from the left to the right. You should always turn the muscles with a circular motion, slowly. You cannot derive the full benefits of this Kriya when you do not do it slowly and gradually. Beginners will feel a slight pain in the abdomen in the first two or three attempts. They need not fear. The pain will vanish after two or three days of regular practice.

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Maha Mudra

Sit on the ground. Press the anus with the left heel. Stretch out the right leg. Take hold of the toe with the two hands. Inhale and retain the breath. Press the chin against the chest firmly. Fix the gaze at the Trikuti or the space between the eyebrows. Retain the posture as long as you tan. Practice on the other leg also.


Yoga MudraYoga Mudra
Yoga Mudra

Yoga Mudra

Sit on Padmasana. Place the palms on the heels. Exhale slowly and bend forward and touch the ground with your forehead. If you retain the pose for a long time, you can breathe in and out as usual. If you do it for a short time only, retain the breath till you raise the head and come back to your original position and then inhale. Instead of keeping the hands on the heels, you can take them to the back and catch hold of the left wrist with your right hand. This Mudra is useful in keeping up brahmacharya. It reduces excessive fat in the belly and removes all disorders of the stomach and the bowels. Constipation is removed. The gastric fire is increased. Appetite and digestion improve. If you cannot retain the pose for a long time at one stretch, repeat the process several times. Take rest in the intervals.

Easy and comfortable Pranayama

Sit on Padmasana or Siddhasana with an empty light stomach in your meditation room. Close your eyes. Close the right nostril with the right thumb and draw in the air through the left nostril. Close the left nostril also with the right little and ring fingers and retain the air as long as you can. Then remove the right thumb and exhale very, very slowly. Again, in the same manner, draw in the air through the right nostril, retain it as long as you can; and then exhale through the left nostril. The whole process constitutes one Pranayama. Do twenty in the morning and twenty in the evening. Gradually and cautiously increase the period of retaining the air and the number of Pranayamas also. When you advance in the practice, you can have three or four sittings and you can do eighty Pranayamas in each sitting.

Bhastrika Pranayama

Sit on Padmasana. Keep the body erect. Close the mouth. Inhale and exhale quickly twenty times like the bellows. Constantly dilate and contract. The practitioner should start with expulsions of breath following one another in rapid succession. When the required number of expulsions, say, twenty for a round, is finished, the final expulsion is followed by the deepest possible inhalation. Retain the air as long as you can keep it comfortably and then very, very slowly, exhale. This is one round of Bhastrika. Take a little rest and then do another round. Do three rounds in the morning and three in the evening. This is a very powerful exercise, beneficial for Brahmacharins. You can do this even when you are standing.

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Hints on Pranayama practice

Do not take bath immediately after Pranayama practice. Rest for half an hour. Have one sitting only in the morning during summer. If there is heat in the brain or head, apply cooling oil or butter before you take a bath.

Always inhale and exhale very slowly. Do not make any sound during inhalation. In Bhastrika, do not produce any violent sound. Breathe only through the nose. A neophyte should do Puraka and Rechaka only, without any Kumbhaka, for some days.

You must so nicely adjust the Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka that you do not experience a feeling of suffocation or discomfort at any stage of Pranayama. You must not unnecessarily prolong the period of exhalation. If you prolong the time of Rechaka, the following inhalation will be done in a hurried manner and the rhythm will be broken.

Gradually increase the period of Kumbhaka. Do Kumbhaka for 4 seconds in the first week, for 8 seconds in the second week, for 12 seconds in the third week and so on till you are able to retain the breath as long as you can.

Repeat 'Om', Gayatri or any other Mantra mentally during the practice. Have the Bhav, feeling, that the Daivi-Sampat such as mercy, forgiveness, love and so on enter your system during inhalation and that all Asuric Sampat or devilish qualities such as lust, anger, greed and jealousy are thrown out during exhalation. When you inhale, feel that you draw energy from the divine source, cosmic Prana, and that your whole body from top to toe is saturated with abundant, fresh energy. Stop the practice when you are seriously ailing.

