We have a reader question from Anonymous
In one of your posts, you have mentioned techniques for men to practice Brahmacharya (you have explicitly mentioned that these suggestions are not applicable for women). I am a woman and I too want to practice Brahmacharya for some time to see what difference it makes in my life. I am in my late twenties, unmarried and I know its extremely difficult but nonetheless, I want to practice it before getting married. Please let us know some techniques for women and how women can practice Brahmacharya in their day to day life.
Firstly, I am a man and I don’t know any woman who has been a Brahmachari or has practiced Brahmacharya successfully for some time in her life. Secondly, Brahmacharya or celibacy is mostly practiced by men so there is enough documentation, evidence and guide on how a man can go about that path. However, very little information is documented for females since the number of female Brahmacharis is almost negligible.
You may wonder, why it is so difficult for women to practice celibacy? The reason being, a woman has desires 16 times more than a man. She looks calm and composed from the surface but from the inside, she is craving for love and affection. A man is like a shade of tin. When the sun is shinning, the tin shade becomes excessively hot. However, right after sunset, this tin shade is cool. It takes very less time for a man to reach his extremes and return to his minimum threshold of desires. A woman is like a heap of hay which is stacked one over another. It takes time for the haystack to become hot but once it crosses a threshold, it will burn like a house on fire.
That said, it is not entirely impossible for women to practice Brahmacharya. But before I share more details, you must know few things.
Brahmacharya is not just Celibacy
Sexual abstinence does not define Brahmacharya since it is just a part of the entire course. You can be good in Mathematics but that alone is not sufficient to pass the high school examination. You must pass in English, Science, Arts and other subjects.
In the same way, just because you are a celibate (whether male or female) does not mean you are a Brahmachari. You must go through all the other routines alongside Celibacy to be a Brahmachari.
Also note that, nowhere is it mentioned that Brahmacharya cannot be practiced while you are married or have a partner. Brahmacharya means sexual abstinence when you are single and fidelity when you are married. You can get married, have a husband and still practice Brahmacharya. That does not mean you have to suppress desires permanently. You don’t have to but the key thing is – moderation. Keeping your desires in check, not be lustful, perverted or “animal” like.
Indian sages have segregated human life into 4 stages
- Brahmacharya – This is usually maintained until 21-23 years. Stage of complete sexual abstinence, study, sadhana and preparing your brain for knowledge consumption.
- Grihastha – This starts from 21-22 and ends somewhere around 42-45. Stage of family life wherein the subject enjoys a partner, remains committed and raises children.
- Vanprastha – This starts from 45 and continues until 70. The subject must leave his belongings behind and stay in an unknown place, far away from home and lead a life of moderation.
- Parivrajaka – The final stage starts from 65-70 and continues until death. This is that stage when the subject lets go of everything (even relationships), never stays in one place for long, renounces all possessions, gives up attachment of all forms and lives on the charity and mercy of others.
So as we can see, just because you were a Brahmachari until 20-21, does not mean you cannot enter the material world of pleasure and romance. Celibacy is not a black and white choice, there might be periods in your life when you practice it, and others when you do not.Brahmacharya will return again at 40-45 during the beginning of your Vanprastha phase, when your material life will cease to exist, provided you are willing.
There is a reason why it is difficult for women to control sexual desires, compared to men.
A female is the source of creation so it is imperative that this entity must have high desires. If the females are not willing, the entire process of creation shall collapse like a house of cards. Mankind cannot go forward without continuos reproduction and hence, nature has devised this system that the one with high desires will nourish the next generation and take the responsibility to bring forth its successor. A man becoming a Brahmachari means nothing to human evolution but if a female turns out to be a Brahmachari, it will stop an entire chain of lineage.
That said, here are a few techniques which you may use to practice Brahmacharya but please note, this has to be done in supervision when you are starting out. Do not practice it all by yourself, you may end up hurting your physique or “Ojas Shakti”. Take another female partner and do it parallely, so you can discuss it out when in need.
Maintain a Diet which does not surge your sexual passion.
The first step is to stop providing your body the ingredients which fuels passion. Completely abandon Meat, fish, alchohol, Nicotine, Onion, Garlic, Spices, Tea, Cofee, Fast foods, Tamarind or excessive sugar. Anything which produces heat inside the body should be abandoned. Practice fasting, this will lower your cravings but do not fast for consecutive days. Eat in small chunks at regular intervals but do not eat too much in one go.
Practice “Mitahara” (“Mit” = Moderate, “Ahara” = Food). It is said that a woman who can control her craving for food will eventually control her desires. There is a saying
ब्रह्मचारी मिताहारी तयागी योग-परायणः |
अब्दादूर्ध्वं भवेद्सिद्धो नात्र कार्या विछारणा ||
The one (Brahmachari) who practices a moderate diet and Yoga, achieves success in efforts within half a year.
It is the mind that really does all actions. First there is “Sankalpa” or thought and then comes action.
