BG Chapters 1 - 6
Ignorance can be removed by gradual acceptance of the principles of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is awakened by different types of sacrifices to the demigods, sacrifice to Brahman, sacrifice in celibacy, in household life, in controlling the senses, in practicing mystic yoga, in penance, in forgoing material possessions, in studying the Vedas, and in partaking of the social institution called varṇāśrama-dharma. All of these are known as sacrifice, and all of them are based on regulated action.
One has to practice controlling the mind and avoiding all kinds of sense gratification, of which sex life is the chief. In the rules of celibacy written by the great sage Yājñavalkya it is said:
- karmaṇā manasā vācā
- sarvāvasthāsu sarvadā
- sarvatra maithuna-tyāgo
- brahmacaryaṁ pracakṣate
"The vow of brahmacarya is meant to help one completely abstain from sex indulgence in work, words and mind-at all times, under all circumstances, and in all places."
In the present age no one can observe the strict rules and regulations of placing oneself in a sacred place, focusing the mind on the Supersoul, restraining the senses and mind, observing celibacy, remaining alone, etc.
Persons who are learned in the Vedas, who utter oṁkāra and who are great sages in the renounced order enter into Brahman. Desiring such perfection, one practices celibacy. I shall now briefly explain to you this process by which one may attain salvation.
In the Vedic system of knowledge, students, from the very beginning, are taught to vibrate oṁ and learn of the ultimate impersonal Brahman by living with the spiritual master in complete celibacy.
In this way they realize two of Brahman's features. This practice is very essential for the student's advancement in spiritual life, but at the moment such brahmacārī (unmarriedcelibate) life is not at all possible.
The social construction of the world has changed so much that there is no possibility of one's practicing celibacy from the beginning of student life. Throughout the world there are many institutions for different departments of knowledge, but there is no recognized institution where students can be educated in the brahmacārī principles.
Unless one practices celibacy, advancement in spiritual life is very difficult. Therefore Lord Caitanya has announced, according to the scriptural injunctions for this Age of Kali, that in this age no process of realizing the Supreme is possible except the chanting of the holy names of Lord Kṛṣṇa: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Brahmacārīs should have no connection with women; they should live a life of celibacy and engage the mind in the study of Vedic literature for cultivation of spiritual knowledge. This is called svādhyāya.
Austerity of the body consists in worship of the Supreme Lord, the brāhmaṇas, the spiritual master, and superiors like the father and mother, and in cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and nonviolence.
One should offer, or learn to offer, respect to God or to the demigods, the perfect, qualified brāhmaṇas and the spiritual master and superiors like father, mother or any person who is conversant with Vedic knowledge. These should be given proper respect. One should practice cleansing oneself externally and internally, and he should learn to become simple in behavior. He should not do anything which is not sanctioned by the scriptural injunctions. He should not indulge in sex outside of married life, for sex is sanctioned in the scripture only in marriage, not otherwise. This is calledcelibacy.
First of all, in the beginning of creation, there were the four unmarried sons of Brahmā (the Kumāras), who, being situated in a vow of celibacy, underwent severe austerities for realization of the Absolute Truth.
Gṛtsamada: One of the sages of the heavenly kingdom. He was a close friend of Indra, the King of heaven, and was as great as Bṛhaspati. He used to visit the royal assembly of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, and he also visited the place where Bhīṣmadeva breathed his last. Sometimes he explained the glories of Lord Śiva before Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. He was the son of Vitahavya, and he resembled in features the body of Indra. Sometimes the enemies of Indra mistook him to be Indra and arrested him. He was a great scholar of the Ṛg-veda, and thus he was highly respected by the brāhmaṇa community. He lived a life of celibacy and was powerful in every respect.
11: Persons learned in the Vedas, who utter oṁkāra and who are great sages in the renounced order, enter into Brahman. Desiring such perfection, one practices celibacy. I shall now explain to you this process by which one may attain salvation.
The illusory energy of matter is so strong that one is apt to be under such illusion at every stage of life, even after quitting one's happy home. Therefore, it is essential that one practice self-control by celibacy without the least desire for sex indulgence.
The spiritual world, which consists of three fourths of the Lord's energy, is situated beyond this material world, and it is especially meant for those who will never be reborn. Others, who are attached to family life and who do not strictly follow celibacy vows, must live within the three material worlds.