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Vajroli Mudra

This is an important Yogic Kriya in Hatha Yoga. You will have to work hard to get full success in this Kriya. There are very few people who are experts in this act. Yogic students draw water first through a silver tube, a specially made catheter, passed into the urethra twelve inches inside. After due practice they draw milk, then oil, honey and so on. They draw mercury in the end. Later on they can draw these liquids directly through the urethra without the help of the silver tube. This Kriya is of immense use for keeping up perfect brahmacharya. On the first day you should send the catheter inside the urethra for one inch only, the second day for two inches, the third day for three inches, and so on. You must practice gradually till you are able to send twelve inches of the catheter inside. The way becomes clear and blowing. Raja Bhartrihari could do this Kriya very dexterously.

Even a drop of semen cannot come out of the Yogi who practices this Mudra. Even if it is discharged, he can draw it back through this Mudra. The Yogi, who draws his semen up and preserves it, conquers death. Good smell emanates from his body.

The late Trailingaswami of Benares was an expert in this Kriya. Sri Swami Kuvalayanandaji of Lonavala used to teach this Mudra.

Practice of Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, Maha Mudra, Asanas and Pranayamas will naturally enable one to understand Vajroli and to get success in its practice. This must be done under the direct guidance of a Guru.

The object of practising Vajroli Mudra is to be perfectly established in brahmacharya. When aspirants practice this Mudra, they unconsciously divert their mind to sexual centres and thereby they fail to get any success. When you see the description of this Mudra, you will clearly understand that strict brahmacharya is absolutely necessary. For practising this, there is no necessity at all for a woman or for any sexual intercourse. Since the Grihasthis have their wives and since they think that Vajroli Mudra is a device for birth control, they have a keen desire to practice this Mudra. It is all mere foolishness and delusion. They have not understood the technique and object of this important Kriya.

Your motive in learning the Vajroli Mudra must be pure. You must have the one idea of getting Self-realization through absolute brahmacharya. Have sex sublimation. You must not misuse the power gained through this Yogic Kriya. Analyze and scrutinise your motive thoroughly. There are very many temptations and dangers on the Yogic road. Beware, my child Prem! I again and again warn you.

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1. The power of lust. The example of Jaimini

Once upon a time, Sri Vedavyasa was holding his Vedanta class amongst his students. In the course of his lecture, he mentioned that the young Brahmacharis should be very careful and should not mix with young ladies and that, with all their vigilance and circumspection, they might fall a victim as lust was very powerful. One of his students, Jaimini, the author of Purva-Mimamsa, was a little impertinent. He said, "Guruji Maharaj! Your statement is wrong. No lady can attract me. I am well established in brahmacharya." Vyasa said, "Jaimini, you will know that soon. I am going to Benares. I will return within three months. Be careful. Don't be puffed up with pride."

Sri Vyasa, through his Yogic powers, assumed the form of a beautiful young girl, with piercing eyes and very charming face, well dressed in a thin silken garment. The lady was standing underneath a tree at sunset. Clouds gathered together. It began to rain. Accidentally, Jaimini was passing along the side of the tree. He saw the girl, felt pity and addressed her: "Oh lady, you can come and stay in my Ashram. I shall give you shelter." The lady asked, "Are you living alone? Is any woman living there?" Jaimini replied, "I am alone. But I am a perfect Brahmachari. No lust can affect me. I am free from any sort of Vikara. You can stay there." The lady objected: "It is not right for a young virgin girl to stay with a Brahmachari alone at night." Jaimini said, "Oh damsel, don't be afraid. I promise you of, my perfect brahmacharya." Then she agreed and stayed in his Ashram at night.

Jaimini slept outside and the lady was sleeping inside the room. At dead of night, Jaimini began to feel the influence of lust in his mind. A little sexual craving arose in his mind. In the beginning, he was absolutely pure. He knocked at the door and said, "Oh lady, the wind is blowing outside. I cannot bear the cold blasts. I want to sleep inside." She opened the door. Jaimini was sleeping inside. Again the sexual craving became a little more intense and keen, as he was very close to a lady and as he heard the sound of her bangles. Then he rose up and began to embrace her. At once Sri Vyasa assumed his original form with his long beard and said, "Oh, my dear Jaimini, what about the strength of your brahmacharya now? Are you established in your perfect celibacy now? What did you say when I was lecturing on this subject?" Jaimini dropped his head down in utter shame and said, "Guruji! I am wrong. Kindly pardon me."

This illustration goes to show that even great persons are duped by the power of Maya and by the influence of revolting Indriyas. Brahmacharins should be very careful.

