05 December 2013

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Ojas

The word Ojas (pronounced Oh-jas, Devanagari: ओजस, Bengali: ওজস) or Ojah (pronounced oh-jah, Devanagari: ओजः, Bengali: ওজঃ) is literally translated as "vigour" or "strength". But in Ayurveda and Raja Yoga, this concept plays a very significant role. It says, deficiency of Ojas in human body leads to unhealthy and abnormal life and many diseases such as Vibheti (i.e. Fear complex), Durbala Abhikshanam (Symptoms of (physical and mental) weakness), Durmana (abnormal mental functionalities), Abhighatat (trauma), Kopat (anger), Shokat (grief( etc.

In this post we'll collect Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on Ojas. Related articles are listed at the bottom of this page.

From Complete Works, Volume VI, Lessons on Raja Yoga[Source]

The "Ojas" is that which makes the difference between man and man. The man who has much Ojas is the leader of men. It gives a tremendous power of attraction. Ojas is manufactured from the nerve-currents. It has this peculiarity: it is most easily made from that force which manifests itself in the sexual powers. If the powers of the sexual centres are not frittered away and their energies wasted (action is only thought in a grosser state), they can be manufactured into Ojas. The two great nerve currents of the body start from the brain, go down on each side of the spinal cord, but they cross in the shape of the figure 8 at the back of the head. Thus the left side of the body is governed by the right side of the head. At the lowest point of the circuit is the sexual centre, the Sacral Plexus. The energy conveyed by these two currents of nerves comes down, and a large amount is continually being stored in the Sacral Plexus. The last bone in the spine is over the Sacral Plexus and is described in symbolic language as a triangle; and as the energy is stored up beside it, this energy is symbolised by a serpent. Consciousness and subconsciousness work through these two nerve-currents. But superconsciousness takes off the nerve-current when it reaches the lower end of the circuit, and instead of allowing it to go up and complete the circuit, stops and forces it up the spinal cord as Ojas from the Sacral Plexus. The spinal cord is naturally closed, but it can be opened to form a passage for this Ojas. As the current travels from one centre of the spinal cord to another, you can travel from one plane of existence to another. This is why the human being is greater than others, because all planes, all experiences, are possible to the spirit in the human body. We do not need another; for man can, if he likes, finish in his body his probation and can after that become pure spirit. When the Ojas has gone from centre to centre and reaches the Pineal Gland (a part of the brain to which science can assign no function), man then becomes neither mind nor body, he is free from all bondage.

The great danger of psychic powers is that man stumbles, as it were, into them, and knows not how to use them rightly. He is without training and without knowledge of what has happened to him. The danger is that in using these psychic powers, the sexual feelings are abnormally roused as these powers are in fact manufactured out of the sexual centre. The best and safest way is to avoid psychic manifestations, for they play the most horrible pranks on their ignorant and untrained owners.

To go back to symbols. Because this movement of the Ojas up the spinal cord feels like a spiral one, it is called the "snake". The snake, therefore, or the serpent, rests on the bone or triangle. When it is roused, it travels up the spinal cord; and as it goes from centre to centre, a new natural world is opened inside us—the Kundalini is roused.

The control of psychic prana
Swami Vivekananda told (From Complete Works, Volume I, Raja Yoga)—[Source]
Image showing Sushumna and Kundalini
The "Ojas" is that which makes the difference between man and man.
The man who has much Ojas is the leader of men.
It gives a tremendous power of attraction.
—Swami Vivekananda
Image source: Wikimedia Commons 