Whenever you see you’re attracted to a man or there is this feeling of romance in your head, be warned, it is a distraction. The mind is deluding you to enter a zone where you’ll become a victim. Don’t let the mind overpower you, it is quite natural to long for a partner but remember, this longing will never end even if you find one and it shall continue to grow and delude you till the rest of your life.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you’re thinking about a man, or who is looking or ogling at you and how you should be reacting, STOP. You’re doing it wrong. You don’t need to react at all and completely ignore the natural phenomena of “reacting”. Do not react and practice ignorance. This will put some discipline in your mental actions.
It goes without saying that you should completely abandon sources which injects desires in your mind. This includes Television, Newspapers, Advertisements, Movies, Songs and whatever other sorts of “Entertainment” you see around you. All of the so called “Entertainment” sources have different ways to inducing desires in your head, so once your head is captured, you became a slave to different “business entities”
Don’t dress in a way that it seeks attention from others
Don’t dress in such a way that the opposite sex or even other women are looking at you or checking you out. Yes, it feels good to dress well but it should not be practiced in a way that you become the object of attention. I know, women do the exact opposite, they want to look good and be different but this is a strict No No. You cannot draw the attention of others towards yourself, that way there will be a reverse force which will ignite passion in your mind.
Dress moderately and abandon make-ups. Its fake and it creates an illusion for the on-looker wherein the “real” you is not being looked at, you become an object of passion for men which induces a reverse karma on you as well.
Learn to control your fertility cycle
The usual fertility cycle of a woman lasts between 14-20 days. The first 4 and the last 3 days are very crucial, this is the time when you should practice different ways of contracting and expanding your genitalia to avoid too much flow of semen from your body.
It is difficult but there are ways to control and have a good grip over when and how that happens. If you practice Yoga then go through Maha Mudra, Siddhasana, Sirshasana, Sarvangasana, Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandhaand other methods to improve the posture of your body which is well suited to adapt to your fertility cycle and which positions you in a state where you can control your fertility cycle to some extent.
Again, you cannot control is completely but through years of practice, you will be able to predict and prepare. If you can control the flow of semen from your body, this will greatly reduce your desires. You must consult an expert Brahmachari to know more details.
Do not use Libido killing Drugs or medicines
Nope don’t do that. They will do more harm than good. Yes, at first you may see some positive results but in the longer haul, it will again make you a slave. Remember, anything artificial has been made by someone so you continue to use that source so that the other person benefits in some way.
Do not rely on external drugs or medicines and do not use them as a shortcut. It’s not needed in the first place and it will cripple your natural instincts overtime.
Control Your Yoni through disciplined contraction and expansion
The male reproductive organ as well as the female one have something in common – both contract and expand depending on the volume of passion present in the body.
Once you have controlled that passion to some extent, practice this. Try to control the contraction, expansion phenomena through meditation. If you meditate for 20-30 minutes a day in Siddhasana stature, you will be able to first control your breath and eventually control the contraction and expansion of the Yoni through your breath. If you attain mastery of this contraction and expansion phenomena and prevent the body from automatically contracting and expanding it, half of the battle is already won.
The other half is controlling your mind, which will take some time, since it is the difficult part of the battle.
Better to Have One Partner and live in Moderation than having no Partner at all
If you are in your twenties, you should beget a partner and it is usually better than having no partner at all. Women who are without a husband or mate are more lustful than women who have one. They never learn how to control their desires and at the same time, they never get love, affection from a man which their bodies need. This creates an enormus conflict in the mind and it becomes extremely deluded and craves more and more for it.
Getting married or having a partner will not amplify your desires if you be chaste and live a life of moderation. However, once you have your husband, you must suppress and kill all desires of affection from other men. This is the vow you must take to enter a pious chaste life. Without this, Brahmacharya is impossible.
Also, if you never get married or never have a partner, you cannot attain Brahmacharya. A man can attain Brahmacharya without his wife but a woman can’t attain Brahmacharya without a man after crossing a certain age. This is because it is the Husband who is supposed to enter the woman, becomes an Embryo and is born again through her. Through this process, the woman is transformed into a “mother”, which is one of the very first steps of abiding “Dharma” of a woman and uplifiting herself as an individual.
Single women, who never marry are often seen with different men and eventually they are robbed of their chastity, just like a vulture eats meat from a dead body.
Once the woman is a “Mother”, her natural passion is slowly reduced overtime. This is because now her mind focusses more on the nourishment of the child and well being of her husband and sexual thoughts find little space in her head. Also, in the presence of a husband, “vultures” are kept at bay.
An adult woman without her husband has no future. It is a well established fact in Indian culture and many would count me as a patriarch, but this is what Indian vedic scholars have said time and again. A Father who does not get his daughter married at the right time is to be blamed, a husband who does not have sex or romance with his wife is to be blamed and a son who does not take care of his mother while his father is dead is to be blamed.
These are some of the initial steps that you can take. However, I would highly recommend women to seek a “Guru” before entering or trying to enter “Brahmacharya”. If not practiced carefully, it can severely harm your body or mind. Please consult a learned expert or someone who has been through this so you have guidance in each step.
And once you see some success, it becomes very difficult to be whom you used to be. I have experienced the same with my courses so be advised and do not do it alone, read books and do not imitate the techniques blindly. You must seek a mentor before you decide to put this notion into practice.