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Glory of Brahmacharya

by Swami Sivananda
There cannot be any language without vowels. You cannot draw a picture without a canvas or wall. You cannot write anything without paper. Even so, you cannot have health and spiritual life without Brahmacharya. It gives material progress and psychic advancement. Brahmacharya is the basis for eternal life. It is a substratum for a life in the Atman. It is the shield for waging war against the internal Asuras-anger, lust and greed. It serves as a gateway to bliss beyond. It opens the door of Moksha. It contributes to perennial joy, uninterrupted and unalloyed bliss. Even Rishis, Devas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras serve at the feet of a true Brahmachari. Even Isvara applies to his forehead the dust of the feet of a genuine celibate. It is the only key to open the Sushumna and awaken the Kundalini. It brings glory, fame, virtue and Pratishtha. Eight Siddhis and nine Riddhis roll under his feet. They are ever ready to obey his command. The Lord of Death flees away from him. Who can describe the magnanimity, glory and majesty of a true Brahmachari!

Pure air, pure water, wholesome food, physical exercise, outdoor games like tennis-all contribute to the maintenance of good health, strength and a high standard of vigour and vitality. There are indeed many ways to gain health and strength. These ways are doubtless indispensably requisite. But Brahmacharya is the most important of all. It is a master-key to open the realms of health and happiness. It is the cornerstone of the edifice of bliss and unalloyed felicity. It is the only specific that keeps up true manliness.

Ojas is spiritual energy that is stored up in the brain. By sublime thoughts, meditation, Japa, worship and Pranayama, the sexual energy can be transmuted into Ojas Sakti and stored up in the brain. This energy can 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 a magnetic aura in his face and lustrous eyes. He can influence the people by speaking a few words. A short speech can produce a tremendous impression on the minds of 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 Dig-Vijaya and held controversies and heated debates in different parts of India with the learned scholars through his power of Ojas. A Yogi always directs his attention to the accumulation of this divine energy by unbroken chastity.

Have you realised, my dear friends, the importance of Brahmacharya? Have you recognised, my dear brothers, the true significance and glory of Brahmacharya? How can you expect to be strong and healthy, if the energy that is acquired through various means with great difficulty, is wasted daily. It is impossible to be strong and healthy unless males and females, boys and girls, try their level best to keep up Brahmacharya or the vow of celibacy.

What, then, is Brahmacharya? Brahmacharya is absolute freedom from sexual desire. He or she must be free from the lustful look even. The look must be perfectly chaste, Lord Jesus says: "If you have a lustful look, you have already committed adultery in the heart." One should not even dream of touching a woman with lustful desire. A real Brahmachari will not feel any difference in touching a woman, a piece of paper or a block of wood.

What do we see in these days? Boys and girls, men and women, are drowned in the ocean of impure thoughts, lustful desires and little sensual pleasures. It is highly deplorable indeed. It is shocking to hear some of the stories of boys. Many college boys have personally come to me and narrated their pitiable lives. Their power of discrimination (Viveka) has been lost owing to sexual excitement and lustful intoxication.

Why do you lose the energy that is gained in many weeks and months for the sake of a little momentary sensual pleasure?

Mark carefully the evil after-effects that follow the loss of energy! The body and mind refuse to work energetically. There is physical and mental lethargy. You experience much exhaustion and weakness. You will have to take recourse to drinking milk, to eating fruits, aphrodisiac confections, etc. to make good the loss of energy. Remember that these things can never repair the loss. Once lost it is lost for ever. You will have to drag on a dreary, cheerless existence. Bodily and mental strength get diminished.

Those who have lost much of their Veerya become very irritable. They lose their balance of mind quickly. Little things upset their minds. Those who have not observed the vow of celibacy become slaves of anger, jealousy, laziness and fear. If you have not got your senses under control, you venture to do foolish acts which even children will not dare to do.

In olden days boys in Gurukula were healthy and strong. They had long life. There is no real ethical culture in modern schools and colleges. The present system of education needs a drastic and radical change. Modern civilisation has enfeebled our boys and girls. They lead an artificial life. Children beget children. There is racial degeneration. The cinema is a curse. It excites the passions and emotions. It is the duty of the parents and teachers to explain to boys the importance of Brahmacharya and to instruct them the various methods by which they can preserve the Veerya, the soul-force or Atma Sakti that is hidden in them. Silent talks with boys, lantern demonstrations, etc., will help a long way in improving their condition.


My dear brothers, the vital energy, the Veerya, which supports your life, which is the Prana of Pranas, which shines in our sparkling eyes, which beams in your shining cheeks, is a great treasure. It is the quintessence of blood. One drop of semen is manufactured out of forty drops of blood. Mark here how valuable this fluid is!

Brahmacharya is the basis for acquiring immortality. Brahmacharya brings material progress and psychic advancement. It is the substratum for a life of peace in the Atman. It is a potent weapon for waging war against the internal Asuras, viz., Kama, Krodha, Lobha, etc. It contributes to perennial joy uninterrupted and undecaying bliss. It gives tremendous energy, clear brain, gigantic will-power, bold understanding, retentive memory and good Vichara Sakti. Through Brahmacharya alone can you get physical, mental and spiritual advancement in life.

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