Written by Swami Sivananda, a highly respected yogi and Ayurvedic doctor from India. Ayurveda is one of the oldest and most utilized forms of medicine in the world.
Rasad raktam tato mamsam mamsanmedah prajayate, medasosthi tatomajja, majja shukrasya sambhavah—From food comes juice or chyle; from chyle, blood; from blood, flesh; from flesh, fat; from fat, bones; from bones, marrow; and lastly from marrow, semen.
The Veerya comes out of the very marrow that lies concealed inside the bones. It is found in a subtle state in all the cells of the body. Out of food is manufactured chyle. Out of chyle comes blood. Out of blood comes flesh. Out of flesh comes fat. Out of fat comes bone. Out of bone comes marrow (Majja). Out of marrow comes semen. These are the Sapta Dhatus that support this life and body. Mark here how precious semen is! It is the last essence. It is the Essence of essences.
Semen is the quintessence of food or blood. One drop of semen is manufactured out of 40 drops of blood according to modern medical science. According to Ayurveda, it is elaborated out of 80 drops of blood. Just as sugar is all-pervading in the sugar cane, butter in milk, so also, semen is pervading the whole body. Just as butter-milk is thin after the butter is removed, so also, semen is thinned by its wastage. The more the wastage of semen, the more is the weakness. In Yoga Shastras it is said, “Maranam bindu-patanat jeevanam bindurakshanat”—falling of semen brings death; preservation of semen gives life. Semen is the real vitality in man. It is the hidden treasure for man. It imparts Brahma Tejas to face and strength to the intellect.
The two testes or seeds that are located in the scrotal bag are called secretory glands. These cells of the testes have been endowed with the peculiar property of secreting semen from the blood. Just as bees collect honey in the honeycomb drop by drop, so also, the cells of the testes collect the semen drop by drop from the blood. Then this fluid is taken by the two ducts or tubes to the vesiculae seminalis. Under excitement, it is thrown out by special ducts, called ejaculatory ducts, into the urethra where it is mixed with the prostatic juice. (For a detailed description and functions of all these internal sexual organs, refer to any anatomy book.) This knowledge is necessary. I will pass on to the most important portion—Sadhana or practical methods to preserve this vital fluid.
According to Ayurveda, semen is the last Dhatu that is formed out of Majja or marrow. From food, chyle (Rasa) is manufactured. Out of chyle comes blood (Rakta); out of blood comes flesh; out of flesh comes fat, out of fat comes marrow; out of marrow comes semen. These are the seven Dhatus. There are three divisions in each Dhatu. Semen nourishes the physical body, heart and intellect. That man who uses the physical body, heart and intellect, only can have perfect Brahmacharya. A Pahalwan or wrestler who uses his physical body only but keeps the intellect and heart undeveloped cannot expect to have full Brahmacharya. He can have Brahmacharya of the body only but not of the mind and the heart. The semen that belongs to the heart and mind will certainly flow out. If an aspirant does only Japa and meditation, if he does not develop the heart and if he does not practise physical exercise, he will have only mental Brahmacharya. That portion of the semen which goes to nourish the heart and body will flow out. But an advanced Yogi who dives deep in meditation will have full Brahmacharya even if he does not take physical exercise.
A tree draws the essence (Rasa) from the earth. It is circulated throughout the tree, its twigs, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. The shining colour and life in the leaves, flowers, etc., is due to this Rasa. Similarly, the Veerya that is manufactured by the cells of the testes out of the blood gives colour and vitality to this body and different organs.
One of the students of Dhanvantari approached his teacher after finishing his full course of Ayurveda and asked him: “O Bhagavan! Kindly let me know the secret of health now.” Dhanvantari replied: “This Veerya (seminal energy) is verily Atman. The secret of health lies in the preservation of this vital force. He who wastes this energy cannot have physical, mental, moral and spiritual development.”
If the spermatic secretion in men is continuous, it must either be expelled or reabsorbed. As a result of the most patient and persevering scientific investigations, whenever the seminal secretions are conserved and thereby reabsorbed into the system, it goes towards enriching the blood and strengthening the brain. Dr. Dio Louis thought that the conservation of this element is essential to the strength of body, vigour of mind and keenness of intellect. Another writer, Dr. E.P. Miller, writes: “All waste of spermatic secretions, whether voluntary or involuntary, is a direct wastage of the life-force. It is almost universally conceded that the choicest element of the blood enters into the composition of the spermatic secretion. If these conclusions are correct, then it follows that a chaste life is essential to man’s well-being.”
For protecting the semen, it is essential to wear always a strip of (dark-red coloured) cloth over the private part; for, there will be no night emission and growth of testicles. It is befitting for a celibate to wear always wooden sandals, as thereby the semen will be conserved, eyes will be benefited, life prolonged and holiness and lustre will increase.
When the Veerya is once lost, it can never be recouped in your lifetime by your taking any amount of Badam (almonds), nervine tonics, milk, cream, cheese, Chyavanaprasha or Makaradhvaja. This fluid, when preserved carefully, serves as a master-key for you to open the doors of the realms of God or Atman or Elysian Bliss and for all sorts of higher achievements in life.