Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Fri Nov 22 15:44:39 CST 1996

Giri wrote:

> D: Is not celibacy necessary for realization of Self.
> M: Brahmacharya is 'living in Brahman'. It has no connection with
> celibacy as it is commonly understoood.....
> D: Celibacy is an aid  for Yoga ?
> M : So it is. Celibacy is certainly an aid to realization among so many
> other aids.
> D: Is it then not indispensable ? Can a married man realize the Self ?
> M: Certainly, it is a matter of fitness of mind. Married or unmarried, a
> man can realize the Self, because that is here and now. ....

Yes, they can, theoretically. It is one of those things which is possible, but
not probable. For the vast majority (me at any rate) concentrating for a few
seconds is difficult. For such people celibacy is definitely indispensable. The
story of Annamalai Swami is also given in the talks where the maharshi commends
him for fighting against his sensual urges. He has said so to various other
people also, eg Balaram Reddy etc. So unless one is already in the realm of
jnana he better stick to niyama. This is because even after "realization" one
can fall again due to vasanas (this has been told by maharshi himself). Of
course, we see a lot of people citing this "jnana is here, I can do what I want
in a disinterested manner" and indulging in things like drinking, marrying 6
women (really, I am not joking!) etc, and quoting the Gita and such to justify
their actions. This is not a problem restricted to India alone. I was reading
"Mud and Water - Conversations with Zen master Bassui" who lived in the 12th
century. He also denounces people who behave like the "eccentric zen masters"
thinking that they too are realized. He strictly asks his students not to take
any alcohol or behave in any eccentric manner, though Zen masters of the yore
may have. This is sound and practical advice, IMO.

So if one decides to marry etc, he should at least acknowledge his weakness and
develop a sense of humility, rather than comforting himself with things which
are possible but certainly not probable. Strictly IMHO. What is your opinion?


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