The Yogi alone has the Sushumna open. When this Sushumna current opens, and begins to rise, we get beyond the sense, our minds become supersensuous, superconscious — we get beyond even the intellect, where reasoning cannot reach. To open that Sushumna is the prime object of the Yogi. According to him, along this Sushumna are ranged these centres, or, in more figurative language, these lotuses, as they are called. The lowest one is at the lower end of the spinal cord, and is called Mulâdhâra, the next higher is called Svâdhishthâna, the third Manipura, the fourth Anâhata, the fifth Vishuddha, the sixth Âjnâ and the last, which is in the brain, is the Sahasrâra, or "the thousand-petalled". Of these we have to take cognition just now of two centres only, the lowest, the Muladhara, and the highest, the Sahasrara. All energy has to be taken up from its seat in the Muladhara and brought to the Sahasrara. The Yogis claim that of all the energies that are in the human body the highest is what they call "Ojas". Now this Ojas is stored up in the brain, and the more Ojas is in a man's head, the more powerful he is, the more intellectual, the more spiritually strong. One man may speak beautiful language and beautiful thoughts, but they, do not impress people; another man speaks neither beautiful language nor beautiful thoughts, yet his words charm. Every movement of his is powerful. That is the power of Ojas.

Now in every man there is more or less of this Ojas stored up. All the forces that are working in the body in their highest become Ojas. You must remember that it is only a question of transformation. The same force which is working outside as electricity or magnetism will become changed into inner force; the same forces that are working as muscular energy will be changed into Ojas. The Yogis say that that part of the human energy which is expressed as sex energy, in sexual thought, when checked and controlled, easily becomes changed into Ojas, and as the Muladhara guides these, the Yogi pays particular attention to that centre. He tries to take up all his sexual energy and convert it into Ojas. It is only the chaste man or woman who can make the Ojas rise and store it in the brain; that is why chastity has always been considered the highest virtue. A man feels that if he is unchaste, spirituality goes away, he loses mental vigour and moral stamina. That is why in all the religious orders in the world which have produced spiritual giants you will always find absolute chastity insisted upon. That is why the monks came into existence, giving up marriage. There must be perfect chastity in thought, word, and deed; without it the practice of Raja-Yoga is dangerous, and may lead to insanity. If people practice Raja-Yoga and at the same time lead an impure life, how can they expect to become Yogis?

Lesson on Raja Yoga
From Complete Works, Volume VIII[Source]

The great sexual force, raised from animal action and sent upward to the great dynamo of the human system, the brain, and there stored up, becomes Ojas or spiritual force. All good thought, all prayer, resolves a part of that animal energy into Ojas and helps to give us spiritual power. This Ojas is the real man and in human beings alone is it possible for this storage of Ojas to be accomplished. One in whom the whole animal sex force has been transformed into Ojas is a god. He speaks with power, and his words regenerate the world.

The Yogi pictures this serpent as being slowly lifted from stage to stage until the highest, the pineal gland, is reached. No man or woman can be really spiritual until the sexual energy, the highest power possessed by man, has been converted into Ojas.

No force can be created; it can only be directed. Therefore we must learn to control the grand powers that are already in our hands and by will power make them spiritual instead of merely animal. Thus it is clearly seen that chastity is the corner - stone of all morality and of all religion. In Raja - yoga especially, absolute chastity in thought, word, and deed is a sine qua non. The same laws apply to the married and the single. If one wastes the most potent forces of one's being, one cannot become spiritual.

See also

  1. Swami Vivekananda's quotes Chastity

This page was last updated on: 21 May 2014, 6:16 am IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
Number of revisions in this page: 3


  1. Ojas or Brahmacharya, as Swami Vivekananda told, is an old Indian concept, has little or no merit at, all. Modern science does not support it.

    1. Hi Vikash,

      I am not sure if you have ever understood the concept of Brahmacharya. It is beyond funny sciences. You are saying 'modern science'. Many quantum physicists like Niels Bohr, Schrodinger, Heisenberge were influenced by Vedanta. Sexologists of the so called modern times are only suggesting Brahmacharya and yoga for several benefits. What do you mean by saying 'Modern Science'? Do they know everything? We have to use our own reasoning and intellectual abilities. First practice it with a pure mind and then you can tell everybody of your own experience. Brahmacharay is at the heart our culture. People without knowing the power of human brain and sexual energy make comments on Brahmacharya. First read about libido, quantum physics, Neuroscience, cognitive science and then leave your comments. You may not like it, but how can you say that it has no scientific basis. What sciences do you know? Who are all the scientists that you know? Do you know what research is being done at the moment? Do you have any papers?


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