The Importance of Bramacharya in Tantra
Thoughts on Spiritual purity. Sexual continence. Brahmacharya and Enlightenment.
More and more recently, I found sex has lost its grip on me, particularly after my ayahuasca experience in the Amazon jungle (I will write an article about this). I haven't had sex for a few months and now I feel there is no desire for sex, not even the desire for so-called sacred sexuality.
It's not because I don't have sexual energy. Quite the opposite, I have abundant sexual energy, which is really the life energy. In fact, I have always had abundant sexual energy, that was perhaps why I was drawn to the path of tantra in the first place. But I feel more and more recently this energy has been directed towards upper chakras as my awareness keeps expanding, rather than staying down.
I believe that at the highest level of consciousness, there is no sex, or maybe more accurately, no need for sex. An enlightened master will perhaps not engage in sex at all and even if he or she will, it will perhaps not be regularly and only in pure meditation with his/her partner. This is because there is no need for sex. Humans engage in sex for two reasons: pleasure & reproduction. When one is in a blissed out enlightened state, for one to engage in sex or in any sexual movement it will probably make it less blissful, less enlightening. But an enlightened person may also engage in sex for compassion, for giving pleasure to the other, but he or she does not need.
I’m not saying that an enlightened person will not have sex. An enlightened person transcends everything but what I’m saying is that an enlightened person definitely does not need sex. Sex is not a need. Particularly when one has lived naturally, one will discover that there are things that are far more interesting and blissful than sex.
Also, tantra is not really about sacred sexuality, but rather the transcendent of sexual energy. Enlightened tantric master such as RamaKrishna was a lifelong celibate, who was uncompromising on the need for celibacy for God-realization. He used to tell devotees, “To be able to realize God, one must practise absolute continence."
“Sages like Sukadeva are examples of an ‘urdhvareta’ (a person of unbroken and complete continence). Their chastity was absolutely unbroken. A man practising unbroken brahmacharya for twelve years develops a special power. He grows a new inner nerve called the nerve of memory. Through that nerve he remembers all, he understands all.When a man succeeds in the conservation of his sexual energy, his intellect reflects the image of Brahman. The man who carries this image of Brahman in his heart is able to accomplish everything – he will succeed wonderfully in whatever action he engages himself.”
More from RamaKrishna - “If you want to realize God, you will have to be a brahmachari. Without practising brahmacharya, one cannot concentrate steadily on God. From brahmacharya comes intellectual conviction and then comes faith in the power of Brahman. Without this faith, one cannot feel that he is living in Brahman. Practise japam (repetition of the holy mantra) and meditation day and night. This is the way one can get rid of attachment to lust and gold.”
(more quotes from RamaKrishna about this topic can be found here)
Osho also said that when one has lived naturally, when one has not suppressed sex, it will eventually be transcended it one day because one then realise "Sex is tiring, and that's why I say to you: don't avoid it. Unless you know its stupidity you will not be able to get rid of it. Unless you know its sheer wastage, you will not be able to transcend it. It is good that you have started feeling tired — that is natural."
“Sex serves no greater purpose than a sneeze.” - Osho
A tension is thrown out, a load is unburdened. When the energy is thrown out a load is unburdened. When the energy is thrown out you feel dissipated. To relax is one thing, to feel dissipated is quite another. Relaxation means the energy is within and you are resting, and to feel dissipated means energy is thrown out and you lie exhausted. You are weakened with the loss of energy and you think you are relaxing.
I say again and again that sex is the basic duality,
and unless you transcend sex the Brahman (the supreme spirit) cannot be achieved. All other dualities are just reflections and reflections of this basic duality. Birth and death, again a duality. They will disappear when you are neither male or female. When you have a consciousness which goes beyond both — then birth and death disappear, matter and mind disappear, this world and that world disappear, heaven and hell disappear. All dualities disappear when the basic duality within you disappears, because all dualities are simply echoing and re-echoing the basic division within you.
(more discourse about the topic of Brahmacharya by Osho can be found here.)
There are also reasons why enlightened sages like Buddha, Jesus have all emphasized on spiritual purity and sexual continence.
So one, always mindful, should avoid sexual desires. Letting them go, he will cross over the flood like one who, having bailed out the boat, has reached the far shore. - Buddha
The 'flood' refers to the deluge of human suffering. The 'far shore' is nibbana, a state in which there is no sexual desire.
An enlightened master can transcend everything - money, sex and even food! The other day I was reading about this Nepalese Buddha boy who was meditating silently for 11 months without any food, any drop of water, just sitting silently in a tree-hole. The human’s potential is indeed infinite and limitless when one is connected with the Divine.
There was a period that I was very explorative in my sexuality, trying to discover and understand my own sexuality. Once I obtain understanding, I became much more selective when it comes to whom I engage in sex with. Now as I keep shifting into higher dimension, I feel there is no need for sex. And please understand that this is not a suppression, but a natural transition. It’s not like I set a goal for being Bramacharya, but rather it just happens to me, naturally. I also feel I have less attachment to food these days. I feel like keeping myself in the highest vibration possible, particularly after I come out of ayahuasca in the amazon jungle, also as a way of integration (I will discuss this in another article).
Please understand that I'm also not here to encourage people to practice bramacharya. I’m neither for or against anything. Only practice bramacharya if it feels natural to you, otherwise it could become a suppression. If you feel that sexual desire is there, you can go for it, but then one day you will find that you transcend this desire, transcend sexuality, transcend all lust & greed as your consciousness shifts from body to being.
As you become purer and also knowing how to become a pure witness of your sexual energy, and if you don't release the sexual energy downward (which is a waste of energy), the energy can then be directed to your upper centres. Then you become a true Bramacharya, a true celibacy. But this is not something that's been forced on you, it is a natural transition as you shift to higher consciousness. And it is tremendously beautiful. When one has perfect control of one’s sexual energy, one also obtains a new kind of freedom. And one can direct this powerful potent energy for your spiritual growth and to achieve anything you want.
I’m not saying that I’m enlightened, certainly I have not arrived at a stable state yet (although I had powerful experience of enlightening state during ayahuasca ceremony), but I do feel that I have arrived in the phase where Bramacharya has become very natural to me. I also don’t know how long I will stay in this phase, I will stay in this phase as long as I feel it is natural to me. And I know for me to ever engage in love making again it will be exclusively with only one tantric partner with similar level of consciousness and who is also here for enlightenment.
Love & Light