I would like to know how is semen helpful in Self-realisation? Some people masturbate and waste a lot of semen. If it is preserved, what kind of benefit do they get over the people who masturbate ?

Can a person who masturbate be a maharshi? What is the difference betweeen Maharshi and Paramahamsa?

  • Lots of questions! However 1 can be answer straight away: Can a person who matrubate be a maharshi? Maharshis don't need to masturbate unless they want.
    – iammilind
    Sep 2, 2015 at 12:36
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    A special nerve is developed in a man who remains chaste. The scriptures say that unless a man remains chaste he cannot realize God. I will look for some scriptural reference and give an answer in a day or two. A person who spends his seed cannot be a maharishi or a paramahamsa. Sep 3, 2015 at 4:59
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    @SwamiVishwananda I would disagree on your point regarding 'a person who spends his seed cannot be a maharishi or a paramahamsa'. We have examples of Vishwamitra. He even attained the status of Bramharishi even after copulating with Menaka. May be it becomes difficult but not impossible.
    – Aby
    Sep 3, 2015 at 13:50
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    @Aby become Vishwamitra first. Otherwise it is more profitable to follow the overwhelming evidence spread out through the breadth of the scriptures. Sep 4, 2015 at 10:12
  • @Aby - I think what he meant by spending seed is if you use it you cannot be a maharishi, but if you somehow developed habits for preservation of veerya you become capable to get the status of Vishwamitra!. but yes it is very difficult to overcome those habits only good karma or god's grace can do that.
    – Yogi
    Sep 6, 2015 at 8:10

3 Answers 3


Swami Vishwananda has already given several references in support of continence. I am adding a Sri Ramakrishna quote on it:

Sri Ramakrishna: "To be able to realize God, one must practise absolute continence. Sages like Sukadeva are examples of urdhavreta. Their chastity was absolutely unbroken. There is another class, who previously have had discharges of semen but who later on have controlled them. A man controlling the seminal fluid for twelve years develops a special power. He grows a new inner nerve called medha nadi (the nerve of memory). Through that nerve he remembers all, he understands all.

Loss of semen impairs the strength. But it does not injure one if one loses it in a dream. That semen one gets from food. What remains after nocturnal discharge is enough. But one must not know a woman.

The semen that remains after nocturnal discharge is very 'refined'. The Lahas kept jars of molasses in their house. Every jar had a hole in it. After a year they found that the molasses had crystallized like sugar candy. The unnecessary watery part had leaked out through the hole." The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, March 23, 1884


Chastity is a necessary prerequisite for Self-Realization. This is expounded in many of the scriptures. In Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms, it is said that the first stage of Yoga is the practice of Yama and Niyama (do a search on Hinduism SE, these have been defined in prior questions). One of the practices of Yama is perfect chastity in thought, word, and deed. He further says in II. 38:

By the establishment of continence energy is gained.

What is this energy? Swami Vivekananda says in his book Raja Yoga which includes his translation of the Yoga Aphorisms with his commentary (Complete Works, V1 p 169-170, and available here under Raja Yoga subsection The Control of Psychic Prana - http://cwsv.belurmath.org/volume_1/vol_1_frame.htm):

The Yogi alone has the Sushumna open. When this Sushumna current opens, and begins to rise, we get beyond the sense, our minds become supersensuous, superconscious — we get beyond even the intellect, where reasoning cannot reach. To open that Sushumna is the prime object of the Yogi. According to him, along this Sushumna are ranged these centres, or, in more figurative language, these lotuses, as they are called. The lowest one is at the lower end of the spinal cord, and is called Mulâdhâra, the next higher is called Svâdhishthâna, the third Manipura, the fourth Anâhata, the fifth Vishuddha, the sixth Âjnâ and the last, which is in the brain, is the Sahasrâra, or "the thousand-petalled". Of these we have to take cognition just now of two centres only, the lowest, the Muladhara, and the highest, the Sahasrara. All energy has to be taken up from its seat in the Muladhara and brought to the Sahasrara. The Yogis claim that of all the energies that are in the human body the highest is what they call "Ojas". Now this Ojas is stored up in the brain, and the more Ojas is in a man's head, the more powerful he is, the more intellectual, the more spiritually strong. One man may speak beautiful language and beautiful thoughts, but they, do not impress people; another man speaks neither beautiful language nor beautiful thoughts, yet his words charm. Every movement of his is powerful. That is the power of Ojas.

Now in every man there is more or less of this Ojas stored up. All the forces that are working in the body in their highest become Ojas. You must remember that it is only a question of transformation. The same force which is working outside as electricity or magnetism will become changed into inner force; the same forces that are working as muscular energy will be changed into Ojas. The Yogis say that that part of the human energy which is expressed as sex energy, in sexual thought, when checked and controlled, easily becomes changed into Ojas, and as the Muladhara guides these, the Yogi pays particular attention to that centre. He tries to take up all his sexual energy and convert it into Ojas. It is only the chaste man or woman who can make the Ojas rise and store it in the brain; that is why chastity has always been considered the highest virtue. A man feels that if he is unchaste, spirituality goes away, he loses mental vigour and moral stamina. That is why in all the religious orders in the world which have produced spiritual giants you will always find absolute chastity insisted upon. That is why the monks came into existence, giving up marriage. There must be perfect chastity in thought, word, and deed; without it the practice of Raja-Yoga is dangerous, and may lead to insanity. If people practice Raja-Yoga and at the same time lead an impure life, how can they expect to become Yogis?

