The Joy of Celibacy
By Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
Celibacy can bring a new light and a new insight to the spiritual path. The wonder of being married to or merged with God or Goddess isn't just a vow. Instead the path is bright with anticipation and love. She or he who chooses to raise his or her conscious level in this way from the lower chakras to the top of the head truly has no choice. Only the voice of one's particular God and Goddess is heard.
If you make the conscious choice to be celibate, then you open up every chakra to the newness of the upward stroke of Kundalini. Kundalini begins to rise as though a great artist was painting an upward stroke on a blank canvas. Nothing flows downward. Everything flows upward. The help that you get when you are ready for celibacy is beyond the concept of the human mind.
The practice of celibacy is from the inside out starting at the base of the spine while the petals of the chakras begin to open. The difference between one who practices celibacy joyfully, and one who practices celibacy as a burden is that these petals open up so that each petal becomes a flower within its own being, sending out a pureness and a fragrance.
I have never taken a vow of celibacy, and yet the vow was taken for me. I felt it in my heart, and I honored my own soul. If this is a sacrifice, then it will not work. If this will hurt, then it will not work.
However, if this is a joy, then as soon as you say, "God, I am yours one hundred percent," and you can still say that 30 or 40 years later, then that joy has spread through all of your life. Celibacy is not your gift to God, but God's gift to you. I speak as one who lives in the very essence of a passionate heart and passionate soul.
I am celibate because He or She has chosen me to be so. One does not choose celibacy. Rather it is chosen for that person.
I never ask for a vow of celibacy from one human to another. But I do ask my students to listen closely to their heart. Hear the strings of love being played upon their soul when the voice of God says, "I am your beloved; I am your lover. I will love you every second of your life. I will be your other half. Merge with me. I am the father, the mother, the sister, the brother. I am the joy that never ends. I am the spouse, and I am the friend."
There is no need to think of celibacy as a sacrifice, for that creates inflexibility and mistakes on the spiritual path. Look forward to being the other half of a God so great no sacrifice is being made. She or he who is merged solely with God lives life with a purpose. Sacrifice makes the body, mind, and soul dry and brittle. To enjoy the juices rising to the top of the head makes a person completely whole. They can say, "God is within me. Guru is within me."
When the lust that is normal for every young man or woman comes, they will learn how to transform that lust into the bliss of the heart. If a person is still sexual without self-control, happening again and again, then she or he must rethink his or her path. No guilt. God is gracious. God is big. God does not want any one of His or Her children to suffer vows but to enjoy the great path of God and Goddess.
When I speak of celibacy, I am opening up flowers of gentleness and am caressing the very feet of the God that saves the world each lifetime.
When you speak of celibacy, you want it to be inhibiting so when you fall out of celibacy you have an excuse. When I speak of celibacy, I speak of the most phenomenal experience of lover and beloved.
When I speak of celibacy, I speak of an intimate experience that extends itself to the very rays of the sun and back. Celibacy is not a test but a joy to behold. The free person of a celibate teaching is unafraid to hug, to kiss the face, to love the person in front of them. They feel nothing sexual; they only feel the sensuality of God the Mother and God the Father.
The intimacy that is provided by the path of celibacy is not for everyone, not even for everyone who chooses the path of celibacy. When one is celibate, there is no rigidness if God has called that person to Him or Her. The bliss that never ceases to be is filled with intimacy. Always there, always full. Not half full or half empty, but brimming over the top. One needs to taste it in order to teach it. If you haven't tasted it, then you cannot even begin to explain it.
If one who claims to be celibate is not, like many people in this world, then they bring the energy down to the lower chakras. On the other hand, those who practice sex and enjoy sex faithfully with their partner, wife, husband, lover, and if they stay in their heart, then they also have purity about them. There is not one thing wrong with sex. Sex is a gift and should be enjoyed between husband and wife or partners whatever their sexual orientation.
A celibate person lives their life with one Lover. And that Lover is everything to them. Very few travel the path of celibacy. Not because it's hard but because it's real.
In our tradition, everyone has their own path, their own God, their own way. When people come to the teacher, to the Guru, to the spiritual adviser and say, "I want to give myself fully to God, everything about me every moment, every hour," the mentor must advise, "No, go home, think about it." When the student insists to the mentor, the teacher, the Guru, the priest, the rabbi, or the minister, "I am fully ready. I am ready to enter the forest. I am ready to give up the things of the world and yet still be part of the world," then indeed the student feels the joy of celibacy.
One does not vanish as one makes love to God. Look into the eyes of the students of this teaching of Neem Karoli Baba. Look into their eyes. They'll look right back into yours and never shy away from a hug or a kiss or a touch. The freedom of celibacy has set their minds and bodies free. But the joy of celibacy is so intimate that it grants peace and bliss more and more as time goes on and on and on, until time becomes eternal. All see the love that is shared with their God. It is grace to give up the world, to be part of the world but not in it, and to be fully of God and in that space of truth. This joy increases day after day, month after month, year after year, and for many, lifetime after lifetime.
I am in love with my Mother Kali. I live to love Her. Not as one who is celibate, simply as one who has chosen Her path and has followed it to the utmost conscious level of the heart. She called me; I ran to Her. My Baba called me; I ran to Him. I teach all who come to me—those who are celibate and those who are not. It is the conscious thought that makes celibacy the river that never stops flowing. I caress celibacy but no more than I caress the feet of my beloved Guru. For indeed I am His, and He is mine.
[Published in Aquarian Times, Summer 2002]
Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, spiritual leader and teacher, master of yoga, AIDS activist, author and artist was a passionate and persistent forerunner in the global struggle for human rights and religious freedom. A Trustee of the Parliament of World's Religions and founder of Kashi Ashram in Sebastian, FL, Ma Jaya dedicated her life to world peace and the end of suffering for humanity. For more than three decades, Ma Jaya taught in the tradition of her Guru, Neem Karoli Baba, a mystical path of union with God through community and service to others. She was the 1994 Woman of Peace Award recipient from 3HO’s International Peace Prayer Day. For more information about Ma Jaya and the work of the Kashi Foundation visit: http://www.kashi.org/