Friday, 13 April 2012

Srila Bhakti Charu Swami Guru Maharaja 

teaching about the glories and importance of 


(Radhadesh 7-8 December 2000)

The topic for seminar is sensitive, but it is important that we have a proper understanding of what brahmacarya actually is because spiritual life rests on it.The word itself will clarify:Brahman means spiritual reality, and acaran means to practice, to act upon. To act in order to be situated on the spiritual platform is brahmacarya. The Greek definition is not really brahmacarya. Celibacy alone is not brahmacarya, which is actually a far broader concept...We are spirit souls. To become situated in that identity is brahmacarya. According to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, even the householders are brahmacaries. So ISKCON is a movement to make people brahmacaris, man or woman, married or not, everyone should become a brahmacari. That’s why we decided to conduct this seminar on this topic...We have 2 identities: physical and spiritual. The body is material and the soul spiritual. The body remains alive only as long as the soul is in the body. The soul keeps the body alive. When we say I, we mean the soul. But we identify with our body, which is the source of our bondage. The soul is the source of consciousness. When it is projected through the nervous system, one thinks that one is the body and acts in a detrimental way to our spiritual identity. He is a spiritual soul, but he identifies himself with matter and becomes materialized. When a mosquito bites him, he thinks, “the mosquito is biting me.” When the body feels pleasure, he identifies with it.In Bhagavad Gita, Krsna describes the body as a dress that one puts on and takes off. If you are wearing a dress and someone pinches your dress, do you feel pain? The body, however, has an intricate nervous system which ends in the senses. The senses feel and send messages to the brain which registers it. The sensation is carried on to the brain to be registered. Actually, the body is a lump of matter; it is the soul which identifies with the body and its pains and pleasures, which he resents and appreciates respectively.                                                                                                                                           The lump of matter called body is subject to the desire for sense gratification, eating, sleeping, mating and defending. These are common to the animals. They are very strong propensities. Now in winter, all the animals are wondering, where is food? Where is food? Then sleep, then defending from calamities. Then maithun, mating, copulation.These propensities are called animal propensities. Man is a civilized animal who lives in cities and villages in houses and defends with nuclear weapons. The man is also doing the same way, but in a civilized way. Animals are controlled by nature’s arrangements when it comes to mating whereas a man is free to copulate whenever he wants.This freedom to mate any time he wants has been given to him to overcome the urge, not to indulge in it.The urge is there by nature’s arrangement, a need for procreation to maintain the situation. It is a very painful affair, so nature has arranged pleasure. But the real purpose is allure people so that procreation can continue. That is the purpose of mating, or copulation.Unfortunately, humans have given up the procreation aspect and engage in this process imply for some pleasure. Therefore it is important to remember the purpose of mating and not get deviated. We must become aware of the purpose of our spiritual practice.Because of bad association, people are being drawn to this activity.In the material world, for everything you have to pay a price. The price is the loss of one’s vitality: Virya or shukra, or semen. What is semen? It is the essence of life energy which comes originally from the soul. Matter in the form of food becomes transformed in different elements of body, activated by the soul. The three most important systems in the body are the respiratory system, circulatory system which pumps blood about seventy five times a minute, and digestion system, which burns the food and extracts the rasas, or juices, from the food which then transforms into seven different elements: 1. Rasas, 2.Blood which tranforms into flesh, from which comes fat, from which comes bone, from which comes bone marrow, from which comes semen.So the finest element is semen. It is the storehouse of vital energy. All vitality comes from this element. Therefore it is called Virya, which means strength. Interesting, isn’it? The strength of a man rests in this vital energy which spreads throughout the body. Just like butter is the essence of milk that is spread throughout milk and when churned it comes out, similarly, when someone becomes agitated by sexual desire, it comes out in the form of semen. What happens then? What about the milk when the butter is taken out? It becomes thin. Similarly, a man becomes devoid of vitality when he engages in unrestricted sex.We can notice that all great men usually stay away from sexual indulgence. I was reading an article about the Olympic trainers telling their athletes, “no sex for one month before your competition.”                                                                                                                                           