In order to award the highest benefit of human life, the varṇāśrama system trains the follower to adopt the vow of celibacy beginning from the order of brahmacārī. The brahmacārī life is for students who are educated to follow strictly the vow of celibacy.
Youngsters who have had no taste of sex life can easily follow the vow of celibacy, and once fixed in the principle of such a life, one can very easily continue to the highest perfectional stage, attaining the kingdom of the three-fourths energy of the Lord. It is already explained that in the cosmos of three-fourths energy of the Lord there is neither death nor fear, and one is full of the blissful life of happiness and knowledge. A householder attached to family life can easily give up such a life of sex indulgence if he has been trained in the principles of the life of a brahmacārī. A householder is recommended to quit home at the end of fifty years (pañcaśordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet) and live a life in the forest; then, being fully detached from family affection, he may accept the order of renunciation as a sannyāsī fully engaged in the service of the Lord.
Any form of religious principles in which the followers are trained to pursue the vow of celibacy is good for the human being because only those who are trained in that way can end the miserable life of material existence. The principles of nirvāṇa, as recommended by Lord Buddha, are also meant for ending the miserable life of material existence. And this process, in the highest degree, is recommended here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, with clear perception of ideal perfection, although basically there is no difference between the process of Buddhists, Śaṅkarites and Vaiṣṇavites.
For promotion to the highest status of perfection, namely freedom from birth and death, anxiety and fearfulness, not one of these processes allows the follower to break the vow ofcelibacy.
The householders and persons who have deliberately broken the vow of celibacy cannot enter into the kingdom of deathlessness. The pious householders or the fallen yogīs or the fallen transcendentalists can be promoted to the higher planets within the material world (one fourth of the energy of the Lord), but they will fail to enter into the kingdom of deathlessness.
Abṛhad-vratas are those who have broken the vow of celibacy.
The vānaprasthas, or those retired from family life, and the sannyāsīs, or the renounced persons, cannot break the vow of celibacy if they want success in the process. The brahmacārīs, vānaprasthas and sannyāsīs do not intend to take rebirth (apraja), nor are they meant for secretly indulging in sex life. Such a falldown by the spiritualist may be compensated by another chance for human life in good families of learned brāhmaṇas or of rich merchants for another term of elevation, but the best thing is to attain the highest perfection of deathlessness as soon as the human form of life is attained; otherwise the whole policy of human life will prove to be a total failure.
Lord Caitanya was very strict in advising His followers in this matter of celibacy. One of His personal attendants, Choṭa Haridāsa, was severely punished by Lord Caitanya because of his failure to observe the vow of celibacy. For a transcendentalist, therefore, who at all wants to be promoted to the kingdom beyond material miseries, it is worse than suicide to deliberately indulge in sex life, especially in the renounced order of life. Sex life in the renounced order of life is the most perverted form of religious life, and such a misguided person can only be saved if, by chance, he meets a pure devotee.
Great vows of austerity are undertaken by sages to achieve success in self-realization. Human life is meant for such tapasya, with the great vow of celibacy, or brahmacarya. In the rigid life of tapasya, there is no place for the association of women. And because human life is meant for tapasya, for self-realization, factual human civilization, as conceived by the system of sanātana-dharma or the school of four castes and four orders of life, prescribes rigid dissociation from woman in three stages of life.
In the order of gradual cultural development, one's life may be divided into four divisions: celibacy, household life, retirement, and renunciation. During the first stage of life, up to twenty-five years of age, a man may be trained as a brahmacārī under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master just to understand that woman is the real binding force in material existence. If one wants to get freedom from the material bondage of conditional life, he must get free from the attraction for the form of woman.
The yogī should observe the rules and regulations of brahmacarya—to strictly live a life of self-restraint and celibacy.
Formerly, after making their lives perfect, great sages and saintly persons used to beget children, otherwise they strictly observed the rules and regulations of celibacy. Brahmacarya (following the rules and regulations of celibacy) is required for perfection of self-realization and mystic power.
From the very features of the sage, it appeared that he had undergone great austerities; that is the sign of one observing brahmacarya, the vow of celibacy. If one lives otherwise, it will be manifest in the lust visible in his face and body. The word vidyotamānam indicates that the brahmacārī feature showed in his body.
