Monday, January 10, 2011

Brahmacharya -during bachelor life and other

Celibacy during bachelor life and other important study skills
  1. Practice good time-management - use insights and suggestions given in this document: - on both daily as well as long-term basis.
  2. See, a student (in fact, everyone else also) looses his vital energy (prana) most through 3 means - negative thinking (tension, anxiety, anger etc), loss of celibacy and useless outer interaction. You should avoid all three.
  3. Take healthy diet, which has all nutrients. Take care about taking milk , which has Vitamin Bs necessary for brain’s intelligence and memory. Except milk, no other vegetarian diet has vitamin Bs, so avoiding milk may lead to loss of intelligence and memory to some extent. But, milk is so rich that one cup of milk has more Vitamin Bs than one egg. So, drink milk and get all vitamin Bs needed for a sharp brain and good memory. You can take a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet (like supradyn) also after consulting with a doctor, as a supplement to your diet.
  4. For avoiding or removing negative thinking, practice thoughtless awareness for 30 min andkapalbhati and nadi shodhana daily for >= 5 min each in the morning hours, practise thoughtless awareness in all free time like taking meals, bath, walking, cooking, etc. to avoid loss of mental energy in useless thinking and always keep up a positive, broad-minded and confident attitude.
  5. For celibacy: Read the reason behind celibacy during student life here:
    1. Eyes: First source of lustful impressions from outer world, which eventually leads to sensual thoughts and finally, sensual deeds also.
      1. Avoid looking consciously at opposite gender and exciting images in newspaper, magazines, posters & websites so that you do not loose your time and energy in lustful thoughts and deeds.
      2. When go to cyber-cafe, take up the computer in public view and don’t even go to private quarters, as you might see some misguided person surfing inappropriate sites and may develop the harmful desire to do the same.
      3. In future, if you will need to buy a personal computer, use internet filters like - K9 Web Protection - )with a very difficult password which you cannot remember, but which is kept safe by your friend/relative as administrator for your account. But, since cyber-cafe people don’t install any filters, follow above rule without exception. Note down: “In sensuality, personal will fails unless you become enlightened. Never rely only on personal will. Keep yourself 100% safe from polluting environment in initial 12 years.” - a statement given by Buddha to his disciples.
    2. Mental celibacy: it means celibacy at the level of thoughts.
      1. Don’t indulge in or listen to lustful conversations, as they will disturb mental celibacy sooner or later.
      2. When lustful thoughts arise, practicethoughtless awareness or external breath-retention (Exhale fully and then retain the breath outside as long as comfortable and then inhale completely - this is one round of external breath-retention. An advanced technique of external breath retention is described here: till they vanish. It will work when lustful thoughts arise with mild intensity. If lustful thoughts arise with very strong intensity, none of yoga methods may work and the only means that will work without fail is to fast for sometime. So, in such case, give up next meal (whichever it is - breakfast, lunch or dinner) and rest assured, however strong lustful passions may be, they will get calmed down as a result of fasting for next meal.
    3. Physical celibacy:
      1. Night fall or monthly periods are also loss of celibacy, but they doesn’t lead to much loss of vital energy, but consciously loosing one’s reproductive elements in waking state (except for procreation purpose) is so disastrous thatone break in physical celibacy leads to such a loss of vital energy that for next 3 days, one feels physical weakness as well as for next 3 days, one cannot fully concentrate on any work. Concentration requires presence of lots of vital energy - in absence of that, one cannot concentrate well for long-time and will feel soon tired and even sleepy.
      2. Apart from immediate harm, long-term harm that happens is great. Lack of vital energy brings diseases and weakness to all organs. Brain’s activities like memorizing and one-pointed thinking requires the most amount of vital energy, so one looses both one’s intelligence as well as memory through voluntary loss of reproductive elements.
      3. By sheer effort, one can get good result despite break in celibacy, but the same person will do much, much better if he/she combines his labors with practice of celibacy also.
      4. In nature, critical mass is needed for leap. For example, water starts boiling at 100 degree centigrade but not before that however long you may maintain water’s temperature below 100 degree. Likewise, for getting an A-grade job, you will need to maintain self-study + coaching >= 10 hours for at least 2-3 years. In the same way, the real benefits of celibacy start after 12 years’ practice - by accumulation of prana/”vital energy” over 12 years, one reaches a critical mass of prana/vital energy which leads to a breakthrough (after 12 years the breakthrough happens and entire prana, which ordinarily ignorant people throw in drain of sensual deeds, moves towards brain leading to continuous experience of bliss as well as a phenomenal memory and intelligence) and one develops phenomenal memory and intelligence. That is the reason why till 25 years (from 14 to 25 is exactly 12 years) and even after that till student life, one is supposed to practice full celibacy.
      5. Even a sensual person can witness the benefits of enhancement in bodily strength and concentration level by practising celibacy for just 1-2 months. The proof of sweetness of cake lies in eating it, isn’t it?
  6. In the background of positive thinking & unbroken celibacy, you will have a good amount of memory and intelligence. Add to that background below additional elements and you will surely become an A-grade student and have A-grade academic results:
