If intelligently performed, the act does not cause injury; but restraint is necessary; and it should be done intelligently and in a state of perfect tranquility. A great deal, however, depends on one's own disposition.
Conditions of a single act; it is a powerful urge and one should avoid its evil consequences. Resolutions have a value of their own. The language of the text in this connection is sometimes plain and sometimes ornate as occasion demands.
It is a secret act, and should be preceded by prayer. It is only very intelligent or holy persons who can limit themselves to a single act; and it should result in the birth of a child of special virtue. In general, however, it is meant to secure a variety of objects, and is caused by desire.
Need of restraint: If the act is performed in an intelligent manner (The word in the text is visva-jit which, as has already been explained, refers to the intellect), the skin of the "dear one", for that is the name by which it is called should, in spite of several acts, remain uninjured. There is no incongruity in this, because the skin of the "dear one" remains on the upper side.
When it is taken out, there should be a restriction in regard to its subsequent use, for otherwise it would lead to excess. But while the union lasts, one should do one's duty in an especially intelligent manner, if something different has been done at the beginning; and it should be done in a state of perfect tranquility. After it has been done, it should not be continued; and there should be a change, as in the case of other functions of the mind (The word in the text is pavamana, which means "flowing clear as Soma"; and Soma refers to the mind. It refers, therefore, to the flow or function of the mind). But there may be no change, according as one's nature demands, because the urge corresponds to one's own disposition.
Pavamana is also the name of certain hymns sung at the Jyotishtoma sacrifice which, as has already been explained, refers to the action of light and its electric or electro-magnetic energy, which is also the energy of the mind. Thus the word pavamana is always associated with the character of the mind; and we get the same idea by dividing it into pava, mana, and "(pava) purification (mana) of what relates to the mind."
A single act: If a person desires to engage in but a single act, as it is of a very refined or high character all his attributes or auxiliary parts should take part in it. But those who desire to engage in but a single act, should hesitate; because when united, there is likely to be a repetition on the part of one who initiates it. We cannot say that he should repeat it if it satisfies his object, because it would be contrary to the sacred books to say so; and if it is done, it should be in accordance with good counsel or rules; and we see that there are persons who hesitate. There should, however, be a state of satisfaction of desire after the lapse of some time.
A powerful urge: Those who are dominated by these thoughts bring it about because that is the one object they seek, and forget everything else; but the union should 16 be such as is not attended with evil consequences.
Importance of resolutions: Resolutions should be characterized by a sense of duty, because they can create such a sense of duty, and lead to action. Since action is performed for the sake of knowledge, it may be undertaken at all times if that is its end. The Bhagvad Gita also tells us that all action is made more complete in knowledge.
The language of the text: When it is enough to make a plain or common speech, eloquence should be avoided, as in the case of eating or drinking. But we are advised to use learned language and not common speech, when the latter is used freely everywhere; and the point of changing the form is that others should not understand it.
A secret act: The reason why the act is performed unseen by others is that it is proper that it should be so. So far as its origin is concerned, the desire arises from the influence of speech. As the Mantras or hymns of the sacred books are meant to serve the purpose of action, the act of union should begin after a prayer or recitation of the Mantras, for they are meant to serve all kinds of objects.
There is a reference to the same point in the Vedanta Sutras, where the reason given is that it is a union of souls; and so the two souls withdraw themselves from all other objects of life in order to be alone with each other.
The act: In accordance with eternal teaching, the first union takes place in an opening in the body and, as a result of a variety of actions, there is a continuity of the act, because anything else would not be possible; and ends in besprinkling if it holds on for a long enough time. The word in the text is dhara, which means "a hole in a pitcher; a stream or current of water". The reference is obvious.
A single act: Those who think of but a single act should hesitate, because all good counsel in this connection is likely to collapse; but those who are endowed with intelligence engage in it without such collapse.
Its purpose: The act is prescribed in the case of all those who are endowed with divine or holy knowledge, even as it is in the case of those who have intellect; and we see that the union of a good and intelligent woman and a holy and skilful man is in accordance with this. Hesitation in such a case arises from want of understanding of the teachings of the sacred books, which are meant to secure merit (This would appear to refer to children endowed with special merit, as being the object).
In the case of a skilful person, however, the union is meant to secure a variety of objects. Those who are full of desire (The word in the, text is Hautra, which means "relating to Hotr", who, as has already been explained, refers to the mind, which has desire for its attribute), should hesitate if they wish to engage in but a single act; for the union arises from what one desires to do; and we see that it is a common enough occurrence.