Krishna also expounds continence as necessary for Self Realization in Chapter 6 of the Gita, especially verses 5-15. Verse 14 says:

He should remain seated with a placid mind, free from fear, firm in the vow of a celibate, and with the mind fixed on Me by controlling it through concentration, having Me as the supreme Goal.

The Brahma Sutras also make reference to chastity as being necessary. Brahma-Sutras (3.4.17) says:

And (knowledge belongs) to those who are celibates; indeed (this is so) declared in the scriptures.

The commentary then gives several Upanishad references for this verse. And further in verse 3.4.19:

They are to be practiced, Badarayana thinks; for the scriptural text refers equally to all the stages of life.

This verse says that continence is not only for sannyasins, but also for other asramas of life. Several Upanishad verses are also given in support of this verse in the commentary.

What is a Maharishi? It is simply an honorific given to some yogis (and sometimes just given by themselves to themselves!). Maha means great, rishi means seer of mantras.

Paramahamsa means great swan. It refers to a person who has attained the highest realization.

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    I'm curious, does Vivekananda's book Raja Yoga rely on Vyasa's Yoga Bhashya for the interpretation of the Yoga Sutras, or is it an independent commentary? Sep 6, 2015 at 11:05
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Independent. Sep 6, 2015 at 12:09
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    @ChinmaySarupria First, 'Paramahamsa' is both a realized state and a title. Having the title does not convey automatically the state. Conversely there are many examples of fully realized souls that have never had the title. Dec 2, 2015 at 8:20
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    @ChinmaySarupria you didn't understand my answer. Dec 2, 2015 at 11:17
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    @RakeshJoshi It talks of absolute continence. What do you think the word absolute means? Krishna was an incarnation of God, we are not. He was realized at birth. Other examples may have had children, but then practiced absolute continence after that - they did not continue after the birth of their progeny. See Pradip's answer below for more info. Feb 16, 2017 at 10:47

The chore of the sanathana dharma/principle is to ascend to godhood/to realise the supreme nature ie to become as mighty as paramatma itself. this the aim of the life all human being irrespective of his caste sex religion.This can be achieved by GAYATHRI YOGA that is by chanting gayathri manth through pranayaama. In sandhya kriya this is compulsory. PRANAVASYA PARABRAHMA RISHIHI, PARAMAATMAA DEVATHA GAYATHRI CHANDAHA PRANAAYAAME VINIYOGAHA.One has to perform this pranayama in brahmi muhurtha for one hour on daily basis for 14 years, by utilising griva pranayama after locking kishkindha pradesh ie one throat. this is called tapasya where ones semen collected in MOOLADHARA is heated and it turns to fire and when continuously raised temperature with further praanamaya the fire transforms to light and with force it jumps/rushes to swadhistana through the shushumna naadi and RUSHES THE semen resides in the form of white light in that swadhistana chakra which is termed as one ATMA/BRAHMA. THIS IS SPIRITUAL REALISATION WHEREIN YOU WILL BE ABLE KNOW EVERY THING IN THE WORLD AFTER HAVING THIS DARSHANA. SUCH PERSONS ARE CALLED BRAHMANA. IT IS STATED IN GAYATHRI DHYANA ' AGNI MUKHA BRAHMA SHIRAHA PRAANO APAANO VYANO UDANAHA SAMANAHA SATHPRANAHA SWETHAVARNAHA SANKHYAYANASA GOTHRA' FURTHER CONTINUTING THE THAPA IN PRANAYAMA THAT LIGHT WILL TRAVEL THROUGH MANIPURA ANAHATHA VISHUDDHI AND AJNA CHAKRA WHEREIN ONE WILL HAVE DARSHANA OF PARAMATMA. THIS IS GOD REALISATION. ONE WILL HAVE ALL THE BENEFIT OF THE GREAT CREATOR/PARAMATMA HIMSELF HE WILL HAVE ICHHA MARANA AND MOKSHA HE WILL NOT REBORN. THIS IS TERMED AS TAMASOMA JYOTHIRGAMAYA AND THEN MRUTYURMA AMRUTANGAMAYA. THIS IS THE BENEFIT OF PRESERVING ONE SEMEN AND UTILISING THE SAME TO ASCEND TO YOUR ORIGIN IE godhood/PARAMATMA.THIS KNOWLEDGE IS CALLED naarashamsha shaastra which was lost somewhere 20 thousand years ago.

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    You should cite some sources. Also the post needs formatting improvements to make readable.
    – Pandya
    Jun 12, 2017 at 14:37
  • Good information. Please format the post into paragraphs at least to make it more readable. Nov 25, 2018 at 4:13

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