ABSTINENCE PROMOTES LONGEVITY
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
A white woman in the United Kingdom celebrated her 105th birthday. She was hale and hearty. She looked younger than her age, she was full of wit and humour, with spring in her gait, resonance in her voice, alacrity in her movement and sparkle on her face. The assembled loved ones wished to be let into secret of her health and happiness. When the Media trooped in, they naturally asked her the secret of her longevity and extremely good health as a Centenarian. Her prompt reply floored everyone. She said in a booming voice with a twinkle in her bright eyes “Well, I keep away from Men both in and out of bed”. Both the men and women roared into a spontaneous laughter.
Moral of the story is: Abstinence from Sex makes a Man and a Woman a Centenarian. No wonder in the Vedic philosophy of life, there is so much emphasis on Brahmacharya, that is living a life of self discipline or Sanyam. Sanyam means exercising self control on the Indriya sukh and sublimating Sex to Samadhi through prayer, Pranayam, intake of non-exciting food both for body and mind leading to spiritual life.
A votary of Epicurean philosophy may entertain a lingering doubt – will life be worth living without imbibing wine, eating for the palate and taste buds and falling for the intimate company of the opposite sex? Well, that is where the pitfall is. One has to choose between a way of life that gives instant and immense pleasure that in the long run leads to Pain of all sorts. On the other side is a life of simple living, hard working and high thinking sans wine and women. Choice is of a man or a woman standing at crossroads in a state of bewilderment. It is here at this stage that a decision should be made. If one goes in for living a long life in good health, one has to go through a regimen of Abstinence. The votary of Epicurean philosophy of life opts for a life where the motto is – Eat, Drink and Be Merry – but this way of life causes Pain of body, mind and soul. It shortens the life span tremendously.
AIM OF LIVING LONG
The Ved mantra that a human being recites praying for a long life of One Hundred Years or may be many more years thereafter, also contains a prayer for a healthy life where all the Indriyas function well. A remarkable sequence of prayer puts “LISTENING before SPEAKING” – Shreuniyam Sharadah Shatam, Prabravam Sharadah Shatam – and this sequence, if and when followed, abjures anger and violence, that may be fatal at times. The Ved mantra enjoins on a human being to listen to what the other party is saying and speak only thereafter. Thus instant boiling of blood or extreme anger is likely to be avoided saving a situation from turning awkward.
One who lives to be a Centenarian has a lot to give back to the society from where it has been drawing a lot throughout life. The senior citizen may pass on the rich knowledge and healthy experience to the next generation. It will be repaying to the Society what one has received from the Society. Praying for a long life is to enrich the social order and not the self. At that stage of life, the social order takes precedence over self.
The Ved mantra envisages a human life beyond one hundred years. The last part of the Ved mantra on a healthy long life says: “ Bhuyashch Sharadah Shatat” – may many a century follow on. No wonder the English speaking world in the West has a new term for this stage – Super Centenarian.
Let us all pray to Parmatma for a life of a Super Centenarian so that we enrich our human society much more than we enrich ourselves.
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