Celibacy/Abstinence/Progress in Practice



A few doubts have arisen.

After countless breaks, I have finally understood that it is my destiny to be someone who preserves the vital seed very carefully. Being of a vata constitution and a thin, weak bodily framework, I am often reminded that any engagement in the sexual act only further weakens my physical and mental strength.

1) IS it possible that I was endowed with this constitution for the purpose of learning to not identify with the body? I am thin and not very strong; I wonder perhaps if I had been given a robust constitution and a tall frame, I would have proudly identified with the body.

2) Regardless of the ultimate truth, the reality unfortunately is that being one of short stature is a hindrance in all aspects of professional life. Is it possible for the radiance and charisma of the true brahmachari to supersede such factors? I know the answer is yes but given how few urdvaretas there have ever been, it is a question which bears asking.

3) The worst of all things possible happened a few days ago when I began doubting my guru for so long, Swami Sivananda. I read accounts by U.G. Krishnamurti demonstrating the temper and ineptitude of the sage. Osho (who himself is not credible) said that Sivananda told an already weak man to exhaust himself by not eating. In addition, Sivananda warned about dietetic regulation when many disciples clearly saw him eating copious quantities and rajasic foods like pickles.

Such thought processes shattered the mind. I also thought about how Sivananda tried to make a "name" for himself via Divine Life Society while Ramana Bhagawan, Milarepa, and confirmed self-realized sages like them did not ask for or say for anything. The straw that broke the camel's back was Swami Venkatesananda's saccharine description that glorified every Sivananda did, including asking that the grave to bury his body be dug deeper to accommodate his large frame.

I have begun to doubt the rock to which I have clung and the mind is trembling with uncertainty. Osho, Sadhguru, Ravi Shankar and a host of pseudo-gurus have emerged-how can I ever find and trust and learn from an actual self-realized being?

4) Is it appropriate for the yogi to desire accumulation of some money such that he can live off the interest for the rest of his life and can devote his life to other pursuits? I feel this is essential.

Being a corporate worker fills the mind with jealousy, anger, desire to retaliate against coworkers, avoid big egos, etc.

5) Deep inside, I feel that my path is to be a yogi, author, and speaker to motivate others. From where do such desires and seeds stem? Will engaging in the activities one is drawn to not create extra karmic baggage?


ANSWER: 1. One is given that which is required to move towards the self, based on his past karma. Whether one is weak or robust, loss of the vital seed debilitates the system in the course of time. None are spared.

2. A man is recognized by the greatness of the Supreme being residing within, shining through him and not by physical stature.

3. The Guru is within oneself. He is one's Atman (self) alone. He who holds on to the self is ever one with the Guru.

4. If one does his Dharma (efforts to realize the self) right, everything will be taken care of.

5. Realize the self first. The rest will follow as it should.

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

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

QUESTION: Please, at the very least, tell me whether Swami Sivananda was a perfectly self-realized soul. Knowing this will be instrumental in knowing how and where to take recourse to the wise when my thoughts are disturbed and I face trying times in practice. What about Vivekananda?

I have noticed that the truly self-realized sages were quiet and did not engage in much fanfare: ramana bhagawan, milarepa, hanumandas baba. However, I have become skeptical of those like vivekananda-who traveled far and wide, threw a suitcase out of a train, and eat beef-and yogananda, whose cunningness is very evident in the eyes. You also have thorough cheats like sathya sai baba.

It is because of this that my practice is disturbed. One needs to believe in the ultimate fruit in order to ward off the enormous onslaught of maya one sees in the world. However, if the mind starts to think that even those it turned to during deep sadhana-like sivananda and vivekananda-were not perfect, a break seems eminent.

Please either tell me if these gurus were irreversibly situated in nirvikalpa samadhi or if I can look up to another guru, in the flesh, when the mind is not capable of abstractly focusing on the shining atman.

Please help. Your help would be invaluable, like a rock, in girding my practice and ensuring that I avoid a break. After so many breaks in this life and last, I have vowed to let nothing get in the way of my perseverance to reach the almighty and request that you kindly help me in this journey to attain the immortal seat of supreme splendor.

Last question: What are the definite signs of one who is self realized? When I have asked this before, you have mentioend that the actions of such a soul can only be understood by another self-realized soul. How, in society, do we distinguish the self-realized from those who are merely crazy? Osho Rajneesh, the famous fraud, tried to poison an entire village and kill them. Some justified this as spirituality. I am thinking about a similar grave situation now and need your urgent advice on how to handle such frauds and preventing them from harming innocent others.

1. To know if another is realized, one has to realize himself first. Apply efforts in that direction.

2. Hold on to the ever realized self within, which is the self of all. It is the Guru.

3. One should stop pointing fingers at others for his lack of success and instead correct within as required.

4. When you learn to merge with the Guru within, all issues will be addressed. It will then be known that there were no issues.

5. One feels indescribable peace and complete surrender in the company of the realized soul. One does not think...he becomes silent. THAT alone remains.

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


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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."


©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.