Overcoming Relapses

Staying without lapses for more than a week or a month is a noteworthy achievement. It demonstrates your commitment to the concept of Brahmacharya. If you experience a slip or break, it simply means that you need to persist further and steer in the right direction. With the divine grace, honesty, integrity, and dedication, you can achieve even greater success.

Let’s delve into what leads most people to relapse. Our current state of mind, intellect, consciousness, and ego is a result of our past actions or “karma.” Every action we’ve indulged in the past creates a “Vasana” or tendency. This is why different people have different likes and dislikes. For example, you may have a sweet tooth, while I may crave spicy food. These inherent preferences are all due to our past indulgences in those objects.

However, there is a universal commonality among most people – a strong like and craving for sexual acts. Individuals A, B, and C may have different tastes in food, clothing, and cars, but it’s often the case that they all have a strong interest in sex. Why is this so? Let me quote from the book “The Practice of Brahmacharya” by His Highness Swami Sivananda, who provides an answer:

“Because the sex instinct is the greatest urge in human life. Sex energy or lust is the most deeply rooted instinct in man. Sex energy completely fills the mind, intellect, Prana, senses, and the entire body. It is the oldest of the factors that make up the human being. A man has a thousand and one desires, but the central, strong desire is sexual desire. The fundamental desire is the urge for a mate. All desires stem from this central basic desire. The desire for money, the desire for children, the desire for property, the desire for houses and other desires come later. To maintain the creation of the universe, God has made sexual desire powerful.” -Swami Sivananda

In someone striving to be Brahmachari, the initial stage is like swimming upstream against the swift current of lust. Your strokes have to be consistent, powerful, and focused to make progress, otherwise, you will soon be carried downstream. However, along with efficient strokes, there is another crucial factor necessary to swim against the river of lust and reach the shores of chastity – the grace of the divine lord. No amount of mere physical, mental restraint, or intellectual understanding of the subject can help a man reach the shores of chastity without the grace of the Lord.

Reading about Brahmacharya in books is one thing, but fully realizing its content and staying out of lust’s reach is quite another. This is why there are only a few people who can succeed on this path. Success in Brahmacharya comes only to those who follow a special mode of life with the blessings of God.