As Sivananda Swami once said, “If you can remain as an unbroken Brahmachari, an unbroken celibate, for twelve years, you will realize God immediately, with no further practice. You will have achieved the goal of life.” Brahmacharya is the first and most necessary condition for increasing the force within and turning it to uses that may benefit the possessor or human race. Through Brahmacharya, one can experience infinite bliss.

All human energy has a physical basis, and the basis, the foundation on which life and energy stand and work, is physical. Western materialism mistakenly supposes the basis to be everything and confuses it with the source. However, the source of life and energy is spiritual.

Practicing Brahmacharya for 12 years at a stretch is a must for awakening Kundalini and realizing self-bliss. Every spiritual aspirant needs to use all tricks of the mind to achieve this state.

Even in ancient times, Brahmacharya was quite challenging. Today, with the abundance of smartphones, glossy newspapers, magazines, television, movies, and the internet, it is even more challenging. The mind is bombarded with all kinds of lust-exciting images, and the automatic fascination with intense sense-pleasure creates a recipe for an action thriller movie playing inside the mind of every spiritual aspirant. It’s as if the hero faces overwhelmingly tricky situations and obstacles, which he must overcome at all costs to realize the eventual goal of self-bliss. Therefore, practicing Brahmacharya is essential for anyone on the spiritual path.

The importance of maintaining an unbroken state of Brahmacharya for 12 years is based on the principle of nature requiring a fixed quantum of energy for any significant change. For instance, water flows downward and won’t boil unless heat energy increases its temperature to 100 degrees. After reaching this point, the water boils and transforms into vapor, which flows upward and becomes invisible after merging into the atmosphere.

Similarly, vital energy follows a similar pattern. When it manifests at the level of lust, the energy moves outward and downward, leading to a degradation of our consciousness to an animal level, similar to the state of water. However, after gathering vital energy for 12 years with no break in celibacy, the vital energy manifests at higher levels of creativity and spiritual bliss, moving more inward and upward, similar to the state of vapor.

The 12 years’ practice of unbroken celibacy is comparable to gathering enough heat to make water reach a temperature of 100 degrees to convert it into a vapor state. Once the vital energy reaches the 5th or higher centers and the spiritual bliss is realized, the mind loses all interest in lustful pleasure. The individual then naturally chooses to enjoy the intense and permanent spiritual bliss over the momentary and spiritually degrading lustful pleasure.

However, the mind will continue to feel some attraction towards lustful pleasure until this happens, making it prone to an unfortunate break in Brahmacharya practice. This downfall requires the individual to start the process of 12 years of unbroken Brahmacharya practice all over again.

In fact, the role of Brahmacharya is so important that it is proper to understand it with as much clarity as possible. For this, let us understand the science of kundalini: (also known as energy centers).

For this, let us have a broad understanding of the science of kundalini: Kundalini is the most refined form of vital energy present in every being. It guides the physical, mental, and spiritual evolution of all beings. Its activity is guided by nature in the case of all beings except humans. In the case of humans, there is freedom to guide the activity of kundalini because with humans’ conscious evolution through self-effort becomes possible.

When kundalini resides in the lower 2 chakras, the mind is primarily tamasic in nature. (A tamasic nature is one that is lacking in motivation, clarity and will). When kundalini resides in the 3rd chakra (navel center), the mind is tamasic plus rajasic. (Rajasic means a nature is lacking in focus with a constant desire for more.) When kundalini resides in the 4th chakra (heart center), the mind is blissful plus rajasic. When kundalini comes to the 5th chakra (throat center), the mind is pure bliss. The 6th chakra is also pure bliss. And when kundalini reaches the 7th chakra, mind dissolves into pure consciousness and experience of samadhi (absolute oneness or pure silence) happens.

Kundalini gets activated through deep concentration of mind on any creative activities—be it art, music, games, mathematics, technology, etc. But this activation is only partial and does not lead to enlightenment or samadhi. For samadhi, the whole science of yoga has been designed. With regular yoga practice and keeping the mind gradually and steadily eliminating all the impure thoughts, speech, and actions from one’s life through conscious self-effort and self-awareness, kundalini gets activated. Perfect Brahmacharya is possible only when kundalini rises to the 5th center, also known as higher ones. In this state, even the production of reproductive elements stops in the body, so nocturnal loss (night fall or wet dreams) stops completely.

This is an irreversible stage–that is, once kundalini reaches the 5th center, there is no question of downfall to lower 4 centers or chakras. One can rise only higher from 5th center. Now, the trouble of lust is over, and one is established in natural Brahmacharya. This is a very high spiritual state and not even 1 in a million are in this state. Now, the person always remains peaceful and blissful in all kinds of trying situations. Swami Vivekananda remarked he did not meet over 20 blissful people in his life despite travelling half the globe.

But the great disaster is till the 4th center (a selfless kindness for everyone is the peculiar mark of a person whose kundalini is in 4th center, whereas in lower 3 centers/chakras, one is mostly selfish with almost everyone), kundalini keeps on moving from 4th to lower and from lower to 4th center regularly, depending on one’s Brahmacharya level. If Brahmacharya gets broken, kundalini falls down to lower chakras and then, after some yoga practice, it again ascends back to 4th center. and to make kundalini reach 5th center requires something which is a Himalayan task—it requires absolute Brahmacharya practice at the level of body (except for loss through night fall or wet dreams or for a childbirth) and mind and strong yoga-practice for at least 12 years continuously.

The whole animal heritage of millions of past lives must be faced during this process, which tries to disrupt Brahmacharya practice in some way or the other. Many sincere men also get trapped and get deceived by their own minds. But, this battle, which was extremely difficult for all past great ones and will continue to be difficult for all future great ones, must be fought persistently and won ultimately by every spiritual aspirant. An excellent combination of caution, right strategy, will-power, honest self-analysis, and regular yoga practice is an absolute necessity to win this battle. I hope I will win it for myself and will give a detailed guidance to others based on personal victory.