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2. Passion's hold over man's mind. Socrates and his disciple

One of the disciples of Socrates asked his teacher, "My venerable master, kindly instruct me how many times a householder can visit his legal wife." Socrates replied, "Only once in his lifetime."

The disciple said, "Oh my Lord! This is absolutely impossible for worldly men. Passion is dreadful and troublesome. This world is full of temptations and distractions. Householders have not a strong will to resist temptations. Their Indriyas are very revolting and powerful. The mind is filled with passion. Thou art a philosopher and Yogi. You can control. Pray, kindly prescribe an easy path for the men of the world." Then Socrates said, " A householder can have copulation once in a year."

The disciple replied, "O venerable sir, this is also a hard job for them. You must prescribe an easier course." Socrates then replied, "Well, my dear disciple, once in a month. This is suitable. This is quite easy. I think you are satisfied now."

The disciple said, "This also is impossible, my revered master. Householders are very fickle-minded. Their minds are full of sexual Samskaras and Vasanas. They cannot remain even for a single day without sexual intercourse. You have no idea of their mentality."

Then Socrates said, "Well said, my dear child. Do one thing now. Go directly to the burial ground now. Dig a grave and purchase a coffin and winding sheet for the corpse before hand. Now you can spoil yourself any number of times you like. This is my final advice to you." This last advice pierced the heart of the disciple. He felt it keenly. He thought over the matter seriously and understood the importance and glory of brahmacharya. He took to spiritual Sadhana in right earnest. He took a vow of strict unbroken celibacy for life. He became an Oordhvareta Yogi and had Self-realization. He became one of the favourite disciples of Socrates.

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3. Lust increases with enjoyment. Raja Yayati

There once lived a sagely king named Yayati who lived for a full one thousand years enjoying all the pleasures a king of his position could command. When old age attacked him, and he had still a great desire to enjoy all royal pleasures for some more years, he asked each of his sons, one by one, to take upon himself this old age and give him his youth in return, assuring that after another one thousand years he would return the youth and take back his decrepitude. Not one of them was willing to accept the offer except his youngest son named Puru.

Puru said with all humility that he was quite willing to do as his father wished him and accordingly gave his youth to his father and got in return old age and its consequent weakness. Yayati, being exceedingly delighted with his new youth, began again to indulge in sensual pleasures. He enjoyed himself to the full extent of his desires and to the full limit of his powers and as much as he desired without violating the precepts of religion. He was very happy, but only one thought troubled him. And that was the thought that the one thousand years would soon come to an end.

When the fixed time came to an end, he came to his son Puru and addressed him thus: "O son, I have enjoyed with your youth to the full extent of my desires and to the full limit of my powers and all according to their seasons. But, desires never die. They are never satiated by indulgence. By indulgence they flame up like the sacrificial fire with ghee poured into it. If one becomes the sole lord of all the earth with its paddy, oats, gems, beasts and women, still it will not be considered by him enough. Therefore, the thirst for enjoyment should be abandoned. The thirst for enjoyments which is difficult to cast off by the wicked, which does not fail even with failing life, is truly a fatal disease in man. To get rid of this thirst is real happiness. My mind was attached to the pleasures of life for full one thousand years. My thirst for them, however, without being abated, is daily being increased. Therefore, I shall get rid of it. I shall fix my mind on Brahman, and becoming peaceful and having no attachment, I shall pass the rest of my days in the forest with the innocent deer." So saying he installed Puru on the throne after giving him back his youth and retired into the forest to lead the life of an ascetic.

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4. Dawn of Viveka and Vairagya. Yogi Vemana

Vemana was born in the year 1820 in a small village in the district of Godavari in Andhra Desa. He had a brother by name Anu Verna Reddy. His parents passed away when he was quite a young boy. He was born in a rich family. He was a Reddy by caste.

Vemana was sent to a primary school. He was not able to prosecute his studies. He fell into evil company and became a rowdy boy. But he was very handsome and active. Anu Verna Reddy and his wife Narasamma liked Vemana very much. At the age of fifteen, Vemana became debaucherous. He spent much money for the sake of women. Yet, his brother and sister-in-law liked him very much.

Anu Vema Reddy and his wife wanted to correct the ways of Vemana. They stopped giving him any money. So Vemana stole at night the ornaments of his sister-in-law and gave them to a prostitute. When his sister-in-law came to know of the loss of the jewels, she asked Vemana, "Where are my jewels?" Vemana answered, "As you did not give me money, I took them and gave away to my beloved." Narasamma did not speak a word. She did not even inform her husband of the loss of the jewels. She liked Vemana very much. She locked up all her ornaments in the safe.

