Retention of semen is important. Don’t spill it!

Radheshyam das, ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), 4, Tarapore Road, Pune Camp, PUNE-1,, ph : 636 1855
Retention of semen is important. Don’t spill it!
(SP:Morn walk 5/7/73) “To give another example, semen is produced from blood. Blood is transformed into
semen.” And (SB 10.2.27) “The seven layers of bark covering the tree (of the body)are skin, blood, muscle, fat,
bone, marrow and semen”
Semen retention is very valuable for both spiritual and material health. Semen retained in the body goes
upwards to nourish the brain, rendering the body robust, and the memory and intellect incredibly sharp.
Confidence, determination, optimism, willpower, fixed intelligence, noble character, photographic memory and
shining good health are all fruits of conserved semen.
(SB. 3.12.4)
sanakaà ca sanandaà ca sanätanam athätmabhüù
sanat-kumäraà ca munén niñkriyän ürdhva-retasaù
In the beginning, Brahmä created four great sages named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanätana and
Sanat-kumära. All of them were unwilling to adopt materialistic activities because they were
highly elevated due to their semen’s flowing upwards.
(SB 3.24.20 Purport) “The four Kumäras and Närada are naiñöhika-brahmacärés. Naiñöhika-brahmacäré refers
to one who never wastes his semen at any time. They were not to attend the marriage ceremony of their other
brothers, Maréci and the other sages, and therefore they went back with their father, Haàsa.”
SB 4.11.5 Purport)
“An important word in this verse is ürdhva-retasaù, which means brahmacärés 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 brahmacäré, 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 gåhasthas are allowed restricted sex life. All others refrain from sex. The people
of this age especially do not know the value of not discharging semen. As such, they are variously entangled
with material qualities and suffer an existence of struggle only. The word ürdhva-retasaù especially indicates
the Mäyävädé sannyäsés, who undergo strict principles of austerity. But in the Bhagavad-gétä (8.16) the Lord
says that even if one goes up to Brahmaloka, he again comes back (äbrahma-bhuvanäl lokäù punar ävartino
’rjuna). Therefore, actual mukti, or liberation, can be attained only by devotional service, because by
devotional service one can go above Brahmaloka, or to the spiritual world, wherefrom he never comes back.
Mäyävädé sannyäsés are very proud of becoming liberated, but actual liberation is not possible unless one is in
touch with the Supreme Lord in devotional service. It is said, harià vinä na såtià taranti: without Kåñëa’s
mercy, no one can have liberation.”
(SB. 11.6.47)
väta-vasanä ya åñayaù çramaëä ürdhra-manthinaù
brahmäkhyaà dhäma te yänti çäntäù sannyäséno ’maläù
Naked sages who seriously endeavor in spiritual practice, who have raised their semen
upward, who are peaceful and sinless members of the renounced order, attain the spiritual
abode called Brahman.
Srila Prabhupada’s purport on this in CC Adi 2.18 Where this verse is quoted says:
“They never discharge their semen, either knowingly or unknowingly. By such celibacy they are able to raise
the semen to the brain. Thus they become most intelligent and develop very sharp memories. Their minds are
never disturbed or diverted from contemplation on the Absolute Truth, nor are they ever contaminated by
desire for material enjoyment. By practicing austerities under strict discipline, such mendicants attain a
neutral state transcendental to the modes of nature and merge into the impersonal Brahman.”
So what to speak if great care is taken to control it in Krsna’s service, like Prthu Mahäräja did.
(SB. 4.23.7)
Radheshyam das, ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), 4, Tarapore Road, Pune Camp, PUNE-1,, ph : 636 1855
titikñur yata-väg dänta ürdhva-retä jitänilaù
ärirädhayiñuù kåñëam acarat tapa uttamam
Mahäräja Påthu underwent all these severe austerities in order to control his words and his
senses, to refrain from discharging his semen and to control the life air within his body. All this
he did for the satisfaction of Kåñëa. He had no other purpose.
