Absolute continence must be practised, if God is to be realized. If a man remains absolutely continent for twelve years, he achieves superhuman power. A new nerve develops in him, called 'the nerve of intelligence.' He can remember everything and know everything. Renunciation of Kamini-Kanchana (woman and gold) is essential. Ramakrishna, quoted in: Rolland, Romain. (1994). The Life of Ramakrishna. P.199.

Fiery lust is not diminished by indulging it,
but inevitably by leaving it ungratified.
As long as you are laying logs on the fire,
the fire will burn.
When you withhold the wood, the fire dies,
and God carries the water.

Rumi, Mathnawi I, 3703-3706, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.21.

I am sometimes asked whether this vow of celibacy is really desirable and indeed whether it is really possible. Suffice to say that its practice is not simply a matter of suppressing sexual desires. On the contrary, it is necessary fully to accept the existence of these desires and to transcend them by the power of reasoning. When successful, the result on the mind can be very beneficial. Freedom in Exile. The Autobiography of Dalai Lama. P.205.

Last updated: 2006/10/09

See the related subjects: Detachment, Discipline, Moderation, Penance, Purity, Renunciation