The prostitute urged Vemana to bring some More money or ornaments. So, again at dead of night, Vemana woke up from his bed and tried to remove some of the ornaments from the neck of his sister-in-law. She was wearing only the sacred Mangala Sutra that was tied round her neck at the time of her marriage; she had kept all her other jewels in the safe. Vemana wanted to remove at least this ornament. When he was attempting to remove it, Narasamma woke up and caught hold of his hand and asked him why he came to her bedroom at midnight. He replied in a daring manner: "My beloved asked me to bring some ornaments. I came here to take them." Narasamma asked him to get out of the room at once. Then Vemana cried and fell at her feet. Narasamma prayed to God to give good Buddhi to Vemana and make him a pure, virtuous soul. Then she promised to give Vemana an ornament, provided he would strictly obey her words. Vemana fully assured her.

Narasamma said: "Vemana! Ask the girl to stand naked in front of you. Let her back be turned towards you. Then ask her to bend down and take the jewel from your hands by passing her hands through her thighs." Vemana promised to do so and took an oath also in the name of Goddess Kali. Then his sister-in-law gave him a valuable ornament.

Vemana proceeded directly to the prostitute's house and asked her to do in the manner his sister-in-law had instructed. While the prostitute was bending down, he saw very clearly the private parts of the woman. At once intense Vairagya [detachment, renunciation] dawned in his mind. He retraced his steps to his house with the ornament in his hands. He gave back the ornament to his sister-in-law and related to her all that had happened. He said, "My dear sister-in-law! Thank you so much for all your kind acts. I am a changed man now. There is no real happiness in this world. It is all jugglery of Maya. I am going now in quest of real happiness." He left the house at once and went to a Kali temple near his village and sat near the image of Kali.

Now it so happened that, for some years, a man named Abhiramayya had been praying to Kali for Her Darshan. One day She appeared in his dream and said, "Come tomorrow at midnight. I will give you Darshan." But the unfortunate devotee could not come the next day. When Kali came, Vemana was there instead. Kali asked Vemana to seek a boon of her. Vemana said, "O Mother! Give me Brahma-Jnana." Mother Kali then initiated him into the mysteries of Jnana. From that day onwards, Vemana became a virtuous man with great devotion, Yogic powers and Jnana.

In course of his wanderings, Vemana went to Cuddapah. He lived in a forest near Cuddapah. He planted various fruit-bearing trees like melons and cucumbers. The cucumbers were all filled with gold. With this gold, Vemana built a temple at Sri Sailam. Even today, this temple at Sri Sailam contains the famous Jyotirlingam of Mallikarjuna. It is a famous place of pilgrimage. One day some thieves came to rob the cucumbers containing gold. They all became senseless due to the Yogic powers of Vemana.

Once Vemana entered the cottage of a poor Brahmin at midnight and went to sleep on his bed. During the night, he answered the calls of nature on the bed itself. That portion of the bed, which was soiled by his excreta, became transmuted into gold.

Vemana cast off his physical sheath in 1865 in Katarupalli in the Cuddapah district. He wrote several books in Telugu on Yoga, chief among them being "Vemana Tattva-Jnanam" and "Vemana Jivamritam".

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5. Beauty lies in imagination. The story of Hemachuda

There was a king named Muktachuda in olden times. He ruled the kingdom of Dasarna. He had two sons, Hemachuda and Manichuda. They both were very handsome and virtuous. They had good behaviour and conduct. They were also very proficient in all the arts. They both went to the mountain Sahya with attendants and weapons for hunting. They shot many tigers and wild animals. All of a sudden there was a terrible sandstorm. Immense darkness prevailed. One could not see the other person.

Hemachuda somehow managed to reach the hermitage of a sage, which was full of fruit trees. He saw in the Ashram a beautiful maiden. He was quite astonished to see a fearless girl in that solitary forest. He asked the maiden, "Who are you? Who is your father? Why are you alone here? How did you develop this courage?" She replied politely, "Welcome, O prince! Take your seat. Take a little rest. You seem to be much tired. Kindly take these fruits and nuts. I shall relate my story." The prince ate those fruits and nuts and rested for a while.

