Celibacy, as we understand in its strictest definition, means to be unmarried. However, the term is often popularly used to describe a state of life where one chooses to abstain from all sexual activities which is strictly “chastity”. In the terms of religious beliefs – we may mean Clerical celibacy or sannyasa. Through this, we can focus energies on other matters, like career, social issues or sublimation ( to divert the energy of a sexual or other biological impulse from its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable social, moral, or aesthetic nature or use). We may cultivate a relationship according to an ideal of chastity. Some body may term it as a distaste or lack of appetite for sex – asexuality or antisexualism or an inability to form a sexual relationship – involuntary celibacy. It can be an attempt to gain a sense of self and independence from others. Some time we adopt celibacy due to our poor health which we can term as medical celibacy. If you wish to avoid risk of venereal disease or being emotionally hurt. It is accepted as a means of birth control also.
As we all know, instincts and appetites form a part of all life on earth. Sense impulses and biological urges are common to animal and man alike. God has divided the creatures mainly into two sections – male and female. Attraction to other section of the creatures is one of the prominent, most important and absolutely essential aspects of human, animal as well as plant life. It is an integral part of life—human, animal and plant. While this aspect of life is regulated by nature in plants and by instinct in animals, in man it is left to his common-sense, intelligence and his developed reason to control and regulate the same. The vast and ancient scriptures of the world offer human society specific rules and regulations in this respect.
But in the present-day world, in all walks of society and in all age groups, norms of conduct laid down by the scriptures are flouted with so much impunity that we see, all around us, the number of physical, mental and moral wrecks increasing every day. There is a great illusion in front of man. It troubles him in the form of woman. There is a great illusion in front of woman. It troubles her in the form of man. If we go wherever we may like in any part of the world —Amsterdam, London or New York or somewhere else, and analyze this world of phenomenal experience, we will find only two things most prevalent — sex and ego.
The sex instinct is the greatest urge in human life. Sex energy or lust is the most deep-rooted instinct in man. It entirely fills the mind, intellect, senses and the whole body. It is the oldest of the factors that have gone into the constitution of the human being. A man has a thousand and one desires. But the central strong desire is the sexual desire. The fundamental desire is the urge for a mate. All hang on this central basic desire. The desire for money, the desire for a son, the desire for property, the desire for houses, the desire for cattle and other desires come later on.
Because the whole creation of this universe is to be kept up, God has made this desire very powerful. It is easy to get university qualifications. It demands a little money, memory, intelligence and a little strain. But it is an uphill climb to obliterate the sexual impulse. He who has completely eradicated lust and is established in mental celibacy can be termed as above the manhood.
The majority of us are affected with sex and ego. Ego is the chief thing. It is the basis. Sex hangs on the ego. If the ego is destroyed by an enquiry of “Who am I?”, other idea takes to its heels by itself. Man, master of his destiny, has lost his divine glory and has become a slave, a tool, in the hands of these two infirmities on account of ignorance. These are the products of nescience. The dawn of knowledge of the Self annihilates these two enemies. These are two dacoits marauding the helpless, ignorant, little, the illusory “I”.
Man has degraded himself to a great degree by becoming the puppet of passion. He has become an imitative machine. He has lost his power of discrimination. He has sunk into the most abject form of slavery. If he wishes to regain his lost divine state and glory, his whole being must be transformed, his sex desire must be completely transmuted by sublime divine thoughts and regular meditation. Transmutation of the sex desire is a very potent, efficacious and satisfactory way to realize eternal bliss. Passion reigns supreme in all parts of the world. The materialistic minds are filled with sexual thoughts. We are perhaps under a tremendous sexual intoxication, deluded and move in the world with perverted intellects. It is all fashion, restaurants, hotels, dinners, dances, races and cinema. Their life ends in eating, drinking and procreating. That is all.
Passion has introduced new fashions everywhere. We apply chemical and other impurities based cosmetics to our faces, instead of the sacred turmeric powder and other herbs, and dress our hair like the non-cultured crowd. This sort of vile imitation has crept into the mind of our boys and girls. The sacred percepts and teachings of our ancient sages have been totally ignored. Shameful indeed! Our brains are all clogged with foreign particles. Due to materialism, we do not have the brain to absorb anything good in others, just imitating their make-ups. There is a miserable degeneration in the present young men and women. This is the age when they cannot walk even a short distance without a conveyance. We do not wish to afford a simple exercise of walking even for a short distance and then we complain of our physical disorders like constipation, heart attacks and other dreaded diseases. What an awful artificial life!
Young men of the present day indiscriminately imitate others without thinking their own culture and climatic situations of their surroundings – whether that is favorable or not. This results in their own ruin. Men are swayed by lust. They lose their sense of righteousness, and of time and place. They never discriminate between right and wrong. If we read the history of the crimes—robbery, rapes, kidnapping, assaults, murders—that come up for trial before the Courts, we find that lust is at the root of all this. It may be lust for money or lust for carnal pleasure. Lust ruins life, luster, strength, vitality, memory, wealth, fame, holiness, peace, wisdom and devotion.
Man, with his boasted intellect, has to learn lessons from birds and animals. Even animals have more self-control than men. It is only the so-called man who has degraded himself much by indulgence. At the heat of the excitement, he repeats the same ignoble act again and again. He has not a bit of self-control. He is an absolute slave to passion. He is a puppet in the hands of passion. Like rabbits he procreates and brings forth countless children to swell up the numbers of beggars in the world. Lions, elephants, bulls and other powerful animals have better self-control than men. Lions cohabit only once in a year. After conception, the female animals will never allow the male animals to approach them till the young ones are weaned and they themselves become healthy and strong. Man only violates the laws of nature and consequently suffers from innumerable diseases. He has degenerated to a level far lower than that of animals in this respect.
