Celibacy - an essential subject

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Celibacy as defined by Srila Prabhupāda is very essential for the student's advancement in spiritual life, but he advices that at the present moment, while we are facing this Kali-yuga age, such brahmacārī (unmarried celibate) life is not at all possible. The solution pointed by him is based on varṇāśrama-dharma system, described extensively in the Vedas. In that system the society can be divided into four varṇās and four āśramas. The four varṇās are: śūdra, vaiśya, kṣatriya and brāhmaṇa. And the four āśramas are: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Varṇā is related to a material status while āśrama is related to a spiritual status. It is worth mentioning the role of gṛhastha-āśrama within our society since for this Kali-yuga age, the marriage is highly recommended. As Srila Prabhupada says, celibacy does not necessitate that one be absolutely free from sex life; satisfaction with one's wife is permitted also under the vow of celibacy. He should not indulge in sex outside of married life, for sex is sanctioned in the scripture only in marriage, not otherwise. This is called celibacy. Still in this matter, Prabhupāda states that a gṛhastha is not meant to enjoy sex life without restriction. Because the whole purpose of Vedic life is to become free from sexual indulgence.

All the āśramas are recognized for spiritual progress, and therefore although the gṛhastha-āśrama gives a kind of license for sex life for a certain time, it does not allow unrestricted sex life. Therefore, in gṛhastha life also, there is no illicit sex. A gṛhastha should not accept a woman for sexual enjoyment. Wasting semen is also illicit sex. Concluding this subject, Prabhupāda points out to the importance of the complete celibacy. In his words, unless one practices celibacy, advancement in spiritual life is very difficult. And additionally he gives us the conclusion about this matter: Celibacy is so important that even though one does not undergo any austerities, penances or ritualistic ceremonies prescribed in the Vedas, if one simply keeps himself a pure brahmacārī, not discharging his semen, the result is that after death he goes to the Satyaloka.

Srila Prabhupada's books, lectures, conversations and letters offer a comprehensive presentation of this essential subject as seen in the Vaniquotes Celibacy category. An introduction from his books is given below in the following 16 quotes.


   
 

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Vanipedia has now over 903 introductory articles compiled from Srila Prabhupada's books under the series titled Essential Subjects. All these articles can be seen in the Table of Content on the right side of this article and also here in this Umbrella Category. Browse through them to relish the breadth and depth of Srila Prabhupada's teachings - There is a subject for everyone.