Mahäräja Påthu was married, so sense control and retention of semen is also helpful (and necessary) for all
males, both brahmacärés and householder men.
Also in the vedas: maranam bindu patanat, jivanam bindu rakshanat
“If the (semen) drop falls brings death, conserving the (semen) drop gives life”.
In the first verse quoted, “Ayustejo” means “strength in the duration of life.” This Tejah is also refered in
Ayurveda as “ohjas” which is the lustre or brightness of the face. Which comes when one conserves the
semen in the body.
Conversely, when you lose semen, (by falling) the face loses brightness. He becomes dull. It is distinctly
perceivable in the face of a man. Any man.
(Morn walk 3/15/76)
Devotee: Yes. And they’re very strong on celibacy because he said that the…. If a person loses semen or if
they masturbate or if they unnecessarily use their sexual energy, they’ll go insane. Their brains will become
very weak, and physically they’ll become very weak.
Prabhupäda: Yes. That is a fact.
Prabhupäda: So I think this philosophy, no illicit sex, will be very much…
Devotee: Yes. They’ll very much appreciate that.
Prabhupäda: And if you explain scientifically as you are explaining, that “This will spoil the brain, you cannot
take nice things, so you must observe these rules…”
The living spirit soul takes shelter with the drop of semen,(SB 3.31.1) so losing also means dropping living
entities. There is some adverse reaction accepted (at the least, the degradation of consciousness) when this
happens to a man.
(SB 3.31.1 Purport) “Here one word, retaù-kaëäçrayaù, is very significant because it indicates that it is not the
semen of the man that creates life within the womb of a woman; rather, the living entity, the soul, takes
shelter in a particle of semen and is then pushed into the womb of a woman.”
The sages of old were conscious of this, so when the semen dropped from them they saved it and many other
sages were born.
(SB 6.18.6) also see(SB 9.13.6)
retaù siñicatuù kumbhe urvaçyäù sannidhau drutam
Upon seeing Urvaçé, the celestial society girl, both Mitra and Varuëa discharged semen, which
they preserved in an earthen pot. The two sons Agastya and Vasiñöha later appeared from that
pot, and they are therefore the common sons of Mitra and Varuëa.
(Nowadays of course, we have no such potency like the sages,) but it illustrates how important it is to
conserve it in the body.
Regarding abortion Srila Prabhupada says: (7/3/76 D.C)
Devotee (1): Çréla Prabhupäda, what happens to the soul when you have an abortion, though? Where does it
Prabhupäda: Goes to another body. Dehäntara. Tathä dehäntara-präptiù. If you do not allow him to this body,
he goes to another body. Just like if you drive me from this apartment, I must go somewhere. I must find out
another apartment. It is not that I am finished. You force me to go out of this apartment. So I go to a friend’s
house or anywhere, I must go.
Radheshyam das, ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), 4, Tarapore Road, Pune Camp, PUNE-1,, ph : 636 1855
Devotee (1): Would that also be due to that soul’s karma, that he has gone from being aborted on to another
Prabhupäda: Not necessarily, but you create a karma. You are responsible for that.
Hari-çauri: So it’s not necessarily that he’s receiving some sinful reaction from past work that he’s not allowed
to enter.
Prabhupäda: That may be, but you are responsible for that. Because you are driving me from this apartment
by force. Actually, in a higher sense, that is accepted, that he was to be driven away. But because you are
driving, you are responsible for that.
Hari-çauri: So like in our case, the spirit soul takes shelter in the semen.
Prabhupäda: Yes, according to his desire he’s given shelter to such and such place, and he comes out with
The case of falling semen could (in extreme cases) be considered to be very similar to an abortion of the living
entity, although perhaps with less severity of reaction, due to not being placed in the womb of a woman. But
nevertheless, it adds to the importance of the consciousness of conservation of this vital energy. Apartmentdwelling means contained in your body, or apartment means- delivered to a females body. Whether or not this
actually applies to this case, The individual devotee is free to use his own judgment.
