The Pure In Heart
This conquest of lust is the highest endeavour of man or woman’s existence. Without overcoming lust man cannot hope to rule over self. And without rule over self there can be no Swaraj or Ramraj. Rule of all without rule of oneself would prove to be as deceptive and disappointing as a painted toy mango, charming to look at outwardly, but hollow and empty within. Great causes call for spiritual effort or Soul force comes only through God’s grace, and God’s grace never descends upon a man who is a slave to lust.
Brahmacharya means control of all organs of sense. He who attempts to control only one organ and allows all others free play, He is bound to find his effort futile. To hear suggestive stories with the ears, to taste stimulating food with the tongue, to see suggestive sights with the eyes, to touch exciting things with the hands , and then at the same time, try to control the only remaining organ, is like putting one’s hand in fire and then trying to escape burns. If we practise, simultaneous, self control in all directions, the attempt is scientific and easy of success. Perhaps the palate is the chief sinner. Hence we have assigned to its control, a separate place among the observances.
Brahmcharya does not mean mere physical self control. It means much more. It means complete control over all the senses. Thus an impure thought is a breach of Brahmacharya. All power comes from the observation and sublimation of the vitality that is responsible for the creative for the creation of life. If the vitality husbanded instead of being dissipated, it is transmuted into creative energy of thought is the root of all speech and action, the quality of the latter corresponds to that of the former. Hence perfectly controlled thought is itself a power of the highest potency and can become self acting. Such power is impossible in one who dissipates his energy even as stream kept in a keeping pot yields no power.
Brahmacharya is to observed in thought, word and deed. It is harmful to suppress the body if the mind is at the same time allowed to go astray. Where the mind wanders the body must follow sooner or later. It is necessary here to appreciate one distinction.
It is one thing to allow the mind to harbour impure thoughts, it is different thing altogether if it strays among them in spite of ourselves. Victory will be ours in the end, if we non cooperate with the mind in his evil process. Hence the body must be immediately taken in hand and then we must put forth a constant endeavour to bring the mind under control. We can do nothing more, nothing less.
There should be a clear line between the life of a Brahmachari and of one who is not. The resemblance that there is between the two, is only apparent. The distinction ought to be clear as daylight. Both use their eyesight, but whereas the Brahmachari uses it to see the glories of God, the other uses it to see frivolity around him. Both use their ears, but whereas the one hears nothing but the praises of God, the other feasts his ears upon ribaldry. Both often keep late hours, but whereas the one devotes them to prayer, the other fritters them away in wild and wasteful mirts. Both feed the inner man, but the one only to keep the temple of God in good repair, while the other gorges himself and makes the sacred vessel a stinking gutter. Thus both live as poles apart.
– Mahatma Gandhi