Butter churned out of milk being similar to someone loosing one’s vitality through sexual indulgence is an important analogy.Sex indulgence is strictly reserved for householders, and that only for procreation. They must remember that the purpose of their getting together is simply for the sake of procreation, not for anything else. If men and women, husband and wife, restrict sex to mere procreation, then that is brahmacarya. Therefore brahmacary doesn’t only mean celibate but to be situated on the spiritual platform.What is this very very strong sex desire and most difficult hurdle to cross over? When we follow the four regs, after a while the three other are easy to give up, but sex desire just increases! Therefore we should be aware that it is the hardest struggle. It is the chain by which a living entity is chained to the material world. It is a prison house named maithuna-agara, a prison of sex desire. As long as sex desire is there in the heart, we will not be able to be free. It is caused by maya, and the more we try to get free, the more she will tighten the shackle. It is said that before a living entity is about to leave this material nature, maya-devi herself comes and says, “why are you leaving? Stay here and enjoy with me.” At that time, Sanatana Goswami recommends that one say, “please bless me that I can serve your brother.” Maya is Krsna ‘s sister. So we should always pray to her that we never deviate to the platform of sense gratification.Ultimately, what is it? In our Vedic scriptures it is described that although sex desire is there and is difficult to cross, it is ultimately just an itch. If you scratch, you get pleasure. It is an itch-and scratch pleasure. It gives illusory pleasure and a real disastrous effect on one’s spiritual life. One must guard oneself from this pitfall.Yogis try to suppress it. Suppression is not a solution. One must overcome this desire by getting the higher taste. When the husband and wife get a child,their mutual attraction becomes centered on their child and the carnal desire disappears. Similarly, when a living entity loves Krsna , then it is easy for him to overcome sex desire by the higher taste of love of Krsna which makes the whole business disgusting. To begin with it is disgusting, but nature has made it pleasurable out of necessity.The first illusion is to think that we are our bodies. When we identify with the body, the male body becomes attracted to a female body, and vice-versa. But we are not this body! We are partand-parcel of Krsna, connected to Him through love that brings us closer to Him. When love is projected to something in the material nature, it is called lust, not love. When this love is directed to Krsna , then only is it actually love, or devotion. The expression of love is in doing something for the pleasure of the object of love. That activity is called devotional service. The more we do for Krsna , the more our love for Him becomes intensified. It is reciprocal: a devotee loves Krsna , and Krsna reciprocates multifold. That joy of reciprocation is what we all are really looking for.We all are here to achieve that goal. And when we achieve it, then all the sex life will become secondary business, as Yamunacarya pointed out when he said that his lips curl in distaste and he spits at the thought. Ultimately the thought will not even come to us. Today, we don’t think of,                                                                                                          for example, a sand castle that we always meditated on as a child. Similarly, as we grow up, we will forget sex desire.The most important factor is for the men, being the aggressors, to respect women. Therefore Vedic injuction is for a man to respect a woman as a mother. In a society where they don’t know how to respect women, that society is useless. Today’s society is simply exploiting women. Whereas Srila Prabhupada has created a spiritual society where men will learn to give the highest respect to women. If we want a wonderful society throughout the world, we have to establish this spiritual culture. Thank you very much.All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Answer: there is no copulation in the spiritual world, but there is an exchange of love, but it is not expressed through copulation. So our love for Krsna in the spiritual world is perverted way here in the form of sex life. So there is union, but not sex. From this point we cannot understand.For example, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Radha and Krsna together. Theoretically, we can understand that when Radha and Krsna embrace, they become Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That personality has come down to give us the highest love, not sexual indulgence. Sunrise and sunset may look alike, but they are completely different.
Question: The Bhagavatam says that as time goes on, the sex desire goes away. But you said that the urge gets stronger.
Answer: Initially, one does not feel so strong for sex because the milk is already free from butter. But as the Virya gets more and more, the urge becomes stronger. But also when the love for Krsna increases, he feels such joy that he doesn’t feel for the sex urge.
Question: can sex desire come out in the form of other desires such as desire to eat too much.
Answer: Yes, therefore artificial repression is not what we prescribe; rather, we prescribe a natural process.


