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The Role of Celibacy in the Spiritual Life


karmjeet
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Disclaimer : Everything in this article doesn't necessarily represents my views. and it may not apply to everyone .

http://www.dlshq.org/download/celibacy.htm

[web:63edb842bd]http://www.dlshq.org/download/celibacy.htm[/web:63edb842bd]

Brahmacharya or celibacy is a rational process of preserving and conserving precious energy so that it can be utilised in other very essential and indispensable functions. And if it is preserved like this, it can be converted, just as tangible, gross water is converted into subtle steam. Then it can do wonders. A river may not have much power in it by itself. You may be easily able to row or swim across it. But, if it is dammed up and its waters conserved, then it has the power, when properly channelled, to turn huge turbines and produce electricity. The hot sun, even in summer, does not normally cause a fire, but if you concentrate its rays through a lens, those rays will immediately burn whatever they are focused on. That is what celibacy actually is.

Among all these bodily processes, most have become mechanical. Most people are not intensely aware of eating, drinking, sleeping, voiding. All these things have become automatic. But the one process that most of them purposefully engage in, with great desire for it—wanting it, thinking about it, planning for it and going after it—is sex enjoyment, which means that this is a process that concentrates their entire consciousness, entire mind, entire attention upon the physical, their physical identity. From one angle the sex act is the acme of physicality or animality. It is a process that perforce directs your entire attention upon the physical, and even more, the full focusing of your desire and intention upon that part of your physical nature that you share in common with the entire animal kingdom. Is this going to be in any way helpful for attaining Cosmic Consciousness?

Question: Celibacy is often seen in the modern West as an outmoded, old-fashioned practice. It is often viewed as repressive, life-denying—even antithetical to what spiritual practice is ultimately all about. Many spiritual authorities in the West are now teaching that to realise our full potential as human beings, we must embrace, rather than in any way avoid or repress, our sexuality. These views stand in stark contrast to what the great traditions have always taught. What do you think about this?

Swamiji: I don’t agree with the general attitude that has just been expressed. They have failed to grasp the place of brahmacharya in the spiritual life.

It is not outmoded; it is not at all old-fashioned, and it is not repressive or life-denying. On the contrary, it is used as a plank for everlasting life, endless life. Their view of life seems to be a very, very limited and narrow view of life. This is not the only life there is. When you come to have a little glimpse or idea of what real life is, then you will just stand amazed. This present life as such is meaningless. It is a petty trifle, a nothing, if not understood in terms of its being a take-off runway for catapulting into that greater life.

This life is a means to that great, glorious, grand end and aim of human existence which is to enter into a life that is the life of God, that is one with God’s life, the Kingdom of Heaven. That is the whole purpose of human existence. Human life has been given to us as a passageway to Divinity, as a passageway to everlasting life.

No person with a little religious knowledge and awareness or a spiritual view will ever deny the validity of brahmacharya. It is something scientific and a scientific thing never gets outmoded or old-fashioned. Brahmacharya is neither avoiding sexuality nor repressing sexuality. It is giving the go-by to sexuality so that the potential and the power of the sexual process can now be used for something so wonderful that sex pales into insignificance in contrast.

So brahmacharya is neither repressing sexuality nor avoiding sexuality. It is just bypassing sexuality—making use of this sexual potential for something ten times, a hundred times greater. Therefore, the question of repression and suppression is a misnomer. It is due to a lack of proper understanding of what the real spiritual quest is. If it is understood, then these terms will not be used. We are not just human beings; we are more than human beings. Our human status is only a pale reflection of what we really are. The only reason our human status acquires some meaning and significance is because if it is properly utilised, it can raise us up and take us into that which is our own, bring us into the Kingdom—to which we have a birthright.

If you want to understand the practice of celibacy through an analogy that is within the thought forms of today, consider an athlete whose great ambition is to win a gold medal at the Olympics. He will willingly put himself into the hands of a trainer, and if the trainer says, “No more late night revelry, no more sex, no more junk food, no more alcohol,†the athlete readily agrees. He says: “I’ll agree to this and more also if you want it.†Why? Because he wants the gold medal. And no one raises an eyebrow, no one is outraged. Why? Because the gold medal justifies all these so-called “inhibitions.†You cannot say that he’ s doing violence to or repressing himself, because he is not looking at it that way. He is willing to do anything that the trainer demands of him. It is not imposed upon him by other people. We understand why he is doing it and we accept it.

