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Practical Instructions

by Swami Sivananda

A true Brahmachari only can cultivate Bhakti. A true Brahmachari only can practise Yoga. A true Brahmachari only can acquire Jnana. Without Brahmacharya no spiritual progress is possible. Therefore I have given below practical methods to get success in Brahmacharya.

Wet-dreams generally occur in the last quarter of the night. Those who are in the habit of getting up from bed between 3 and 4 a.m. and doing Japa, Pranayama and Dhyana can never fall victims to nocturnal pollutions.

Brahmacharis should entirely give up betel-chewing, cigarettes, tobacco, snuff, tea and coffee. Tobacco produces nicotine poisoning, tobacco heart (irritable heart), nervous diseases and tobacco amblyopia (eye disease).

That man in whom the sex-idea is deep-rooted, can never dream of understanding Vedanta and realising Brahman even within one hundred crores of births.

Narada says in his Bhakti Sutras: "These (sexual) propensities, though they at first are like ripples, acquire the proportions of a sea, on account of bad company."-Sutra 45. Therefore shun evil company.

Looking at a woman will create a desire to talk to her. Talking with a woman will create a desire to touch her. Eventually you will have an impure mind and will perish in the end. Therefore never look at a woman, never talk to a woman, O aspirants!

There are two types of Brahmacharis: the Naishthika, who is a celibate all throughout his life, and the Upakurvana, who will become a Grihastha or householder after the completion of his religious study.

There is no panacea more potent than Brahmacharya to eradicate this terrible malady-lust-of ignorant persons and to make the aspirants well-established in Brahman (Brahma Sthiti).

If you get wet-dreams, have a plunge-bath in the morning. Do twenty Pranayamas. Repeat the Gayatri Mantra 108 times. Pray to the sun: "O sun! Let my lost strength be restored-Punar Mametu Indriyam.

Persons other than householders should forbear to look at, touch, converse and cut jokes with women. They should avoid seeing the pairing of animals."-Bhagavata.

Narada says in his Sutras: "Do not listen to talks about women, rich men, atheists and enemies." There is great truth in his wise utterances. Talks about women will stir up passions. Talks about rich men will stir the mind to luxurious living. The mind has a great tendency to imitate.

Dear Shyama! You are Naishthika Brahmachari, one who has taken the vow of celibacy in thought, word and deed throughout the life. Now, even the sun will tremble before you, because he is afraid of being pierced by you through your power of Brahmacharya. You are the glorious Sun of suns now.

The fly runs towards the fire or lamp thinking that it is a flower and gets burnt up. Even so, the passionate man runs towards a false beautiful form thinking that he can get real happiness, and gets himself burnt up in the fire of lust.

A deer is entrapped through sound; an elephant through touch; a fly through form; a fish through taste; a bee through smell. When such is the power of a single Indriya, what to speak of the combined effects of the five Indriyas of men?

How difficult it is to control a servant of the house! How much more difficult it will be to control one Indriya! How still more difficult it will be to control the five Indriyas! That Yogi who has control of the Indriyas (Jitendriya) is a mighty potentate on earth. The bliss of Indra and Chakravarti is nothing when compared to that of a Jitendriya Yogi. My silent adoration to such a Yogi!

Even among electrons there are bachelor electrons and married electrons. Married electrons manifest in pairs. Bachelor electrons exist singly. It is these bachelor electrons only that create magnetic electric force. The power of Brahmacharya is seen even in electrons. Friends, will you learn some lessons from these electrons? Will you practise Brahmacharya and develop power and spiritual force? Nature is your best teacher and spiritual guide.

What is the state of your mind when you attend a ball or nautch party, or when you read the 'Mysteries of the Court of London'? What is the state of your mind when you attend the Satsang of Swami Jayendrapuriji Maharaj at Benares on the bank of Ganges, or when you study the soul-elevating classical Upanishads? Compare and contrast your mental state. Remember, friend, that there is nothing so utterly ruinous to the soul as evil company. One should not even talk of stories of women, the luxurious ways of rich persons, rich foods, vehicles, politics, silken clothing, flowers, scents, etc. Because the mind gets easily excited it will begin to imitate the ways of luxurious persons. Desires will crop in. Attachments will also come in.

