The vital energy, known as “Prana,” in a person exists in three different states.
Normal Or Subtle State:
In the normal state, the vital energy is dispersed throughout the body and provides energy for everyday activities. This pranic energy maintains a state of balance and harmony in the body, enabling it to perform tasks effectively. The flow of life force is directed towards the specific part of the body involved in the activity being performed. For instance, when an athlete runs a marathon, their life force focuses on their leg muscles. During a boxing match, the life force concentrates on the arm muscles, and for a chess player, the life force is centered in the brain.
Gross Or Semen State:
During sexual arousal, a person’s life force or Prana is focused into the sexual center, leaving the other parts of the body relatively devoid of energy. This energy, which was earlier dispersed throughout the body in the normal state, separates from other regions and flows to the sexual center, signaling the production of sperm. The prostate gland prepares prostatic fluid and the Cowper’s glands prepare the bulbo-urethral fluid, making the person ready for sexual activity. Almost all of the person’s vital energy, excluding the basic energy required for the vital organs to function, is now located in the sexual center. This makes the person highly sexually aggressive, as all of their Prana is in a state of sexual focus. In this state, the person is not capable of effectively engaging in any other activity other than the sexual act.
Semen in this state represents the gross, liquid form of the person’s Prana or vital energy. This energy, which was previously in an electricity-like form, becomes embodied in liquid semen. If a person resides in this sexual plane, their Prana will mostly remain in this gross semen form, making it difficult for them to efficiently perform other tasks. The nature of semen is to be expelled, serving only the purpose of reproduction.
Once semen reaches the “ejaculatory mode,” it cannot be fully reconverted back to Pranic energy. The sexual glands produce various physical secretions to create semen, which are not fully reversible, even through meditation and transmutation. There are severe limitations to this process. A significant volume of vital energy will be lost, regardless of meditation or celibacy, once it reaches this final gross form due to sexual pressure.
Very Subtle State Or Ojas State:
For a yogi who leads a life of true celibacy and conserves his vital energy through practices such as meditation, asana, and Pranayama, their Prana transforms into a highly concentrated, very subtle state. This is similar to converting gross water into super-heated steam through distillation. The intensity of their vital energy increases significantly, rising to the point between their eyebrows known as the AJNA CHAKRA. This state is referred to as the OJAS STATE.
According to ancient teachings, a Brahmachari who has maintained celibacy for 12 years without wasting even a single drop of semen, can experience the full power of the OJAS STATE. Their Pranic energy is now completely sublimated, giving them the ability to enter the metaphysical world and astral planes. They can receive astral visions, knowledge of creation and the divine, among other things. Advanced Urdhvareta yogis may even have the power of Trikala Gnyana, or knowledge of the past, present, and future. The OJAS STATE also grants Ashta Siddhis, or eight superhuman powers such as levitation, astral travel, the ability to alter the size of their body, Bhuta Vidya, or the power to converse with wild animals, Doorashravana, the ability to hear sounds from miles away, and Dooradristi, the power of sight that ranges to hundreds of miles.
The 8 Siddhis are the superpowers that can be achieved through a lifestyle of Brahmacharya with advanced spiritual practice.
These powers are considered to be the result of conserving and sublimating one’s vital energy through the practices of yoga and meditation. The 8 Siddhis are:
- Animaa: the ability to shrink one’s body to the size of an atom
- Laghimaa: the ability to become weightless, allowing one to walk on water or other surfaces
- Mahimaa: the ability to enlarge one’s body to immense proportions
- Praapti: the ability to instantly obtain any desired object from anywhere in the world
- Praakaamya: the ability to manifest things spontaneously
- Vashitva: the ability to control the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether)
- Ishitva: the ability to create and destroy the five elements and material objects
- Yatra Kaamavasaayitva: the ability to enter into and merge with any material object, such as a stone, drop of water, or animal, with no obstacles.
It is believed that these superpowers come to the person who practices celibacy and meditation for at least 12 years without wasting a single drop of semen.
A very advanced Yogi with ‘Siddhis’ (superhuman powers) to cure diseases will cure the diseases of those people who are destined for a cure or, in other words, deserve to be relieved of the suffering. In other words, these diseased people have reached the state where they have worked out the karma and are ready to get free from the problem. The karmic cycle, like everything else in the cosmos, is fully governed by the laws of creation and the laws of nature. Even super-normal powers or miraculous powers fall within the purview of the law of nature and are really not miracles in the real sense. Being outside the ability of the average person, these powers appear superhuman, while in reality, they are only a representation of the unfolding of the limitless powers that the ‘Shuddhatma’ (pure soul) possesses. But even the highest powers that the yogi possesses he puts into action using his Prana are still within the purview of the universal laws of nature and hence these cannot be made use of to cure a person who has not yet worked out his ‘Prarabdha’ and is hence not destined to get cured. Such a person has to go through the suffering with no other option.
All the cases where we see or hear of great Yogis curing people of diseases are those where the afflicted person has worked out most of his bad karma or has worked them out so much that he deserves to get cured shortly. An advanced yogi who has developed these powers first connects into the ‘Karana Sharira’ (causal body) of the diseased person and learns of the cause and nature of the disease by knowing the past karma that has caused the disease in the first place. He then also becomes clear on whether the person is destined for a cure and, if so, the method of transferring health and vitality by negating the particular toxin through transferring Prana. The Yogi acts as the medium in relieving the person of the malady in the divine cosmic dream and does not, in reality, remove the disease. He is more like an agent of God working on God’s behalf. It is the Almighty Lord who cures the man of the disease in reality further to all past karma, having been extinguished or deserving to be negated.
Celibates should understand what exactly sublimation is all about. Urdhvareta kriya in reality is not conversion of gross semen into ‘Ojas'(Divine Energy). It is the conversion of subtle/ normal Prana into Ojas, by preventing the formation of gross semen. If you continuously indulge in a sexual activity that brings down Prana from its NORMAL STATE to a lower GROSS/SEMEN STATE, sublimation becomes difficult and roundabout. It must again be brought back to its NORMAL STATE and then taken to the VERY SUBTLE/ OJAS STATE.
The answer to what happens in a man at the start of celibacy lies in this fact. At the start of celibacy when man shuns sex stimuli, his Prana, or vital energy, comfortably rests in the NORMAL/SUBTLE state. Earlier, it was being brought down to form semen. Now that need has been removed. The body stops production of earlier quantities of semen. Initial stages of celibacy do not really involve re-absorption. Most volume of semen in gross form at the start of celibacy actually flows out. It is due to lack of further production by which energy levels go up. This is exactly why for celibacy to bear fruit, say beyond three months, sublimation into OJAS is necessary. Till this time, the body is actually not in a state of reabsorption. It is only in a state of non-production and in a state of harmonization of existing Prana at the SUBTLE STATE. Further to this, production of gross semen goes on, reducing and the formation of more and more Prana goes on increasing (provided the celibacy is true and genuine).
So when we say sublimation of semen into higher forms, it is really a sublimation of Prana in NORMAL STATE into OJAS STATE. For Prana to reach NORMAL STATE, man should desist from sexual excitement, prevent formation of GROSS/ SEMEN STATE. In an Urdhvareta yogi, this is fully achieved. His body does not produce gross semen at all. The vital energy required to sustain his body and intellect are fed from that part of his Prana. The rest is fully converted to OJAS (Divine Power).