It is quite possible for a man to practice celibacy while remaining in the world, though there are various sorts of temptations and distractions. Many have achieved this in times of yore. There are many even at the present moment also. A well disciplined life, a moderate diet, study of religious scriptures, daily introspection and enquiry, self-analysis and self-correction and practice of Yoga will pave a long way in the attainment of this end. People have an irregular, unrighteous, immoderate, irreligious, undisciplined life. Hence they suffer, and fail in the achievement of the goal of life. Just as the elephant throws sand on its own head, so also, they themselves bring difficulties and troubles on their own heads on account of their foolishness.
Those who practice celibacy generally complain that they get mental fatigue owing to continence. This is only a deception of the mind. You get sometimes a pseudo-hunger, whereas, when you actually sit for dinner, you have no real good appetite and you do not take any food. So also, there is a false mental fatigue. If you observe celibacy, you will have immense mental strength. You will not be able to feel it always. You will manifest it when the occasion arises, in the same way as a wrestler manifests his physical strength in the arena, though he feels as normal man in ordinary times.
Continence is not harmful. It conserves energy. It gives immense strength and peace. Sexual over-indulgence leads to moral and spiritual bankruptcy, premature death, and loss of faculties, talents and capacities. The practice of celibacy is not attended with any danger or any dire disease or undesirable result such as the various sorts of complex which are wrongly attributed to it by some critics. They have no practical knowledge of the subject on hand. They have got a wrong, ill-founded imagination that the ungratified sex energy assumes in disguise the various forms of complex such as the touch phobia. The complex is due to some other causes. It is a morbid state of mind due to excessive jealousy, hatred, anger, worry and depression brought about by various causes.
On the contrary, even a little self-restraint or a little practice of continence is an ideal pick-me-up. It gives inner strength and peace of mind. It invigorates the mind and nerves. It helps to conserve physical and mental energy. It augments memory, will-force and brain-power. It bestows tremendous strength, vigor and vitality. It renovates the system or constitution, rebuilds the cells and tissues, energizes digestion and gives power to face the difficulties in the daily battle of life. The special virtues of endurance and bravery are intimately connected with the cultivation of chastity. A perfect celibate can move the world, can stop the ocean-waves like Lord Jesus, can blow up mountains, can command nature and the five elements like Jnana Dev. There is nothing in the three worlds that cannot be achieved by him. All powers roll under his feet.
A foolish argument of the Epicureans
Some ignorant people say: “It is not right to check passion. We must not go against nature. Why has God created young beautiful women? There must be some sense, in His creation. We should enjoy them and procreate as many as possible. We should keep up the progeny of the line. If all people become celibates, what will become of this world? It will come to an end. If we check passion, we will get disease. We must get plenty of children. There is happiness in the house when we have children. The happiness of married life cannot be described in words. It is the be-all and end-all of life. I do not like any other one.” This is their crude philosophy. They are the direct descendants of materialism. They are life-members of the Epicurean school of thought. But when they lose their property, wife and children, when they suffer from, an incurable disease, they will say, “O God, free me from this horrible disease. Forgive me my sins. I am a great sinner.”
Passion should be checked at all costs. Not a single disease comes by checking passion. On the contrary, you will get immense power, joy and peace. There are also effective methods to control passion. Just as a fish swims upstream against the current in a river, so also, you will have to move against the worldly currents of evil forces. Then alone can you have Self-realization. Passion is an evil force; and it should be checked if you want to enjoy un-decaying bliss. Sexual pleasure is no pleasure at all. It is a mental delusion. It is attended with dangers, pain, fear, exertion and disgust. If you know Yoga, you can very easily control the dire malady, which is passion. God wants you to enjoy the bliss, which can be had by renouncing all these pleasures of this world. These beautiful women and wealth are the instruments of Maya to delude you and entrap you into her nets. If you wish to remain always as a worldly man with low thoughts, debasing desires, you can by all means do so. You are at perfect liberty. You can marry three hundred and fifty wives and procreate as many children. Nobody can check you. But you will soon find that this world cannot give you the satisfaction you want, because all objects are conditioned in time, space and causation. There are death, disease, old age, cares, worries and anxieties, fear, loss, disappointment failure, abuse, heat, cold, snake-bites, scorpion-stings, earthquakes and accidents. You cannot at all find rest of mind even for a single second. As your mind is filled with passion and impurity, your understanding is clouded and your intellect is perverted now. You are not able to understand the illusory nature of the universe and the ever-lasting bliss of Atman.
Passion can be effectively checked. There are potent methods. After checking passion, you will enjoy real bliss from within. All men cannot become celibates. They have various ties and attachments. They are passionate and cannot, therefore, leave the world. They are pinned to their wives, children and property. Your proposition is wholly wrong. It is impossible. Have you ever heard in the annals of the world’s history that this world became vacant as all men became celibates and went beyond the peripheries of the human society, in the forests? Then, why do you bring in this absurd proposition? This is an ingenious trick of your mind to support your foolish arguments and satanic philosophy, which has passion and sexual gratification as its important tenets. This exposes your foolishness and passionate nature. Do not bother yourself about this world. Mind your own business. God is all-powerful. Even if this world is completely evacuated when all people retire to the forests, God will immediately create millions of people by mere willing, within the twinkling of an eye. This is not your look-out. Find out methods to eradicate your passion.