The girl then began: "O prince! Harken to my story with rapt attention. I am the God-child of sage Vyaghrapada who is adored by all, who has conquered the world by his severe austerities, and who has attained liberation. My name is Hemalekha. Vidyutprabha, celestial nymph of matchless beauty and indescribable splendour, one day came to the river Veena for bathing. Sushena, the king of the Vengas, also came there. Sushena was captivated by the enchanting beauty of Vidyutprabha. The celestial nymph was also infatuated with the handsome figure of King Sushena. Sushena pleaded his love to Vidyutprabha. She responded. The king spent some time with her. Afterwards he returned to his capital.

"Vidyutprabha soon brought forth a child." She left the child there as she was afraid of her husband and went to her place. I am that child. Vyaghrapada came to the river for his daily ablutions. He saw me and took pity on me. He brought me up like a mother. I regard him as my father. I serve him with reverence. Through his grace I have become fearless here. My father will return presently. Please wait a little. Pay your respects to him and obtain his blessings." The intelligent girl understood the heart of the prince and said: "O prince! Do not get disheartened. You can gratify your desire. My father will grant your desire."

Immediately, the sage Vyaghrapada entered with flowers for worship. The prince got up and prostrated before the sage. The sage understood that the prince was in love with the girl. He gave Hemalekha in marriage to the prince. The prince returned with her to his city. His father was very much delighted. He celebrated their marriage with pomp and splendour.

The prince loved Hemalekha immensely. He was very much attached to her. But he noticed that she was rather indifferent to sensual pleasures. He asked her one day: "O dear Hemalekha, what is the matter with you? I am very much attached to you. Why do you not reciprocate my love? Nothing seems to have any effect on you. You are dispassionate. How can I enjoy when you have such an attitude of mind? You always sit with closed eyes like a statue. You do not laugh, play and joke with me. Kindly speak out your heart. Be frank."

Hemalekha replied respectfully: "O prince! Hear me. What is love? What is dislike? As this is not clear to my mind, I am always reflecting over it. I have come to no definite conclusion. Please enlighten me on this point. I entreat you."

Hemachuda replied with a smile: "It is true that women possess an innocent mind. Even animals understand what is like and dislike. We see that they like pleasing things and dislike unpleasant objects. Beauty gives us pleasure; ugliness gives us pain. Why do you waste your time daily on this?"

Hemalekha replied: "It is true I that women have no independent power of thinking. So, is it not your duty to clear my doubts? If you throw light, I will leave off thinking and be attached to you always. O prince! You said that like and dislike or love and hatred arise out of objects which give us pleasure and pain. But the same object gives us pleasure and pain on account of time, circumstances and environments. What is your decision then? Kindly give me your definite answer. Fire is very pleasant in winter, but in summer it is very terrible. You cannot go near the fire. The same fire gives pleasure in cold countries and pain in hot countries. The quantity of fire gives us different results. Similar is the case with wealth, wife, son, mother and so on. These induce positive sufferings and misery. Why is it that your father Muktachuda, despite his possession of immense wealth, sons and wife is always sorrowful? Others are very happy even without these. Worldly happiness is mixed with misery, pain, fear and anxiety. So it cannot be called happiness at all. Misery is personal and impersonal or internal and external. The external one is caused by the faults of the elements on the body. The internal one is born out of desire. It has connection with the mind. Of these, the internal one is more formidable. It is the seed or cause for all suffering. The whole world is drowned in such internal misery. The tree called misery has desire as the strong and never-failing seed. Even Indra and other gods are impelled by this desire. They carry out its instructions day and night. If there is no desire, you cannot experience any pleasure. Such a mixture of happiness and misery is enjoyed even by the insects, worms and dogs. Do you think that man's happiness is greater than this? The happiness of the insects is superior to that of man. Because desire is not mixed in their pleasure, it is unalloyed. Whereas, in man, a little pleasure is found in the midst of thousands of ungratified desires. This cannot be called happiness. Man feels happy by embracing his wife, but by pressing her limbs too much, he makes her feel uneasy. After sporting, they are exhausted. What happiness have you in these sensual perishable objects? Kindly explain, O prince! This sort of happiness is enjoyed even by dogs, donkeys and pigs. But, if you say that you are happy by looking at my physical beauty, this happiness is imaginary and illusory like embracing a lady in a dream.