Today is the second day of the seminar on Brahmacarya.Again, brahmacarya is not just celibacy, or remaining single and unmarried. Actually, it means
to be situated on the spiritual platform, upon which celibacy becomes a side-effect.Brahman means the spiritual world, and acarati means to act accordingly, living in such a way that one attains the spiritual platform. To review yesterday’s class, there are two things, matter and life. Matter is inert, but due to the presence of the spirit soul, matter becomes alive. Matter is
the body, and the soul makes the body alive. The soul’s influence is that it enters the womb of the mother, in which it develops a body which grows and finally comes out as a baby. Like this, the soul develops a body made of matter. Then he functions through the body. There, the growth of the body depends upon food. What is food? Food is the juice that a tree extracts from the
earth. Basic food is derived from trees and plants. Meat is just the flesh of animals that have eaten grass.So actually the trees are transforming the juice of the earth into its fruits and leaves and nuts etc. Then the human being eats that. Our stomach extracts the juice of the food we eat. Then the juice transforms into blood, into flesh, into bone, into bone marrow, into Virya, or semen. So this virya is the ultimate material substance that carries the spiritual energy. Therefore this element is very important for one’s spiritual growth. So semen keeps one’s spiritual energy, and also it carries a soul into a mother’s womb. So semen is the storehouse of spiritual energy.Therefore one must retain that spiritual energy. Not only the Vedic scriptures say that, but all religions say that. The catholic monks and nuns had to be celibates. The jews also, the suphis also. The fact is that it is a scientific subject. Who can deny the importance of this vital energy in the body?Butter is separated from milk. Then it is not milk anymore. Similarly, virya spreads throughout
our body. But through sexual agitation, it is churned and ejected of the body. So for some fleeting pleasure, it should not be wasted. It is essential for our spiritual progress. One must retain this valuable spiritual energy.
It is a matter of consciousness. Take the spirit soul and consciousness: consciousness comes out of the soul. Where there is light, there is fire. In the same way, consciousness comes out of the                                                                                                                                      soul. According to the direction of the projection of our consciousness, our spiritual energy will flow in that direction.In Bhagavad Gita, Krsna says, dhyayato visayan pumsah. That is how the consciousness becomes effected. First it flows through the mind, then through the senses toward the objects of
the senses with a desire to exploit them: that is lust. So when consciousness goes toward material sense objects, virya also goes towards that. In the same way, if consciousness is directed to Krsna , this vital energy will flow toward Krsna.Therefore all importance is put on fixing our mind on Krsna, fixing our mind on Him. If we project our consciousness on matter, we will run after sense gratification, and we will loose our vital energy. Loss of this energy causes death. Again, consciousness can go toward matter or toward Krsna. If it goes to matter, we loose everything. If it goes to Krsna, this vital energy becomes even further spiritualized, just like a mothers’ blood is transformed into milk. It becomes transformed into nectar.What does nectar do? It inundates our heart with joy. therefore the real joy and bliss comes from
developing our joy from Krsna. This vital energy, which is apparently matter, becomes nectar. How does it happen? It happens due to our love for Krsna. By transformation, it causes something to our heart that gives us an experience of transcendental joy and bliss.Therefore again, we are discussing something far beyond celibacy. I will repeat, again, that brahmacarya is not exclusive for brahmacaris, but it is meant also for householders. When the householders engages in sex for procreation, one is also a brahmacari. Even the householders can become pure devotees. There are so many householder pure devotees in our sampradaya. Srila Prabhupada was a householder, so was Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Gaura Kisora das Babaji Maharaja, and most of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associates were householders. So everyone in
Krsna consciousness is a brahmacari. Ultimately, our material body is secondary, as part-andparcels of Krsna.When Brahma realized that it was his duty to create, he created the Four Kumaras, who were perfect brahmacaris. Then he created ten sons, nine of which became progenitors. The last one,
Narada Muni, wanted to stay brahmacari. He became a very detached person, and eventually he became a pure devotee of Krsna. He was eventually approached by the daughter of time, and he did not accept her. He decided to remain a celibate. As a result of that, he attained eternal life.
So we can see that when one becomes a brahmacari, one does not become subject to death. Also, when Bhisma got to know that his father wanted to marry the daughter of the fisherman who would only offer his daughter to him only if his daughter’s son would become the successor to the throne. So Santanu refused, saying that he already had a successor. When Bhisma got to
know that, he told the fisherman that he would forgo his right over the throne.
He said, “I take a vow that I will never get married.” For a ksatriya to remain a celibate for one’s whole life is so difficult that the demigods showered flowers, saying “Bhisma, Bhisma, what a terrible vow! What a terrible vow!” When Bhisma went back, his father blessed him that he would never die unless he wanted to. Do we see a link here? He decided to remain a celibate, and
he was blessed with immortality. So when one becomes a brahmacari, he conquers death. We can therefore see that when we don’t allow the life energy to come out of the body, we get a very very long duration of life. One does not become old either. The Four Kumaras, for example, look like five year old boys although they are zillions of years old.Bhisma was Arjuna’s grandfather. He was so much older at that time, but he was fighting the battle of Kuruksetra so valiantly that thousands of soldiers could not conquer him.Hanuman is another ideal brahmacari. He had the form of a monkey. He is a perfect brahmacari because he is a devotee of Lord Rama. What sorts of feats he performed! He carried a mountain from middle India and jumped across the ocean to Lanka. These are not fairy tales. It took place! We can consider that because he was a brahmacari, he was also an extremely powerful personalities.
Also, we can remember Vedavati. She was performing austerities to get the Supreme Personality of Godhead as her husband. She was performing severe austerities on top of a mountain. While Ravana was passing by in his airplane, he approached her. First she told him what she wanted. He forcibly tried to molest her. She was so powerful that threw Ravana far away. She was so
chaste that because he had simply touched her, she considered herself contaminated, and so she generated a fire to burn up her body with the vow that she would cause Ravana’s death. She came back as Sita.In India there were many others like Gargi, who challenged Yajnavalkya in the assembly of
Janaka. She was a brahmacarini. Maitreyi also. In the recent past there is the example of Queen Mirabai. When she was given away in marriage, she could not associate with him because she had already accepted Krsna as her husband in her youth. Her husband finally decided to kill her and gave her poison to drink, which she did without dying. Later she went to Vrindavan and
became a devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. These are examples of brahmacarinis in our heritage. So the goal of our life is to become situated on the spiritual platform, which will lead us to endless Srila Prabhupada joy. therefore let us all become fixed up. Let us realized that this is our
goal. If we don’t fix our goal with intense seriousness, then we will become frivolous. Today in ISKCON, today somewhere else. That is not good. We came here to achieve the mission to become situated on the spiritual patform and thereby experience spiritual joy. Hare Krsna.