(SP discussions with Hayagriva Das)
Hayagréva: His argument, well, he says, “Marriage is natural to man, and an irregular connection outside of
marriage is contrary to the good of man; therefore fornication must be sinful.”
Prabhupäda: Yes.
Hayagréva: But he goes on to argue, “The inordinate emission of semen is repugnant to the good of nature,
which is the conservation of the species. Hence, after the sin of murder, whereby human nature already in
actual existence is destroyed, this sort of sin seems to hold a second place whereby the generation of human
nature is precluded.” Well how, people today would ask, how could the argument of the generation or the, the
conservation of the species still hold, since there’s so many human beings, since there are almost four billion
human beings on this earth, how could this argument still hold that, uh…?
Prabhupäda: That, what is that argument?
Hayagréva: That sex is only to beget children, for propagation of the species, and any other use is…
Prabhupäda: Sinful.
Hayagréva: …sinful.
Prabhupäda: Yes. That we recommend in our, this Kåñëa consciousness: no illicit sex. Illicit sex means not
producing…, not for producing children but for enjoyment. That is sinful. And…in SB 7.12 Srila Prabhupada
says, “wasting semen is also illicit sex”
(SB 4.8.1)
maitreya uväca
sanakädyä näradaç ca åbhur haàso ’ruëir yatiù
naite gåhän brahma-sutä hy ävasann ürdhva-retasaù
The great sage Maitreya said: The four great Kumära sages headed by Sanaka, as well as
Närada, Åbhu, Haàsa, Aruëi and Yati, all sons of Brahmä did not live at home, but became
ürdhva-retä, or naiñöhika-brahmacärés, unadulterated celibates.
The system of brahmacarya has been current since the birth of Brahmä. A section of the population, especially
male, did not marry at all. Instead of allowing their semen to be driven downwards, they used to lift the semen
up to the brain. They are called ürdhva-retasaù, those who lift up. Semen is so important that if, by the yogic
process, one can lift the semen up to the brain, he can perform wonderful work—one’s memory is enabled to
act very swiftly, and the duration of life is increased. Yogés can thus perform all kinds of austerity with
steadiness and be elevated to the highest perfectional stage, even to the spiritual world. Vivid examples of
brahmacärés who accepted this principle of life are the four sages Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanätana and Sanatkumära, as well as Närada and others.
Another significant phrase here is naite gåhän hy ävasan, “they did not live at home.” Gåha means “home” as
well as “wife.” In fact, “home” means wife; “home” does not mean a room or a house.
One who lives with a wife lives at home, otherwise a sannyäsé or brahmacäri, even though he may live in a
room or in a house, does not live at home. That they did not live at home means that they did not accept a
wife, and so there was no question of their discharging semen. Semen is meant to be discharged when one
has a home, a wife and the intention to beget children, otherwise there is no injunction for discharging
Radheshyam das, ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), 4, Tarapore Road, Pune Camp, PUNE-1,, ph : 636 1855
In any case, the falling of semen constitutes a type of fall down on the part of a brahmacäré and must be
avoided as far as possible by self control. This means an individual must maintain personally a positive
devotional mood at all times.
(Bg. 6.24)
sa niçcayena yoktavyo yogo ’nirviëëa-cetasä
saìkalpa-prabhavän kämäàs tyaktvä sarvän açeñataù
manasaivendriya-grämaà viniyamya samantataù
One should engage oneself in the practice of yoga with determination and faith and not be
deviated from the path. One should abandon, without exception, all material desires born of
mental speculation and thus control all the senses on all sides by the mind.
You may ask: ‘What do I do if it falls anyway? Hang my head in shame?”
No. Continue on with your devotional service. (SB 11.17.25)
reto nävakirej jätu brahma-vrata-dharaù svayam
avakérëe ’vagähyäpsu yatäsus tri-padäà japet
One observing the vow of celibate brahmacäré life should never pass semen. If the semen by
chance spills out by itself, the brahmacäré should immediately take bath in water, control his
breath by präëäyäma and chant the Gäyatré mantra.
