1. Power comes to him who observes unbroken Brahmacharya for a period of twelve years. Complete continence gives great intellectual and spiritual power. Controlled desire leads to the highest results. Transform the sexual energy into spiritual energy. The stronger this force, the more can be done with it. Only a powerful current of water can do hydraulic mining.
2. Swami Vivekananda attributed his phenomenal mental powers to a lifelong observance of brahmacharya.
A few days ago, a new set of the Encyclopedia Britannica had been bought for the Math. Seeing the new shining volumes, the disciple said to Swamiji, “It is almost impossible to read all these books in a single lifetime.” He was unaware that Swamiji had already finished ten volumes and had begun the eleventh.
Swamiji: What do you say? Ask me anything you like from these ten volumes, and I will answer you all.
The disciple asked in wonder, “Have you read all these books?”
Swamiji: Why should I ask you to question me otherwise?
Being examined, Swamiji not only reproduced the sense, but at places the very language of the difficult topics selected from each volume.
The disciple, astonished, put aside the books, saying, “This is not within human power!”
Swamiji: Do you see, simply by the observance of strict Brahmacharya (continence) all learning can be mastered in a very short time — one has an unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once. It is owing to this want of continence that everything is on the brink of ruin in our country.
3. His childhood friend: Whatever you may say, I cannot bring myself to believe in these words. Who can come by that oratorical power of expounding philosophy which you have?
Swamiji: You don’t know! That power may come to all. That power comes to him who observes unbroken Brahmacharya for a period of twelve years, with the sole object of realising God I have practiced that kind of Brahmacharya myself, and so a screen has been removed, as it were, from my brain. For that reason, I need not any more think over or prepare myself for any lectures on such a subtle subject as philosophy. Suppose I have to lecture tomorrow; all that I shall speak about will pass tonight before my eyes like so many pictures; and the next day I put into words during my lecture all those things that I saw. So you will understand now that it is not any power which is exclusively my own. Whoever will practice unbroken Brahmacharya for twelve years will surely have it. If you do so, you too will get it. Our Shâstras do not say that only such and such a person will get it and not others!
4. The chaste brain has tremendous energy and gigantic will power. Without chastity there can be no spiritual strength. Continence gives wonderful control over mankind. The spiritual leaders of men have been very continent and this is what gave them power.
5. Every boy should be trained to practice absolute Brahmacharya and then, and then alone faith and Shraddha will come. Chastity in thought, word and deed always and in all conditions is what is called Brahmacharya. Unchaste imagination is as bad as unchaste action. The Brahmacharin must be pure in thought, word and deed.
6. First of all, one must completely mould one’s religious life in solitude, must be perfect in renunciation and must preserve Brahmacharya without a break. The Tamas has entered into you — what of that? Cannot the Tamas be destroyed? It can be done in less than no time!
7. What we want are Western science coupled with Vedanta, Brahmacharya as the guiding motto, and also Shraddha and faith in one’s own self.
8. Knowledge should be acquired in that way, otherwise by educating yourself in the tol of a Pandit you will be only a human ape all your life. One should live from his very boyhood with one whose character is like a blazing fire and should have before him a living example of the highest teaching. Mere reading that it is a sin to tell a lie will be of no use. Every boy should be trained to practice absolute Brahmacharya, and then, and then only, faith — Shraddha — will come. Otherwise, why will not one who has no Shraddha speak an untruth? In our country, the imparting of knowledge has always been through men of renunciation. Later, the Pandits, by monopolising all knowledge and restricting it to the tols, have only brought the country to the brink of ruin. India had all good prospects so long as Tyagis (men of renunciation) used to impart knowledge. 9. But whatever be the order of genesis, the celibate teachers of the Shrutis and Smritis stand on an entirely different platform from the married ones, which is perfect chastity, Brahmacharya.
10. Founders of all good undertakings, before they launch on their desired work, must attain to the knowledge of the Atman through rigorous self – discipline. Otherwise defects are bound to occur in their work.
11. Our motherland requires for her well-being some of her children to become such pure-souled Brahmacharins and Brahmacharinis.
12. Teach the boys the system of Brahmacharya.
13. In order to attain to ideal Brahmacharya one has in the beginning to observe strict rules regarding chastity. For minimum 12 years, one should keep oneself strictly aloof from the least association with the opposite sex as far as possible. When spiritual aspirants are established in the ideal of Sannyasa and brahmacharya, they will be able to mix on an equal footing with worldly men without any harm. But in the beginning 12 years, if they do not keep themself within the barriers of strict rules, they will all go wrong.
14. People here (in USA) have found a new type of man in me. Even the orthodox are at their wit’s end. And people are now looking up to me with an eye of reverence. Is there a greater strength than that of Brahmacharya — purity, my boy?
15. Describing the Indian ideal of Brahmacharya in the student’s life, Swami Vivekananda said: “Brahmacharya should be like a burning fire within the veins!”
16. The Sanskrit name for a student, Brahmacharin, is synonymous with the Sanskrit word Kamajit. (One who has full control over his passions.) Our goal of life is Moksha; how can that be ever attained without Brahmacharya or absolute continence? Hence it is imposed upon our boys and youth as an indispensable condition during their studentship. The purpose of life in the West is Bhoga, enjoyment; hence much attention to strict Brahmacharya is not so indispensably necessary with them as it is with us.
17. Obedience to the Guru without questioning, and strict observance of Brahmacharya — this is the secret of success.
18. In his Raja Yoga, the Swami explains that through brahmacharya sex energy is converted into a higher form of psychic energy called ‘ojas.’(Ojas, literally meaning the ‘illuminating’ or ‘bright’ is the highest form of energy in the human body. In the spiritual aspirant who constantly practises continence and purity, other forms of energy are transmuted into ojas and stored in the brain, expressing as spiritual and intellectual power). He says, “The yogis say that part of the human energy which is expressed as sex energy, in sexual thought, when checked and controlled easily becomes changed into ojas, and as the Muladhara (lowest of the six centers of consciousness) guides these, the yogi pays particular attention to that centre. He tries to take up all his sexual energy and convert it into ojas. It is only the chaste man or woman who can make the ojas rise and store it in the brain; that is why chastity has always been considered the highest virtue. A man feels that if he is unchaste, spirituality goes away, he loses mental vigour and moral stamina. That is why in all the religious orders in the world which have produced spiritual giants you always find absolute chastity insisted upon. That is why the monks came into existence, giving up marriage. There must be perfect chastity in thought, word and deed; without it the practice of Raja Yoga is dangerous, and may lead to insanity. If people practise Raja Yoga and at the same time lead an impure life, how can they expect to become yogis?”
19. Disciple: Do you think, sir, the same consummation would be reached through the way Mataji is educating her students? These students would soon grow up and get married and would presently shade into the likeness of all other women of the common run. So I think, if these girls might be made to adopt Brahmacharya, then only could they devote their lives to the cause of the country’s progress and attain to the high ideals preached in our sacred books.
Swamiji: Yes, everything will come about in time. Such educated men are not yet born in this country, who can keep their girls unmarried without fear of social punishment.