Celibacy/Abstinence/Mind, Self, Ego


QUESTION: Dear Dhananjay,

I desire to follow Yoga Sadhana in adherence to correct principles. As I have mentioned before, I have now been a physical celibate from several months although mental celibacy is not yet fully attained and I committed a few visual lapses which I wish to never repeat.

1) My first question is on the nature of the ego, mind, and body. I would really appreciate your explanation of how these are interrelated. As per Ramana Bhagawan's teachings, I engage in the constant inquiry "Who am I? or Naan Yaaru?" as he said in Tamil.

But I would like to clarify where the mind rises from. I know that this body is occupied by a Jiva with 5 klesas and kosas, which constitute the karana sharira of past impressions from past births. Is the mind formed when this Jiva uses this physical body and brain to interact with the environment? How does the ego arise? I know the jiva is the pure atman enveloped by the impurities of the karana sharira, but I would like to know where the mind and ego arise from to combat them effectively. Please, please explain this in detail. I read through all relevant past answers but the explanation eludes me. I know cognition of the truth is not the same as realizing the truth, but I want to know that my pursuits are directed appropriately.

2) In order to combat desires in further stages of sadhana, I wanted to experience desires now so that longing would not arise. I accordingly prayed that I would experience a sexual scene in my dreams and this led to a wet dream. Surprisingly, this did not quench my thirst for material pleasures but only amplified them and taught me a huge lesson. Would it be right to say that satisfaction from material pleasures only comes when we will this and develop self-content but satisfaction from brahmacharya occurs automatically with HIS grace?

3) One obstacle I keep facing: After a few weeks or months of strict brahmacharya, the mind becomes "bored" and tells me "hey aspirant, you have been austere for a good amount of time, why don't you enjoy with some visual stimulation or physical stimulation".

The second obstacle: After a few weeks or months, the mind tells me "hey aspirant, why do you bother with all this when you have no idea if it is true? what if life is only about sense pleasures? there are so many bogus swamis out there. maybe there is no such thing as self-realization and maybe it is only for those who are incapable of achieving material success"

Raga-dvesha is to be avoided but I truly hate both of these thoughts. They are like Mareech and Subah who sabotaged the yagna of Viswamitra and Lord Rama.

I trust Swami Sivananda's words that all paths of yoga lead to the same end goal as one realizes they all merge into the ultimate truth-bhakti, jnana, karma, and raja yoga all ultimately parts of the same reality and I will strive to develop all. However, the jiva which occupies my body seems to progress most enthusiastically when the path of jnana yoga is followed and this is why I have such inquiries.


ANSWER: 1. The 'Ahamkara' (Ego) is the effect of the seeds of past karma, stored in the 'Karana Sharira' (causal body)

The mind exists independent of the physical body. It can function even when there is no awareness of the physical medium, as in a dream.

The how and why are to be realized and not heard. One has to do his Sadhana and realize it for himself.

2. Everything occurs by HIS grace alone, for there is none. One's right ends at efforts to unify with HIM. He who does so need not worry about anything else, for all that is taken care of by HIM.

3. These are common excuses of the Ego driven mind, which all aspirants encounter. Keeping faith in the words of the Guru (that attachment to sense pleasure ends in suffering), one has to let go of the same, hold on to Sadhana and cross the ocean of Maya.

4. Different Jiva-s are drawn to different paths, based on their past Samskara-s and the will of the creator. One has to persevere in the path shown by the higher power and not rest till the objective has been attained.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you.

You mentioned before that from the ego comes the mind, from mind comes the senses, and from senses come the body.

This would mean that winning over the ego would mean...the non-existence of the body. What do you mean by this?

Also, when you refer to the "mind", are you referring to the brain/cognitive functioning areas within the body or some other entity?

ANSWER: 1. Yes, once the Ego is fully annulled, as in case of the Enlightened one, there is no rebirth in any kind of a body, be it physical or mental.

Even when alive for the reminder of life after Enlightenment, such a one merely occupies it as one does a house, without self identification.

2. The brain is a physical organ and not the mind. The term mind refers to the process of flow of thoughts, which occurs on account of the 'I-ness' (Ego). When the Ego is merged into the Atman (self) in Samadhi-meditation, no mind exists. It again springs forth on coming out of meditation.

The 'Atma Sadhaka', using the power of Ojas conserved through Brahmacharya, frequently merges the Ego into the self, over a span of months, years or decades as the case may be. This makes the seeds of past Samskara-s which constitute the Ego, gradually fragment and break down, rendering the Ego weak. Eventually, the Ego collapses into non-existence, following which the Supreme force residing inside alone remains. That is the true self. The resultant state is termed Enlightenment or self-realization.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ah! This is why I can partially achieve a few minutes of pure bliss in meditation but once I enter the world once more, the mind starts to roam, feels emotions, insecurities, etc. It is truly a herculean task.

Without a brain, a person cannot think, feel, or do anything else. Why do you then insist that the ego is the chief culprit behind buddhi, chitta, ahamkara, and manas? The brain allows us to interact with the world, no? The mind arises and protracts like the web of a spider (As Ramana bhagawan put it) when we come in contact with the outside world. In addition, the brain allows for "buddhi" and sensory perceptions "consciousness or chitta" as well. So, the "jiva" is the sum of the body + 4 anthakarnas (including ego) + causal sheath.

What am I supposed to be doing in meditation!? Merging the ego into the self is easy in words but what does that actually entail? I am confused and frustrated. I try to focus on Hanuman and the Atman but it is really an uphill struggle to keep concentration for more than half hour.

However, I have thankfully realized with the grace of the lord that "intellect" or "buddhi" or "acquired knowledge about the world" which comes from chitta and manas is NOT the same as the "atma gnana" or true realization. This is why many highly capable men, much smarter than myself, find themselves ensnared in the throes of sensuality.

1. The brain is the medium and not the source. It is the source (Ego) which is to be incapacitated.

2. What is to be done in meditation is elaborated in past posts concerning the same.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)


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Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."

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