Question: Srila Prabhupada brought Vedic culture to the West, where life is quite different. How do we adjust that?
Answer: Srila Prabhupada did not bring oriental culture to the West. He brought the spiritual culture and made the world aware of it. If we think that we are Westerners and that that culture is from India, then we are making a mistake. We are souls, and in ISKCON, everyone who wants to make spiritual progress has a place. So brahmacarya is a question of developing Krsna Prema, not suppr ession. When you develop love for Krsna, then you will not be affected by sex attraction. He will deal with women in a very reverential way, full of respect. Another point is that in ISKCON many members are married. When both husband and wife are in Krsna consciousness, then both help each other.
Question: Is Virya also there in women?
Answer: Yes. There are some anatomical differences, but in summary the answer is Yes

Seminar On Brahmacarya : Part Three

Today we are concluding our seminar on brahmacarya. We will conclude with Lord 
the first verse of that chapter together.

Rsabadeva’s teachings to His sons described in the fifth Chapter of the fifth Canto. We will read 
“Lord Rsabadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted 
day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs who eat 
stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional 
service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains 
eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.”
So Rsabadeva is giving His parting advice to His sons. He was a king, about to leave home to 
take to Vanaprastha. He was leaving everything behind, just about to walk away without 
anything. He would just leave home and start walking toward the forest. That is the Vedic 
culture: detachment and renunciation. He did not hesitate to walk away, but before leaving He 
gave his parting advice to his hundred sons.

material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard 
The first thing He tells His sons is: “Do not become unnecessarily engaged in sense gratification, 
emancipation.” He tells them that sense gratification is also available to stool eating animals. 
What is available for the stool eating animals should not be run after by you. A stool eater is a 
hog or a pig. Pigs are famous for eating stool. But one who is called a pig is actually a woman 
hunter, one who’s whole life is centered around sex life. So why should a human being waste his 
special facility in running after sex life? Rather, tapo divyam, one should design his life to 
perform austerities, or voluntary acceptance of difficulties for the sake of spiritual advancement. 

especially that now you have a human form which is very precious and meant for spiritual 
For example, Rsabadeva voluntarily accepted the austerity of leaving home. He decided that his 
He voluntarily went to the forest.
We must therefore be brahmacaris, be focused on the spiritual platform. Not just celibacy, which 
is just a by-product. Actually, devotees want to become lovers of Krsna, not celibates. They want 
to become attached to Krsna. In order to do that, one must be very careful not to be overly 

home atmosphere was no suitable for spiritual advancement. So even though He did not need to, 
involved in sex life.
Rsabadeva then tells something else to His sons. In text 4 He tells
His children:
materialistic living and engages in all kinds of sinful activity. He does not know that due to his 
past misdeeds he has already received a body which, although temporary, is the cause of his 
misery. Actually, the living entity should not have taken on a material body, but he has been 
awarded the material body for sense gratification. Therefore I think it not befitting an intelligent 
man to involve himself again in the activities of sense gratification by which he perpetually gets 
material bodies one after another.”
Here He is pointing out the cause of our material bondage. Material nature creates an illusion 
which is, first, to consider this body to be the self. I am not this body, but I am thinking that this 
body is me. This is illusion. The body is matter, but I identify with it. That is everybody’s 
illusion. What is the result? Text 8 tells us: “The attraction between male and female is the basic 