Marriage cannot be taken as an indispensable factor in everyone’s life. Rather, a true aspirant should definitely keep himself far, far away from the fetters of a married life. For him, marriage constitutes a curse; while at the same time, for a man of a lustful disposition for whom it is extremely difficult to get over carnal passions, it is a sort of a fence and a protecting vault to his moral recklessness. Marriage is, therefore, prescribed for those—and it applies to the majority of mankind—who are not yet ready for a life of absolute self-restraint and thus is to be regarded by them as a sacrament, and certainly not as a licence to self-indulgence.
Every one born in this world need not necessarily marry. Marriage is meant to regulate one’s life in the world. But for the institution of marriage in society, life would become irregular and beastly. But, where there is no passion in the heart, where the desire for God is strong, where there is a longing for spiritual pursuits, marriage is not compulsory.
Parents should not force marriage on their sons. They should not stamp out the spiritual values of their children. Many young men in whom there is a spiritual awakening mention in pitiable words: “My heart throbs for higher spiritual things. I have no interest in worldly matters. The surroundings are not favorable. I am entangled in the meshes of marriage. My parents forced me, much against my will, to marry. I had to please my old parents. They threatened me in various ways. I now weep. What shall I do now?” Young boys, who have no idea of this world and this life, are married when they are eight or ten years of age. We see children begetting children. There are child-mothers. A boy of about eighteen has three children. Early marriages have wrought early loss of semen. There is physical and mental degeneration. There is no longevity. All are short-lived. Frequent child-bearing destroys the health of women and brings in a host of other ailments.
You have adopted various habits from the modern culture in matters relating to dress and fashion. You have become a creature of vile imitation. You must go through the priorities of those you copy. They do not marry unless they are able to maintain a family decently. They have got more self-restraint. They first secure a decent station in life, earn money, save something and then only think of marriage. If they have not got sufficient money, they remain bachelors throughout their lives. They do not want to bring forth beggars into this world just in the same manner as you do. He who has understood the magnitude of human suffering in this world will never dare to bring forth a single child from the womb of a woman.
Nature of the love between husband and wife
The love between husband and wife is mainly physical, selfish and hypocritical. It is not constant. It is of an ephemeral and changing nature. It is carnal passion only. It is sexual appetite. It is tinged with lower emotions. It is of bestial nature. It is finite. But divine love is infinite, pure, all-pervading and everlasting. There is no question of divorce here.
In reality, there is no internal union between husband and wife in the vast majority of cases. As husbands and wives are externally united only for selfish ends, there is only some show of smile and external love. It is all mere show only. As there is no real union in their heart of hearts, there is always some kind of friction and rupture, wry faces and hot words, in every house. If the husband does not take his wife to the cinema, there will be fighting in the house. Can you call this real love? It is mercenary, commercial business. On account of lust, men have lost their integrity, independence and dignity. They have become the slaves of women. The key is with the wife, and even for two rupees, the husband has to stretch his hands to her. Still he says, under delusion and intoxication of passion, “I have a sweet, loving wife. She can be really worshipped!”
In mercenary love, there cannot be any real happiness between the two, the lover and the beloved. If the husband is in a dying condition, the wife takes the bank passbook and walks to her mother’s house quietly. If the husband loses his job for some time, the wife shows wry faces, speaks harsh words and does not serve him properly with any love. This is selfish love. There is no real affection from the core of the heart. So there is always quarrel, fighting and loss of peace in the house. Husbands and wives are not really united. They pull on anyhow, dragging a dreary, cheerless existence.
Passion is not love at all. It is an animal instinct. It is carnal love. It is of a beastly nature. It is shifting. If the wife loses her beauty on account of some incurable malady, she gets divorced and the husband marries a second wife. This state of affairs is going on in the world.A husband loves his wife not for the sake of his wife, but for the sake of his own self. He is selfish. He expects sensual pleasure from her. If leprosy or smallpox destroys her beauty, his love for her ceases. When the wife dies, the husband is drowned in sorrow, not because of the loss of his loving partner in life, but because he cannot get sexual pleasure now.
When your wife is young and beautiful, you admire her curly hair, rosy cheeks, fine nose, shining skin and silvery teeth. When she loses her beauty on account of some chronic incurable malady, she no longer holds any attraction for you. You marry a second wife. Had you loved your first wife with hearty sentiments, had you a comprehensive understanding that the Self in you and in your wife was the same, your love for her would have been pure, unselfish, lasting, undecaying and unchanging. Just as you love old sugar-candy or old rice the more, so also, you would love your wife more and more, even when she becomes old, as you have hearty sentiments. Your true love and hearty sentiments only will intensify your friendship with her and make it lasting.
Only physical love is a practice what animals do. Love of the body or skin is passion. It is passion exalted and refined. It is gross and sensual. Passion for the flesh or body is not pure or real love. It is only infatuation born of ignorance. You do wicked deeds and kill your soul on account of this passion. Even our sisters of ill fame show for some time abundant love, sweet smile and honeyed words towards their customers. This they do as long as they can extract money. Can you call this love and real happiness? There is cunningness, diplomacy, crookedness and hypocrisy here. There is no element of sacrifice in this love.
Be happy – Celibacy relates to your mind and you can exercise it whatever be the circumstances around you.