What if it is ‘night fall’ (dropping at night during rest) by accident, or due to the effect of ‘bad’ or lusty dreams?
These points are covered nicely in the “Brahmacarya in K.C” book by H.H. Bhakti Vikash Swami.
(1) Don’t raise the internal heat in the body (both internally -by weeding out passionate thoughts.) One has to
regulate his nightly diet and his habits also.
This is a reference to the ‘heat in the body’ or passionate mood. To counteract this, keep the mind in a
spiritual frame of mind in the evening by reading sastras, or chanting bhajans (I recommend ‘Gopinath’ by
Bhaktivinode Thakura, many devotees have appreciated when they chant this during troubled nights to rectify
the wayward mind.)
This is especially a must for the book distributors who often sell books to materialistic men and women all day.
Sometimes un-devotional thoughts of these people we distribute to creep into the mind, and then we bring it
home to the temple äçrama, and at night they come out of the mind to haunt us.
What to speak of the outsiders, I’ve had cases where brahmacäré’s who have excessive association with
ISKCON women on a daily basis in the course of their service complain of this problem.
Women are women. They are not always at fault. The sense objects are not at fault. How we perceive the
sense object IS the real fault. What must be understood by us at all times is that only Krsna is the enjoyer.
Seeing the sense objects as separate from Krishna is the real disease. Increasing your K.C. is the only real
Vishaya sangraha -the tendency of the conditioned soul to struggle with the sense enjoying mood- will always
remain with us unless and until it is rooted out at the anartha nivritti stage of devotional service.
At night, read the books, play devotional cassettes, (Edinburgh temple plays SP bhajan cassettes over the
temple speaker softly all night long.)
And PRAY TO KRISHNA AND GURU for help especially before retiring for the evening.
(2) Regulate the eating habits. Eat light prasadam at night if you must eat at all, or better yet avoid eating at
night completely. This along with clearing the bladder and bowels before sleeping will help.
What if someone is purposely allowing it to spill out? What then?
Radheshyam das, ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), 4, Tarapore Road, Pune Camp, PUNE-1,, ph : 636 1855
If you mean masturbation, then this is a serious difficulty with some humans in any institution in Kali Yuga. It
has occurred and still does occur sometimes. ISKCON is no exception to this. Although it must be rooted out.
No one should tolerate its continuance, individually or otherwise.
To rectify this one requires very confidential counseling in the company of ones authority, guru or sadhu to
overcome this faulty mentality. This is very important. Guilt sometimes forces one to hide this problem from
the devotees who love you and care about your devotional advancement.
Admitting to this is publicly takes courage, is often very embarassing and if incorrectly done, result in the
destruction of the problematic devotees reputation. So compassionate care on the part of any authority-high
or low in the temple- must be taken to preserve the devotees spiritual life while under treatment for any
devotional disease.
Anyone in the devotional community suffering from this malady must seek (or be told to seek) out a
confidential local devotee authority, who they can completely trust to maintain the secrecy of this from others.
The spiritual master is the topmost well-wisher of the disciple. No anarthas must be kept secret from him if
the disciple really wants to weed this out for good.
In addition, Satsvarupa Das Goswami’s book, “Obstacles on the path of devotional service” is good to refer to
for advice. Compassion is need of the hour in this case. Take heart though, “Impossible is a word in a fools
dictionary”. With sincere endeavor this degrading habit can be completely broken.
For this in some instances, Srila Prabhupada recommended marriage, but even legally in married life semen
must be conserved.
The results can often be obvious to other people, because the face is the index of the mind. Even in ISKCON.
Perhaps you must have seen this during Mangal arati sometimes, while looking at the faces of the married
men. This is not encouraging a fault-finding mood but you can sometimes perceive it intuitively. You can tell,
(without the need to ask them) who’s following the strict principles with his wife, and who’s not.
There is really no enjoyment, just the illusion of it. But the maintenance of that life can be expensive.
Brahmacäré’s who observe thoughtfully the lives of householders should count their blessing daily. How lucky
they are!
