Austerity does not mean physical torture, far from it. Mortification of the flesh only a devilish nature can enjoy. God the Merciful does not demand our physical torture. He wants us to have the soulful light of wisdom. Nothing more and nothing less.

Austerity means a dedicated body, a pure mind, a loving heart and an awakened soul.

The outer austerity grows on the fertile soil of simplicity, sincerity and purity. The inner austerity grows on the fecund soil of serenity, tranquillity and equanimity.

Sattvic austerity wishes no reward. Gain, honour and fame, rajasic austerity expects and demands. Self-immolation or the destruction of others, tamasic austerity wants and cherishes.

A seeker of the Transcendental Truth and sex-forces can never run abreast. The seeker walking along the path of self-discovery and God-discovery must know what true celibacy is.

To quote Krishnaprem: “A neurotic celibacy with the so-called unconscious mind full of thwarted sex, issuing in a welter of more or less disguised fantasy, is the very worst condition to be in for one who seeks the inner life. Such a condition may, like extreme bodily weakness, give rise to strange experiences and visions, but it will quite effectively prevent any real treading of the Path. Sex will be transcended; it cannot be suppressed … with impunity.”

The chapter ends most soulfully with the Brahman. Brahman is divinely designated by the three soul-stirring words: AUM TAT SAT.

AUM is the mystical symbol supreme. AUM is the real name of God. In the cosmic manifestation is AUM. Beyond the manifestation, farthest beyond is AUM.

TAT means “That”, the Nameless Eternal. Above all attributes, majestic “That” stands.

SAT means Reality, the Truth Infinite.

We have to chant AUM and then begin to perform our life’s divine duties.

We have to chant TAT and then offer to humanity all our achievements, energising and fulfilling.

We have to chant SAT and then offer to God what we inwardly and outwardly are, our very existence.