“When a person considers sense gratification the aim of life, he certainly becomes mad after 
principle of material existence. On the basis of this misconception, which ties together the hearts 
and wealth. In this way one increases life’s illusions and thinks in terms of “I” and “mine” 
See how the illusion thickens? That is the root of our bondage in the material nature. So you see 
how a living entity becomes bound to matter due to the basic attraction for the opposite sex? The 
whole trouble begins with that. Srila Prabhupada was so emphatic that we are not our bodies, 
because there lies our entire material bondage. As soon as we identify with the body, we 
automatically become attached to the opposite sex, and all the rest. In today’s civilization, 
though, people are not even interested in marriage even, just free sex. It is being so advertized. 

of the male and female, one becomes attracted to his body, home, property, children, relatives 
Therefore the spiritual culture that Srila Prabhupada gave is very important to uphold and 
to others. In the Bhagavatam we find the same advice being given again and again: “Don’t 
become attached to your body; rather, develop your attachment to Krsna.’
I think there is a need for an in-depth understanding of this point. Brahmacarya means to 
become situated on the spiritual platform. Sometimes there used to be people who used to say 

distribute to others. Until we do that, we are not performing our duties. We have to distribute it 
that to be a brahmacari means to hate women. It doesn’t work. The biggest women haters were 
respect women in order to become a true brahmacari. Then also, it is not only meant for the 
brahmacaris. Srila Prabhupada pointed out that even the householders are brahmacaris. Those 

the first ones to fall down. It is not by negation that one makes progress. One must learn to 
who unite for the sake of procreation 
nature, do the animals unite for sense gratification? No. Now, a certain pleasure has been 
attached to this act, 
otherwise humans would not do it. So in order to trick you into that act, some sense gratification 
has been added to it. But foolish people forget the real purpose and therefore destroy themselves 
spiritually. Therefore an intelligent person should understand that sex life is the worst illusion.
Stupid human beings led by even more stupid leaders think that this is the goal of life. And the 
result is disaster. But Srila Prabhupada brought sanity to humanity, an intelligent class of people 
who transcend this illusion and come to the spiritual platform. They are the only ones who can b
enefit human society. Those who are in illusion cannot benefit others. A blind man will bring 

are also brahmacaris because that is the purpose of sex life: only for the sake of procreation. In 
another blind man down a ditch. Therefore in order to properly guide human society there is a 
teachings, and the basis of that is spiritual life, which has brahmcarya as the essence.
Generally in ISKCON one does not want to speak about this in public because it is a sensitive 
subject. But recently, after the Australian olympics, I was reading an article of how the coaches 
train up their 
athletes. All of them are very strict about them refraining from sex life. So even the materialists 
have figured out that you have to learn to control your sex desire. Then after class yesterday, one 

need of a class of people with the proper vision. Therefore we must take to Srila Prabhupada’s 
of the devotees told me that Muhammed Ali, when he used to have a fight, for three months 
“no. Engage in sex life. It is the goal of life.”

before the fight he would not indulge in sex life. But the stupid leaders of human society say, 
So pigs are trying to make a pig society. But our mission is to counteract this. Srila Prabhupada 
intoxication and gambling. They are promoting these things everywhere. Today, the biggest 
businesses are these 4 things. Maximum money is spent on these 4 activities. Is it not? If anyone 

established ISKCON for this. We say no to their entire emphasis on sex life, meat eating, 
wants to become a successful businessman, these are the 4 things one get can involved in. The 
passing the budget are themselves involved in drug trafficking, so then the money will simply go 
to their own pockets.
Prostitution is another big business. It means illicit sex. Gambling is also huge: Las Vegas, Reno. 
There are entire cities based on gambling. In a middle of a desert they built an entire city based 
on gambling where people from all over the world come to lose billions of dollars. Kali is 

American government decided to spend 10 billion dollars to prevent drug smuggling, but those 
spreading his influence through these four activites. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came here to 
principles. They should also stop these activities in the world. Today Kali is winning. Who are 
we siding with, Kali or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? We are siding with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu 

defeat Kali. That is why in ISKCON, members must themselves follow these four regulative 
and are in His army. Therefore we must defeat Kali. The sign of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s 
in the world, then we will understand that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has won. Some will 
continue to do these things, but they will be driven out of human society into the forest. So we 
must become qualified soldiers in the army of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Hare Krsna.

victory will be the abolition of these four activities. When no more of these activities will go on 

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