In Aghora: At the Left Hand of God, Dr. Robert Svoboda, a Western expert in all things Vedic, shares insights absorbed from his mentor, the Aghori Vimalananda.


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Humans…believe that through sex they are creating a child. Why should they want a child? They just want someone to reproduce their own attributes [genes], someone who will appreciate and love them…..Real creation becomes possible only when they become aware of that impulse and transcend it….

For creation you must use the semen in a different way than you use it for procreation. Semen is that substance in the male body which has the ability to create. Only procreation is possible if it is expelled from the body, ejaculated during the sex act. If it is retained within the body, stored instead of being wasted, then real creation becomes possible through ojas. Ojas is the source of the body’s metabolic energy…

It is said in Ayurveda that ojas is derived from semen, but this is not quite so. Ojas exists in association with the head and the nervous system. In fact the “aura” or “halo” which you can see around a person’s head is composed of his or her ojas. When I say that loss of semen causes loss of ojas you must remember that sex is all in the mind. …When thoughts of sex fill the mind the Kama Agni (Fire of Lust) [dopamine] becomes inflamed. Heat is anathema to ojas. The Kama Agni causes a disturbance in the ojas, which alters the brain chemistry and directs the endocrine glands to begin to secrete. The effect is first felt on the prostate in men and the Bartholin’s gland in women. Whenever oozing from these glands occurs you can be sure that ojas is being dissipated….

Likewise, harmonious thoughts increase ojas. How often have you heard someone say to a pregnant woman, “What a glow you have about your face!” That glow is the aura, composed of ojas. You might think that a pregnant woman’s ojas would be low because her body tissues are being depleted to furnish nutrients for the baby. But because of the emotions of motherhood, the overwhelming love for the child being formed, ojas actually increases….

If you want to progress from the state of being a donkey in human form, one who lives for eating and procreating, to a higher state, you must conserve your semen. If you are female you must preserve the vaginal secretions which pour out during excitement and sex. …

A male should look at every woman, especially his partner, and see Ma within her. A female should see all men and boys, and especially her partner, as her sons. This reduces the danger of falling into sex, it teaches the couple something of parental love, and it leads to fidelity in the relationship.

Another thing: All desire for personal enjoyment or self-gratification has to be effaced from the mind. If you have even the slightest intention to take or gain something from your partner, that tiny desire can snowball when your nervous system is under full load, and an avalanche of energy can result, ending in sex. You must forget how to take and learn only how to give….Shiva is known as the Great Giver….

These are just preliminaries, of course; but they are essential preliminaries, and worth working hard on if you want to obtain the benefits of this sadhana: good celibacy; fidelity to one partner because of longing, not legalities; the presence of Shiva and Shakti in your bodies as Avishkara; and eventual samadhi of intense emotion.

Svoboda, Robert E. 1986. Aghora: at the left hand of God. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Brotherhood of Life.