As a king is no king without a treasury, subjects and an army, as a flower is no flower without fragrance, as a river is no river without water, so also, a man is no man without appropriate. Food, sleep, fear and copulation—are common requirements to both animals and men. That which differentiates a man from an animal is appropriate thinking. Wisdom and discretion can be secured only by mankind only. If we have not got these qualifications, we should really be reckoned as a veritable animal only.
If lust, which is the source of all enjoyments in this world, ceases, then all worldly bondage, which has its substratum in the mind, will cease. Even the most virulent poison is no poison when compared to lust. The former defiles one body only, whereas the latter adulterates many bodies in successive births. We are a slave of passions and desires, emotions and attractions. Those persons, who, in spite of the knowledge of the non-existence of happiness, both in the past and in the present, in the baneful objects of the world, do yet entangle themselves in them with their thoughts clinging to them, deserve the appellation of an ass, if not a worse one. If you do not possess discretion, if you do not try your best for salvation, if you spend your lifetime in eating, drinking and sleeping, you are a horizontal being only, having to learn some lessons from those animals, which possess far more self-restraint.
The sexual degradation that has overtaken mankind today is due directly to the fact that people have assumed that there is a natural “sexual instinct” in human beings. It is not so. The natural instinct is the procreative one. If men and women restrict sexual indulgence to mere procreation, then that itself is observance of celibacy. As this is found to be impossible in the vast majority of cases, total abstinence is enjoined on those who seek the higher values of life.
The gratification of every worldly desire is sinful; the flesh should be the abject slave of the spirit intent upon divine things. Man was created for a life of spiritual communion with God, but he yielded to the seduction of evil demons who availed themselves of the sensuous side of his nature to draw him away from the contemplation of the divine and lead him to the earthly life. Moral goodness, therefore, consists in renouncing all sensuous pleasures, in separating from the world through discrimination and dispassion, in living solely after the spirit, in imitating the perfection and purity of God. Sensuality is inconsistent with wisdom and holiness. The great business of life is to avoid impurity.
Real culture is the establishment of perfect physical and mental celibacy. Real culture is the realization of the identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul through direct experience. For a passionate worldly-minded man, the terms Self-realization, God, Self, renunciation, death and burial ground are very revolting and terrifying, because he is attached to objects. The terms singing, dancing, talks about women and so on are very pleasing.
The attraction for objects will gradually vanish if one begins to think seriously of the unreal nature of the world. People are burnt by the fire of lust. All measures that are calculated to eradicate this dire disease should be initiated and put through. All people should be made fully conversant with the different methods that will help them to root out the dire enemy lust. If they fail in one method, they can take recourse to another. Lust is a brutal instinct in unregenerated men. One should be ashamed to repeat again and again the sensual acts when one is fully aware that the goal of life is Self-realization through the attainment of purity and the practice of constant meditation. An objector may say that these topics should not be dealt with openly, but should rather be talked about secretly. This is wrong. What is the use of hiding things? Hiding a thing is again a sin.
In these days of modern culture and new civilization, in this era of scientific advancement, these lines may not be relished by some people. They may remark that some of the terms are jarring, revolting, offending and indecent and will not suit the people of refined tastes. They are entirely mistaken. These lines should produce a very deep impression in the minds of thirsting aspirants who are longing for liberation. Their minds will be entirely changed. There is no real spiritual culture amongst the people of modern society. Etiquette is mere show. Everywhere you can see much show, hypocrisy, pretended politeness, meaningless formalities and conventions. Nothing emanates from the core of the heart. People lack sincerity and integrity. The great sentences of the sages and the valuable teachings of the scriptures will not produce any impression in the minds of passionate, worldly-minded persons. They will be like seeds thrown in rocky soil. They will be like pearls thrown before swine.
If one clearly understands the serious damage that comes through an impure life and determines to attain the goal of life by leading a pure life, he must keep his mind busily engaged in divine thoughts, concentration, meditation, study and service of humanity.
Lack of spirituality is the main cause for all sexual attractions. Mere theoretical abstention from sensuality will not bring you good results. You must mercilessly cut off all formalities in social life and lead a pious life freed from the business of bodily existence. Leniency to internal lower tendencies will land you in the region of suffering. Excuse will be of no use in this respect. You must be sincere in your quest for the sublime life of spirituality. Half-heartedness will leave you in your old state of misery.
We may wake up from this mire of illusory world now. Passion has wrought great havoc in us as you are drowned in ignorance. This body is full of impurities, flesh and bones. People talk of celibacy, but practical men are rare indeed. A life of continence is really beset with difficulties. But the path becomes smooth for a man of iron determination, patience and perseverance. The average life of mankind has shrunk to fifty years as against the natural hundred years. Why fifty years only? This is the period which bestows upon every man and woman sufficient energy to enjoy all the pleasures of life. If it is carefully done, we can extend the life of our enjoyment to the extent of our full physical life span. But no, we waste a lot by over- indulging ourselves in lust and other exercises. Every well-wisher must think over this most disgraceful and disastrous state of affairs very carefully and apply the proper remedies in time. The future well-being of the world rests entirely on the youth. It is the duty of the saints, teachers, professors and parents to reintroduce the life of celibacy in youngsters to the maximum extent. It is not advocated that we should not procreate. No, we must have that duty to be performed under sufficient discipline as good citizens. Here, the educational authorities and the elders need to pay their special attention to this vital subject of celibacy for the uplift of the future generation by training of the youth which means nation-building. The future well-being of the world rests entirely on appropriate celibacy alone.
For our better and happy future, we all should sincerely struggle hard to control passion—the enemy of peace and prosperity—by disciplining ourselves.