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Sarkar, S.L. (1943). A Study of the Psychology of Sexual Abstinence from the Dreams of an Ascetic. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 24:170-175.

(1943). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 24:170-175

A Study of the Psychology of Sexual Abstinence from the Dreams of an Ascetic

Sarasi Lal Sarkar

Freud (1912) wrote as follows: 'It may be maintained that the ascetic tendency of Christianity had the effect of raising the psychical value of love in a way that heathen antiquity could never achieve; it developed greatest significance in the lives of the ascetic monks, which were almost entirely occupied with the struggles against libidinous temptation.'

The following paper is a short study showing how this transition is achieved in Hinduism. The methods employed in this case at puberty appear to follow a path similar to the repression of the Oedipus phase, though the mother's sexuality is here shown to play a bigger rôle in that evolution than is ordinarily attributed to it.

The material is taken from the private diary of a Hindu of the Brahmin caste, with whom I was personally acquainted.

Kuladananda Brahmachary was a disciple of Bijoy Krishna Goswami, a renowned saint of Bengal, popularly known as Gossain. He was born during the Bengali year 1274, and belonged to a very respectable Brahmin family. He was the youngest son and was reading in school when his father died during the Bengali year 1293. He then took initiation from Gossain in order to embrace a religious life and afterwards became an ascetic. He kept a faithful diary during the period of his discipleship, five parts of which were published, after which unfortunately he died.

Brahmachary, under the instruction of his teacher, the saint Gossain, recorded several of his dreams in the diary. Gossain appears to have been endowed with considerable psychological insight.

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