Why do the great spiritual traditions suggest we practice sexual and sensual self-control, or bramacharya? This video is part of a series (of 108 short episodes made for youtube) Swami Kriyananda has done based on the Bhagavad Gita.
Sex & sense enjoyment are not “bad” or “wrong,” yet we do pay a price for them. The choice is ours. This video offers a deep and generally unknown teaching about the nature of human life-force and why one might choose to conserve it. In yogic tradition it is well known that the power lost during sexual emission is the very life-force that sustains us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Self-control over the sex impulse leads to greater clarity and mental power.
The depletion of life-force through over indulgence in sex (and lack of self-control in general) has a cumulative negative effect on ones mental clarity, and overall health. Many sincere seekers have found that over indulgence in any sense pleasure actually dims their awareness or strengthens the feeling of being separate from God or one’s Highest-Self.
Bramacharya is more than sexual abstinence. Swami Kriyananda writes in “Awaken to Superconsciousness”:
…brahmacharya means control of every natural appetite, of which sexual desire is the strongest but not the only one.
The ideal behind this teaching is to live identified with the Spirit, realizing ourselves as the soul living through the body, and no longer as the ego centered in body-consciousness. We should live in such a way as to master our appetites, and not allow ourselves to be mastered by them.
The recommendation here is not extreme abstinence, although complete sexual abstinence is at least a possibility. The important thing is to achieve self-control, first by moderation, directing our efforts only gradually toward perfect self-control.
To accomplish self-control, the seeker is taught even in the midst of enjoyment to direct that sense of enjoyment upward to the brain. He should try to feel that sensory pleasure is feeding his inner joy at its source in the Self.
I would like to know what you think about this topic, and also try to answer any questions you may have regarding sex and spirituality.
Joy to you!