However, in one way the idea in the West that brahmacharya is suppression is not entirely off the mark. If one represses or suppresses some inherent natural force or faculty, it can bring about undesirable changes in the personality. If brahmacharya is forced upon an individual against the individual’s inclination and will, abnormal conditions naturally may result, because the person is being compelled to do something that deep within himself or herself the person does not want to do—compelled by others, by social restraint or by taking up vows that he or she ought not to have taken before having well considered exactly what it implied.

But if an intelligent person, having deeply pondered the whole basis of life, says: “When I want to achieve something great, something mighty, I cannot afford to deplete the energies that I have. The more I conserve, the more I can divert into that achievement and the greater the chance of succeeding.†So thinking and having understood the rationale of it and fully appreciating the ultimate achievement it would lead to, if he or she voluntarily, willingly and with great enthusiasm undertakes celibacy, where comes the question of suppression?

On the contrary, what appears to be a sort of denial is actually giving full self-expression to a higher dimension of your being into which you have now placed yourself. So, far from denying self-expression, it is giving full expression to yourself because you are no longer identified with the lesser aspect of your total personality. You are identified with the higher aspect. It is a sort of a liberation and evolution to a higher level. It is something positive, creative, and not anything negative. It is not a denial but an actual expression of yourself in the form of a keen aspiration and a noble ambition.

When it constitutes such a process, then Freud and the others are off the mark. They have never visualised such a situation, such a possibility. But it is not only a possibility, it is a tradition of centuries, of millennia—someone being prepared to do anything, give anything, pay any price for the attainment of the Highest.

Question: Tantra or the practice of “Sacred Sexuality,†is becoming very popular in the West today. Do you think these teachings offer an authentic spiritual path?

Swamiji: No, I do not think that these teachings offer an authentic spiritual path. Why? Because of human frailty, human weakness. The human mind is so made that it always takes the path of least resistance. It always wants the easy way.

Tantra is an approach to God through all types of sense enjoyment. Everything is offered to God and so everything becomes sanctified; nothing is profane. One enjoys sense satisfaction and sees it also as part of God’s bliss. There is a view, and it has something to it, that while in all human experiences duality persists—there is an “I am enjoying this object†feeling—that in the ultimate sexual experience between a truly loving male, intensely in love with the female and fully reciprocated by the female, there is no consciousness of one’s separate individuality. There is a total fusion of the separatist consciousness in each one, and there is only the awareness of bliss experience. There is no experiencer. They say this is a possibility when it is done to its perfection. The two cease to be and there is only one, non-dual experience, Experience Absolute, Brahmic-consciousness. So they say that the human body is an instrument that, if properly made use of, can bring about a rising above body consciousness.

For one in a million it may click.

The pursuit of pleasure is part of the Western view of life—not the denial of pleasure. And one teacher in ten may be an authentic teacher genuinely offering something suited to the Western temperament. But nine of them are very shrewd people. They know there is a market for this, and they are wise to it. The approach is: You can have your cake and eat it too.

Mind you, this was an authentic path that did once upon a time exist in India, especially in the Eastern part. Even now it exists. But it became grossly perverted. People became enmeshed in it. They said they were practising tantra but it was only wining, dining, and sex pleasure. It took them nowhere, but I suppose it took them where they wanted to go. So it was dubbed by enlightened people of that time as the “perverted path.†Two paths then came into existence: the authentic path which was called the “right-hand path,†and the perverted path which was only after enjoyment. That was called the “left-hand path.â€