Svāyambhuva Manu continued: O wise man, I heard that you were prepared to marry. Please accept her hand, which is being offered to you by me, since you have not taken a vow of perpetual celibacy.
The principle of brahmacarya is celibacy
There are two kinds of brahmacārīs. One is called naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī, which means one who takes a vow of celibacy for his whole life, whereas the other, the upakurvāṇa-brahmacārī, is a brahmacārī who takes the vow of celibacy up to a certain age. For example, he may take the vow to remain celibate up to twenty-five years of age; then, with the permission of his spiritual master, he enters married life.
Brahmacarya is student life, the beginning of life in the spiritual orders, and the principle of brahmacarya is celibacy. Only a householder can indulge in sense gratification or sex life, not a brahmacārī. Svāyambhuva Manu requested Kardama Muni to accept his daughter, since Kardama had not taken the vow of naiṣṭhika-brahmacarya. He was willing to marry, and the suitable daughter of a high royal family was presented.
Kardama Muni expressed his desire for a very beautiful wife to Emperor Svāyambhuva and accepted the Emperor's daughter for marriage. Kardama Muni was in the hermitage practicing complete celibacy as a brahmacārī, and although he had the desire to marry, he did not want to be a householder for the whole span of his life because he was conversant with the Vedic principles of human life. According to Vedic principles, the first part of life should be utilized in brahmacarya for the development of character and spiritual qualities. In the next part of life, one may accept a wife and beget children, but one should not beget children like cats and dogs.
All things befitting the marriage ceremony of an emperor's daughter were awarded to Kardama Muni, who was until now observing celibacy as a brahmacārī. The bride, Devahūti, was very richly dressed with ornaments and clothing.
In executing devotional service, one has to see every living entity equally, without enmity towards anyone yet without intimate connections with anyone. One has to observe celibacy, be grave and execute his eternal activities, offering the results to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
A devotee should observe the vow of celibacy. Celibacy does not necessitate that one be absolutely free from sex life; satisfaction with one's wife is permitted also under the vow ofcelibacy. The best policy is to avoid sex life altogether. That is preferable. Otherwise, a devotee can get married under religious principles and live peacefully with a wife.
A brahmacārī practices celibacy, controlling his sex life. One cannot enjoy unrestricted sex life and practice yoga; this is rascaldom. So-called yogīs advertise that one can go on enjoying as one likes and simultaneously become a yogī, but this is totally unauthorized. It is very clearly explained here that one must observe celibacy. Brahmacaryam means that one leads his life simply in relationship with Brahman, or in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Those who are too addicted to sex life cannot observe the regulations which will lead them to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sex life should be restricted to persons who are married. A person whose sex life is restricted in marriage is also called a brahmacārī.
The yogic practices in general and haṭha-yoga in particular are not ends in themselves; they are means to the end of attaining steadiness. First one must be able to sit properly, and then the mind and attention will become steady enough for practicing yoga. Gradually, one must control the circulation of vital air, and with such control he will be able to withdraw the senses from sense objects. In the previous verse it is stated that one must observe celibacy. The most important aspect of sense control is controlling sex life. That is called brahmacarya. By practicing the different sitting postures and controlling the vital air, one can control and restrain the senses from unrestricted sense enjoyment.
The great sage Maitreya said: The four great Kumāra sages headed by Sanaka, as well as Nārada, Ṛbhu, Haṁsa, Aruṇi and Yati, all sons of Brahmā, did not live at home, but became ūrdhva-retā, or naiṣṭhika-brahmacārīs, unadulterated celibates.
An important word in this verse is ūrdhva-retasaḥ, which means brahmacārīs who have never discharged semen. Celibacy is so important that even though one does not undergo any austerities, penances or ritualistic ceremonies prescribed in the Vedas, if one simply keeps himself a pure brahmacārī, not discharging his semen, the result is that after death he goes to the Satyaloka. Generally, sex life is the cause of all miseries in the material world. In the Vedic civilization sex life is restricted in various ways. Out of the whole population of the social structure, only the gṛhasthas are allowed restricted sex life. All others refrain from sex.
