Yoga and Celibacy
I. Yoga Yoga is known as Brahmavidya (knowledge of the supreme spirit). If it were evaluated objectively, it would be defined as the supreme religion, the global religion, the universal religion, the human religion or the eternal religion.
II. Importance of Celibacy
In yoga terminology, non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy and non- possessiveness are called ‘yamas‘ (moral restraints) and purity, contentment, self-study, worship of God, and austerity are called ‘niyamas‘ (moral observances). Restraints and observances (yama-niyama) are the strong-hold of yoga or religion. Without them, the preservation of yoga or religion is impossible.
Among the yoga scriptures, there is an independent scripture named ‘Bindu yoga‘ (yoga of semen). Thus the importance of celibacy is easily seen. Bhoga is descent while yoga is ascent. There is ascent (sublimation) of semen in yoga and descent (ejaculation) of semen in bhoga. In spite of being a knowledgeable person, one who does not know the importance of celibacy is a fool.
Without celibacy, the personality of an individual does not develop in the least. Maharishi Patanjali has stated in his Yoga Aphorisms: “After becoming an urdhvareta (a yogi who has accomplished perpetual sublimation of semen) through yoga, a yogi becomes all-powerful. That yogi alone can realize the supreme truth. Since through celibacy the impossible becomes possible, the gain of fame, wealth, and other material things is assured to the celibate. At one place Lord Siva said to Goddess Parvatiji, “O Parvati, what is there on this earth which cannot be accomplished if one has control over his sexual fluid?” That is, all powers reside at the divine feet of the enlightened urdhvareta.
III. Aim of Celibacy
That is why the great yogi Goraksanatha, chanting in praise of semen, has said, “As a fair lady grieves due to separation from her beloved, so does an ascetic grieve due to his separation from his semen”.
Ancient yoga science has proved that the cause of death is the descent of bindu (semen) and the source of immortality is the sublimation (ascent) of semen. When a machine stops due to some defect, a mechanic can reactivate it. Similarly, if the body machine ceases due to some defect, a perfect yogi can reactivate it.
Svetasvatar Upanisad is extremely ancient. In it, it is said, “Disease, old age, and death cannot enter the body of a yogi who has attained the body purified by yoga fire”. On achieving sabija samadhi, the yogi acquires the divine body purified by yogic fire. This divine body itself is the external manifestation of a true yogi.
IV. The Form of Celibacy and its Two-Fold Practice:
Sage Vyasaji in Yogadarshana has defined celibacy in this way, “To abandon the pleasure gained through the sexual organs by restraint is defined as celibacy”. The restraint of the sexual organs is defined as nishkam karma yoga (yoga of action without expectation of fruits). It is also known as Brahmavidya (knowledge of the supreme spirit). Through its performance, the yogi becomes urdhvareta. This knowledge is esoteric, ancient, and the source of all knowledge. After it is attained, nothing remains to be known.
Thousands of sadhakas, aware of the importance of celibacy, attempt to practice it, but they are unable to maintain the celibacy necessary for the attainment of Brahmavidya (knowledge of the supreme spirit truth). That is why in scripture it is said, “Celibacy alone is the supreme penance. Of course, other penances are also penances, but they are all inferior. That urdhvareta saint who has done penance over the restraint of the sexual organ is not a human being but a god.”
A. Celibacy of a Brahmachari In our body, there are two types of glands: endocrine and exocrine. The secretion of the ductless endocrine glands is absorbed by the lymphatics and veins. In this manner, the secretion absorbed by the blood is distributed to the entire body. In the second type of gland, the secretion of the ductal exocrine glands is distributed to different parts of the body. During childhood the testes of a boy and ovaries of a girl secrete these fluids as they are absorbed by the blood.
On the advent of youth, the sexual energy in the bodies of young men and women becomes active and agitates them. Finally, there is discharge. Once there is discharge, the path of decent is opened up for ever. To carry out the formidable task of restraining and sublimating this energy is as difficult as making a river flow back to its source high in the mountains.
To be a celibate is one thing, and to become urdhvareta is another. The celibacy of a celibate student, a retired householder sadhaka and an ascetic is ordinary celibacy, but the yogi’s celibacy is extraordinary. Those practicing ordinary celibacy seek refuge in ordinary (willful) yoga with yama and niyama. The yogi, practicing extraordinary celibacy, seeks refuge in sahaja yoga (spontaneous yoga) also with yama and niyama.
C. Celibacy of the Urdhvareta Yoga
When apana vayu forcibly attracts the semen on the inferior path, the unperturbed sadhaka has to execute the exceedingly formidable task of elevating apana vayu with the help of prana vayu. This task can be carried out only through a yoga device and the grace of the guru. When the true form of niskama karma yoga was not understood, the Vama Marga (the left handed path) prevailed in the Buddhist religion and in the Siva, Vaisnava and Shakta branches of Sanatana Dharma.
Thus, after the purification of each nadi in the body, the body becomes steady and perfectly straight naturally.
Now Sri Bhagavan depicts the deserving sadhaka who attains this extremely esoteric and most eminent Brahmavidya: ‘Seeking my refuge, one who strives ‘to relinquish old age and death realizes this Brahma, perfect spiritual knowledge and complete actions.”
This verse is worthy of intense contemplation. It means that only a yogi who becomes urdhvareta and attains divine body is liberated from old age, death, and the bondage of worldly life. Only such a yogi is a real perceiver of truth and an enlightened person. In this verse the term ‘old age’ is of great, importance. One who is free from death is also free from birth. Thus it is inappropriate here to accept the term ‘birth- death’ instead of ‘old age-death.’ To be freed from old age and death is to attain a divine body purified by yogic fire.
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