(Morn walk 5/15/73)
Prabhupäda: A neophyte or anyone who is not in Kåñëa consciousness, he does not enjoy. He simply suffers.
There is no question of enjoyment. Anyone who is not in Kåñëa consciousness, he does not enjoy. He simply
suffers. But he takes the suffering as enjoyment. That is mäyä. That is mäyä. Just like in your country, they are
working day and night. Just like from the morning, gugugugugugugugugu (makes noise of machine that is on
nearby) They are suffering, but the people are coming, enjoying golf. That is suffering only. From the morning,
going here, is it not suffering? (laughter) But he’s thinking, “I am enjoying.” This is mäyä.
Umäpati: Just like the doctor’s…
Prabhupäda: Yes. This is mäyä. He is suffering, but he’s thinking I am enjoying. So any conditioned soul, he
doesn’t enjoy anything. He simply suffers. But he thinks that he is enjoying. Therefore the camel, camel
example is given. Camel example. Camel, he is eating his own blood, eating thorns, and the thorns cutting the
tongue, and from the tongue, blood is oozing out. So when the blood is mixed up with the thorny twigs, it
becomes little tasteful, and he is thinking “Oh, it is very nice.” Similarly, all these gåhasthas, enjoying sex life,
he is discharging his own blood, he’s becoming weaker and weaker, he is thinking, “I am enjoying.” He is
thinking, “I am enjoying.” And if he uses more, then he becomes diseased, tuberculosis. He is dying by that
process, but he’s thinking, “I am enjoying.” Therefore it is example for the camel. He is enjoying his own blood
by discharging. One drop of semen is made out of so many drops of blood. Do you know?
Svarüpa Dämodara: Forty drops.
Prabhupäda: Just see. And how many, how much drops of semen he is discharging… That means he’s spoiling
his blood. But he is thinking, “I am enjoying.” Would you like to, by giving your blood to enjoy? Would you like?
Umäpati: No, I don’t think I’d like.
Prabhupäda: But you are doing that, every night. And that is called mäyä.
Umäpati: I’m a brahmacäré, Prabhupäda.
Prabhupäda: No, you are…(laughter) I am giving an example. This is going on. He is going to die. He has
adopted a process by which he will die, and he thinks that he is enjoying. This is called mäyä. Mäyä means
things which is not, mäyä. Mä means not, yä means this. “What you are thinking, it is not that.” That is called
mäyä. So they are in mäyä means, they are thinking, these rascals, they are thinking, improving, becoming
happy, advancing this mäyä word will finish everything, mä, yä: “Not this.” Bhägavata says that “You are
Radheshyam das, ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), 4, Tarapore Road, Pune Camp, PUNE-1,, ph : 636 1855
thinking you are becoming victorious, but you are being defeated.” Paräbhavas tävad abodha-jätaù. These
rascal, abodha-jätaù, born fools and rascal, they are becoming defeated in every step. Paräbhavas tävad
abodha-jäto yävan na jijïäsata ätma-tattvam. So long he does not inquire about his self, “What I am,” he is
simply being defeated. That’s all. This is the verdict.
(SB 2.3.19 LA 6/15/72)
“Now, another enjoyment. Sex life, discharge. Na mehanti. Again it is described. These are very terse
criticism. You see. A fact. Sex enjoyment means you discharge your semina. Your thing, not others. And it is
said by medical science, some pounds of blood makes one drop of semina. That means, suppose you allow, if
you allow somebody to take your blood, pounds of blood, would you like to do that? Unless it is… Nowadays,
blood bank, there is going on. But anyone, if he wants to take your blood, you will protest. But our enjoyment is
by giving our own blood. Tul… There is a Hindi poet, din ka òäkiné, rät ka bäghiné, palak palak rahe cuñe duniyä
sab bhora hoye, ghara ghara bäghiné püje (?). It is actual for the materialistic person, that there is an animal,
din ka òäkiné, at, during daytime she is witch, and at night she is tigress.