"A certain beautiful prince had a very handsome wife. He was very much attached to her. She, on the contrary, was in love with the prince's servant. She was cheating the prince by foul means. The servant would mix some intoxicating drug in the wine given to the prince. Then he would send an ugly servant-maid to the prince. He himself would sport with the prince's wife. The prince, under intoxication, was thinking: 'I am very fortunate. I have got the most beautiful lady in the world.' Many days passed thus. One day the servant forgot to mix the narcotic in the wine. The prince also did not drink much that day. He joined the ugly woman when he fell a victim to passion. He now found out that she was the servant-maid. He asked her where his dear wife was. She kept silent at first. Then the prince drew the sword and threatened to kill her if she did not reveal the whole truth. She told him everything and showed the place where his beautiful wife was with the servant. The prince said: 'What a fool am I! I have degraded myself by drinking. Whoever places too much love on a woman becomes despicable. Just as a bird is not fixed to any particular tree, so also, woman is not fixed to one man. She has fickle, unsteady mind. I have become a beast. I have lost my power of discrimination. I regarded my wife as more valuable than my very life itself. A man who is attached to a woman and who yields to a woman is a veritable donkey indeed. Woman is evanescent like the autumnal sky. I did not know woman's nature till now. She goes to the dirty servant and she has left me who am ever attached to her and who is faithful to her. She pretended to show love to me like a drama actress. I am cheated. The servant is ugly in all his limbs. What beauty does she find in him?' The prince became disgusted with everything. He left the kingdom and went to a forest."

Hemalekha continued: "Therefore, O prince! Beauty is a mental creation only. Beauty is mind-born. Beauty is the result of mental conception. Just as you behold beauty in me, others find even better charm in ugly women. On seeing a woman, her reflection is formed in the mirror of a man's mind. If a man thinks of this beauty constantly, desire is stimulated in that part of the body, which is subject to impulse. That man in whom the desire is thus stimulated enjoys sensual pleasure, whereas, he whose desire is not stimulated does not care to see even the most handsome girl. The cause for this is the constant meditation on beauty or woman. Boys and ascetics do not meditate or think on this. Therefore, they do not get any desire for sensual pleasures. Those who find pleasure in the company of a particular woman create in their minds the beauty according to their ideas, irrespective of whether the woman is ugly or most beautiful. They project their ideas of beauty in the woman. If you ask how beauty is found in an ugly woman and how there can be joy without beauty, I can only say that a passionate man in his infatuation is blind. Cupid is painted blind. The passionate man finds the beauty of Rambha in the most ugly woman. There can be no beauty without desire. If beauty be natural like sourness, sweetness and bitterness in substances, then why is it not found in children and young girls? Therefore, beauty is created by mind only.

"People think as beautiful this physical body which is composed of flesh, filled with blood, built of nerves, covered with skin, a cage of bones overgrown with hair, full of bile and phlegm, a box of excreta and urine, created out of blood and semen, born through the urinary passage! How can those persons who find pleasure in this be superior to worms born in filth? O prince, you find my physical body to be beautiful. Just analyze this body part by part and think over each part. Think over every part of sweet and delicious things. All things we eat are changed into abominable dirt. When such is the case, what is lovable and delighting?"

Hemachuda heard the nectar-like instructions of Hemalekha with great attention and interest. He developed strong Vairagya and Viveka, meditated on the all-pervading, pure, immortal Atman and became a Jivanmukta. Manichuda also learnt the truth from his brother; Muktachuda from his son; and his wife from her daughter-in-law. The minister and citizens of that town became wise. Even birds were uttering and others words of wisdom in that town. Sages Vamadeva and others noticed that all in that town, including the animals and birds, were learned and wise and called the city as Vidyanagar or the Town of Wisdom.

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6. Physical beauty is no beauty. Story of a prince

Once a young prince saw a beautiful princess on the banks of a river when he was on a hunting excursion. The princess had a philosophical bent of mind. She had mastered several Vedantic books. She was practising deep meditation on Atman. The prince approached her and wanted her to marry him. She flatly refused. The prince again and again entreated her in various ways. She finally told him, "Please come and see me in my residence after ten days. I shall marry you". The prince also was a student of Vedanta, but he had no real sustained Vairagya. He spent sleepless nights, and on the morning of the tenth day, eagerly proceeded to the palace of the princess.