Mahārāja Pṛthu offered his welcome to the four Kumāras, addressing them as the best of the brāhmaṇas. He welcomed them, saying: From the beginning of your birth you strictly observed the vows of celibacy, and although you are experienced in the path of liberation, you are keeping yourselves just like small children.
The specific importance of the Kumāras is that they were brahmacārīs, living the life of celibacy from birth. They kept themselves as small children about four or five years old because by growing into youth one's senses sometimes become disturbed and celibacy becomes difficult. The Kumāras therefore purposefully remained children because in a child's life the senses are never disturbed by sex.
Mahārāja Pṛthu did not ask the Kumāras about their good fortune, for the Kumāras are always auspicious by dint of their life in celibacy.
The great sage Maitreya continued: Thus Sanat-kumāra, the best of the celibates, after hearing the speech of Pṛthu Mahārāja, which was meaningful, appropriate, full of precise words and very sweet to hear, smiled with full satisfaction and began to speak as follows.
A brahmacārī must execute austerities and refrain from sex indulgence. Therefore if one is completely trained in the principles of brahmacarya, he generally does not enter household life. He is then called a naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī, which indicates total celibacy.
Three among these ten—namely Kavi, Mahāvīra and Savana—lived in complete celibacy. Thus trained in brahmacārī life from the beginning of childhood, they were very conversant with the highest perfection, known as the paramahaṁsa-āśrama.
O My sons, you should accept a highly elevated paramahaṁsa, a spiritually advanced spiritual master. In this way, you should place your faith and love in Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You should detest sense gratification and tolerate the duality of pleasure and pain, which are like the seasonal changes of summer and winter. Try to realize the miserable condition of living entities, who are miserable even in the higher planetary systems. Philosophically inquire about the truth. Then undergo all kinds of austerities and penances for the sake of devotional service. Give up the endeavor for sense enjoyment and engage in the service of the Lord. Listen to discussions about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and always associate with devotees. Chant about and glorify the Supreme Lord, and look upon everyone equally on the spiritual platform. Give up enmity and subdue anger and lamentation. Abandon identifying the self with the body and the home, and practice reading the revealed scriptures. Live in a secluded place and practice the process by which you can completely control your life air, mind and senses. Have full faith in the revealed scriptures, the Vedic literatures, and always observecelibacy. Perform your prescribed duties and avoid unnecessary talks. Always thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, acquire knowledge from the right source. Thus practicing bhakti-yoga, you will patiently and enthusiastically be elevated in knowledge and will be able to give up the false ego.
One must also be detached from his family and practice celibacy. Sex with one's wife according to the scriptural injunctions is also accepted as brahmacarya (celibacy), but illicit sex is opposed to religious principles, and it hampers advancement in spiritual consciousness.
My dear King Rahūgaṇa, unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body with the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realize the Absolute Truth. One cannot realize the Absolute Truth simply by observing celibacy (brahmacarya), strictly following the rules and regulations of householder life, leaving home as a vānaprastha, accepting sannyāsa, or undergoing severe penances in winter by keeping oneself submerged in water or surrounding oneself in summer by fire and the scorching heat of the sun. There are many other processes to understand the Absolute Truth, but the Absolute Truth is only revealed to one who has attained the mercy of a great devotee.
Nor can one understand the Absolute Truth simply by observing the rules and regulations of brahmacarya (celibacy). One only has to serve the pure devotee.
While performing fruitive activities one can become free from the actions of sinful life through austerity, penance, celibacy, control of the mind and senses, truthfulness and the practice of mystic yoga.
To concentrate the mind, one must observe a life of celibacy and not fall down. One must undergo the austerity of voluntarily giving up sense enjoyment. One must then control the mind and senses, give charity, be truthful, clean and nonviolent, follow the regulative principles and regularly chant the holy name of the Lord. Thus a sober and faithful person who knows the religious principles is temporarily purified of all sins performed with his body, words and mind. These sins are like the dried leaves of creepers beneath a bamboo tree, which may be burned by fire although their roots remain to grow again at the first opportunity.
