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Jain View Of Life: 3.11 Celibacy

Published: 21.12.2011


Celibacy means complete abstinence from sexual desire or intercourse in thought, word or deed. Celibacy is vow of Brahmacharya. Brahman means soul and charya means to move, which means movement towards the Soul (Atma). In broad sense, it is control of all senses and mind in thought, word and deed. Brahmacharya is not merely bachelorhood, but it is strict abstinence not merely from sexual impulse but also from autoerotic manifestation, from homosexual acts, masturbation and from all perverse sexual practices.

Celibacy is supermost penance of all penance and root of all attributes. A Celibate is indeed respected by god and goddess, devil etc. Brahmacharya is the master key for opening the realm of health and happiness. It consolidates vigour, strength, good health, peace of mind and long life. It helps to conserve both physical and mental energy and gives strength to face difficult situations in daily life. Celibacy is a potent weapon and shield at wage war against the evil forces of lust, greed etc. It serves as a gateway for the bliss beyond and opens doors of liberation. It contrib­utes perennial joy and uninterrupted bliss. Of course, the vow of Brahmacharya is one of the hardest to keep up. It requires great vigil and watchfulness. Thoughts of lust are always lurking in the bottom of the mind and waiting to erupt. Even great sages have succumbed to temptation.

Once a saint was delivering discourse, he had a book in which it was written that to perform celibacy is hard. (Sheelam Dushkaram). On the spot he said to a disciple to bring a pen. The disciple brought the pen and gave it to the saint. The saint changed the statement and wrote down over there that to perform celibacy is the easy task (Sheelam sukaram).

With the passage of time one day, a lady due to dispute with mother-in-law left home and went out. It began to rain heavily. She stood by the temple of saint requesting to be given a room in temple. The rain grew worse and it began to grow dark. She insisted to be given shelter. The saint said to her that this is a monk's place and women are not allowed to stay at night. He said to her to please go and find out another place. At last looking at the darkness and her loneliness he gave her a place at the front of the temple and a mat to lie down on.

After a couple of hours, his mind kept going back to the lady. Suddenly the saint was driven by an irresistible urge to embrace her. He thought till now I have heard of the pleasures of embracing a women but I had not got chance to do so. Luckily I got a chance and she was in the flush of her youth. Why do I not enjoy with her, none was looking at me at night in this time. Driven by this urge he came out of temple and went by her room. The lady understood his impulse. So she did not open the door. At last the saint went up to the tomb and started to break it to enter in. No sooner did he try to enter into the temple, the belly stuck in the tomb. Due to fatness of stomach neither could he go in nor go out.

At dawn the devotees came to the saint to pay homage. They did not find him in the Temple. All of them became worried and started to search for him. As they found him, asked guru why are you taking lots of sufferings for spiritual practices. Definitely your life is a replica of renunciation. The saint told them that it is not for discussing. Firstly, you bring me up and then I will tell you the reality. The devotees brought him up. The saint was simple-minded and told the reality to them. No matter how staunch the saint resolution and self-control was, even his desire led to sin. Experiencing observance of hardness of celibacy, he again changed the statement and wrote the same statement as was before, 'sheelam dushkaram' which means to follow celibacy is the hardest task.

To keep up celibacy, the sexual energy can be transmuted into ojas shakti (spiritual energy) and stored up in the brain. The seminal energy is verily Atman. The secret of health lies in the preservation of the vital force. Vital energy is dynamic will, soul force, the essence of life. By sublime thought, meditation, Japa, āsana and pranayama the sexual energy can be transmuted. The energy can be utilised for perception of soul, contemplation and spiritual pursuits. As a result of it, he can perform immense mental work. He has a magnetic aura, radiant face and lustrous eyes. The magnetic aura and pure thought produce a tremendous influence on the minds of other peoples.

The energy which is wasted for nothing, makes a person weak physically, mentally and spiritually. If the veerya is lost, Prana gets unsteady. It gets agitated and makes a person nervous. The body and mind do not work energetically. He feels exhaustion and weakness as well as physical and mental lethargy.

Semen is the essence of essences. From food, chyle is manufactured. Out of chyle comes blood. Out of blood comes flesh, out of flesh comes fat and out of fat comes marrow. Out of marrow then comes semen. Semen is the quintessence of blood. Constant, rigorous and powerful Sadhana is necessary to annihilate this powerful enemy of lust.

A glutton can never dream of becoming a celibate. Control of palate is a sina que non. There is an intimate connection between the tongue and the organ of generation. The tongue is the organ of knowledge. It is born of the sattwic portion of the water element. The organ of generation is an organ of action. It is born of the rajasic portion of the water element. They are sister organs as the source is the same. If the tongue is stimulated with Rajasic foods, the reproductive organ also gets excited. Food has a very close relation with celibacy. If proper attention is given to the purity of the food, celibacy becomes quite easy. That is why the food of a celibate is simple non-irritating and non-stimulating. It is said in the terminology of yoga, man relishes desire when the centre of health (Swadhisthan chakra) situated in the lower abdomen be­low the naval remains undeveloped. When the Swadhisthan chakra comes to contact with another chakra known as Vishudhi chakra then the energy can be utilised for divine purpose. In psychology, it is regarded as sublimation of sexual desires. The science of yoga regards it as a conversion or sublimation of the sexual energy. Through practice of Uddiyana bandha and retention of breath sexual desires can be drawn up towards the brain.

The Āsana named Sarvangasana, siddhasana, yoga mudra etc. also helps in transmuting the seminal energy in to spiritual energy.

Brahmacharya is the powerful weapon to conserve physical and mental energy. It invigorates the mind and nerves. It augments memory, will force and brain power. It bestows tremendous strength, vigour, vitality. It renovates the system, rebuilds the cells, tissues, energises digestion, provides tremendous strength to face difficulties and obstacles in the daily battle of life. It is a gateway for realisation of the self.


Jain View Of Life

Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh Edition: 1st Edition 2000

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Atma
  2. Atman
  3. Aura
  4. Bandha
  5. Body
  6. Brahmacharya
  7. Brahman
  8. Brain
  9. Celibacy
  10. Centre of Health
  11. Chakra
  12. Contemplation
  13. Greed
  14. Guru
  15. Japa
  16. Meditation
  17. Mudra
  18. Prana
  19. Pranayama
  20. Sadhana
  21. Science
  22. Siddhasana
  23. Soul
  24. Yoga
  25. Yoga Mudra
  26. Āsana
  27. āsana
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