Can one use restraint to be celibate?
For Brahmacharya to happen, a maturity is required, before this maturity can one use restraint to be celibate?
The act of “restraining the senses” belongs to the circle of sleep.
What is the circle of sleep?
We usually are living life unawares. We do everything in a state of sleep – state of tamas. We are never aware of what is happening really, every action is just mechanical. Everything we do is out of memory. And every memory is just of a previous episode of anger, guilt, hatred, passion, jealousy, etc. Every action is mechanically performed from that memory. We act in this state of sleep. We are not aware of what is happening at the thought level or the feeling level, not even at the body level. It is like an invisible sphere of sleep state all around us, we seem to be drowned in this circle.
How to get out of this circle of sleep?
Become aware of every thought, of every feeling. This awareness will help you drop out of your circle of perpetual sleep. For e.g. right now you are not really aware of your breath, correct? Now that I pointed it out, you become aware. You are not aware that now you are in your intellect, there is a constant agreement or disagreement in the mind. Now that I point it out, you become aware that this is happening. This state is called a circle of sleep. you are walking, talking, working, breathing, even driving a car in a constant circle of sleep. Suddenly an accident on the road jolts you out of this circle of sleep. And for a moment you become completely aware, completely jolted out of your dreamy state of thoughts (circle of sleep). How did it jolt you out of your sleep?………. By bringing you to the present moment!
Live in the present moment
This present moment is momentary, it is minuscule, it is really tiny, it is just ‘here and now’. But by the time you get to this sentence, that ‘now’ has become the past. It is so tiny that there is no room for even a single thought, even a single feeling, it is just a deep silence. A complete silence! Silence is more powerful than a million words. That is the ‘power of now’!
When you are constantly aware of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations, etc you stop acting out of the state of sleep and hence stop acting out of memory. You act spontaneously out of the present moment, you act out of complete awareness, you act out of the silence of the ‘now’! You are aware of the action that you are doing from moment to moment. You are aware of the thoughts that come to your mind from moment to moment, you are aware of your feelings from moment to moment.
The silence of the ‘now’ brings about a natural maturity that helps you look at how the memory of the past was trying to overtake you with emotions of the past related to the same. When you just observe it, observe it, observe it……….. merely by observing the expectation related to the action……. merely by observing the emotion related to the action…….. merely by observing the thoughts related to the action……………. it turns around and becomes pure because the action happens in the silence of the present moment rather than from the memory (raaga & dvesha) of the past. This pure action is spontaneous as it is free of the past impression!
This is called living in the present moment! From moment to moment to moment, acting out of that state of silence rather than from the sleepy state where you are lost in the mire of thoughts, emotions & feelings.
Now back to your question of celibacy.
Restraint means suppression. Suppression of senses will never get you there. It has to be a natural maturity that needs to happen. Suppression can never lead to maturity. What can lead to maturity is “self-observation”. Observe when the feelings of lust come over you. Observe how the mind fantasizes that it will get a certain degree of pleasure. Observe the fire of kaamagni arise within. This fire fuels the fantasy even more. Keep observing the thoughts and the expectations and the feelings. The feelings will be experienced in the body at the chakras.
Observe what is the source of pleasure…. external object or is it just a manohar kahani [mind made stuff]. Keep observing!
- A mature mind will be able to see the truth as the truth.
- A mature mind will have the courage to call a spade a spade!
- A mature mind will clearly be able to accept the Truth that the joy is not in a genital organ but it is just a feverishness created by fantasy and lacks truth!
It does not mean suppress any urges….. It means just go through the action in complete awareness. When you go through it with complete awareness consistently, day after day, your action will become more and more pure. The state of the mind will move from the circle of sleep to the circle of awareness. Of course, because of its old habits, the mind will slip back into its circle of sleep again. This game of switching between sleep and awareness will continue for awhile. But you must be persistent.
One fine day the circle of awareness will become a permanent feature of your being! The natural maturity becomes your nature! This phenomenon happens automatically. Thus celibacy is a happening! It is not a practice, it is not restraint, it is not suppression.
Just observe and be aware!
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