We have another reader question from Suchit
Why did Swami Vivekananda refuse a woman’s advances? This is the backdrop of your answer to Why Rishi’s Curse?
Swami Vivekananda was someone who maintained “Akhanda Brahmacharya”. He said that if you are a “Brahmachari” who wants to know what is Karma Yoga, you must not indulge with women and “Grihastha” life. His magnificent personality is because of his perfect observance of “Brahmacharya”
Let us first know what is the duty of a man towards a woman.
The duty of a man towards a woman is to treat her with respect and protect her from nature and evil forces. This is the primary duty of a man towards any woman. The woman can be a mother, a sister, daughter, a wife, a mistress, a daughter in law, a lover, a friend or an inamorata. Whosoever be the woman, the man must protect her from calamities, disasters and threats.
A man has another duty towards a woman, only if she demands it. If the woman demands motherhood from a man, he has to provide it since motherhood is a woman’s right and she cannot achieve it without a man’s help. In previous Yugas, it was considered a huge sin to deny a woman her motherhood and this would mean the destruction of the man’s whole clan on the “shraap” of the woman. Motherhood was a claim and had to be fulfilled. This is the reason why Rishi’s abandoned cities and would find refuge in Jungles – to not being disturbed or seduced by women.
In the Mahabharata, Bheesma denied Amba her motherhood and she pledged to become the reason of his death, no matter how many times she has to take birth (which she fulfilled by taking birth as Shikhandi)
However, if a man is observing “Brahmacharya” he must not indulge with women.
What is Brahmacharya?
Brahmacharya is the process of observing the “Brahman”. Brahman is “Brah” + “Man” – the expansion of the mind. To achieve ultimate expansion of the mind, the soul cannot afford to lose energy.
Energy is lost whenever you have sex or whenever there is lust in your head. This is a violation of “Brahmacharya” and the Brahmachari is not supposed to even cross the shadow of a woman.
Semen is produced inside a man’s body. This Veerya (seminal energy) is verily Atman. The secret of mental prowess lies in preservation of this vital force. He who wastes this energy cannot have physical, mental, moral and spiritual development. If the Veerya is lost, Prana gets unsteady. Prana is agitated. The man becomes nervous. Then the mind also cannot work properly. The man becomes fickle-minded. There is mental weakness.
A man who has retained his semen for a long time, will have unthinkable mental powers, deep foresight, sharp memory and will be able to predict future events to accurate detail. This is the reason why Rishi’s would avoid women as far as it is practicable, so that they can discover the depth of their own mind. The Gods would then send Apsaras to seduce the Rishi’s, so that they fall prey to their beauty and enter “Sansar” dharma.
According to Ayurveda semen is the last Dhatu that is formed out of Majja or marrow. From food chyle (Rasa) is manufactured. Out of chyle comes blood (Rakta); out of blood comes flesh; out of flesh comes fat: out of fat comes marrow; out of marrow comes semen. These are the seven Dhatus. The man who uses his physical body only but keeps the intellect and heart undeveloped cannot expect to attain perfect Brahmacharya. He can have Brahmacharya of the body only but not of the mind and heart. The semen that belongs to the heart and mind will certainly flow out
As the practice of Karma Yoga is not possible without Brahmacharya, it is a strict regulation to avoid contact with women.
“Nari” is Prakriti. Her natural urge is affection and she will want to beget a child from a man, sooner than later. That is how Nature has programmed her system. If someone wants to know the depths of his own mind, he must not waste his energies through Sex and romance of whatever form. This is why it is said that if you are a Brahmachari and a “Karma Yogi”, you should stop all contacts with women. You cannot talk with them, you cannot smell their fragrance, you cannot look at them and you should always repel any form of feminine contact.
An advanced yogi who has retained his semen for a long time is said to have achieved the Brahman. Very few men can achieve this state of absolute Brahman through lifelong celibacy. Women cannot achieve this during their fertile period, they can however achieve it to some extent after their fertility ends.
An Akhanda Brahmachari who has not allowed even a drop of semen to come out for a period of twelve years, will enter into Samadhi without any effort. Swami Vivekananda had prophecized that he would not live after 40 which he fulfilled after taking “MahaSamadhi” at the age of 39.
Please note that celibacy is just one part of Brahmacharya, there are many other parts which the Yogi must observe for a complete observation of “Brahman”. If you are curious, I would suggest you to practice celibacy for at least a month (this means retaining semen at all costs). Practice it and you shall see the difference on your own.