Brahmacarya, the life of celibacy, has eight aspects: one should not think of women, speak about sex life, dally with women, look lustfully at women, talk intimately with women or decide to engage in sexual intercourse, nor should one endeavor for sex life or engage in sex life. One should not even think of women or look at them, to say nothing of talking with them. This is called first-class brahmacarya. If a brahmacārī or sannyāsī talks with a woman in a secluded place, naturally there will be a possibility of sex life without anyone's knowledge. Therefore a complete brahmacārī practices just the opposite. If one is a perfect brahmacārī, he can very easily control the mind and senses, give charity, speak truthfully and so forth. To begin, however, one must control the tongue and the process of eating.
In other words, Ajāmila followed the rules and regulations of celibacy as a perfect brahmacārī and was very softhearted, truthful, clean and pure. How he fell down in spite of all these qualities and thus came to be threatened with punishment by Yamarāja will be described in the following verses.
As soon as a brāhmaṇa takes birth, he assumes three kinds of debts—debts to great saints, debts to the demigods and debts to his father. The son of a brāhmaṇa must undergocelibacy (brahmacarya) to clear his debts to the saintly persons, he must perform ritualistic ceremonies to clear his debts to the demigods, and he must beget children to become free from his debts to his father.
The real purpose of human life is to attain liberation from material entanglement. Such liberation may be achieved by many methods (tapasā brahmacaryeṇa śamena ca damena ca (SB 6.1.13)), but all of them more or less depend on tapasya, austerity, which begins with celibacy.
These are the general principles to be followed by all human beings: truthfulness, mercy, austerity (observing fasts on certain days of the month), bathing twice a day, tolerance, discrimination between right and wrong, control of the mind, control of the senses, nonviolence, celibacy, charity, reading of scripture, simplicity, satisfaction, rendering service to saintly persons, gradually taking leave of unnecessary engagements, observing the futility of the unnecessary activities of human society, remaining silent and grave and avoiding unnecessary talk, considering whether one is the body or the soul, distributing food equally to all living entities (both men and animals), seeing every soul (especially in the human form) as a part of the Supreme Lord, hearing about the activities and instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who is the shelter of the saintly persons), chanting about these activities and instructions, always remembering these activities and instructions, trying to render service, performing worship, offering obeisances, becoming a servant, becoming a friend, and surrendering one's whole self. O King Yudhiṣṭhira, these thirty qualifications must be acquired in the human form of life. Simply by acquiring these qualifications, one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Brahmacarya essentially means the vow not to marry but to observe strict celibacy (bṛhad-vrata). A brahmacārī or sannyāsī should avoid talking with women or reading literature concerning talks between man and woman. The injunction restricting association with women is the basic principle of spiritual life. Associating or talking with women is never advised in any of the Vedic literatures. The entire Vedic system teaches one to avoid sex life so that one may gradually progress from brahmacarya to gṛhastha, from gṛhastha to vānaprastha, and from vānaprastha to sannyāsa and thus give up material enjoyment, which is the original cause of bondage to this material world. The word bṛhad-vrata refers to one who has decided not to marry, or in other words, not to indulge in sex life throughout his entire life.
Brahmacārīs or gṛhasthas who have taken the vow of celibacy as described above should not indulge in the following: applying powder or ointment to the eyes, massaging the head with oil, massaging the body with the hands, seeing a woman or painting a woman's picture, eating meat, drinking wine, decorating the body with flower garlands, smearing scented ointment on the body, or decorating the body with ornaments. These they should give up.
If one is trained to protect his semen by observing celibacy, naturally he is not attracted by the beauty of a woman. If one can remain a brahmacārī, he saves himself so much trouble in material existence. Material existence means enjoying the pleasure of sexual intercourse (yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukham (SB 7.9.45)). If one is educated about sex life and is trained to protect his semen, he is saved from the danger of material existence.
One should perfectly honor the respectable brāhmaṇas one has fed, and then, after taking their permission, one should take prasāda with his friends and relatives. For that night, one should observe strict celibacy, and the next morning, after bathing again, with purity and attention one should bathe the Deity of Viṣṇu with milk and worship Him according to the methods formerly stated in detail.
From pratipat until the thirteenth day of the next bright moon (śukla-trayodaśī), one should observe complete celibacy, sleep on the floor, bathe three times a day and thus execute the vow.