So din ka òäkiné, rät ka bäghiné, palak palak rahe cuñe. The witches, they also, by their black art, they suck the
blood of children. Do you know that? There are witches. You know? I am asking Svarüpa Dämodara. The
kamekha (?) witches, from the black art. The Pütanä was like that. They suck the blood of children by some
mantra. So din ka òäkiné, rät ka bäghiné. It is pointing out to one’s wife. During daytime she is òäkiné, witches,
and at night she is tigress. So Tulasé däsa says that. . . Tulasé däsa’s life is very interesting. Therefore he had
very bad experience of his wife. Everyone. So bäghiné. Nobody keeps a tigress to suck one’s blood, but Tulasé
däsa says, duniyä sab bhora hoye. The whole world, being mad, they keep one tigress. Palak palak rahe cuñe.
In every moment, sucking blood. This criticism is for the materialistic person. Those who are spiritually
advancing, this criticism does not apply. For materialistic person, this agent of sucking blood is their
happiness, is their happiness.
That is the real fact. Therefore the Vedic system of civilization is seventy-five percent life of celibacy. In the
brahmacäré system there is no connection with woman. Student life. Student life, if one remains brahmacäré,
he becomes determined. His brain becomes very receptive. Therefore, in the brahmacäré system, complete
celibacy, no connection with woman. So up to twenty-five years, if he does not discharge semen, he becomes
very stout, strong, and his health is built up for whole life, and he becomes so intelligent that anything he will
hear, he will remember immediately. Then after brahmacäré system, if one cannot remain brahmacäré,
naiñöhika-brahmacäré, then the spiritual master allows him to marry. That is gåhastha-äçrama. So when one is
complete, fit for sex life, he begets children, male children, and after twenty-five years, the child becomes
grown up, so he retires. In this way, brahmacäré, gåhastha, vänaprastha, and sannyäsa. The whole aim is
Viñëu, how to go back to home, back to Godhead.
(SB. 8.12.36)
skanne retasi so ’paçyad ätmänaà deva-mäyayä
jaòékåtaà nåpa-çreñöha sannyavartata kaçmalät
O Mahäräja Parékñit, best of kings, when Lord Çiva had fully discharged semen, he could see how he himself
had been victimized by the illusion created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus he restrained himself
from any further mäyä.
Once one is agitated by lusty desires upon seeing a woman, those desires increase more and more, but when
semen is discharged in the act of sex, the lusty desires diminish. The same principle acted upon Lord Çiva. He
was allured by the beautiful woman Mohiné-mürti, but when his semen had been fully discharged, he came to
his senses and realized how he had been victimized as soon as he saw the woman in the forest. 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 brahmacäré, he saves himself so much trouble in material existence. Material existence
means enjoying the pleasure of sexual intercourse (yan maithunädi-gåhamedhi-sukham). If one is educated
about sex life and is trained to protect his semen, he is saved from the danger of material existence.
Last words on this point…
Once in a SB class in Melbourne(As narrated by Bhurijana Prabhu), Srila Prabhupada said, “If one can just
retain his semen up to age twenty-five, the brain becomes so fertile for spiritual realization.” Then after
looking around and seeing all the depressed faces, he continued, “But if you just chant Hare Krishna,
everything will be all-right anyway.”
Radheshyam das, ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF), 4, Tarapore Road, Pune Camp, PUNE-1,, ph : 636 1855
It’s Kali Yuga; We are all fallen. Many devotees have lost semen so many times in their pre-devotional lives
that, even though they want to, they have trouble stopping their bodies involuntarily discharging it now. Still
there is no cause for lamentation.
We should continue to fight it, trying to control it by better habits, eating simply, medicine and whatever
methods we can easily adopt. If we still lose semen, it’s disgusting, but it’s not a disqualification for devotional
The real qualification of a brahmacäré is that he wants to surrender his life to Guru and Krishna and thus be
free of sex life forever. Such determination helps one transcend any unfavorable material condition- Krishna
helps those who are sincere. Remember, you are not the only brahmacäré with this problem. Chant and
continue on with the devotional process with conviction.
* * * * *

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