The young princess had already devised a means to escape from the clutches of marriage. She took a drastic purgative of croton oil continually for ten days and collected all the motions in ten separate enamel commodes and arranged them all nicely with numbers 1 to 10 in a big room, covering all the commodes with beautiful silk clothes. She now looked all skin and bones. Her eyes were sunken and she lay down on her bed.

The prince came to meet her with great joy. The maid-servant conducted him to the room where the princess lay. The prince could not recognise her. He asked the maid-servant, "Where is the young, beautiful lady? She is not the lady whom I met the other day!" To which the princess replied, "O dear prince, I am the very same lady. I have carefully stored up my beauty in the yonder room. Kindly go with me and see the accumulated beauty there. Come along with me now. I shall show it to you". So saying, she took the prince to the room, removed the silk pieces, and asked him to look at her beauty. She added, "This is the beauty of my skin and flesh". The prince was simply stunned. He did not speak a word to the lady. He prostrated at her feet and took her as his mother. He threw off his princely robes and retired into the forests. Now his heart was filled with intense Vairagya. He sought the protection of a sage, got instructions from him, practiced rigorous meditation and attained Knowledge of the Self.

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7. Being busy is the best way to control lust. Story of a ghost

The mind is like the ghost, which is always restless. Once a Brahmin Pundit, through Mantra Siddhi, had control over a ghost. The ghost said to the Pundit, "I can do any work for you in a minute. I have supernatural powers. You must be giving me various kinds of works .... always. If you leave me even for a second without work, I will at once devour you". The Brahmin agreed.

The ghost dug a tank for the Brahmin, ploughed the fields and did various works in a short time. The Brahmin was not able to engage the ghost in any further work. The ghost threatened him, "Now there is no work for me. I will devour you". The Brahmin was much puzzled. He did not know what to do. He went to his Guru and explained his situation. His teacher said, "Use your common sense. Install a big, stout, soft, wooden post in front of your house. Apply castor oil, wax and other greasy substances to the post. Ask the ghost to get up the post and get down the whole day and night". The disciple acted accordingly and controlled the ghost without any difficulty. The ghost became helpless.

Even so, you must give to the mind some kind of work or the other always: Japa, meditation, Svadhyaya, service, Kirtan, prayer and so on. You must keep it fully occupied. Then only the mind can be easily controlled. You will have no evil thoughts. You can be well established both in physical and mental brahmacharya.

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Brahmacharya is abstaining from all kinds of Maithuna or sexual enjoyment for ever, in all places and in all conditions, physically, mentally and verbally. - Yajnavalkya

Thinking of a woman or her picture, praising a woman or her picture, sporting with a woman or her picture, glancing at a woman or her picture, secretly talking to a woman, thinking of a sinful action towards a woman actuated by sensuality, determining upon the sinful action, and bodily action resulting in the discharge of semen are the eight characteristics of copulation; and brahmacharya is quite contrary to all these eight indications. - Daksha Smriti

Know that in this world there is nothing that cannot be attained by one who remains from birth to death a perfect celibate... In one person, knowledge of the four Vedas, and in another, perfect celibacy - of these, the latter is superior to the former who is wanting in celibacy. - The Mahabharata

Brahmacharya or spotless chastity is the best of all penances; a celibate of such spotless chastity is not a human being, but a god indeed... To the celibate who conserves the semen with great efforts, what is there unattainable in this world? By the power of the composure of the semen, one will become just like myself. - Lord Sankara

And those students who find that world of God through chastity, theirs is that heavenly country; theirs, in whatever world they are, is freedom. - Chhandogya Upanishad

A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a burning pit of live coals. From the contact comes sensation, from sensation thirst, from thirst clinging; by ceasing from that, the soul is delivered from all sinful existence. - Lord Buddha

These sexual propensities, though they are at first like ripples, acquire the proportions of a sea on account of bad company. - Narada

Sensuality destroys life, lustre, strength, vitality, memory, wealth, great fame, holiness and devotion to the Supreme. - Lord Krishna

Death is hastened by letting out semen from the body; life is saved and prolonged by preserving it.

There is no doubt that people die prematurely by letting the semen out of the body; knowing this, the Yogi should always preserve semen and lead a life of strict celibacy. - Siva Samhita

Caution in diet is of threefold value, but abstinence from sexual intercourse is of fourfold value. The Sannyasi had, and has a rule never to look at a woman. - Atreya

Let not a Brahmin see a woman naked. - Manu

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