Immoral songs produce a very bad, deep impression in the mind. Aspirants should run away from places where vicious songs are sung.

Obscene pictures, vulgar words, novels which deal with love-stories, excite passion and produce ignoble, mean, undesirable sentiments in the heart. On the contrary, the sight of a good picture of Lord Krishna or Lord Rama or Lord Jesus or Lord Buddha and the hearing of the sublime songs of Surdas, Tulsidas and Tyagaraja induce noble sentiments, thrill and produce tears of joy and Prem and elevate the mind to Bhava Samadhi instantaneously. Do you see clearly the difference now?

There is not much difference in sex between a boy and a girl when they are very young. When they attain puberty, there is drastic change. Feelings, gestures, body, gait, talk, looks, movements, voice qualities and demeanour change altogether. Though a lady appears to be gentle and soft, yet she becomes rude, rough and distinctly masculine when she becomes angry. The feminine grace vanishes, when she is under the influence of wrath, indignation and fury. Have you ever seen ladies fighting in the streets? Ladies are more jealous than men. They have more Moha. They are eight times more passionate than men. Ladies have more power of endurance. They are more emotional. Males are more rational. Though females are more passionate, yet they have more power of restraint than males. After enticing men, they keep quiet. The real culprit is man only. He is aggressive. It is he who tastes the 'forbidden fruit' first. 'Forbidden fruit' is really knowledge of good and evil and right and wrong. Ladies can have Darshan of God easily, if they turn their minds to the spiritual path, as the element of love is predominant in them. Sneha Vritti is more developed in them.

Your motive in learning the Vajroli Mudra must be pure. You must have the one idea of getting Self-realisation through absolute Brahmacharya. Have sex-sublimation. You must not misuse the power gained through Yogic Kriya. Analyse and scrutinise your motive thoroughly. There are very many temptations and dangers on the Yogic path. Beware, my child Prem! I again and again warn you.

In the Hanuman Ghat, Benares, two girls were in a drowning condition. Two young men jumped immediately into the Ganga and saved the girls. One man asked one of the girls to marry him. The other man said: 'I have done my duty. God gave me an opportunity to serve and improve myself'. He had Chitta Suddhi. The external action was the same (the act of saving the life), but the motive was different in the two persons. The fruit must also be different.

Anger is nothing but a modification of passion or lust, like curd from milk. If passion is not gratified, and if anyone stands in the way of its fulfilment, the passionate man is sure to become indignant and furious. Infatuation or delusion, confusion of memory, loss of reason, etc., follow in the wake and he perishes. When a man is furious, nothing in the world can stop his anger. He will speak anything and do anything. He becomes uncontrollable.

Read the history of crimes, robbery, rape, kidnapping, assaults and murders that come up for trial before the Session Courts. Lust is at the root of all this. It may be lust for money or lust for carnal pleasures. The fight begins with a few hot words and ends with lathi charges, stabbing and murder. When the man becomes furious, he loses his reason and power of judgment. He does not know what he is really doing. A Bengali used one word 'Sala' or 'Badmash' in anger against a Sikh, when he was crossing the Ganga in a boat. The Sikh became very furious, caught hold of the neck of the Bengali and threw him into the Ganga. The Bengali was drowned. How mentally weak was that Sikh, though he was physically strong. A little sound, a single word upset his mind and threw him out of balance. He became a slave of anger. Had he possessed Viveka and Vichara, he would not have done this rash, brutal action. Just as the impurities of mountain-minerals are burnt thoroughly by the blower, so the stains committed by the Indriyas are burnt by controlling the Prana. Therefore practise Pranayama regularly. It is a great purifier.


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