“Sexuality and Self-Control” – The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda
Part 14 – Chapter 1, Stanza 6. The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda as remembered by his disciple, Swami Kriyananda. This book shares the profound insights of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, as remembered by one of his few remaining direct disciples, Swami Kriyananda.
Why would anyone practice sexual and sensual self-control, or bramacharya?
Sex & sense enjoyment are not bad or wrong, yet we do pay a price. The choice is ours. This talk offers a deep and generally unknown teaching about the nature of human life-force and why one might choose to conserve it. In yogic tradition it is well known that the power lost during sexual emission is the very life-force that sustains us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Celibacy leads to greater mental power.
The depletion of life-force through over indulgence in sex (and lack of self-control in general) has a cumulative negative effect on ones mental clarity, and overall health. Many sincere seekers have found that over indulgence in any sense pleasure actually dims their awareness or strengthens the feeling of being separate from God or ones Highest-Self.
Bramacharya is more than celibacy. Swami Kriyananda writes in Awaken to Superconsciousness:
” … brahmacharya means control of every natural appetite, of which sexual desire is the strongest but not the only ideal behind this teaching is to live identified with the Spirit, realizing ourselves as the soul living through the body, and no longer as the ego centered in body-consciousness. We should live in such a way as to master our appetites, and not allow ourselves to be mastered by them.
“The recommendation here is not extreme abstinence, although complete sexual abstinence is at least a possibility. The important thing is to achieve self-control, first by moderation, directing our efforts only gradually toward perfect self-control.
“To accomplish self-control, the seeker is taught even in the midst of enjoyment to direct that sense of enjoyment upward to the brain. He should try to feel that sensory pleasure is feeding his inner joy at its source in the Self.”
Swami Kriyananda worked with Paramhansa Yogananda in 1950 while the Master completed his commentary of the Bhagavad Gita. At that time Yogananda commissioned him to disseminate his teachings world-wide. Kriyananda has in his lifetime lectured, taught, and written over one hundred books based on Yogananda’s teachings.
The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita is available from Crystal Clarity Publishers.