The world is full of sensual pleasures. They grasp our attention, and once we indulge in them, we feel like we need more and more to be satisfied. Without them, we often feel tense and agitated, due to a craving for more.

Such worldly pleasures and attachments drive us away from spiritual progress, they make us engrossed in the relative world, identifying strongly with our relative selves, rather than seeing our true selves (Pure Soul).
Sex is referred to as Vishaya, or an object of enjoyment. Vishaya refers to sensual pleasures which grasp our attention. The more we indulge in them, the more our mind will be drawn to them. According to Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan (Pujya Dadashri), “there are objects in this world that do not trap you into an inescapable trap of enjoyment. These things are all that one consumes for the needs of this body, like food items and water. This is not vishaya. These objects do not harm you, because they do not make you involved with them to the exclusion of everything else.

Vishaya in general means that which holds your attention. Here we are talking about that which will grab you and take you into life after life. When is anything considered a vishaya? It is considered a vishaya if you become greedy or infatuated with it. Otherwise it is not a vishaya.”

In order to progress spiritually, it is extremely beneficial to practice bramacharya (celibacy), even if only for a few months. Pujya Dadashri explains that “with bramacharya you can achieve whatever you want to. With bramacharya your worldly aims will be accomplished. You will be able to follow your vows and commitments. There is ease of further progress in all directions. [For] the extract of non-Self, bramacharya is very important. If this is present it opens the Self.”

The more we abstain from sexual activity, the more calm our mind will be without it. We won’t have intense desires for sex or strong thoughts about it after a few months. For example, if you don’t talk to a friend for a few years, in the beginning, you will have thoughts about them. You may want to know what they are doing or want to talk to them. As time passes however, you will soon forget, and they won’t come to your mind. You will no longer feel a need or feel as though something is missing. The same is true with sex.

As Pujya Dadashri explains, “in sexuality, the more a person enjoys it, the more he has a burning desire for it. By not getting involved in the sexual act, one may become uneasy and unsettled for a month or two. However loss of familiarity is the key. With the loss of familiarity one will forget sexuality totally. It is not possible for a person enjoying sex to get rid of the desire for it. Hence, research of the scriptures done by people in our country has led to the discovery that the path of bramacharya is the best. The best cure is to become unfamiliar with sex.”

Once we separate ourselves from sex, we will no longer feel uneasy without it and can have true peace from within, not feeling the need for something external from ourselves. Bramacharya is possible to achieve with knowledge of the Self (the Pure Soul). Once we obtain this knowledge, we can experience true bliss, as we realize our true Self. This knowledge and experience of the Pure Soul will help us get out of the “filth of the exploitation of the five senses.” Pujya Dadashri sheds light on this topic: “It is a real wonder that humans are stuck in the terrible filth of exploitation of the five senses.

It is horrible heap of filth. The world continues to move in the filth, because people do not understand this. If one gives a moment’s thought to this, then one would understand that this truly is a heap of filth. It is nothing but absolute filth. But people do not think at all. Why are human beings stuck in such dirt? It is because they cannot find a cleaner place (real happiness) anywhere else, therefore they continue to lie in this filth.”
Once we experience real happiness, the bliss of the true self, we will have found something far greater than the enjoyment that comes from sex. However, sex can still be tempting and bring us away from this true bliss, which is why it is important to practice celibacy and have a firm determination and resolve to abstain from sexual thoughts, speech, and actions. Once you turn your mind, intellect, chit (subtle component of vision and knowledge), and ego towards bramacharya, you will be able to experience the bliss of the Self.

Pujya Dadashri explains how the feelings of sex differ from the bliss of the Self, and the importance of bramacharya: “So many people ask me, ‘What is there in sex that my whole body feels like death after experiencing the pleasure of sex, my mind dies and my speech dies?’ I tell them that all these people indulging in sexuality are already dead, but because you have not awakened to this fact, the same condition occurs again and again. Otherwise if ever bramacharya is preserved, each human being has so much energy. The knowledge of the Self is the ultimate essence of time (samayasaar). This is real awareness that increases the experience of the Self. And bramacharya is the essence of the living body. The presence of bramacharya in the mind, the body and the speech results in wonderful power of mind, wonderful power of body and wonderful power of speech.”

Pujya Dadashri stresses that bramacharya is not for everyone. It is better to decide to have sex within a marriage than to make a resolve for bramacharya when you are not ready which results in strong impulses that cause you to break that resolve. Despite this, it can be incredibly meaningful to even try bramacharya for a period of 6 months. One should not make a resolve for bramacharya for life, but rather make the determination to practice bramacharya of the mind, speech, and body for 6-12 months. Once that is achieved, this goal of bramacharya for 6-12 months can be set again.

This will help ensure that one does not falter in their resolve.
The benefits of bramacharya can be astounding, opening up a new experience of the Self and strengthening the body. With a strong determination, the right understanding, and knowledge of the Self, one can easily take steps towards practicing bramacharya and will open the door for great lengths of spiritual progress.

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Author's Bio: 

Ambalal M. Patel was a civil contractor by profession. In June 1958, spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. From this point on, Ambalal became a Gnani Purush, and the Lord that manifest within him became known as Dada Bhagwan. A Gnani Purush is One who has realized the Self and is able help others do the same. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan used to go from town to town and country-to-country to give satsang (spiritual discourse) and impart the knowledge of the Self, as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interactions to everyone who came to meet him. This spiritual science, known as Akram Vignan, is the step-less path to Self-realization