There is an episode in the life of the great Sri Ramakrishna, the guru of Swami Vivekananda. He practised all the yogic paths as well as Christianity, Islam and others, and he discovered that they all led to the same ultimate God-experience. And during one period of his spiritual life he practised tantra also. A woman tantric approached him and said, “I have been sent here by God to initiate you into the tantric way of attaining God.†Day after day she expounded the tantric way. But when it came to the final stage, Sri Ramakrishna, who swore by brahmacharya, replied that through this [his] body it is impossible. She said, “Then I’ll have the whole thing enacted before you.†So she got a tantric male and a tantric female to enact the ultimate consummation of the practice before him. As he was observing it stage by stage she went on describing it to him: “Observe carefully. Now you see how they are in ecstasy; they are ecstatic. They are losing their own consciousness.†And at that stage, suddenly Ramakrishna lost all consciousness. He went into deep samadhi. So he vicariously proved to himself that that ultimate sexual experience can lift one up into that state beyond all duality.

And so the science as such exists, but there are very few authentic gurus, and it has to be strictly followed under the personal supervision of a true guru. I am likely to be accused of being uncharitable, but I believe that most purveyors of modern sacred sexuality are interested in making a profit out of it for themselves.

As I told you, the sex force is sacred; sex is sacred. It is one of the most sacred of all things. But sacred sexuality is a misnomer. Once you get enmeshed in sexuality, the sacredness is given the bye-bye. That is due to man’s weakness, frailty. Therefore, I am not going to be an advocate of it.

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"... and the perverted path which was only after enjoyment. That was called the “left-hand path.†"

;) well most of us guys know that hunna. LOL Ok.. Ill stop with the school yard jokes.

Were Catholic priests people on whom celebacy was forced? no one forced them to become priests.

All this pro celebacy talk is fine and dandy but you have to look at reality. Maybe this works for one out of a thousand but celebacy seems to have quite a few negative effects from what we see. People seem to snap. And how can one go after some mystical experience and neglect one's wife's needs? There must be balance. Celebacy is an extreme. The right path always seems to be the middle path.

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I'd like some clarification,

isn't celibacy itself a "Sianpa" or a "methodology" in itself which won't grant anything unless there is gurparsaad.

Further, in defining celibacy, isn't guruji talking about continence?. Now with continence in mind, isn't continence determined by a person actively engaging in pyaar for waheguru and being in touch with the essence/naam of waheguru? whereas anything up until that point, that is regimented, is just an attempt until one's inner state is pulled in with divine grace?

(I would like you all to dissect these thoughts, thanks).

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Lalleshwari wrote:

>>>>>"If celibacy was the way to Maharaj then all eunuchs would be brahmgyanis. If vegetarianism is the way then all the cows and sheep of the world are brahmgyanis as well.">>>>>

What a childish argument. Escape from the control of the five vices is a goal of a Gursikh, not indulging in it.

>>>>>“abstain from sex for a certain period of time in order to increase their aggressivity on combat. This is what Guru Gobind Singh did whilst fighting the Mughals and that is why his marriage with Mata Sahib Devan was not fully consumed.†>>>>>>>>>

I would appreciate it if you don’t justify your sexual ideology by bringing in Guru Gobind Singh Jee.

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Lalleshwari wrote:

>>>>>"If celibacy was the way to Maharaj then all eunuchs would be brahmgyanis. If vegetarianism is the way then all the cows and sheep of the world are brahmgyanis as well.">>>>>

What a childish argument. Escape from the control of the five vices is a goal of a Gursikh, not indulging in it.

Is it a childish argument? I suppose Baba Bulleh Shah was being childish also when he said "If you get to God by bathing (refering to the Ganges) then fish and frogs would become God realised. If you get to God by roaming in the jungle then cows and calfs would be God realised".

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Is it a childish argument? I suppose Baba Bulleh Shah was being childish also when he said "If you get to God by bathing (refering to the Ganges) then fish and frogs would become God realised. If you get to God by roaming in the jungle then cows and calfs would be God realised".

good post baz.

If singh47 have problem look into writings of baba bulleh shah.. he does not need to look any further-.. he should look into Akaaaaaaaaaaaaal Ustat where 10TH Master did khandan of all the rituals rituals :D

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BAZ wrote:

Is it a childish argument? I suppose Baba Bulleh Shah was being childish also when he said "If you get to God by bathing (refering to the Ganges) then fish and frogs would become God realised. If you get to God by roaming in the jungle then cows and calfs would be God realised".

