After studying the great treatises on spirituality and the disciplined spiritual life, one can come to realize that the soul, which is defined as the microcosm of the macrocosm (God), is itself blissful in its pure state. This state of bliss is unipolar and goes beyond happiness, which is bipolar, as it has an opposite, sadness. Bliss transcends polarity and is the inherent nature of the soul. The soul of every living creature, whether human or animal, is full of contentment and self-contained in a state of bliss, without needing external sources to maintain it.
The teachings of great masters show us that when the soul descends into matter, by becoming identified with the body, the coverings of ignorance or maya start to cocoon the soul. This cocooning results in the soul’s light and nobility being hindered from shining forth, much like how clouds block the sun’s rays. As a result, man, whose basic nature is bliss, feels a scarcity of this bliss and goes in search of anything that appears to be a source of bliss, like a thirsty person in a desert seeking an oasis, which is nothing but an illusion.
Sensual pleasure, derived externally through the five senses, is not real pleasure but merely a tingling of nerves that ultimately leads to pain. Through many successive births of indulgence in sensual activity, man’s psyche associates nerve stimulation as the ultimate source of pleasure, forgetting its native state of soul bliss. Most of us are in this state. Here, celibacy, or brahmacharya, becomes the ship that helps man cross the ocean of delusion and reach the shore of true soul bliss. By constant, persistent, and honest practice of celibacy, man can slowly unwind and disentangle himself from the cocoon of maya and delusion.
After self-realization, which involves total lack of bodily identification and acceptance that he is the soul, man becomes content in himself by himself. He no longer requires external things like friends, parties, or talk for contentment because he has realized the temporary and hypocritical nature of everything external and the glory of his inner self and God.
At the start of the path of celibacy, the percentage of delusion is high compared to the minimal or non-existent percentage of soul bliss. Doubts may arise about the worth of a celibate lifestyle, which involves discipline and giving up sensuality because the psyche has long associated delusive pleasures as agreeable. At such times, a firm and steady approach is required to continue on the chosen path. Like an Olympic sprinter, a celibate must set aside all distractions and focus their heart and soul into the tough, hard, and disciplined practice of preparing their mind and body for the final goal.
All celibates must go through this initial stage, but with time, honest effort, and by god’s grace, things become easier. After about a year of honest celibacy without breaks, the celibate reaches the next stage, where they desire to be in a constant state of unbroken celibacy and enjoy the newfound bliss that has trickled. At this stage, the old times are not missed, but the thought of returning to that old state of delusion is revolting. When lustful thoughts occasionally enter the mind, the celibate experiences pain, revulsion, and guilt, and their energy focuses on driving away these thoughts to return to a state of celibacy in thought, word, and deed.