    1. Memory: Combine recitation (reading/writing facts many times by looking at the source material) with recall. Recall means whatever you learn, you should either mentally try to remember it or do it verbally or in writing without looking at source material and then, check with source material whether you have recalled correctly.Eventually, you will develop a very good memory.Thurlow Weed (one of the most prominent politicians of Lincoln’s time): Concerned that he lacked a native facility for remembering names and appointments, and believing that “a politician who sees a man once should remember him forever,” Weed consciously trained his memory. He spent fifteen minutes every night telling his wife everything that had happened to him that day, everyone he had met, the exact words spoken. The nightly mnemonics worked, for Weed soon became known as a man with a phenomenal recall. So, combine recitation with recall to ensure that you learn faster and better.
    2. Intelligence: The more you exercise the brain, the sharper it becomes. So, exercise brain with a joyous attitude and you will grown in intelligence steadily.Try to solve every problem or understand every concept at least 2-3 times and over at least 1 night (during night sleep, conscious mind is at rest and all our mental energies are available to subconscious mind, so subconscious mind works better during night sleep and helps solve the problem, whose solution finally comes to conscious mind during dreams or waking time all of a sudden.) - if it does not get solved/understood, only then first take some hint from others and try to solve/understand again. If even this does not work, then take complete solution rather than some hint from others. Write down the categories of all these concepts/problems in book/notebook using categories like average (1/4), good (2/4), excellent (3/4), exceptional (4/4). Easy (0/4) means - couldsolve/understand first time itself without any difficulty; Average (1/4) - could solve/understand first time itself after some difficultyGood(2/4) - could solve only after 2-3 attempts; Excellent(3/4) - could not solve even after 2-3 attempts, but was able to solve after getting some hint from others;Exceptional(4/4) - could not solve even after getting hint from others and had to get a complete solution from others. No need to revise/redo easy (0/4) problems, but do revise even easy concepts at least once. Revise/redo average (1/4) problems/concepts at least once; good (2/4) problems/concepts at least 2 times and excellent (3/4) or exceptional (4/4) problems/concepts at least 3 times. This is the ideal method of revision.
    3. Revision: Learning gets strengthened through repetition. Apart from revision method suggested above for problems/concepts, following are additional suggestions:
      1. Reading one good book twice will give you more grasp of the concepts and memory of facts than reading two good books once each. Similarly doing one good problem twice will boost your conceptual clarity and memory of facts more than doing two good problems, once each. Always practise this, otherwise your efforts may go in drain, despite all your sincerity.
      2. And always prefer spaced-revision (revision over a long-period) over cramped revision(revision in a short-period). For example, if you have to revise a particular book for a particular exam and you need 100 hours to do that; then revising that book in 50 days before exam by giving 2 hours each day will produce better conceptual clarity and sound memory of facts rather than revising that book in 10 days before exam by giving 10 hours each day. There are two reasons behind this, both equally important.
        1. The first reason is: thinking process as well as memorizing process needs processing of facts and reasoning by our subconscious mind. Subconscious mind works even during waking state but during sleep, it works more and much better because our conscious mind is at rest, thus, making all mental energies available to our subconscious mind during sleep. So, subconscious mind will do better processing of facts and reasoningby getting, say, 50 days’ sleep period rather than say, just 10 days’ sleep period.
        2. The second reason: During cramped revision, due to having less time, some anxiety are alwayspresent like what if I could not revise all and some topics are left. This anxiety leads to undue stress and may immensely harm the learning process by mind, which produces poor results in exams and makes one forget most things in long-term in contrast with spaced revision method, which does not produce any stress, having more time-buffer which makes the option of doing extra effort available to us in case our revision speed is not as desired and make the entire learning long-term, to our greatest benefits. Apart from this, cramped revision always has the potential of disaster when we are not able to revise completely and ends up giving exams without complete revision.
      3. Make proper notes and add marks on books for revision purpose because revision over a small period of time (say over 5 days) can be done only using proper notes and specifically marked sections in the book and NEVER by reading entire book from cover to cover, from page to page.
      4. Have a weekly revision routine in which you should revise the past subject-matter of last week as well as weeks and months before last week. Allow the time either on daily basis (like 1.5 hours every day as a revision session) or few days a week (like 1.5 hours every Monday and Thursday and 6 hours every Sunday) - develop and experiment with various weekly revision routine and then, follow whichever works best for you.
      5. Study on table-chair. Studying on bed is an invitation to sleep, particularly, when one does not keep spine vertical and straight. Studying on table-chair automatically keeps spine vertical and straight and helps in keeping good attention to studies for a long-time.
      6. Change topics regularly to make study interesting and study with a positive attitude of learning new things presently and preparing the ground for good results in future.
More or less, above contents summarize my over-all psychological and intellectual guidance to all those who are getting mentored by me. If you find these things logical and useful, feel free to practise them yourself and share them with others as well.

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