After mother Sītā entered the earth, Lord Rāmacandra observed complete celibacy and performed an uninterrupted Agnihotra-yajña for thirteen thousand years.
(The brāhmaṇas said:) To hell with our threefold birth, our vow of celibacy and our extensive learning! To hell with our aristocratic background and our expertise in the rituals of sacrifice! These are all condemned because we were inimical to the transcendental Personality of Godhead.
After attaining twice-born status through initiation, the Lords, sincere in Their vows, took the further vow of celibacy from Garga Muni, the spiritual master of the Yadus.
The Personality of Godhead said: O son of self-born Brahmā, once long ago on Janaloka, wise sages who resided there performed a great sacrifice to the Absolute Truth by vibrating transcendental sounds. These sages, mental sons of Brahmā, were all perfect celibates.
To serve the spiritual master the disciple should learn cleanliness, austerity, tolerance, silence, study of Vedic knowledge, simplicity, celibacy, nonviolence, and equanimity in the face of material dualities such as heat and cold, happiness and distress.
The married order of life appeared from the loins of My universal form, and the celibate students came from My heart. The forest-dwelling retired order of life appeared from My chest, and the renounced order of life was situated within the head of My universal form.
One observing the vow of celibate brahmacārī life should never pass semen. If the semen by chance spills out by itself, the brahmacārī should immediately take bath in water, control his breath by prāṇāyāma and chant the Gāyatrī mantra
Until the student has completed his Vedic education he should remain engaged in the āśrama of the spiritual master, should remain completely free of material sense gratification and should not break his vow of celibacy (brahmacarya).
If the brahmacārī student desires to ascend to the Maharloka or Brahmaloka planets, then he should completely surrender his activities to the spiritual master and, observing the powerful vow of perpetual celibacy, dedicate himself to superior Vedic studies.
A brāhmaṇa observing the great vow of celibacy becomes brilliant like fire and by serious austerity burns to ashes the propensity to perform material activities. Free from the contamination of material desire, he becomes My devotee.
A householder may approach his wife for sex only at the time prescribed for begetting children. Otherwise, the householder should practice celibacy, austerity, cleanliness of mind and body, satisfaction in his natural position, and friendship toward all living entities. Worship of Me is to be practiced by all human beings, regardless of social or occupational divisions.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Nonviolence, truthfulness, not coveting or stealing the property of others, detachment, humility, freedom from possessiveness, trust in the principles of religion, celibacy, silence, steadiness, forgiveness and fearlessness are the twelve primary disciplinary principles. Internal cleanliness, external cleanliness, chanting the holy names of the Lord, austerity, sacrifice, faith, hospitality, worship of Me, visiting holy places, acting and desiring only for the supreme interest, satisfaction, and service to the spiritual master are the twelve elements of regular prescribed duties. These twenty-four elements bestow all desired benedictions upon those persons who devotedly cultivate them.
After being purified by his father's performance of the prescribed rituals leading to Mārkaṇḍeya's brahminical initiation, Mārkaṇḍeya studied the Vedic hymns and strictly observed the regulative principles. He became advanced in austerity and Vedic knowledge and remained a lifelong celibate. Appearing most peaceful with his matted hair and his clothing made of bark, he furthered his spiritual progress by carrying the mendicant's waterpot, staff, sacred thread, brahmacārī belt, black deerskin, lotus-seed prayer beads and bundles of kuśa grass. At the sacred junctures of the day he regularly worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead in five forms—the sacrificial fire, the sun, his spiritual master, the brāhmaṇas and the Supersoul within his heart. Morning and evening he would go out begging, and upon returning he would present all the food he had collected to his spiritual master. Only when his spiritual master invited him would he silently take his one meal of the day; otherwise he would fast. Thus devoted to austerity and Vedic study, Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi worshiped the supreme master of the senses, the Personality of Godhead, for countless millions of years, and in this way he conquered unconquerable death.
In this way the devotional mystic Mārkaṇḍeya maintained rigid celibacy through penance, study of the Vedas and self-discipline. With his mind thus free of all disturbances, he turned it inward and meditated on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who lies beyond the material senses.
We are perfectly satisfied with your practice of lifelong celibacy. Please choose whatever benediction you desire, since I can grant your wish. May you enjoy all good fortune.