Celibacy refers to a state of being in sexually abstinent, usually in association with the role of a religious official or devotee. In fact, people can have many reasons to choose a celibate lifestyle. While religion can play a role, some people who are celibate are not choosing to be so for religious reasons. There may be cases in which people become celibate out of fear, such as fear of emotional intimacy or sexually transmitted infections. In these situations, receiving counseling may help people address these fears so they can decide whether they want to remain celibate. It has many benefits as well as harmful effects.
Celibacy and Brahmcharya – The real meaning
There are many myths associated with the word celibacy and brahmcharya. Often celibacy is referred to as complete abstinence from sex. No wonder it is left for those who have renunciated world and their entire life is dedicated to spiritual development. It is seen as something impossible for common worldly beings. It is wrongly associated with preservation of semen. One, it gives the entire concept a wrong & narrow meaning. Second, it then can be meant only for men.
Brahmcharya is neither impossible nor it is useless for common people. On the contrary it is very crucial, very much possible and extremely useful for a very happy and successful life. It is the path of righteousness & self discipline where one gains control over impulsiveness in gratification of senses. It is easy to understand that most of the problems of today’s world are due to uncontrollable gratification of senses. There are many problems of physical and mental health due to this. Those who do not have sufficient control over senses find it difficult to create a meaningful life. Those who develop good self discipline, not only remains saved from problems but also are able to create a higher mission in life. And that is what human life is meant for.
The meaning of Brahmcharya is Brahm Charya which means LIVING A LIFE IN WHICH THE THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS ARE IN HARMONY WITH BRAHM THE SUPREME TRUTH. The core essence of this is self discipline of desires & senses. Since the sexual desire is a strong desire, a lot of significance and focus was given to it.
The discipline of senses does not need complete absence. In fact complete absence may not be the perfect way. Brahmcharya or celibacy is the attitude, the inner disciplined state. It is equally applicable to both men and women. Both men and women can easily follow the path of brahmcharya or celibacy even with normal physical relationship. Brahmcharya or celibacy, discipline of desires and senses will lead to true love between the two and eliminate lust. Nature has given freedom to all to judge for them self what is due and what undue gratification is. Self discipline is your choice, the more you do it the more control you gain over yourself for a better life.
How to maintain celibacy
- Whether you are entering the priesthood or doing it for personal reasons, remaining celibate can be a difficult thing to do.
- Get involved in different hobbies; better not to be around many people you may be sexually attracted to for a while if this can be avoided
- Avoid temptation, especially at the start of this lifestyle.
- Avoid listening to others’ feelings about your decision, if they do not agree with yours.
- Try to find people who you think will understand you and your choices
- If religion is a part of your decision to be celibate, read the Bible or other religious book for guidance and strength.
Benefits of celibacy
- Avoid getting HIV or Hepatitis C, which can lead to death
- Reduce risk of other STDs such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts
- Reduce risk of unwanted pregnancy
- Reduce risk of marrying someone solely because of an unwanted pregnancy
- Reduce risk of abortion due to unwanted pregnancy, or giving up the baby for adoption due to lack of financial means
- Reduce risk of dropping out of high school or college due to an unwanted pregnancy; achieving one’s educational goals before getting pregnant
Harmful effects of celibacy
Although celibacy is not physically harmful, it may be destructive to a relationship if one partner makes a unilateral decision to stop sexual relations – whether due to illness, physical disability, interpersonal problems or sexual difficulties – thus imposing celibacy on the other partner. Celibacy may lead to psychological problems. They develop symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, somatization, or clinical depression.