BAZ one can also use similar analogy against the basic fundamentals of Gurmat by saying that "if you get God by keeping long hair (uncut hair) then all the animals with uncut hair would get God". Keeping a similar mode of argument, one can argue and ridicule almost everything whether it is Sikhi based or just plain morality. So such modes of argument don’t make any sense and seem very childish.

N30 Singh wrote:

If singh47 have problem look into writings of baba bulleh shah..

N30 Singh, Baba Bulleh Shah was a good pious Muslim, and a renown Punjabi poet. I respect him for that. But for me, when it comes to matters of Dharm, I only look towards Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.

Lalleshwari wrote:

Look at this topic very carefully: the person who posted a whole article on celibacy 'anti-gurmat) from an RSS-supporting Neo-Hindu (ennemies of Sikhi)site isn't me.â€

Where does it say that they are supported by the RSS?

And no Singh47, I do not have a "sexual ideology". "Sexual ideology" is for people who don't have a life as they just keep on having ideas about sex...

If that is the case, then you should have no problem with the idea of celibacy.

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I agree that celibacy is an extreme and not for most people, it will most likely cause people to snap due to the suppression. Just look at all these so called preists in any religon that molest.

Anyways in my opinion there is no point in karmjeet posting articles like "how to control wet dreams" in the inspriational section of this website.

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Doesn't sikhi encourage a householders life i.e family life, man-woman, nayane bache? Our gurus were also clearly pro-sex, pro-CREATION. Why get so stressed over it? :?

As for the article, it's just an opinion piece, an individual perspective, it's boring.

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fact is you need balls to be celibate and DO BHAGTI and you need balls to be in gristh jeevan and do BHAGTI !

Nothing is easy guys.. get over it !.. ehmiii basssssssssssssssss..arghhhhhhhh !

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karmjeet mang, wassup with these cheesy nonsense articles?

I feel like rebelling to the other extreme and posting Pro-Sex articles.

well u know what , i posted such articles beacuse i think there would be some people on this site who would really like to be spiritually high . well i guess i was wrong . i will refrain from posting things which don't make sense to you, in the future .

i am not a supporter of any oranization , no rss , no akalis , no akj etc ...

i just posted what i think looked right .

because after reading a jeevans of lot of sant mahapurakhs , their sakhis , and meeting people who did their sangat , there wr some gupt facts that i learned which seem unusual to normal people who have not heard about them .

but never mind . its of no use .

that's y bhagat kabeer ji said : " Moorkhe naal na lujiye "

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Karamjit singh,

just one serious question:

You think mahapursh like- Sant baba gurbachan singh ji bhindranvaley, Sant baba attar singh ji reru sahib who were in gristh jeevan had any less bhakti than mahapursh who were not in gristh jevan - celibates ????

From celibacy an point of view- bhog bilas(sex) might be NO NO but from gristhi point of view - same bhog bilas in "MODERATION" might be Divine EXperience it's just a different way of looking at it...that's all.

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I agree that celibacy is an extreme and not for most people, it will most likely cause people to snap due to the suppression. Just look at all these so called preists in any religon that molest.

Anyways in my opinion there is no point in karmjeet posting articles like "how to control wet dreams" in the inspriational section of this website.

i posted this because i know the problems that people have to under go when they start doing bhagti . they have to preserve shakti so that they can get higher avastha . its all means of kalyug to deprive u of ur power or to demoralize u .

wet dreams drain a lot of spiritual energy . u can only get to the next step if u control them , other wise u won't climb the ladder .

so that's y i posted this for those veers who have took the first step by controlling themselves from abusing themselves and want to climb the next step in the staircase .

Do u know wt is jat sat ?

jat means celibacy .

The 1st thing necessary for bhagti that Guru Nanak Dev Ji mentioned was in the last pauri of Sri Japji Sahib : " Jat pahara dheeraj sunayar"

if u don't believe me listen to katha of giani thakur singh

Guru Gobind Singh ji said : " Jat ki jata jog ke majjan nem ke nakhun badayo "

so i think r u going to follow ur Guru Ji or ur man mat ?

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